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tweens, teens, Teen Girls Rebel when Teen Boys Rated Female Classmates on Looks, Teen Boys Rated Female Classmates on Looks, teen girls rebel, girls fight rape culture, #MeToo, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School

You’ve heard of burn books? We all have. I remember in high school they were called slam books; same difference. Same jerky idea, different decade. Well, a group of high school boys at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Maryland are bringing it back. But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, the girls are refusing to stand for it. Teen boys rated female classmates on looks and the teen girls rebel. They will no longer stay quiet. Like teenage superheroes, these girls fight rape culture.

Teen boys rating girls on their looks is a practice as old as time. For as long as men have been objectifying women, girls have been getting rated by their looks in burn books, slam books, bathroom walls and in guy group texts. It’s a national pastime for men and boys. The undiscriminating discriminatory act of objectifying the part of the population born with girl parts. It’s sickening.

This time the list is in an iPhone Notes app. It included the names of 18 girls in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, ranked and rated on the basis of their looks, from 5.5 to 9.4, with decimal points to the hundredth place. There, with a number beside it.

A number rating system for girls like they’re cattle being rated for purchase. A group of male students created the list over a year ago and it’s been recirculated. Spreading like a plague through text messages and whispers during class. One male student saw the name of his friend, Nicky Schmidt, on the list and told her about it. Within 24 hours, most of the senior girls knew about the list. Teen boys rated female classmates on looks and the girls are not having it.

READ ALSO: The Problem with Little Boys

In the past, tween and teen girls would see the list, hang their head in shame and pray no one brought it up again. It’s shameful. It’s one thing to feel ugly ( as we all do in those awkward years) but it’s quite another to have everyone at school to see your national ugly average rating in notes, much less hear it whispered as you walk through the halls. The thing about these sorts of lists is that it shakes even the most confident young women to their core. Even if you’ve always thought you were pretty, these books have a way of crawling into your psyche and taking root; growing, twisting and digging in.

As someone who suffered from eating disorders and was never sure of herself, at least in the looks department, finding myself in a burn book would have made me feel so isolated, unsure and depressed. As a grown woman, it would make me rage because of two things, 1) I know I’m attractive enough 2) I don’t care what anyone else thinks about how I look or think or exist. But this is as a grown woman, it took years to have this confidence.

Yasmin Behbehani, a student at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, found herself ranked on this list after her friend, Nicky Schmidt, let her know about the list, as a heads up. But Behbehani didn’t want to know about this list. She was trying to stay in her lane; just trying to survive high school is hard enough without extracurricular  humiliation. She’d spent her entire high school tenure recovering from eating disorders and trying to avoid this kind of triggering comparison to her classmates but there is was in a text message with a screenshot of the list, typed out in the damn notes app.

These kinds of lists are not new. And they will never not exist. As long as boys are raised to objectify women with no real consequences they will continue to do so. But today is not yesterday, or last year, or the last decade. Today, we live in the world of #MeToo.

We are raising ours girls to not take this kind of treatment. Raising our girls to know there are more important things to be than beautiful and to speak up, no to scream, when we need to be heard. We’re empowering our little girls. We are not afraid of you any longer. You can’t demean us with your stupidity and objectification because we know we are more than our parts.

READ ALSO: Raising Girls to Survive Misogyny, Sexting and Slut Shaming

The girls of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School felt violated, objectified by classmates they thought were their friends. They felt uncomfortable getting up to go to the bathroom, worried that the boys were taking notes and editing their scores.Objectification feels horrible; judged at your very existence.

The things that no one counted on in this “boys will be boys” rape culture that we live in is that  there is power in numbers. Dozens of senior girls spoke to the school administration and to the boys, demanding not only disciplinary action in response to the list but a school-wide discussion about the toxic culture that allowed the list to happen in the first place. This resulted in one male student being given an in-school detention for one day. It wouldn’t even be on his record.

Not happy with the disciplinary action, Schmidt texted 15 friends and told them to tell all of their friends to show up at the school’s office the next day during lunch, “to tell them we feel unsafe in this environment and we are tired of this toxicity,” Schmidt wrote in her text. 40 senior girls showed up, packing into the assistant principal’s office where Schmidt read a statement she had written.

We want to know what the school is doing to ensure our safety and security,” Schmidt said. “We should be able to learn in an environment without the constant presence of objectification and misogyny.”

READ ALSO: The Reality of Being Born a Woman

The girls and administration agreed that to have a meeting with the male students in the program, including the assholes who created and circulated the list. On International Women’s Day, almost all of the students in the IB program — about 80 students — met in a large conference room for what was supposed to be a 45-minute meeting during fifth period. It lasted over 2.5 hours.

The girls shared personal stories and impassioned speeches about how the list made them feel. They shared their stories of sexual abuse, harassment and the lasting effects objectification has had on them. And something miraculous happened, the boys heard them. In fact, the boy who created the list stood up, took responsibility for the list and apologized for the hurt the list caused. I am so proud of the girls for uniting and standing up and demanding that their voices be heard. Silence is the enemy of equality.

The thing this isn’t new and the kid who made the list and the ones who passed it around are not the minority. The girls who spoke up and refused to be treated like this, they are the minority in our culture. We need to make doing the right thing easier and more common. It shouldn’t be this hard for women to be treated like humans. We shouldn’t have to fight for a basic human right like being treated like people and not objects.

What will we do next time we find out teen boys rated female classmates on looks? Where will we be when our teen girls rebel?

To be honest, since the #MeToo movement began, I have shared my own stories. I shared them before but I never realized that men don’t actually understand what it feels like to be a woman and be objectified. They have always been bigger, stronger and more privileged than women. They’ve always lived in a boys will be boys culture and they’ve watched, from the time they were little boys, the world apply different rules for women and girls. Boys assault women in so many ways and all they get is a slap on the wrist, even from women. But no more.

Since the day they were born, we’ve been raising our girls to respect themselves and to value no one’s opinion over their own. I’ve taught them that no means no and if they have to scream that, then do so. We’re raising our girls to be brave and determined. They know that they are as good as any man and in some instances, even better.

This generation of moms is raising an army of feminists ready to do battle for their human respect, equality and dignity. If you can’t get on board with that, that’s your problem. It’s happening. Be ready for it. Don’t stand in their way. This is their future and their worth is more than any ranking a man could ever give them.

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tips for raising teenage girls, teenage girls, Signature swing park, Boston

It’s summertime and I’ve been spending a lot of time in close quarters with my tween and teenage girls. Not going to lie, being present all the time for girls this age is challenging ( they have a lot to say, all the time) but if you can just listen through the noise that surrounds all the very important things they are trying to tell you, you will find that these young ladies are pretty freaking amazing.

Not in a hokey, sugary sweet way but in a fierce, no none sense, stand up, speak up soul beauty that sees love and wonder in the world. Teenage girls intuitively seek the good and they are not taking the other bull ish. These girls are powerful and they have voices they are not afraid to use and I’d like to think we, the women who came before them; their mothers, sisters, grandmothers and aunts who busted their butts to be seen have empowered them to fight back. Maybe we couldn’t make the world exactly what they deserve but we’ve raised them to be fierce enough to survive it and continue the work to make the world better for their daughters.

tips for raising teenage girls, teenage girls, Signature swing park, Boston

READ ALSOTips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship Part 1

Teenage girls are by far the most powerful force and resource our world has to offer. They are change makers and a force to be reckoned with. As parents, we have to ensure that they never lose that. I want to lift my girls up to always keep that fire burning inside of them. I never want them to be afraid to speak their truth. I want them to know that their words, thoughts, beliefs and ideas are important and worth being heard.

“If you have something worth saying, stand up and tell your truth. Never be afraid to speak up and stand up for what’s important to you!” My dad taught me this. ” Where there is a will, there is a way. You can be and do anything you want to if you are willing to work for it. No dream is too big.” My mom taught me this. These are words that carry me through my life. These are the gifts I want to give my girls and all the little girls and teenage girls and women of the world. “You are amazing and you are stronger than you know. You can do anything you want to. You are worth it. Don’t let anyone else steal your joy. The only person you need to make happy is you. You have to live with the woman in the mirror. Be your best version of you. Nobody’s opinion counts.”

tips for raising teenage girls, teenage girls, Signature swing park, Boston

These are  my tips for raising teenage girls and not damaging your relationship Part 3

Teach them respect; of others and most importantly of themselves.

My dad was all about respect and I never fully understood his obsession with his need for us to be respectful. He wanted us to respect ourselves and respect others, especially our parents. Then, I realized that the respect you have for yourself sets the bar for how others treat you. If you don’t respect yourself enough to make good choices and be willing to walk away from people who don’t respect you, you will never be able to live your best life. You will be at the mercy of other people’s opinions of you. Treating others with respect is a reflection of who you are as a human being. I teach my girls to treat everyone with human decency but reverent respect has to be earned. Parents you also need to remember to respect your teenage girls. They need to feel like they have a say. They are no longer toddlers, they are an active part of the family and as such their thoughts and opinions do matter.

Let them know that you don’t give a damn what everyone else is doing.

I tell my girls daily, “I don’t care about other people’s kids.” I do. But my point is, if Claire wants to vape and send sexts to the entire 7th-grade male population, that does not make it ok or acceptable.  I’ve taught my girls since they were babies not to compare themselves to others so I hope it works out in the end. I know everyone feels peer pressure but I’m hoping that I’ve raised the girls with enough self-respect and confidence that the need to like themselves trumps the need for others to approve of who they are.

Family time.

This is so important. Teenage girls need family time. Don’t be fooled by the devil may care, self-absorbed persona they’ve taken on recently, they still need that touchstone of family. They need to be able to let down the façade of coolness that all teenage girls put up to fit in. They need time to be goofy and funny and imperfect with the people who will love them no matter what. These moments playing games, traveling, telling jokes, being silly, doing face masks or just watching movies or going for walks are where the memories are made. This is the downtime they need in their life to survive the stresses of being teenage girls.  It’s hard. Remember?

Limit screen time.

Not because you are mean and you hate devices but because time is precious and it’s moving a million miles a minute at this phase, give them space and respect their ideas but make sure they know how to interact socially with people face-to-face before you send them out into the world. So many children have their faces stuck in a device from toddlerhood, it’s just a symptom of the world we live in today but I refuse to let the girls be so digitally engaged that they are not physically engaged with the world around them. I want my girls to talk to people, look them in the eye and be present in those moments. You can’t do that when you are distracted by your phone, iPad, social media or the online world. I want them to live and act in the real world because those experiences with people, even the bad ones, are worth living.

Don’t be afraid.

Teenage girls can sense fear. Just kidding, they’re not bears.  But I do have to say, I am really loving this phase of raising teenage girls. Like I said it’s just begun but I feel that we are growing closer. I am the welcoming wagon for womanhood and I feel like I’m a pretty damn good party thrower. Just remember beneath all those gangly body parts, confused skin, hormones, and eye rolling is buried that newborn baby they laid on your chest all those years ago and they need you, even if it seems like on some days they don’t want you. Don’t be afraid just love the shit out of them, all day and every day. At the end of the day, you are doing the right thing.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship Part 2

Well, these are the last of my Tips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship for now, what are yours?

 

 

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raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls, Madison Hu, Olivia Rodrigo, #DisneySMMC

I’m officially the mom of a tween girl and a teen girl and honestly, I’ve been afraid of raising teenage girls ever since I was a teenage girl. Hormones make teenage girls feel crazy and I was awful in so many ways. I occasionally read my old diaries to remind myself that I was the worst. This allows me to have some patience with my own teenage girl.

Don’t get me wrong, I got straight A’s and I didn’t smoke or drink or do drugs but I was driving at 13 and going to clubs in downtown Chicago since I was 14. But it was very innocent because I was so naïve. I know how ridiculous it sounds.

We’ve hit that point in raising teenage girls where I can’t say, “When I was your age…” because I’ll be ratting myself out and giving them too many bad ideas. I would die if Bella wanted to drive my car or, heaven forbid, asked to go to a club in the city. I’d be too worried. Apparently, I am way less cool than my mom must have been. I want to tell my girls to keep singing at the top of their lungs when the rest of the world tells them to be quiet. That’s the kind of mom I want to be.

What were my parents thinking? Maybe I didn’t even ask. Maybe I bent the truth as to where I was going and what I was doing. I can’t even remember. I’m sure my teen brain rationalized it somehow. I just know I was doing a lot of things that could have gone really terribly and been pretty dangerous, only I was too stupid and pumped up on hormones to realize it.

READ ALSO: Dear Me: A Love Letter to my 13-Year-Old Self

My youth was not misspent, it was very much lived and I have no regrets but the thought of my girls doing some of the things that I did, scares the hell out of me. I’ve spent some time reflecting on what it really means to be raising teenage girls and figuring out how to get through this phase with our relationship intact and without them doing anything that puts their lives in too much extraneous danger.

raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls

Here are my tips for raising teenage girls (and tween girls) that I’ve learned so far.

Let them be who they are meant to become.

You have to stand back to give them space to make mistakes and not judge them and tell them that you told them so. You’re a parent so your main job is to love unconditionally and support them, even when they don’t make the choice you would’ve recommended. The difficulty of this task is not lost on this reformed helicopter mom.

Speak positively.

As a mom, for the past 13 years, I’ve had to learn to lose the sarcasm and learn to speak more positively. Thankfully, for all of us, I was getting my Masters in Elementary Education when I got pregnant with Bella and so I had a couple years of actual courses that taught me how to interact with small children. Positive reinforcement is always better than punishment, so moms, always look for the sunny side, even in the teen years.

Remember to breathe and count to ten.

This one is hard for me sometimes. Patience is not something that comes naturally to me. I am very much a speak first then think kind of person. But, especially since entering the tween years, I’ve made it a point to stop and step back for a moment before reacting. That doesn’t always work because I’m a human but just the fact that I am cognizant of the situation helps me to react better to my girls.

READ ALSO: How to Talk to your Tween about Everything

See past the eye rolls.

Oh, the amount and severity of eye rolls that I have endured while on my journey to raising teen girls has been head spinning. I find this tween/ teen habit to be particularly offensive but I try to remember how often I rolled my eyes at my parents (and still do to people on a daily basis) and I try not to be too offended. I know it’s not personal, teen girls think everyone and everything is stupid. This is their defense for when they don’t understand, don’t approve or don’t know what else to say. I’m not even sure they know they are doing it anymore so don’t take it personally and if you can, ignore it. Easier said than done.

raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls

It’s good to have expectations but don’t force your agenda on them. You can’t relive your life through them.

Your teenage daughter is not your chance to relive your youth. Don’t force them to be who you were; who you wish you were or who you could never have been. My philosophy is that they are people and by the time they are teenagers, they have formed some thoughts and beliefs of their own. You have acquired wisdom from living through it already once so be there to guide them and offer advice but you cannot tell them what to like or enjoy. They are their own people. Let them be fierce. 

These are my tips for raising teenage girls (and tween girls) that I’ve learned so far.

Well, I started writing this post and it ended up being very long, so I am making it a 3 part series. I will publish the rest of the 15 tips over the next weeks.

What are your tips for raising teenage girls?

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Wellie Wishers, American Girl, raising girls

Have you heard of the Wellie Wishers? This summer has been full of hectic crazy fun; packed with sunshine and the great outdoors. We’ve traveled, seen the beach and watched movies outside under the stars. But what do you do when it rains, right in the middle of summer? We made lemonade out of those lemons. The girls invited a few of their friends over for a movie play date. I work with American Girl so they sent us the newest American Girl Movie Lea to the Rescue. The girls were more than happy to watch it at our house together.

I popped some popcorn, made some actual lemonade and ordered pizzas. Meanwhile, the girls and their favorite American Girl dolls “watched” Lea to the Rescue. I’m not going to lie, it was the perfect rainy day activity for a group of girls in the 5 to 13-year-old age range. To be honest, I am more than a little past a teenager and I thoroughly enjoyed it too.

Speaking of rainy days and little girls, have you heard of American Girl’s latest line of dolls? They are called Wellie Wishers and they spread the message to today’s little girls everywhere that we should all consider what it means to “stand in another person’s wellies.”

The Wellie Wishers, a line of five fun-loving characters, Willa, Kendall, Ashlyn, Emerson, and Camille are out to make the world a kinder and friendlier place.

It’s the golden rule in full effect. Treat others how you would like to be treated (or for you more modern day moms) to have a good friend you’ve got to be a good friend. Either way you slice it, the message is don’t judge others. Always consider what it might be like to stand in their wellies.

American Girl created Wellie Wishers to help younger girls, ages 5-7, discover the social and emotional skills they need to become empathetic, compassionate, and thoughtfully motivated individuals. Timeless life lessons on sharing, cooperation, respecting feelings, and making things right are passed along to girls through each Wellie Wishers character, who navigates the ins and outs of friendship through play, songs, and imagination.

The Wellie Wishers celebrate an amazing time in a little girl’s life when she’s learning about herself through the world around her. Through their stories, the Wellie Wishers help our daughters make good choices today defining the person she’ll become tomorrow.

The beautiful, whimsically illustrated early chapter books about the Wellie Wishers’ fun and fanciful outdoor adventures are written with humor and heart by American Girl author Valerie Tripp. The stories will delight girls and their mothers as they celebrate the promise and potential of young readers and gently model the life skills that help build strength of character and confidence.

The Wellie Wishers’ adventures and lessons further unfold in American Girl’s first-ever animated series, airing in fall 2016. Each 11-minute episode follows the fun-filled exploits of the five smart and lively six-year-olds, who have limitless imaginations and the same big wish: to be a good friend. When the Wellie Wishers step into their colorful rain boots, they are ready for anything in their aunt’s whimsical backyard garden. Young viewers are entertained through stories, humor, and catchy songs as the Wellie Wishers work, dream, and play together—feeding birds, making mud pies, creating art, and putting on shows—all while imparting valuable lessons in friendship.

To further engage girls and bring the characters to life, American Girl is debuting a free Wellie Wishers app, where players can explore the interactive garden world through three mini games—Carrot Care, Mud Pie Maker, and Garden Harmony. Little girls will delight in the sweet, silly, and unexpected surprises that get unlocked the more they play. The free app is available through play.americangirl.com.

Rounding out the play experience is a line of adorable 14½-inch dolls (retail $60) and garden-themed accessories, including a magical theater stage and a premium wooden playhouse with over 30 pieces. Young girls can even dress like their favorite character with a selection of dress-like-your-doll clothing, like enchanted garden PJs or a pair of peek-a-boo wellies.

Wellie Wishers, American Girl, raising girls

My girls love their Wellie Wishers and thanks to the generosity of American Girl, we would like to give away a doll to one lucky reader. Enter below! Mandatory entries include subscribing to The TRUTH newsletter, following The TRUTH about Motherhood on Facebook and leaving a comment below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls

If you read last week’s part 1 of tips for raising teenage girls and you’ve returned, welcome back. You are certainly among friends. Raising teen girls is difficult regardless of how the kid behaves. She can be the most complacent, compliant, sweet teenage girl of all teenage girls and you will still need to know these tips because there is a hormonal storm brewing inside that child and it is our responsibility as parents, to try and make the transition as easy as possible.

Not like we can have any kind of control of what they are thinking or how they are feeling or how any of it is going to land on them. Just remember puberty is like a bomb going off inside of a girl. She has no idea how to deal with all of these emotions, her body and the sexual way she might be feeling towards boys (or girls). It’s all okay. We don’t have to fix it. We just have to be there to listen and understand.

READ ALSO: Faster than a Speeding Bullet.

I know you are going to have days where you feel at your wits end. I’ve got a tween and a teenage girl, so this happens to me quite a bit these days. I’ve learned to try and not take it personally. The truth is it hurts. There is nothing wrong with taking a minute to react. Sometimes you just have to step back, take a breath and think about what you are about to do because blowing up at a teenage girl is about as helpful as carrying a paper umbrella in a monsoon.It’s actually ridiculous and someone might get hurt.

raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls

Here are my Next 5 Tips for Raising Teenage Girls

The time for catching your teenager when they fall is over. It’s time to help them up when they stumble because they have to learn some lessons on their own.

Obviously, no one wants to watch their child get hurt. When they were learning to walk, I sheltered them; catching them before they fell. But as parents to teenage girls, you have to let go a little. This is when they learn to make good choices on their own. This is when we have to have a little faith in all the parenting we have done up until now. We have to teach them to live in this world without us, so we have to learn to trust them to make those good choices.

READ ALSO: Parent the Kids You Have

Alone time with your teenager.

Bella hit 13 and it suddenly became abundantly clear to me that our time together under the same roof, seeing her sweet sleepy face stumble into my kitchen every morning and kissing me good morning are coming quickly to an end. I have 5 years and it is not enough so make time to have alone time with your teenage girls. They may not seem like they need or want it but they do, more than ever. These alone times are when they feel free to ask you questions and talk freely. Do something they like. It doesn’t even matter what it is. It’s not about what you do or where you go, it’s about the time together. Always remember that.

Privacy for your teenager.

They are no longer children. My tween and teenage girls are starting to look a lot more like young ladies and a lot less like children but they still need parental guidance. At the same time, they need and deserve privacy to think and be alone with their thoughts. This is a delicate balance of letting go and holding on. Check-in. I know my girls need space sometimes, so do I. They are trying to figure out all of this too. Their bodies are changing. Their minds are focusing on different things. It’s like being reborn and your own skin doesn’t feel like it fits anymore and everyone you know is going through the same thing. You love it but you kind of hate it but mostly, you need space to figure it all out without someone over your shoulder at every moment. But remember to let them know you are still there, whenever they need you.

raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls

Love your teenager for who they are, not who you want them to be. They are a person, they have free thought and you have to give them the independence to explore who they are becoming.

Just love them no matter what even when you don’t completely understand or you think they are overreacting to something you know will pass. You know because you’ve already lived through it. Remember, when you are a teenage girl and going through these things for the first time, you don’t have the benefit of experience or wisdom. It is huge. Also, the teen years are for figuring out what you like and believe independent of your parents and those around you, so give them that space and don’t discourage them because they aren’t just like you were or are. Just remember how much you love them and remind them that you will keep on loving them, no matter what. Love them unconditionally. No matter how big they get, they are still your child and will always need your love and support.

READ ALSO: What to do when You Catch a Child Lying

Listen to your teenager.

Teenage girls like to talk a lot. A lot of it is not relevant to your life. I can tell you my girls love to share with me all the business of everyone they know or will ever know and everything that is going on in their world. 95% of it is not that pertinent to my life but what is very important to my life is them and keeping those lines of communication open. Sometimes you have to listen to a lot of stories about Kayley’s sister’s best friend’s boyfriend to hear one nugget of who your own teenage daughter is crushing on and how she is feeling and what is going on with that. You need to be there for that and they need to know you are listening so put on your best “interested” face and listen because it’s worth it when they talk to you about the important things.

Hope you’ll come back next week when I’ll share the last of my 5 tips for raising teenage girls (so far).

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Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

In 2000, I was newly married and everything in life was ahead of me. I stumbled onto the show Gilmore Girls and I fell in love at first show. You see, I never had a great relationship with my own mom. There was nothing wrong with our relationship; other than we are complete opposites but I love my mom but we were never “friends”. My best friend in college had that kind of relationship with her mom and I was always envious because who wouldn’t want their mom to be their best friend. Gilmore Girls was a wonderful representation of what I dreamed of having with my mom and exactly the kind of relationship I hoped to someday have with my own daughters but it was all hypothetical.

Fast forward five years and I had my own little girl. I remember watching the opening credits of Gilmore Girls rolling with Carole King singing Where You Lead in the background and my toddler dancing to the music and my heart filled with so much love that it nearly burst because it was everything I felt for my daughter. To this day, every single time I hear that song, I smile because I think of that great, big love that I have for my girls; the unbreakable love and sisterhood that you can only be felt between a certain kind of relationship between a mother and daughter. It’s the kind of relationship I have with my girls.

Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

Fast forward, 11 years and here I sit Thanksgiving weekend watching Gilmore Girls; A Year in the Life with my two daughters and all I can feel is blessed. When I first watched the show, the relationship between Lorelai and Rory was something I wished for but never had and now, it is something I have times two. I know not every mother and daughter have that symbiotic, complete each other’s sentences and thoughts, talk in circles; six degrees of separation logic understanding but we do and it is even more special than I ever imagined.

Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

I know that the show was a writer’s creation but the relationship, there had to be some foundation in reality to actually “get it” so dead on. It exists.

Spoiler alert; If you haven’t already seen it and don’t want any spoilers, stop reading now.

I love the way the story picks up a decade or so later. It gave us time to see growth in the characters. It gave Lorelai and Luke time to figure stuff out, it gave Rory wings to fly and get some distance and become her own woman and it gave all the characters time to expand and contract; become three-dimensional, not simply two-dimensional caricatures of reality. Sometimes life is hard and sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned and sometimes your person can’t fix all of it. Bad things happen to good people and life is complicated and messy and it can’t all be wrapped up fully in a nice bow in an hour-long episode; only if it were.

Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

Relationships are work and sometimes people have to get hurt to learn their lessons. That is life and we don’t always make the right choices. Sometimes we follow our hearts and it leads us down a path of reckless abandonment and, while it might be the greatest adventure of our life, it just isn’t realistically feasible to sustain long-term. Sometimes we have to let go before we’re ready. Sometimes we have to fight for what we want and sometimes life throws us so many curveballs that we just don’t know which way is up but in the end, life works out even if it’s not the way we planned because that is what living is all about; the experiences…the journey. It’s all our journey.

Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

Gilmore Girls; A Year in the Life was unexpected for me. Things didn’t go as planned but I loved seeing the progression. It’s like going home and catching up with all the people you grew up with. Most of the time, the reality is very different from what any of you imagined it would be but it’s okay and it’s just nice to have those people who you knew when. I loved watching it with my own Rorys (wrapped up together in a soft blanket as we ate pop tart biscotti and Red Vines) and I loved the messy way it all turned out because, in life, there is seldom a direct path from point A to Point B but you can get there a million different ways.

Gilmore Girls, Raising Girls, Netflix, StreamTeam

I don’t know what Netflix plans to do but I would love to see more of the Gilmore Girls and see how their messy wonderful story turns out. It ended in a way that the reboot almost felt like it could be a repeat. Things were similar but at the same time, completely different and unfamiliar. Nothing was as we expected and at the same time, it was exactly as we left it. I don’t want to spoil anything for my fellow Gilmore Girls fans so I will leave you with this; if you loved the original Gilmore Girls franchise, you should watch A Year in the Life with an open mind and an open heart and remember that the good parts of life are seldom planned and all the real living happens when your plans go out the window.

https://youtu.be/cSAtoSs7ZSI

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raising girls, Like a girl, #LikeAGirl

” Like a Girl ” what does that even mean? Like a boss? Like your best? Like you? Bigger? Bolder? Brighter? Faster? Harder? Stronger? Longer? Better? I’ve never gotten that phrase and I’ve always hated the negative connotation that is inferred by it. I’m a woman and I love being a woman. I don’t think being a female makes me less, it makes me more.

raising girls, Like a girl, #LikeAGirl

“Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”

― Betty White ( Like a girl)

raising girls, Like a girl, #LikeAGirl

I am the proud mom of two very strong willed, strong minded and strong bodied, amazing girls. Girls who are smart, funny, caring, loving, challenging, athletic, witty, love science and math and give everything they do 110%. They are also beautiful, delicate, stubborn, opinionated, whimsical and 110% girl.

raising girls, Like a girl, #LikeAGirl

 

They are two of the fiercest little girls I know. They are everything they want to be and my only wish for them is happiness being their best version of themselves. I never want them to lose the belief that they can do and be anything they want to be. It’s all a matter of working hard and has absolutely NOTHING to do with what is between their legs. Contrary to popular belief, a vagina is not a liability. It’s a mother f*cking miracle.

raising girls, Like a girl, #LikeAGirl

You see, I’ve never put my girls into a box and I’ve NEVER in my life understood the asinine turn of phrase, “Like a girl” because it makes no sense. Girls grow up to be women. Women grow babies, give birth, hold careers, make homes for their families and hold shit together when the world starts to fall apart. Without women, quite literally, the species would cease to exist. Girls are can do anything boys can do, in most cases, even better because they’ve had to work twice as hard to get it.

raising girls, Like a girl, #LikeAGirl

The “Like A Girl” campaign as a social experiment to destroy the negative implications of the phrase. That ad was shown during last night’s Super Bowl game.

The video shows grown up men and women being asked to run, throw, and fight like a girl. In each case, they watered it down. They reacted slower, more cartoonish and awkward like. They “dumbed it down”. THEY thought it was funny. I don’t think it’s funny at all, especially when women are doing this. This makes us part of the problem, not the solution.

However, when the producers of the video asked young girls under the age of 10 to run, throw or fight “like a girl” they did it with all of their might. They ran as fast as they could. Fought as hard as they could. Threw as far as they could. They did not undersell themselves because they were doing it as they always believed they could. They had not yet been conditioned and beaten down by society’s stereotypes and become a cartoonish, underwhelming specimen of a woman. They were strong.

raising girls, Like a girl, #LikeAGirl

 

As a woman, who survived puberty, we all know that once puberty comes and your body starts to change. Your confidence is shaken. People react to you differently. You cross over from being a kid to being a woman and the expectations change. With breasts, you become shackled with limitations. It is a sad but true fact. Right now, my girls are still at the age where they do everything like no one is watching and there is a quiet strength and beauty in that.

raising girls, Like a girl, #LikeAGirl

The video bothered me a lot, then again I knew this day was coming. My oldest is about to be 10 and I have worked her entire life to make sure that she NEVER sees “like a girl” in a negative way. I want her to always know and accept that she is as good, as strong, capable and intelligent as any boy. If anything, I want my girls to know they are special because not only can they do every thing that men can do, we can do one thing that they can’t…conceive and give birth to a child. We are stronger in that capacity than any man can ever hope to be because we are the keepers of the world.

raising girls, Like a girl, #LikeAGirl

I think I’m doing a pretty good job, my girls look completely baffled when I ask them to do anything “like a girl” I have to clarify…just do it the way you do it. I’m pretty proud of that and them. Like a girl should be synonymous with Like a boss because that is how we do it around here.

raising girls, Like a girl, #LikeAGirl

I think my girls are the two most amazing creatures I know. They are strong, bold and fierce in ways I only wish that I was. I watch them grow in awe and humbled by their spirit. They inspire me to fight harder, to be better to make this world better for them….to make it what they deserve.

What does ” like a girl ” mean in your house?

raising girls, Like a girl, #LikeAGirl

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slut shaming, sexting, misogyny, shaved, Mean girls, raising girls, hair, shaving, waxing, self-esteem

The things we have to talk to our children and teens about these days is intense. I never remember my mom talking to me directly about misogyny, slut shaming, rape or even consent. She definitely didn’t talk to me about sexting because it didn’t exist. I remember my dad adamantly telling me to respect myself and my body and to stand up for myself. Maybe that was the 80’s version of the same thing I’m talking to my girls about. My dad has a black belt in karate and he taught us all how to throw a punch so maybe he was prepping me for the real world, in his own indirect way.

I grew up and knew that I wanted to have a very open dialogue with my children, especially when they hit those difficult, awkward teen years. By the way, all kids are awkward at this age so it’s not just your kid. They all need a little TLC during the teen years when they can sometimes be at their most unlovable. Just remember all of that angst is probably masking insecurity.

READ ALSO: Parent Guide to Teen Slang Words

Lately, I’ve had to have some very direct conversations that I never thought I’d have to have. The two I most thought I’d never have to have a direct conversation about are misogyny (it’s not you, it is definitely them) and slut-shaming (it’s never ok to be a part of that problem). Thanks to modern politics and the trickle-down effect, it has had on our community, it’s been necessary to explain to my daughters that it’s never ok for any man to treat you like you are a less valuable human being because of what’s between your legs.

Women are 100% equal to men, as we are all human beings. The only thing that elevates a person’s worth in the world is the way in which they conduct themselves and interact with others. We should be measured by our contributions, not our sex.

Thanks to a prevalent case of moral superiority that seems to permeate the circle they have found themselves surrounded by, I’ve had to jump to the rescue of strangers for making questionable moral choices. At this age, everyone is a critic and the higher the number of kids judging, the worse the criticism. I’ve always told my girls that they should live their own best lives and do good in the world but we don’t judge others because their life choices are between them, their conscience and their God.

READ ALSO: When Misogyny Speaks the World Listens

Do I want my daughters to grow up and make questionable moral choices? Of course not, but do I want them to live a full life? Yes. So maybe that means they make some choices that I wouldn’t make or they take chances that I would have discouraged them from making. Will we always see eye to eye? Definitely not. My girls have free will and I wouldn’t change that.

I’m not particularly excited about watching them fail or get hurt and I will always be there to pick up the pieces and kiss the booboos, no matter how old they get, but I can’t live their life for them. This is why we have to have the hard talks. This is why I’ve been talking to my girls about sex, misogyny, and respecting themselves and their bodies since they were toddlers. You have to start these conversations when they are young.

We’re at a particularly uneasy part of childhood; the part where they are not quite children and not quite adults. They are naïve, hearts wide open, full of hormone fluctuations and walking around looking like adults.

Ever wonder why our teens make the choices they do? Something, not so much shocking as unexpected, happened at my daughters’ school recently and I found myself shocked that in this day and age a kid would make this poor choice because I thought all of us were having the same conversations with our kids. I sometimes forget how new the Internet really is. Sexting happened.

READ ALSO: Who is Protecting Our Daughters

Maybe it’s because I work in social media but my kids have known since before they were in school that the Internet is forever. Anything can be screenshot. Not everyone is who they appear to be online. Don’t measure your worth by how many likes, follows and “friends” you have. It’s all a smoke show. It’s fake and not seated in reality. But above all, it is forever and like the angry ghost of a crazy ex, it can haunt you forever so make good choices kids. Not all parents have this conversation even once with their children.

My girls have both had smartphones with parental controls since they were 9-years-old. We openly monitor their activity. We check their phones. They are only allowed an Instagram and Pinterest account, which they share. The accounts are monitored. Everything they post is monitored. There is no Finsta. I check their DMs. I block people. We’ve not made it taboo but the girls know that any time we could be watching so all I ask is that they respect themselves and not say anything on the Internet that they’d be embarrassed for their grandfathers to see.

Back to this sexting situation. A girl in 8th grade sent explicit unsolicited photos of herself to a boy she liked. He told his mom but not before consulting his friend. He sent the picture to his friend and the friend sent it to a group chat. The mom went to the school to tell on the girl. The police are now involved because this is the distribution of pornography involving a minor. As if this is not horrible enough of a situation, the 8th-grade girls are shunning her and one girl pointed at her in the presence of my daughter and called her a “slut.”

READ ALSO: Good Girls and Double Standards

My daughter shut it down because I’ve taught my girls that we never slut shame. It’s not our business to judge anyone, especially another woman, because of a momentary lapse in judgment or even if someone outright chooses to be promiscuous. I feel bad for this girl. She has to live with this choice and I’m sure that’s not easy. I’m not sure how you recover from something like this in a Catholic school where everything they do is seeping with moral superiority and virtue.

For me, I don’t understand why she chose to do this but maybe her parents never explained that anything you put out into the world digitally lives on forever. Maybe she was just so desperate for the attention that her judgment was clouded. Or maybe she just didn’t fully realize the weight of her actions until after she hit send. Either way, she made a choice and now, unfortunately, it will follow her.

I’d also like to point out that we live in a world where girls feel like they need to share these kinds of photos to capture a guy’s attention. Girls are objectified from very young ages. She’s not the only one who participated in this situation, she may have sent the photos but the boy could have deleted them. He didn’t need to share them with anyone and the kid who shared those private photos with the entire group chat, in my opinion, is the most culpable.

READ ALSO:  Love Letter to My Daughter

My girls were shocked by the behavior of the girl who sent the texts, the boys who shared them and the girls who are now doing the shunning. My oldest is feeling disillusioned by her friends. But I explained to her that these are just growing pains and it’s also a good dose of reality and a lesson in consequences.

Like my dad, I am saying to my girls respect yourselves, do good, make good choices and stand up for what you believe. Misogyny and slut shaming may be something our society tolerates but it doesn’t have to be. It starts with individuals choosing to do better, choosing kindness and compassion over judgment and cruelty. As parents, we need to remember that even when our teens don’t want us, they still need us and we need to see past their eye-rolling and exasperation and step in if necessary. They’ll get over it.

How do you teach your girls to survive sexting, slut-shaming and misogyny?

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VSCO, VSCO girl, how to be a VSCO girl,

I’m a VSCO mom. I used to be a VSCO girl, back in the 90’s. I was one of the original VSCO girls, so I do not begrudge my girls a little social consciousness with a side of scrunchie, messy bun and oversized shirts. I love that my girls care more about the environment and saving turtles than who they’ll be giving their scrunchies too.

According to Google, VSCO girl is a term, generally used as an insult, for a young, usually white woman who posts trendy pictures of herself edited on the app VSCO. Stereotypes of the VSCO girl include wearing Birkenstock sandals, drinking out of Hydro Flask reusable water canisters, saying sksksk and I oop, and generally seeking attention online.

I actually love the VSCO girl idea because at the heart of it, what it really is, is young girls finding themselves. We’ve all been there. When I was a teen, I was several iterations of myself. I was a new wave emo girl, I was a prep, I was a social activist, I was a crunchy hippie and I was a little bit grungy. I was most definitely a nerd, an artist and at one point, I was even a club kid. I’m pretty sure I was 1000% more annoying than any kid saying. “sksksk” ever could be.

READ ALSO: Parents Guide to Teen Slang

Just to be clear, I am a grown woman now and I always use the VSCO app for my Instagram. I’ve been wearing Birkenstocks since the 80’s. My girls are wearing some of the scrunchies I’ve had since the 90’s and still wear now. Hydro Flask, Swell, Yeti…I have all of them because I drink water almost exclusively. Water is life. I am and have always been very socially conscious and I’ve put my money where my mouth was. PETA, Greenpeace, Amnesty International and WWF, I’m a card carrying member. I want to save the world. I want to save the elephants and yes, I even want to save the turtles. We (the whole family) own those metal reusable straws. We recycle and vegetarian is how we roll most days of the week.

VSCO, VSCO girl, how to be a VSCO girl, a parent's guide to understanding VSCO, VSCO girl trend, In defense of VSCO girls

What does all of this have to do with anything? What it means is that right now, your little/tween/teen/even early 20’s girl is trying on different personalities for size to see which one best fits her. Just because that might not look like what you imagined, doesn’t mean it’s not right. She’s finding her way and there is nothing we could want more for our girls (and boys) than for them to be the best them they can be and be comfortable in their own skin as they do it.

So what if she’s carrying around a hydro flask? So what if her sweatshirt can fit 2 girls inside of it and her shorts are tiny? So what if her favorite hairstyle is a top knot? Maybe this is how she feels beautiful and how she feels comfortable in her skin. Is it really the worst thing that she can do to have a wrist full of scrunchies? The “sksksksksk” is just another way to say “lol” and who among us hasn’t used that? And I know that no one who ever said, “Gnarly, dude, rad, totally or awesome sauce” is making fun of sksksk.

VSCO, VSCO girl, how to be a VSCO girl, a parent's guide to understanding VSCO, VSCO girl trend, In defense of VSCO girls

The thing is VSCO girl is being thrown around like an insult to our girls. I know we all think it’s cute and the VSCO girl memes are entertaining. Hell, even our girls being VSCO girls might be entertaining but do we really need another derogatory term to belittle our girls? There are already so many employed by the misogynist of the world do we need more?

Just remember, these tweens and teen girls are just trying to figure out who they want to be in life. It’s like trying on clothes to see what you feel the most beautiful in. Let her look at herself with an untainted heart. Maybe she’s a VSCO girl and maybe she’s not but let her figure that out. As parents, especially as moms, we are here to support and guide our girls into adulthood not shame them into feeling less than. The world will do that soon enough.

READ ALSO:  Teen Girls Rebel when teen boys rate Female Classmates

Being a VSCO girl is harmless, even if it may be annoying to you. I’m sure when we were teens, our parents thought a lot of the fads and slang we used was weird and crazy too. Maybe they said something to make you feel less than about it or maybe they just let you try it on for size. Bless my parents, they let me be and loved me for who I was, whomever that was on any given day.

This is how we grow and evolve into who are meant to be. Just imagine if that process was cut short by ridicule and we never fully reached our potential because of what other people thought? Or what if we never felt comfortable in our own skin because someone else made us feel like we weren’t good enough?

You are good enough. Your VSCO girl is good enough. Viva Hydro Flasks and long live the turtles. So next time you think about using the term VSCO girl as an insult, ask yourself, is this giggle worth making my daughter feel small or making her think twice about sharing the next iteration of who she will become with you? Because before any of us can become who we are meant to be, we have to be who we were. This is how we grow up.

READ ALSO: The TRUTH about Parenting Teenagers from a Mom of Teens

What do you think of the VSCO Girl? Did you used to be one? Are you raising one? Whatever the case may be, hug your VSCO girl, let her be all the versions of herself she needs to be to become the fabulous, fierce woman she is meant to be and keep your “and I oop” moments about her in your head (unless she’s in danger). This too shall pass.

XOXO, VSCO mom out.

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bully, how to help your tween, tweens

Now that my daughter is getting older, I have found myself faced with the question of what to do when my tween gets bullied. It’s not like when they were toddlers. My daughters seem to be magnets for bullies. Despite being nice kids who are friendly with almost everyone (according to their teachers), they always seem to be the target of bullies. Now, I know we live in a world where parents like to overuse the term “bullying.” I don’t think I do but when you go single white female on my child and then harass her relentlessly when she just isn’t that into you, I think that constitutes being a bully, bordering on harassment and just a scoatch out of the stalker realm. Any way you slice it, you’re not being nice and I just don’t trust the situation.

My girls have had a bully almost every other year since preschool. I’ve taught my girls not to take it personally and to ignore these people. This is for my kid than the bully. I don’t want my daughters obsessing over what someone else thinks of them. Honestly, it’s irrelevant. I also don’t want my kid being teased, hurt and harassed because another kid doesn’t like something about them. Can’t we all just get along and move along.

I live in a reality based world. I don’t expect everyone to like everyone else. Sometimes it’s nothing more than non-compatible personalities. Hey, we’ve all known someone who we just don’t like based on fundamental personality differences and that’s okay. I don’t even want my girls to want or try to be liked by everyone because that just sets them up for a life of people pleasing and, pardon my French but, f*ck that.

This is how bullying usually goes. My kid starts acting weird. I ask them what’s going on. They don’t want to tell because they don’t want to tattle and they feel embarrassed that someone is picking on them, making fun of them or harassing them. I ask a few more times and finally, they end up breaking down and telling me.

I tell them to rise above it, ignore it and it’s not about them, it’s the fault of the bully. Bullies have low self-esteem and it manifests by them being mean to others to make themselves feel better. It’s a weak person’s way of leveling the playing field. Instead of rising to the occasion, bullies prefer to pull you down to their level. I also tell my children to tell me and they’ve done nothing wrong. Then, I handle it with the powers that be.

You see, in a world where kids plant bombs and go on shooting sprees, in a post-Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan world, I don’t believe in a “kids will be kids” do nothing parenting. I in no way fight my children’s battles but I also do not stand by and let my child feel like they are alone in the situation. I have no problem contact the school or wherever and keeping them abreast of the situation. Which brings us to this past weekend.

For a couple months, my daughter has been telling me that a girl at ballet doesn’t like her. Up until now, it’s been what I’ve perceived as a non-compatible personality situation. Petty things like bringing all the girls in class a piece of candy and purposely excluding just my daughter. Granted, it’s a shitty thing to do but it’s not “bullying” it’s just being a punk kid. I told my kid to ignore it and I bought her a bag of suckers and on the day she took them into ballet, I made sure she had enough for everyone. I thought let’s kill it with kindness. I’ve always taught my girls that you can’t control others reactions but you can control your own actions so put good into the world and if someone doesn’t return it then that is on them, not you. You do good, that’s all that you can do. Well, that didn’t help the situation at all.

Then, this particular little girl decided to try to befriend my daughter’s core group of friends. One-by-one she starting talking to them and trying to ingratiate herself into their lives by plying them with sweets and trinkets but her fatal flaw, as soon as they would talk to her, she would say something mean about my daughter and reveal herself to be the mean-spirited person she really was. Two of the girls were friendly to her in the way you are friendly to colleagues, which is essentially what they all are but she wanted more.

Still, she was calling my daughter prissy, annoying and saying that she talks too much. I mean, she is my daughter so she probably does talk a lot and prissy and annoying, well, that’s just that damn personality thing I was referring to. However, then it began to get weirder.  Her tactic of befriending was more of collecting friends to exclude my daughter. It was more about alienating my daughter than having friends.

These girls are all tweens ages 11 and 12-years-old. My daughter has a group of four “best friends” who talk every day and have sleepovers and genuinely care about one another, more than just like a colleague more like sisters. They are protective of one another but they are a good group of girls. They are not mean. They actually try to be very diplomatic, as much as you can be at that age.

So, a couple weeks ago, the bully decided that if I can’t steal the friends and exclude Bella (my daughter) they will all suffer my wrath. First, she started calling one of the little girls “fat” to the three other girls. I told my daughter that they should shut it down and tell the bully it wasn’t okay but not tell the girl who she was calling fat because it would only hurt her feeling and make her feel embarrassed. Let’s be honest, as a tween girl, being called fat can have some serious ramifications, especially if you’re a ballerina. 12-years-old is when my eating disorders were first triggered. Then, she told another one of the girls that my daughter was fat, which by the way she is not even close to being. This girl just knows that calling any girl fat, no matter her size especially in their industry, is a trigger.

She is not saying any of this to the actual girls she is talking about but rather telling one of the other girls in the group. It’s like she enjoys not only talking shit about one girl but torturing the other girls by putting them in this awkward position. All the while, she is trying to befriend each of the other girls, except for my friend. She eventually goes through the entire group calling them all names like fat, can’t dance, blackhearts, prissy, annoying, clumsy, untalented and talks too much. It’s all very superficial but it really hurts these girls’ feelings and in the end, it’s not about whether I think it is serious or not, it’s about how it’s making the girls feel and they feel terrible. It’s about the effect it has on the bullied child. Then the notes began.

Apparently, the girls sticking together only angered the bully and she decided to attack them in letters. It started two weeks ago. She stuck a note in my daughter’s ballet bag that read, “I don’t like talking to annoying, prissy people. Sorry, not my type.”  And she signed her name. My daughter didn’t even tell me. She crumpled it up and threw it into her bag. I guess my rise above it mantra is sticking.

Not getting the reaction she wanted from my daughter, she went on to one of her friends and wrote her a creepy single white female letter. Basically saying, your other three friends are shit and they called you shit when you weren’t here. Then she went on to say, let’s have a sleepover and exclude those girls. You need to become best friends with me, etcetera, etcetera. It was a very weird note but that’s the gist of it. Instead of taking the bait, the girl who was given the note shared the note with the other girls at a sleepover they had on Friday.

Instead of being mean back to her, the girls googled how to write a form letter and then must have ended up on some manager training site because they wrote a letter with the formula “for every bad thing you tell her to say something nice and always use empathy.” They brought me a copy of both letters because, as my husband says, the kids all know that you’re the mom who gets shit taken care of.

Super long story slightly shorter, I spoke with the principal and the director at the ballet on Saturday morning. They took it very seriously because the 4 girls also brought the original f the note the bully write and their reply for proof. You’d think they were going to court. I was assured by the ballet that it would be handled.

The girls as a whole at ballet were given a warning about behavior and etiquette and how this sort of petty behavior and bullying would not be tolerated. They were reminded that they are a company and are supposed to be tolerant and supportive of one another. However, the bully has an older sister who is friends with my daughter and her group of friends. She told her mom what her little sister had been up to and the mom handled her daughter, the bully. Did I mention this all happened on a performance day?

We all went home and thought it was handled. Until Sunday when one of the little girls was cleaning out her ballet bag and found a second note basically threatening my daughter and her group for getting her into trouble. She called them idiots and jerks and said she would get revenge at ballet and to have great lives in hell. Concluding with, I hate you. She wrote this note after she had been reprimanded by the ballet and her mother. So basically in the face of punishment she was angry enough to say to hell with the consequences.

I am dumbfounded. This has been going on, on and off, since last spring but has been slowly escalating. It’s to the point now, especially after the last note, that I don’t feel terribly comfortable with my child being around this child. I feel it’s getting to Tonya Harding levels of desperation.

What would you do if your tween gets bullied?

 

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