Monday, October 10, 2011

Fifth Grade is when the mean girls claws come out...

Today Munchkin and I ran into a local pizza place to grab a few pizzas and there was a girl about Munchkin's age sitting with her mother waiting for their order. The girl said hi to Munchkin twice and Munchkin turned her nose up and solidly ignored her. After the second time I turned to her and said "Aren't you going to say hello?"

Munchkin gave me a look that meant "Be quiet, Mom!"

When we left the restaurant I pressed her further. I was fully anticipating having to admonish her for being rude.

"What was up with that? Why wouldn't you say hi to that little girl?"

"She's MEAN to me at school, Mom. She calls me names. She's a mean girl."

Now, Munchkin is slightly younger than the rest of her class and she may be a little bit immature even for her age. Her birthday is in August so she started kindergarten when she was just barely 5 years old so most of her peers have all had at least a few months on her. When I look back on it, I always think I should have probably kept her in Montessori school for one more year before she started kindergarten, but that's just one more of those parenting decisions I can't change now.

So I think she might be a little more susceptible to bullying from more mature girls. She's in 5th grade now and, let's face it, girls are just learning to be catty and mean at her age. To top it off, Munchkin is sensitive. She doesn't let things roll off her back very well so she's probably a fabulous target for a practicing mean girl looking to get a reaction.

So how do I toughen up my little girl? How do I teach her to ignore those mean girls and understand that everything they say is only to make themselves feel better because they have their own problems with self-esteem? Bullies just really, really suck.