Confessions of a middle school mean girl

I am so afraid of the tween and teen years for my two little girls. My fear is amplified because I was both a mean girl and the target of a bully.  I became a mean girl to a dear friend because I wanted so desperately to fit in. 

My middle school self was so insecure.  I was involved in theatre which made me different from everyone in my class.  I was known as one of the “smart kids”.  I was ashamed because I was not popular.  I was a nerd and a theatre geek.  I loved to read.  I was not that into boys like a lot of my other friends were.  I was not interested in experimenting with cosmetics. 

I remember the elation of making a prank phone call with a friend.  We sang a horrible song to this other friend.  After we hung up, I felt that adrenaline rush.  Then I felt the white-hot sensation of shame.  My cheeks flushed, and my breathing quickened.  My parents discovered this cruel prank of mine which further intensified and magnified my shame.  My class of girls spent many hours in the principal’s office.  When the principal is your first cousin once removed, the shame is a hundredfold greater.  I remember L looking at me and the group of girls asking us “Girls, why can’t you just get along with each other?”

I was so quick to let go of a friendship so I could be seen as cool.  This strategy did not work.  I continued to hustle throughout middle school to be cool.  I did come to my senses in high school, and I found my tribe of amazing friends.  I did not attempt to play the popularity game.  I tried to be kind to everyone.  I stayed away from the cliques as much as I could.  I embraced my uniqueness.  I am hoping that I can pass along these lessons to my girls.  Because being a mean girl involves dread.  I always felt like the other shoe was going to drop.  One day I would be out of favor with the cool crowd.  I want my girls to be true to themselves. Moms of tweens and teen daughters, do you have any advice on this? 



About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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10 Responses to Confessions of a middle school mean girl

  1. S. L. Writes says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing your struggles openly and honestly. I think if you share this with your girls they will be better equipped to withstand the trials of the tween and teen years. it’s all about open and honest conversations with kids (where we do more listening than talking). Seems like you are that kind of mom!

    I’m so glad you eventually embraced your true self in high school. So many still struggle with that well into adult hood.


    • Thank you so much S.L. I have worked really hard on listening more to my girls instead of just talking at them. I did embrace my true self in high school and college. I lost her for a while during early adulthood and once I became a mom. I found her again. She was always there. She had just been hiding.

  2. Aw, Jen, your girls will listen to you and watch you. You can talk up a blue streak but it’s what they see YOU DO that they learn from.

    Be ye kind, it’s the only lesson they need to learn.


    • Alexandra,
      Your words of wisdom always help me put things into perspective. When I have insomnia, thinking about the tween and teen years is what causes the what if’s in my head to drive me crazy. I need to model in action how I want to them to act.

  3. What you teach them now will set the example they need when they start school. The past is the past and you can use that to teach them. It’s hard not to worry about them when they start getting older. i just hope and pray that my son is kind and respectful too. xo

    • Kim, I appreciate the validation that I am not the only one who worries. Sometimes I worry incessantly about these things, so that is my cue to write it down. I can teach them from my examples and actions. Keeping both of us in my prayers as our babies get older. Xoxo

  4. Oh, hell – I find myself worrying about my son being a “follower” when I see his glee in imitating / being with other kids on the playground – and he’s only 2. *deep breaths* ((Hugs)) to you for your honesty and your stories – I think your kindness and openness gives your girls a fighting chance!!

    • Megan,

      Thank you so much. I also worry that both my girls will be followers and hang out with kids who lead them astray. All I can do is share my examples and teach them how to treat others.

  5. I am not looking forward to the middle school years. At all. I try to tell myself that since I just have boys it will be easier, but boys can be cruel, too.

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