What makes some women and girls so jealous and guarded with one another? Why aren't our girls taught to cheer each other on instead of tearing each other down? Think of how much better life would be if all of our daughters learned the value of other girls.
Is it an inherent trait to be jealous and guarded with women who present an unknown in our lives? I know I react negatively, on occassion, to other women. It doesn't happen often but it bothers me when it happens. I try to work back through my feelings to see how and why I am reacting so negavitely. I don't always come to a good answer. Sometimes I know I react negatively because the person presents themselves as something they aren't. They are fake and phony. I don't like fake and phony. Then there are some people who are just schmoes. They are mean and nasty. I accept that they are mean and nasty and I can wrap my head around why I don't like these women (or people). It is when I can't come to a good reason for reacting negatively to someone I really struggle. I think it is jealousy and I don't like it. It feels all wrong when I don't like someone.
Claire is coming into a time when girls are starting to be nasty to one another. She has come to me with some stories already of some mean-girl bitchiness. When she first started swimming she moved to a higher group relatively quickly because she was fast and strong. One of the girls in the new group went out of her way to make sure Claire knew she wasn't welcome. She told Claire to "take her fat self back down to the other group where she belonged." Mama bear came out roaring. I went into protect mode and, with the help of Claire's coach, shut the other girl's behavior down immediately. The other girl was threatened by Claire moving up so quickly. She was jealous and didn't know how to deal with her jealousy. I know I won't always be able to go into to protect mode and I know this is just the beginning. It makes me cringe to think of the potential firestorm Claire is headed into. I want to keep Claire away from the bitchiness of "mean girls." (Don't get me wrong, I think boys can be awful to each other too but this blog is just about girls and their relationships with each other.) I don't like mean girls. I want to teach Claire to support and build up other girls. I want to try to deal with my own jealousy head on so I can be a good role model to Claire. But I don't know if it will be enough...
So, all of you mamas out there who are navigating the waters of jealousy and mean girls how do you teach your daughters to deal with mean girls and jealousy?
Oh, for the love of our daughters.