Mama Bears and Mean Girls: Teaching My Daughter About Self-Love


Every morning when I dropped my daughter off at school, I noticed she would walk up to the same crowd and they would not acknowledge her. My daughter’s face looked sad and uncomfortable. I thought, “Maybe they did say hi, and I just missed it.”

My mama bear instinct to protect and cautiously observe kicked in. And for the next four days, I did just that–because who she is matters!

Trying to make sense of what I saw every morning was difficult. I considered every scenario, wishing it was just a misunderstanding between the girls. I wanted to jump out of my car and go up to the girls and say, “Hello, I know you girls saw my daughter. Why are you not saying hi to her? She is a wonderful person and does not deserve to be treated this way! In fact, nobody deserves to be treated this way!”

Then I remembered, these are teenagers! I quickly began to justify their actions based on the social-emotional stages of adolescence. Regardless, it was vital for me to teach my daughter about self-worth, self-love, and mean girls.

Competition, Jealousy, and Peer Pressure

The fourth day I picked her up, I asked, “The girls you go up to in the mornings, are they your friends?” She said, “Yes, why?” I asked, “What does ‘friend’ mean to you?” She responded, “Someone who is there for you through good and tough times.” I said, “Those girls didn’t say hi to you in these four days that I have been dropping you off, so are you in good or tough times?” She said, “Good.”

I told her if this is how they treat you in good times, imagine in tough times. I went on to learn what might have caused this rift between my daughter and these girls. I found out that they all liked the same boy, and my daughter did too. I instantly understood! Competition, jealousy, peer pressure.

Teenagers are still learning about themselves and their emotions, and this can create low self-esteem. My daughter’s self-esteem was low. She told me, “I guess if they don’t make time for me, I’m not worthy of their friendship.” I said, “That is not true! True friends will always talk to each other about what is bothering them, even if it hurts. If they didn’t care to listen or talk to you, then move on.”

“You’re worthy of true friends, and these girls are not it.”

Moms Overcome Mean Girls: Teaching My Daughter About Self-LoveThe Teaching Moment

I trust my daughter wholeheartedly and believe everything she tells me, so even though this was a tough moment, I used it as a teaching moment. I wanted her to learn and grow from this experience. She began to cry and said, “Thank you for noticing that this was happening.”

I told her that I always longed for this type of guidance. Unfortunately, I did not have it and made many mistakes because I did not have the necessary tools to support myself through moments like these. I know she will make mistakes, but she will have the tools in her pocket to overcome hardship. And this is what a mom should do for their children–teach, protect, love, and guide them through life and hope that this will break through patterns of emotional destruction and needing external validation.

Self-love, Self-worth, and Dealing with Mean Girls

I began to tell her about self-love, self-worth, and mean girls. Self-love is quite simple–“just love yourself.” Yet it is difficult to do. Loving herself means so many things, but primarily, it means not allowing others to dictate your worth and not looking for external sources to fulfill you. It means you are the creator of your life, and you need to trust in yourself.

I let her know it was ok to cry and sit in her emotions but to not stay in that state of mind for too long because that is how we create negative patterns for dealing with our situations and emotions. Loving yourself is realizing what happened and recognizing the emotions around that, then speaking kindly to yourself and changing the negative thoughts to positive thoughts. Once you’re in this positive state of mind, you can create change and move into action.

I told her girls will be mean for so many reasons or no reasons at all, and we have no control over that. As she gets older, she will learn that it’s just not true that all girls are out to get her. She will find true girlfriends when it’s time. Throughout our lives, we learn about ourselves, and with guidance or simply life struggles, we tend to learn how to love ourselves and heal from our past and then project kindness and love for one another.

I told her to continue being strong, loving, beautiful, smart, and kind. And I told her, “Don’t dim your light.”

Who You Are Matters!

I told her that when people light up because you come around–those are the people worth fighting for. Meanwhile, do not go up to those girls anymore because you are worth more than that. It is their loss to lose you as a friend. You can still wish them the best from afar.

And I told her to always remember her worth and trust herself in making the best decisions, and when she is unsure, her dad and I are always here to remind her of who she is. I told her, “Who you are matters!”

Teach your kiddos about self-love and self-worth. And always be like a mama bear, cautiously observing!

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

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Originally from Wyoming, Lucia Pinon moved to the Land of Enchantment when she was 11. Along with her parents and sisters, she's called New Mexico home ever since. Lucia is a twin; they have special telepathy and share a unique bond. Nature was a part of her upbringing, and she believes there is nothing more breathtaking than being connected to nature. Through its nature and surroundings, Albuquerque offers much charm and Lucia strives to explore outdoor dining, coffee shops, boutiques, festivals, and resorts. She co-parents a teen daughter, a brave and beautiful spirit, who is creative, compassionate, loving, and athletic. Lucia and her daughter love to travel and explore new places for horseback riding, biking, swimming, and eating sushi while watching a great flick. As a first-generation college graduate from Highlands University, Lucia earned a bachelor's in social work and has created a contracting business working with families and children with disabilities. Lucia is delighted to be a part of ABQ mom and share her positive light. Keep an eye out for that gypsy soul who loves to soak up the sun and live life to its fullest. (C'laluz)


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