Forming friendships is an important part in any teen girl’s life, but for some, navigating those relationships can be fraught with danger. Bullying happens to both boys and girls, but girls who bully tend to be more cerebral. With access to technology and social media, it has become easier than ever for girls to bully one another.
Bullying and Girls
While there are many different reasons for girls to bully, some of these girls are experiencing turmoil or a sense of powerlessness in their own lives. For others, it may be about enjoying the power and the attention they receive when they are in power. Girls who bully also tend to show a lack of empathy, as well as limited coping and social skills. They may use tactics such as exclusion, spreading rumors or cyber bullying themselves, or they may even recruit others to participate in the bullying.
Girls are often taught by society to be competitive with one another. The belief is that there are only so many opportunities, and if another girl succeeds, that means that there is one less opportunity available. This may stem from the fact that historically, there were less opportunities for women in schools or in the workplace. But we now know that when women succeed it opens the door for other women to succeed as well.
Learning to Support Each Other
Creating an environment where young women feel confident and supported is crucial for stopping the bullying cycle. Author Charisse Nixon, PhD, describes this as “ABCs and Me: acceptance (by self), belonging (among others), control, and meaningful existence.”. When these needs are met, girls can develop a strong sense of self and do not need to seek out validation from other negative behaviors.
One of the most important ways girls can learn to support one another is by watching their role models. Girls often look to the women in their lives for cues about how to think and act. When they speak confidently, take risks, and own their accomplishments, they set positive examples for girls to follow. There are countless opportunities every day to help girls gain the confidence and skills they need to lean in and take the lead. Having a positive role model in their life can make a huge impact in how they treat their peers.
Solstice RTC Can Help
Our mission is to support adolescents and their families in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journey. Through relationship-based programming, we help students restore and rebuild healthy, close relationships with their families, peers, and staff.
Milieu experiential therapy utilizes the social culture of a residential treatment environment to create positive changes in your child’s behavior. These changes are achieved through the therapeutic use of our campus’s “community”, which includes their peers, staff, community roles and responsibilities, groups, and meetings. The positive influence of peers can promote a powerful and sustainable change when combined with the intentional application of other therapeutic interventions. For more information please call (866) 278-3345.