Best friend turned bully.

(12 Posts)
fishyfriend Thu 24-Oct-13 07:17:29

How do I help my dd? She is 8 and since she was at nursery has been 'best friends' with another girl. They are in the same class at school. Now, the relationship has always been a slightly tempestuous one and I have always had slight reservations about it. The other girl is very competitive and seems to need to put others down in order to boost her own esteem. However, dd is quite quiet and kind and although she has benefitted from the relationship in some ways, she lets this girl manipulate her and control her.

The problems really seem to have started though since another girl became close to the best friend and is her new 'best friend'. They now seem to leave dd out and their friendship seems to have it's foundations in putting dd down, criticising what she wears, how she has her hair etc. This wouldn't be too hard to deal with but they also seem intent on sabotaging any new friendships she tries to establish. So although they exclude her a lot of the time from playing with the pair of them, when they see her playing or talking with someone else they take them away and whisper things so she is left alone. Basically all this amounts to bullying and has been going on for about a year now.

DD is understandably upset and starting to not want to go to school. She just feels so left out all the time. I have talked to her teacher about it who has had a general chat with the class but it doesn't really seem to help. I think there needs to be a more direct approach. The problem is I don't really see how things can be made much better. They can't force these girls to be friends with dd, and it's not as easy to just make new friends at this age as the friendship groups in the class are well established. She just wants to be included and feel she belongs, not be on the edge of the groups.

Has anyone experience of a similar situation and can offer advice?

ICameOnTheJitney Thu 24-Oct-13 08:53:47

No they can't force them to be friends with DD but they CAN stop the sabotage and the put downs. Go into school and tell them everything and tell them that DD is suffering badly and you insist something is done.

If they say anything to make it sound as though "girls will be girls" ask for a copy of their bullying policy and let the governors know.

I cannot STAND this kind of thing being left to fester because of the sexist idea that "it's what girls do" because it's not! Your DD is not like that and as a matter of fact, neither are mine.

SOME girls act in this slightly sly manner...exclusion and nastiness is bullying. In the meantime, go on a playdate offensive and invite lots of other girls to play....one or two a week if you can stand it....bolster DD up constantly....tell her she's beautiful, clever etc and the "friends" are not very happy and this is how they are showing it.

xx

womma Thu 24-Oct-13 09:07:12

If they've been friends for such a long time, you must know the other child's parents? Can you have a gentle chat with them?

fishyfriend Thu 24-Oct-13 16:06:16

Thanks for your replies, sorry not been back earlier as was at work.

I have already spoken to the teacher and hopefully they are tackling it. I think you are right though that I need to be firmer with school if things don't improve soon.

I do know mum, but have also found that since the girls stopped having playdates together she has avoided me in the playground. She's not the sort of person that I would like to approach with this really as I don't feel that she would be receptive, a case of 'like mother like daughter' really.

ICameOnTheJitney Thu 24-Oct-13 16:40:08

I have this to some extent with my DD who is 5 in year 1. Since reception her friend X has been overpowering and told her she "can't" play with A or B etc.

I went in to school about three times over it...I continued to be nice to the Mum but didn't invite X over any more. The Mum had obviously been told about Xs behaviour as she kept saying things like "Oh they've all got strong personalities in that class...they clash a lot" and I was hmm because in actual fact, HER DD is a bossy little madam end of!

I have continued to tell DD "Play with who you like and if X bosses you, tell the teacher;...or say "NOl....I can play with who I like and if you don't want to be my friend then tough!" as X would say "I wont be your friend anymore if you play with someone else."

It's common...not nice but common.

fishyfriend Thu 24-Oct-13 17:10:34

I think it happens with lots of girls and is difficult to deal with. Also, it is behaviour which isn't easy to spot. Despite dd teling me about this quite a lot, the teachers are completely unaware. DD says they stand behind her in the line at playtimes and mutter and whisper about her, this wouldn't be picked u unless chidren are confident enough to tell. I also think that it starts younger than we think like in your dds case, but at that age children are just told to play with someone else and it is brushed off. Maybe it should be stamped out sooner and taken more seriously as now they are older the bullying pattern is well established.

ICameOnTheJitney Thu 24-Oct-13 17:18:16

Boys have a version of it too....they do the "You're not allowed to play with HIM" thing...I've discussed this with friends and they say this has happened to their DSs.

What I'd like to know is where do they get this behaviour? My DDs both had NO idea of emotional blackmail till they began school.

I can only think it's their parents. I had a child tell me (she was 5) that when she was naughty, her Mother said "You're not my best girl now."

shock I wish parents would THINK before they opened their dumb mouths. And if that sounds harsh it IS because they are harsh in emotionally blackmailing their children.

My dd1 had exactly the same problem last year in year 4. It got so bad I ended up taking dd1 home at lunch time and this eventually made the school take notice. However, they chose to move dd1 out of the class (2 form entry) and the bullies stayed where they were (which I thought was unfair). But dd1 has thrived in her new class ad made lots of new friends. She is much happier now.
I did speak to the bully's mother about it which turned out to be a huge mistake. She told the head that I was harassing her (I sent 2 facebook messages which were very polite) and now we just blank each other. Its all very awkward as my dd2 is best friends with her youngest dd.....

fishyfriend Thu 24-Oct-13 17:28:53

Thats why I am reluctant to speak to the other mum as it's happening at school as we have stopped seeing each other out of school and school should sort it in my opinion.

fishyfriend Thu 24-Oct-13 17:30:50

Unfortunately school is only one form entry so classes can't be moved.

I really feel for you and your dd. I know how tough it is. The school should do something but as you said they can't control friendships. They can, however, make it clear that sabotaging other friendships is bullying and come down hard on them. Our deputy head had a meeting with my dd1 on a daily basis after lunch, where she could report back any incidents and it was dealt with there and then. She also phoned me to let me know what had been said. Dd1 opened up then as she didn't have to seek out help, it was handed to her. After around a week the incidents were much less frequent, but she still met with her once a week until the end of term. Maybe that could be an option?

Helencandy28 Sat 23-Nov-13 12:08:24

Hi, I'm new to Mumsnet so have only just read your problem. The same thing happened with my son in year 5/6. My son was a quiet, sensitive boy, who could be quite shy (like I was). One of his so called friends started picking on him and got others to join in. I hoped it would just stop, but it didn't. The worse thing was his mum was my friend and thought her son was perfect. Talking to her about it was just a waste of time and she was really cool towards me afterwards. I went straight to the teacher to complain. The teacher and the headteacher spoke to the boys involved and it stopped immediately. Every class in the school now has a 'worry box', where pupils can post notes if something or someone is troubling them. Parents can help the children write the notes. I would advise making notes of anything that has happened over a week or two and then showing the teacher. No child should feel excluded at school. It sounds like the other girl could be jealous of your daughter. Hope you find a solution to this. I would like to add that my son is now 15 and has been friends with the boy who bullied him for the past 2 years with no problems at all.

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