Talking to girls about popularity

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Talking to girls about popularity

Most girls that I work with define popularity in two ways. One is where people like you because you're nice, and you are inclusive to people. And the second kind of popularity which is the one which girls are much more focused on, is popularity because you are known and people fear you. They don't want to confront you. They fear confronting you because horrible things will happen. Almost mythologically terrible things will happen if you confront somebody with thsi type of popularity. So when you're talking to kids about this -- Now remember, your child could be in different situations. They could be the one that is really popular and enforcing that popularity in bad ways. So when you're talking to your kids about popularity what I would do is say, look. Popularity means different things to different people but here's what's important to me. What's important to me is that you're doing things that you feel proud of and that you're having relationships with people, even if they have conflicts because you could have lots of conflicts with your friends. In fact, sometimes you don't really even know who is a really good friend until you go through a really big conflict and get through to the other side. But if you're in relationships with people that you feel good about that and you feel proud about that, even if it's messy, even if you have problems. When you are through it, when you're looking back at it you're thinking, the way I handled that, I can feel really good about.

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Expert Bio

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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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