As October arrives, it brings with it a day that prompts us to reflect on the complexities of relationships – Mean Girls Day. Fans of the cult classic, 2004 movie, Mean Girls celebrate October 3rd as Mean Girls Day. One article I read had this suggestion for celebrating the day: “Eat lunch in the bathroom cubicle by yourself” referencing a scene where Lindsay Lohan’s character did just that.
In the world of motherhood, we witness the joys and challenges of our kids forming friendships and navigating the changing bits of friendships, including the presence of frenemies. As moms, we’re faced with the task of guiding our children through these experiences while also addressing the scary stuff that comes with it. We can come together to support each other and empower our kids with empathy and kindness as they journey through friendships.
Unfortunately, mean girls aren’t just a problem in high school these days. Nowadays, “mean girls” are showing up in the halls of elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. You might know one of these girls. Your daughter might be struggling to navigate her friendship with a few of them. The dynamics we see in ‘Mean Girls’ aren’t just fictional; many girls face similar struggles, prompting the question: How can mothers step in to guide and support?
Embrace Open Conversations: Let’s create an environment where our kids feel comfortable sharing their experiences and emotions about friendships. Open conversations can help us understand their feelings and provide the support they need.
Recognize Mean Behavior: As moms, we can help our kids recognize mean behavior and teach them healthy boundaries. Encourage them to stand up for themselves while also fostering empathy towards others.
Nurture Empathy: Empathy is a powerful tool in navigating friendships. Let’s teach our kids to put themselves in others’ shoes, fostering understanding and compassion for those around them.
Address Frenemies: Frenemies can be challenging for our children to navigate. As moms, we can help them distinguish genuine friendships from toxic ones, empowering them to make healthy choices.
Create a Supportive Circle: Encourage your children to form friendships with those who lift them up and make them feel valued. A supportive circle of friends can provide a strong foundation for self-esteem.
Set Boundaries: Teach your kids the importance of setting boundaries in friendships. Let them know that it’s okay to walk away from toxic relationships and surround themselves with positive influences.
Build Resilience: Friendship challenges can be tough, but they also present opportunities for growth. Help your children build resilience and see these challenges as opportunities for learning.
Internet and Social Media: Discuss the impact of the online world on friendships. Encourage them to use social media responsibly and avoid engaging in negative behavior.
Being a Role Model: As moms, we play a crucial role in demonstrating healthy friendships. Let’s lead by example, showing empathy, kindness, and respect in our own relationships.
Seek Support: If your child encounters particularly challenging situations with friends, don’t hesitate to seek support from teachers, school counselors, or other parents. Together, we can create a safe and nurturing environment.
So, dear moms, let’s face the scary stuff of friendships with courage and compassion. By empowering our children with empathy, kindness, and resilience, we can help them navigate the challenges and cherish the true friendships that bring joy to their lives.
Wishing you a day filled with understanding, love, and unwavering support for your kids’ friendship journeys!