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.

Are girls worse than boys when it comes to bullying?

October 22, 2014

As some of you know, I’m currently on a blog tour to spread the word about  The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 Ways to Fix a Friendship without the DRAMA. If you are female (any age), and/or if you are raising a daughter, teaching or coaching girls or you’ve got a sister, a niece, etc., I’m guessing you know about girls’  friendship DRAMA. Destructive lunacy, right?

The Girls' Q&A Book on Friendship. Up with compassion and social courage. Down with social garbage.

The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship empowers girls to make choices they feel good about.

For the next several weeks, I’ll be highlighting some of the friendship questions my gracious blog tour hosts tossed in my direction as I stopped at their site. No softballs here!

This question comes from the dynamic educator and psychologist, Louise Masin Sattler ( @LouiseASL )

Louise: Do you think we are making strides in reducing bullying in the schools? And are girls worse than boys with bullying? 

Annie: Yes, of course we are making strides. Yippee! Progress should be celebrated. Are those strides being made universally? No. Is the progress happening quickly enough? Hell no! There are still many schools where teachers bully students and where teachers turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to students making sexist, homophobic, and racially-charged comments to other students. There are still school administrators who shrug and tell distraught parents of targeted students, “Kids will be kids.” or “Teen girls are just mean. What are you going to do about it?” (Actual statements made by school administrators as reported to me by extremely frustrated parents.)  

Are girls “worse” than boys with bullying? I don’t believe so. Both girls and boys are afflicted by Peer Approval Addiction in equal measure. Both genders struggle to do the right thing while simultaneously feeling compelled to do whatever it takes to fit in… including stuff they aren’t particularly proud of. The difference, if it exists at all, may be in the methodology girls and boys use to “take down” peers, online and off. That said, the seeds of compassion and empathy are equally prevalent in boys and girls. So, even though I wrote this book for girls, both boys and girls need to understand that their choices matter… in peer relationships and in life.

Read more of Louise’s Q’s and my A’s at LouiseSattler.me

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Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship Blog Tour

October 13, 2014

It’s Monday. Let’s talk about reality. What is real?

Girls’ friendship issues are real. So is the damage they can cause.

The Girls' Q&A Book on Friendship. Up with compassion and social courage. Down with social garbage.

The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship. Up with compassion and social courage. Down with social garbage.

The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 Ways to Fix a Friends without the DRAMA is also real. I wrote it. Erica De Chavez illustrated it, brilliantly. And it’s now available in print and on Kindle. No Kindle? No problem. It can be downloaded and read beautifully on anything, except maybe a microwave. If you’re not in the US, you can get the book on whatever Amazon site you usually shop on.

My desire to criss-cross the world helping girls with their friendship challenges is real.  So is the need to reduce the social garbage kids slog through daily, online and off.

My book can make things better for tweens and the adults who care about them. But alas, I had no budget for plane fares, hotels, food (and I do like to eat).

Life is not virtual, but book tours can be.

So… I got a virtual bus…

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.

Last week I hit 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.

Here’s my itinerary… Pop in any time. I hope to see you and your girls. And don’t worry about expired dates. I’m still there. Ah… the beauty of virtual existence.

October 6th> Dr. Kimberly Palmiotto’s blog at Coastal Education Services

October 10th> Dr. Amy Alamar’s blog at Parenting for the Genius

October 10th> Sarah Newton’s blog at SarahNewton.com

October 13th> Erin Harris’ blog at CrisisPrevention.com

October 13th> Wendy Young’s blog  at Kidlutions.com

October 13th> Carl Grody’s blog at GrodyFamilyCounseling.com

October 15th> Beth Onufrak’s blog at DrBethKids.com

October 16th> Louise Masin Sattler’s blog at LouiseSattler.me

October 17th> Drawp blog at Drawp.it

October 20th>Jean Tracy’s blog at ParentingSkillsBlog.com

October 23rd>Beth Engleman’s blog at MommyOnAShoestring.com

October 24th>Deborah McNelis’s blog at BrainInsights.blogspot.com

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Coming soon… I’ll also be stopping the bus to guest post for these awesome bloggers:

 

Janine Hallorin of EncouragePlay.com

Wendy Morelli of Tweenhood.ca

Vicky Thornton and Jen Rehberger o VickyAndJen.blogspot.com

Megan Hunter of UnhookedMedia.com

Nuala O’Hanlon of KeystoneCreations.com.au

Amy Fortney Parks of Wise-EdServices.com

Sarah Newton (Part 2) of SarahNewton.com

Dr. Deborah Gilboa of AskDrG.com

Julie Brower of JulieBrower.com

Stay tuned. And if you have friendship questions, post them to COMMENTS and I’ll answer them here. No reason my own blog shouldn’t be part of the blog tour too!

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New school year, new school… new friends (please!!)

August 29, 2014

When you’re all cozy in a friendship you can totally relax. Even going to school is more fun because your friend is there. But when you move to a school where you know no one, and your bff friend from your old school stops acting like a friend, then nothing feels right.

I recently got this email from a girl who is in that sad place:

Girls' Friendship Q&A Book, iIllustration by Erica DeChavez

Where do I fit it?!  (from The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship, by Annie Fox, illustrated by Erica De Chavez, © 2014 by Annie Fox and Erica De Chavez. Now available)

Hey Terra,

Last year I moved to a new place. Later I heard that my best friend was best friends with some new girl. That girl is apparently really popular and cool (and also kinda mean) and in one year’s time my bff has become friends with all the poplar kids at school. I know it’s wrong of me, but  I feel really sad and envious. I have seen posts of both of them saying how much fun they have together and how they love each other. (Come on! I knew her much longer than this new girl!) And the sucky part is that at my new school, my new friends keep ditching me. I feel so depressed. :(
–Sad and Jealous

Dear Sad and Jealous,

When you moved, what did you expect your best friend to do? Spend all day in her room feeling sad and lonely? Of course she missed you. She also wanted and needed new friends. I’m guessing that you are feeling “sad and envious” because you haven’t yet connected with real friends at your new school. HINT: Real friends do not “keep ditching” you.

A new school year just started. My best advice: stop checking your old friend’s FB page. It’s bringing you down! Don’t do it any more. Instead create a new goal for yourself… “I’m going to find a new best friend.”
Here’s how:

  • Grab a piece of paper and make a list (I love lists!)
  • Think long and deep about what’s really important to you in a friendship.
  • Write down all the traits you are looking for in a best friend. For example, you might write: Loyal, a sense of humor, intelligent, shares my interests… etc etc etc.
  • Use that list and go “shopping” for a new best friend. (Be on the lookout for the kind of people at school who’ve got what you want in a friend.)
  • When you find one, smile, say, “Hi,” and see what happens.

Go for it! Good luck! And please let me know how it goes.

Three weeks later…

Hey Terra,

I’M DOING GREAT :D I made a few more new friends who wont ditch me? and I think I have gotten over my old best friend. Though I think it would still take some time before I make a best friend.

Thank you so much, Terra!

I love happy beginnings. ;O)

If you could use some new friends this year (you can never have too many of the real kind) make a list and go shopping. It could work for you, too.

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