Teaching Your Daughter How To Handle Girl Drama

A few weeks ago on Instagram, I invited some of you amazing moms to share your hearts with me and I would post some of those stories each month. My regular contributors are dear friends, but there are mounds of awesome moms out there – stories, tales and insight that need to be shared. Jennifer is one of them! I just love this reminder as a mom of girls. Thank you!. – Courtney
Girl Drama Subject Image Courtney DeFeo
Guest post by Jennifer

Teaching your daughter how to handle girl drama

 

I have two daughters which means two weddings and lots of girl time.  It also means lots of girl drama.

 

Call me naive or clueless, but I didn’t expect the drama to start until mid to late elementary school.  I especially didn’t expect it to start affecting my daughter in pre-school!  But regardless of my expectations that’s exactly what it did.

 

Over the past year as my daughter went through pre-kindergarten the drama would come and go.  She would get in the car after school and tell me that a little girl who was her best friend yesterday told her that she didn’t like her anymore.  She talked about a boy that wouldn’t leave her and her friends alone on the playground.  And she came home telling me that no one would play with her on the playground because one of the little girls told everyone that they weren’t allowed to play with her.

 

As situations arose over the year I took each opportunity to discuss it with my daughter.  I’ve found that after teaching her some essential building blocks of friendships she is starting to practice some of the directions without my prompting.

Girl Drama 2

Carve out a time and place for talking

My husband and I have instituted one-on-one time talking with our daughter.  We call it “Talk Time” and it occurs once a week with each parent after bedtime.  This is our chance to spend concentrated time sharing our hearts with her and letting her share hers with us.  We talk often during the week, but these are the times when she really opens up to us.

 

Let her know that she can discuss anything with you

I often tell my daughter that she can ask me or tell me anything. She’s five, we’re not into hard issues, but she knows that when we talk I will be truthful in an age-appropriate way with her and will help her resolve problems.  Right now this just means asking about words she doesn’t understand or telling me about something that she didn’t handle correctly on the playground.  But hopefully, by opening those lines of communication early we can continue to have frank and honest discussions as the issues get harder.

 

Help her understand that no one can tell her or anyone else what to do

When I tell her this she’s quick to add in the caveats (except parents and teachers and God, etc) but I remind her that I’m talking about her peers.  The little girl who told everyone else that they couldn’t play with her?  No one had to obey her and neither does my daughter.

 

Introduce empathy

When the boy was roaring at her and her friends as he ran after them we discussed that maybe he wanted to play with them but didn’t know how to ask.  The next week my daughter and the boy became big buddies because instead of running away from him, she stopped and talked to him.  By helping her put herself in his shoes she was able to respond in a way that eliminated the underlying cause of the problem.

Girl Drama

 

Have her take responsibility for her actions

When my daughter is acting out because she’s tired or upset, I remind her that she can remove herself from the situation but she can not act ugly towards me or anyone else just because she doesn’t feel good. She needs to know that just because she has an excuse for an action doesn’t mean that she’s excused for that action.

 

Allow her to make the decision on how to proceed when appropriate

When the girl was telling others that they couldn’t be my daughters friend and this continued for over a week, I asked my daughter if I could discuss it with the teacher.  My daughter told me that she wanted to talk to her teacher about it instead.  This was not my preferable course of action, but I allowed her to take the actions to resolve the issue and just continued to listen as she spoke without insisting on taking any action myself.

 

Remind her that even when she messes up, you will always love her

My daughter is confident that I will still be there for her even when she makes mistakes.  Does that mean that she won’t have consequences?  No.  But it does mean that when she makes the wrong decision, she can come to me for help in figuring out how to correct it.

Headshot Tales of a Peanut

About Jennifer

Jennifer Elwell is a Mom of three who wants her children to grow up to be passionate about Christ.  She believes in kindness and honesty and wants her children to see her as their Mom but also as a woman who is in love with Christ.  To show them what being a woman of God means, she spends her time creating designs for her stationery shop (she did my Christmas card this year!) and volunteering for things that she feels make a difference in her world.  Jennifer is also passionate about letting other Mom’s know that they are not alone in their struggles and so strives to encourage Mom’s through her shop and blog.  You can keep up with her and her family on her blog, Tales of a Peanut.

 

 

Comments

  1. I’m super blessed I have found this site❤️‼️ I am raising my granddaughter after losing my daughter to cancer. So yes,I totally did not believe drama would begin in pre-k and kindergarten

  2. I love this post. Reminding my babes I love them no matter what is something I do on a regular basis. We haven’t really dealt with any playground drama yet, but I’m sure it will come in its time

  3. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I am a college student and I work with kids at an after-school program. Girl drama is always something that frustrated me in school, and I see it all the time with the kids that I work with. Your post has given me some new ideas for helping them to think through these issues.

  4. The bane of my own existence…cannot stand girl drama! And I already see it happening to my girls. Great suggestions on how to deal with it…now if we could only get EVERY girl {young and old} to knock it off!

  5. I have 3 girls and the girl drama is awful. My oldest is kind hearted and easily hurt, it was so hard to see her try to understand why girls act this way. I taught her to use her words, be understanding because sometimes that girl who doesn’t want to be your friend today might be having a bad day so be prepared to offer forgiveness, and to ask for help if the situation starts to feel bad all of the time. I have had to intervene, when every day she got in the car and all she could talk about was the way one girl or another treated her badly but all in all she has learned to handle herself well. I thank God for parents like you who teach their daughters how to handle the drama and how not to treat others the same way.

    • Hi, any other tips you may have? My daughter is 7 and for the past month she is upset every day bc she is being ignored like she did something wrong by one or more of her friends. I have tried the things in this article and while the communication between us is better, it has not improved her friendships at school. I would welcome any other tips that seemed to help your daughter. Trying to raise her as a positive and independent person is hard at 7!!

  6. It is a shame that it happens so young. My daughter is schooled at home and got along with most other homeschooled family girls. Her girl drama problems are at Sunday School of all places.

    We try to let her know that we have all gone thru it and it does hurt. I also remind her that we are to love one another. One little girl is now her friend after my daughter told her that she would be nice to her no matter what she said.

    It really is a sad thing.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. My daughter is five also and we have encountered some of the same situations. After reading this I hope to be better prepared this next time this happens. Again thank you and may God Bless you.

  8. Thank you for taking the time to write all this down. I have 4 daughters, K-4th grade. The drama seems to surround or affect some of my girls more than the others, but I am so often at a loss as to how to comfort and arm them for the next day. I appreciate the advise you’ve written and will use much of it. My older girls just finished a course called RAD kids-offered through the nation (it’s free here in Utah County through the Sherriffs office) that amazed me at how it empowered my girls at the play ground. There was some self defense, also, and I am grateful they have that, too, but the help for dealing with the regular play ground drama was invaluable to my family. Thanks again!

  9. i don’t think this can be defined as ‘girl drama’ I have a son who has had the same problems he’s only 9 but it’s gone on for a while now, I just think a lot of parents don’t know how to parent and therefore their children are offensive and thoughtless. It’s good to hear other parents are trying to make positive steps to make better children/adults it’s sad though because it seems the majority or children have no morals and I’m seeing it more every day

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