Advice on bullying and building my child's strategies to cope with it

(5 Posts)
auburnmum Fri 28-Jun-13 12:12:59

DD 10 has had a terrible Year 5, being bullied by a group of girls who were previously friends and now turned on her. We tried all the normal things like talking to the school but it just made things worse, as the girls initially apologised but then ramped up the bullying out of sight and became much more subtle about it. DD begged me not to say anything more and I agreed as I was worried that DD would stop confiding in me and would become even more isolated. Eventually, we just rode it out ... DD and family didn't react to the horrible things that were happening (e.g. main bully was not only refusing to let DD play in her group but also preventing other children from playing with her). Eventually we came out the other side and things improved. School is now OK more-or-less with the odd blip.

I've come to the realisation that I can't really solve DD's problems for her and neither can the school. I need to use this time to help DD build up the confidence and strategies to fix things herself for the next time this comes up. Any ideas??? I want a book or something that gives really practical advice so the next time someone, for example, says she can't sit down in the lunch hall because that seat's being saved, (and so is that one, and that one, and that one) - she has a strategy to deal with this. any advice gratefully received.

DeWe Mon 01-Jul-13 13:06:50

My dd1 has a hatred of me going in as she thinks it will get worse. If she's asked "did you tell on me?" she's honest so would say yes.

What I do if I have to speak to them, is ask them not to let her know that I have spoken to the school. They have always kept to this and been very careful. One huge advantage of this is that they think the school has noticed... which scares them.

But I would go in now and discuss with school how they can make year 6 (do you know her teacher yet?) better for the whole year.
Maybe they can find her a job with someone else to foster friendships. Ask her to look after a new girl. Swap classes around. I know you say things are on top now, but it can be worth making sure the teacher is aware there is a potential issue. So when the teacher looks out and sees your dd sitting on her own she can know that it;s because the others have said that she can't sit there, not that she has chosen not to.

I don't know any book that gives suggestions of things to say, unfortunately it's probably a question of being confident enough to ignore them, but that's very difficult to do.

Morebiscuitsplease Sat 06-Jul-13 13:53:28

School can be discreet. As a form tutor I always said other pupils had commented, never that the parent had contacted me. I also used"nice" pupils not accused of causing trouble if they would keep me informed of how things were going, again very discreetly. Good Luck!

morethanpotatoprints Sat 06-Jul-13 13:58:16

I'm sorry OP, it is dreadful for children who are bullied.
I disagree though to allow them to sort it out for themselves, imo it just escalates if there are more than one bully or a group your dc is rejected from.
Any child of mine would have been out of the school by now. If your dd doesn't like your involvement you need to tell her its your job as a parent to be sorting it out, as she is a child.

Fluffymonster Sat 20-Jul-13 02:09:34

I've just been wondering myself, if there were any decent books out there, that can help kids learn how to be assertive, and 'handle' certain situations - and voila! This one looks pretty decent: www.amazon.co.uk/Cool-Calm-Confident-Workbook-Assertiveness/dp/1572246308#_

My 6yo dd is also usually happy and confident - yet the other day, the teacher said she had been "tired and tearful", which is quite rare (she normally loves school too).

When I asked her what was wrong, she wouldn't say, and just appeared to want to change the subject or brush it off. Walking home, I also noticed she had a paperclip stuck in her hair, which was also a bit 'odd'. She seemed embarrassed and just wanted to forget about it, so I didn't push further. Then this evening she said while chatting, that "today was the best day!" I asked her why, and she replied "I gave all my teachers presents (last day of term!) - and no one was mean to me." Which of course implied that someone recently had. I asked her if this was what the other day's tears was about, and she nodded. When I asked her who had been 'mean' - she said she 'couldn't remember', possibly not wanting to make a fuss or get the other child into trouble. I asked if she ever felt like being mean back (this is where I came a bit unstuck, because although I do want her to stand up for herself, I wouldn't necessarily think it's great to engage in the same bullying type behaviour!). Anyway she just said "No, because I don't really like being mean..."

Bless her, I had visions of someone teasing, and flicking paperclips at her until she cried (hopefully just my imagination going a bit overboard). But what to do? Whilst telling the teacher might sort it out in the short term, in the long run she could do with being more assertive at 'handling' certain situations. This book sounds quite practical and aimed at children, so things they can relate to hopefully. I like the idea of reading out scenarios and discussing them. Good luck OP!

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