Why I'm Writing Books about Girl Bullying
Updated: Jan 13
Most kids (and adults) experience bullying at some point, so how come there aren't more kids' books about bullying?
Answer - because girl bullying can be really subtle. And not every girl realises she's being bullied, especially if she's being picked on by close friends.
So! I'm books about girl bullying and friendships, with some lovely happy endings to show that YES. Girls can get along in the end. Even if they hate each other. Why? Because the world needs more books like this!
Let me start at the beginning.
One day, my daughter came home from school upset about a problem she had with another girl. The other girl was whispering about her, leaving her out of things, talking in a loud voice about parties that my daughter wasn't invited to.
You know the sort of thing. If you're a girl, you've probably been through it yourself. Or you may have done the same thing to other people, because you were angry about something, but felt, for whatever reason, that you couldn't speak your mind. When I started talking to other parent friends, I discovered all their daughters had been through, or were going through, something similar.
Is this bullying? Yes. It is. But it's really hard to identify and pin down the bad behaviour. And of course, the flip side of this is examining our own behaviour towards others. If we feel angry, do we deal with it helpfully? Or are we passive aggressive?
I don't know a single girl who's been through school without any mean stuff happening. But it hardly ever gets to the attention of teachers. Girls are very good at hiding their angry, jealous and vengeful sides.
So let me tell you more about what happened to my daughter. At first, it all sounded very petty. A girl whispered about you? So what. Just ignore her and go about your day. But as the weeks went on, it became clear there was a very toxic and hostile pattern. And it wasn't going away.
The real problem, though, was not that this girl was being mean. It was the WAY she was being mean. Most of us can handle outright nasty. What's difficult is sneaky mean stuff. You know the sort of thing. Whispering and giggling, then looking at someone. Glaring. Inviting a close group of friends to a party and leaving one person out. How to you challenge something like that without looking paranoid or insane?
These kinds of behaviours are called passive aggression and micro aggression. They can be easily denied, or dismissed as a joke and no big deal. But when mean, hostile behaviour goes on and on for days, weeks or months, it's worse than being punched in the face or having your hair pulled. At least if someone hits you, you can show other people the bruises.
Here is the bad news. Life isn't always easy. Where there are human beings, there will be power games, anger, hurt feelings and hurt people who hurt others. And the good news? There are ways we and our children can deal with these unhealthy behaviours. As long as we can identify them for what they are.
Here is the way that worked for us. My daughter started writing a list of all the passive aggressive things the girl did. As the list grew and grew, so did my daughter's confidence in her own judgement. She was able to see that no, she wasn't overreacting or being difficult. There really was a pattern of hostile behaviour.
Once she could see the pattern, it was much easier to talk about what was going on. She didn't tell a teacher, because she wanted to deal with herself. But she did explain to her friends what was happening, and they were more able to see the bad behaviour. Which made things easier.
Eventually (this always happens) the girl in question fell out with other people, and fewer people wanted to spend time with her. At this point, the girl told her parents that she was being bullied, and they phoned up other parents, accusing them of all sorts of things. When actually, their daughter was causing most of the problems.
Now the daughter and my girl have a sort of arms-length friendship. Which seems to work out very well. My daughter doesn't get too close, because the girl still doesn't deal with her feeling in a healthy way. But hopefully in time, she'll learn and grow too. Fingers crossed, anyway. And I hope my daughter learns from this situation too, and understands to communicate feelings clearly.
I've spoken to a LOT of parents about how girls pick on each other, and how they can eventually make friends, or at least make peace. And I've turned it all into a fun (I hope) story for you and your daughter / granddaughter to enjoy.
The story starts with new girl, Scarlett, starting a school, where a very jealous and competitive girl decides who's in or out. And she doesn't like the competition from Scarlett so ... well, sparks fly. It's big school drama!
The book is called Queen Bee, and I would love you and / or your daughter to read it. I hope it helps ease the pain of girl friendships and show there is light at the end of the tunnel. What do you do now? Click the picture on the right or this link: QUEEN BEE - books about girl bullying on AMAZON. And take a look. t's a feel good book - honest! Huge love, Su xx