Monday, June 7, 2010

Mean Girls Strike Again

There is only one more week of school. For the most part, fifth grade has been relatively uneventful. My daughter has a group of friends she sits with at lunch and recess. She is active in soccer, basketball, girl scouts and K4J. The boy that was nasty to her in fourth grade switched schools at the end of last year. The environment at school was not ideal but it was getting better.

Two weeks ago, we decided to buy our daughter prescription sunglasses. Both my husband and my daughter are nearsighted. The first thing they do when they wake up in the morning is reach for their eyeglasses. I am farsighted and only need glasses for reading. My eyes are extremely sensitive to light and I always wear sunglasses when I am outside. We understand the importance of sunglasses and the problems with being nearsighted. Tom and I wanted to make sure our daughter had functional sunglasses for the summer. The optometrist did not recommend Transitions and clip-ons would not work with her current frames. Prescription sunglasses were our best option.

It took two weeks for the glasses to arrive. My daughter was thrilled when we got the call that her glasses were in. The next day she was so happy taking her sunglasses to school. The students are allowed to wear sunglasses at recess. She set her glass case on the lunch table and got in line to buy food. When she returned to the table, her new glasses were gone. She knew one of her “friends” had her glasses because she saw the case in a girl’s lunch bag. My daughter told the girls to give her back the glasses. The mean girls/”friends” screamed they did not have the glasses and pointed their finger at some boys. One girl eventually threw the glass case at my daughter and said, “Take your cheap glasses”.

My daughter was so happy with her glasses on Friday. Today, she would not even take her sunglasses to school.

I think my daughter stood up for herself when she demanded her glasses be returned. I want her “friends” know that what they did was not o.k. Tom and I discussed our options:

Talk to the teacher.
Talk to the principal.
Talk to the girls’ parents.
Let our daughter handle it.
Do nothing.

My vote is a combination: Tom and I should talk to the teacher and our daughter should talk to her friends.

4.5 days of school left.

Did I mention I can’t wait for summer vacation?

Note: The mean girl mentioned in today’s post is the same MG from the post “A Message to Mean Girls”

5 comments:

Frank said...

*sigh* I feel for your daughter... Kids are vicious. Good for her for standing up for herself. With only a week of school left, maybe it can just be borne out until the end. I guess it's also a crummy lesson to your daughter to keep her possessions with her at all times. Good luck to her...

Michele said...

Thanks Frank...

I will have to remind her to keep her glasses with her and not leave them on the table. Good tip.

Denman said...

Children tend to be more resilient than adults want to give them credit for. Their resiliency stems from their ability to go from one extreme (I love these glasses) to the other (I don't want to wear these glasses again) in the span of 12 hours. Give her time, she'll want to wear the glasses soon enough.

There will always be mean children and part of the maturation process is learning by ourself how to handle unpleasant situations.

Given the short period of time remaining in the school year, don't go back to the school. You and your husband, although well meaning, do not want to develop the reputation of being complainers with the administration.

I realize that girls can be meaner than boys when they want to be, heaping more mental and emotional than physical abuse at the targets of their bullying. Those potential wounds cannot be simply left alone, but jumping to the authorities for every slight, every misfortune will not help your daughter develop her own defenses either. What will happen when she is away at college and the same thing happens?

Anonymous said...

Being 30 years old now and having endured "mean" girls for much of my grade and middle school, I can look back now and feel the pain that your daughter is going through.

Let me tell you - I get great satisfaction in knowing that my "mean" girls are now fat and ugly. Everyone has their prime, I am glad mine happened later in life. :)

Michele said...

Update: We did not say anything to the teachers or parents. My daughter did not want us to intervene so we respected her request.

I am torn on this subject. I know my daughter needs to work things out for herself. As a parent, I know I would want to know if my daughter was being mean to other kids. Tough subject...

Enjoy the summer!