I’ve been doing Beth Moore’s new bible study entitled Esther. We watched Session Two last week and as my title today suggests it was about meanness. The one thing she said that struck me was this: “Insecurity is at the heart of every rivalry.”
There are a couple of high school girls that are very dear to my heart. I’ve watched and prayed as they have traveled through their teen years and at times it breaks my heart to see how teenage girls can treat each other. Now, years out of my teens I can’t believe my mother survived our teenage years without killing us or someone else because of how we were treated.
I wish I could make these teenage girls understand what they do to each other when they let their insecurities hurt other girls. Sometimes it’s through the words they say to each other or behind each other’s back and at times it’s simply the “freeze out” treatment they think doesn’t hurt the intended victim. I’m going to coin it the “mean girl syndrome”.
We all have a mean girl inside of us. I’m sure through my teen years I used my fair share of the “freeze out” tactic. And on the flip side I remember being devastated by other’s mean words. In the midst of that crazy time of life called the teenage years I couldn’t see that it was their own insecurities causing their hurtful words.
This year we have been so incredibly blessed for our son to have the teacher he has. I try to help her in the classroom as often as I can and I have learned so much from her. She is such a Godly woman and I’m so thankful for her. Today while I was there we were talking and she said something I’ve never thought about. She said at times when your children are in their journey through their teenage years your prayer sometimes changes to “Lord, pierce their heart.” They are at the point where they have to make decisions on their own and praying for them is all you can do aside from offer guidance and suggestions.
Maybe this is what needs to be done for the ones with “mean girl syndrome”. But how else, not that the prayer wouldn’t be the strongest, but is there another way to help get through to them?
I can also look back and see that there were times I needed to develop a thicker skin and not take everything so personally. I know a lot of it is in your children watching you and emulating how you handle situations. But how do you get through to the teenagers? How do you make the ones saying mean things realize that they could be detrimentally hurting another’s self esteem? And then how do you make the ones being hurt realize that the ones hurting them are just trying to cover up their own issues by moving the attention off themselves?
I know I’m not normally so deep on here, but it’s something that has been on my mind and in my prayers a lot lately. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.