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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Book Club - Little Girls Can Be Mean: Chapter 6

Chapter 6
All Girls Can Be Mean:
When Your Daughter Is Acting
Like a Mean Girl

Page 179: I was so happy to see the authors talk about the word assertive. The curriculum No Kidding About Bullying has a couple of lessons centered around this word and it's important meaning so I've started teaching lessons about assertiveness to my 3-5th graders. Assertiveness is an important tool in a girl's life. Now when I have a group of girls in my office over friendship's so easy for me to throw that word around because they know exactly what I'm talking about. I can tell they feel super empowered by that powerful word. So if your daughter/student has a tendency to go to the aggressive side, then teach her all about assertiveness. Don't forget to role play it!

Page 180: There Are Two Sides To Every Story
This scenario had good light bulb moments for me. Telling someone to stand up for themselves won't work if they don't know what that should look, sound, and feel like. Standing up for yourself might mean something completely different to your child. They might think it means to be totally harsh with their friend. If you don't fill in the blanks for your child they will for you...and it might be a behavior you don't agree with. Page 184 the authors use the metaphor of a seesaw. This made me smile as I have actually drawn a seesaw on the white board when I teach we all need to be on equal ground in our friendships. Page 187 Again LOVING the role playing with the beanie babies. Kids love it too by the way. I never let kids leave my office until we have done a role play regarding the skills they want to use.

Page 188: "When one girl asserts herself (appropriately), it gives the other girl the opportunity to reflect on her actions, and to make new, more balanced and considerate choices. In this way, one girl's assertiveness can influence another, or can change the dynamic of a situation so immensely that both girls benefit. I might just print that BEAUTIFUL paragraph out and start reading it to parents over the phone. How closure is reached between two girls is a predictor of future behavior.

Page 191: Teacher's Tip
Everyone who follows my blog knows I'm a HUGE believer in the Bucket books. February is bucket filling month at my school. The bucket filling books are wonderful lessons in kindness. Thank you authors for bringing this up!

Page 193, 194: Girl Get Togethers; Saying Sorry
Again, this stuff is SOOOO important. I grew up with a parent who believed in this too....maybe that's why I work so hard at it with kids. It works.

Page 195: The Power Rush of Popularity
So what to do when you see your daughter mistreating someone!?! I like the point about how it's our job to GUIDE and not DIRECT. Because if you tell your kid, "You need to be nice to so and so." They've learned nothing. In fact, they probably rolled their eyes after you walked away. I love all of the advice in this story. The three R's (recognize, responsible, rectify) are going to come in handy in all sorts of situations. In fact, I'll be teaching these in my social skills lessons school wide.

The last story in this chapter which I'll call the "brush off" is something a lot of parents deal with and it's frustrating. It can also make you want to give up. Again, the suggestions through the four steps are really going to change how you parent and respond to your daughter. Good stuff. I have to say, this book is really helping me become a better school counselor. The teachers tips throughout this story gave me a lot of great ideas. I'm going to put the Tokens of Friendship from page 228 in place for sure.

I'll be wrapping up with the last chapter next week. Hope you are working the four steps. Keep it up!

1 comment:

  1. From my perspective, this is one of the most important chapters in the book. Mostly because we so often point our fingers at "those girls," the mean ones...the ones whose parents are part of why the girls are mean, etc. While of course there are some girls like that, most of the "mean girl" behaviors in elementary school come from very nice girls making mean choices or engaging in mean actions because they are ineffectively trying to get very legitimate needs, desires, and drives met in ineffective or inappropriate ways.

    I did a workshop this weekend and told the participants that if they thought their daughter has never been mean, or would never do mean things, they simply weren't paying close enough attention.

    Once we realize that meanness plays a similar role in elementary school that tantrums play for the 2-year-old, we can accept mean actions for the opportunity they are: A chance for us to better understand our daughter's drives, and to help provide her with the necessary tools to meet them, in kinder, more appropriate ways.