Along with the many changes teens experience on the road to adulthood, shifting friendships are some of the most dramatic and painful. It’s especially true for girls. While our daughters muddle through the social muck of middle and high school trying to figure out who’s a friend worth keeping and who is so not, they frequently attack each other in very personal ways.
We can thank technology, in part, for the ease with which today’s girls effectively bash and degrade their fellow students. But technology didn’t teach them that this stuff is OK. Could it be they’ve picked up some life lessons from the snarky remarks they’ve heard us make about other women? “My god! She got so fat!” “Whoah! She looks old!” “What happened to her? Is she wearing a mask?” Wait a minute, you say. Maybe those remarks are less than charitable, but they were aimed at celebrities… fair game. We certainly never trash talk anyone we actually know. Well, at least not to her face. But when our daughter has a “problem” with another girl, she is likely to go straight for the jugular.
No parents want to imagine that their sweet little girl would intentionally hurt anyone (no less a friend) but it happens… a lot! What also happens way too often is that girls who are targeted don’t have the courage to speak up for themselves. Which may explain why this friend-to-friend social aggression might be going on via text, IM and Facebook in your home without your knowing it.
In this week’s podcast I talk with Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World which has just been re-released in a new edition covering the impact of technology on Girl World. Twice a New York Times bestseller, Queen Bees & Wannabes was the basis for the 2004 movie Mean Girls. Rosalind’s follow up book Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads: Dealing with the Difficult Parents in Your Child’s Life was released in 2006.
Rosalind Wiseman is an internationally recognized expert on children, teens, parenting, bullying, social justice, and ethical leadership.
Listen to my interview with Rosalind Wiseman right here:
If you have iTunes, you can subscribe to this podcast in the iTunes Store.
Or, you can download an MP3 version here.
Upcoming guests include:
Diane E. Levin, co-author (with Jean Kilbourne) of So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood And What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids
Hannah Friedman, author of Everything Sucks: Losing My Mind and Finding Myself in a High School Quest for Cool
Dara Chadwick, author of You’d Be So Pretty If…
Matthew Amster-Burton, author of Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater
*What’s a podcast? “A podcast is a series of digital media files, usually either digital audio or video, that is made available for download via web syndication.” –Wikipedia… So, in this case, there’s an audio file for you to listen to (in addition to reading the above).