P4&5 girls in the changing rooms

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

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

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

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

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

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 21:28:13

speak to the school the other girls are going through changes that maybe your dd isn't aware of yet say some girls like to be a bit private im not sure if you should tell her not to change the way she does but dont worry these girls are just being silly speak to the teacher

BambieO Tue 26-Feb-13 21:29:06

That's a shame, children can be so spiteful.

Does she not try and do it how everyone else does it to save her embarrassment/grief or is she happy to do it her own way?

Either way it's her choice, she does it her own way and ignores them or she complies with the sheep mentality for an easy life?

Sounds harsh but things are very black and white at school and children don't think about how they hurt someone all the time.

She seems proud of her body to get changed the way she does so I don't imagine there are issues. I would just talk to her, I don't think it's a school matter really. The teachers can't always control childrens thoughts.

CupidStunt48 Tue 26-Feb-13 21:30:03

YANBU, Bullying should not be tolerated under any circumstances and it can be even more damaging where body image is concerned.

Definitely go to the head and ask for the teachers to keep an eye on the situation and express how it has made your DD feel.

Hope it gets sorted OP, I was bullied all the way through school and it was horrible, I hope your DD starts feeling like herself again soon.

mrsjay Tue 26-Feb-13 21:31:59

fwiw I think it is silly giggiling and not a big deal as such of course you dont want you dd upset but all kids giggle especially at nakedness, get her to wear her shorts on netball days

gordyslovesheep Tue 26-Feb-13 21:33:39

oh I am a bit fency on this - what does SHE want you to do?

on one hand if this IS what's making her so upset (and 9 year old girls can be temperamental at the best of times) then absolutely it has to be dealt with

Laughing at other kids etc and making them uncomfortable is not nice and should be addressed

so the school should be aware - and for that YANBU but I am not sure you need to go to the head.

I also would say that a little bit of mean girls stuff is a normal part of this age group sadly and your DD also needs to learn to negotiate through it - they grow into teens and don't get any better. I am not saying it should be accepted but maybe also look at supporting your daughter so it doesn't make her melt down every time anyone says anything she see's as 'off'

I have a highly emotional 10 year old who has even had an exclusion for fighting a boy who wrote'X is a stupid cow' on the board - they need to learn how to deal with this crap without the melt downs.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 26-Feb-13 21:35:44

I would talk to the school to see if there is anything else going on. Constant over reacting, arguments and tears to the point of not speaking to her Dad seems quite an extreme reaction to teasing about how to get changed. I'd be worried that there was more to it.

Has she tried to get changed in the same way as the other girls? What does she say when you ask her, or suggest that to her? Not that she should have to of course, but if getting changed differently is the only problem, then there's no reason why it wouldn't blow over as quickly as it started.

threesypeesy Tue 26-Feb-13 21:45:38

poor soul girls can be so mean at this sort of age

I would talk to her first and see what she wants you to do, use this terrible situation to your advantage and encourage your dd to be body confident and proud. and hopefully she will have enough self esteem to ignore silly catty comments like this. you ususally find that these girls have insecurities of there own and thats why the bully maybe they see your dd as being confident and dont like it.

hope you sort it all tomorrow.!!

rodandtheemu Tue 26-Feb-13 21:46:17

Ah bless her....

Go and speak to the head tomorow, this has affected your dd so has to be adressed also that dd knows she can come to you and you will help her.

I would point out to the head that this is not team behavour, could cause body issues and has affected her schooling. I would tend to think that the head would be horrified tho and have these girls over hot coals.

I would tell DD they have behaved like this as they are clearly immature and its not her fault.

I would talk to dd about what she feels would be the best way forward..stick to her way or join the rest in covering up. Sticks in my throat to say it but in schools it can be very easy to become a target (for a long time) I've seen whole classes do it, so might be best to pick and choose her wars/fights.

good luck!!

p.s i would def be eyeballing those 'girls' in the morning.

Bathsheba Tue 26-Feb-13 21:46:36

I've not been able to talk to her about this yet - I only found this out from my best friend (mum of Dd1's friend who is also in the netball group) after dd had gone to bed.

I do think of DD as a very 'young' 9 - she is the oldest of 3 so she is surrounded at home by littler ones, her TV watching is Disney junior etc rather than older things. She is also one to get obsessed with things that 'older' 9 year olds might tease her about - at the moment she is obsessed with Pokemon which I don't think is standard 9 year old girl fare..

I was teased and bullied all through school and I so want her life experience to be different to mine - my primary school experience started going downhill at 9 when's friend abandoned me because she didn't want to be seen to be friends with 'the fat girl'

titchy Tue 26-Feb-13 21:56:29

Just make sure you don't make this about your issues. It does sound like other stuff goin on tbh rather than the way she gets changed or kids teasing her because of her body.

DeWe Tue 26-Feb-13 21:58:52

I think you need to find out if this is specific (ie just the changing issue) or the changing issue is the one she's expressed but is sycromatic of a bigger picture.

If it's just the changing issue, then I'd show her how to do it. (as well as speak to the teacher). And get her to deal with that sort of comments with reasonable reactions. "I hadn't thought of it. Much better not to show my pants..." type of thing.
And look out in advance for things like that where she can imitate to blend in when she choses to.

My dd1 had a similar when they went swimming with the school. Apparently it's dirty not to take a spare pair of pants to change into afterwards. confused. I told her that I didn't think that was necessarily usual, and that I suspected that other girls hadn't, and had said "of course I have" instead of her honest "no I haven't".
But in her case it was a bigger picture, and if they hadn't said that I'm sure it would have been something else.
Changing for the girls was an issue because they had a male teacher and a male games teacher so they often had no supervision, and it got pretty nasty in there at times.

I would talk to the head/teacher. Tell them exactly what what she said, ask if they think there could be a bigger picture, and ask them to look out for it. Ask what she does/who she's with at lunch/break and see if it tallies with what she says.

Hope you get to the bottom of it.

WorraLiberty Tue 26-Feb-13 22:05:22

If she's been over reacting, tears, arguing etc at home...perhaps the changing thing is a red herring? Maybe someone pointed it out, giggled and she over reacted to that too?

You're right to speak to the school, but I would try to go in with an open mind rather than assume the moods are because of the changing room thing.

Do you think it could be hormonal?

I've known 3 or 4 nine year olds to start their periods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You need to do both Bathsheba.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glad the head is taking it seriously.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you get some help from school x

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

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

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

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

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

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

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