Everybody says it. Girls are catty. Girls are nasty. But I’d never seen it myself. I know some girls struggle with other girls being nasty from as young as 6 or 7, but my daughter has never experienced it. I like to think it’s because she’s so nice, but I know the reality is that she’s just lucky. She’s never been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Never had that face that someone has taken a dislike to for no apparent reason.
But I don’t kid myself that it won’t happen one day. She’s at a girls’ school, for goodness’ sake! Is sending my daughter to a girls’ school like sending a lamb to slaughter?
But, just after half-term, I heard the first couple of stories. Silly stories of silly girls. Things that made me roll my eyes and say ‘Ah! That’s the catty behaviour people were talking about… ‘.
First there was the story of the Instagram fan account. Teenagers love Instagram. LOVE it. They don’t use it to share carefully thought-out photographs like adults do. They use it mainly as a way to communicate with each other. And they’re never off it.
Someone in year 8 had set up an Instagram fan account for one of the teachers. Clearly this is all wrong on many levels. One of my daughter’s friends mentioned in passing to the teacher that were was a fan account of her. The teacher was calm about it, but no doubt there was then lots of work behind the scene to track the account down and get it removed.
The year 8 girls were on the lookout for whoever had ‘grassed them up’. This girl, who was friends with them, hadn’t grassed them up. She’d mentioned it to the teacher innocently because she thought it was a nice thing. Needless to say, her name is now mud in year 8 and those girls aren’t her friends any more.
The other story is rather closer to home.
My daughter made friends with a large group of girls very quickly. We are both realistic enough to realise that they won’t all be her friends all the way through school. As kids get to know each other, they find they might not have as much in common as they first thought, they start to drift apart…
One of them has already done that. But she’s not drifted so much as thrown their friendship back in their faces. She has taken her new friends to hang out in the place where she had hung out with my daughter and her friends at lunchtime. Not to hang out with them, but to nick their space.
And she’s said ‘These are my NEW FRIENDS’ to her old friends in a sneering voice, while making an L sign on her head with her hand.
If that’s the sort of friend she is, my daughter is well rid of her. So now I know that catty behaviour really does exist and it’s not even Christmas in year 7.
I hope it’s not the case, but I suspect there’s going to be a lot more nastiness to endure over the coming years.