What do you do when your preschooler is a “mean girl?”



“Here Gabby. I drew this picture for you.” – Sweet, adorable little girl in her class
“I don’t want it. It’s not beautiful.” – My nasty little shit

“Gabby! Do you want to play with me? I missed you!” – A dear little cherub who has married her twice at school
“No. I don’t want to play right now. I’m in a bad mood.” – My grouch of a daughter

I know I should let her express herself and play with who she wants to play with. I know I shouldn’t try to force her to be everyone’s friend. I’ve asked her to “do something nice for Beatrice* tomorrow.” But she straight-up tells me, “Nope. Not gonna do it.”

My husband and I are nice people. I am even nice to people who I don’t particularly like. It’s just civil. How do you refuse a picture someone draws for you, just to trying to be your friend??? I guess she is just trying to assert some autonomy. Like, “I can pick my own friends,” or something, but it is incredibly saddening to me to see my sweet daughter act like some kind of diva, refusing to give her peers the time of day.

How do you teach kindness? How do you teach a preschooler about bullying and cliques?

I didn’t think this would be a problem until fifth grade.

*Name changed to protect the innocent. 

I would love to hear your advice in the comments!

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