Maybe you over hear how her 'friends' talk to her. Maybe, she even shares with you the hurt and disappointment she felt when she got excluded. As a parent these are difficult moments. The desire to step in and fight back may be strong. You of course know that at her age, this is not an option.
You may however be a bit relieved to know that research indicates that because girls are more prone to acting out in relationally aggressive ways, they are also equipped to take it. It is also helpful to be aware that although the words slung their way may seem harsh, the effects of such exchanges are rather short and usually not as devastating as parents assume. Essentially, it can be harder for parents to take than their teens.
What however, if anything should you do?
Here are some suggestions:
1.) If your teen wants to talk, listen, just listen. Do not offer advice or suggestions on what your teen should say or do.
2.) If she asks for suggestions, then you can offer advice.
3.) Do not offer to intervene. Your teen is at the age where she is learning to be autonomous. This means you can offer support and guidance but should refrain from taking over.
4.) If you feel the typical 'mean girl' stuff has crossed the line and become bullying, talk with you teen about a productive plan of action.
5.) If you observe your teen refraining from 'mean girl ' stuff while her friends participate, be sure to validate her.
6.) Be mindful of your own words and actions. Refrain from making unnecessary critical or catty statements about her friends or your friends for that matter. As you know, your teen learns a lot about how to act and interact from you.
7.) If you see or hear your teen engage in ‘mean girl' stuff, talk about it with her. Your choice to ignore it may be perceived as affirmation or agreement.