problems on the school run - girls falling out - what to do? (sorry - long)

(36 Posts)
DeadTall Thu 18-Oct-12 09:55:01

I'm sitting here in tears with worry about my DD age 10. I've just had the mother of one DD's best friends on my doorstep saying that my daughter said 'something' to another girl (A) on the walk to school, which upset A so much that she didn't want to talk to DD or walk with her. A walked off in tears with her elder sister. DD & A haven't really got on very well in the past, they are quite different personalities.

The message that came through from the mother who came to see me is that she doesn't want my daughter walking to school with her daughter & A any more. She said this is because there have been 'niggles' in the car, so I think she's had enough of the disagreements they have (she gives DD a lift part of the way home a few times a week, which is entirely up to her, I had nothing to do with the arrangement & DD & I were quite happy for DD to walk the last part on her own). She asked me whether I was happy with DD walking to school on her ow... which she could do, but I think she would be very upset & I don't like to think of her walking by herself at only 10 years old (we have a 3-tier school system so they walk from 9 years).

DD has had various different arrangements over the last year & a half, which seem to break down due to various disagreements. The first arrangement was OK until she & the one other girl fell out, then they both decided to walk in a big group with 4 others, but then one of the other girls (B) told DD that she hadn't 'asked permission' from B's mother to walk with them! That, & problems with 'so & so walking off' or 'they talk about things I'm not interested in all the way home', led to her changing arrangements again to the current one.

I really don't want to get involved with the mothers, as I would much prefer DD to sort this out herself with her friends, but I feel pressurised to speak to A's mum. The mother who turned up this morning said that A's mum will be worried "all day" about whether her daughter will be "scared" that DD is going to be waiting at the school gates to walk home with her hmm.

DH is quite hard on DD & thinks she is rubbish at relationships with other girls, I'm softer on her & think it's all part of growing up, but this sort of thing makes me worry that she's the problem here, & that other parents think that too, which really upsets me. DD's fine at home - generally kind, helpful, occasionally tearful & stroppy like most pre-teens, whenever she has friends over they seem fine together and giggle a lot etc. What do I do?

I feel like I'm being told to resolve this before tomorrow morning as the mother who came to see me wants this sorted out before the school run. Do I speak to A's mother? How can I tell DD that she's no longer wanted?

bubby64 Thu 18-Oct-12 13:04:21

Dont really know what to say, except that was there is a specific incident (other than just the usual girlie fallout)why 'A' is "scared" to walk with your DD? Has something untoward or scary actually happened, or is it just the usual 'make/break/makeup again' thing that is normal for preteen girls.
If there is specific issue to be dealt with, then girl 'A's parent should come and talk to you, not leave it for a 3rd party, if there is nothing specific, then the girls should be left to get on with it themselves.

mrsfuzzy Thu 18-Oct-12 13:11:24

may be i'm reading this wrong but why is the other mother who came to see you and appears to be stirring up potential trouble? i've got a 13 year old daughter and we have spells like this with friends of hers, i usually say that you need to sort it out between you, it sounds like a loe of tattling to me 'she said, they said' you get the picture. sounds like A's mother is making abit of a drama ove it too, and in turn dragging her daughter into the centre stage. the other mother needs to butt out and worry about her own kids, i would politely tell her so, have a quiet chat with your daughter and get her take on it, if need may be she could speak to someone in pastoralcare at school they are used to dealing with this sort of thing. dh isn't helping indicating she's rubbish at making friends either, may be you need to remind him,he should be on her team. don.t worry about her she'll be fine, don't be so hard on yourself, if your daughter is happy enough, why worry what other people think?

DeadTall Thu 18-Oct-12 22:27:35

Thank you - I felt better after reading your replies, but have since been spitting feathers angry. I was contacted by A's mother this evening to say that she is not going to allow her daughter to walk with my DD any more. The problem, apparently, is that A is feeling left out of conversations (they walk as a threesome with another girl). DD didn't say anything bitchy or nasty, it's that A has been bottling up her feelings for a while and it all came out this morning. So, rather than taking time to suggest that A explains this to DD, and giving them a chance to sort it out between them, A's parents have decided to ban her from walking with DD. She has explained this by saying that she was so worried about A this morning that she thought she might not get to school OK, and that she wants to go back to the old arrangement she had with their other friend (who is caught in the middle of all this). She said she's happy for me to tell DD that it's their decision, not their daughter's - but how do I explain that to DD?!?!

So now DD has no-one to walk with tomorrow and it's too late to sort something out. I haven't spoken to DD about it as I'm sure she would be very upset and I didn't want her worrying about it overnight as I know she would.

I know DD will be OK and will sort something out eventually, but I felt totally ambushed by the double approach from the 2 mothers and I really feel it could have been sorted out another way. Time for wine.

mrsfuzzy Thu 18-Oct-12 22:39:09

a's mother needs to get a grip she sounds a real drama queen, i expect what has happened that she's been 'chewing the cud' with her daughter and blown everything out of proportion, in some respects your daughter is best staying out of this mess until it dies down as it will invarible do, the girls will probably sort it out between them at school but don't hold your breath with mother A or her mate. you are better people than them so hold your heads up and rise above this petty bitching.

DeadTall Thu 18-Oct-12 22:55:00

funny you should say that mrsfuzzy but her eldest daughter has a reputation as a bit of a princess hmm & has been known to disrupt other girls' friendships when she objects to them. There's a 3rd daughter too.. whole family of drama queens!

takeonboard Thu 18-Oct-12 22:59:16

It doesn't sound like your DD has done anything wrong, except have friends whose mothers are over-involved in their lives.
I hope you sort out happier arrngements for your DD

mrsfuzzy Thu 18-Oct-12 23:35:43

deadtall it doesn't sound as if this girl is going to be much of a loss in your daughters life if she is so bitchy. i would steer clear if i was your daughter it's a shame though.

Cahoots Fri 19-Oct-12 12:15:26

Grrrr this type of situation is so irritating. The other mothers sound ridiculous. confused I am sorry for your daughter. Could you ask the school to intervene and ask the girls in for a chat?

Are you able get your DD to phone any of the other girls and make her own arrangements for walking to school?

I don't think it is an unusual situation but it is difficult to deal with.

DeadTall Fri 19-Oct-12 18:15:23

DD has been trying to work something out with friends today, but nothing yet.

I don't want to intervene in this if I can possibly help it. But... one of the girls in another group she used to walk with told her 'my Mum says I can't walk with you because of the disagreements'. I now think I might have to ask her whether that's really the case as DD is getting more & more upset that her friends' parents seem to have something against her. She was in floods this morning when I told her about A's mum not allowing her to walk with A, & in tears again when we got home (I took her to school myself today).

A has apologised profusely to DD at school apparently confused so it is all the mother's interference which has caused this angry. DD said to me 'I'm going to say hello to A just like normal today, I don't want them to see me upset'.

DD is confused, sad, worried, and really anxious about walking to school by herself on Monday, while everyone else she knows from this area of town is walking in a group. She has plenty of other friends, but they live on the other side of town or in the villages. Hopefully she / we? will sort something out over the weekend with someone, even if it's only for a week before half term.

mrsfuzzy Sun 21-Oct-12 00:14:07

i really feel for you and dd still first things first,A has apologizes to dd that's a ggod start and dd did the right thing by showing she wasn't going to be upset by it, a is obiously not happy about it either, she wouldn't have sais sorry otherwise, i'm sure though that the worst is over and the girls will sort it out between them.

DeadTall Mon 22-Oct-12 16:33:57

Well I seem to be the only one not organising my child's walk to school for them. DD has tried other options, and she's been met by a brick wall.

One girl walks with her older sister, so I asked on DD's behalf (as she's afraid of rejection) but their mother doesn't want her oldest DD to have the 'responsibility' of walking my DD to school (which is not what I would see it as, but it makes no difference to her).

Another group of 4 has told DD that two of their mothers have told them that they should not walk with DD because of 'problems before' and because DD 'didn't ask their permission' to walk with their DDs. That's because I left it to them to organise it!!! Either there's a problem here with my DD, which no-one is telling me about, or she's being excluded everywhere for what I see as a feeble reason.

She doesn't want me to speak to any other mothers to ask about walking with their DDs as she thinks (and possibly quite rightly) that they will turn against her for 'going behind their backs' and getting me to talk to their Mums.

So DD walked to and from school by herself today. More tears this morning and after school sad

lunar1 Mon 22-Oct-12 16:40:50

Your poor dd, sounds like she is more mature than these other mothers! I hope it gets sorted out soon.

Cahoots Mon 22-Oct-12 16:47:36

I really, really feel for your DD (and you smile) It is hard to give advice but I hope this blows over sooner rather than later. It all seems very full on for such young girls. Have you spoken to the school yet?

crumbs deadtall - this sounds horrible for you and your daughter - I really hope it all blows over and those other interfering mother's get over themselves. [flowers]

I have the prospect of my ds walking to middle school next Sept to look forward too, I just hope it is not such a minefield for him.

DeadTall Mon 22-Oct-12 17:09:40

bigmouth our DS has been fine with his walk to school, the odd bad day, but now in Yr 8 and walks by himself some days, but mostly with mates who he has fallen in and out with over the years. Boys don't seem to harbour grudges like girls do...

Cahoots I'm going to try and leave speaking to the school until after half term if it's still a problem. I may have a chat with the form tutor to see if she can just keep an eye on DD in case this affects her during the day

DeadTall Mon 22-Oct-12 17:10:18

although I should say it's not really the girls who are my main problem here!

mrsfuzzy Mon 22-Oct-12 21:32:43

it comes across a form of bullying all round, this mothers ought to be ashamed of themselves and for 'poisoning ' thier daughters minds. i think asking at school would be a good idea.

ShaynePunim Wed 24-Oct-12 10:17:13

I'm appalled by these mothers' behaviours. I feel for you and your daughter, I hope it will all fall into place soon.

I really can't believe these grown-up women can't stop for a second to think of what they are doing to a little girl's feelings! angry

mrsfuzzy Wed 24-Oct-12 10:23:12

they don't sound like grown women just silly bitchy little girls in a nasty little gang. dead tall, how are things now are you and your daughter okay?

Can your dd cycle to school?

Maybe the parents walking their children to school feel some resentment about your child tagging along with theirs - they feel responsible for your dd, but don't want to be, especially if they are having to deal with squabbling? I am not condoning their behaviour, just trying to figure out why.
Is there no way you could walk with her, or even go half way morning or afternoon? It would be great for your dd's confidence to know you are going to be there at some point. Even if you can do it a few times a week, you might get an idea of what you can do to help protect your dd?
If she can't cycle can she go on a scooter, it would speed up her journey, maybe help her feel less lonely/ostracised and side step the issue.

My dd gets the school bus and there are plenty of fall outs, but at least there are no adults taking sides! I wouldn't wait to talk to the school, just to let them know the issues.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Wed 24-Oct-12 11:12:47

Your poor dd sad

I do think part of the problem though is the ages of the girls. I understand why you're happy for her to walk, but at ten the walk to school is going to be more structured (for want of a better term) so obviously the mums are putting plans in place, and I can totally see where some (not all!) of them are coming from such as not wanting an older sibling to feel responsible. I can also see why they are getting involved so they know who is with their child and that there'll be no problems or messing around, though I'm not suggesting at all that your dd would cause that

If you can get over this blip things will get so much better as they get older, it will be more relaxed and the children will just drift more with different friends

I do feel awful for your dd in the meantime though and I hope you can find a solution you're both happy with

DeadTall Wed 24-Oct-12 16:03:51

Things seem to be looking up a bit smile

She walked part of the way home with some other girls on Monday, and yesterday she came home all smiles having walked home with friend who she hasn't mentioned before. She seems to have arranged to meet with this girl and her sister every morning a couple of minutes from our house. So fingers crossed this arrangement lasts a bit.

Cycling isn't an option at the moment, it's a very busy road with lots of commuter & school traffic (and she doesn't currently have a bike, I've just remembered shock !)

TapselteerieO & MayTheOdds you've certainly given me food for thought - as we have a 3 tier school system here the Y5 & Y6 children do seem to have to grow up rather quickly, taking responsibility for remembering school stuff, walking to school etc. Sometimes I know I treat DD like a 13 year old - she's so tall and mature in may ways (taller than DS who is 2 yrs younger!) that it's easy to forget she's only 10. Depending on how this new arrangement works I'm might offer to pick her up halfway home a couple of times a week, when she's got all her PE kit etc.

Cahoots Wed 24-Oct-12 22:07:01

I am glad it went ok today. It can be a bit up and downy with girls at this age.

DeadTall Wed 24-Oct-12 22:23:29

thanks Cahoots. It certainly can smile

bumpybecky Wed 24-Oct-12 22:30:24

we've got 3 tier system here too and I agree it makes the yr 5 and 6s grow up a bit too fast sad

I'm glad things seem to have got a bit better this week smile if things do start getting tricky again I'd think seriously about contacting the school, either form tutor or if they're not all in the same form try the head of year. It does sound like it's the mothers with the problem, but an assembly / pshce (or whatever your school calls it) on being good friends and thinking about other people's feelings might help.

Good luck DT we live in Scotland and I think children out in the sticks here can get to take their time growing up (dd will be 12 before she starts secondary, and ds has been at their school since he was 3, with the nursery attached to the school). I think having older siblings makes some kids grow up quicker too.

Glad to hear your dd is having a better week, she is learning some tough lessons about adult behaviour to say the least. I agree about the ups & downs of friendships - it is a tricky line to tread, especially with the adults negative interference !

mrsfuzzy Thu 25-Oct-12 11:48:56

deadtall, really pleased for you and dd, great news, keep us posted!

DeadTall Thu 25-Oct-12 17:05:31

Today's question...(sorry!)

DD had no-one to walk home with today, when she bumped into 2 girls she used to walk with, they told her they weren't allowed to walk with her because she doesn't have permission from their mums. DD wants to know why she has to have permission, why she hasn't got this, & has asked me to ask one of the mothers. I know the mothers quite well, for about 5 years, and socialise with both of them occasionally. I get on fine with both of them.

Would you ask? If so, how would you phrase the question?

mrsfuzzy Thu 25-Oct-12 17:26:50

i would ask in a nice way "is there a problem with them walking together? the girls seem to have stopped, i was wondering why that might be as my dd is a bit upset about it, the girls seem to think they need permission to walk with other children, i know it sounds silly but that's kids for you," well, you get the general idea and see what their response is. one of two things will happen they will either say they can't walk together full stop and not give a reason, they have the problem not you, or they will feel rather silly because you are making light of the situation and deny all knowledg of ever saying such a thing. whatever happens i'd keep it light and friendly. good luck.

bumpybecky Thu 25-Oct-12 18:01:12

exactly what mrsfuzzy said

only thing I'd add is to try and ask the Mum's individually and face to face, stand a better chance of getting the truth that way I think

good luck smile

Cahoots Thu 25-Oct-12 21:19:45

MrsFuzzy's plan sounds good to me. It is not confrontational and makes it cler that your daughter is upset.
I would never have told my DD's who and who not to walk with. confused. Perhaps you could also mention that you would feel that it would be safer for your DD to walk with friends.
Have you contacted the school about this yet? I would write down everything that has happened before you do then you won't forget anything. you only needto do that if you have a forgetful brain like mine smile

DeadTall Thu 25-Oct-12 23:44:44

Me too, thanks again mrsfuzzy thanks

I chickened out today, twice, but will try again. I'm going to speak to her form tutor after half term (last day before the break tomorrow smile) so hopefully they can keep an eye on things.

nooka Fri 26-Oct-12 06:14:22

We've had a lot of problems this year with dd's relationships with her friends that started off with issues about who walks to school with who, and has ended up with serious parental involvement and three sets of parents telling their girls not to associate with one of the other girls.

It all got really quite nasty and is very sad as they all used to be good friends, and I wouldn't usually expect to get involved (they are 12 so really should be able to sort this sort of thing out between them).

I would go in to school and ask if there is some underlying problem as there seems to be a bit of a pattern of falling out with other girls.

ShaynePunim Fri 26-Oct-12 09:28:01

Good luck...I know it's hard but I hope you'll muster the courage. I'm the chickening-out type too in that sort of situation so I completely understand.

Go on, we'll think of you and, in the words of Gloria form Modern Family, we'll be the wind in your back and not the spit in your face. ;)

mrsfuzzy Sat 27-Oct-12 10:52:01

dead tall , everyone feels they can't deal with some things, it's good that it's have term so the situation has time to calm down and you can get your thoughts together, you'll be fine, thinking of you. thanks for the flowers, that's kind of you.

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