So upset , letter regarding DD (9) behaviour at school

(25 Posts)
MotherofA Fri 14-Oct-16 22:04:09

I am writing on here for advice on how to deal with that after asking both my daughters granny's and getting little help .
I have had a letter from school home about my daughter apparently pinching a boys neck and strangling the same boy in the play ground . Also it says she referred to some boys as gay .
This has been told to the head by the boys .
My daughter has not had the easiest life but certainly not the worst either . She is very very loved and very loving the majority of the time . The most I get is attitude now and again from her . She is not interested in television or her I pad and spends most of Her time with me in the kitchen drawing and reading . We are very loving and affectionate to one and other also . I cannot actually imagine her behaving in this way and have no idea how to deal with this appropriately without making her feel she can't talk to me . She does struggle with friendships sometimes and can be very sensitive (like me ) she is 9 and I am due to have her little sister a week after her 10th birthday .
Pls do not judge her or us I am on the verge of tears with this already .

DianaMitford Fri 14-Oct-16 22:08:24

Don't worry. I have a 9yr old DD as well and it seems that pushing boundaries at this age is very common!

If it were me I would ask her about the contents of the letter, get her side and then correct the behaviour. Explain what's wrong and why.

But don't stress about it. There will be other children doing far worse!!

Pluto30 Fri 14-Oct-16 22:09:14

I would suggest seeking professional help for her. It sounds as though she's got a few underlying problems, or there's something bigger going on that she's not talking to you about, and often children will (in time) open up to a "stranger" more than they will open up to a parent.

Otherwise, I'd suggest speaking to the school about their concerns and what they advise you do about her behaviour. They will likely have a counselor or someone there who she can see, or they may be willing to put in place other things/plans to deal with her behaviour.

My brother was similar to this as a child. He has ADHD and, as a result, had a lot of anger issues. Once he got older, my parents noticed he also had an addictive nature, so that compounded his anger issues. Without professional help AND the assistance and understanding of the school, I think things could've gotten a lot worse for him. He's a very well rounded, loving, ambitious man now, but there were real concerns for him when he was younger.

MotherofA Fri 14-Oct-16 22:18:09

Thank you both for your responses , both of which couldn't be more different ! I am inclined to feel more drawn to yours @DianaMitford.
I do not feel she has ADHD or any other such issues as she has two step siblings who stay with us all weekend every weekend and she is kind and loving towards them and has never EVER been aggressive or violent towards anyone in our home . All her family adore her and comment on how kind and loving she is . She has told me that the boys at school call her names and make fun on her surname . Wondering if she perhaps retaliated to this although she still needs to learn this is not acceptable behaviour and I don't know the best way to deal with this . When she has been in trouble before she has fibbed about her side of things (I can always tell ) despite me saying I'll be more cross about fibbing .
I have also contemplated counselling for her but don't want her having a label in her mind about herself as this can make things worse at times . All advice appreciated smile

missyB1 Fri 14-Oct-16 22:23:09

Perhaps these boys have been giving her a hard time and she stuck up for herself? I'm not excusing what she did but maybe she had her reasons? I wouldn't over think this too much, just a serious conversation about the kind of trouble that aggressive actions can lead to.

MotherofA Fri 14-Oct-16 22:25:55

Thanks @missyB1 I think you are probably right and I am possibly reading too much in to this . She has been telling me for weeks that some boys call her names about her last name so perhaps she was retaliating and I just need to let her know that you don't go about things that way .

NotAnotherUserName1234 Fri 14-Oct-16 22:30:24

so she tried to strangle someone and you have not told her off?

why have you not told her that her behaviour is unacceptable?

JustSpeakSense Fri 14-Oct-16 22:31:04

You say she doesn't watch tv much but spends her time drawing and reading, however, she has learned this behaviour from somewhere, an older sibling? Cousin? Neighbour?

The school would have investigated thoroughly and wouldn't have contacted you unless they felt her behaviour was inappropriate.

Physical violence and calling people gay is unacceptable. You need to help her understand that if she had trouble there are always adults around to help her deal with the situation, violence and insults are not the answer.

Northernlurker Fri 14-Oct-16 22:31:40

It's a funny age. I certainly don't think this one series of incidents alone requires professional intervention given you've no concerns at home.
Talk to her about it gently and probe how her self esteem is. It's very common for kids who are teased to lash out and get themselves in trouble when actually the long term aggression is coming from some other children.
I had a phone call from one of my kids teachers to let me know dd had had a falling out at school and declared as a result that she wanted to kill herself because she was so weird. School had dealt with it sensibly and supportively, encouraging her to embrace her personality - she is definitely quirky. We had a good, easy going chat about it and I banned Tracey beaker watching as it seemed to be making dd a bit too dramatic grinNo further problems. And no complaints about a lack of Tracey beaker either...........I think it was a relief.

MotherofA Fri 14-Oct-16 22:41:11

Wow notanotherusername thanks for your non judging response .... we have been out for the evening with family and her step siblings are here so I was waiting for time alone with her tomorrow and after hopefully getting some kind advice on here about how to go about this as I have not had to deal with anything like this before ! I did not think putting her to bed with the worry of this was a very sensitive way to go about things.....
Also justspeaksense no she doesn't have older siblings or cousins or play with any neighbours . She goes to school and dance classes at weekends that is it .
Clearly I am aware this behaviour is unacceptable hence my being upset enough to post and ask for advice !
Thank you so much northernlurker your advice is appreciated and sounds like my girl (who I believe is hormonal ) along with having these boys calling her names etc .

Peach9876 Fri 14-Oct-16 22:42:12

Yikes. Seems poor kid has been bullied and finally snapped. Did you do anything about this teasing? Are these the same boys calling her names and making fun of her.
You need to deal with her reaction regardless. Nipping isn't acceptable, but strangling someone is very very serious. It can cause bruising of windpipes even if done for a second. It's not something to be taken lightly at all. I would sit her down and have a serious talk with her. As for calling them gay, does she understand what being gay is? Is it something negative within your family? Is it an abnormal thing at school? Some schools don't have any gay parents, whilst others have quite a few. Unless you want to allow gay being a derogatory term you need open conversations about these things and look at books etc to teach her to be more accepting of these things.

But you also need to apologise that you might not of done all you could about the name calling, unless you did everything possible... which IMO should include speaking to the school (her teacher to start with) and help her with coping strategies when they are being little sods teasing her.

Sounds like she was pushed over the edge to me. If not dealt with it can (and does) escalate into anger issues.

MotherofA Fri 14-Oct-16 22:47:58

About the gay comment . I am almost 100% sure she does not know what being gay means and in no way would it be used as a derogatory term around me . I imagine this has been heard at school .
To be honest I am sorry to say I did not address the name calling as she is so sensitive about these things I told her they are just silly boys and to ignore them . confused

DixieWishbone Fri 14-Oct-16 23:10:36

I suspect your DD reacted out of sheer frustration. The drip, drip, drip repetition of insults would wear nearly anyone down and she is 9 so is not going to react in a mature way. She probably heard 'gay' being thrown around at school.

You definitely need to find out what her side of the story is. The strangling may have been exaggerated by the boys.

If the boys have been name calling for weeks then you need to let the school know. She shouldn't have to put up with it, and there is little she can do to make them stop if they don't care about upsetting her. If it was once in a while from one boy then 'ignore the silly boy' would be good advice. When it is more than one child and has been happening for weeks, the school needs to intervene as it is verbal bullying.

Do explain to her that strangling can kill someone, and any kind of physical attack, like pinching, is not acceptable. She will need an alternative strategy though. Does she have school friends who will verbally stand up for her if the name calling starts? Can the teacher or playground supervisor keep an ear open and put a stop to it? The school may have good ideas too.

MotherofA Fri 14-Oct-16 23:17:44

Thanks Dixie she did tell me that she had told the teacher about the name calling and that the boys had been told but they were still saying it . I think the majority are right and she has just lost it as a reaction. I will talk with her about this and ways of dealing with these things and make it clear she should never be putting her hands on anyone . Perhaps the strangling was exaggerated I can't imagine her doing that forcefully to anyone never mind a boy but will be seriously talking about this with her and telling her there will be serious consequences if I ever hear of her putting her hands on anyone again !
I have also ordered her a couple of books for young people about self esteem , hormones etc and positivity hopefully they will help with her frustration .

MotherofA Sat 15-Oct-16 11:04:21

Just an update on our chat , it seems a lot of you were right in that it was her finally losing it and reacting to this boys constant name calling and he apparently has kicked her on a couple of occasions also . She says she has told dinner lady's about this on occasion but often he will say sorry and beg her not to tell so she doesn't .
I have had a serious talk about never physically touching people and how wrong it is and should I ever hear of her doing this again there will be serious consequences which I listed . Also regarding the "gay" comment she doesn't seem to know what it means and said the boys were calling each other it and she joined in .
I explained to DD that at home I love her company and she is a lovely girl and that it upsets me to think she is allowing people to get her that mad at school and we need to find another way of dealing with the anger . I will be writing a letter to respond to the head about my concerns and tell her about this conversation.

missyB1 Sat 15-Oct-16 11:52:01

Sounds like you've handled it just right.

DixieWishbone Sat 15-Oct-16 14:44:33

Point out to your DD that the boys had absolutely zero trouble telling on her.

Please let the school know about the kicking and name calling. If he thinks he can provoke her and get her into trouble he isn't going to let up. If her pinching him is unacceptable then him kicking her is equally unacceptable and there should be letters home to his parents.

I would ask her to put together a list of incidents for the school so they can see who is involved, what they have been doing, how long this has been going on. It sounds like your DD is worn down to her last nerve with this and it needs to stop.

Lunar1 Sat 15-Oct-16 14:55:49

Sorry this will be unpopular on here, but good on her. I had teachers and parents who were happy enough to ignore me being bullied through school, I was repeatedly told to just ignore it.

She is now only being listened to because she retaliated. I would get professional help for your daughter, her needs are now only being looked at because she was violent, she needs someone skilled to help her so she learns that this is not the only way to get the adults in her life to pay attention.

andintothefire Sun 16-Oct-16 20:11:37

I think you have ended up dealing with it really well. The only thing I would add is that I think the "gay" comments need to be addressed. If the other boys were calling each other gay then perhaps it is something the school needs to deal with? They need to talk to the children about what it means and why it is an extremely unacceptable insult. It wouldn't hurt for you to explain it to your daughter. However I think the school needs to take responsibility in an explaining rather than punishing way.

MotherofA Sun 16-Oct-16 20:36:50

I did explain to her that there is nothing wrong with being gay but to refer to people as gay is derogatory towards people who are actually gay .
Yes perhaps the school should address this but to be honest I feel the headteacher is biased and has an issue with my daughter as she has not always attended this school but that is another can of worms. !

andintothefire Sun 16-Oct-16 21:35:36

Yes - it does sound as though your daughter was automatically blamed. If the other boys are calling each other gay, the school needs to deal with it. To be honest I am surprised they haven't addressed it within the school. But I understand if you don't want to be perceived as difficult by raising it!

mummytime Sun 16-Oct-16 21:48:48

If the HT is biased against your DD then I would be very careful.
I would make sure that all your complaints are in writing (email will do) and that you follow up verbal discussions with a clarifying email.

Do not double punish her. Do express your disappointment over this behaviour. Do discuss other ways she might have handled it. Don't worry about being that parent. Do complain about bullying (which the boys comments are).

Good luck.

MotherofA Sun 16-Oct-16 22:16:54

Thank you smile I have written a letter which I will be handing in tomorrow and will definitely take your advice on having documented evidence of every conversation !
Also told DD to keep a diary of every single time they call her a name etc and to tell the teacher every single time. I have told the head that she will be doing this also in the letter . Don't see her liking that ! Lol

a7mints Mon 17-Oct-16 16:27:14

There is no excuse for strangling another child.Have you any idea how terrifying and dangerous this is?

BackforGood Mon 17-Oct-16 16:43:01

If this actually was a 'first' or 'one off' incident, I'm very surprised you've had a formal letter and that you've not been taken aside for a chat.
Do you think there might have been other incidents?
I really would arrange to go in a talk to her class teacher - put her side, let them know that you completely back them that she shouldn't have 'strangled' anyone, however she has been having trouble for a long time and has not really felt supported in the playground. Ask them what they would like her to do each time.

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