Teach your daughter to survive girl world with grace using some of Kampakis’ 5 tips for how to deal with mean girls:

1. Help your daughter see behind the façade

Much of the bad behavior mean girls exhibit is a desperate attempt to become—or stay—popular. It is rooted in insecurity and self-focus. Help your daughter to see that mean girls aren’t mean because their brave. To the contrary, they’re some of the most fragile, insecure girls in the world. Recognizing this may enable your daughter to be less intimidated and less affected by their behavior.

2. Tell her what real friends look like

Some girls are real friends to your daughter: encouraging her, wanting the best for her, and celebrating successes with her. Other girls are what Kampakis calls “50/50 friends”: They act like friends one minute, but entirely different the next. The more distance she can put between herself and the “friends” who routinely cut her down or act competitively, the better off she’ll be. Help her search out authentic friends with girls who will have her back.

3. Teach her to resist the temptation to retaliate

It takes self-discipline, but your daughter will be happier in the long run if she refuses to repay mean girls with some meanness of her own.

4. Remind your daughter that she can choose to pursue kindness or popularity, but she can’t choose both

This is one of the “ultimate truths” of Kampakis’ book and her steadfast message to girls. Young women who choose to prioritize kindness over popularity will ultimately be happier, as they will draw the right kinds of friends into their lives and will have fewer regrets for having treated others badly. Pursuing popularity—even sporadically—will almost always put you in a position of making others feel rejected or unloved. Our president Mark Merrill shares some thoughts regarding kindness in his blog 4 S’s to Show Kindness.

5. Encourage her to make a commitment with like-minded girls to ensure people around them are always treated with kindness

It’s true that there is strength in numbers and, with just a friend or two to encourage her and hold her accountable, your daughter will have a better shot at living up to her own standards. Remind her to look out for others who may be on the fringe of things—kids who are left out or lonely—and make sure they are treated with kindness as well. (Source: imom.com)