My daughter has fallen victim to a Queen Bee. You know about Queen Bees. They’re the little girls who decide who is popular and who isn’t, and who use gossip and put-downs to relegate people to their proper rank in the Queen Bee’s hierarchy. This little particular QB (all of 10 years old) has told my daughter that nobody in their social circle likes my daughter but “We’ll talk about it tomorrow and I’m sure everything will be all right.” Of course, after words like that, things may never be “all right” again.
My problem is that I don’t know what help to give my daughter. I was always a complete flail when it came to dealing with QBs and simply retreated to my books. Nowadays, I deal with social manipulators by not giving a flying whatsit, so nobody bothers me because there’s no mileage in it. (And no, age is no defense. As I know from an old friend who lives in a retirement community, QBs may age, but they never go away.)
While I’ve learned the art of not caring, it’s not the first skill I want to teach it to my daughter. This is her social circle, so I don’t want her either to walk away or, worse, be chased away. Instead, I’d like to give her a strategy that ends this little QB’s reign, at least as it affects my daughter. (Incidentally, this isn’t the first time the QB has struck, nor is my daughter the only one of my children who has been on the receiving end of her social manipulation.)
One other thing — if your advice is to talk to the parent, I’m not quite sure how to go about doing that either. This particular parent is (deservedly) one of my favorite people, and I absolutely don’t want to offend her or muck up our relationship.
Any words of advice would be much appreciated.
UPDATE: A little digging has revealed (as it always does) that there’s a legitimate core to the QB’s complaints about my daughter’s conduct. Nevertheless, rather than taking it up with my daughter in the first place, she’s broadcast the issue to the entire social set and encouraged them to isolate my daughter.
To be honest, I know that this is a temporary tempest in a teapot, because these young children’s social situations are so fluid. Nevertheless, because this isn’t the first time it’s happened, I’d like to take what steps I can to make sure it’s the last.
UPDATE II: I was right to have faith in my friend. Unbeknownst either to me or my daughter, my friend caught her little QB in the act, punished her, and phoned me specifically to apologize. That’s a good Mom and a good friend. We talked about it, and are definitely on the same page about controlling the dynamics in this little social circle, one made up of fundamentally good kids, but kids who are also testing how far they can push socially.
Filed under: Children