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Mean Girls Kathryn M. Teston EDUC 746 Liberty University October 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Mean Girls Kathryn M. Teston EDUC 746 Liberty University October 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mean Girls Kathryn M. Teston EDUC 746 Liberty University October 2011

2 Who was your Mean Girl? Looking back… was it in elementary, middle, or high school? was she your BFF? what did her actions cost you?

3 Lots of Labels – Same Issue Queen the one with the power; not above any actions to maintain power and control Name-Dropper Clique Chick Backstabber Cyber Frenemy Cyber Pit Bully Bully Gossip Traitor Aggressor Snob Brat Teaser Alpha Girls

4 A Lesser Role to Play Middle Bee afraid to fall out-of-favor with the Queen ; loyal to a fault WannabeeBystander Sidekick

5 The Queen’s Focus Afraid-to-Bee the brunt of all the Queen’s tactics Victim Target

6 Female Relational Aggression The bully wears a skirt and she is not sweet Her power resides in her words, not her fists

7 Girl Bullies? But that’s not lady-like! That’s the core issue: from a young age, girls are taught that it is unacceptable to express anger, to be loud and boisterous, or to be overly competitive So they express their feelings and emotions more covertly – by exhibiting bullying behaviors towards other girls – their perceived “competition”

8 Why does she act so mean? her actions are rooted in her own fear, anger, and lack of self-confidence

9 Profile of an aggressor Slim and pretty Right clothes, shoes, and makeup Cheerleader or prom queen Invited to all the important parties Stressed Unsure of her moral identity Other girls want to be her; boys want to date her

10 Profile of a victim: Girls do not want their parents to know about the bullying they are experiencing because they are ashamed that they have been singled out and isolated. Girls often blame themselves for their victimization and feel helpless with no resources to turn to because it was a close friend who turned away.

11 Historical Context Throughout time, girls have been taught to be nice and sweet and to avoid being too assertive. The Bible records several situations of conflict between women (Sarah and Hagar; Euodia and Syntyche) In the 19h century, it was considered appropriate and healthy for two girls or women to use terms of endearment with one another in speaking and writing.

12 Demographic Context Relational aggression is not unique to the United States. Girls and adults in other countries are impacted by this phenomenon: United Kingdom Australia India Canada Greece New Zealand

13 Media Context How are girls (and women) and their relationships with each other portrayed in: Song lyrics and music videos Children’s and adolescents TV shows Prime Time TV programs Reality shows

14 Technology Context Anonymity Cyber Bullying Three-Way Calling Social Networking Sites

15 At what age does a mean girl become mean? As early as 3, peaking in the middle school years, yet continuing through high school and into adult years

16 Short and Long-Term Impact Both victims and initiators of relational aggression have a higher incidence of serious mental health problems such as depression, loneliness, alienation, emotional distress, and isolation.

17 Is it a tension to be managed? Is an Extreme Makeover, Mean Girl Edition feasible? Consider the possibilities: what if…

18 Girls were given A biblical worldview of God A biblical worldview of themselves A biblical worldview of others

19 What if girls were taught the principles of metacognition and its connection to their actions?

20 This is not just a Mean Girl problem, this is society’s problem mothers’ and fathers’ problem the Church’s problem the schools’ problem

21 A Paradigm Shift’s Top Ten 1. Teach girls a biblical worldview of God, others, and themselves 2. Teach girls how to exercise metacognition by applying 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Philippians 4:8 3. Teach girls the principle in Colossians 3 of putting off/putting on 4. Teach girls appropriate and productive strategies for confrontation and conflict resolution 5. Teach girls how to be appropriately assertive and to take a stand for themselves and what is right

22 6. Become computer savvy with your daughter and keep communication lines open for discussion and accountability 7. Gather a group of girls together and go through one of the many resources suggested 8. Plan inclusive activities for girls to enjoy being girls – building on the relational bonds they are made to have 9. Teach girls how to laugh together and have fun, enjoying each other’s friendship 10. Pray for and with the girls – for themselves, their friends, their realms of influence and their future relationships.

23 So where will you become a change agent for God’s glory and the benefit of our emerging generation of young women?

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