Helping children stand up for themselves

Author and Bullying Expert Rosalind Wiseman shares advice for parents on how to teach your daughter how to stand up against mean girls and build social confidence
How To Teach Your Daughter To Stand Up For Herself
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Helping children stand up for themselves

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When a mean girl has been horrible to your daughter, I want you to teach her social confidence. And that means to me teaching her the SEAL process. So the S in SEAL is to set it up. So when your daughter thinks about, “If I’m going to talk to this girl, what is the best chance of me being able to do that where I can have… where I can be taken seriously?” That means not doing it in the middle of the cafeteria around the other girls. The E is explaining exactly what you don’t like and exactly what you want. So your daughter is going to have to think about exactly what it is that she doesn’t like. Now, this can seem so obvious, like, “I don’t like it that you refuse to talk to me.” But the most important thing is for your daughter to actually articulate what that is. The A in SEAL is to acknowledge anything that she did that contributed to the problem, because these things sometimes can go both ways. And to affirm her right to be able to be in the school and be treated with dignity, to not be treated like dirt. The last part of SEAL is the L. And the L is you either lock in the friendship – you lock it out or you take a vacation, because these girls could be friends, or they could have been friends, or maybe they will be friends again. So they need to go through the process of thinking, “Well, what do I want from this friendship and am I going to get it right now?” Now, when she does this, she’s going to say it to the girl, and usually, where they have things about reputation or the girl’s being mean, it’s something also about rumors and gossiping being spread. So I would suggest that your daughter go to the girl – she needs to think where is it – and it could be right before school, for example. And then she says in her explain, “Look, I’m hearing that you’re saying all of these terrible things about me. I am not asking whether you tell me it’s true or not. What I’m asking if any part of it is true that you stop. I know I cannot control this. But I’m coming to you face to fact to do it.” And then she can walk away. Because then, she’s walking away on her own terms.

Author and Bullying Expert Rosalind Wiseman shares advice for parents on how to teach your daughter how to stand up against mean girls and build social confidence

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Rosalind Wiseman

Author & Educator

Rosalind Wiseman is an internationally recognized expert on children, teens, parenting, bullying, social justice, and ethical leadership. Rosalind is the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World, the groundbreaking, fully-revised edition of her bestselling book that was the basis for the movie Mean Girls. Her follow-up book, Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads, addresses the social hierarchies and conflicts among parents and is now being made into a major motion picture by New Line Cinema. In 2010, Rosalind published the  young adult novel Boys, Girls, & Other Hazardous Materials, which was recognized by the American Library Association as one of their Most Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.  She is now writing a set of companion books for boys and their parents, scheduled for publication in the Fall of 2013. In addition, Rosalind has written the Owning Up Curriculum, a comprehensive social justice program for grades 6-12 which is in widespread use across the country.  She writes the monthly “Ask Rosalind” column in Family Circle magazine, and is regular contributor to several blogs and websites. Also, Rosalind is a spokesperson for LG’s Text-Education Council that aims to inform parents about responsible monitoring of teen cell phone usage. Each year Rosalind works with tens of thousands of students, educators, parents, counselors, coaches, and administrators to create communities based on the belief that each person has a responsibility to treat themselves and others with dignity. In 2011, she was one of the principal speakers at the White House Summit on Bullying.  Other audiences have included the American School Counselors Association, International Chiefs of Police, American Association of School Administrators, and countless schools throughout the U.S. and abroad. National media regularly depends on Rosalind as the expert on ethical leadership, media literacy, and bullying prevention.  She is a consultant for Cartoon Network’s Speak Up, Stop Bullying campaign. She is a frequent guest on the Today Show, Anderson Cooper 360 and Dateline.  She has been profiled in The New York Times, People, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, USA Today, Oprah, Nightline, CNN, Good Morning America, and National Public Radio affiliates throughout the country. Rosalind holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Occidental College. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and two sons.

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