Yes, little girls can be bullies, too

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
Why do little girls bully each other?

I’m mad because we have moved three different times and my seven-year-old girl has been bullied every time.

First, she was called a baby because some little girls found her sucking on her fingers. My husband and I talked with her and enrolled her into soccer and gymnastics classes.

Then, the same girls told her she ran funny, so she avoided going to play soccer after that. We let her quit.

She went on to do well with gymnastics.

But when we moved again, a group of girls in her gymnastics class whispered about her and ignored her. She wanted to quit, but my husband said quitting wasn’t an option. However, she stood in a corner for the rest of the year. I tried talking with her coach and she said our daughter would come around, but she didn’t.

The city we’re in now is the worst. Our daughter has a southern accent and the kids make fun of her. She’s quiet and isn’t asked to any sleep-over nights or parties or play-dates.

It’s breaking my heart.

Broken-hearted mom

Dear Mom,

The “new kid” is always a target for bullying just because they’re new and different.

Little girls bully for a few reasons:

• They mimic what they see at home

• They haven’t been taught healthy communication skills

• They need empathy training

Help your daughter to not stay a victim by:

•  Going to a professional therapist.

•  Participating in activities. This isn’t optional-help her choose one and stay committed for six months. Reward her for staying committed.

• Teaching her good communication skills with role-playing. Use our acronym C.L.A.S.S.: Connect by complimenting you; Listen to you tell a 15-second story about your favorite activity; Ask her to repeat back what you said in the way you said it; Summarize  – Tell her what she has learned and why it’s important; Then have her suggest a fun thing to do with you … tell her friendships start this way.

•  Teaching her what the word “empathy” means and asking her teacher if you can repeat the C.L.A.S.S. lesson for her students.

The most important value for all children, not just little girls, to learn is the Golden Rule. Teach your daughter what it is and how to put it into action through role-playing.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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