Let’s Stop Raising Mean Girls

5. Stress the importance of inclusion

Has your child talked about another classmate who is withdrawn? These kids are likely the targets of bullies. Encourage your child to show they care by acknowledging and including them. It can be as simple as inviting them to sit together at lunch, or play together at recess.

6. Raise upstanders, not bystanders

Even if your child isn’t bullying anyone, acting as an audience for the bully and saying nothing is just as bad. Often times, bystanders don’t know what to do. Speak to your child about the importance of using their voice to take action to tell the bully to stop or to report the behavior to an adult.

7. Speak nicely about others, and yourself, too

A child’s mind is like a sponge – they absorb everything. Make a conscious effort to only let your child hear you speak about others – as well as yourself – in a nice way.

8. Model positive behavior

Children take cues from their parents, so what you do is more important than what you say. Let your kids see you opening the door for strangers or giving up your bus seat for someone who is elderly. Simple, kind gestures like this help you model the behavior you want to see from your kids.

9. Give back

Whether it is organizing a toy drive for needy children or serving meals to those less fortunate, provide meaningful opportunities for your child to experience giving back in the community.

10. Keep the conversation going

Schedule an informal “check-in” with your child to talk about their friendships at school. Take them out for ice cream, and show genuine interest in their day-to-day life at school.


Lori Orlinsky
Lori Orlinsky is a freelance writer, children’s book author and marketing director who lives in Chicago. She is the mother of two little ladies. Her award-winning children's books, "Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All)," and "The Tooth Fairy's Tummy Ache" are available on Amazon.

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