So, before I write anything more I don’t really think these little girls are “mean girls”. They are too young to be called names or be responsible for their behavior. They must have learned it from their parents and if anything I feel bad for them BUT for the purposes of this blog post they are “toddler mean girls”.
So I knew I would have to deal with bullying but I am surprised I have to deal with it at such a young age but nevertheless here we are. Amelia loves making friends and has a ton of confidence. We go to playgrounds all over NYC and despite knowing no one she will go up to kids and ask to be their friends. Usually the kids are happy for a new playmate and include her but yesterday something different happened.
She went up to some 4 or 5 year olds, asked to play ring around the rosy with them, they said no, and said it was because her dress wasn’t pretty. The second they said this Amelia cried and asked to take her dress off and just walk around naked. I asked the girls if they could include Amelia which didn’t work. So I offered to play with Amelia which didn’t work either. I took Amelia aside and we had a talk about how she shouldn’t care about what other people think of her or look for approval from others. I told her she is a smart girl with tons of friends and who cares if these 3 girls were mean to her. The things I said probably went over her head but I didn’t really know what else to say. Amelia eventually calmed down and forgot about it but the whole experience broke my heart.
I was bullied incessantly as a kid. Looking back, I wish someone had told me that those “mean girls” opinions didn’t matter. The things they said had no basis in reality and only effected me because I let them. That’s why I said so many things to Amelia that probably were too mature for her to understand… I don’t want her to care about what people think of her. The sooner she realizes that their opinions don’t matter the better.
Since I am sure this will unfortunately happen again, I need to think of things to say that are appropriate to say that she can understand because I have to admit when those girls said her dress wasn’t pretty and made my baby cry I wanted to scream, “Shut Up you Brats!”