My daughter has been consistently picked on and bullied for years

(34 Posts)
jomer20 Sun 07-Apr-13 22:59:01

Hi,
I am looking for a miracle - some suggestion that will end the misery and sadness that my 9 year old has felt on and off for years.
She is desperately sad and really fed up as she is constantly the victim of nasty, bitchy comments and behaviour from her contemporaries.
She was bullied by one girl in particular for three years before the school managed to control the bully and stamp it out but during that time my child never really established secure friendships as the bully used to steer the other girls away from her.
Eventually a year and a half ago she bonded with on girl and felt she at last had a best friend, but the rumblings with the other girls continued and always threatened. Her anxiety peaked and after seeking professional help for two years she was seen by the local child mental health team who helped her try and deal with her worry and process the bullying.
But for the last six months her "best friend" and the other girls have become increasingly nasty and she is again feeling vulnerable and for three to four months has been crying every other night. She is scared, she is fed up and feels lonely and alone.
The girl who bullied her is also starting to threaten her again and because my daughter has complained about the other girls picking on her the school are not supportive any more - I think they are sick of the situation - as are we.
I feel helpless to ease my child's suffering. It breaks my heart to see her so upset and traumatised. I feel I am failing her.
Do we move her from this school or is it teaching her to run away? She is frightened to stand up for herself and the other girls are now taunting her - "go tell your mummy" or "run and tell the teacher" they sneer at her.
She has endured enough now. I am worried for her state of mind - her mental health.

Devora Sun 07-Apr-13 23:02:02

I would remove her from the school, give her a fresh start somewhere and a chance to build up her confidence before starting at secondary.

Your poor dd. She can't go on much longer like this, can she?

jomer20 Sun 07-Apr-13 23:05:07

No, we have mooted moving schools a few times but she has always rejected the suggestion - I think she thinks better the devil I know but even she is now saying maybe she should.
But this idea still terrifies her. She is in turmoil, not sleeping properly, edgy, waking in the night, reverting to being scared at night in the dark...

ChompieMum Sun 07-Apr-13 23:10:36

Definitely move her. Poor, poor girl. She deserves a fresh start. The school is letting her down badly and without their support nothing will change.

3littlefrogs Sun 07-Apr-13 23:16:23

Move her now. I can't believe you have let this go on for so long. You are her parent. She needs you to look after her.

I moved my son at the age of about 9 due to bullying. IME schools are absolutely hopeless at dealing with it. It was the best thing I ever did.

You are not helpless. You can take her out of school and let the school, the governers and the LEA know why.

MrsPeeWee Sun 07-Apr-13 23:17:32

OP, without a shadow of a doubt, I'd be running my poor daughter out of that school and into another ASAP, if roles were reversed

At 9 years old, she still has another 8 years of school left to do. She can't continue to waste any more time being utterly miserable. She won't peak, she will be constantly filled with dread.

Poor thing. Big MN hug for you and your DD. Hope its resolved soon. sad

poodletip Sun 07-Apr-13 23:24:09

Please move her. Not to get away from the girls so much but to take her away from a school environment that has allowed this to happen to her. She shouldn't have to live with that. Of course she's scared to move but if you can find her the right school who will support her properly it will be so much better for her. This could so easily have been my DD but luckily for her (and me) we had a change of headteacher, and she moved up a year and got a wonderful new teacher so it all worked out for her. It was unbelievable the difference it made.

orangepudding Sun 07-Apr-13 23:28:01

Move her.
At this point I would tell her she is going to a new school and not give her the choice. It is a scary thought for her to move but hopefully she will be happy once she settles into her new school.

MsAkimbo Mon 08-Apr-13 00:31:39

I was your DD. You both have my sympathies. It's very hard, especially at that age.

If moving schools is out of the question, what about hobbies/extra curricular activites? Surround her with children who may have similar interests and not necessarily from that school?

syl1985 Mon 08-Apr-13 01:08:06

"Do we move her from this school or is it teaching her to run away?"

For us it's easier to stand against a group of children.

But your daughter is a child herself.
Imagine that you're being bullied every day by a group of adults. Is it only verbal or also physical abuse? Imagine you being in that position. You against adults and that every single work day.

Standing up for yourself is not always the answer.
Sometimes the others are simply to strong to handle for one person.
Would you fight/stand up for yourself, if you're against 2 or more adults? Both looking stronger then you? Or would you try to avoid the confrontation?

The school should do more against it.
Not only for your daughter, but also for the other kids.
Usually there's something wrong with the children that bully. It could be anything from just feeling insecure to being abused or neglected at home.

It's the schools duty to have a look at that when one or more decided to go and pick on someone.

Even if your girl would somehow find a way for them to loose interest in her. Even then the school won't be rid of the problem. This girl or girls will just find someone else to pick on.

The problem doesn't lie with your daughter. She was just there on the wrong place on the wrong time.
Just being an easy target for them and that's how it usually starts.

Maybe try to get the school to wake up and do something about the situation.
But I'd bring my child to a better school and to a defense class. Something like judo or something else. That if something happens she won't have to feel so scared, because she can defend herself when things turn nasty.

You won't learn her to run away and just be scared. You'll learn her that sometimes it's best to ignore people and the problem isn't hers it's theirs. There's nothing wrong with her.

No need to stay somewhere, where you don't have any friends. It's absolutely a waist of your time to be anywhere or do anything that totally makes you feel miserable.

You'll learn her that there'll always be others who do like you. If you haven't found them yet, then go and find them. Maybe she'll find them at the next school if not then the one after that.

Same as we'd do with a job. Would you stay and work for years in a place where you're being bullied by your colleges?
I wouldn't and I think most of us would go and find a better place to work.

Why would a child have to stay at a school where she's being bullied? Nothing at all wrong with leaving that place.

It's more important to turn your back to these bullies and be happy then to stay and let them ruin your life.
It's so worth it!!!

She and you're suffering. Probably her schoolwork is suffering as well. On a different school where she feels better she'll probably also work harder and get better marks.

That'll be so important for the rest of her life! Having good qualifications, usually also means getting a better job when you're finished with school/learning.

You don't want to ruin that just to show a bunch of bullies that you can handle them. Would you?
Personally I think it's totally not worth it. Get her to a defense class and to a much better school then this one.

Take care,

Sylvia

differentnameforthis Mon 08-Apr-13 03:28:33

She is in turmoil, not sleeping properly, edgy, waking in the night, reverting to being scared at night in the dark...

Why has it been left to get this bad? Your poor daughter. Be the adult she needs you to be, MOVE her, now. Before any more damage is done.

She has endured enough now

She had endured enough years ago! sad

differentnameforthis Mon 08-Apr-13 03:30:27

Maybe try to get the school to wake up and do something about the situation

It took them 3 years last time, I wouldn't risk it.

MariefromStMoritz Mon 08-Apr-13 03:33:01

Do you work? Would you be able to homeschool her for a while?

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Mon 08-Apr-13 04:21:53

I'd not send her back after Easter. Homeschool until I could move school. Is that an option?

SavoyCabbage Mon 08-Apr-13 04:26:09

Definitely move schools. My dd is nine too and there is none of this sort of thing at her school. It's a large school and they are mixed up every year but there is no bullying. Not all schools are like yours.

jomer20 Mon 08-Apr-13 08:48:52

Thank you for all your support.
To clarify for those who think I failed by not moving her sooner, it has never been a clear cut decision.
My daughter's biggest insecurity has been her self esteem and self belief in her ability to make and keep friends. She has always really kicked off when I have suggested moving schools and begged me to keep her there.
Then we had this 18 month period when she made friends with one girl and she entered a period of more stability. The mental health team agreed that it would not be in her best interests to move and have to forge new friendships with her insecurities, so I was in part guided by them.
Now she is more willing to move it seems like the only option, but even so she is still very upset - and petrified - at the thought of it.
I have told her I can home school her but the idea horrified her and she was adamant she wanted to go to a school.

3littlefrogs Mon 08-Apr-13 09:26:52

Because her self esteem and confidence has been destroyed she is afraid of the unknown. She is not capable of making a decision. You have to do it for her.
Please. Just take her out, then go from there.

My ds tried to kill himself because of the bullying. Don't wait another moment.

shellbu Mon 08-Apr-13 10:37:46

can understand why you never moved her straight away if she begged you not to , she was probably thinking better the devil you know , chances are she will make new friends and have the happy childhood she deserves if you move her , and you will wish you did it sooner , good luck .

LeeCoakley Mon 08-Apr-13 10:43:23

Can you also move her to a school where the pupils go to a different secondary than those at her current school? Otherwise in a couple of years she will be facing the bullies again.

thebestpossibletaste Mon 08-Apr-13 10:51:31

I would change schools, even if your daughter doesn't want to. This situation isn't going to go away. I have taken my daughter out of school before and it was the best thing we ever did. She regained her confidence and was like a different child. They make new friends - and your daughter has only the one friend to lose, and they can stay in touch out of school, which might be better anyway.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Mon 08-Apr-13 10:59:15

I don't think you've failed her. You post comes across as desperate and very caring. You've done what you have felt was right, listening to your daughter and her MH team. Don't add guilt to your list of worries.

I think everyone here just wants to reassure you that a decision to move is NOW very much the obvious choice. Could you maybe arrange meetings with head teachers in other schools, to which your daughter could attend, to discuss how they would handle any similar situation, so your dd can see that her current school are failing her?

Could she also maybe join some sort of out of school club, even in a different area, so she can meet a different set of friends too? Maybe something like a martial art that teaches respect for one another but also massively confidence building?

Moving her at this stage is not teaching her to run away, it's showing her, in no uncertain terms, that you will do anything and everything to protect her.

All the best. I hope your dd can find some happiness soon.

sensesworkingovertime Mon 08-Apr-13 14:39:35

Hi, I feel so much for you and your poor daughter, you have both endured far more than enough. If this situation has gone on for this long I think the conclusion has to be that THE SCHOOL HAS FAILED HER not you. You are not present when she is in school , the teachers are, it is their job to take care of her and stamp on the bullies, they have got the degrees and part of that degree is studying the behaviour of children!

Sorry, didn't mean to sound like a lecture. IF you decide to move schools, and I also think you should if you have another choice of school, then you would be standing up to the bullies, don't look at it as running away. No, it's your way of saying 'get lost, we are not putting up with you any more'. You will be doing a brave thing by making a fresh start for your daughter. You'll probably feel relieved when you make the decision but I appreciate it must be a difficult decision. I really hope things improve soon.

Miggsie Mon 08-Apr-13 14:48:49

I'd move her - I would also write a formal complaint to the school for condoning bulllying - they have done nothing.

I would remove her from any place these other girls go - so any after school activities as well.

I'd also see about joining a club - again where NONE of these girls go.
Martial arts or singing are good - as you are in a group BUT there is no room for interactions not governed by the teacher - so your DD would feel part of a group without having to deal with lots of "social" stuff. This will help her feel better about herself.

She seems to have victim dependence - hence her worry about moving - she can't see her life wihtout these girls in it, even though she is miserable - many, many victims cannot detach from their tormentors, you need to help her with this. I'd also throw the mental health team into a deep daprk pit as they are clearly incompetent and were clearly trying to clame your daughter for being a victim and not dealing with the perpetrators.

If you can, I wouild also advise getting a dog - they give love without reservation.

My friend's daughter's life was destroyed by bullies, they pulled her out of school but it was too late, she was 15 and is now on anti-depressants.
Don't let your daughter be picked on!

If the school are useless then you must act.

A couple of books wich helped my DD were:
"Bullies, big mouths and so called friends"
and
"Queen Bees and Wannabees"

It helped her get perspective on the situation and realise "it's not me, it's them." I have read them both several times and they are excellent.

daytoday Mon 08-Apr-13 17:17:07

Mover her. It sounds as though her anxiety is high anyway so you really have nothing to loose and everything to gain. It sounds like the school hasn't got a handle on it at all and now the relationships are probably too set to change at age 9. If it was going to improve it would have by now!

If you were relentlessly bullied at work - you'd change jobs wouldn't you?

Then, in the new school you do not have friendship history to unravel - you can deal with any anxiety etc directly.

she has probably been worn down and to some extent may have internalised the bullying believing that it is partly her fault and she may be scared that if she moves school it will happen again. It isn't her fault of course! Poor thing.

3littlefrogs Mon 08-Apr-13 18:41:42

Almost the first thing my ds said to me within days of moving to his new school was:

"I have realised it wasn't my fault. The other people at this (new) school are normal. The people at (old school) were not."

It was a revelation to him.

The HT and his form teacher at the old school colluded with and condoned the bullying. As a parent you can do nothing about people like this.

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