Many well-meaning parents talk about popular girls in a negative way to help their daughters stop obsessing about being popular. In every workshop I teach, at least one girl raises her hand to tell me “My Mom says that popular girls are mean anyway.” They’ve even said “My Mom says that popular girls are b!tche$.”
Ok, Moms, we can do better than that. It is certainly a struggle to help our daughters if they become seemingly obsessed with being popular. There are healthier ways to deal with it, though. It is not a healthy pattern to teach your daughter to put one girl down in order to lift herself up. And also, it just isn’t true that all popular girls are mean.
If your daughter has fallen into the popularity trap, take your daughter for a walk or a casual lunch and have a conversation about why she wants to be popular.
Here’s a few questions to get you started. Hint: make this casual rather than an inquisition.
- What do you like about the idea of being popular?
- What traits do the popular girls have that you wish you had?
- Do you think that popular girls have problems?
- What do you think they might be?
- Do you think that popular girls can feel alone or sad?
- If you became popular, how would your life change?
- Instead of trying to be popular, is there something that you have control over that you can change? (ex. talking to more people, joining a club, volunteering, etc.)
Wanting to be popular has been something that young girls have thought about for many generations. It goes back to the old saying that the “Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side”. Truthfully, girls who are popular do not have perfect lives. Everyone has their own set of unique problems. If your daughter seems focused on becoming popular, guide her to cherish the people around her and to cherish her own unique qualities. The rest will fall into place.