My 11yo DD said the saddest thing tonight, need help managing response.

(16 Posts)
dobby2001 Tue 27-Nov-12 22:58:54

My DD is in year 7 of a mixed independant. She has been generally happy there, although the increase in workload from juniors has been a bit of a shock and we have had recent issues with her lying about homework and general lack or organisation.

Tomorrow they have own clothes day for Charity, something that she would usually be excited over. Tonight she told me that she had decided she was going to wear normal unifom as she "wasn't bothered" .

After some gentle questioning, during which she said "she didnt want to stand out" and I had to point out that by being in uniform when everyone else wasn't, thats exactly what she WOULD be doing,She told me that she didnt want to wear anything that drew attention to her fat Body, as the boys at school had already told her she was Fat and Ugly, and she did not want to give them anything else to say about her.sad

She then went on to say that two boys in particular have been saying things like "you could Sue McDonalds for making you that fat" and told her she has no friends because she is fat and ugly. This has been going on, not constantly but once or twice a week for most of the term it seems.

She has not got alot of friends, but is liked by the staff and other girls. She is a bookworm though, being socially awkward and prefering to grab the paperback she always has in her pocket rather than say, walk up to her peers in the playground and make the effort to engage. confused

Sorry this is all a bit jumbled, as I am tired and she tumbled all this out in between sobbing. It would also appear, in a seperate incident last week, one of these boys hit her in the stomach four times during a tussles over a book and we have not been informaed about any of this by the school - I am going to contact them tomorrow to discuss all of the above.

We have sent her off to bed with lots of hugs and reassurances. I had sorted out a flattering but non body showing outfit for tomorrow that she is happy with (She IS overweight, but carries it so most folk dont realise. She has also taken up exercise to help herself) I feel so sad for her and want to do the best for her, resisting urge to go sort these little shits out at school gates so need constructive advice if anyone can help please!

Thanks for reading this far!

sausagesandwich34 Tue 27-Nov-12 23:02:49

oh bless her

no really advice to give other than keep doing the things that you have already started

big un-mumsnetty ((((HUG)))) for you

aimingtobeaperfectionist Tue 27-Nov-12 23:06:19

I don't want to read and run.
Just wanted to say how sad I am for your daughter. Those absolute shits at school. angry
You've dealt well with it, it needs to be dealt with at school. Reassurance you love and accept her no matter what will help. I'm so glad she's talked to you about it, encourage her to be able to do this as much as possible.
I really hope it goes well for you- dealing with school etc.
Love to your daughter too x

SizzleSazz Tue 27-Nov-12 23:09:01

'She IS overweight, but carries it so most folk dont realise'

It sounds though like other folk have realised and are being horrid with it sad. I think you are doing all you can for now though, support her in the healthy eating & exercise - could you take up some exercise together? - swimming, pilates, zumba, power walking? Hopefully her self esteem will be boosted by doing something positive for herself.

I hope the school are supportive tomorrow smile

bubby64 Tue 27-Nov-12 23:19:06

I feel your pain, and all i can say is reassure, love and support your DD as much as you can. One of my twin boys is overweight, it is partly due to a medical condition, but that doesn't really make any difference to how he feels. He gets compared to his ID twin, who has no weight issues, gets called names, is pinched, punched and laughed at for having "manoobs" a lot since starting High School, sad, his friends from primary and his brother do try to tell the other boys its not entirely his fault, but it really makes no difference. I try to give lots of reassurances, hugs and kisses, and try help him with his diet, we are also seeing a dietician soon to try and help him understand the bad eating habits he has got into since i have had less control over his diet. DS is also quite intelligent and tends to hide his head in a book rather than face this torment.

dobby2001 Tue 27-Nov-12 23:36:28

Thanks all. She has been active in the past but went off excercise as she got older, it being one of the things that she could not be good at easily (she is not competitive, but hates being "crap", in her words, at something). We then got into a "don't like exercise cos it makes me hot and sweaty", if you dont do regualr exercise its harder and makes you hot and swaety quicker vicious circle for a bit hmm The joys of hormonal girls!!

I have lost alot of weight in the last 18 months with sensible diet and exercise and have always encouraged healthy choices for her, but realised a while back that, with all the hormones coursing through her veins it was not an easy road. She is a very sneaky eater, often buying food on the journey home from school and eating it out of sight (i have considered eating disorders, but she dosnt hide the evidence and is very similar to me at that age - I just liked junk food that wasnt on tap at home! smile. Her Dad is not helpful as he is a classic all or nothing approach in terms of healthy lifestyle. She has seen the change in me and we have talked about being healthy does not mean eating salad every day - we eat the same most days but its the lack of exercise and unhealthy extras that don't help - she is also not adverse to persuading Dad to get extras when I am not around.

She went to see the practise Nurse at our GP in the Summer and they were Rubbish. Told her to eat less, excercise and come back if she wanted to. No plans, no follow up. At that time she was a stone over ideal weight but I think she is more now.

That said, she has returned to cycling with me when I coach on Saturday Mornings and has, by her own choice, joined a weekly exercise session on Monday evenings. I am hoping to introduce something we can do together another day but we are currently tackling a homework backlog this week wink

nortonmumoftwo Wed 28-Nov-12 12:34:26

hi there - really feel for you and DD - I have two DD's at secondary - years 7 and 9.

I've always been overweight and at the grand old age of 42 am still 1.5 stone overweight. I too had constant bullying at secondary due to my weight. I know how your DD feels.

I think you are doing all the right things and as long as she feels loved at home she will be fine. Children can be vile at times and have no thought for other's feelings. I would however have a discreet word with your daughters Head of year and ask them to speak to the individual's concerned about their actions - without naming any names.

I have had a couple of issues and the school dealt with it very well. However they are limited with what they can do I think. Much better to empower your DD and encourage her to loose weight if that is what she wants. If she is not bothered I would encourage her to be happy in her own skin.

Kids will always bully and name call other kids. It's not right I know but it is all part of the pecking order at school within peer groups. Everybody gets bullied at some point in their life - for all sort of reasons - its how you deal with it that is important.

Wishing you well.

ItsRainingOutside Wed 28-Nov-12 13:58:30

Seems rather strange for children at an independent to behave this way. Have you thought it may be in your daughter's interests to move her elsewhere?

I would personally come down like a ton of bricks on the school and on those two boys if my daughter was abused in this way. I wouldn't have thought the head would be particularly happy to find out this kind of physical and mental violence is going on.

Make an appointment, straight to the top and don't even consider offering him/her a reason for the way the other children have behaved i.e. that she is overweight but is trying to overcome it. Children come in all shapes and sizes and it sounds like your daughter has a really positive attitude to exercise and the benefits of it. Don't let some jealous bullies spoil it for her.

dobby2001 Wed 28-Nov-12 22:43:41

Hi Folks, sorry for t delay in updating, we have been out this evening.

Well I e.mailed the School this morning, direct to her form tutor and copying the head of year in. I did name the boys concerned. DD came home alot happier and was explaining the discussion she had with her form tutor when the phone rang, and it was the totor on the phone.

The response they gave was brilliant. She started off by immediatly apologising for not phoning the moment she recieved my email, but wanted to first gather information from other teachers, as to the boys behaviour and if DD had in any other way, been bullied. She had already spoken with the head of year, who was away that afternoon, but she considered this a very serious matter and phoned him to discuss. They identified the incidents had been occuring during particular lessons, so had spoken to the teachers concerned in terms of monitoring behavior, not just in respect of DD, but if these boys were, or moved onto any other children.

Form Teacher was at pains to confirm that they considered this totally unacceptable behaviour and that it would not be allowed to continue. The boys concerned were being spoken to by head of year on his return tomorrow.

I was left in no doubt that DDs needs were being met. And I was pleased that they had taken time to speak to DD and reassure her that her feelings were valid, that she should never have to put up with being spoken to like that and that they gave her information as to how to report it and protect herself if anything untoward happened again.

Raining, I don't think children from independants are any less little gits than others, there are just usually less of them grin and they speak more nicely wink DD has enjoyed this school since moving to its Junior in Yr5 but I mentioned its status purely as there are often differing mechanisms to dealing with these things than at state.

Thank you everyone for holding my hand. I have no prior experience of secondary and wasn't sure what to expect. Fingers crossed this is the end of the matter smile if not, at least we are prepared better than before!

bubby64 Thu 29-Nov-12 10:56:11

I'm glad they are dealing with it so well dobby and ((((hugs)))) to you and your DD (I know its an un-Mnet thing to do, but I dont care!)

Noren Thu 29-Nov-12 12:31:22

Can she do some exercise that is fun and not competitive? Something like ice-skating (casually) or rock climbing (indoor climbing wall). If the exercise is fun she is more likely to want to do it, if it feels like a punishment it won't make her feel any better about herself which has to be a more important goal than what her actual weight is.

Great to know the bullying is being put a stop to.

The trouble with restricting junk food is she will only want it more - I think having healthy options in is good, but try not to worry or lecture over what she chooses to buy. It's easy to get into a vicious circle of self-hating and comfort eating if you make it too taboo.

dobby2001 Thu 29-Nov-12 14:38:58

Tried Ice skating twice. She had no balance, fell over alot and got very upset by it all. Second time was with a firend and her Dad who both got it straight away and kept saying "c'mon, get up, its easy!" hmm Has done indoor climbing wall several times with Brownies and School and finds it very hard. Again gets upset of she can't get up the wall like skinny fit kids seem to - I have explained how things take practice but she is classic academic who does not "get" why she cant do stuff in one or two sessions.

Cycling is something she has done semi regularly since she learnt age 7 (yep a late one to this) Although I help coach at a childrens club, and she is actually not bad at time trails when she is in the mood for it, She has made it clear she is not interested in the racing side and It is actually something that I have never pushed her into. In fact our club is specifically non competitive and geared at teaching children bike skills. For now, she is interested but if she decided she preferred going swimming with her mates that would be fine too smile

Totally get the advice about Junk Food Noren. Thats the philosophy we have at home.

dobby2001 Thu 29-Nov-12 14:40:53

Oh and thanks for the hug Bubby - I needed that grin Next time DD is having one of her pre teen hormonal tantrums and HAAAAAAATEES ME! I might come back for another wink

elastamum Thu 29-Nov-12 14:59:21

I sympathise, but I think it is important to find exercises that suit her.

Climbing is probably not the best sport for an overweight child as their power to weight ratio will mean they really struggle. DS2 is a competative climber and a bean pole, all the climbers are. DS1 is a rugby player build and whilst he is a competent climber he finds it tough going as he is a big lad.

How about orienteering? Family outdoor sport, you can walk as well as run and needs a bit of brainpower so not all about being fit.

gymboywalton Thu 29-Nov-12 15:03:51

"Seems rather strange for children at an independent to behave this way."

do people REALLY believe that children at independent schools are perfect and wonderfully behaved????

dobby2001 Fri 30-Nov-12 15:33:08

elastamum - great name by the way smile I agree, we go for family walks most weekends - well when DH drags himself off the sofa hmm She has chosen to do the Monday night session and is enjoying coming on Saturdays with me to the club. She has tried a huge variety of sports and non competitive activities in the past so for now I am taking a step back (only a tiny one!) and letting her make decisions about where next. This has worked in terms of her making the choice to attend the session on Monday and return to cycling club. Come new year we will be building on that.

Gymboy, I was surprised too. Having only used the independant sector for 18 months, I can confirm their vocabulary is as extensive as the other schools in the area. I think they are a bit better at hiding it from the teacher though wink

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now