Toddler Mean Girls

Toddler mean girls.
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”.

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!”

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6 Responses to “Toddler Mean Girls”

  1. hobee1971 May 22, 2014 at 1:42 PM #

    I’m assuming the picture is of the offensive dress, which is adorable.

    When that happens again, ask her why she wanted to wear the dress that day and when she answers, tell her that’s the only thing that matters. And then find her and Freckles some swings ASAP.

  2. Karen May 22, 2014 at 1:57 PM #

    My heart breaks hearing you are already dealing with this. Katelyn is now 12 and it just keeps getting worse. I try to instil confidence in her but it is hard sometimes. I wish I had some magic words to make it easier to deal with, but sadly I don’t. I think you handled it well. I remind Katelyn all the time about all her true friends. I remind her that those opinions matter more than that of people who do not know her.

  3. Angelia May 22, 2014 at 4:41 PM #

    Those girls are just jealous of her fabulousness and she need not worry! When she is older explain to her that opinions are like armpits. Everyone has one and sometimes the stink!

  4. Brianna May 22, 2014 at 7:14 PM #

    I agree with all the other comments! If the dress she wore is above in the pics, I think she’s as adorable and pretty as she always it. Take it from a mom with a girl who likes to dress a lot like how Amelia does and sometimes she gets picked on. I tell her it doesn’t matter because she’s mommy’s angel and very beautiful. I tell her they’re just jealous because they don’t have her dress, or outfit. What you did was alright and for the last few years of telling her she’s beautiful and seeing that her sister and I don’t care what others think, esp since her sister is a preteen, she’s starting to believe it! My youngest did a pixie cut this year to look like a character from her favorite show and that was a bullying tatic for others apparently. I showed her a picture of the woman and then of her and asked what the different was, she said nothing and that the woman was pretty. I then said if nothing was different between them, what does that make you. She told me that made her pretty too! Hopefully Amelia can see that she’s very beautiful and that a whole bunch of people she doesn’t know love seeing her fabulous clothes and style every day!!

  5. star71 May 22, 2014 at 7:54 PM #

    I’ve had this problem w/ Ian several times.
    He’s walked up to other kids and wanted to play and they turn their backs on him or tell him to go away.
    And the parents standing right there do NOTHING, say NOTHING!!! I’m BLOWN away!!!
    I haven’t had a clothes ordeal, but usually don’t w/ boys, they usually just ignore or yell at him like I said.
    Ian is persistent and will play on the outside of their group which I find hilarious and I just watch closely, making sure they don’t shove him or touch him, b/c then mama bear will come out.
    And I’m with Mel, I’d ask A what she thinks about her dress, she liked her dress (shirt, tights, etc…) when she picked it out this morning so what’s changed now? Just b/c someone else said they didn’t like it?
    Remind her that you don’t always agree on everything and that’s what these girls are doing, they’re older, so they might not be into polka dots (or stripes) whatever right now, whatever it is to make it easier to explain it to her.
    She should understand that, as I’m sure she disagrees w/ you over what she wants to wear at times.

    I’m so sorry that she had to go through that, it’s a horrible thing for any child to go through, but for it to start so young… That’s deplorable!!!
    Hugs for Amelia!!!

  6. storywrtr May 23, 2014 at 3:23 PM #

    Okay… First and foremost, that dress is adorable. My girls have even agreed. Second, where were the parents of the offenders? Sheesh.

    When a child of mine was younger and picked on, I told her many things. Finding the right words on their level is always difficult. For A, especially since she’s screaming to get out of the dress, I would have said something like… But don’t you see? That’s what they want you to do. Because they know your dress is so pretty, they want you to take it off so they can keep it for themselves. (Works with batman costumes, too.)

    I would just remind her of whatever thing they made fun of is something that makes her special and sometimes people get jealous or want that something special for themselves. I’d like to think it’s worked with my girls.

    But, I did ask my girls…I showed them this post and asked, “What would you say to her?”

    First, they said her dress was beautiful and where can they get one. Second, they both offered to meet her at the park and play with her because she’s too cute. The older of the two says to tell her to always be true to herself no matter what other girls say, because your different it makes you special and everyone wants something special. The younger of the two offers her babysitting services and says that she should always be proud to be whoever she wants. Because the most important person you can be is yourself, no matter what.

    I’m not sure any of us helped, but I think it’s wonderful you are keeping strong on this. I know what it’s like, too…and i think you’re doing well with this. Just keep in mind it will happen and there’s not much you can do outside of chewing out the parents, although that never works in a good way. It’s more important to keep your daughter positive about herself, always.

    Good luck and I hope it’s an isolated incident.

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