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

4.2 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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  • Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-proof Girls in the Early Grades
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  • Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends: Dealing with Bullies & Bossiness and Finding a Better Way
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  • A Smart Girl's Guide: Friendship Troubles (Revised): Dealing with fights, being left out & the whole popularity thing (Smart Girl's Guides)
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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 (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book to help my daughter with some friend drama she was experiencing (she's 10) and I only got a few chapters into it before I got what I needed out of it. Basically, if you need help with communication in general, this is a good book. It's pretty basic and it goes over common sense general practices like talking with your young daughter (as soon as she's verbal, even) about her feelings. It's kind of a no-brainer for some people (like me) but I could see it being helpful to those who haven't ever thought of being empathetic to their preschooler about understanding why she acts the way she does, how it feels when friends act a certain why, and how it feels when she acts a certain way towards others. I don't know if it's worth buying, it would depend entirely on your situation. It did help to know that what my daughter is going through is normal but that it's important to still provide guidance instead of just leaving her to attempt to wade these painful waters alone and shrugging it off as kids/girls being cruel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was fine, but I couldn't read the entire thing. It got too boring.

They have several good points and suggestions in this book for a variety of scenarios, but the main thing I got out of it was a technique for listening and letting your child know you're hearing them in order to help them feel safe to make wise choices, rather than trying to fix problems for them and/or simply telling them what to do.

There. Now you know too and don't have to buy the book :)
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