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Aibu to ask are you an alpha mummy? Is your dd a queen bee??

(190 Posts)
TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 16:45:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Actually, it seems that there may be a heritable component to both being a bully and being the victim of bullies. It is also the nature of group to bond over common enemies and for people to exclude to be included themselves.

I am a nerd and therefore not ever an alpha. However, since leaving school and surrounding myself with people who are my types, I give people the impression I don't care and therefore, bizarrely, have become popular. Weird.

CailinDana Wed 30-Jan-13 16:50:48

I think I might be seen as an alpha mum, not at school as DS is only 2 but at the playgroup I run. I think what happens is that because I'm friendly I'm popular but some people, perhaps through insecurity, read too much into my friendliness and then when I'm not as friendly at a later stage because I'm busy/tired/preoccupied they take offence. It bugs me that their self esteem rides so much on whether I bloody smile at them or not!

anklebitersmum Wed 30-Jan-13 16:51:14

I am the ultimate alpha Mummy.

In fact I am so alpha that I don't even do the playground anymore-they go to and fro on the bus grin

Poledra Wed 30-Jan-13 16:52:03

I wouldn't use the term 'queen bee' about a child, but I do know (as I said on the other thread) some of my DD's problems in school were because she wanted people to do things her way. And when we spoke to the school about some of the issues, her teacher said that, while the other child had taken things too far, most of it arose from DD1 and the other child being two very strong characters, more so than the other girls in the class, and they were, to quote the teacher, figuratively clashing heads.

I can't be an alpha mummy, I'm only in the playground one day a week grin

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 30-Jan-13 16:52:05

I thought everybody was? It certainly seems like it! grin

CailinDana Wed 30-Jan-13 16:52:41

Just to be clear, I'm definitely not a bully! I just notice that some mums seem to only talk to me and get quite despondent if I don't talk to them. I also had situations in school where girls came to me in tears wondering why "I didn't like them any more." I was totally wtf??

Funny TSC I was just today thinking about the Queen Bee DD thing after reading a thread on here. Someone on here must be the parent to one!

HecateWhoopass Wed 30-Jan-13 16:57:22

No and no

CailinDana Wed 30-Jan-13 16:57:38

I had a bizarre situation at school where a girl I knew pretty well tried to bully my best friend, and another girl, E, was led astray by the bully and got involved sort of against her will. My best friend was not one to be bullied and it was all resolved very fast but then E came to me, absolutely distraught, begging me to forgive her! I was totally baffled until she explained that of all people I had to like her or she would never have any friends. I was totally nonplussed but said of course I forgave her and I wouldn't ever stop anyone from being friends with her. She said if I didn't like her, no one would like her confused So so odd but gave me insight into how I was seen by others. It wasn't a situation I liked one bit to be honest.

Annunziata Wed 30-Jan-13 16:58:01

I am not an alpha mummy, but I do worry about DD2 being a queen bee.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 16:59:24

Ok. I will be brave.

My DD is probably a queen Bee in that she is popular, confident, very good at sports and chatty. She gets invitations to every party pretty much and gets roles in school plays and medals at sports competitions. Nothing like me. Nothing like DS1 either - he was very shy and disappeared in a crowd.

I get sad about the popular = bitchy things.
She very kind. She likes her friends and gets upset if they are upset. She was being bullied a few months ago and ddn't tell for ages because she just thought they would stop if she kept being nice.
Her popularity arises in part from being kind to people, always including people, being happy and fun to be around. It's not because she is some mega bitch who manipulates others.

I am not an alpha mum. I am quite shy but I compensate by being very noisy so I expect I look more confident than I am.

I think we look at others and project. A lot.

MummytoMog Wed 30-Jan-13 17:00:29

I am a bit of a Queen Bee. DD probably will be too, but I think as long as she is considerate of the feelings of others, I'm not going to make her pretend to be less confident. The other mothers don't like me much, but they do like my nanny. So that's ok.

She is SO bossy. It's hilarious at home (particularly given how little language she has).

Abra1d Wed 30-Jan-13 17:04:07

She doesn't actually sound like a queenbee, Pagwatch. As far as I have read, QBs tend to be more manipulative, using their powers to dictate how things go. You can be popular without being a QB. There are girls in my daughters' school who are popular because they are good at sport but also very friendly and nice to everyone. The QBs are the ones who pull strings to get things going the way they want. Often by threatening people with exclusion if they don't play ball. QBs often won't have you in their group if you fail in some important criterion: looking too young/being bad at netball, etc.

Chandon Wed 30-Jan-13 17:06:24

Haha, good question.

I have never met an alpha mummy, not on the playground, not at the PTA, not at the school fetes, i have now moved Dc to private school, but still, just NO alpha mums. Just some harrassed working mums, and some more relaxed and chatty mums with more time, and then a few awkward ones.

No queen bees either. Never ever.

Sometimes I think I live in a paralel universe to MN. But in a way, I tink my universe is a bit friendlier ( no brats, little Tarquins or bitches at our school either).

Jinsei Wed 30-Jan-13 17:12:28

I'm with pag. I am most definitely not an alpha mummy but my dd might well be regarded as a "queen bee", in that she is popular, makes friends very easily, does well at most things and seems to get picked for everything. However, she isn't bitchy or mean. On the contrary, I'm sure she has her moments, but from all that I hear, she is actually very kind and very accepting of other children, and I think that's partly what makes her popular. It may also have something to do with the fact that she is very confident and always has been - not in an arrogant way, it's just like it never occurred to her to be shy.

She is the complete opposite of her mother. I am shy, have poor self-esteem and sometimes wish could be invisible. However, I've developed strategies to cope with this over the years, so it probably isn't immediately obvious to those who don't know me well.

I envy dd sometimes. I wonder what it's like to be so at ease with yourself and with other people, and to be naturally charismatic. I firmly believe that she was born that way. She certainly hasn't learnt it from me!

Fecklessdizzy Wed 30-Jan-13 17:14:12

Well I'm The Dread And All-Powerful Empress Of The Galaxy and you lot only exist in my imagination anyway so I think that's probably a yes ...
grin

MummytoMog Wed 30-Jan-13 17:14:30

I generally think of QBs as being bossy, rather than manipulative. I'm certainly bossy, but I don't think I manipulate and DD at three isn't terribly manipulative!

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 17:15:48

Queen bee doesn't necessarily mean popular. You can be popular without being manipulative, sneaky and controlling other people.

pagwatch Your DD sounds lovely.

DoctorAnge Wed 30-Jan-13 17:19:06

I was an Alpha of sorts at Pre- school but since moving DD to private school I witnessed alphas of a whole new breed and level.
Here you really have to be rich to be an alpha mum here. But I have a buch of Mums I talk to and am comfortable with. The alpha crowd involves a lot of high key socialising, competitiveness and subtle mutual bullying. You also have to have designer clothes and be very groomed.

The QB in DDs class has a nasty streak. Queens are not just popular and nice, they rule by, well fear really..

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 17:23:10

Incidentally, there is a little girl in DDs class similar to your DDs Pagwatch and jinsei and she is lovely. Friendly to everyone - has helped DD in the past etc. I wouldn't describe her as a queen bee, just a lovely easy going happy child.

DD does play with her sometimes, but she is more friendly with the other girls and gets invited to all their parties etc so the bond with other children is stronger.

(I started the other thread by the way)!

Ps am not an alpha mum - just chat to whoever chats to me, normally grandparents!

Jinsei Wed 30-Jan-13 17:25:31

You also have to have designer clothes and be very groomed.

Ha, rules me out then! grin

gabrielemerson Wed 30-Jan-13 17:27:15

Being popular doesnt make you a queen bee. QB's are are usually manipulative and spiteful girls.

rhondajean Wed 30-Jan-13 17:29:13

Hmm.

Queen bees are not popular, they do not make friends easily. They rule through fear, people are afraid to leave them out because they are so manipulative their life would be hell.

Its usually a surprise to the other girls who secretly despise them when they realise that most other people feel the same but aren't brave enough to come out and say it.

Both my DDs are very strong girls but any signs of QBing would and have been firmly squashed. I wouldn't want a child like that.

Alpha mummies always strike me as somewhat desperate too - not comfortable with themselves. There's a lot of research regarding self esteem coming through suggesting that high self esteem - not confidence - is actually a bad thing in both young people and adults and can lead to people being afraid to take risks and afraid to fail or seem less than perfect.

Being genuinely popular is usually because you are fun, relaxed, warm and have a real interest in other people.

prettypolly1 Wed 30-Jan-13 17:29:37

Not too sure about the people here implying their DDs are perfect. Yes, incredibly brave of you to admit that hmm

I assume that is all your doing? Maybe a little too much ego-boosting of the DDs as shown in this thread causes queen bee mentality.

FWIW ALL children are capable of being mean. That means nothing against either them or you.

But i know that despite your DDs seemingly lovely personality, they will have upset other children many times. You just wouldn't be able to see it.

bbface Wed 30-Jan-13 17:31:16

Well, I look after myself, I am confident, I never have arguments or upsets with other mothers, I have never thought anyone is giving me 'an evil'. I am busy, my life is full, I am never lonely or sidelined and I have an absolutely wonderful group of friends who I have met through being a mother. So I guess that makes me an alphamum. Sadly, if you are popular, confident and self assured, some mothers pour scorn on it.

My guess is that if you were popular and confident during your school years, then you will be as a mother.

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 17:31:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 17:33:26

No

I see them and I don't mind them, some are even my friends, but I am the hopeless scruffy Guardian-reading hippy who doesn't care about the same things.

bbface Wed 30-Jan-13 17:34:15

Chandon, I really like your post and totally agree.
All the talk of judgments, bitchiness, sneers etc. I am either totally and utterly oblivious to it all, or it is confined to a small group of people, or it is simply in the minds of people and not based on reality

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 30-Jan-13 17:34:16

I'm always trying to emphasise to my two that 'popular' should and does mean 'well liked', and it's just things can go a bit haywire around years 8 and 9 where it seems to mean something less positive. They go about 'being popular' or 'the popular kids': what does that mean? They're popular with the people who like them, same like the rest of us!

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 17:34:32

such sweet innocence Po...

Startail Wed 30-Jan-13 17:34:39

DD1 and me - no!
DD2 was one of 3 princess bees in her primary school group. Surprisingly they all manage to be friends, I always expected one of them to want the top spot.

The brightest 2 balance each other one at maths the other at English, one having the confidence to knowing to back-down when the other got stressed.

Both realizing that, because they do clubs out of school and the other two top table DCs were boys, that falling out was bad.

The other PB is stunningly beautiful, not quite as academic, not as MC and the nicest of the lot. Very confident with adults, without being cheeky.

Had she been at the school as long as the others, I think there may have been more ructions.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 17:36:47

lifeofpo have to strongly disagree. If you met the 9 year old in question in my DDs case, you might retract that statement.

Neither am I a paranoid parent. I am a well balanced individual who loves her children and wants the best for them.

Jinsei Wed 30-Jan-13 17:37:20

prettypolly, did you actually read the thread? I certainly don't think that dd is perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but bitchiness is not one of her faults. That's not to say that she has never been mean - as I said above, I'm sure she has her moments. However, if the consistent feedback from her teachers and from other parents is to be believed, she doesn't make a habit of it.

And no, I don't think it's my doing at all. I made that clear in my earlier post, I happen to think that dd was born with certain personality traits, many of which differ from my own.

Would it make you feel better if I posted a list of her flaws and weaknesses as well? hmm

prettypolly1 Wed 30-Jan-13 17:37:31

bbface, I can't quite tell if you're being sarcastic.

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 17:38:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 17:40:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 17:40:26

A bit different to 4 years of having no friends whatsoever lifeofpo

prettypolly1 Wed 30-Jan-13 17:40:52

Jinsei - my post wasn't aimed at you.

I'm sorry you took it the wrong way.

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 17:41:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

newgirl Wed 30-Jan-13 17:42:05

The mums and girls in my dd class are lovely - am
I alone in thinking this thread a bit unfeminist? Should all girls be sweet and kind/blend in? The only kids who have ever been cliquey to my knowledge are the boys - if you play football great, if you dont your not in the gang.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 17:43:34

oh yes! That too Po, they are great organisers and have loads of energy

SaraBellumHertz Wed 30-Jan-13 17:43:48

Hmm depends entirely on your definition of "queen bee" really.

My DD is very popular - she is always on playdates/sleep overs and is picked for everything: student council rep, sports teams, school play and much to her DBs disgust the most popular boy in his year bought her chocolates last valentines (they're year 2&3 BTW grin )

She is actually very shy and lacks confidence, but very sweet and funny and it seems to be standing her in good stead.

I know she's not an angel but she's incredibly conscientious and I feel sad when people assume she must be some sort of bitch because she is popular and popular girls are never nice

Annunziata Wed 30-Jan-13 17:44:03

I don't know much about feminism but I think that 'all girls should be sweet and kind' is exactly the opposite, no?

ShephardsDelight Wed 30-Jan-13 17:44:04

Pretty Polly hit the nail on the head, a true AM or QB would never admit it. smile

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 17:45:20

newgirl the mums and children in DD2s class are lovely too! It's great to see what it can be like.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 17:45:33

In fact, the aphas invite me to the most extraordinary things, things where I think, surely that is made up...like recently I was invited to a morning of Making Cupboard Canapes for a price of 8 million pounds to raise money for Ducks with Bad Feet or somesuch.

DoctorAnge Wed 30-Jan-13 17:52:05

I honestly think it depends on the school.

The alphas at my school wouldn't be populate at the local catholic school for example...

Jinsei Wed 30-Jan-13 17:52:40

Fair enough prettypolly. smile

I think a lot boils down to definitions. There are mums at school who I would regard as "alpha mums" but they're not bitchy or cliquey. They're lovely! But they know everyone and organise everything, and are generally at the centre of what goes on!

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Wed 30-Jan-13 17:53:56

My dd was friends with the queen bee. She was manipulating (she would stop talking to dd if dd played with someone else),she was cruel,inviting dd on a sleepover and then at the last minute saying it was cancelled,whilst the others were going in with sleeping bags,she was nasty,telling dd she was ugly. She was 9.
Everything was reported to the school but dd was so effected she had to change schools. Its not just part of growing up.

SaraBellumHertz Wed 30-Jan-13 17:54:47

I'm pretty sure alpha mums exist in people MNers heads.

At DCs school there is fit mum (trainers not cor!)
Glam mum (heels. Without fail)
Organic mum (follows toddler round at collection time with suitable homemade snacks)
Competitive mum (what reading band did you say Molly was on?)
PTA mum (no explanation needed)

If you are just dragged yourself out of bed mum I can't understand why they sometimes grate but just be grateful someone else sorts end of term gifts/class parties/etc

Jinsei Wed 30-Jan-13 17:56:50

ladybird, I don't know if I'd describe your dd's friend as queen bee or just a bully! She sounds horrible! Hope she has found some nicer friends in her new school.

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Wed 30-Jan-13 18:00:23

Jinsei she has made lots of friends now but is still very cautious. Everyone else thought this girl was so nice and great. Definitely a bully as well.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 18:02:12

I don't think DD is perfect by a very very long way.
But she is kind. Just because she happens to be kind doesn't make me deluded or in denial.
It is 'brave' to suggest my DD might be regarded as a queen bee because that term is almost entirely viewed as negative. I think it is usually meant to imply that a popular girl mst be a cow.

If someone wants to start a thread asking people to come long and list their DDs faults I will happily do so.
Then someone can post a hmm face and query why all these mothers are slagging off their daughters and how can they be so negative....

Mumsnet. Home of the snippy fucker.

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Wed 30-Jan-13 18:04:49

Pag your dd is popular and kind,that's good. A queen bee is a someone popular by fear.

DeafLeopard Wed 30-Jan-13 18:07:11

DD and I could possibly be considered AM and QB.

Two years ago when we moved DD she had to join a strong group of girls who had been established since reception - then Y2, now Y4, and I had to join a new playground.

She invited everyone to her birthday party and for playdates etc to get to know everyone, as a result she got lots of reciprocal invitations and seems to be generally popular and well liked.

Whilst shy, I also had to put myself "out there" and get to know other parents, I also identified and introduced myself to parents who had older children in my DS' year, so probably appear more confident than I am - as a result I have got to know lots of people to chat to in the playground.

To my knowledge, I have never blanked, snubbed or being rude to anyone, I smile and say hello to everyone.

So I may appear sociable and have a wide group of friends, but I'm not an immaculately turned out gym bunny, who wishes to rule the playground.

TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 18:09:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Wed 30-Jan-13 18:13:04

TSC queen bees dad was very similar to her and was regarded as a asshole.

thegreylady Wed 30-Jan-13 18:13:48

Nope never-though I was never without friends I was never part of the 'in crowd' and nor was my dd who had a rough time in her first two years at secondary school.She then became best frends with a QB type and,oddly, they both stopped bothering much with school politics. They had a shared interest [ponies] anf went thir own way. They are still friends 25 years later.

prettypolly1 Wed 30-Jan-13 18:14:52

Ok, thread started.

Let's see how many of those with the perfect daughters are able to list their flaws.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 18:20:52

I agree TSC

All this categorising of women and girls just increases division amongst them - it's like setting women up to judge each other.

I am always depressed when women post about school gate mafia. Most omen just want to get their child to school, pass two minutes with someone friendly or perhaps form friendships.
When we constantly feed the idea that other women are cliques, seeking to exclude others, we create a soft paranoia.
To then layer that on our daughters is worse.

Most people just wanto get on.

TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 18:34:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AThingInYourLife Wed 30-Jan-13 18:39:40

"Queen bee doesn't necessarily mean popular. You can be popular without being manipulative, sneaky and controlling other people."

shock

You would really apply that sexist poison to a child?!

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 18:43:25

Yy, it also involves portraying everyone else as completely two dimensional and cliche.

I had to have long chats with DD about the girl who is the best at the schools main sport. She was viewing her as big headed and show off-ish but it was just jealousy. She saw it (eventually)and they remain friends.
Then I overheard a couple of the mums and they were way worse than DD had been. I couldn't give them a talking too unfortunately.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 18:44:55

How is it sexist athinginyourlife it could apply to anyone.

Yes, a child can be manipulative.

rhondajean Wed 30-Jan-13 18:46:08

Of course children can be manipulative. hmm

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 18:49:47

TSC I know it's not directed at me, but I can assure with the greatest sincerity that I am not jealous of this child in my DDs class.

I don't want DD to be the most popular. Just having some nice friends would be nice.

AThingInYourLife Wed 30-Jan-13 18:58:14

How could it apply to anyone?

This is a discussion specifically about girls and women.

The term Queen Bee applies only to girls.

It's not gender neutral and it is totally disingenuous (or mindmeltingly stupid) to pretend that it is.

The notion that women are sneaky, bitchy and manipulative is taught in Misogyny 101. Clearly by mothers such as some if you on this thread.

The assumption that the popular girls, by definition the ones most well like, are horrible and two-faced and manipulative besmirches all girls.

It says that they prefer the sneaky to the genuinely pleasant, interesting and fun.

Whereas popular boys and men are just great blokes.

thebody Wed 30-Jan-13 19:00:19

If you think you are an alpha mum then look behind you.

Everyone is pissing themselves laughing at you pet!

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 19:05:28

I think people are saying the opposite. Popular is well liked whereas queen bee is something completely different.

It's sad but girls like this do exist.

At no time as anyone said popular boys or men are great blokes, except yourself.

I personally am talking about gels as this is my only experience. I only have daughters. I am sure such behaviour exists with boys also.

newgirl Wed 30-Jan-13 19:06:35

Thank heavens some posters also feel uncomfortable about this female labelling.

Of course I'm anti bullying but it happens w boys too. Please let's not label girls or mums with these queen bee/alpha titles - noone is that one-dimensional

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Wed 30-Jan-13 19:06:57

I would most definitely not want my child like the queen bee in my post,not in a million years. I am old enough to know that people like that do not have lasting loyal friendships and often try to recreate their glory days in adulthood with very little success.

TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 19:15:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AThingInYourLife Wed 30-Jan-13 19:16:07

"If you think you are an alpha mum then look behind you."

Nobody thinks they are an alpha mum.

It's a label applied by the envious.

If you think the women everyone likes are pulling strings to make sure nobody talks to you - look behind you. There's nobody there, because nobody gives a shit.

AThingInYourLife Wed 30-Jan-13 19:18:33

Maybe unpopular people with unpopular children should consider that the reason nobody likes them might be a lot more straightforward than an evil cabal of sneaky bitches scheming against them.

exoticfruits Wed 30-Jan-13 19:21:27

I don't believe there is such a thing as an 'alpha' mum -it is just in other people's minds. Same with 'queen bee' -just generally a well rounded DD who is good at things. I think there is a lot of jealousy and insecurity in applying terms.

Snog Wed 30-Jan-13 19:22:37

QB in my dd's class is very pretty, very clever and very sporty, popular with the majority of both boys and girls but also extremely manipulative and even if you don't like her you need to pretend to be her friend, on at least some level.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 19:23:25

I'm actually quite popular (at school as well as outside it). I have some lovely friends, chat to everyone and like TSC I'm fat, 40 (or over!). I do manage a shower before dropping the kids off though as I go straight to work wink

It's my DD who is unpopular. If there are reasons for this other than social exclusion, then I would love to know what these are, as myself and the school are at a loss.

TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 19:32:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AThingInYourLife Wed 30-Jan-13 19:38:48

"I'm actually quite popular (at school as well as outside it)."

Popular everywhere you go?

Women like you are the worst.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 19:40:36

TSC your life sounds very like mine! DH no big shot, but a lovely lovely Dad and husband.

Prefer Homes under the hammer on my days off though, with a coffee and chocolate digestive!

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 19:41:54

AThing

I think itsnearlysummertime posted that as context.
Hers is the thread about popularity at school that gave some food or thought about this thread.

I think you are misunderstanding her point a bit.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 19:43:24

Yes everywhere I go. Everyone loves me grin

ScaredSheFindsMe Wed 30-Jan-13 19:43:26

I think this is a very real phenomenon - using the term sociopath might be less gender biased. I have known two - one man I worked with who everyone (who didn't't have to work with him) found to be very polite, lovely and charming. Generally because he was schmoozing in order to get something from them. He ended up being fired as his attitude was deemed to be impossible to work with.

The other was a woman I encountered in the school playground and yes on the PTA. She used her charms mainly on the teachers, in particular the head teacher and on some parents she decided were worth her effort. Her payback was her DD would be chosen for things such as visits outside school, lead part in the play etc and in general was somehow seen as being untouchable due to being her DD. On at least one occasion parents (not me) complained about this perceived favouritism but nothing was done. She manipulated every situation for her DD's benefit e.g. athletics training before sports day - for children aged 7 or 8!

What I found really interesting was that not everyone could see her true colours and anyone who could was immediately excluded. She could be seen to be popular and did have her little group of followers but as others have suggested this seemed due to fear. I do know she was a nasty manipulative woman due to overhearing comments she made about others and seeing situations where she manipulated DD and her friendships and having tantrums when things didn't go her way. There were at least two people in the group that she sidelined. She seriously scared me so I kept well away and just talked to other people. I don't have any children at the school now but can see that she has exhausted that as a social arena and has now moved on to an out of school activity where unfortunately I sometimes do run into her- she is doing all the same behaviours. Being ever so helpful at events (payback free entry) and generally being super friendly and charming to the organisers - result DD in every show they put on....

I guess I will be called paranoid but honestly such people do exist!

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 19:44:47

Some people are nice and sunny and popular

Some people are not very nice and manipulative and throw their weight around

Some are adults of both gender

Some are children of both gender

They all have different labels

But they do exist.

TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 19:45:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 19:45:50

Yes, they do, scared.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 19:47:57

So - given that these women are very popular with a huge coterie - who here is friends with women at school simply because they feel they have too?

If queen bees and alpha mums are everywhere then a huge swathe of mners must be friends with the sociopath at school and encourage their DD to be friends with the class manipulator.

[a bit baffled]

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 19:49:15

There was a QB (for want of a better label) in my dd's class a few years ago. She was bright and pretty and confident, streets in front of everyone else socially, and everyone else wanted to be her friend. I saw quite a lot of her as she and dd were good friends (for a while) and it was interesting to see how things developed. The other children gave her way too much power because they were too young and afraid to know how not to, and she wielded that power, but you could see it didn't really make her happy, but she was too young to know how not to take advantage of it...

A strange and vicious little mess all round.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 19:50:04

I don't doubt they exist but I just don't think that they are the norm.

Most people are dead average just trying to get through the day without fucking up.

Theicingontop Wed 30-Jan-13 19:50:07

It's interesting. The girls that bullied me at school, now have children, and I suppose are what people on here (and only here, because I've never heard the term in real life) describe as 'Alpha mums'.

They have exclusive circles of minions mums who generally are the same people who they socialised with at school, too. It's all a bit weird imo. It's like they never moved on from their school days and are reliving them, bitchiness and bullying included.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 19:50:19

I am pleasant to everyone and friends with some people mainly the odd ones like me

TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 19:52:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thebody Wed 30-Jan-13 19:53:25

Not sure why I have been critisised?

Put it another way. If you think you are an 'alpha mum' then look begging you. Noone cares or bothers unless they are stuck in high school mode.

Grow up. Maybe get a job/life.

I honestly would find anyone who thinks they are an 'alpha mum' hilarious and definatly boring.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 19:53:48

My friend used to say that first day at school she turned up with a box of wine and some cigarettes under her arm.
Those that chatted were likely to be the most fun and the least judgemental.

I always thought it was a high risk strategy grin
She did become my best friend though so...

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 19:56:13

I don't think I associate alpha mums with horridness necessarily. The people I consider alpha mums are those with loads of energy who always look nice and take their children to five million things a week and organise loads of stuff and all that. They aren't necessarily horrid. Just very energetic and involved.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 19:56:45

That is a sound strategy Pag.

AThingInYourLife Wed 30-Jan-13 19:57:24

"A thing, are you saying there's no such thing as someone who is popular most places they go?"

grin

No, I was just joking.

As in - if women who are popular at school gates are nasty, scheming bitches, women who are well-liked everywhere must be EVIL.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 19:57:27

I don't know any like in the op

But I may have just not noticed

GetOrf Wed 30-Jan-13 20:01:17

I think the slagging off of 'cliques' at the school gate is a bit like the MN royalty shite which gets hurled around on here. Sometimes it is no more than people who have known each other for a bit passing the time of day. I am sure that a lot of these nasty cliques are just people projecting their own insecurities onto groups of women that they see gossipping every day.

Not that I picked up dd from school a lot. But because I was rarely there I wasn't spoken to very much. Which was fine. They didn't see me every day anyway.

DD is not a queen bee - absolutely not. She is rather nerdy and most of her mates are blokes.

Jinsei Wed 30-Jan-13 20:01:19

I know plenty of people who seem popular wherever they go. They are all lovely people. I might be a bit envious of them but I certainly don't feel that I have to be friendly with them. I just happen to like them.

I think it's silly that people can't acknowledge the fact that they're popular - or any other positive attribute - without being jumped on. Do we really have to go down the false modesty route and deny that we - and our children - are good at anything? Surely it's more honest to accept that we all have strengths and weaknesses, and to just acknowledge those?

ike1 Wed 30-Jan-13 20:01:24

We are a trio of odd bods in my house..ds has dyspraxia is pretty placid but woe betide anyone who really tries it on! DD is a tomboy very pretty but will not have anything to do with girly thingswill only associate with boys. And then there is me erm...slummy mummy but secretly in awe of the uber mums....

ike1 Wed 30-Jan-13 20:02:34

Oh and I find myseld being more 'popular' as I get older mainly as a 'novelty act' I think...lol

GetOrf Wed 30-Jan-13 20:02:41

Fags and wine at the school gate sounds like a marvellous idea.

Oh GOD will I ever stop wanting a fag when someone talks about them?

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 20:05:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 30-Jan-13 20:06:27

My dd is popular not a queen bee but has plenty of friends. She is however very bossy and stubborn (gawd knows how she has so many friends) and will be on her own then play something that is not how she wants to do it. She does however have everyone hovering around her and doing what she tells them.

I was neither queen bee or bullied in school, I was confident, loud, funny, up for bunking off and having a fag, had friends with all different groups and had best friends to. DD is very similar to me with her loudness and friends.

Dancergirl Wed 30-Jan-13 20:09:18

I'm a delta mummy smile

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 20:09:22

Getorf - she is bloody lovely. She just marched up to me and said 'we need to be friends'.
It's confidence isn't it. I'd love to have oodles of confidence.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 20:10:20

Perhaps popular was the wrong word. I think I am well liked. Someone at my previous job told me I was the only person they never heard anyone say a bad word about. My current boss says I bring brightness and happiness to the office.

I have friends for over 25 years whom I hold very dear, and I know the feeling is mutual.

These are facts. I'm sure there are many who don't like me. I don't notice, now would I waste time worrying about it.

GetOrf Wed 30-Jan-13 20:11:35

Fags are lovely - I only now smoke when I have a drink, but sometimes really want one with my coffee. grin

I wouldn't have the confidence to stroll up to people with fags and wine.

I would assume that people would judge me for my fag and wine habit/roots/inappropriate laughter/whatever.

I lack confidence really but I am a blagger.

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 20:12:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 20:12:42

Sorry inneedofbrandy she sounds a bit 'queen bee' to me (for want if a better word)

TheSecondComing Wed 30-Jan-13 20:12:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 20:13:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GetOrf Wed 30-Jan-13 20:17:18

They are disgusting. Revolting and horrible and when I smell smoke on someone else I don't like it. And I am so pleased now that the smoking ban means you can't smoke anywhere.

But bloody hell that first drag after 2 glasses of wine.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 20:18:24

Ah LifeofPo - what a chance missed then!

She is utterly brilliant. Funny, warm, self deprecating, endlessly kind. A great person.

See, a lesson to us all. Don't judge the alcohol carrying stalkers grin

StrawberryMojito Wed 30-Jan-13 20:19:12

Apologies for the tangent but I have been wondering about the school gate scenario. In a few years time when DS goes to school will he find it harder to make friends because I'm unlikely to know any other parents due to being at work. He will have to go to after school club or a childminder. Are the popular kids often those whose mums know everyone?

ike1 Wed 30-Jan-13 20:27:19

Pag...I might balk at the initial intro of we HAVE to be friends (think of myself as too much of an individualist unfortunately) but actually your mate is the sort of person I would LOVE to hang out with!

Jinsei Wed 30-Jan-13 20:31:57

Are the popular kids often those whose mums know everyone?

Not in my experience, no. I'm quite shy and also work FT so only do one of the school pick-ups (though I do drop off most mornings) so I miss out on a lot of the school gate chat. Also missed out on all the exercise classes that the SAHMs and PT workers used to go to while the kids were at school. It hasn't made any difference at all to dd, as she is naturally a sociable child.

In fact, I'm very friendly with some of the parents now who I have got to know through dd's friendships, so it's q bit the other way round with us. I make friends on the back of dd's friendships, and not vice-versa. blush

NomNomDePlumPudding Wed 30-Jan-13 20:36:34

i feel that i am unlikely to morph into an alpha mum, whatever the fuck that is, but yes, somebody who knows, answer strawberrymojito's question, please? dd1 starts school next september - is it going to matter that i am the stumbling, mumbling keeper of a pair of feral eyebrows and no social graces? (i don't necessarily mean drunk, incidentally)

NomNomDePlumPudding Wed 30-Jan-13 20:38:36

oh, x-posts, ta jinsei smile

marriedinwhite Wed 30-Jan-13 20:39:07

I probably am an alpha mummy. I wish my dd were a queen bee. She is beautiful, bright, kind, sensible and quietly popular; she is also shy, quiet and very sensitive with crushingly low self esteem. Doesn't help that she has a very very alpha male big bro who has been chosen for everything since he could walk and talk and was front of the confidence queue. His is nature; mine's a front.

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 20:39:11

Haha at NomNom...'not necessarily drunk'

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 20:41:15

nomnom and strawberry to answer the question, no I don't think it makes a blind bit of difference. It have a good friend who is a full time teacher and never does the school run. Both her children have loads of friends.

Children make their own friends as they go through the years and it doesn't matter a jot if you do the school run or not IME

NomNomDePlumPudding Wed 30-Jan-13 20:41:47

from the way folk go on on here, pag, i think i may well be digging out my hip flask by october...

Poledra Wed 30-Jan-13 20:48:07

Pag, please come and stalk me with fags and wine. Pllleeeaaassseee. Right now. I am stuck in the work meeting from hell and need saving sad

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 20:49:31

I can do wine but no fags Pol. Any good?

StrawberryMojito Wed 30-Jan-13 20:50:56

That's good, thanks for answering.

Poledra Wed 30-Jan-13 20:51:22

Yes. Get GetOrf to bring the fags, she's a durty rotten smoker even if she pretends she's not grin

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 20:53:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 20:54:53

<wondering why no one is offering her wine or fags>

Poledra Wed 30-Jan-13 20:56:50

You have to beg, Summer <shameless blagger>

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 21:00:18

But I'm soo POPULAR I shouldn't have to beg wink

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 21:04:11

Lots of people talk to me at the school gates.

I think it's because I'm friendly and will talk to anyone, but obviously I'm deluded and I'm acksherly a complete bitch who everyone hates, but they talk to me because they are scared of me.

Is that right?

And dd isn't really popular. She certainly wasn't in primary school, and now sits in the middle (I think) with regular fall-outs with various groups

Pagwatch Wed 30-Jan-13 21:06:51

Sometimes we all have to beg.

<<nods head wisely>>

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 21:11:49

I have a theory that girls' friendships depend on luck - if you are lucky enough to have one good friend as a girl by about the age of 5, you are confident in your friendships and can continue to be friendly and kind and inclusive. And can thus be a good influence as a Queen Bee.

If you aren't that lucky, you react either by becoming more self-suficient (maybe a bit of a loner) or by demanding friendship, which can make you a bit bullying. If you are a good bully who can bully and manipulate without other girls realising you are doing it, you can become a queen bee grin.

With boys it's simpler. If you are good at football, everyone likes you. Until you get to the age of 11 when being tall is important as well, and the age of 14 when you have to have no spots and be able to talk to girls. And if people don't like you, you can just have periodic fisticuffs to sort it all out. Very simple.

Itsnearlysummertime Wed 30-Jan-13 21:14:55

Great theory Maryz. You can have fags and wine

fromparistoberlin Wed 30-Jan-13 21:19:24

i think a significant contributing factor in me deactiviating facebook is being friends again with ex alpha mums who i knew as a teen girl...

delete!!!!

fromparistoberlin Wed 30-Jan-13 21:20:09

i mean ex bees? ugh cant figure terminology, alphas from school

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 21:20:21

[arf]

I think I took this thread a tad seriously grin. I will take the wine, you can keep the fags [generous]

Lifeisontheup Wed 30-Jan-13 21:33:40

I've just asked my DD about this, and she says she can't think of anyone in her class at that age who could be described as a Queen Bee. She thinks that is mainly something seen in american dramas. She is still friends with the same group of friends she met when they were about a year old and she's 21 tomorrow so that's pretty good going.

I remember parents who were the organisers but they were generally the ones who had time to run things and were perfectly nice people.

It was the same at the DS's schools, never met anyone who was really bitchy even at secondary school.

I am no alpha mum, I am awkward mum. The one you see at Children's parties standing on their own and blurting out random things when spoken to. I am no good at random chatter with people I don't know and probably come across very rude but I'm just really quite shy, I don't look like I should be shy which seems to cause problems. There are many alpha mums at dd's school, must have perfect hair, must say yah yah quite a lot, must be pushy mums.

Dd loves doing anything and everything - ballet, drama, karate, swimming etc and she is very chatty and sociable, I hope I don't rub off on her!!

Labootin Thu 31-Jan-13 04:34:43

I was told I was an Alpha in the dc's last school. it all got a bit Single White Female. I like to drop and run but on the few occasions i made smalltalk with a few of the mums it was invitations to this and that and one mum tried to book the same hotel I'd mentioned ON THE SAME week so we could go out bar crawling (!)

Both ds and dd are very popular and always gets picked for everything (dd was Mary in the nativity 3 years running) and DS is the football and cricket captain.
As soon as the mums had clocked who I was it was like that scene in the crappy romcom with the thousands of brides running after the hapless groom .. The bloke who played Robin in batman and Robin.

it scared the shit out of me tbh.

TheCatInTheHairnet Thu 31-Jan-13 04:42:45

Lifeisontheup's teenage daughter gave the best response. The idea of Queen Bees lies in Hollywood. It's not real life!!!

Mosman Thu 31-Jan-13 04:46:59

Once about 12 years ago in turned out i was in a clique of popular mums, we had no bloody idea just thought we were a friendly bunch who had the odd coffee together. Turns out we were the talk and envy of the town.

Mosman Thu 31-Jan-13 04:50:10

And God i'd love a fag, my brother is bringing me out 10 silk cut in a few weeks. I shall be picking him up from the airport and mugging him, I mean hugging him.

FellatioNels0n Thu 31-Jan-13 05:29:06

There were a small group of mums at our old school in the UK ('led' by two mums in particular) who if you asked anyone who the Alpha Mummies were, their names would be the first to come up. They were both very attractive, always beautifully dressed, affluent, (although it was an independent school so it wasn't about the money alone - most people were affluent to one extent or another) slim, and had a small group of friends who were all similar.

They also ran the PTA. I have no idea whether they were nice women or not, really. The thing is, they just radiated this 'I am out of your league so no point in your trying to befriend me' sort of aura. But in all honesty that says more about me than it says about them. I'm sure they were just getting on with being them, while I imagined all sorts about them on the basis of how swishy haired and well toned and glamorous they always looked. I actually craved getting to know them on the one hand, yet actively avoided speaking to them in case they thought I was some kind of sad little hanger-on, on the other.

Daft really.

FellatioNels0n Thu 31-Jan-13 05:40:01

There will always be the dominant characters in any social or work setting, whether it's adults or children. There will always be people who others gravitate towards, or aspire to be accepted by. Humans thrive on social hierarchies, even if they are a source of angst much of the time. I think it's a bit unfair to label a person (especially a child) something like Queen Bee just because they are popular, and sought after company. Unless they are the sort who cynically manipulate those around them, and have slight bullying/dominance characteristics, in which case it's fine. grin

I think sometimes if you appear to be rich or glamorous or beautiful, or highly intelligent or successful at work (or all of the above) then people have a perception that you will be a bit lofty and unapproachable, and anything other than going around like a grinning loon inviting every single person to be your friend will be all the evidence that some people need that you are, in fact, a bit up yourself.

FellatioNels0n Thu 31-Jan-13 05:58:19

Getorf said:

I think the slagging off of 'cliques' at the school gate is a bit like the MN royalty shite which gets hurled around on here. Sometimes it is no more than people who have known each other for a bit passing the time of day. I am sure that a lot of these nasty cliques are just people projecting their own insecurities onto groups of women that they see gossipping every day.

Yes. This. ^

The thing is, people gravitate towards those they feel they will have most in common with, after the obvious thing of having children in the same year/class. After that it becomes a birds of a feather thing. There are usually a few other groups of mums that all the naice MC mummies will tend to avoid, either deliberately or subconsciously, on account of them being unsuitable/unlikely candidates for friendship cultivation, for one reason or another. But those people are often in a clique in their own right too - it's just that no-one accuses them of being superior Alpha Mummies because no-one notices or cares who is in or out of those groups! We tend to only notice the groups we secretly aspire to be lncluded in.

FellatioNels0n Thu 31-Jan-13 05:59:57

I reading threads in the morning and responding when I'm 3 hours ahead of you lot. I feel like I make about 50 posts in conversation with myself. grin

FellatioNels0n Thu 31-Jan-13 06:01:56

I hate, sorry.

Chandon Thu 31-Jan-13 07:28:02

Yes, agree about the projection of one's own insecurities.

Also, did not want you to feel like a loon, talking to herself with nobody listening, so had to post ;)

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 31-Jan-13 07:32:46

I talk to people all the time, very casually, because I don't give a shit. I talk to strangers in lifts and queues and at the school gates.

I look like a very confident person. But I only excell at superficial conversation. If I wanted someone to like me or become friends, I wouldn't be confident.

I used to try and make friends with other mums. Cue butthurt. So, I now avoid it. I like to make friends based on things other than motherhood. Frankly, I would rather leave the kids at home with DH and go hang out with non mothers.

Bunbaker Thu 31-Jan-13 08:17:30

QBs tend to be more manipulative, using their powers to dictate how things go. You can be popular without being a QB. There are girls in my daughters' school who are popular because they are good at sport but also very friendly and nice to everyone. The QBs are the ones who pull strings to get things going the way they want. Often by threatening people with exclusion if they don't play ball. QBs often won't have you in their group if you fail in some important criterion: looking too young/being bad at netball, etc.

I totally agree. The QB in DD's class has been bullying DD for the best part of a year. She isn't overt about it but tells lies about DD, me and OH. She is devious and manipulative. The school are aware of the problem and are monitoring the situation. On the other hand the most popular girl in the class is popular with everyone because she doesn't take sides, is nice to everyone and isn't particular friends with any one person.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 09:03:51

I think clarification is needed on what TSC meant with Alphamummy and Queenbee. Perhaps if she had simply asked the question without these 'titles' the thread would have gone a different way.

Basically as I understand it, the question is - are you one of the popular crowd at the school gate and if so, has this rubbed off onto your dd?

I've always been the outsider at school - because we moved to small communities and I found it difficult to integrate - in Geneva that was heightened by the language barrier.

Saying that, I have learned to be more confident and outgoing, and am now more comfortable going into groups of people and chatting to them.

I am very different to the other school mums, many of whom have never lived away from our hometown (to which I have returned) and have the same jobs for the past 20 years. I find it hard to connect with them and am building a new network here.

Dd is more confident and outgoing than I was at her age, which is something I work hard on. She is encouraged and supported and told how special she is.

I'd say she's quite popular and well liked, from what I can see.

I'm not keen on the labelling of girls as manipulative bitches or boys as aggressive out for what they can get.

TheSecondComing Thu 31-Jan-13 09:55:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaQueen Thu 31-Jan-13 10:11:10

I'm not an Alpha Mummy, and neither is DD1 a Queen Bee.

To be honest, because of work, I'm just not at school enough to create and be the centre of that type of Social Structure?

Very early on in DD1's schooling, I chatted with all the Mums in her Reception class, identified the few I liked best/had most in common with, and just really focused on them.

So, to this day I nod and smile at plenty of the Mums, but only really chat to 4-5. I dunno...I just never needed to feel I was that important at school, or to be seen to be surrounded by lots of friends. It's not my style...I'm very confident, but quite self-contained - and most of that school-gossip-tripe bores me shitless.

Plus, I already had a good group of friends, and so didn't really need the social aspect of the school-gates.

DD1 is very popular at school, gets all the party invites - and she gets a lot of kudos from representing her school at badminton and tennis. But, she's definitely a follower rather than a leader. She is too sunny-natured, and too easy-going (and to be honest too lazy) to try and dominate and control anyone else smile

LaQueen Thu 31-Jan-13 10:15:14

Plus...I dunno...I think the type of people to deliberately analyse and break-down the social structure of the School gates into Alpha Mums/Queen Bees... and then get really worked up about it, are probably playing with a pretty insecure/embittered deck of cards, already.

I agree with TSC in that very often it's just someone's individual perception, rather than the true reality.

One person's Queen Bee (said through slightly gritted teeth ) is just another another person's confident, outgoing, popular child.

Arthurfowlersallotment Thu 31-Jan-13 10:18:05

Hmmm, the girls who bullied me at school have in the main, fucked up their lives. Had children taken away, criminal convictions etc. I know this because they all still live in my home town. They may have been queen bees at school but that has not translated to real life.

Mind you, I was a late bloomer so in my early teens was a target for bullies (red hair, braces, NHS glasses). It's shaped my character in many ways. When my DD starts school I would probably laugh my arse off at people who behaved like it was their own high school days.

LaQueen Thu 31-Jan-13 10:18:51

"With boys it's simpler. If you are good at football, everyone likes you. Until you get to the age of 11 when being tall is important as well, and the age of 14 when you have to have no spots and be able to talk to girls. And if people don't like you, you can just have periodic fisticuffs to sort it all out. Very simple."

Oh, so agree with you mary.

DH once dislocated his mate's shoulder in a full-on scrap, when they were about 14...that night they met as usual to play D&D in DH's parent's garage, perfectly content, and mates again, because the score had been settled and life moves on grin

TheSecondComing Thu 31-Jan-13 10:21:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

frumpet Thu 31-Jan-13 10:26:08

Am an Alpha mum ? no , i reckon my parenting skills are anywhere between 4 and 7 out of 10 , depending on the day and time of day . I acheive a 7 when when everyone has been fed and watered and has eventually gone to sleep and i am viewing my skills through wine goggles . Am i popular in the school play ground ? I have absolutely no idea tbh , i do talk to everyone and as far as i can tell no one has snubbed me due to my lack of grooming / shit car/ living in social housing .
Is DD a queen bee ? no and i can honestly say that thinking of her class , there isn't one . That isn't to say that there isn't a 'normal' amount of year six shennanigans that goes on , or that she is never part of these , i know she can be as much of a cowbaggage as the rest of them , BUT , i will always pull her up on it if i found out .

frumpet Thu 31-Jan-13 10:27:22

I am in the PTA though , so watch your backs ...........wink

frumpet Thu 31-Jan-13 10:28:33

Mind you so is every single other parent in our small school grin

LaQueen Thu 31-Jan-13 10:29:55

"And there's some embittered MN'er lurking and accusing them mentally of all sorts, joining the PTA, sucking up to the teachers, bullying other mums and kids, getting their kids key roles in the plays.... It sounds paranoid and deranged."

Yes, ^ ^ ^ ^ this.

I think it would be desperately, desperately sad to be the child of a Mum, who stood at the school gates, grinding her teeth and sneering under her breath 'Oh yeah, look at her, she's at it again, sucking up to the Head Teacher again, just because she wants Amelia to be the narrator in the school play. Stupid cow, it's so transparent...'

When in actual fact Amelia's Mum is probably saying to the Head Teacher 'Hi, how was your holiday in France...' Because, you know...Amelia's Mum is outgoing, and interested in other people and thinks it's only polite to pass the time of day with the person (any person) standing next to her...

Hullygully Thu 31-Jan-13 10:34:58

The sad thing is, I am friends with some people who are on the "outside" and would love to be part of things, and they know why they are on the "outside" - they are a little socially awkward, very different to everyone else etc. and unable to make themselves mainstream enough to fit in.

But then there are others who are the same as above, BUT CAN'T SEE IT, so blame other people and feel bitter. Really they are the saddest.

ubik Thu 31-Jan-13 10:35:42

I don't recognise this 'Alpha Mum' thing

There are mothers who volunteer for PTA and pour their energy and professionalism into organising events, bidding for extra cash etc

I'm grateful that they do it. They contribute a great deal.

frumpet Thu 31-Jan-13 10:58:04

I always think of an 'alphamum' as being like the one in the column in the Times . Whilst there may be parents at school who's parenting is more 'intense' better than mine , i cannot think of a single child who is doing an extra curricular activity that isn't what i would class as normal .

frumpet Thu 31-Jan-13 10:59:59

Oops posted too soon , normal being swimming /sports /music /dancing .

BubaMarra Thu 31-Jan-13 11:21:42

I had a QB in my class. She was popular with the teacher and most children BUT she was also nasty especially to a girl who followed her everywhere. Remember how she took her her gloves because she forgot hers. The other girl was freezing. She also emotionally abused her like repeating how she was not smart, etc. I guess she just played on poor girl's insecurities.
I was never part of her closest group, but I was not an outcast either. I have never actually given it a thought. That's how it goes, some people we like, some people we don't and vice versa. I had my friends and didn't find her to be a person I would like to hang out with, she felt the same way about me and that was it. She never bullied me and in hindsight I guess it was because I didn't display sort of insecurities she could play on as I didn't give a shit about it all. When we hit 11/12 the situation dramatically changed and her popularity and power over other children just wore off. She was actually not a bad child, just a child that had some advantages compared to other children and she just didn't know how to deal with it and sort of got carried away.
The point is that unless there are some other reasons (physical and outright emotional abuse) to move children to another school, I would never do that based on this alone. I don't think it's good for them as we can't move children around all the time throughout their lives. Your DD seems fine, she does have other friends and it looks like she is dealing with it quite well. In a year or two the situation can quickly change and with children it usually does.

Lifeisontheup Thu 31-Jan-13 11:21:58

My Dd has just pointed out that the most popular girl in her class, who eventually became head girl was a rather plain but very sweet and kind girl with a strong sense of right and wrong, who always stood up for what she thought was right. She was clever(won a scholarship) and good at sport and art but never boasted. I guess the perfect headgirl and no one begrudged her the position.
Her mother was heavily involved in the PTA but her worst enemy could never have called her manipulative, we were just all relieved there was someone who could organise things and was good at crafts etc so the Christmas fair was a doddle for her.

naughtynaughtynamechange Thu 31-Jan-13 11:41:02

Previous poster is correct. There is a nasty undercurrent of sexism to the whole concept of "queen bee" and "alpha mummy". It's about empty, ultimately futile politicking rather than talent.

I was Z-list at school. Undoubtedly still considered so by school-gate mummies, as I am overweight, not groomed, not good-looking, not English, and not a kept woman (actually I do the keeping). At 40 I honestly could not give a shit about the mummy hierarchy. After school I went to world-class university, have lived all over the world and now have world-class job in sector everyone loves to hate but really would like to work in because they'd make a fuckload of money. The queen bees from my school days have gone exactly nowhere.

The alpha mummies don't realise some of us look down on them because they really need to cultivate a life beyond the school playground. Grooming their daughters as mini-mes doesn't do the kids any favours either.

It's a bit like the LGBT "it gets better" campaign. Popularity/unpopularity at school means nothing in the wider world.

When we're all 50 the school-gate garbage will all be over, but I'll have a great career and a small circle of friends who would crawl over broken glass for me.

Pagwatch Thu 31-Jan-13 11:53:27

Well ok - except I am 51 and my DD is 10.
And I have a great circle of friends because we seem to have managed not to have any massive cliques at our school. Perhaps we have just managed to get on and like each other without applying preposterous labels to anyone not exactly like us.

naughtynaughtynamechange Thu 31-Jan-13 11:58:55

Lucky you. But at my school the "alpha mummy" crap is perpetuated by women with too much time on their hands and with too much vicarious interest vested in the social success of their daughters.

Nothing their daughters will be able to pay the mortgage with in 30 years.

TheSecondComing Thu 31-Jan-13 12:03:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nokidshere Thu 31-Jan-13 12:14:33

I am not sure I know what an alpha mummy is so I am probably not one lol

I talk to everyone, everyone talks to me, and everyone knows who I am simply because of the nature of my business and my personality. People at school are just people I know - one or two have become friends but most are just someones mummy that I talk to once a day! I am non-judgemental and have no time spare to join PTA's or committees and am eternally grateful that there are many who do so that I don't have to feel guilty about it.

My children (young teens now) are popular in that they have a good circle of friends and, generally, they are pretty placid and kind although I am never sure if I would like to see what they are like when I cant see them smile

I honestly dont get all this stuff at the school gates. I don't notice any of it at our school particularly or maybe its just that I don't notice it.

Pagwatch Thu 31-Jan-13 12:28:38

Yes. I am pretty lucky. They are all really nice.
I would hate to be endlessly looking down on my DDs friends parents.
How do people cope if their DD is best friends with 'alphamum' DD?

Maryz Thu 31-Jan-13 12:39:23

I was at a parent teacher meeting last week, where I wandered in and started talking to a few people I know from primary school. I have also met a fair few parents on the sidelines of various sports, and will chat to them if I see them at school. So there were quite a crowd of us all talking to each other and a few people around the edges.

There was one woman looking a bit nervous and clutching a cup of tea, not talking to anyone, so I turned to her and said something casual - I just said "oh, look at them all hanging around watching to see what we are all talking about" as all the boys were hanging around watching us through a sort of archway between where we were and where their lockers are.

She just looked at me and said "my son isn't hanging around, he has gone home to study", put down her cup of tea and walked off blush.

I'm sure she now hates me. But I did try to be friendly.

I will talk to anyone - though I have a really terrible memory, so I'm sure I offend lots of people by not remembering their names or whose parent they are.

frumpet Thu 31-Jan-13 12:55:11

LGBT ?

cloudpuff Thu 31-Jan-13 13:53:56

Can I ask what is the LGBT campaign?

Lets Get Britain Together? or something.

MmeLindor Thu 31-Jan-13 14:00:07

Lesbian Gay Bi Transexual

I think. That's what it normally stands for.

Could be Let's Get Britain Tidy though.

Or Lazy Gits Be Tardy

Love Green Bottle Tops

Bunbaker Thu 31-Jan-13 16:04:11

"Bunbaker. A child telling lies about you and your OH? Really? Who to?what lies? How and why are you a) interested and b) bothered. I don't disbelieve you, I just don't get it?"

Why don't you "get" it? The school told me. The bully was reported by another teacher to the learning mentor and she found out that the bully had made up all sorts of fiction about us a family.

a) Because the things she said have implications on me as a governor of the school
b) Because she has sabotaged most of the friendships that DD has made and has made her feel isolated and excluded

It is cynical people like you that allow bullies to flourish and get away with their despicable behaviour.

rainrainandmorerain Thu 31-Jan-13 17:57:14

I got half way through this thread and was feeling quite anxious - all the judgement, second guessing, the 'I'm this sort of person/x is THAT sort of person' etc.

Then I sort of 'peaked' and thought - WOMEN! STOP MAKING EVERYTHING SO BLOODY COMPLICATED! and found the rest of it quite funny (not the posters who are unhappy, obvs).

I have honestly not yet met an alpha mum. It really must be a money thing. I have met mums who are quite good looking and groomed.... but that's not it, is it? I must be 'median mum' in that there are mums who are better looking/more haggard, poorer/richer, better qualified/less educated, more socially skilled/more awkward, more organised/less organised etc all around me. I am probably one of the oldest mums around (i.e an older mum with younger kids), but that doesn't bother me or anyone else. It's all a mix, isn't it? I feel very comfy with that.

I do wonder how much of this comes from women who had miserable times at school, and use that as a template for adult friendships and social patterns. Which is understandable, but perhaps a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy. Then again, maybe it really does depend on where you are and how wealthy people are. Or is it women directing energy 'inwards' at each other rather than 'outwards' at the world...

TheSecondComing Thu 31-Jan-13 18:37:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bunbaker Thu 31-Jan-13 19:16:24

The child is damaging my reputation as a governor and by implication that of the school. I won't go into specifics, but she said that I did something I didn't and broadcast it to a lot of children (who would then go home and tell their parents). The board of governors have taken it seriously BTW so I know I wasn't concerned about nothing.

I am also affected because my daughter comes home in tears from school because no-one will talk to her.

Are you so thick skinned that when your child is feeling hurt and lonely it doesn't affect you? Or are being deliberately obtuse?

Bunbaker Thu 31-Jan-13 19:17:22

And, no I'm not scared of the little madam, but DD is.

HortensiaPollard Thu 31-Jan-13 19:20:03

At the moment I'm feeling more like an epsilon-minus-semi-moron mother. sad

MerylStrop Thu 31-Jan-13 19:26:46

I just don't recognise this stuff about "alpha mums" and cliques
There's certainly not Queen of the School run. At the DCs school it seems that everyone just knocks along fairly pleasantly with each other.
Then again I didn't recognise the playgroup bitchiness so often described on here, either.

A lot of it is in people's heads.

I do remember Queen Bee types at school. But nothing from the screenplay of Heathers.

Bunbaker Thu 31-Jan-13 19:31:51

We never had any "Alpha mums" at DD's primary school. Perhaps it is a home counties thing?

TheSecondComing Thu 31-Jan-13 20:51:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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