The Norman Transcript

Features

November 14, 2013

Some ways to help deal with drama

NORMAN — Q: I realized going to the middle school was going to be different for my daughter, but I am unprepared to deal with the “drama” that seems to be dominating the conversation at home.

Do you have any suggestions how to impress upon her that these issues are not world-ending?

— Michele, of Norman

Dear Michele,

If we knew how to put a stop to “mean girls” or school drama in general, we’d be millionaires lying on a beach all day.

We have some tips that will work, provided they are practiced and utilized. Middle school seems to be the peak time for drama, since kids haven’t had the freedom before to explore interests and make friends with similar interests.

Your daughter needs to know there will always be people in her life she doesn’t care for, but she doesn’t need to be rude or even hang out with them.

Here are our tips:

· Explain rumors. Help her understand that unless she actually saw something happen, it is nothing but a rumor. These are to be ignored, forgotten and never repeated.

· Stay away from anyone who makes fun of others. They are trying to gain attention by going for the cheap laugh. If she hangs out with them, she will have the reputation of being like them, due to guilt by association.

· Don’t get in the middle of a “friend” argument. Let them work it out, but if they need mediation, encourage them to talk with a trusted school adult. (This is similar to parents who are going through a divorce and put their own children in the middle of their disputes — it’s not a fun place to be for kids.)

· Impress upon your daughter the importance of keeping private information private. She may think she can trust her dear friend, but once it’s out there, it spreads quickly and could be used against her by those she thought were her friends.

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