The Norman Transcript

February 15, 2013

What to do about mean kids

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Q: I’m in the fifth grade, and my friends are acting very mean. I’m afraid they’re going to start being mean to me. Why are they doing this?

— Courtni, Moore

Dear Courtni,

We are so thrilled that you understand what mean behavior is and are so sorry you are going through this. You are probably exactly right — the path that most mean people take is they turn on anyone who they can intimidate (scare).

Sometimes when kids start feeling insecure about themselves or are being treated badly at home, they do mean things to try and make themselves feel better. Sometimes they do it out of jealousy.

No matter what the reason, never ever become a part of it. Don’t ever be afraid to tell someone who is being mean that they are being mean or to stop. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you know is right. If others are being hurt or intimidated, don’t be afraid to tell an adult. We have told kids for many years the hardest part of growing up is discontinuing friendships you no longer need to be a part of. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh, make you happy and make you be a better person. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to your parents or school counselor about this. Email us back if you need us.

Q: My husband and I read your column every week. You have such good answers. We often say, “Why didn’t we think of that?” We read at the end of your column that you are each mothers. Were your kids perfect when they were growing up, since you knew the right things to do and say?

— Cecily and Steve, Norman

Dear Cecily and Steve,

We are rolling on the floor laughing at the thought anyone would think our children were perfect. Jeannie even snorted. It is so much easier to offer professional advice to parents than to be a parent. It is the hardest job in the world. You name it, our kids did it — and if they didn’t succeed, they at least tried.

Although we love our kids with a passion, we are thrilled they are now adults. We have healthy, independent children who no longer live with us and rarely ask us for financial support. Does it get any better? Yes.

We now actually get to be their friends and often times, they understand and appreciate some of the tough decisions we had to make when they were still under our roof.

Cutting class, horrible attitudes, hating us, sneaking out at night, speeding tickets, wrecks, financial issues, experimentation, arguments, disrespect and generally thinking we were awful parents — the list goes on and on.

We thank you for your confidence in us and know from your email you are doing a great job being the parent, the one in charge, and will look back on these days with laughter and tears just as we do … and then you’ll thank God they’re over.

Sally and Jeannie are certified school counselors with 49 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children, Sally three. The responses presented don’t necessarily reflect the views of any certain school district. Please send your questions to Counselor Connection C/O the Norman Transcript P.O. Drawer 1058 Norman, Oklahoma 73070 or email questions to Questions.

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