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?
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