Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Transparent Tuesday

Hold onto your horses because I'm about to unleash! Want to know what gets under my skin more than anything else?

Today's Transparent Topic: Mean Girls

I was at the pool with my kids last week and witnessed a little incident that has been crawling all over me ever since. Honestly, I felt like I was on the show What Would You Do? as I sat and listened to the conversation unfold right before me.

First, I'll tell you what happened then I'll tell ya what I did.

Let's set the scene. My kids and one friend are being goofballs  splashing around and having fun. We're at our neighborhood pool so it's not long before more kiddos come around. As the pool starts to fill up I notice a group of 3 preteen girls walk in with one of their dads. All three of these girls are very thin and pretty. They jump right in and one of the girls quickly corrals the other two and loudly makes an observation..."See those girls over there? They're fat!" Might I add that she emphasized the word 'fat' in a much louder tone?

Her two friends didn't give her the response she must have been seeking so this little girl felt the need to repeat herself at least 3 more times, getting louder each time. She even started to single out one specific girl as her target. I was very grateful my daughter was not her target but my heart hurt for the one that was.

I sat and pondered what to do. Should I say something? Should I talk to the girl? Should I talk to her dad? If I say something, will Bryn become their target sometime down the road? If it were my daughter saying such mean things, how would I want it handled?

Well, I decided to approach the dad as we were leaving the pool. I simply asked if the little girl was his daughter. He acknowledged she was so I informed him of the conversations I had just overheard. I probably should have stopped there but I went on...I let him know that with so many girls struggling with self-esteem issues these days, comments like his daughter's were doing nothing but harm!!!

About that time, the girl swam up to her father and he questioned her. Guess what her response was?..."Well, they couldn't hear me!" We made our exit at that time and I'm not sure how the father addressed the issue or if he even did a thing.

I apologized to Bryn as we were leaving for fear of embarrassing her, but also let her know that witnessing something harmful and not doing anything about it is just as bad as being the one in the wrong.

Want to know what else I did about this situation? I went home and prayed for the "mean" girl. If she feels the need to pick on someone like that then there must be something about herself that she's not too pleased with. So I'm praying that she will not only see the error of her ways, but will love herself just the way God made her.

Any "mean" kids in your life that need a little prayer? Leave me a comment or send me an email: dfrieling1@gmail.com. As moms, sisters, aunts and friends, the best weapon we have against worldly ugliness is prayer!


Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

almost 2 years ago when sawyer started kindergarten some girls picked on him and bullied him because he is small- they said he was not yet 5 and he was a baby and not old enough to be in kindergarten. it was at school so i didn't see it of course. he came home that day and his friend came over to play right away- he was mean to his friend, just not wanting to play nice. after the friend left he told me what had happened- it had really been bugging him. i wanted to cry... what kind of kindergartener is already that mean?!?!?!? i called the teacher and she handled the situation beautifully and they say she did he came off th ebus smiling and was happy about school again.... i just couldn't believe i was dealing with it in kindergarten already. after moving here, i really feel there is less of that here- it's a smaller community and it just seems like the people are nicer and the parents aren't so concerned with appearances which makes a huge difference in how the kids deal with appearances.

Holly said...

Oh my goodness - I'm so proud of you for speaking up to the father and for praying for the mean girl. Ugh, I can't even imagine overhearing that. I would hope I would have reacted the same but my blood is boiling right now. I just don't understand how kids can be so mean. Thank you for sharing this story.

pam {simple details} said...

It takes courage to to speak up, especially wondering if your child may be the brunt of future comments. What a great act for Bryn and her friends to witness, as well. Sadly, I've noticed the 'popular' girls seem to be the mean ones.

Whitney @ drab to fab design said...

What you did was so great by telling her dad. I can't imagine sitting there having to listen to that. I don't have kids yet, but I went through the ringer in high school, dealing with mean girls. These girls used to be my best friends, and I finally smartened up junior year of high school and quit trying to make them like me. I'm embarrassed I wasted so many tears on these girls, but I'm so thankful it all happened at the same time. I will never forget that, so that just tells me what kids go through when they're young is life-changing. I wouldn't wish that treatment upon anyone, and it's so great you're showing your kids it's not okay to be mean. I give you so many props! Sorry didn't mean to tell a story about myself, I'm just so passionate about this topic.

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leah said...

I would have done the same thing! Even if her Dad did nothing, someday when she realizes that the way she behaves is wrong she will think of you, and any other people who try to tell her she is inappropriate. If enough people say something maybe she will start to think about what she is doing. And you are right about her not being happy with herself. I was once I mean girl, for a short period of time in my preteen years, and it feels really yucky when you realize how ugly you are. She will figure it out someday, maybe soon?

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