OK I don’t get it. My girl is in third grade and she’s having problems with another girl. You know the one. She’s the girl with the cool clothes, the newest shoes, the prettiest hair, the latest fashion accessories. She’s the one who smiles innocently and then makes snarky comments about everyone when backs are turned.

You know her.

We ALL know her.

She’s the one who grows up to be a GREAT, BIG BITCH.

My girl was so upset tonight. Saying she feels like she can’t do anything right. She volunteers to sing a small solo in music class and two girls tease her and whittle away at her fragile self-confidence. She gets dressed in the morning in her new outfit only to be snickered at because it’s still not ‘cool’ enough. In her little third grade world, this is devastating.

But as we talked together – her sitting on my lap, sobbing – I try to help her realize just how futile it is to let others opinions dictate how we live our lives. After tears and tissues, she was finally able to discover and articulate the following revelations to me:

She has not one, but six really good friends at school who she spends lunchtime and recess with;

Getting up to sing in front of 80+ students in music class is the ultimate show of bravery – and she astutely noted how many others are far too shy to attempt such a feat;

That these feelings are all normal – we’ve all been there – and it’s never easy;

That writing in her journal and talking about her feelings can help mitigate the hurt in her heart.

This won’t solve everything, but it’s a start.

I guess what I want to know is what the hell this girl’s parents are like? I like to think that I would recognize signs of my child being a bully or being a mean girl. I don’t know. Maybe I wouldn’t. But how could you not?

Maybe it’s the result of some over-indulgent parent trying to make up for a less than lovely childhood by turning a blind eye and letting their daughter do whatever she wants. Maybe it’s just plain ignorance or stupidity.

I don’t know.  But it disgusts me. And it makes me sad – for my girl, but also for the other little girl. She’s going to have a hard fall from grace if she continues down this path of bullying, teasing, and degrading.