How to deal with queen bees at school?

Dealing with bullying can be painful and excruciating for both the child and parents.  For parents who still remember bullies from their own childhood,  dealing with their own child’s problems might be even more painful.  I wanted to discuss how to deal with a special friendship type of bully – a queen bee.

The epitome of queen bees have been shown in the Mean Girls movie.  These are girls that at first might appear friendly and nice.  They have a following of minions or lambs who are loyal to the queen bee.  The queen bee manipulates friendships within the group of friends and any new girl is at first loved and welcomed.  Then manipulations start kicking in.

How to deal with queen bees:

  1. Get involved – talk and listen to you child
  2. Don’t initiate with the Queen Bee’s parents:  I made the mistake of contacting the mother of a mean girl — she hung up on me.  I  realized that ‘Queen Bee’ girls are usually the daughters of ‘Queen Bee’ mothers.  These mothers can actually turn on your daughter faster than you can get any help.
  3. Encourage your child to make new friends, and separate herself from the bullying clique as much as possible.
  4. Contact  the school  – start with the school counselor.  Do not take the bullying lightly.  Ask your school counselors  exactly how they plan to deal with these types of bullying incidents.
  5.  Don’t reinvent the wheel
    Queen bees and bullying are a generation old problem.  Get some books on pareting and psychology in your books store or Amazon.

    I recommend the book, Queen Bees and Wannabees, by Rosalind Wiseman.

For my daughter, it was very helpful to understand the hierarchies within a clique and the roles the members play.  Seeing the situation with that objectivity made the ‘meanness’ seem less personal to her.  She recognized how the mean girls at her school were using power plays and emotional games that she didn’t want to feed into.

 

 

 

August and Back to School Time

August us upon us!  As a working parent, I am in shock that we are already getting hit by Back to School Ads and letters from the school on getting ready for the new school year.  Yes, planning is key.  But there is a whole lot of summer to be enjoyed!  Depending, of course, on where you live.  Our school year starts after Labor Day.  Some school districts start in the middle of August.  Either way, seize the day! Get out of the summer routine and add come new activities to you summer bucket list.  Make lifelong memories with your kids.

Summer Bucket List

  1. Go bowling! Ok, bowling is not the go-to kids activity anymore. But kids love it!   Some bowling alleys offer free summer bowling!  Check out https://www.kidsbowlfree.com/ for more info.
  2. Go to a local natural watering hole.  Be that a lake, a bay, a river, or maybe the ocean – kick back and relax, while the kids splash around.  Another alternative is a splash park or the city pool.
  3. Go on a bike ride.  Dust off the bikes, pick a local bike trail, and get lost in the excitement of biking with your children.  Of course, make sure to plan you time for the way back.  Some kids can outride adults, but usually it’s the other way around.
  4. Go kayaking!  – Have you tried kayaking or paddle boating?  If not, splurge, and rent a kayak or paddle boat for an hour. Enjoy the new experience of riding on the water.  Kids love to paddle.  Another alternative is renting a paddle boat.
  5. Go to a museum or a zoo.  Don’t underestimate the power of going to the zoo.  Even if you have been there a million times.  Kids love going to the same places, especially if there is some roaring and screeching involved!
  6. Send the kids to grandma!  – If you are lucky enough to have this option.  Send the kids off to grandma, and enjoy the quiet time at home.  Kids learn a lot from spending time with relatives.  They also can back in the love and the “spoildom”.

Enjoy summer! What are some of the items left on you summer bucket list?

Helicopter Parents are Raising Unemployable Children

 

Photo: Getty Images

I came across this interesting article in Huffington Post about the perils of hovering over your children.   In reality, it seems that an average middle class family falls into the “helicopter parenting”.   Do our kids do anything on their own any more? Go to the store and pay for a loaf of bread?   Go for a walk alone and make mistakes with friends?   Save money for a favorite toy,  cherish that toy, and then get sad about breaking it (and not get a replacement)?

 

 

These are just examples of things that most kids don’t get to do.  Why?  Because an average U.S. middle class child has most of the things bought, brought, and spoon fed to them by their parents.

Kids bring their problems to their parents to get resolved, fixed, glued, etc.   We as parents are supposed to be raising adults…

 

 

 

 

Road Trip with Kids: Visiting Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park

Nothing says “summer in the USA” more than a road trip. So on our recent Smarty Buddy app and book promotion tour in Southern California we took a detour to the Sequoia National Park.

We took a four and a half hour drive from Davis, CA along a scenic road – with mesmerizing vineyards.  Actually the drive was like driving through the Napa Valley – seeing all the vineyard fields , orange tree groves, and nut trees was a great distraction for the passengers…  not so much for the driver, of course.

Sequoia National Park has caves, waterfalls, forests and lakes, and is home to bears, mountain lions, rattlesnakes and deer. It is easy to see why it attracts over a million visitors each year.

After passing through the main entrance, we zig-zagged our way along the winding mountain roads of the park.  Every corner brought a new sight, and it felt like we stopped every mile to get out, take a look and get some photos. There are a number of specific attractions within the park, however much of its magic comes from just being out in this region’s immense natural beauty. There was wildlife, views and groves of enormous sequoia trees all competing for our attention and forcing us to pull over regularly.

Smarty Buddy Multiplication App
Smarty Buddy Multiplication App

Watch out for construction traffic delays.  Factor in the fact that the drive from the southern entrance of the park to the northern entrance is about 2 hours.  We certainly forgot about this math, and actually spent 11 hours driving that day (to, from, and passing the park).

Due to the limited time in the park, we decided to check out the main attraction.  The giant sequoia grove.  The hike to the largest tree in the world (by volume) was an easy loop.  The short hike up to the General Sherman – a huge sequoia tree located in the Giant Forest of the national park.   Even in a place full of enormous trees, this one stood out and towered over everything else.

We noticed one thing, that as you spend time hiking along the sequoia trail, you get used the the sheer size of the trees, and start feeling that they are not that tall at all.  But once you take a picture, and see yourself compared to the towering sequoias, you realize how little you are.