If you've ever met my girls then you know that they are very thoughtful, sweet and pretty mild mannered. We definitely have issues at times, but they are usually very minor.
Well, they have never had a lot of friends, largely because in the areas that we have lived and gone to church in and homeschooled in, there just haven't been very many girls their age. When they do get together with other girls, they usually are peacekeepers and prefer that there is no conflict. They try to avoid it at all costs, even sometimes if it means bowing to whatever someone else wants. Well the last couple of years have been very difficult. They have had one "friend" that is just outright rude to them. She's very bossy, creates conflicts, has tried to pit the girls against each other and says hurtful things to them. For instance, my girls recently had their hair cut into styles that they chose. Everyone that has seen it has loved it, but this little girl told one of them that she didn't like her hair and then looked at the other and told her she did like hers. I have really worked on distancing them from this friendship, but there are unavoidable situations where they have to be around this person. Then they made some "friends" that I would call "fairweather friends". They can't decide who they want to be friends with from one minute to the next, as if it's only possible for them to be friends with one person at a time. They are constantly squabbling with someone, not my girls, but usually one of their other friends, so there is often turmoil in the group. Honestly, as a mother, this has been one of the toughest things to deal with.
I'm just tired of this whole situation. We have worked really hard at teaching our girls how to be good friends. We've taught them about treating other people the way they want to be treated and about getting to know the quiet kids as much as the outgoing ones. I even watch them in situations with their friends to see if their are areas they need to work on. It is absolutely unacceptable to me for them to say anything that would be hurtful to someone else. If they did, I would not think it was cute or that it is just a normal girl thing. I cannot for the life of me understand why any of us would stand by and accept that what is normal for the world has to be normal for our children as well. I refuse to accept that girls are just "like that" and allow my girls to develop those traits.
Here are a few words of advice and then I will get off of my soap box. If a behavior is not attractive in your child, it will be even less attractive in them as an adult and you have a much better chance of changing it in them now than you do when they are older. Instead of just disciplining in the moment, try to figure out the heart issue that is causing the unatractive behavior.
Anyway, sorry for the rant, but I am just feeling a little fed up at the moment and you know how us momma's feel when someone is hurting our children.
(Disclaimer: I by no means think that I have this parenting thing down pat. I make mistakes all the time and run into situations constantly that I don't know what to do with. I've second-guessed many decisions that I have made in the friend and how to be a friend department. It just seems to me that it shouldn't be too much to expect your child to be kind to others. That just seems so fundamental to me, maybe I'm wrong, but this is what's on my heart today.)