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Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-proof Girls in the Early Grades Paperback – August 17, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

From clinical studies to mainstream media, the problem of girl aggression has been the subject of growing concern, but most of the recent focus has been on middle- and high-school students, not on elementary-school girls. That’s part of the problem, argue the authors of this reassuring guide that offers practical tips and personal anecdotes aimed at alleviating female “relational aggression” in the critical early grades. In each chapter, the authors, both developmental psychologists, illustrate how adults can guide girls through a four-step process to identify and deal with tough social situations. Throughout, boxed activities for educators, parents, and girls themselves give the title a highly interactive, proactive feel, and an appended section suggests ways that adults can apply the same techniques to their own lives. More than just invaluable advice about preparing girls to cope with bullying, gossip, and friendship riffs, these are empowering strategies for adults to communicate and connect with their daughters while they are at a highly receptive age and to help them develop resilient self-esteem before they hit the middle-school jungle. --Gillian Engberg

Review

More than ever, young girls are facing painful social challenges that require real skills to respond…offers useful strategies and tools to help parents empower their daughters from the earliest ages. (Rachel Simmons, bestselling author of Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl)

A valuable guide for understanding and demystifying the friendship issues, social cruelty, and bullying of elementary-aged girls. A must-have book for parents, counselors, and educators. (Rosalind Wiseman, bestselling author of Queen Bees and Wannabes)

From clinical studies to mainstream media, the problem of girl aggression has been the subject of growing concern, but most of the recent focus has been on middle- and high-school students, not on elementary-school girls. That's part of the problem, argue the authors of this reassuring guide, which offers practical tips and personal anecdotes aimed at alleviating female "relational aggression" in the critical early grades. In each chapter, the authors, both developmental psychologists, illustrate how adults can guide girls through a four-step process to identify and deal with tough social situations. Throughout, boxed activities for educators, parents, and girls themselves give the tide a highly interactive, proactive feel, and an appended section suggests ways that adults can apply the same techniques to their own lives. More than just invaluable advice about preparing girls to cope with bullying, gossip, and friendship riffs, these are empowering strategies for adults to communicate and connect with their daughters while they are at a highly receptive age and to help them develop resilient self-esteem before they hit the middle-school jungle. (Booklist)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (August 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312615523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312615529
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 88 people found the following review helpful By AmazonMom on August 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
As a clinical psychologist, I find that parents are often stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to supporting their daughters' social struggles. And so often, educators and counselors are stuck in the same hard place with helping support these parents, or in supporting the girls themselves.

FINALLY there's a guide that does it all: gives parents a simple easy plan to support girls' friendship fights while at the same time gives them the tools to help manage social cruelty! Even better, integrated throughout are Teacher Tips and Tips for Girls with ideas and activities to reach girls in grades K-6. The flow of the book is anecdotal, very readable, and non-alarmist.

In fact, it will help you finally understand why girls act the way they do, and know what to do about it. This book is for anyone who works with or cares about girls from ages 5-12. It's become the first book I recommend to parents in my clinical practice with elementary aged girls. I love it!
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55 of 64 people found the following review helpful By MDMOM on August 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have an elementary school age daughter who can be on both sides of girl troubles: the girl who gets upset by her friends and also upsets her friends. I was hoping this book can give me insights on how to navigate both sides well, but was disappointed.

The book seems to be all about "standing up to your friend who can be a bully" without defining what "bully" really is. I see certain amount of friction that kids go through as necessary part of learning and growing as long the friction is short term, and the child is not always the victim. But, I got the feeling that the authors didn't think so. They seem to think that all social struggles deserved close adult attention and how all these social struggles have lasting effects to girls.

The anecdotes in the book was realistic and typical of elementary age girls, but there wasn't much useful information for me on how to deal with it.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By jplatypus on August 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
Little Girls Can Be Mean is an easy, informative read. It had so many tips and strategies for anyone who deals with girl aggression or "mean girl" stuff. The best part is it addresses issues with younger girls, as opposed to only dealing with middle school girls. I learned so much about WHY meanness happens at these early ages and how to empower girls to deal with it instead of being overwhelmed by it or becoming mean themselves. It's about time!
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Neely on August 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Little Girls Can Be Mean by Michelle Anthony and Reyna Lindert is a very helpful book by these two experts in the field of psychology and parenting, authors of several other books. And each of these moms has three children, so they speak from first hand experience also. The book tells four steps to helping young girls learn how to be kind to other girls and how to keep themselves from being devastated when other girls are not kind to them. With advice to parents and teachers to Observe, Connect, Guide, and Support to Act, the authors give many good examples for ages 5 - 12 of what is actual behavior of girls toward each other, at home and at school and other groups. There are many useful techniques to learn in this book of how to help your daughter protect herself and also learn how to deflate these troubling encounters. With the use of playing games, and talking, empathizing, and sharing personal experiences parents can guide their daughters through the minefield of growing up and inter-personal relationships with friends and siblings. Each chapter has boxes of information that are written directly to the child and other boxes of directed to the adult...each has good suggestions and observations and ideas to practice. This is a very good tool for any home or teacher.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Grandma Roberta on August 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
As a grandparent, I was so glad to find this book! It seems girls are so much meaner today than when my kids were growing up and already I am hearing terrible stories from my granddaughters. Before, I would say things like, "try not to let it bother you," or "she's not very nice...find a different friend." But it was mostly because I didn't know what to say. Now I do! The book walks you through the how and why of meanness, but in a way that makes you feel like you can actually do something about it! The Four Step plan is simple and gives me options in terms of when, where, and how much to go into things at any given point. For me, as a grandparent, I use Steps one and two the most: seeing things in new ways and connecting, instead of jumping in and trying to fix it all. I can't think of a more important book for elementary school girls!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dee in Hong Kong on June 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm really glad I bought this book, as it was an easy read about an interesting topic. I found the stories and guidance straightforward and sensible.
As the mother of a 6yo girl, I have been witness to "mean girls" for a number of years already. No doubt there will be many more years of it to come....
Prior to reading this book, I would have told my daughter to "not play with mean girls" or "tell the teacher" if someone bullies you. I realise now this was not such helpful advice.
Instead I take the time to discuss what's specifically happening, ask her how she feels about such events, and what she thinks she can do differently in the future.
I am convinced this ongoing dialogue and role play, will reassure her that I am genuinely listening and "on her side" and also equip her with techniques and coping strategies for difficult situations.
I highly recommend this book to parents and caregivers of girls wanting an insight into what's going on, why, and how to deal with it. A necessary addition to your parenting book collection....
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Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-proof Girls in the Early Grades
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