There is nothing worse than seeing a child in pain. Physical or emotional pain, it doesn’t matter. If we can’t help, we feel broken. That is our function, to protect and fix…but that’s not always possible.

In 2016 I wrote an article called, Girls and Their Frenemies. It is about relational aggression. Relational aggression is the psychologist’s name for what the rest of us call ‘mean girls’ behaviour, or straight up ‘bitchiness’. It is the use of a relationship as a weapon. And it is devastating for our kids.

This article was very popular, probably because nearly every parent and every teacher has watched the kids they care about suffer through relational aggression. What’s more, we recognise that it happened to us, and in many cases it still does.

This interview explores the ideas in Girls and Their Frenemies, and issues with kids’ friendships generally.

The interview was with Ted Blades from CBC’s On The Go in Canada.

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Linda Stade has worked in various teaching and management roles in education for twenty-five years. She has worked in government and private schools, country and city, single sex and co-ed. Currently she is the Research Officer at Santa Maria College, Western Australia.

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