Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of. Without warning though, your little girl is confronted with whispers, rumours, gossip, and nasty behaviours. From the beginning of Grade Three, girls start using exclusionary tactics and other covert ways of bullying with the intent to isolate and hurt their friends.
Most girls at times are the target of this type of bullying. They are, at other times, bystanders. Sometimes they are even the aggressor, often as a way to establish and maintain social positions. Girls may be best friends one day and cruel the next. These behaviours are not okay and need to be challenged. Considering identity formation in girls is crucial in their primary school years, the impact of early friendships and coping with social struggles can be long-lasting and may significantly impact on future relationships.
Many bullying programs do not address the complicated issues around girl friendships and cliques. Additionally, many parents feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped to handle these issues with their daughter, particularly when they are unable to influence another child’s behaviour.