My daughter is mean and controlling
Q: Wehave two children, a boy of 6 and a daughter of 14. I’m writing about our daughter.
Myhusband and I have both noticed that she seems to control her friends – who’s cool, who’s shunned.
She is clever and pretty and she has everything she needs. She used to be grateful and happy but lately she’s become mean. Myhusband says she’ll grow out of it but I’m not so sure.
If you suspect your daughter of being mean, then you’re right to care. Iwouldn’t wait around for her to grow out of it. She is obviously a lucky girl but she needs to understand that people who have a lot of advantages need to be able to show humility.
It’s interesting to note that being the cool kid who controls the dynamics at school doesn’t always equate to being the cool adult.
Often the charismatic but mean kids grow up thinking life owes them something. They didn’t have to strive as hard as other children but that can eventually backfire and those
children don’t always do as well as people expect.
Your daughter is only 14 and your opinions and example will hopefully still matter. You could start by talking to your daughter about what you’ve noticed, but also talk about empathy and how much you value that quality.
Children are sponges so you’ll need to show empathy in your own life for her to be able to do the same.
Too often adults are armchair critics as they watch people on the TV news or observe people from their cars, so you and your husband should be careful of what you say and how you say it.
Being mean and judgmental can become a habit if jokes at another person’s expense get a laugh.
Another option is that your daughter’s behaviour is a front. Being a teenager isn’t easy and it may be that your daughter is feeling quite small so she’s acting quite big. It might be wise to monitor your daughter’s social media stuff extra carefully if you suspect she’s being mean.
There’s plenty of opportunity to wield control and hurt people online and this can escalate quickly if it’s not supervised.
I always think teachers get overlooked when parents are searching for answers. They know the behaviours and group dynamics of their students and they may be able to advise or reassure you.
Mary-anne Scott has raised four boys and written three novels for young adults, including Sticking With Pigs which was released in March 2018. (One Tree House). As one of seven sisters, there aren’t many parenting problems she hasn’t talked over. To send her a question email firstname.lastname@example.org with Dear Mary-anne in the subject line. Your anonymity is assured.
If you think your daughter is being mean to others, then you’re right to care.