Much like death and taxes, mean girls are a fact of life. Still, I was shocked to learn that even toddlers aren't immune to the torture.
While having coffee with another mom from my son's pre-school class, I learned that her daughter had already been ganged up on by other girls in the group. At 3 years old, I wondered how bad could it be? They don't want to share crayons or play tag with her at gym? The answer was infinitely worse.
She was told that she wasn't pretty and that they didn't like her. Ouch! I couldn't believe at age 3, these girls already knew how to hit where it hurts.
I thought surely these kids, barely out of diapers, were picking up bad habits from older siblings? They had none. Then I wondered if their moms were a bit on the bitchy side? Nope, all pretty cool, from what I could see. That left me with one conclusion. Perhaps we are wired to be wicked. We must come out of the birth canal that way.
That is the only way to explain why the Yo Gabba Gabba! set are so brutal these days. There is even a study that suggests that female toddlers use manipulation and peer pressure to get what they want. That's certainly something women do well into adulthood.
To be fair, boys come with their own cruel quirks. Not having an obsession with Thomas the Train can earn you odd looks from my little guy. And over time, I've noticed the girls changing up the hit list, as former victims become besties. Still, it's likely going to happen to your little princess at one time or another.
So what's a mom to do? There's no way to escape it, so I say toughen up your tykes. Basically, as soon as girls can cruise, teach them to stand their ground and defend themselves no matter what is thrown at them. It may be their best chance of coping with what is likely to be a lifetime of cattiness.
What do you think? Are we born to be mean to each other?
Image via mikebaird/Flickr