slice of life · wn entry

Ruth’s SOLS: Mean Girls

My third grade daughter came home yesterday after school upset because she was:

Kicked out of the Horse Lover’s Club at recess. One girl told another girl I don’t love horses enough and they don’t want me in it. But they don’t know what’s in my heart and that I love horses more than almost anything. Well, not you and dad, but I love them a lot. Some other girls got kicked out too. I don’t know what made them the bosses. So we started another club: People Who Really Love Horses Club. Anyone who wants to be in it can.

(Yes, that is a direct quote.)

Now you know recess, or maybe you are glad that you don’t know recess if you don’t have recess duty. There are a million things that could have led to Hannah being kicked out of the Horse Lover’s Club.


It reminded me that school is about more than reading, writing, and math. The issues our students are navigating go beyond academics. I talked to a friend of mine and she said her high school daughter is dealing with a lot of the same things (not being kicked out of Horse Lovers Club, but dealing with cruel girls). A third grade teacher said to me, “Ahh, yes, this is when it begins with girls. There is always something to be catty about, someone to leave out.”

And I’m reminded of growing up myself. There were many tears over cruel girls.

The challenge I face now, is to help my daughters grow up with self-confidence to face a sometimes cruel world and to be kind in the face of it all.

10 thoughts on “Ruth’s SOLS: Mean Girls

  1. I love your thought, “It reminded me that school is about
    more than reading, writing, and math.” Most schools do very little
    to encourage personal and social growth of all their students.
    Which is why I just applied to get my daughter into a school that
    values 3 spheres equally… intellectual, community and personal
    growth. What a concept, huh?


  2. Perhaps our 3rd graders go to the same school? My daughter
    watches the horse club’s every move and has since 2nd grade when
    she wasn’t allowed in the club. I talked to her teacher who talked
    about clubs being a form of bullying. It didn’t do any good. And, I
    know the mean girls moms won’t do anything since I tried that and
    they told me that it was my loner daughter who was the bully. Won’t
    make that mistake again. I encourage my kiddo to read a book, help
    the teacher or find new friends to play with. It’s tough to


  3. (A note to Hannah)

    Dear Hannah,

    Your words, “…they don’t know what’s in my heart…” are so true. No one can know what’s going on inside someone else’s heart, and that’s why it’s so important for us to stand up for our hearts and for others’ hearts too. When you started a club that includes everyone, you did that. You stood up for others’ hearts and made your own stronger.

    As you are learning, sometimes people can be mean. And in response, we can be both strong and kind, just like you were this week. Sometimes people get strong and mean. Sometimes people stay kind and get weak, give up. But as you have done, we can choose to stand up for our beliefs and be kind too.

    Your family must be very proud of you.

    Good luck. We love horses too!

    Your Friend,


  4. Ruth, she couldn’t have a better model than her mom. And I love her resilient response. In my third grade the number one recess rule is: “You can’t say you can’t play.”

    “Clubs” have to have open membership.

    This might be a good time for Betsy, Tacy, and Tib by Maude Lovelace. A good old-fashioned and comforting book about friends.

    I know all will be better tomorrow.


  5. UGH! Why are girls so mean to each other. The last two years my classes have been 2/3 boys so we’ve avoided a lot of that behavior. They’re so outnumbered they don’t have a choice but to be nice!


  6. Poor thing! She should read GOSSIP FROM THE GIRLS’ ROOM: A
    Blogtastic! Novel by Rose Cooper. All about middle school teasing
    and overcoming it!


  7. Yes, in my experience grade 3 is where it begins! It only takes one to get it all going too. I used to babysit a girl who had a classmate that would start the day by announcing to all the girls who would be boycotted that day. Her choice of victim was completely random and everyone went along with it because they were afraid it would be them next. FInally someone told so the adults could intervene! Good luck Hannah!

    There is a story circulating on the internet right now about a girl who loved Star Wars but wanted to start carrying a pink lunch box to school (maybe a thermos?) because everyone told her that Star Wars was for boys…

    I’m warning you now…get some Kleenex before you start to read!


  8. Yes, more than reading, writing, mat–life lessons! I guess this is where life learning begins–one of which is cruelness. How to deal with it? Hannah hasn’t cowered, so she feels confidence in herself. Kudos to Hannah for moving forward instead of backwards. Rejection–share what happened to you and what you did. Everyone experiences it, what will you do about it or did do about it? –a cruel lesson for a cruel time time of year–slippery roads and frigid temperatures!! Or maybe this is a cruel year for you all around. Where do you find the strength to get through it? Can spring be far behind if you choose to write on the positive side!!


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