Monday, August 23, 2010

Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-Proof Girls in the Early Years -Review & Giveaway

Product Description

Worried about mean girls? Help your daughter respond and react to bullying where it starts---in elementary school

As experts in developmental psychology and each a mother of three, Dr. Michelle Anthony and Dr. Reyna Lindert began noticing an alarming pattern of social struggle among girls as young as five, including their own daughters. In today’s world, it is likely that your daughter has been faced with bullying and friendship issues, too---and perhaps you’re at a loss for how to guide her through these situations effectively. Little Girls Can Be Mean is the first book to tackle the unique social struggles of elementary-aged girls, giving you the tools you need to help your daughter become stronger, happier, and better able to enjoy her friendships at school and beyond.

Dr. Anthony and Dr. Lindert offer an easy-to-follow, 4-step plan to help you become a problem-solving partner with your child, including tips and insights that girls can use on their own to confront social difficulties in an empowered way. Whether your daughter is just starting grade school or is already on her way to junior high, you’ll learn how to:

Observe - How does your child handle herself? Notice how her mood changes depending on the situation. Hear what your child has not said directly. Trust in your instincts. 

Connect - Participate in your child's world. Be an active listener. Admire your child's skills and interests.

Guide - Without actually leading. Brainstorm the problem, help your child to identify the issue and come up with a solution.

Support - Empower your child to act more independently and to face the social issue. Assist as they navigate their negotiation skills and stand up for themselves in a positive way.

By focusing squarely on the issues and needs of girls in the years before adolescence, Little Girls Can Be Mean is the essential, go-to guide for any parent or educator of girls in grades K-6.

What I Can Tell You: 
 This is mandatory reading for any parent, teacher, therapist. Little Girls Can Be Mean breaks it all down including real life situations and how to deal with them.

As an active observer and listener to children as they play and work together, I believe this book is the perfect handbook for anyone wanting to ensure their child has the tools to deal with the outside world.

The publisher forwarded me a checklist for the upcoming
back to school season.

The start of every school year conjures up long “to-do” lists for parents and teachers – new school supplies, clothes shopping, readying the classroom, new morning routines and schedules to name just a few.  The real key to a successful school year, however, is not new headbands and sharpened pencils (although those DO help!) but rather making sure the girls you care about are prepared to navigate their relationships with fellow classmates.  One powerful way to do this is to follow the Four Steps, both before facing sticky social situations, and in the midst of them! 


Step 1:  
Observe:  Get a sense of who your daughter is within her social relationships 
before those dynamics get complicated.  
   Watch how she interacts with peers, notice the role she tends to take with friends, l
isten to the stories she shares.  Is she dismissive?  Does she tend to take over?  The goal here
is to notice who your child is socially, without passing judgment, problem solving, or taking over.  You will be amazed what you begin to notice when you look on situations with new eyes!

Step 2:  
Connect: Become a team with your child, recognizing the skills and talents she  
            presently has to bring to new friendships. 
Start using active listening in your everyday communication so that it becomes second
nature and can be used more naturally when your daughter comes to you with a problem
or seems upset about something social.  Doing so will also allow you to more quickly strip away a “surface” issue and get to the heart of whatever is troubling your daughter.

Step 3:  
Guide: Work together, making sure all her ideas are welcomed and encouraged, and list 
out ways she can take the lead on a non-social issue.
·    For example, together come up with a list of ideas about her homework routine or chore schedule.  Get creative!  Doing so will help her realize that any “problem” can have a great many possible solutions, even if some of them are not ones she would choose to enact!  In addition, going through the process of together identifying multiple solutions around an uncharged issue will allow you and your child to solidify your partnership.

Step 4:  
Support to Act: Allow your daughter to choose one or two of the items on the list and actualize them, providing support or guidance only as necessary.
·    The goal is for you to be part of this process as an interested but not overly invested observer.  It’s important that your child see you as on her side and in her corner, but also know that you will not take over and try and solve her problems for her.  

For more information on the Four Steps or how to create a Caring Community and reduce the amount of social cruelty, relational aggression, and bullying in your classroom and school, take a look at Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bullyproof Girls in the Early Grades, by Michelle Anthony, MA, PhD and Reyna Lindert, PhD (St. Martin’s Griffin, Aug, 2010).

A Q&A with Michelle Anthony, M.A, Ph.D. and Reyna Lindert, Ph.D., co-authors of
Little Girls Can Be Mean: 
Four Steps to Bully-Proof Girls in the Early Grades

We hear much in the news about the tragic consequences of bullying in middle and high school.  So why do you focus on kids in grades K-6 in your book?
So many parents learn the hard way that girls are already facing social cruelty, from as early on as kindergarten.  This is when the meanness starts, and this is when we can best support girls to respond to it and cope with it, because this is the age when girls still look up their parents and teachers

If you could only offer one key tip to parents and educators on how to bully proof young girls, what would that be?
Realize that whether your daughter is a target, bystander, or Mean Girl, she is trying to fit in and find power in her relationships, and that she is doing the best she can with the skills she has.  Then, use the Four Steps to move forward from there. 

Giveaway: A Copy of Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-proof Girls in the Early Grades

The Sponsor: St. Martin's Griffin

To Win:  Leave me a comment letting me if you were ever the victim of bullying by Midnight, September 7, 2010

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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from St. Martin's Griffin


  1. I'm so glad your sponsor is allowing you to do this giveaway. Even if I don't win I will be reading this book. My daughter has been dealing with mean little girls since she was THREE! It's crazy how some little girls are all about excluding one girl from the group for no reason at all.

  2. I did in school from both boys and girls since I wasn't a jock.


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