I come to you today as a mom and three time decorated battle-hardened girl wars veteran. After going through the havoc of war with three daughters, I am nothing short of an expert girl wars tactician and I am pleased to assist you newbies through boot camp.
Girls take no prisoners
I had a young woman tell an entire middle school population that my daughter was “ugly”, thanks to the dynamics of middle school royalty. Game on. Granted, various tactics used in modern-day girl wars are those we experienced in days of old, but some are new, and a lot meaner. (And I mean pig-blood at prom mean).
Let’s face facts, women (by and large) are spiteful and malicious. We have the gift of gab for negative commentary on everything from cosmetics to bad outfits. Younger girls, however, don’t take prisoners quite like we mavens of mayhem have learned to do over the years, they tend to go straight for the jugular. Prepare your preteen for a fight or two all her own. Teach your girls to speak up and never to shy away from adversity, tackle it head on. Call out those who use their words to wound, and teach your offspring how to weaponize her mental arsenal as skirmishes arise.
Making up is hard to do
When girls are little they fight and make up. Girl wars, on the other hand, are not your garden variety argument. As girls get older, arguments become vendettas. An enemy made in 5th grade is likely to be an enemy well into 12th. As a parent, you need to be ready for this. Girls can hold a grudge for an exceedingly long time. Do you best to keep your daughter grudge-free, but be realistic all the same and understand your enemy.
Be a General
When I was a girl wars trainee, I made the mistake of thinking that other parents were reasonable and rational human beings. They aren’t. I was surprised at how many parents truly believed their daughter was an angel-faced, halo-sporting gift from above, when she was more like a little hell kitten sporting a nasty attitude. I’m not saying that all parents are “unreasonable” when it comes to a report of their daughter being a bit of a word that rhymes with witch; but, as a mom, you need to be prepared to have verbal sparring contests all your own, and understand that some mothers are simply padded-room ready.
The ugly truth is that girl wars aren’t going anywhere. They have been around since the dawn of time (when I was young) and will likely as long as girls do. However, preparing yourself (and your preteen) for battle can mean a lot of money saved in Kleenex and texting bills. Remain calm, stay sane and remember, your child is no angel either. With a little mental preparation, you will survive the girl wars and live to tell about it. Good luck solider.
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