Recently, I saw a pin for Little Girls Can Be Mean by Michelle Anthony and Reyna Lindert on Pinterest. I popped over to Amazon to check it out. While there, I also saw recommended Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. I ended up picking up both of them on my Kindle. Little Girls seemed to be written for younger girls like mine, so I started with it. It was good, but didn’t feel terribly complete. Yes, my daughter’s only 8, but I think it also helps to have future problems in mind. So while it did have some good ideas on things, I wanted to try Queen Bees and see how it differed.
I really thought it was beneficial. It covered all the major problems girls face in junior and high school. It focuses on girl relationships, but it also does a good job of talking about boys, drugs, and alcohol.
What it really excels at is talking about the differences in girl roles in cliques and how they interact. It also spells out good ways to deal with the issues, both as a parent and as the girl. It really focuses on letting the girl deal with the problems, but also how the parent can encourage and help her feel empowered without taking over and making the girl feel like she’s incapable of dealing with it on her own.
I also think it does a great job of detailing the types of parents and how you can deal with them. I know that some of Em’s friends’ moms could definitely benefit from this book. You can definitely see some of these personalities emerging. You can also see some of the more destructive parent types. The sad thing is that of the ones that could benefit from this would be totally oblivious that they’re part of the problem. One in particular is totally a Queen Bee in the making, but I’m sure her mom would see her as the Champion. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. So yeah.
Now, how about my daughter? Well, one thing I’ve seen from the book is that I tend to talk a little (shut up, a lot) too much about Em and her problems in public. So, I’m not going into details. I am going to say that it doesn’t feel to me like Em specifically fits into any of the categories. If I had to pick, I’d say she’s a little bit of the Champion, maybe more of the Innocent Bystander, and could possibly be more of the Target. When I ask Em, she says that she doesn’t see any of the other girls really being mean to each other or making fun of them for their clothes, hair, skin color, etc. But I know that her best friend’s mom told me that her kid’s gotten comments from one girl about those things and it was when she and Em were in the same class. So maybe Em’s a little oblivious? I’ve heard other of her friends’ moms that there are definitely mean girls, some in one of her groups. But either they don’t bother Em, she’s oblivious about it, or she doesn’t want to tell me. I don’t think it’s the latter since she generally seems to be pretty happy and untroubled, but it’s always something you should keep a lookout for, you know?
Anyway, I recommend it to any parent of girls. Even young girls. Read it now and be prepared for it later because you know it’s going to happen. It’s best to know what you’re going to be dealing with and how best to help when it does.