Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

The girls in my class can’t stand each other!

November 9, 2014

The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship blog tour is in Australia. Specifically at KeystoneCreations and the Sing to Learn blog of educator Nuala O’Hanlon. Because of the girl-friendship dynamics she sees at school everyday, Nuala has some pointed, in-the-trenches questions for me. Like this one…

Nuala: As a teacher, I see how mean and hurtful girls can be to each other at this age. How would you go about dealing with girls who are in the same class, can’t stand each other, and are mean to each other at every opportunity?

Let's talk about this together

Let’s talk about this together

Annie: You haven’t said how old the girls are, but if they are at least 2nd grade, the first step would be to have a community circle with all the girls in the class… those who you see as “part of the problem” as well as those who are not contributing to the nastiness. The goal of this meeting is not to vent about past hurts. As facilitator, you must make sure that doesn’t happen. The goal is to engage girls in the process of finding solutions moving forward.

You might open the circle meeting by saying, “I’ve been noticing certain behaviors in our class that make me very sad. I see girls not letting other girls play or sit with them at lunch. I see girls pushing other girls away with their words and with certain expressions on their faces. I see girls talking in unfriendly ways about girls behind their backs. This is a problem for everyone in the class. Because I know you girls are very smart, I thought I’d ask for your ideas of how we can make our classroom a friendlier place.”

Be patient. Be calm. Exude confidence in the girls’ ability to be creative-problem solvers. Make sure you provide every girl a chance to share ideas for making things more peaceful. Take notes on a white board as the girls brainstorm. End the meeting with action steps to begin the next day.

If this doesn’t improve the situation, I’d suggest you get parents involved along with the school counselor.

Read the rest of my Q&A with Nuala.

Teachers, what are some of your classroom challenges with girl friendship issues?

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She promised she wouldn’t tell my crush, but she told him anyway!

November 6, 2014

Girls' Q&A Book Blog Tour Bus. Fueled by good will and good friendship strategies. Zero carbon emissions.

Thanks to PhotoShop, anyone can have a customized tour bus!

When my tripped-out Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship blog tour bus pulled up at UnhookedMedia.com, Megan Hunter (@UnhookedBooks) served up some of the most drama-inducing girl friendship questions ever. Like this one…

Question: After telling a girl that I liked a boy in my class, she promised not to tell anyone and then… she told him!  Now I feel awkward around him and his friends and mostly want to be invisible. I’m mad at the girl and don’t want to be her friend anymore. How do I handle this?

Annie: One of the most important parts of a friendship is trust. If you and your friend totally trust each other, you can relax because you can count on each other to be supportive and respectful. You trusted the girl to keep her promise. For whatever reason, she spilled the beans. It is understandable you are angry. You don’t trust her and you don’t want to count on her as a friend any more. But wouldn’t you like to know why she broke that promise? I would!

Did you hear....???

Did you hear….???

I suggest you have a private face-to-face conversation with this girl. Make sure you are in a quiet place where you can talk without interruption. You don’t need an audience, that only creates more drama and you’ve already had enough, right? When the two of you are alone, you might say something like this: “I’m very upset you broke your promise not to tell ______ that I like him. Why did you do that?” Then be quiet, stay calm, and let her answer the question. This is how we communicate in a friendship. We let people know how we feel and we give them a turn to explain their side of the story. We listen to each other and try to find a way through the problem.

As for feeling “awkward” around the boys… obviously what your friend told your crush can’t be taken back. Now he knows you like him maybe this will turn out to be a good thing. It’s possible! Here’s something you can try to make you feel less awkward and more powerful: The next time you see this boy take some slow deep breaths and say to yourself, “He knows I like him. Liking someone isn’t a bad thing. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m going to hold my head up, be confident, and smile.” Then do it.

For the rest of my Q & A with Megan Hunter (@UnhookedBooks) read on…

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Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship Blog Tour Continues…

November 5, 2014

50 Ways to Fix a Friendship without the DRAMA

On Sale Now

I’m still on the virtual road answering real friendship questions and letting girls and parents and teachers know that when it comes to curtailing the spread of Mean Girl Disease, we can do better. Recent additions are:

For my complete itinerary, here’s the original post»

Girls' Q&A Book Blog Tour Bus. Fueled by good will and good friendship strategies. Zero carbon emissions.

Girls’ Q&A Book Blog Tour Bus. Fueled by good  friendship strategies. Zero social garbage emissions.

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My parents won’t let me get a phone!

November 3, 2014

To tell the truth, I don’t remember how I met Vicky Thornton and Jen Rehberger. We probably connected on Twitter, as so many do. But I totally remember each of my visits to their podcast What Really Matters? where we always get real about 21st century parenting challenges, swap personal parenting stories, and laugh… a lot. I’m a big fan of their work and was delighted when Vicky and Jen each took the time to review The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 ways to fix a friendship without the DRAMA. They were also kind enough to interview me for their show (to be posted soon). And if that weren’t support enough, they are hosting today’s stop on my blog tour.

Here’s one of the tricky questions Vicky and Jen asked me for the tour.

I'm missing out on... everything!!

I’m missing out on… everything!!

Question: My parents won’t let me have a phone yet and I am the only one of my friends without one.  They are texting to each other all the time and I am left out.  I really want one, but I will not be able to get one until next year.  How can I still be a part of the group if I don’t know what they are always texting about?

Annie:  This is a tough one. Your friends are communicating through their phones. Each time they do, they share information and feelings that bring them closer to each other. I understand why you feel left out. Do you understand why your parents won’t get you a phone until next year? If you aren’t clear about their reasons for waiting, please talk to them. Find out why they don’t think you are ready yet. And during that conversation, hopefully you will have the opportunity to tell them (calmly and maturely) why you believe you are ready to have a phone and to use it responsibly. This conversation may not change your parents’ feelings about getting a phone, but at least you will understand where they are coming from and they will understand where you are coming from.

As for feeling closer to your “always texting” friends… talk to them about it. You might say something like this “You guys are always texting. I feel left out. How would you feel about putting down the phones when I’m around?” Then close your mouth and listen to what they say. Real friends want to make each other feel included… not left out. If your friends aren’t willing to make you feel more included, what might that tell you about the kind of friends they are? Something to think about!

Read the rest of Vicky and Jen’s girl friendship questions and my answers here.

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