Skip to comments.What happens when mean girls grow up?
Posted on 02/18/2011 8:15:42 AM PST by SantaLuz
Monika Shreves, a college senior with a petite frame and long, black hair, remembers the first mean girl she met. The girl lived in Shreves's Northern Virginia neighborhood and had the blondest hair and eyelashes Shreves had ever seen.
The two arrived together at Girl Scout camp, and the girl assumed command of the cabin they were to sleep in.
"This is the cool cabin," she told the other girls who wandered into the campsite, looking for a place to throw down their stuff. She'd size up each girl. "You can come in," she'd tell one. "You cannot," she'd tell another.
Shreves and her friends started referring to the girl privately as "the devil child." That same year, Shreves's mom, Christine, was driving Shreves, the blond girl and another girl home from school. All three were in the back seat of the car.
As the car swung into their neighborhood, the blond girl turned to the other girl and asked, "Who would you rather go home with? Me or Monika?"
"You," the other girl said.
Shreves burst into tears.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
In the summer I work with large numbers of teen girls (Camp environment) - you can spot the home-schooled girls within minutes.
Yes, there is that big a difference.
“What happens when mean girls grow up?”
I have also noticed the difference between public school and home school kids. Public school breeds a sense of discrimination between grades. Where kids in public school will not play with kids in a younger grade (because he’s a 4th grader) homeschool kids seem to have no barrier to age, or sex really.
SHE’S more stupid than mean.... though what does it matter if you are THAT stupid?
I’m a school crossing guard, but I also homeschool my girls.
One day, a girl who is a friend of my younger daughter came to me.
She said, “Can I ask you something Ms. B?”
She proceeded to break down in tears and tell me that a girl had been picking on her. Her mother told her to “man up” and deal with it. She is sweet, cute and fun to be around. She was begging for help.
I told her that she is wonderful and that she is welcome at my house anytime. If the girl bothered her when I was around, just come to me.
Then I thanked God that I homeschool and vowed NEVER to put my kids in that “Lord of the Flies” atmosphere.
Shirley Jackass Lee, Barbra Streisand, Kathleen Parker, and Rahm Emmanuel are mean girls.
I see the point. In public schools, private less so; children are subjected to emotional torment that does little to prepare them for the future.
I was bullied in junior high school as were millions of my peers. I can’t say that the experience prepared me for anything I faced since. I suppose if I were to hang out in seedy bars, I would be better prepared; but I never did. The bullying experience caused me and my parents torment for nothing.
Interesting take, but I think it goes beyond that. My experience (and for some reason this applies more to women than men) is that people raised in a one-child household tend to be seriously lacking in social development even as adults.
“...you can spot the home-schooled girls within minutes.
Yes, there is that big a difference.”
I used to coach youth baseball.
I don’t think we had any home-schooled kids, but you could immediately tell the parochial school kids apart from the public school kids: the parochial school kids had much better language skills, better self-control at frustrating calls by the umpire, and yes, they spit a whole lot less!
(I hate the habit of spitting among athletes at all levels!)
Are you not aware that home school kids miss out on learning those invaluable socialization skills that they can only get from public schools?
At least, that’s the line I always hear from those who are against home schooling. Usually, the same people so worried about kids missing out on learning to socialize are completely blasé about the bullying that too many kids have to endure while “learning to socialize.” As if being victimized by bullies leads to better social skills.
As far as I’m concerned, public schools are a form of institutionalized child abuse. I wish I had home schooled my son.
Not even there (I've seen more than my share). I often work with the rougher elements of society, and civilized adults just don't act like that.
The only environment I could think of where the experience might apply is prison.
I saw my that my sweet daughter had the makings to become a “mean” girl in pre-school. She went from being kind and eager to please to in command of their small class (only 3 girls and 9 boys). It was one of many factors that led us to homeschool.
I am happy to say that after 3 years we rarely see her “attitude” and she is once again kind to others.
The first words out of the author's mouth are about HAIR COLOR.
Hitler had dark hair, as did Mao, Lenin, Marx, Obama, Pol Pot, and essentially every other criminally insane person known.
You see the "blonde bitch" cliche EVERYWHERE, and it is B.S. Except in the case of Hillary clinton...
If children are housed in prison-like building and in most ways treated like prisoners, why are we, as a society, surprised when we see prison pathology in children?
The typical Prussian-style school is a cesspool of social dysfunction. Thankfully, humans are resilient and most of us to move on to having healthy relationships among family, friends, and neighbors. Sadly, some are permanently damaged.
The hair color angle was lost on me. Blonde women are disparaged as being dumb and mean. On the otherhand it’s beautiful, they get more notice. Even long straight grey hair I find attractive.
I recently went to my 30th high school reunion. Most of the people who showed up were the mean girls. And they were perfectly nice now. Growing up counts for something.
Some don’t grow up though - I went through a nasty experience with some fellow Girl Scout leaders a while back - the whole best-friends-and-you’re-not-it - so much for leadership by example.
Natural blonde? (I noticed that too.)
Don't be too sure: I have observed that home-schoolers are just as prone to forming cliques and excluding others, and even bullying, as anybody else. And, indeed, a few homeschoolers I know can be downright snooty and rude when it comes to being around those "whose parents don't love them enough to home-school them."
As with any kid, a lot depends on the parents. For example, I'm aquainted with a home-school family whose kids turned out to be ring-tailed bastards in the "mean girl" mode (even the boys). And that's because their dad, and to some extent their mom, is like that.
I'm glad your kids have turned out so nicely; but you shouldn't paint with such a broad brush.
Language skills,yes - but more importantly, thinking skills.
We staged a mock disaster as a capstone event for the camp - combining (assumed or explicit) tasks based on skills taught in the week.
The home schooled girls in one group quietly assumed leadership and got the other girls sorted out and on task fairly quickly in the ‘older’ of three groups participating.
Parent and adult leaders could watch, but no sideline ‘help’ was allowed. A detailed AAR was held to point up the good/bad/ugly.
In the back brief to the sponsoring organization leadership (the event was taped) we were able to stop the tape - and make the comment - watch these girls, they are your future and future leaders.
No offense, but if you think that homeschooled girls are never catty and mean to each other when in a group, that’s pretty naive...
You know, “bullying” is nothing new despite what the idiot media would have you believe.
The DIFFERENCE is we have raised a generation of kids less able to cope with “bullying” and “self-esteem” issues.
Not to say there aren’t legit worries, but for the most part, the media have gone WAY overboard with this thing....
I got bullied a fair amount until I got into High School and began filling out (I think I appeared to be easy pickin’s...skinny, glasses, chipped teeth...:) but oddly enough, I think it shaped me in a way I might not have been, and for the better (in my opinion)
But, I don’t think that is a universal experience by any means. (EMPHASIS THERE!) I certainly can’t recommend it as a character development tool, but I feel it turned out that way with me in some respects. I think for me, it was just a case of making lemonade out of lemons. I was lucky.
I think you hit the key point: much depends on the parents.
I can't say I was bullied so much as I was the kid in the class that no one liked, always picked last, etc. My parents didn't really know what to do.
It has made a tough resilience in me to go my own way, be independent, not allow others to dictate styles to me. But, it has made me wary of friendships and joining groups. I am 56 now. I still don't trust people.
“Rahm Emmanuel are mean girls.”
You, my FRiend, are a GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!
I needed an LOL today!!!
They become feminists.
Most of it had to do with that I didn't have the physical ability/stature to play any organized sports... including soccer.
I grew about 5" after high school and now weigh about 168 lbs.
Is kind of funny when I go back to my hs reunions... lots of the popular people are shorter than me, have receeding hair/no hair, and kind of dumpy.
For the most part I was satisfied with my HS experience, but I was glad to graduate and move on to college... I wouldn't want to go back in time though :-)
They also become lying, duplicitous, man-hating, evil, conniving, two-faced, bitter, angry network administrators in a university department.
And, I'll don my flame retardant suit, here. I think that at some point children need to learn that not everyone has their best interests at heart. Does that mean that you let the older kids physically assault the younger ones? No. "Lord of the Flies" does not prevail.
However, helicoptering, zero tolerance, and insisting upon adult adjudication for every single "He called me a bad name" dispute got us, IMHO and in part, into the social mess that we're in now.
I too was the scrawny kid....was ostracized and was picked on incessantly.
I came back for my 10 year reunion. Wearing the uniform of a First Class Petty Officer in the United States Navy. Finally got the respect I always deserved.
“Oh, hug me, tiny ballerina!”
My professional office had about 2,000 active patients. Naturally, there was turn over among the patients....So...Over three decades I have known several thousand families.
There is a distinct difference between the children of homeschooling parents and those children who are institutionalized. This is only true if the child has been homeschooled from an early age. It does not apply to those government school “push-outs” who begin homeschooling in middle school or high school.
The institutionalized child answered my questions with grunts, monosyllables, or merely nods of the head. Then there was the 20 degree off-centered stare. Yes, there were a few exceptions.
The homeschooled children, in contrast, were openly friendly and engaging. They answered in complete sentences. Told jokes and laughed at my jokes. And..( Most important) They looked me straight in the eye. There were NO exceptions to this in 28 years of practice.
Yes, the above is anecdotal, just as your example is. I seriously doubt though that any “professional” educator will do any controlled studies on the phenomena. The results would put teachers out of a job.
>>Don’t be too sure: I have observed that home-schoolers are just as prone to forming cliques and excluding others, and even bullying, as anybody else. And, indeed, a few homeschoolers I know can be downright snooty and rude when it comes to being around those “whose parents don’t love them enough to home-school them.” <<
I belong to four homeschooling groups, work with Public School kids and do many activities with both.
There are exceptions to every rule and as you are stating here, it’s not how kids interact with adults but how they interact with peers that I am viewing. Some kids, no matter where they are educated are snooty and rude. However, in a given situation you will find that the group that know each other will cling to each other.
The thing to look for is how the excluded child handles that situation. I have found that Public School children either throw a fit, pout or act out. Homeschooled kids gravitate to the adults or younger children. They don’t have a problem with either because that’s what they have been exposed to. They adapt. That is a learned skill not taught in school.
IBTFHT (In before the first Helen Thomas)
Phew, yeah, it was starting to smell bad. :-)
Well, I guess I know a lot of outliers, then.
But of course, you have a bias: The institutionalized child answered my questions with grunts, monosyllables, or merely nods of the head. Then there was the 20 degree off-centered stare. Yes, there were a few exceptions.
Your choice of words is quite telling -- your "institutionalized child" attitude is precisely the attitude I noted among the so-called "outliers." Smug and dismissive of those who do not do as you do.
Perhaps you're an "outlier," too.
The gist of this article seems to be that bullies can, and do, grow up to be nice adults. I’ll agree with can, but it’s certainly not a given that they actually do so. IMO, it’s more likely they grow up to raise the next generation of bullies.
Interesting. I have seen homeschooled kids throw fits, pout, and act out .... just like ANY kid will do.
It amuses me, how homeschooling parents continually tout the superiority of their children over those whose parents choose differently. It's like you're defensive, and trying to compensate for something.
Just to throw it back at you .... some of the most neurotic kids I've ever seen, have been home-schooled. Not their faults; rather, their parents were so fearful of the outside world, and passed that fear onto their kids, that the youngsters never had a chance. And the "home-schooling choice" was an important element of that fear.
The kids from school made cards, gave her special "Build-a-Bears", sent emails, called, etc. The girls that bullied her were a group of home-schooled girls at church. Several told her to her face they couldn't be her friend because her cancer was a sign of sin and she needed to repent. At Sunday School, they refused to sit next or across from her. They sent her emails that they were forming prayer pools for her to repent and no longer be such a horrible sinner. 3 of them even put on a mock play where the main character worm a white bandage on her face and engaged in really ugly acts. All this happened on Sundays and during Saturday activities. She didn't want to tell me because she knew how upset I would be. I was.
After speaking to the pastor who spoke to the girls and their parents, two girls refused to apologize and started sending her emails pretty much all the time. Their parents defended their actions and blamed it on my daughter. The excuse? "Our girls are home-schooled and don't have the evil influences of public school. They aren't capable of this." Not until I printed out the emails did they sort of, kind of believe, even then, they were sceptical. The entire incident became known to the church at large and just went from bad to ugly. Three families ended up leaving because of it.
So, yes, home-schooled children, even churched ones, are capable of meanness and cruelty, and publically schooled children are capable of kindness. It all goes back to the parents.
Please don’t break it to wintertime that kids other than homeschoolers can be fine and decent people. She’s a fanatic, and spouting her arrogant and biased generalizations about homeschoolers vs. public schoolers seems to make her happy.
Oh, and she’s been using that “institutionalized child” smear for years on FR, and still thinks it’s clever.
That’s a heartbreaking story; I feel bad for your daughter. Obviously those girls weren’t acting Christ-like at all!
Your story illustrates what most of us can agree on - a child’s behavior is primarily dependent on the kid’s parents & homelife.
>>Just to throw it back at you .... some of the most neurotic kids I’ve ever seen, have been home-schooled<<
Well, I guess that indicates how many Homeschooled kids you know. I work with PS kids. I never said all of them are bad, in fact, I said that there is an exception to every rule. Both ways.
Seems PS parents get really defensive and bring up the ones “they know” to say how “off” homeschooling kids are. That’s really not the homeschooling parent’s problem. Personally, I don’t care at all how well adjusted anyone’s kids are but my own.
Which is why I have taken the freedom to choose the associations my kids have. Some are public school kids, some are homeschooled.
It was a hard-learned lesson in many ways. Even kids of very good families can get with someone else and as a group, create a very destructive situation. One of the girls deeply, and honestly apologized to my daughter a couple of years ago via email. She said that at the time, she was worried about an aunt who had breast cancer and in retrospect, she was mean to her because she couldn’t be mean to her aunt. It sounds like a pretty twisted logic, but then, we are talking about 12/13 year old girls and in a way, it makes sense.