to wonder why my lovely DD is so unpopular?

(131 Posts)
Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 09:53:20

DD1 is 9. In my opinion she is lovely. She has no friends. She hasn't been invited to a party in over 2 years. She has never been invited on a sleepover.

We have had problems with her fitting in at school and even considered moving her, but she doesn't want to move. I fear that if I move her against her will it will only make matters worse.

She goes to a small local school with only 1 class per year. There are about 14 girls in her class including herself. A few a 'queen bee' types with one more so than the others. The rarely acknowledge that she exists. There is a constant stream of sleepovers that she is never invited to and I can see that it is wearing her down. It's making her sad and withdrawn. She doesn't understand.

Other than not being very girly or being bothered about the latest fashion etc, she is just normal. Nice hair, pretty face, average build a bit taller than average.

What can make her so unpopular? I just don't get it. School don't see why it is, but acknowledge that it's happening.

I feel so so sad for her and want to help but just don't know how any more sad

YorkshireDeb Wed 30-Jan-13 09:57:44

That's a really tough one. Classes with bitchy queen bee girls often have one or two on the fringes who are excluded - for no other reason than the girl with the power likes to use her control to make others leave her out. I'd say either move her to another school (she might not want to but I'm sure it'd make her happier in the long run) or try to increase her out of school activities (brownies, dance classes etc) to build her confidence & give her chance to meet friends outside of this circle. X

YorkshireDeb Wed 30-Jan-13 09:58:57

Ps are there any girls in her class that she WANTS to be friends with? Have you tried inviting them to your house for a play date or sleepover? What happens? X

Catsdontcare Wed 30-Jan-13 10:00:00

Does she go to any groups or activities outside school that don't involve classmates? I would try hard to build up a social circle outside school first so that will build her confidence.

landrover Wed 30-Jan-13 10:00:46

I sympathise, i am in the same position. The only thing i can advice is to keep inviting friends over and encourage that. But it is hard. One thing i have noticed though is a lot of the girls just aren't particularly nice! and i wouldnt want to be friends with them so i can understand my she isnt bothered either! However that may not be the case with you.
It is horrible though. If anybody has some advice i would like it too!!!

Poledra Wed 30-Jan-13 10:01:30

It's a terrible worry, isn't it? About how to tackle it - is there a child she's interested inhaving over to play at your house? I wouldn't go straight into sleep-overs (I hate the bloody things anyway!) but maybe trying to promote her friendships a bit by invitations to your house could lead to invitations for her to others. Does she do any clubs outside school, like brownies? These can be great for breaking out of negative perceptions at school, and meeting other children who don't have any preconceptions about you, and take you on face value.

DD1 (who is also 9) had a few problems at school which were partly about another child but also partly about DD1 wanting everyone to do things she wanted to do. A couple of quiet chats about sometimes letting other people choose the games or (shock horror) letting them change the rules of games she'd made up was helpful.

flakjacket Wed 30-Jan-13 10:02:28

I think I'd go with moving her too. One 'queen bee' can make someones life a misery. If she has taken against your daughter for some reason then the rest of the girls will follow the crowd for fear of being victimised. A fresh start can work wonders.
Good Luck

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 10:02:55

Thanks YorkshireDeb - she plays with one boy and they do seem to get on quite well so I've been concentrating on helping that friendship along.

She has invited a few girls over but they haven't returned the favour so I don't really want to keep inviting them. I'm afraid she'll look desperate. I might be wrong though.

Last week she asked two girls if they wanted to come for tea and they said no!

HormonalHousewife Wed 30-Jan-13 10:02:57

Difficult. You are only hearing one side of the story though. Are you sure she is as lovely as you think.

Sorry not meaning to be deliberately offensive. Just speaking from experience.

missismac Wed 30-Jan-13 10:04:39

Take her to look at some other schools; get her to talk to/play with some girls from other schools; get her into an extra curricular activity attended by girls from other schools and try and persuade her to move. That school, the culture in that class just isn't working for her. She's got potentially another two years of that 'wearing down' - do anything you can to bring it to a stop.

I was that girl. I said I didn't want to move, but it was because I told myself it was my fault - a personality flaw - I didn't realise how some classes/years/groups can just have a poisonous culture. It might have been different elsewhere. With hindsight I wish my Mum had taken the reins and made me look outside my narrow confines. It won't harm to just look at other places.

NutellaNutter Wed 30-Jan-13 10:05:20

Oh bless her, poor little thing. I can sympathise as I was never one of the popular girls at school. I never had any friends! Now I'm an adult I've got loads though.

Do consider moving her to another school. It doesn't sound like she's going to make much headway where she is, and I agree with the previous poster who said they sound like a bunch of little bitches. Maybe a bigger school, if possible, where she's more likely to find a wider range of kids.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 10:06:31

Thanks everyone. Yes she does Brownies and loves it but again doesn't seem very popular.

There was an issue with the main queen bee a year or two ago (hitting, bullying and excluding of my DD) so they are kept apart. I think this might be the root cause of the problem to be honest.

HannahsSister40 Wed 30-Jan-13 10:07:08

sometimes you need to take the bull by the horns. Who does she play with? Invite them round after school for a few hours. When's her birthday? Throw a party and invite all the girls over. Does she do after school activities like ballet etc? That's another useful way to make friends. Do you work, do you do the school run? A few of my working friends feel excluded from the playground chats (I think they're lucky to miss it, frankly!) and that's why their dc's don't always get invites to the play dates and sleepovers.

GooseyLoosey Wed 30-Jan-13 10:07:37

Ds was similar and is 9. Lots of similar issues, few party invites and loads of things not invited to. I have moved him, despite him saying he wanted to stay (there were other reasons too). He said to me before Christmas that he understands for the first time ever what it is like to have real friends. He got 2 christmas cards that said "to my best friend" and I wept.

I am not sure what you can do in the current setting, you cannot make them be friends with her. However, I think I would consider moving a bit harder.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 30-Jan-13 10:08:12

Small schools can be soo miserable. I spent eleven years in a school with 44 people in the year where I kind of failed to find a group of best girl friends for a good part of that time, relying on people outside, and it is NOT an experience I'd want my children to have if I could avoid it. There was a tight group of girls that I just couldn't seem to penetrate and if you don't 'gel' with anyone else - and the numbers are stacked against you! - it's really hard.

Your DD may be reluctant to move but wouldn't look back, so to speak, if she found the right place. I would definitely look around at other options and consdier it. It's not HER but she may well spend a couple of years thinking it is, which isn't healthy.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 10:09:06

Hormonal Housewife I hear what you are saying and I have considered this. I have repeatedly asked at school if she is doing anything that would make the other girls not like her i.e. bullying, being nasty etc and they have told me over and over again that she isn't.

She is lovely in the main at home, but like any 9 year old she has her moments.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 30-Jan-13 10:09:08

Re Brownies, her confidence may also be slipping which is affecting that environment.

My DS is similar...he has a couple of good friend but that is about it. He doesn't really gel with the boys in his class - he isn't into football at all and they are all footie mad which alienates him and I could count the number of party invites he has had in the last few years on one hand.

However, he seems happy enough, I think I find it harder than he does to be honest.

Does your DD seem happy enough?

literarygeek Wed 30-Jan-13 10:12:05

I'm sorry about that, it sounds not fun.

If it helps, I was that girl for a bit. I think it was partly because i was a nice, sweet girl- not one of the queen bees you describe that enjoy wielding power over others. I did brownies and things like gymnastics so I made other friends outside school, which helped. It got much easier in secondary school where there's a bigger pool and more people are likely to be fun. Uni was even better- I was so excited to find there were so many cool people there from all over the world (not just a tiny town where everyone is from a similar socio-economic group). Now I have a great group of friends and a wonderful job/DH/family. It sucked while it lasted but I think I am a nicer person because of it. And maybe more determined to be happy and succeed...

On another note- Sleepovers at 9 sound a bit early? Or am I behind the times? I guess I wouldn't want my dd to stay overnight at someone's house who I didn't like.

Could you have a frank talk with her teacher? They often have quite good insight into what's going on.

WhoremoaneeGrainger Wed 30-Jan-13 10:12:40

My DD is 11 and is still going through something similar. She is in a much bigger school, but has been bullied by other girls in every school year. She is also excluded a lot. People are always keen to come here, and to her parties, but she doesnt get invited to other people's very much. She is quite pretty, has nice hair, average body six but she is already over 5ft 6 tall. The school think this is why she is the target all the time, because she is soo much taller than ayone else. The only person in the school taller than her is a Year 7 boy.

You must just be as supportive as you can, keep telling her how lovely she is, encourage her to do things outside school and make other friends that way too. My DD has a couple of really good friends at her drama school, and also at her swimming group.

The thing is, the Queen Bee's dont like anyone who doesnt conform to their way of thinking.

Sometimes i regret encouraging her to be an individual, and not a sheep! sad

literarygeek Wed 30-Jan-13 10:13:32

goosey I almost wept reading that!

Astr0naut Wed 30-Jan-13 10:14:45

How about kids in the street? THere were only 6 girls in my year in school and like your daughter, my face didn't fit. THere was most definitely a queen bee there who would pass commens on what you wore etc, and I was bullied by the girls in the year above. Luckily, I had a sister and there were other kids on our street who weren't in my school. In hindsight, I would have probably been better off in the same school as the kids I lived near.

High school, with many more people, worked for me. ALthough I do fear that I'm transferring my fears onto my kids because I am terrfied that they won;t have any friends in primary school when they eventually go.

Theas18 Wed 30-Jan-13 10:16:09

Do something away from all the kids at school, anything , but with a completely new group of kids. Year 5 is when DS became really unhappy at school. We slightly engineered a move to a hobby that took a lot of time with " boys like him" . He had low level (but serious to him) bullying as the class boffin and no real friends. This was also an issue at cubs- same boys.

He became a chorister and never looked back. I shall never forget the way it was " magical" -a small boy , under a winnie the pooh black cloud would storm out of school. I'd take him to choir, he'd have toast, tablet tennis and singing with his new mates and come out, my little happy chap all restored.

slatternlymother Wed 30-Jan-13 10:19:11

In my experience, the coolest thing she can do is not care. Let her be different and play with the boy. I did and we are still in contact now. He had the best imagination, and playing with him made me feel accepted. We played outer space games together, he was my partner at PE and we knocked about together for years. Him, and another little friend we accepted into our circle (another boy actually), shared this fab sense of humour and I remember sharing the first times I laughed till I cried with them.

I did get invited to sleepovers with girls, but I hated it. Honestly. I just wasn't really 'into' it.

If no one wants to play; screw it, tell her to whip her book out and read. The best thing she can take from this is to not care what other people think, and be strong and independent.

anewyear Wed 30-Jan-13 10:22:54

I think school could do abit more to be honest seeing as shes there 6 hours a day..
Our primary have Buddy seats out in the play ground for example..
They have circle time where they 'discuss' issues like friendships, bullying etc
Are there any activities after school that she could join ie we have at our primary recorders, netball, football, cross stitch, street dance etc

Just a few thoughts..

Thumbwitch Wed 30-Jan-13 10:26:41

There was a lovely girl in the year below me at senior school - she was beautiful, clever, good at sports, friendly and all round lovely, not a bitchy bone in her body. And she had no friends.
It appears that no one else felt they could match up to her in any way - she was the best at everything without trying, and the other girls weren't generous enough to be friends with someone who was better than them all the time, even though she never rubbed it in or lorded (ladied?) it over anyone.

She ended up moving schools - I really hope she did find some friends at her next place.

Perhaps there is an element of that going on with your DD?

jennybeadle Wed 30-Jan-13 10:30:31

DD3 is exactly the same, and we've really worried about it. We've recently decided to embrace it as much as we can.

Her Brownie group is at the other end of town, so is a completely different set of girls. She's joined a choir in another town, so again, different people to "practise" socialising with, and we're encouraging her to be "friendly" without feeling she has to be "best" friends with anyone.

It was her birthday recently, and she decided to invite 3 other girls from her class, and 2 friends from outside school. No pressure to invite the popular girls, or the ones whose parents we like best blush. We've accepted that she may never be popular, and that we're going to make an effort to help her be comfortable in her own skin. It's really, really hard. However, I think it's the way we're most comfortable with long term.

I'm not sure I'd move schools unless there was a really good reason. You might find she just ends up never really settling anywhere. Maybe if she spends the next couple of years "finding herself" she'll be well placed to make good quality friendships in secondary.

gymmummy64 Wed 30-Jan-13 10:30:34

My DD1 did have friends at her first school, but it was a group of highly competitive friends and one very powerful queen bee. Year 2 and year 3 were nightmarish - round and round the same situations over and over with DD1 usually the one who got left out and upset and no one ever seeming to learn how to do things differently the next time round. The problem with queen bees is they have the power because everyone wants to be their friend, it doesn't matter how often you tell the child to ignore them.

My big concern was that this was the only model of friendship my DD would experience in her formative years - competitive, manipulative and bitchy. I really wanted to show her it didn't need to be like this and that it was possible to have much more fulfilling friendships based on positive qualities.

I moved her part way through Y4. It wasn't the only reason for the move, but it was a large part of it. She hasn't looked back and although it took a while to establish 'best' friends, we could both see very quickly her relationships are much much healthier and based on more positive qualities than they would have been if she'd stayed put. There is mutual respect and loyalty there, two qualities almost entirely lacking in the previous set up. She still sees her original friends from time to time and they still continue much the same, though the queen bee lost much of her power in y6 when the others' emotional maturity caught up. In my experience, queen bees tend to be quite mature for their age hence the ability to manipulate.

The school I moved her too had far far more girls to choose from which is a big factor I think. It's very easy not to 'fit in' with a group of 14, especially when there are some strong personalities in there. It doesn't mean there is anything 'wrong' with your daughter at all. Most of us can remember school or work or club or group situations in our lives where for whatever reason, we just didn't gel with the people there. No huge reason, we just didn't. I can certainly remember times like that. Is it possible to move her?

cavell Wed 30-Jan-13 10:30:55

DD1 sounds very similar to your dd and had a similar experince in a small vilage school. We eventually moved her, not because of her lack of friends in itself, but because she was being bullied by a girl in another class and the head refused to deal with this. In other words, we were effectively forced into a move after years of hoping that things would somehow improve. (And, to be clear, I don't believe she was bullied by girls in her own class - "just" without friends). She was immediately a million times happier in her new school and started to come out of her shell after having become very quiet and withdrawn.
I would seriously consider moving your dd if it is at all possible. We tried all the playdates, parties and so on but without success. Sometimes you have to accept that a certain environment just isn't working.
Knowing what I know now, I wish we had moved her at least a year earlier than we did.
DD1 is 12 now and happily settled in at secondary school. She never had a problem making friends after leaving her first school.
HTH.

springlamb Wed 30-Jan-13 10:33:49

DD's first primary school was single form and had only 7 girls. She didn't really settle and form friendships with any. There was a queen bee issue going on, there was also a little racism I think (DD was the only white girl). She wasn't bullied at all, she was never without someone to play with but that, combined with a couple of other strictly educational issues, prompted me to move her to another school.
There were 13 girls in the new class. After a week, another new girl joined. Lo and behold, it was the queen bee from the first school! They are now Yr 6. QB has never quite taken over the class, but she has her gang during the school day. QB is a latchkey kid, and lives nearby so sometimes comes in for a hot chocolate after school, or if the weather's rough, cadges a lift. I am friendly to her as a form of protection for DD. DD is 'mates' with all but her main friends are 3 slightly nerdish boys who all have the same interests.
DD is invited to parties, sometimes goes but chooses not to sometimes. Last party was a 'disco party', anathema to DD, she prefers rock climbing and stuff.
Having outside interests has helped a lot, she goes to girls brigade and young musicians, she loves the countryside and dogs and has a wide knowledge of the world at large.
She has opted to apply for a co-ed secondary with a farm on-site, and a good music department. I am hoping the change will provide more opportunities for like-minded friends.
FWIW, friends of ours had pretty much the same dilemma as you a year or so ago when their DD was due to begin Yr 5 (she was at a small school with combined Yr5/6 class). They changed her to a larger school in the next village. She has done marvellously and they now rue their indecision.
I think you should at least have a look at other schools.

Ashoething Wed 30-Jan-13 10:34:06

I really sympathise op as I have a similiar situation with my ds who is also 9. He hasnt been invited to a party in years even though he has had numerous parties himself and lots of kids have come. The invitation is never reciprocated and it pisses me off that the parents can be so rude tbh. My ds tends to play with the younger dcs at playtimes as the boys in his class exclude him even though he loves football. He is quite young for his age emotionally and I am considering requesting that school hold him back a year.

Sorry for the hijack and I dont really have any good advice but you are not alone!

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 10:35:10

Aw thanks everyone for your comments. I have some work to do so I will have a proper read of all your advice later when I have the time to read it properly.

I've just emailed the school for another meeting with her class teacher to see if there is anything they can do.

I have for a while been quite content to let things be and accept that was how things were. She is great friends with this boy and they have great times together. It is just every now and then the fact that girls don't acknowledge her rears it's ugly head and I see how it affects her and I get worried.

Betty I think you have a point. Sometimes it bothers me more than it bothers her! It only bothers her when there are party invites etc and she is obviously left out.

Thumbwitch she is pretty average at sports, average at school etc - she is pretty, but not any more so than anyone else so I don't think this is a problem.

WilsonFrickett Wed 30-Jan-13 10:37:03

I think you need to speak to the teacher to get more insight as to what's going on. I know of another parent who moved her child from a small school and that child is now thriving, and certainly my DS (then 6) found it incredibly hard to settle to a new 'village' school type of thing. More after school activities would help too. Something like music which also gives confidence, a framework for practice, etc.

(Springlamb that school sounds amazing btw)

DeWe Wed 30-Jan-13 10:37:43

I'm not sure the long term answer is to join up with the boy.

Dd1 had problems very similarly, and in her form her best friend was a boy. They got on very well and were lovely together, did things outside school etc. But by the end of year 5 they started getting a lot of teasing that they were boyfriend/girlfriend, which effected both of them. They would describe themselves as "secret best friends" and out of school still do a lot, but in school wouldn't communicate much.

Problem is that it is very hard for the school to break the group mentality. Dd1 would find that all, except one horror, was lovely in a 1 to 1 situation. But put them together and they would constantly put her down and leave her out. The same children who were like this, I would have their parents coming up to me and saying that their dc said how lovely, kind, generous dd1 was all the time.

She moved school to go to one that not many from her school went to for secondary and has been much happier.

doyouwantfrieswiththat Wed 30-Jan-13 10:38:21

How do you get on with their parents? We have a small school locally where the parents have a reputation for being cliquey, (whether that's fair or not I don't know) but children learn by example don't they?

She has at least one good friend by the sound of it.

Viviennemary Wed 30-Jan-13 10:39:31

I think in a larger school this Queen bee nonsense exists but other children do make friends with others who don't want to follow the herd. I think things would be different in a bigger school. But it's difficult if she doesn't want to move. And Queen bees don't like people who don't worship them.

Fecklessdizzy Wed 30-Jan-13 10:45:50

You could be writing about me. I didn't fit in at my tiny village school at all and didn't have a proper gang of mates until secondary school - I can still remember the feeling of amazed pleasure at finding other people who were on the same wavelength!

I still live in the village and was very worried about DS1 having the same experience but he sailed through with flying colours ... It definitely leaves a mark though, I would think about moving your daughter if there's another local school that fits the bill.

I was friends with a girl at secondary school who never fitted in and was rather picked on by a lot of the girls, her family moved and we kept in touch, we used to meet up at gigs, she made loads of friends at her new school and really came out of her shell!

aldiwhore Wed 30-Jan-13 10:51:59

My son was going through this and it made him sad. There was no bitching, a bit of teasing (which we got through) but he was generally ignored.

Until he landed a funny part in a school play, at which point although he was still ignored by the 'in gang' he forged friendships with other boys who strangely enough all felt left out... turns out that the majority of the boys felt like this!

We have done a lot of work on his 'cool'... he was so desparate to be liked and I think the in gang could sense his desparation and exploited it to make him miserable. Since the school play, and coupled with our ongoing 'stay cool' mantra, he's a lot happier. One of the 'in gang' has started hanging out with him (at the expense of his own poplarity).

It's been a hard lesson for my son, but he now is confident that not everyone will like you all the time and so long as he's not being picked on (zero tolerance for that) then it doesn't matter.

My yongest is very different, he doesn't give a damn, and weirdly is very popular...

Yfronts Wed 30-Jan-13 10:52:30

Who does she like? Start inviting them back and arranging sleep overs at yours.

Yfronts Wed 30-Jan-13 10:53:26

Also have play dates with the boy.

doyouwantfrieswiththat Wed 30-Jan-13 10:53:28

FWIW I read that even the fragrant Kate Middleton changed schools when younger because her face didn't fit,bet those girls are kicking themsleves now

Mumsyblouse Wed 30-Jan-13 11:14:21

I am really sympathetic to this, my dd2 is exactly the same, a lovely girl who everyone likes, but doesn't have a group of good friends. She also plays with the boys a lot and has gradually been pushed to the edge of the girls games and interaction as the boys increasingly want to all play together and gender segregation kicks in. I don't know the answer, she just hasn't found her great friends in life yet, but I know they will come (they did for me from secondary onwards and I am quite popular now!)

I also tend to think that you only need one or two good friends to make school fun, so I wouldn't encourage your daughter to try to fit into big groups, especially if quite cliquey anyway, I would focus on maintaining her friendship both with this boy and perhaps one or two other girls who are also on the edges or she particularly likes.

pingu2209 Wed 30-Jan-13 11:56:06

This happens, a lot. However, there are 2 pieces of good news; firstly, that there are things you can do now to help her and secondy, when she goes to secondary school things will change.

She may not fit in with the school class and this may be getting her down. However, it may be that nothing you or she does will help her fit in. The class bitches 'need' someone to bitch about and it seems that is your daughter.

What you can do is join her in out of school and weekend activities where she can meet a wider circle of children. Key is to find activities that are outside of your immediate area so that the other girls from your daughter's class are not there. Sports, dance, amature dramatics etc. It is hard work toing and frowing your daughter to the activities and it costs money. However, there will be 1 or 2 in each activitiy that she will bond with and it will help her to see that she has value and it likeable.

Your daughter is at a small school. When she goes to secondary school that will change. There will be so many other children that she can make friends with. It may take year 7 for her to sort out the wheat from the chaff, but she will make friends.

Please don't worry too much.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 11:57:37

Thanks everyone. It's sad to hear that so many in are in the same position. We should get all these lovely children together!

Most of the time she seems OK. She does ponder on why she 'isn't popular'. We don't live in an area where she can play out really so she can't make friends this way.

It resonates with me when someone says they are OK with her on a one to one basis, which seems to be true. When it comes to a group setting she is completely excluded.

To be honest, I am not a big fan of sleepovers and am quite relieved I don't have to reciprocate them! I would do it though for the sake of DD and to make her happy and encourage friendships.

I just don't get what makes some children popular and others not? If there was something I could do to work on her social skills I would gladly do it.

Every time we chat about it she says she wants to have more friends and be friends with the girls and she would love to go to a school where this was the case, then she cries as she would miss her 'boy' friend. She is afraid to make the move.

aldiwhore I too have another DD who is extremely popular and pretty nonchalant about the whole thing which just exasperates the whole situation for DD1.

MariusEarlobe Wed 30-Jan-13 13:00:32

I could have wrote your post.

My dd is in a boy heavy class where the girls are much older.
She too doesn't fit in.

The problem were we live is its small and they all go to the same clubs so the dynamics still exists.

She also has one boy to play with who is also younger and doesn't fit in with the boys but sometimes he plays football and dd is alone then.

It's been awful and school have confirmed dd is good and kind at school.

kilmuir Wed 30-Jan-13 13:10:30

we had this issue 2 years ago with my DD. Small class, queen bees etc. My DD is quite independent and will not go along with others just to fit in. They would make a point of having sleepovers, and ensuring she knew she was not invited. She said she wasn't bothered but was lonely at school.
We did move her to a larger school and she is much happier.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 13:19:57

MariusEarlobe Have you or school tried to do anything to help the situation?

Kilmuir Sounds very similar. I sometimes wonder about the mentality of the mothers. One had a sleepover for 9 girls - no birthday or celebration just for the sake of it. I suppose they are just desperate trying hard to make their DD's popular.

HollyBerryBush Wed 30-Jan-13 13:22:17

I just don't get what makes some children popular and others not?

Same thing that makes adults popular I suppose. Some people just have that indefinable quality that makes other people gravitate towards them and want to be with them. Usually it is humour - although I must point out, I am not advocating your daughter suddenly becomes the class clown!

It's odd isn't it? I went through primary school with few friends, secondary was much the same apart from a core of similar 'bookish' girls. Funnily enough I met one of the naughty-popular girls a while back and she said to me 'I always liked you, you were the only person who was ever nice to me' - my recollections are being terrified of her because she was 'hard' and popular!!!

Yorkpud Wed 30-Jan-13 13:26:35

That sounds hard. I think friendships are really important for girls at that age. I think I would be tempted to change schools as nothing seems to have changed the whole time she has been there. You could make sure you stay in touch with her 'boy friend' by carrying on inviting him after school and weekends. There is not much room for change in a one class school, it think slightly bigger schools where classes get swopped around a bit avoids this cliquey type of situation.

I feel a bit like this with my oldest son (8 years). He has not been invited to one party since starting the school over a year ago, even though I have done a party for him. No one has initiated any invites after school either though I have forced the issue with a couple of boys he likes and he is starting to get invited back.

ajandjjmum Wed 30-Jan-13 13:29:55

I think this can be a problem with girls - you get the 'Queen Bee' and her followers, so that's the strongest and weak sorted out.

You then get those who aren't overly confident, but won't just be sheep, who somehow threaten the Queen Bee's position, so she dictates they are excluded.

DD fell into this group - she is now quite forceful in saying what she thinks (sometimes too much so), but she had a number of years where friendships drifted.

Chandon Wed 30-Jan-13 13:30:44

Aboit the sleepovers, ot seems you and DD have a passive attitude, ie waiting to be invited by others.

When DS said he was never invited to sleepovers, I said the first step would for HIM (us) to invite someone over, then they might reciprocate.

Same with parties etc. Even grown women on mumsnet complain at times about " not being invited" to things, but the first step is always to become very active, socially, yourself.

Is there a girl in her class at all she would like to ask to come over?

Also, moving school can really help but it is a big decision.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 13:36:01

Chandon you are right - I am quite passive about it.

We have invited lots for tea - right up until the end of Y3 and they never invited her back, even though I know they were going to each others houses.

Then the last time she asked 2 for tea they said no. So I'm scared to initiate a sleepover as it looks like she has nothing in common with these girls as they won't play with her and will only end up having a terrible time. I would let her go if she got invited though. I hope that makes sense.

ScaredySquirrel Wed 30-Jan-13 13:36:36

there is a girl in my dds class who is also left out. LIke your dd they are in a small school, one form intake. In their class there is a core group of girls who everyone wants to impress (my dd isn't in it but does get invited to play dates!).

Like you, the mum of the girl also feels sad and baffled why she isn't included. In her case it is a mixture of things - they are all very loud and confident types, they are a bit sporty/tomboyish, too. She doesn't seem to have much in common with them and they are a bit judge about her.

I don't know what the answer is, because my dd would also like to be in the group - we only joined the school last year. I try to encourage my dd to play with the other girl, but she only wants to be in the in-crowd too unfortunately. Perhaps that's what it is - they are all trying to be in the in-crowd and there are more girls than not who aren't included, but really want to be.

JockTamsonsBairns Wed 30-Jan-13 13:51:48

Your poor Dd. I really feel for you both, as my Dd was in exactly the same position. In seven years of primary school, she was never once invited anywhere, not one single party, nothing. I remember one year for her birthday (9th, I think), we invited a group of girls over for a party and a birthday tea. Only two girls came, and they played with each other and excluded Dd. At one point, they were whispering to each other and my Dd burst out crying. It was awful.

I spoke to the school on several occasions to try to find out what was wrong, and to see if anything could be done to help - but they were spectacularly unhelpful. They pointed her in the direction of the 'buddy bench' - but even when she sat there, she was ignored. I was a young single mum myself at the time, and lacked the confidence to take on the school - I really regret that now, and wish I had done more. We did talk about moving schools at the time, but Dd really didn't want to. I think we were both secretly scared that the same thing would happen again. She was a very quiet and withdrawn little girl as a result of the years of exclusion from friendship groups - and the thought of all the attention that being the 'new girl' at a new school would bring was too much for her to bear. Again, I really regret not pushing ahead with at least going to have a look round some other schools.

Dd is nearly 15 now, and secondary school has been a revelation for her. Such a wider pool of like minded people, and she now has a lovely circle of friends who meet up regularly at weekends and in the holidays.

I'll never know what caused her unpopularity at primary school, but it was a dreadful time. If it comes as any consolation to you at all, she has turned out to be such a lovely teenager - extremely empathetic and kind towards others. I'm incredibly proud of her.

Sorry not much advice for you, just to say that I'm in the same situation with my DD(8). Until last year I was still inviting other girls over for play dates and I made sure all the girls in her class were invited to her birthday party but still no change.
My daughter insists that she doesn't want to move school but that might change when her sister leaves for secondary school in august. Maybe if your DD has no siblings at school it would be better for her to move.
Good luck whatever you decide to do, I hope things work out for her.

missrlr Wed 30-Jan-13 14:14:08

I was that girl. Hated primary with a vengeance looking back on it, I could not cope with the silent treatment, being forced to go to people's houses who were nasty to me in school but nice as pie when parents were about only to spend time there being ignored / shut in rooms / left hidden when playing hide and seek to name a few.

Secondary was better, briefly, one school I had 1 person who would talk to me, a boy, and we were not allowed to be partners (very much boys versus girls) in group events. He was bullied too at the time. There was one year when I was very much involved in lots of outside of school activities (tactic to improve more people) and was bullied as a consequence - one particular queen bee was also involved in this. Then made a fantastic friend eventually who then moved schools and thus started the circle again. Ignored, left out, bullied not part of the circle. I had always had a lot of out of school stuff to do and it involved boys rather than girls at the time so that was another source of bullying.

Stopped when I went to college - made a lot of friends who I still remain in contact with to this day (and trust me that is too many fingers and toes ago!). I now don't put up with crap - ever. On any score. My best mate will always say to me "you have permission to be angry about this and say something - tackle it" if I call her and there is a problem looming. That is enough for me to remind myself this does not continue and it stops here.

Doesn't stop people trying to bully / demean / undermine / lie about you though - there are many sad examples of humans on this planet and I seem to meet more than my fair share of them.

Bigger schools do help - as does doing stuff with different people. Hope you can encourage her to look at the schools options and other activities.

notagypsy Wed 30-Jan-13 14:18:48

I was in a similar situation with my daughter. She and I put up with it for 2 years. She eventually became quite withdrawn and tearful over silly wee things. We made the decision to move school. It was the best thing we ever did. She made some really good friends and the difference in her mood and personality was huge. Wish we did it sooner.

fromparistoberlin Wed 30-Jan-13 16:00:31

another to say speak to her teacher, say you are thinking of moving her

teachers need to be so much more proactive on how they seat people, how they allocate teams and how they spread tasks and group activities

They should give a shit, and they should be splitting up queen bees IMO

also agree to up the non school activities, be it drama/guides/sport

I also think consider changing school, as frankly it always seems to work out

bless you all xxxxx

fromparistoberlin Wed 30-Jan-13 16:01:30

like misslr I was also bullied (3 years at a VERY rough school)

You do carry it with you when you grow up

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 30-Jan-13 16:06:38

I've been there - there were only 5 girls in my year at primary school, the other 4 paired off. I was miserable.

My mum moved me, and that did help. It wasn't until I got to high school though that I found some really good friends - a bigger pool of potential friends means you are much more likely to find someone that you really have things in common with.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 16:08:06

Yy, speak to the teacher and get to the bottom of it.

Do have an open mind though.i have a woman in DDs class who is always talking about her DD being isolated and picked on but her DD has got into the habit of tryingto be funny by being really rude.
Dd gets on with her but some of the other girls get really upset and don't want to be around her.

It's not her DDs fault, the whole situation has a history i won't bore you with, but her assumption that it is a couple of nasty quen bees doesn't help and isn't accurate.

I would want to find out what is going on otherwise even moving her could just end up with the same issues in a different location.
Equally, if it is any kind of bullying I would want the school to handle it robustly.

thefirstmrsrochester Wed 30-Jan-13 16:11:53

My dd went through similar. Her class as a collective were not nice. Too many alphas and so very many little emperors. DD immersed herself in dancing so given an invite (unlikely) for a sleepover, she would be declining anyway.
Different story now she is at high school. All the big fish have realised that they had only ever been so in a small pond. In fact the biggest (and nastiest) fish in high school has found herself lacking in true friends.
DD made the loveliest of friends in high school, her confidence has shot up and her past experience has made her watchful for others on the outskirts. I couldn't be prouder of her. It's the quality, not the quantity

This will happen for your girl too when she goes to high school op, in your situation I would persist with the current school. Good luck to you and your lovely young lady smile

LabelsGalore Wed 30-Jan-13 16:16:25

I just don't get what makes some children popular and others not?

I think lifestyle and life experiences also have something to do with it. As well as maturity, type of interests etc...
dc1 doesn't fit in. He has a couple of good friends but knows he doesn't fit. There has also been a few nasty comments going on. And there is little I can do about it apart from what has already been advised.

TBH, I think that for that small schools are just a bugger. One reason why I don't like them (But then there isn't really anything else around where I am so...) is that the range of children there is too narrow. Add to that that you are likely to find one type of background and if you don't fit that well within that mould, your dcs are likely not to fit in either.
And sometimes, just the way the child is is enough to make them stand out. there is such a thing as being too nice on the playground unfortunately sad

TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 16:18:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjay Wed 30-Jan-13 16:21:44

you say popular do you mean she has no friends at all at school/brownies sometimes girls can be on the fringes of groups and don't always have to be in the centre, if she has 1 or 2 friends that is fine does she play with other kids in the playground or is she on her own, is she really unhappy if she is generally ok then I would let her be and develop her own friendships, MY own DDs can't be arsed with all that girl popularity thing and had their own groups at school they couldn't stand all the bitching and what not, your dd doesn't need to be popular to be liked,

5madthings Wed 30-Jan-13 16:23:42

I feel sorry for your dd and I hope the school cash help.

My ds1 is like this, a bit of a loner but he is happy to be a bit of a loner, gets on better with adults.

I agree with tsc I don't like all this 'queen bee' and 'bitches/bitchiness' comments, these are children we are talking about!!

mrsjay Wed 30-Jan-13 16:23:54

Oh and I hate all the queen bee type comments TBH no need they are little girls ,

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 16:25:40

What happens when she invites people over?

Does she have friends over to play /sleepovers ?

Susan2kids Wed 30-Jan-13 16:25:50

I must say that having been on the end of such an effort from my mother when i was being excluded by the queen bee....

THIS

"When's her birthday? Throw a party and invite all the girls over"

Is possibly one of the very worst things you can do.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 16:32:26

Having a party and inviting all the girls over might be silly. But finding one or two girls she likes and having a play date might be really helpful.

Have you asked any of the other mothers op? Are you friends with any parents from her class?

gabrielemerson Wed 30-Jan-13 16:34:07

I dont think there is anything you can do to make her popular. Why should she conform anyway?

At my DD's school there was a queen bee and her cronies. My DD has never been a sheep so even though she had friends, she was still excluded from lots of things. Funny thing is the mums of these girls were/are in a clique too! The mums talk about each other as do the girls!

My DD loves her secondary school. She has loads of new friends. The girls from primary school are still hanging about with each other at high school. They seem to cling on to each other for whatever reason. DD said she still hears them talk about each other. The girls will grow up and turn into their mums!

The really funny thing also is that one of these girls texts my DD regularly for advice about various things. I asked my DD why the girl doesnt ask one of the friends she hangs around with, DD said the girl asks her as she doesnt confide in these "friends" about anything.

As long as you encourage your DD to do something away from school and try not to care what these girls think.

mrsjay Wed 30-Jan-13 16:34:13

you really honestly can't make these girls include her in things IME it doesn't work, Id try and see if she has friends in other places such as the play ground or brownies, and if these girls are as nasty as you think do you want her mixing with them anyway they might start including her and then move on to somebody else IYSWIM

YellowTulips Wed 30-Jan-13 16:35:27

Its not very nice, but it will pass. My primary school years were pretty similar. There was nothing "wrong" with me (I promise!) I just wasn't that "girly" and in reality was out of step with my female classmates interests and unable to hide the fact, or perhaps more truthfully unable keep my mouth shut ("why do you like Bros? They are rubbish", "no I don't have a cabbage patch doll, I'm 10 not 5", "don't expect me to wear a pink ra ra skirt and leg warmers, actually not in any colour", "do we really have to listen to the Fame soundtrack for the 50th time and dance on tables thinking we look cool rather than silly").

It all changed when I hit secondry school. I met lots of other "non girly" pupils from other schools with whom I got on well and the "queen bees" quickly lost their status in a bigger pond.

If it makes you feel any better when you fast forward, in my case the girly queen bee's hardly stressed the education system or job market over the years and all the non girly girls all did very well both at uni and career wise (and in most, though not all cases are actually far nicer people).

mrsjay Wed 30-Jan-13 16:36:12

and yes to when she moves up to High school my dds thrived especially dd2 who made loads of friends and only a few from her old primary school, they very rarely fall out or get involved in bitching that some of the more popular girls do,

TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 16:38:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjay Wed 30-Jan-13 16:40:31

Oh my non girly girls are doing fine OP honestly I am sure your dd will be alright but if you think it is really that bad then move schools if you have too,

Loa Wed 30-Jan-13 16:45:39

I think if you can move schools - you should look at it.

I went to a small village school and I didn't fit in.

It was better in secondary school but but then I thought I was the problem that it was my fault - so it was so much harder for me to get people did want to be my friends that there wasn't something wrong with me.

I think it took most of my secondary school years to get over the exclusion from Primary - even at University and beyond I still find myself surprised people chose to be friends with me or include me in things.

cantspel Wed 30-Jan-13 17:06:28

It is probably just the fact they have nothing in common with your dd rather than they actively dislike her.
What she needs is a bigger pool to look for friendship groups in whether you wait until secondary or move her to a larger primary depends on what your daughter wants.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 17:09:56

We've just been out for a coffee and cake as DD2 went to her friends for tea. We had a lovely chat. She was empathising with a boy in her class whom children were being mean to today, so much so that he spent dinner time crying. She said she just doesn't understand why people are mean, or what they get out of it? She's very astute! I have advised her that she should tell the teacher that happened so it can be dealt with. She did tell the dinner lady atbthevtime.

It was a good way to start talking about how things are at school for her. She maintains that she can't play with any girls as this one girl (mentioned before- there is history) won't let her, so she has just given up. For example last week she tried to play with some other girls and was told by ring leader that it was a secret club and she wasn't a member.

So a vicious circle emerges. She doesn't try any more, others think she isn't bothered so just leave her be. Her friend was off today, she spent playground time on her own.

It's heart warming to hear a lot of you saying it will get better as she gets older. I sincerely hope this will be the case. She certainly has the makings of a mature young girl. It's just so hard to watch her go through this in the hear and now.

I wish I was brave enough to just move her as some of you have done. I hope I don't live to regret this decision in the future.

Sorry for the 'queen bee' reference, not meant in a nasty way, just can't think of another term that describes this child any better.

To those that ask how play dates have gone in the past? Some not bad to be honest, but she does end up alone on most. I guess she's just a loner.

I agree wholeheartedly that forcing children to pay together or inviting for tea isn't the right thing to do.

fromparistoberlin Wed 30-Jan-13 17:16:18

please please talk to the teacher

this child is unkind and its should be addressed. They need to be told that exckusing little girls and telling them its a secret club is unacceptable behaviour and constitutes bullying.

I think you need some written exanmples so they dont just dismiss it!

I feel very strongly that schools need to far more reactive and pro-active.

focus on this first

Here is a sample anti bullying policy pasted below, you can google and easily paste 20 into a word doc, each and every time highlight where they talk about exclusion and unkind behaviour. then school might be shamed

What is Bullying?

Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.

Bullying can be:
• Emotional being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures) SEE!!!!!!!
•Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence.
•Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures.
•Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments.
•Homophobic because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality.
•Verbal Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumours, teasing.
•Cyber All areas of internet, such as e-mail and internet chat room misuse. Mobile threats by text messaging and calls. Misuse of associated technology i.e. camera and video facilities.

fromparistoberlin Wed 30-Jan-13 17:19:03

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/behaviour/bullying/f0076899/preventing-and-tackling-bullying/schools-accountability

spiteful and unking behaviour is not tolerated in many professional enviroments, and schools need to lead the way

MrsMushroom Wed 30-Jan-13 17:25:36

. OP this IS bullying and is not DDs fault. You must explain to her that it is NOT her fault. Make an appointment to see her teacher and demand this is changed. Ask them what they are going to do about changing the situation as she is being excluded.

Poor DD. I can see that even you began to feel the blame...questioning whether DD had done something....you knew she hadn't I see that...but this kind of insidious bullying is the worst.

It has to be changed.

nefertarii Wed 30-Jan-13 17:33:10

DD was bullied in her old school and we moved her because the school would not deal with it. Shortly after we removed dd and wrote to the LA advising them that the head denied any bullying occurred in the school, the head teacher was removed. Several parents had made the same claims before our letter.

She has had a few instances in her new school where one girl in particular has been horrible. However this school deal with the issue.

You need to go to the school and tell them this girl is excluding your dd from playing with the other children and ask them what they intend to do. Often the children don't realise how hurtful they are being and it may be a simple case of speaking to the girl.

It may not be that simple, but you won't know until you try.

This is what happened in dds school. But if the girl tries to exclude my dd again, I will go back as often as I have to.

You have to be firm and the school must deal with it.

YellowTulips Wed 30-Jan-13 17:33:11

WRT those taking offense at the "Queen Bee" reference, then in my case I used it to be polite.

If I had wanted to be more descriptive about their behaviour I encountered as a child I think you would have found it more offensive.

Yes they are children, but adults dont have an monopoly on being mean and sadly young/teen girls in particular can be downright nasty, spiteful and bullying.

jamdonut Wed 30-Jan-13 17:33:52

We do not allow talk of "secret clubs" or any type of "gang" etc at our primary school.

I think the teacher should be informed . Sounds like they need a circle time talking about it with all the children in that class.

I think if she is happy playing with a boy friend though, there is no reason to discourage that in any way. My daughter has always got on better with boys as friends than girls. I do sympathise,though. My own son has had similar problems and he has no-one he can call a "friend" now at Senior School. Sadly, people he has made friends with in the past have all moved away!! I could cry for him sometimes...however I think I worry about it more than him. He seems fairly happy in his own company.

MrsMushroom Wed 30-Jan-13 17:36:35

Yes the "Queen Bee" is referring to that book isn't it "Queen Bees and Wannabe's" hardly offensve!

kilmuir Wed 30-Jan-13 17:39:58

I think moving to a bigger school helped as my DD found other people like her. I don't agree with inviting over people my DD does not like. Her old teacher suggested she keep quiet and try to take an interest in what other girls were interested in.
As a mother of 3 daughters , I have found some girls to be horrible and not worth trying to befriend.

OP I went to a school with the one bitchy queen bee, I actually stood up to her a couple of times and paid the price. She was the angelic blond haired blue eyed child and no adults ever believed me that she was so nasty. I was so lucky that she actually moved out of town and out tiny village school became a lovely place after that. She used to do the excluding thing, no one allowed to play with me (when it was my turn to be picked on) If theres no chance the queen bee is moving, get into the school and tell them she is being excluded, if nothing is done or it gets worse look at moving her, the queen bee won't change.

mrsstewpot Wed 30-Jan-13 17:46:47

I used to teach a class of 8/9 year olds with massive issues regarding the girls' attitudes and constant bullying and competing problems. It was a constant struggle to be 'queen bee' whilst different girls took their turn at being in favour or being isolated with a few that were always at the bottom of the pecking order. It was a nightmare.

BUT I do remember this one girl who was never involved in any of this behaviour, just kept clear of it all. She wasn't interested in being a popular girl but she was never picked on. In fact she was very much liked by all girls and boys in the class. She was a great girl with a fantastic attitude.

If I ever have a daughter I hope I can bring her up to have the confidence to just do her own thing and feel comfortable in herself.

I think you are on track - keep on giving her lots of positive encouragement, tell her how great she is, join as many out of school clubs and activities as possible, make her feel safe and loved by modelling confident, care free and fun behaviour yourself.

It must be hard - I was truly shocked at how nasty girls can be.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 17:53:22

Fwiw, I was not suggesting that you 'force' a playdate upon your DD.

It just sometimes helps if they can improve/develop a relationship more quietly, away from the usual pairings and groupings at school.

It gives girls a chance to realise how well they get on iyswim. I think they can get into the habit of hanging outwith the same girls.

CheungFun Wed 30-Jan-13 17:54:19

I'd have a look at other schools and see how they feel and see what your daughter thinks tbh. I had a horrible time until I went to high school which was huge with 14 classes per year group, being so big, there was space for all personalities! I'm still friends with the girls that I met at high school 16 years later smile

you need to have good self esteem to be confident in who you are and I don't believe that being different automatically means you'll get bullied.

I definitely think things outside of school are good for confidence (and making friends), I went swimming and it was so good for me, I knew it wasn't purely me that was the problem at school as I had friends outside of school.

YellowTulips Wed 30-Jan-13 17:54:53

MrsStewPot - I think that is great advice and very much my mother's attitude at the time (she was a primary school teacher, now retired) and recently she told me how hard it was to see my "isolation" and even with her experience finding it impossible to "fix".

So take comfort OP, its not easy, but a common theme of this thread is how often girls who sit outside the range of Queen Bee (yes i will keep using this term) tactics actually thrive in later life.

JuliaScurr Wed 30-Jan-13 18:04:19

ime of dd and friends - move school

50shadesofvomit Wed 30-Jan-13 18:18:17

I have a 9 year old in a similar sized school. Has she considered a boy or a girl in a different year as her friend? In our school all years have play at the same time so there is quite a lot of intermingling of the years eg. My dd in y5 played It with y6 and y4. Not all 9 year olds do pink and fashion. Mine is girly but also likes sport, music, computer games, funny YouTube videos, art, cooking, collecting Moshi Monsters, singing...

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 18:20:56

I've been in school so many times last year I fear I'm becoming a nuisance. I haven't been in this term at all though so maybe another visit is due. I do have a meeting with class teacher on Friday so I will mention the secret club thing then.

Mrsstewpot interesting to hear from a teachers point of view. I hope my DD is as the girl you describe.

jamdonut Wed 30-Jan-13 18:26:09

I have spent an an awful lot of time today at school trying to help sort out friendship "problems". Girls really are unkind to each other. It is not just the class I am based in...it seems to be in most classes. We talk and talk about these things at school,and the children all know what constitutes bullying,or being unkind,and what to do about it. But they just don't seem to learn or understand that it applies to their own actions.
Boys don't seem to hold the same grudges as girls, who will keep bringing up stuff from ages ago.

YellowTulips Wed 30-Jan-13 18:34:55

OP from your post about "coffee and cake" you DD sounds pretty level headed to me.

I would not encourage her to "need" people to like her. The fact that she has "given up" and focus's on the friend she has I think shows a lot of maturity and pragmatism (both good traits).

She has a friend at school - male/female dosn't matter. Focus on that and also activities outside school that she enjoys and builds confidence.

I'd put good money on her coming out the other side of this a lovely young woman, supported by a great mum. thanks

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 18:35:29

Are you a teacher jamdonut

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 18:38:13

Thank you so much yellowtulip I sincerely hope so.

Oh she has her faults I know. I see so many good things about her though, I am sure you are right.

GrendelsMum Wed 30-Jan-13 18:50:01

I think YellowTulips is quite right. For a start, she isn't friendless at school. She has a friend, and maybe she's the sort of person who's happier with one or two close friends (male or female) rather than a big gang of girls. FWIW, I was always that way at school myself, happy with a couple of (boy) friends, and I'm still the same in my 30s.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 18:53:56

Grendels of course you are right, she has a friend. A loyal good friend. I should try and focus on this and stop pondering why the girls don't befriend her at all.

She should, however, be allowed to play with others without one girl excluding her.

GrendelsMum Wed 30-Jan-13 18:57:09

Oh yes, she should definitely be allowed to play with the others, and I completely agree that you should tackle the teachers on the bullying going on around that. It's just that I don't want you to forget this lovely boy who's already a good and loyal friend to her, when the girls in the class sound less than ideal! I think my mum tended to stress that I had male rather than female friends, when actually we just had more shared interests.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 19:11:07

I won't grendels. He's a great friend. They both ADORE Skylanders. Thy have spent many a night fighting monsters!

TomArchersSausage Wed 30-Jan-13 19:22:59

Oh Lord girls and friendships. My lovely dd is 14 and still has problems with two she thought were friends but are anything, anything butsad. I feel for your dd.

Not sure if it has been mentioned but have you thought about cubs/scouts. They do take girls - both of my dds went.

It's less girl dominated. Maybe your dd would get on better with boys as friends or other girls attracted to that environment. Boys at 9 tend to be more straightforward and less complicated regarding friendships I've noticed.

JuliaScurr Wed 30-Jan-13 19:41:56

is there any way you can find out about schools which handle this well in your area? Would you be happy saying where you live? Fine if not smile

AgentZigzag Wed 30-Jan-13 19:51:34

I've only read your posts OP, but so much of what you've said is similar to my 12 YO DD when she was in primary, and I felt exactly the same as you.

She started secondary in September, and after a couple of weeks of getting shit from a few girls who used to do the same at her primary (the school were very good about it when I told them, much better than primary) she's doing brilliantly.

Still get the same old he said/she said rubbish grin but I scan read that other posters have said the wider group can really help resolve the problems you've described, and I really agree with that.

It's not that much of a solution because this is happening to her now, but if you decide not to move her and just try and slog it out, there really can be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course there are things she can do to try and fit in (and some of them are reasonable, more social conventions rather than changing who she is), but in the end it's not her, it's them. Just keep on with that like a dog with a bone. There's nothing wrong at all with the core of what kind of a person your DD is, the thing I was most scared of is DD slipping into the 'there must be something wrong with me' and getting down on herself.

Good luck with whatever you decide smile

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 20:52:06

Thanks agentzigzag. It is thinking that it will get better that gets me through what is happening now. To be honest she seems fine when at home, so I'm holding onto that

simplesusan Wed 30-Jan-13 21:09:31

Some very good advice on here.
Encourage the friendship she has with her classmate.
I second the idea of out of school activities.
My dds used to dance at a local dance school.
Most of the girls went to another school and they virtually ignored my dds.
I moved them to another dance school, not because of this, where pupils come from many different schools. The difference is huge. I would say everyone gets on. My dds are never left out when they have to get into pairs. They have been invited to countless parties and the parents are lovely too!

Let your dd invite friends over for tea, don't keep score though. If she doesn't get a return invite let it go.

fromparistoberlin Wed 30-Jan-13 21:15:34

"She should, however, be allowed to play with others without one girl excluding her.

I agree, and i think mrs stews post was lovely

I can see it's easy to say "talk to teacher" but u clearly have tried sad

i think some good food for thought here, so think, re-group and good luck

mrsjay Wed 30-Jan-13 21:43:28

yellow tulips puts it very well your dd does not need secret clubs or friends who want nothing to do with her speak to the teacher on friday but your dd has a friend hasn't she build her confidence that way, don't try and to 'make her fit in' it really won't work and she would probably be very unhappy

mrsjay Wed 30-Jan-13 21:47:37

He's a great friend. They both ADORE Skylanders. Thy have spent many a night fighting monsters!

dd2 and her friend who is a boy talk about batman and dc comics and 'stuff' they get on really well and some of the girls in their year dont get that they are not going out or something, your dd sounds like she is going to be alright,

maddening Wed 30-Jan-13 22:00:07

Def focus on the friend - maybe see if he and the boy she helped today can come over for tea.

I reckon just her having a little group of friends will help her confidence.

Maybe a couple of group trips ice skating or cinema with her and the two boys - maybe invite one of the fringe members of the queen bee gang - if they experience her in a group setting doing something fun it might tip the balance. These followers are weak characters and easily swayed when queen bee isn't around.

AgentZigzag Wed 30-Jan-13 22:03:09

You said about the viscous circle earlier, and I was worried about that too. DD used to take a book in to read at break if she found herself on her own, which could kind of look like she was choosing to read and be by herself (although this was helped by there being other DC all sat individually reading along this wall grin) but I didn't want her to look unapproachable and miss any opportunities to hang about with someone.

The more I think about it since she's left primary, the more wound up I get that, although they did take steps to tackle it (after trying different things for her to sort it, I went in myself) they didn't do a very good job. Just tried to palm it off on lots of 'strong personalities' in DDs year group. (I'm worried now because DD2 will eventually go there).

But at secondary the DC can go practically where they like within the school at break, they have rooms for those who don't have anyone to kick about with which have computers and things, and break time clubs, even an inclusion unit where they can go and talk about stuff that's bothering them.

The secondary school includes DD in a way that seemed beyond the reach of primary. Are younger children not worth the effort secondary children get? I can't work the difference out.

mrsbunnylove Wed 30-Jan-13 22:11:05

interests and hobbies. get her as many as she can. book, small soft toy, lunch-box letters. hug her clothes before she puts them on so she knows you are hugging her all day.
is she into music? take her to see some bands. do cool things the others can't do. give her the opportunity to follow up her interests. it fills her time, and boosts her confidence, and makes her a very interesting person, too.

stickygingerbread Wed 30-Jan-13 22:20:39

OP I think there has been great advice on this thread. Girls can be so hard, especially in groups.

My own addition is to note that the queen bee often excludes one person not for any personal flaw of the poor excluded one, but to consolidate her power over the other ones. They are the ones who are afraid to displease her or get exiled by befriending the excluded one. The qb needs someone to serve in that unattractive almost cinderella like misery as an example, to get the others dancing to her tune. It takes some spirit to rebel against the system.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 30-Jan-13 22:32:54

I've only read page one but your op is so sad sad

At my children's school they do a thing with the kids who are being bullied etc which involves them helping out in the school nursery etc to boost their confidence and gives them something to do at break times. Does the school do anything like that?

I would also suggest clubs, after school ones in the school would give her the opportunity to mix with other kids without the whole class there. And also ones not linked to the school so she can make separate friends.

I would also carry on encouraging the friendship with the boy.

Do you have any friends with similar age children that you can have over.

Itsnearlysummertime Thu 31-Jan-13 10:21:03

Just want to thank everyone for all their advice. Got up this morning, done the school and came home now and having a good cry. Cathartic I think. Glad it's my day off.

I love the idea of hugging the clothes !! I done this this morning before she left.

I guess she is just more comfortable around boys and I just have to accept it. Perhaps it isn't anyone's fault. I would just like to see her happier that's all.

I just fear the further she is alienated from all the girls in her class the harder it is to belong again. She has another 2 years to go through this. It may damage her and what if I could have stopped it and didn't? A heavy cross to bear.

I love to hear the stories of all DDs/DSs that thrived and blossomed in High School. Thank you.

DeWe Thu 31-Jan-13 10:45:35

Don't be fooled into thinking a bigger school will necessarily help.
Dd1's school is 4 form entry. There may be more children to get on with, but, even with considerable encouraging, they do tend to stay friends with those in their form, and actually having a friend in a different form can cause problems (dd1 had this). Also it is much easier for bullying/nastiness to be hidden among the crowd.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 31-Jan-13 11:51:11

What about encouraging her friendship with more of the boys in her school? Or kids in other years?

Are there any that live near you?

might leave a bad taste in your mouth, but could you maybe invite queen bee to something especially exciting and fun with your dd? a theatre production, ice skating or something that would be a rare treat? it might help gain more popularity for your dd if they were seen chatting about it at school.

for what it is worth, I spent two years age 9-10 in a village school like you describe. I was put in the top year as I was quite clever, but then kept there two years as I was too young for secondary school. so all the older girls resented me being there and when they left the younger ones hated me too. worst school years of my life. the queen bee girls came to my birthday party and all deliberately bought me crap gifts (to the point that they had clearly unwrapped what their mothers sent and wrapped the same paper round junk). they all sniggered as I opened a coffee stained photo of Kylie minogue, a babys room picture, used colouring book, broken pens... country school girls can be little bitches and I got through those years with a lot of books for playtime.

mrsjay Thu 31-Jan-13 15:09:35

I just fear the further she is alienated from all the girls in her class the harder it is to belong again. She has another 2 years to go through this. It may damage her and what if I could have stopped it and didn't? A heavy cross to bear.

Just want to say it may get a little worse before it gets better especially in the last year of primary they tend to get a big big for their boots been top of the school iyswim, but it is ok for her to be pals with boys it really is if you can encourage that friend ship invite him out for the day etc then I am sure she will be ok

dikkertjedap Thu 31-Jan-13 15:23:29

Are there any other schools near you you could consider? If so, I would change schools after the Easter Holidays.

We spend lots of time in class to deal with unkind behaviour, bullying, etc. - it is very very hard to change this type of behaviour, there does not seem to be a quick fix. Often it gets condoned at home and schools are fighting an uphill battle with little or no backup of the parents of the offender(s).

So my advice would be to cut your losses, to let her make a new start and to have her changing schools asap.

maddening Thu 31-Jan-13 16:25:19

But while they are isolating her they are winning - and no one will step over the line.

If she has a friendship group then she isn't visibly isolated- won't seem "needy" as she will be happy and playing. She has a good friend, and potential for others even being boys. Look on groupon etc for discounts on fun activities for her and a couple of friends - get her out having fun.

it'll also be good for her to be comfortable with boys as friends going forward and especially once they hit high school.

Itsnearlysummertime Fri 01-Feb-13 13:32:34

Thanks again everyone for your messages. I am feeling more positive today after meeting with DDs teacher.

Her opinion is that DD is essentially a lovely kind empathetic girl. She is sometimes a bit brash, as in, lacks social boundaries i.e. if she sees something happening, say, in a group she will just barge on in with no regard for anyone else! They are working on this, and she is getting a bit better. She is a complete tomboy! She has nothing in common with the majority of the girls, who in the teachers words spend a lot of time "preening and talking about manicures in a very precocious fashion". The friendship with her 'boy' friend is very strong and is very much reciprocated by him.

So fingers crossed she will be ok. I suppose I just have to accept she isn't going to be popular with the girls. The teacher said they spend a lot of time falling out etc, so DD is probably best out of it. She appears (most of the time) to be happy in her own skin. To be honest I feel quite proud of her smile

hillyhilly Fri 01-Feb-13 13:37:47

I read a post on here a while ago a post from a mum who'd made sure that her play dates were the absolute best that they could be, lots of interactive play, chocolates, maybe take a friend or two to the cinema or other "girly treats".
It's bribery in the end but it did work for her, also maybe have a chat with your dd about " fake it til you make it" ie fake not caring until you don't or fake being girly and interested in whatever they are if you want to join in.
Good luck, it's so hard, and as a previous poster said, girls are really not very nice quite often

kerala Fri 01-Feb-13 13:40:36

Good for her. My DH hasnt a single friend from his school days - he was totally in the wrong environment (he worked hard and was at quite a rough comp). He got to Cambridge and was amazed to find so many like minded people he has a huge gang of really great friends from university we see often and lots of friends hes since met through his work/kids etc. He was just in the wrong place for him when he was at school. Just wanted to say its not necessarily doom if your child doesnt shine socially at school but find ways to keep her happy and strong.

butterfingerz Fri 01-Feb-13 14:31:06

I was never popular but always had friends, I was just too shy and quiet. Luckily my friends were like minded souls and lovely girls... I guess I would have struggled if there were just the queen bee types of which there were quite a few in my primary class.

I did get bullied in secondary by the more popular girls, again I guess I was so quiet and I never told on them. Perhaps like you, my mum could never understand it as I was nice, normal looking, and had some really good friends but the bullying did wear me down after a while.

Do you think your dd is too quiet or shy? Is there something to boost her confidence? drama class etc.

Oh and I was never quiet at home so my mum never knew quite how bad I was at school!

MerryCouthyMows Fri 01-Feb-13 14:49:31

My DS1 is going through this at the moment. He's not in a 'small' school, it's 2-3FE usually, but his year was a very small birth year, and there is only one, very girl-heavy, class in his year.

It's not helped by the fact that academically, DS1 is working 4 years ahead of his peers, and seems to have different interests.

DS1 is interested in Dr. Who, computer games (not allowed violent 18 rated ones though, unlike the other boys in his class of 10-11yo's...), fast cars and science.

The other boys are only interested on football. Nothing else. And DS1 finds it boring after a while, he likes PLAYING football, but not endless conversations about football.

Plus we aren't living close by the school, and he isn't old enough to cross 4 main roads (one a main route into town directly coming off the A12!) to get to the park near the school that they all play in.

He's not even heading to the same Secondary as the others - he's likely to be heading to the Grammar school while they will all go to the local Academy.

I'm hoping that he can bear the last few months of Y6, and that when he gets to Secondary he will find some like-minded friends.

Itsnearlysummertime Fri 01-Feb-13 15:21:24

merrycouthymow your DS sounds lovely. I bet you he thrives when he gets to grammar school.

Whilst I am proud of DD and relieved that she is happy as herself, it doesn't stop me wanting her to have more friendships with the girls.

I guess we need to take their example and be happy for who they are. DD just doesn't get girly things!!

IDreamedADreamOfSausageRolls Fri 01-Feb-13 19:59:03

last week she tried to play with some other girls and was told by ring leader that it was a secret club and she wasn't a member

This is classic tween girl bullying. Did you tell the teacher? What did she say? There is absolutely no excuse for it, particularly in such a small school. The teacher should be talking to the whole class about why this sort of thing as unacceptable, as well as having a private word with the ringleader/queen bee child.

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