Help! I am at my wits end and would really appreciate any advice on how to deal with this.
My DD is year 8 and is being bullied by her 'friend'. This girl moved into our village about 10 months ago and her and my DD made friends and have been fairly close (sleepovers, outings etc), to the point where i now give her a lift to school every morning to help her mum out who has two smaller children at schools in the opposite direction.
Its all been fine up until the last three months when they started to go into town on the bus. A couple of times this girl 'forgot' to bring extra money to buy lunch and my DD kindly bought it for her. This has now become a regular occurence (last week it was every day) at school too, in fact she now doesn't even ask, just puts what she wants with my daughters things and expects her to pay. I have asked my daughter to just tell her no, but she tells me this girl does it in such a way as to make it very hard for her to do this. I'm not sure this girl would even realise she was being a bullly (is bullying what this is?).
Alongside this is a little bit of teasing and some isolating her from her other friends by making a fuss if she wants to spend lunchtimes with them instead of her.
I have tried restricting the amount of money my daughter has each day, but today she even asked another friend to lend my daughter 20p so she could still buy her lunch! Unbelievable! She brings a packed lunch, so it's not as though she wouldn't have anthing to eat all day if my daughter refused to pay.
As you would expect my daughter doesn't want me to talk to anyone in case it makes things worse. :-(
This is a bit of a pain in the arse. I assume your daughter is bothered about the situation, from what you've said.
You could try giving your DD a packed lunch for a while and see if it stops. Otherwise your DD could just put everything the girls places on her tray back (or say something along the lines of "go and sit down, I'll come over soon" and then surreptitiously put the other girls "choices" back before paying and sitting with other children), which should hopefully her "friend" will take the hint. She could also, when getting to the till, give the extra stuff to the lunch lady and just say "this isn't mine". She could also take two trays (I assume there are trays) and put the other girls food on the second tray then pay for the first and walk off, leaving the girl's food at the till for her to pay for herself The problem with this though is that it could backfire to the other child being meaner depending on what she's like
I assume, as they're good friends, that you're friendly/friends with the other child's mother? You could always mention it to her. Just say that your DD has felt pressured to buy food for HER DD at school and feels uncomfortable as she doesn't always have the money to do so but doesn't want to upset her friend. Hopefully the other parent will either give the child some money so she can get her own stuff or come down hard on her for not eating her packed lunches, without mentioning your DD.
Sounds like a difficult situation. Of course there could be many reasons as to why the 'friend' doesn't have any money to pay for lunches/snacks. The most obvious one being that she has a packed lunch! However, when told by your DD that she herself didn't have enough money to pay for everything the 'friend' then asked someone else to lend your DD 20p in order to pay for 'friend's' food. It is now your DD and not her 'friend' who would reasonably be expected to pay back the 20p to the other child. 'Friend' gets what she wants for free, but only from your DD. Sounds like it could be the start of bullying.
Your DD doesn't want you to say anything in case it gets worse. However, if nothing is said then it will either get worse anyway or at the very least stay the same (your DD having to buy lunch or snacks every day for 'friend').
Could you email your DD's Form Tutor or someone who deals with Pastoral care and tell them what is happening and ask for advice.
You could try bringing the subject of lunch money up during the journey to school. You wouldn't have to tackle the 'friend' just tell your own DD (in front of 'friend') something like "Oh, here's your lunch money, now don't forget I haven't been able to get to the bank so I've only got this much - so no extras today." 'Friend might take the hint. Your DD would then be able to tell 'friend' "I can't pay for lunch, you'll have to eat your packed lunch today because, as she said in the car, mum didn't have much money". If she doesn't take the hint and still insists on your DD buying her lunch that day then you would have more 'evidence' when asking for assistance/advice from school.