Advice on dealing with the mean girl situation

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Advice on dealing with the mean girl situation

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When it comes to mean girls and bullies, one of the most interesting things as a parent or a teacher is to sort of just hang back for a little bit and watch the dynamic of the girls on their own so that they don't feel that they're being watched. And then you can do an interactive exercise, which I think is really effective and has been for the girls in my workshops. There's one particular exercise that has been really effective, and I like to call it "lunch room tables," because that's one of the places, especially in an elementary or middle school situation, where the girls are all there in a gaggle together and they're really unsupervised because they're there in such large numbers. So what you want to do is create an exercise that mirrors something that they're going to experience and may not know what to do. And so usually I'll play clueless teacher and we bring up what we call the "new girl" and we have her sit at an already established group. One of the things that I like to do is to make the overt mean girl who you already know to be a mean girl the target or victim, and have the victim play the mean girl and let her sort of get it out for a while. I will then come back to one of the other girls who is one of the bystanders who's sort of in the middle of it, and those are the ones with the power to really change the dynamic. And I whisper in her ear that she is going to be the one to change the dynamic at the table so that the new girl feels comfortable. And it's really something to see these girls try and work it out because they have an objective and the objective is to problem solve. Because you know the opposite of conflict is peace, and peace of mind.

Watch Jodi Wing's video on Advice on dealing with the mean girl situation...

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Jodi Wing

Educational Activist & Author

Jodi Wing is an author, educator, and an activist for girls and women. Her debut novel is entitled 'The Art of Social War,' which she says, "is about very bad behavior and girl-on-girl crime".  It is also based on The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, a 2500-proven philosophy which is a seminal treatise on conflict resolution and problem-solving. For the past three years, she created and evolved 'The Art of Peace Club' program within LAUSD/LA's BEST after-school Enrichment Program, teaching tween girls 'how to' manage social conflict and competition in their everyday lives. Over 300+ girls have graduated to date. She does not have children herself, but she does have 28,000 of them at LA’s BEST!

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