You know how we women always talk about supporting other women? Whether in work, social, or life in general, we gals realize sticking together makes everything a bit easier. Now, wouldn’t it be great if this started when we were younger?
There seems to be an inherent rivalry amongst females. Fighting over a guy, a job, or a parking spot can bring out the claws. While time seems to bring more zen between us, none of us would debate tween and teen girls are at the height of girl trouble. What starts as simple disputes and sassiness on elementary school playgrounds can get pretty ugly once they get to middle school. Spats and sneers happen. And sometimes it’s good to get our daughters ready for life by letting them handle disputes on their own. But too often things go much further than kids know how to handle. Name calling, spreading rumors, or verbal and physical abuse can lead to depression, anxiety, self harm, and even suicide.
Why are girls so hard on each other and what can we do to change this?
Two women, and real life BFFs, are working very hard to figure this dilemma out and inspire positive change. Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson are co-founders of Kind Campaign, an organization directed at bringing attention to “girl on girl crime.” This can be anywhere on the map from not letting someone sit at a lunch table to serious cruelty.
Information on bullying is nothing new to parents and school administration. But what makes Kind Campaign different is a focus on bringing awareness of this type of cruelty to those who are most affected: our girls. It not only helps girls to realize they are not the only ones being mistreated, but shows real life consequences to those doing the bullying.
Lauren and Molly share stories of girl on girl cruelty (including their own) via assemblies and social media influencers. What started out as a documentary on female bullying, turned into a non-profit that is helping girls across America tell their stories and bring to light the damage done by these acts.
They’ve also developed a curriculum that can be used with Kind Clubs. These clubs are established through schools, youth organizations or even groups of friends as a way to build a mini community where girls can feel safe and build trusting friendships. There are currently hundreds of Kind Clubs across the country.
Mean girl type behavior is so prevalent that it is almost accepted as a rite of passage. How insane that we feel, and sometimes even advise, this bullying is just a phase, a stepping stone in life that will eventually get better. The sad truth is, some girls don’t make it through this “phase” to get to the better.
Middle school years are tough enough. Self discovery, adjusting to changing bodies, dealing with pressure from sports and academics. We women need to teach young girls to band together and stand up for each other, not keep their heads down and grit it out. Kudos to Lauren and Molly for getting the conversation started. It is up to us to keep it going.
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