Help neverending bullying issues for DD aged 12

(20 Posts)
nortonmumoftwo Wed 08-May-13 09:30:25

Help! or advise please!

A long story .....but to cut to the chase ....

DD (12) in year 7 of secondary. Almost immediately after starting secondary DD was in a class away from her friends and hooked up with another girl known to her from primary. The two became unseparable.

After a sleepover incident in October last year the two fell out and 'broke' friends. That is when the nightmare started! After a couple of months of incessant low level bullying by this girl and us trying everything to stop it - we decided to ask the school to move DD to another class - which they did.

Things are better now - DD is back with her origninal friends and doesn't encounter this girl much.

However she does still suffer extensively from this girl 'bad mouthing' her to other boys and girls in her year. This consists of total lies and exaggerations but she is quite convincing. This girl is what I would call 'a leader'. My DD is a 'follower' in life.

School cannot do anything about this as its minor I know and they have already helped greatly with changing classes and self help techniques for DD.

The mother of this other girl is a piece of work! She believes her daughter would never do/say any of the things that she has done - despite their being witnesses! She is not reasonable and is much like her daughter.

It appears to have got to a stage now where I need to do step in.

My husbands idea is to knock on this girls door and confront her mother in a firm (but non aggresive way). We are hoping this would 'bring the issues to her door' so to speak. If it was me I wouldn't want this on my doorstep.

We can't think of anything else to do to be honest.

Any ideas appreciated.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 08-May-13 09:36:42

For god's sake don't go to her house! The mother will have you arrested and it will make things a thousand times worse.
It's terrible to be the subject of bullying and this low-level name calling is horrific. However, in reality there is little you can do except to reassure your dd, build her her resiliance and hope the other girl gets bored.

Have a look at a book called Bullies, Big Mouths and So-Called Friends. It's really excellent.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Wed 08-May-13 09:47:15

sad This can all be such a minefield, I have so much sympathy. Dd had problems with 'friends' turning nasty on her too and has now at last thankfully shaken them off but it took months of unhappiness and work on her part to make new friends and to break into a different established group.

It's great that your dd is back with friends she can rely on. I would concentrate on strengthening that bond with out of school stuff.

It's horrible when someone is doing what this girl is to your dd. I'm not sure that visiting the mum is a good course of action. It'll put you on the back foot, in that it shows how much it's bothering your dd. Which of course it is, but I think the trick is for your dd (supported by her friends) to look totally bored, unconcerned and scornfull of all this which will reflect unfavourably on the girl spreading the gossip.

Of course if it is really getting beyond the pale then the school should be re-involved. They would probably not encourage you to deal directly with the mother either. I'd have no hesitation in returning to them and asking them to deal with the girl though, none at all.

nortonmumoftwo Wed 08-May-13 09:53:00

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes - thanks (being of an ex police background I know that ...)

She could call the police - and allege harrassment. However she can only be arrested for public order which would have to involve threats/swearing/shouting all of which we wouldn't do. Harrassment would have to involve 3 occasions of harrassment/intimidation.

Of course there is nothing to stop us involving the police now and reporting harrassment/slander against this girl. I think we wouldn't have much of a case though due to their ages.

Thanks for books idea. This isn't just everyday bullying its a vendetta. I wouldn't normally intervene but its got to the stage where its stopping DD living her life i.e not going down the park, not joining netball,etc.

nortonmumoftwo Wed 08-May-13 09:57:36

thanks ChewingOnLifesGristle

you have made some excellent points. On the positive she has good, long established friends which are very supportive and 'nice girls'.

It makes me mad though that my DD wont join netball, go to park alone, etc if this other girl is there. I personally understand where she'c oming from as this x-friend is very tall, very dominent, mature and confident. She is annoyed that DD won't 'get back' with her and is out to make DD's life a misery.

You are right and we will continue to support her/boost her confidence and all that!

ChewingOnLifesGristle Wed 08-May-13 10:10:56

There really are some ghastly little madams about and this age is where it all kicks offsad

I think it must stem from some sort of feeling of inadequacy on their part which is all very sadhmm. I'd get dd and her friends to take the tack of bored contempt for all this rubbish, maybe even laugh about it in a 'what's she saying this time..' sort of way.

Strangely, one thing I noticed threw my own dd's meanies off balance was to be nice to them. Iknow, I know...sounds mad and it stuck in her throat to do it, but it worked.

I don't mean over do it, but never rising to the bait when they were spiteful in an 'Oh dear are you ok<looking concerned and worried>? You seem to be having an off day' sort of fashion.

It really left them stumped as to how to be unkind to dd especially in front of other people where dd never said anything unkind to them. It made them look all the worse. Quite a clever trickwink It takes some doing though because everything in you wants to retalliate or cry rather than be nice back.

Clearly this is not not minor stuff though for your dd. I'm sure the school would wish to know. And as they took this seriously before they'll do so again.

nortonmumoftwo Wed 08-May-13 10:17:08

ChewingOnLifesGristle...

great idea!

when i get my practical head and remove my angry head I will talk to DD about this ...clever indeed!

ChewingOnLifesGristle Wed 08-May-13 10:29:31

From a bully's pov it's very hard to bully someone who is treating you with pity and concern; is nothing but sweetness and light and doesn't rise to anything. Worth a try.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Wed 08-May-13 10:37:12

nortonmumoftwo

I don't for one minute think you or your dh would harass or threaten this woman, but on the other hand, that's exactly what she'll accuse you yoou doing if you turn up unannounced on her doorstep!

ChewingOnLifesGristle Wed 08-May-13 10:42:28

Tempting though. I used to play whole conversations in my head with the parents of dd's bullies (also little angels in front of those who matteredhmm). Ive never felt such anger towards anyone as I did when my lovely dd was being treated so horribly for no reason day after day.

I'd still love to casually mention one or two things if we ever do bump into the parents. In a 'concerned' way of coursewink

But no, going round there wouldn't be wise.

nortonmumoftwo Wed 08-May-13 10:42:46

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes - you are right I know ...

If we go down there it will probably inflame and worsen the situation.

I'm end the end of my tether to be honest ... some of the things this girl has said against my DD are so unkind and hurtful and such vile language you cannot even imagine.

I cannot believe her mother accepts her version. I must think logically and smarter I guess.. I think time and boredom will prevail and she will move onto another victim! I'm hoping anyway!

smoggie Thu 09-May-13 03:13:17

Reading this thread with interest. Been away from MN for a few yrs. but was promoted to come back for advice on dealing with bullying behaviour my ds(10) is experiencing from his former "best friends" . I've ordered the suggested book and a few others to hopefully give him some "tools" to use. I'll report back on progress and watch the thread with interest.
I'm just dismayed in general with how critical the boys seem to be at this age. I just can't remember it being like this at this age

piprabbit Thu 09-May-13 03:28:55

The Beatbullying website is very good and should be able to provide support direct to your DD, which might make her feel in a bit more control herself.

This video clip from Parentchannel.tv is also good.

Sometimes working with the victim to help improve their self-confidence can be the most positive thing you can do, especially as some practical steps (changing class etc.) have already happened.

And keep on reporting incidents to the school, they do need to know that this is still an ongoing problem, otherwise they may assume that changing classes has made the problem go away.

nooka Thu 09-May-13 03:46:56

My dd is also 12 and has had friendship problems this year, and I recall that ds (year above) said that the girls were generally pretty nasty to each other last year too. So it might be something associated with puberty, figuring out who you are, coming to terms with growing up etc. Lots of little ganging up on each other episodes really.

We did intervene when we found dd in floods of tears after a particularly nasty call from a 'friend' but in our case it was a little easier as we did know the other parents involved so when dh rang/visited it wasn't so 'out of the blue'. For us it did help, mainly I think because dd felt supported, so when one of the girls involved claimed that dh had gone round to her house and sworn at her dad she was able to respond in a fairly withering manner that in fact dh had talked to her mother. We have also put a blanket ban on her spending time out of school with any of the girls as we found that every time she did it ended in tears/angst.

Best approach she has found is to listen to the comments and then pick them apart so it's clear to everyone listening that the other girl is making stuff up/is not very smart. Also not to take the more stupid accusations seriously and essentially laugh at the bully. The plus point about the latter is then she can big herself up when she thinks she's made a particularly good response. She thinks it is mostly about trying to get an angry/upset reaction which they don't get, so mostly they leave her alone now (or think they are friends again, which she finds very odd).

It's all a bit sad really. Lots of pain and heartache all round, but one outcome is that dd has learned to pick her friends with more care (she was very keen on being friends with everyone before) and she has certainly learned all about good come back lines (assisted by her brother who is very sharp witted). I do slightly worry that she's gone from being generally lovely to at times very sharp and guarded though.

EugenesAxe Thu 09-May-13 04:13:11

I think a girl attempted to bully me once in 6th form. I had one best friend in school and several others I was close to, but at that time I also had a network outside of school, through my boyfriend at the time, whom I was thick as thieves with. She insinuated I was a lesbian I think, and I laughed or said 'Yeah, so what?' or just didn't bat an eyelid. One of these anyway, and it never happened again. I remember on the last day she came to find me and shake my hand. I was surprised but sort of live and let live about it.

Basically; I had such a strong bedrock of confidence from my real friends that it was an armour. It was very effective; if your DD can develop any kind of similar attitude the ex-F might just drift away. Of course some people can be super determined to break a person, but you never know.

rainbowslollipops Wed 15-May-13 20:56:21

Would be good if your dd could reply to rumours with "has she got proof?" Ooh kids can be flippin awful!

syl1985 Wed 15-May-13 22:28:55

The school should do something about it. They helped your daughter, but they should help this other girl too.

When I went to school there was a girl who was very spoiled by her parents. I sometimes spend time with her. But most of the time we argued and she was just a very difficult girl.

Years later we got back in contact. (thanks to internet)
We spoke about the good old days and:

The school never has done anything to help her. Never had a word with her parents about how they spoiled her. That they let her do anything she wanted etc.

When she was around 21 years old she got into a fight with someone. This went wrong and to make a long story short.
She has been convicted and had to go to jail for what she did to this man.

Not everyone could get along with everyone. That's no problem and just normal. Bulling is a whole different story!!!!

That's intentionally physically/emotionally hurting someone else. The problem lies with the bully.
It's ok to teach the victim how to deal with it. But they should always look at the bully at what their problem is. Why they do it.

Also this is a child and might not really know/understand what she's doing. Bulling can leave emotional and physical scares behind by the victim, but it sure can also destroy the bullies life.

Like this girl from my school.
She wanted to be a nurse. She'll never be able to do that, because she has been in jail for violence. She now regrets what she has done and learned her lesson. But to late.

This bully is a pupil on your daughters school. It's the schools responsibility to take care of her. If her parents don't look after her properly then the school MUST step in and take action!

They sure can do a lot!!!
Have a chat with her parents to start with.
Have a chat with the girl, or another firm chat with her.

There're lot's of anti bully programs to choice from for a school. These programs do work!!!
Not only the victims learn from them, but more importantly the bullies learn that what they're doing is very wrong!
And how to deal with their insecurity, aggression and other emotions or problems that they might have that turned them into a bully.

Sylvia

bubby64 Thu 16-May-13 16:29:08

We have just had something very similar with our DS of the same age.
He came home last week, and actually burst into tears, as the verbal abuse and bullying was spreading amoungst the ex-friends other mates, and he was getting it from "all directions" (thats how he put it)
Again, the school had tried before, but I sent a very strong email outlining what was happening and the effect it was having on my son, and also quoted the schools own policy on bullying, I also quoted the recent OFSTED report on how well the school had dealt with pastural issues, saying how the case with my son wasnt in line with this report (subtle blackmail for the good of my sons health isnt a problem to me!), I sent this to the head of year and the Head and also the other deputy head in charge of pastural care. Finally they have taken notice. He was allowed to go through pictures of all the pupils, and he identified the pupils involved and they have been given a very strong warning about their behaviour both in and out of school, with a list of concequences if they break those restriction. My son is a much happier person this week, he said he can walk through school without hearing nasty comments following him. I hope these measure continue to work. Maybe you can do something similar for your daughter

Sylvia makes a good point. When I was about 13 I was bullied a bit by a girl whose parents ran the local toy shop. She had everything she wanted. She was given loads of money for tuck shop and was rather fat. This didn't make her very happy, and she bullied me - not sure why I was picked out, and I can't remember much about it. Sadly for her, her father was killed in an accident, and thereafter she left the school.

For sixth form I went to a different school at the other end of the country and met a girl who knew this bully from another school. She had been unhappy there, and had ultimately been expelled for stealing. If her issues had been dealt with earlier, maybe she could have been put on the right track.

alpinemeadow Fri 17-May-13 22:01:29

I would definitely go back to the school, it doesn't sound minor at all - poor you and dd! the fact that they moved her shows that they are prepared to take action - so it may go some way to solving the problem if you tell them.

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