Oh, the challenges that come with having a pre-teen, and a daughter at any age in this crazy new world where bullying, frenemies, and 'mean girl' issues are more prevalent by the day. 

If you have a daughter between the ages of eight and twelve, the reality is, they could be dealing with meanness at school without you knowing. And they can't be expected to deal with issues like this if they're not equipped with the right language or support and encouragement from their parents.

Here are three really basic tips to chat through with your daughter on a regular basis, so she can be confident when she is dealing with conflict experiences with other girls.

1. Validate her feelings

It doesn't matter how small the issue is, don't belittle how it is affecting her. Be empathetic, and listen to her story. Ask questions about what has happened and acknowledge that her feelings are worth discussing. You can comfort her by saying things like: "I understand that you are hurt" and "You must be feeling really left out" – try to understand the issue on her level, this will mean so much to her.

2. Come up with solutions together

Chat through different scenarios, ask her how she feels about the situation when it happens, and try to find out how it makes her feel inside. Work through her feelings and comfort levels around the situation, so that you can help her to come up with a solution to tackling the issue. It should always be one that she is comfortable with, rather than the one you think she should do. This will hopefully teach her that she has the capabilities to come up with her own solutions, and it gives you a chance to ask the right questions that will tease out the right solution.

3. Teach your child to speak up 

Tell your child clearly who they can trust to tell if a situation arises again. Identify a teacher or administrator at school who they like and feel comfortable talking to. This goes for a situation when your child sees someone else being bullied too, often when a bystander sees and calls out a volatile situation, it can stop a bully in her tracks before a situation escalates. Want to hear more on this subject? Come to our FREE event next Tuesday at Dundrum Town Centre.


Do you have tween problems? 

We are holding a FREE expert parenting workshop in Dundrum Town Centre next Tuesday 21st February at Movies@Dundrum in the Town Centre at 9.30am.

Pop in and hear our Child Psychologist, David Carey and Health Psychologist and HerFamily writer, Alison Bough explain all things tween and learn how to cope with this new challenge.

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