I grew up in a household of boys. All of my cousins were boys until I was 10, and even then my only girl cousin lived in Malaysia with her missionary parents. I know about boys. I know a lot about boys. I know how they bully each other, how they feel before and after, how it makes them feel powerful, how it makes the other guy feel weak. To this day, I think I understand boys more than girls. Boys fight and punch, call names and spit at each other. It’s no fun to be bullied, whether by a boy or a girl.When my 2nd girl was born, I knew God had a good laugh. He knew I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I knew boys. I knew them inside and out. Girls, well, I knew one pretty well—myself. I had some girlfriends. I knew them a little bit, but childhood friends come and go. I felt like I was travelling to a foreign country where I didn’t know the lingo. I was excited, so much that I literally wept when each of my girls were born. I felt like God entrusted me with so much when He gave me girls.
I’ve learned a lot of wonderful, amazing things about girls. One unfortunate thing I have learned about girls is that they bully one another in really awful ways. Rob and I joke about it, but in raising girls, there is some sort of drama going on in our house every single day. One girl’s best friend one day is her worst enemy the next. We help her through it, get that issue resolved, only to begin again the next day with the next girl. It goes on and on and it never ends! Are my girls to blame for the drama? Probably sometimes. They’re not perfect.
I was talking with Whitney the other day about the difference between girl and boy bullies. She said to me, “Girl bullies are worse, because they bully to leave a scar.” I agreed with her. Girls bully to intentionally leave a permanent emotional scar in the life of the one they are bullying.
- How do we keep our girls from intentionally bullying someone to leave a permanent scar?
- What choices can we make as parents, friends, or mentors to girls that will help them overcome the desire to belittle others to make themselves look more important?
- What steps can we take to build a child back up after they are given a “permanent scar” from a bully?
These are all questions I am going to be thinking about over the weekend. I’d love your input as I’m trying to put together ideas about how to keep our kids from bullying one another.