Girl drama. At what age do you remember it starting? If we look deep enough, we all have girl drama in our lives, some worse than others. We are girls. It just happens.
But dealing with girl drama with my daughter is an entirely different thing than dealing with my own.
I think back to what I would consider girl drama beginning in junior high, for the most part. I mean, I can remember a few, okay two, episodes in grade school that might be considered girl drama. Yes, both involved boys, sort of. When I was in second grade, I had a friend named Robbie. He was by far the cutest little boy in school. His mom and my mom were friends from high school, so Robbie and I were friends even before we went to school. I remember all the girls wanting to be my friend because I was friends with Robbie! Girl drama? Not really. The next memory I have was in 5th grade. This time I remember girls not wanting to be my friend because I was friends with the boys. I got picked to play kickball, even though I wore a dress (yes, I wore a dress every day). And then the ever-dreaded – I developed before many of the girls my age, so there was that for them not to like me for. Girl drama? Maybe.
But it was really in junior high where I remember not being liked because of who I hung around with, or which boy I liked, or worse, which boy liked me. Or yes, I was guilty of having not-so-pleasant thoughts about others for many of the same reasons. ain Junior High is when I really remember cliques being formed. Drama? Oh yes.
Fast forward to my being a parent, and the third time, the parent to a girl. It started in 3rd, yes 3rd grade! And I am talking crazy girl drama. It was bad enough when a girl would tell my daughter she didn’t like her (did I mention my daughter is a pleaser like her momma!), but then that girl would tell others not to like my daughter. Then there was the ever-dreaded – I won’t be your friend if you are friends with so-and-so. Then the nasty talk behind each other’s backs, and the spreading of the rumors. It doesn’t help that my daughter doesn’t understand that you can be friends, even best friends, with more than one person at a time. So if her friend was spending the night with another friend, my daughter would think they were not friends any longer. It was okay when my daughter was included in a group of friends, but when a few of those friends were palling around with a few others, then my daughter would feel left out.
It was so bad in 3rd grade, yes 3rd grade, that the principal got involved at one point.One little girl was threatening other girls; if they were friends with a girl she didn’t like, she was taking their lunches or snacks, and being downright mean and bullying. I chose to simply coach my daughter on proper etiquette and diplomatic behaviors. Even when the principal approached me and asked my input, I still thought the girls could handle it amongst themselves and that there did not need to be a parent meeting called. I took a lot of slack for that one. One mom in particular was absolutely livid that I chose not to hash this out among the parents, so then she started saying mean things about my daughter! It is really too long and drawn out of a story to tell you all the details. But things did eventually blow over; the main culprit moved away and the other girls were all friends once again.
Now in 6th grade, we have seen some small similar issues over the years, but nothing like what transpired in 3rd grade. I still work on coaching my daughter on proper etiquette and diplomatic behaviors. I still find it near impossible to help her understand how to be friends with everyone and not be hurt because friend A spent the night at friend B’s house last night. She still views that as being left out, or not chosen. I try to get her to be proactive, ask on Monday for your friends to come over on Friday or Saturday. She still waits until Thursday, or worse, Saturday, and then is hurt that they already have plans.
I try to use examples of friends I have, and who they are friends with besides myself. I guess it is a hard concept for a 12-teen.
So I simply work on building my daughter’s self esteem and helping her to be confident in the person she is now and will be in the future. As long as we are human, there will always be drama, and because she is a girl there will always be girl drama. It is how we react, our own actions that we need to be concerned with.