Stop Bullying: How NOT To Raise A Mean Girl

Raising a girl is hard, but it's important to teach her to be kind to other girls. We can stop girl bullying--on bettysbattleground.com

My three-year-old girl came home from daycare with a note.

Ever since our littlest has been old enough to walk and play, Anabelle, older by only a handful of months, has been a terror. Grabbing toys from her little sister for no reason, shoving the baby, shouting at her; in essence: being a bully. The professionals have all told us her behavior is normal. As long as she shows signs of affection too—which she does—and doesn’t do anything excessively violent—which she doesn’t— it’s okay. Still, some ideas have begun to form in my mind about Anabelle. Nothing solid, not yet manifested into words or actions, but a feeling, whispering, in the back of my mind.  Like an aftertaste when I think about her.

 My daughter might be a Mean Girl.

Earlier this week, I published a guest post by author Jasminder about her experiences with childhood and adolescent bullying. It was hard to read about kids calling her dirty and mocking her for having brown skin and dark hair. Harder even to read about how she internalized those experiences, and began to believe them. I know that feeling well; part of the reason I have difficulties with apologizing or taking responsibility sometimes is because (I’ve come to understand) my brother tortured me as a child by calling me a mistake who should never have been born. He treated me like an outcast in my own home. Because of that, I carry a feeling of wrongness in my body; a feeling like my very essence is a complete mistake. It’s hard, feeling that way, to admit to more mistakes on top of it.

The students who hurt Jasminder were kids, but their parents were adults–and those adults should have been more aware of the mentality their kids were adopting. Those parents should have actively included people from other cultures in their lives so their kids understood there was nothing wrong with looking different. Just as my father should have told his son that I was his little girl, not some random mistake clumped up behind the couch. That may not have happened, but those of us who are parents now have the opportunity to help stop bullying. How do we keep cruelty from growing in the hearts of our children?

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Healing Words: “The Life Saving Effects Of EMDR”

Learn about one complex trauma's experiences with EMDR-bettysbattleground.comA guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.comI am really excited about today’s post. Last month, Karin opened up about parenting with PTSD in a Parenting With Mental Illness interview. Today, she shares her experiences with EMDR-Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

I had not heard of EMDR before interviewing Karin. After learning that she credited this rather confusing practice with an almost complete recovery from complex trauma, I began noticing mentions of it around the recovery community. People were tweeting 140 word reviews of their experiences with it, raving (and ranting) in online threads, and sharing EMDR directories across social media. I’m sure this had been going on all along, but, thanks to Karin, I was finally noticing it.

Right now, I can’t afford EMDR, and I’m still not totally clear on how it works. But my interest is definitely piqued. Maybe one day. As Karin says, even if it doesn’t help, it won’t hurt.

Karin is an academic by day and a writer and blogger by night and weekend. A single mom to Murphy, her self-named tween son with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Bella Bird (the conure), McFlurry and Cheeseburger (the hermit crabs), Eon (the clownfish) and Ion (the peppermint shrimp), and Dark Lord Cheeto and Crowned Prince Nedward (the cats), she spends her spare time taste-testing boxed wine, reading pop fiction, mastering the art of pasta-making and watching the spectacular sunsets in Key West. Her blog, www.iamthekraken.com, follows their hilarious adventures through life and their adjustment to living in paradise.

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