There are historical and understandable reasons that
females are unaccustomed to communicating in an assertive
and direct voice. We have learned through the generations to
try and get the things we want by using more indirect routes.
Sometimes passive-aggressive means, as well as charm and
manipulation, have served us well in a male-centric society.
Finding our healthy, assertive voice is a challenge.
As a mom of girls, one thing I wasn’t prepared for was
the heart drop I feel when my own daughter is the victim of
girl snarkiness. All of the girls involved in this particular story
are talented and often kind-hearted kids. There is mean girl
potential within us all.
It was a beautiful day, and there was a great deal of
excitement in the air over a school sponsored 5K race. My
daughter had attended practices for this event and was quite
certain that she had her running buddies all lined up. On race
day, the young runners gathered and made last minute plans
with friends to run alongside each other. Three times I watched
my daughter reach out to another, and three times she was
rejected on some level. After each rejection, her shoulders
slumped and her face was crestfallen. It was quite painful to
watch, from afar and up close. I first felt a bit paralyzed. In late
elementary school, we were well past the point where it is
acceptable for mom to intervene and make it all ok. Yet I
needed to acknowledge the hurt she was experiencing. I took
a deep breath, shot up a prayer, and then did the best I could.
My girl’s body language and unwillingness to engage in