Just wondering if anyone can offer some advice please. My DD is 10 & year 6 and really struggling at school at mo with social issues. A friendship group which is getting rather nasty and my DD feels as though she is being left out and picked on. I know that she is no angel but I am really concerned that she is learning unhealthy social skills. I tell her that she cannot control the way the others behave but she can control how she behaves and how she deals with things and that she must rise above it.... But each day she comes out of school upset - she cannot seem to tear herself away from these girls (who are v manipulative) and I worry that she is picking up this behaviour. Any advice would be great. Thank you
You are right to be concerned and to look at teachign her coping methods. I think that knowing how to recognise controlling and manipulative behaviour is really important for pre-teens and teens to learn.
Have you spoken to the school about it? ARe there other girls in the school who she could team up with, to get away from the influence of these girls?
I think its an emotional time at the mo - I guess she knows her secondary place and are they all going to same/different schools? it might be that she is picking up on stress around this, or there my be debates about where is the best school etc
It might calm down in a few days/weeks - Id discuss with the teacher and see what he/she thinks.
Does she have friends outside of school as I think that helps to keep things healthy and not too intense
I really try to encourage DD to play with other groups and interestingly on the one day that she did this last week she came out of school happy and smiling. However it all reverted back the following day, she cannot seem to break away from the others and I do not want to push too hard and tell her how crap her friends are as she may then stop talking to me. Yes, she has friends and activities outside of school but I noticed on sunday how she felt 'ignored' by other girls when they did not pass a ball to her in netball - which is what rang alarm bells as this was not the case but she is obviously learning this behaviour. I tried to explain that it is a game and the other girls just want to win and it is not personal but she struggles to see this..... Soooo hard.
My DD had exactly the same problem at the end of year 5. A group of so-called friends kept on ignoring her at break times and refusing to work with her in class. It was heart breaking at the time and it seemed to drag on for weeks.
I spoke to her teacher and also managed to speak to their ELSA. They helped her on an ad hoc basis at the end of year 5 by sitting the whole group down together and explaining how destructive their behaviour was and working through the issues. Then my DD was given a term and a half of ELSA support in year 6 to give her coping strategies before she starts secondary school in September (she had struggled with friendship groups in the past) and to rebuild her self-esteem.
I would suggest asking if the school has any similar support systems, as it has completely restored DD's confidence. Good luck!
I'd recommend reading 'Odd Girl Out' by Rachel Simmons. The first three quarters of it are case study type stuff, but the last couple of chapters have advice and guidelines on how best to deal with relational aggression.
Oh dear! We're having exactly the same problem here with DD. She's in Y6 too.
She has been upset for a few weeks now, and also the teacher had a word yesterday about problems with her behaviour in class, which has never been an issue before. She seems to be messing about to try to impress some of the other girls.
She said tonight she feels like they are all 5 years older than her. I thought that was quite telling, because they clearly are all growing up fast, and she feels really out of her depth.
I don't know what the answer is. I've just had a big conversation with my DD at bedtime, and we've agreed the following:
1: For her to stop and think if she's being oversensitive - ie are they actually being mean, or just laughing at something that she could join in with. Do they laugh at each other in the same way, or is she really being singled out and targeted more than others.
2: To make more effort herself to work on friendships with her old friends, and in particular her best friend, who she's drifted away from.
3: To avoid the kids who are causing a problem, but not to actually make enemies of them.
4: If she feels she's being targeted / singled out / bullied, to make sure she tells me, or the teacher.
5: Not to join in or start any nasty behaviour because apart from making other people feel bad, it means you become more of a victim yourself.
I have no idea if any of this will work. It's all easy to say, and she did see the logic of it, but whether she can actually do it is another matter.