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P4&5 girls in the changing rooms

(38 Posts)
Bathsheba Tue 26-Feb-13 21:24:24

Dd1 (aged 9) has been an absolute nightmare for about 3 weeks. Over reacting completely, constant tears and arguing. It's got to the point where Dh cannot talk to her at all. She is the same at school according to her teacher.

I have discovered tonight that the P5 girls have been laughing at her and how she gets changed before netball - the p4s and p5s have a netball club at lunchtime. Basically Dd gets changed by taking her clothes off and putting others on, where as they are more the "slip shorts on below skirt, shimmy out of skirt".

I'm sitting here in tears at the thought of her getting laughed at for that. I have massive body issues (mainly because I have and always have had a massive body)

I'm going to see if the head/ deputy head have a few minutes to see me tomorrow - AIBU to be bringing this to the school's attention or should I just be telling dd how to get changed more modestly.

I wasn't cool or tough, I was tiny and quiet, slipped under the radar a lot (I'm still only 4' 11" But I learned to answer back and turned into a gobby little madam, talk fast and run faster, that's how I survived. If she doesn't have a go back at some point they will get worse.
Answers like we tell Mums here to use, "Did you mean to sound so mean"
"Yes!" "Well now we all know you're not as nice as you'd like people to think are you" Always walk away, turn and talk to someone else, never wait for a reply after insulting them, and when they shout after you, you laugh, they really do get flustered.
I'm from a not so nice council estate growing up, I only ever got into one fight and a different bully saved me, as I was always polite to her (I actually quite liked her and am friends on facebook with her now)

clabsyqueen Wed 27-Feb-13 21:17:09

Im with okay hazel on this all the way - Adolescence is about not standing out unless you're pretty darn sure you're cool enough or tough enough to take the heat that will inevitably come. Great if you are but most of us aren't. Once we get through the hideous time that is teenage-dom (admittedly 9 is young for this sort of thing) we are free to express ourselves safe in the knowledge that the numpties who did the bullying are probably the most self-conscious anxiety ridden adults around.

deste Wed 27-Feb-13 21:07:53

I know the victim shouldn't have to change but as it stands if she doesn't then she will be picked on. If she doesn't want to be picked on she does it the same way everyone else does it. As people above have said, pick your battles.

Poor girl I hope it gets resolved soon. She needs to learn some comebacks. Do some role playing with her, she can play the bullies so you know what kind of thing they say, and you come up with answers to put them in their place.

idiot55 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:04:48

can sympathise I aslo have a nine year old , who is suffering in a similar way.

I spoke to her teacher who is being helpful.
It is so difficult , becasue at this age theydont realise the bullys are the loosers.

Hope you get some help from school x

OkayHazel Wed 27-Feb-13 17:34:20

I agree with you there. The system of thought it totally wrong for victims. But I'd rather me and my child just get by and be happy than stick out, vulnerable.

YouTheCat Wed 27-Feb-13 17:33:24

I really don't understand why the victim should have to change.

Same goes for victims of crime. We really have a skewed view on treating people in this country.

OkayHazel Wed 27-Feb-13 17:31:19

I didn't say she was naked. Bigger picture.

There will be bullies everywhere in life. Sorry. I was educated in some seriously rough places, and some very prestigious places - both with bullies. Expecting to encounter horrible people, and staying off their radar is a big, important coping strategy.

Though I appreciate that you don't agree. Fair enough.

YouTheCat Wed 27-Feb-13 17:27:45

She isn't walking around naked, she has a vest and pants on. It's the other girls who need to change their behaviour.

If someone else's behaviour is making the OP's dd so upset then it is them that are in the wrong.

So she must consider bullies at every turn for the rest of school? No way.

MrsMushroom Wed 27-Feb-13 17:25:28

Why has her teacher not called you in before this came about? That's VERY crap...she's seen DD on the verge of tears most days and not done or said anything? I'd want to know why. Poor DD.

Will you be spoiling her a bit? I remember getting bullied aged about 12 and my Mum and Dad spoiled me after it all came out and I was so happy...it really helped.

OkayHazel Wed 27-Feb-13 17:25:03

I'm going to disagree. Changing your behaviour to consider other people is a fact of life. The same reason I don't walk around changing rooms naked as an adult. A little modesty is a good thing.

Yes, its great that the head is taking bullying seriously, but this is one of those incidents where both sides need to be more flexible.

YouTheCat Wed 27-Feb-13 17:15:12

Glad the head is taking it seriously.

Why the hell should a child doing no harm have to change her behaviour because a bunch of bullies said so? It really isn't a matter of picking your battles. It won't solve it to just do as they do as they will think of something else because they are bullies.

OkayHazel Wed 27-Feb-13 16:22:05

Just get changed the same way as everyone else. Pick your battles. If that's what it takes to solve it, just do it. Life's too short.

Bathsheba Wed 27-Feb-13 15:52:57

I've spoken to the Head Teacher who has said that she has had to speak to the P5s about their antics in the changing rooms before and will speak to them again. She has also spoken to DD1s teacher who confirmed that she spends most of her days on the verge of tears

Bathsheba Wed 27-Feb-13 10:18:28

The HT was nowhere to be found this morning but I'm in school healing this morning anyway so I'll head in a wee bit early and see her then

mrsjay Wed 27-Feb-13 08:37:03

TBH I absolutely cannot see what is "wrong" with anyone of any age getting changed like that, so I am going to have a word with the staff at the school...

I hope you manage to get it sorted children at this age can be silly and cruel and the need to reason to pick on somebody

Bathsheba Wed 27-Feb-13 07:37:59

Just a quickie this morning - I have spoken to her this morning - she does get very upset by what they are saying to her.

She takes off her shorts (she wears those city shorts/cullottes), her tights, her sweatshirt and her polo shirt, so sh has her knickers and her vest on (we live in Aberdeen - vests are required) then puts on her gym shorts and tshirt on.

No intimate areas exposed, no taking off of knickers...or even vests!!! She isn't running around in the nude or anything...

TBH I absolutely cannot see what is "wrong" with anyone of any age getting changed like that, so I am going to have a word with the staff at the school...

MrsMushroom Wed 27-Feb-13 07:05:42

My DD is 8 and recently began doing that silly shimmy. I was so sad. I KNOW the girls who do that get it from their Mothers and sisters...who are not body confident and so should not judge..but I feel it is the start of that insidious pressure that girls have put on them by society at large.

Give her some one liners to fend them off. Things like "I've got nothing to hide..you lot are all insecure."

Pilgit Wed 27-Feb-13 00:00:08

It sounds like there's more to this than just the changing room. Girls can be horrid. I was the girl who was the butt of the jokes. It wouldn't matter what it was about, they'd find something so her changing her behaviour is not (in my opinion at least) the answer (if it is just that, then it may be a solution, but I doubt that this is the only thing). I was forever told by teachers to change myself so that I didn't get bullied. Even as a young child I knew that was ridiculous. Hope it gets sorted.

YouTheCat Tue 26-Feb-13 23:46:33

Why should she have to change her way to suit the bullies? They'll find something else to bully her for believe me. It'll be the Pokemon or what she wears or anything slightly different.

No way should she have to go through life changing herself (when she is doing nothing at all wrong) to fit in with the hoard of sheep.

clabsyqueen Tue 26-Feb-13 23:34:50

Bathsheba I think your daughter just needs to told/shown how to get changed in 'the right way'. You say she is a young 9 so she won't have picked up the cues that everyone else has. It's a sad lesson to learn but standing out on this way just makes you an object of fun. It's not worth sweating over - teach her to get changed modestly and save the fight for the stuff that really matters. And I'm afraid there'll be bigger battles to tackle as she becomes a teenager. Depressing but a fact of life.

aldiwhore Tue 26-Feb-13 23:21:23

You need to do both Bathsheba.

You need to start with a descreet word to the head regarding general atiitudes amongst the children, a reminder about how to treat each other without singling out your dd. Your dd could also probably do with being armed with 'the way' to change, but at the same time she needs to feel confident with how SHE does things... then she has a choice. I feel it would be wrong to force her to conform to avoid being bullied, because she shouldn't BE bullied, so giving the skills required to make her own choice would cover both bases.

My DS got bullied for having moobs, I found out only after months and months of his general attitude nosediving slowly, I will forever feel guilty. He was a little overweight at the time, pre-growth spurt chuckiness and he has inverted nipples that do make him look fleshy in the chest. He is 'dramatic' but that is not to say he doesn't feel what he says he feels, it doesn't make him a 'liar' and I think this is an important lesson for you too? I am a dramatic person too, when something is bothering me, everything becomes a major issue.

Although I have offered advice of conformity to my son, and we've worked out avoidance strategies for bullying, 'justice' only comes when the bullying is dealt with not when the victim is punished for being themselves. My son is beginning to be proud of being different, but he's also got strategies that stop hm being a walking target.

It is a fine line to tread and I don't believe you can solve one thing without tackling the other.

Yfronts Tue 26-Feb-13 23:07:19

It's bullying and should be stamped on by staff. There should be an ethos of support/warmth/kindness at the school instead of nastiness. People just are different, why should everyone be the same? Those bullies will find any reason to bully - they put others down to make themselves feel better/more important. The bullies are really quite sad empty people.

midastouch Tue 26-Feb-13 22:27:49

I dont mean to sound harsh but cant she get changed the same way as everyone else, thats the same way i did it when i was at school

deste Tue 26-Feb-13 22:10:01

Can't you get her to have a practice getting changed at home. Sometimes they need to toughen up so they can deal with the rubbish, I even had to tell my DD that this week and she is in her twenties. Next week it will be someone elses turn.

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