Year 5 - Girls' behaviour

(52 Posts)
cyclinghappy Fri 10-May-13 10:13:07

What is your experience of girls' behaviour in year 5? Our teachers say that there are problems almost every year but they settle down by the start of year 6. I've not heard of other schools having problems specifically in year 5. There has been a lot of nastiness this year that has been quite upsetting for some people. I'm hoping that next year is better.

lottieandmia Fri 10-May-13 10:23:47

My experience is that girls friendships seem to get more tricky from year 3 onwards.

Girls can really be quite nasty to each other with their divisive little games. Sadly, I've not heard anything to suggest it gets any better in year 6 though.

My dd is in year 4. She had some issues with a couple of girls in year 3 who were new to the school, but who now seem to have settled down. She was very upset at the time because one of them who she was intially friendly with suddenly turned on her for no reason we could figure out.

I realised that although you can ask school to sort things out if they get out of control, it helps the child much more if they can learn to cope with the situation themselves.

I bought my dd some books about the kinds of issues that can arise with girl friendships. The book gave her advice on what to do and say in different situations and also helped her to see that this was not something that happened only to her. Since then she has seemed more confident to stand up for herself where necessary.

lottieandmia Fri 10-May-13 10:24:43

Oh, and it's also my personal opinion that girls seem to get hormonal around this age which affects their moods.

OldBeanbagz Fri 10-May-13 10:24:48

I know there are problem with the current Y5 girls at my DC's school. With my DD's class it was Y4/start of Y5 that was the problem and it settled down after that.

She's now Y6 and they're all getting on really well.

I blame their hormones sad

DeWe Fri 10-May-13 10:47:52

I would disagree with that. My experience from dd1, is that year 4 you start getting the queen bee types who begin selecting their crowd. Year 5 they start getting nasty and year 6 are really nasty.

It might have been just dd1's year though.

It would be nice if it is because dd2's currently in year 4 and let's just say there's a few early developers if dd1's experience is typical.

Clayhead Fri 10-May-13 10:50:12

DD's year five experience was vile.

Groovee Fri 10-May-13 14:38:28

It's not got much better since moving to high school with regards to the child at the centre of all the problems but dd is no longer in her classes.

Elibean Fri 10-May-13 14:43:46

I've heard the same about Y5, tbh. I know dds' school's current Y6 were really quite cliquey and horrid last year, but this year they really have settled down, are focused and much more of a team as they head towards leaving.

My eldest is in Y4, and there have been a few tears and issues this year, though thankfully not involving dd (who tends to shrug and refuse to get involved). I can well imagine next year will see a few more tears, a few more issues. Tis a hormonal time, the 'tweens'.

prettydaisies Fri 10-May-13 16:53:29

Classes can be really different too. The girls in my class this year are all quite young in their outlook and get on reasonably well with each other, but also still play with the boys too. The other class is completely different. The girls are 9 going on 18, can be very cliquey and have 'attitude'!

pointythings Fri 10-May-13 18:54:47

I haven't noticed with either of my girls (DD2 currently in Yr5) but have found that Yr7 is worse - some really vile cliqueyness/queen beeing. Fortunately DD1 (who is in Yr7) is a self-confessed geek and only interested in academics and sports. She has a group of like-minded friends around her, there are about 8 of them so not an easy target for bullies.

ICantFindAFreeNickName Fri 10-May-13 21:37:55

Lottieandmia - what book did you buy. I think it might be useful for my daughter.

lottieandmia Fri 10-May-13 21:43:37

A Smart Girl's Guide to Friendship Troubles

It's an American Girl book, but seemed very relevant for my dd as it had the very scenario she was affected by in it. HTH. There are various others too. And I've heard on MN about one for mums to read called 'Queen Bees and Wannabes'.

Hassled Fri 10-May-13 21:44:19

I'd agree with your teachers - Yr5s can be pretty awful but by Yr6 they've mostly matured enough to accommodate each other.

Dancergirl Fri 10-May-13 22:51:27

Why do we never hear from parents of these 'queen bees' on here if it goes on so much? Do they not know their dds are being nasty?

Yr5 is pretty hideous, but I think it does usually settle quite well in yr6

numbum Fri 10-May-13 22:59:56

My DD was a y1 'queen bee'. But not in a nasty way! She's popular and confident but also very caring and arranges games where a lot of other children can join in. She's learnt a lot this year and been pushed out by a lot of the other y1 girls because their parents have slagged her off to their children and the children have joined in.

DD has distanced herself from a lot of y1 girls because those girls have told her what their parents have said about her.

Troubledjo Fri 10-May-13 23:00:43

Funnily enough I feel like at this point in Yr5 the girls have all settled down a bit - definitely a lot better than Yr4 when they all seemed to be falling out with each other every other day. It feels like they have all started to accept each other and are much more tolerant of differences than they used to be.

Dancergirl Fri 10-May-13 23:16:37

It worries me a bit that no-one ever admits that their dd is even a bit in the wrong. Things are often not as black and white as they seem.

numbum what did they say about your dd? Is it possible there could have been an element of truth?

BabiesAreLikeBuses Fri 10-May-13 23:22:12

Depends on the class, i have found it usually happens with girls in y4 and boys y5 although depends on maturity, seems they have to reestablish pecking order and friendship groups, most classes settle down and learn to get along again but some don't... Especially when the parents have got overly involved in 'helping' and sorting it out for the girls...

Startail Fri 10-May-13 23:46:16

Worst report I ever got was in Y5, for being cheeky, arrogant and not doing a single think I was told. In my case it was our lovely teacher who suffered.

But I think the same sort of wanting some independence, choice and control over ones own life also manifests it's self in peer to peer, parental and sibling social relationships too.

I don't have really clear memories of more than odd snap shots of school before Y5, but I do have clear memories of who I sat by, what the work was like and how I felt from about life from Y5/Y6.

I suspect there is a development in how independent DCs see themselves at that age. Certainly 9-10 year old Brownies are much more mature and self motivating and confident than the younger ones.

Of course confidence and wanting to be in control of your life doesn't make for calm friendships.

CointreauVersial Fri 10-May-13 23:55:42

It's a tricky time. Lots of cliques and gangs start to form, but they are not mature enough to handle arguments and differences, so there is a lot of fall-out for teachers/adults to deal with.

A teacher friend of mine says Y4 is the worst.

lottieandmia Sat 11-May-13 00:16:50

Dancergirl - there are not many parents who would start a thread entitled 'Guess what, my dd is a bully'! Although I've seen threads where people say their child was accused of bullying.

What you say though is true in as much that it's impossible for parents to know exactly what did and didn't happen. Which is why it is the school's responsibility to sort out actual bullying that happens on their watch.

I think that when it is not actual bullying, but girls being narky with each other or falling out it's best to try to give them the tools to deal with it themselves. My mum was far too quick to intervene when I was having problems with someone at school and as a result I grew up not well equipped enough to deal with things myself and had to learn the hard way.

numbum Sat 11-May-13 22:23:16

dancergirl No not at all! I checked with her teachers because I was worried about it after a friend told me what the other parents had been saying. The teachers said that DD was a peace keeper and that the only problem they'd seen was that she'd alienated herself from a lot of the y1 girls because she liked to include the less popular children in her play.

Wouldntyouliketoknow Sat 11-May-13 22:32:10

Yes, in my experience Y5 is definitely the worst year. It does continue on to Y6 but usually settles towards the end, as they're all getting ready to leave.

Would recommend 'Queen bees and wannabes', although it mainly focuses on teen girls. Will most probably give you a shock about what's to come!

Dancergirl Sat 11-May-13 23:26:34

She sounds lovely numbum smile I see what you mean now, so the other girls didn't like her playing with the less popular ones so said nasty things about her?

lisad123everybodydancenow Sat 11-May-13 23:44:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CouthyMow Sun 12-May-13 02:39:55

Is bloody awful? Only read OP, but that's pretty much what I remember from when DD was in Y5.

MrsFruitcake Sun 12-May-13 16:54:09

DD is in Y4 and it has most definitely started. A few names keep cropping up, mostly ones that have been mentioned since Year R. Last week one of the 'Queen Bees' willfully broke DDs pencil and then encouraged other to laugh about it when DD got miffed. This girl is large for her age and is already developing, and has been treating many of the other girls like slaves but they seem to like this according to DD.

Luckily, DD is sensible and can stand up for herself when required, but a few of her friends can't and that's where it gets difficult. She has always been a bot of a madam herself but I wouldn't say she was a proper leader and her little group of friends is tight and mostly solid, although we have had a falling out this year that resulted in a few tears. It turned out that two mums had been involved in some meddling which is why one of her friends dropped her for a while! hmm

Happymum22 Sun 12-May-13 20:34:32

A lot of great replies. My DDs (all 3 of them) all had noticably tricky friendships in year 6. From year 3 up they all become little cats and are really not nice to each other. Very manipulative, little gangs, competitive, tell tales, fights, crying.. It is all just horrendous but normal. Make sure your DD can stand up for herself, remind her often it is best to not get involved if it doesn't involve her.
One of my DDs was quiet by nature and so kept out of it but once it involved her she just cried and couldn't deal with it all. Elder DD was more confident and determined for everything to be fair, often getting herself involved when she shouldn't be. And other DD was the one on the edge of the 'cool gang' and once she finally moved to secondary and found real friends she was much happier. I did sometimes have to laugh a little inside at what the fights would be over 'THey've made a pop band called the sugar kitties and only four of them are allowed to join and they invite special guests to watch their shows' or 'They have made a period club and you're only allowed to join if you've started or think you're about to'. Boys were much simpler!

Year 6 was the worst for us always, I think they got to the point they were so ready for a fresh start in the secondary and knew each other so well they knew how to push each other's buttons. It gets better in year 7, dips again in years 8 and 9 (but not as bad as in primary) and by year 10 your DD wouldn't tell you about it!

pointythings Sun 12-May-13 22:30:29

I asked DD2 about this today - she says yes, there are a lot of not very nice cliquey girls around but she isn't part of that group. Bless her, she has remarkable confidence, has a handful of close friends that she hangs out with and actually plays with the boys a lot too, because she likes running and chasing at break time. She has one very very close friend - I have already told her that our local secondary will deliberately place friends in different classes to stimulate new friendships hmm so she is prepared...

PastSellByDate Mon 13-May-13 13:22:27

Hi cyclinghappy:

I think many writing here saying hormones are starting to kick in may well be right - certainly seems to have a lot to do with it.

In our area at least, a pretty sizable group of Y5 pupils (girls or boys) get under increasing pressure to prepare for 11+ entrance. This leads to something of a divide in Y5 classes - between 11+ takers/ non-takers.

Once senior schools are announced in Y6 - there is another big shift in friendships. I've seen great pals completely stop hanging around with each other because one got into the grammar school and the other didn't. Shame really. I suspect this kind of thing will probably happen with my DD but I hope she'll remain friends with her school chums until the end of Y6 and try and keep in touch (as many are neighbours) afterwards, if only to say hello.

lljkk Mon 13-May-13 19:37:29

catty from yr1 onwards! But yes the worst of it peaks in yr5, so far. Maybe gets worse in y7, haven't reached that yet.

thegreylady Mon 13-May-13 21:22:33

Year 5,Year 8 and Year 10!!!! Girls fall in and out of friends and some poor lass is always on the outside of the group. I have over 30 years as teacher, mum and grandma and I have seen it over and over again.You can help your dd's by giving them the tools/confidence to cope as well as possible.Don't think 'things' don't matter-they do.If your dd asks for a particular pencil case shoes or style do it if you can.Try to be one of the parents who organises a group activity which they would love.Play them at their own games-if you are good friends with a 'queen bee's' mum then your dd is less likely to be left out.Be there for your dd-be the strong wall for her to lean on and talk to.Never dismiss her concerns.it sounds as if pointy's dd has it sorted.Make sure your girls know never to appear needy or to try to hard to enter a clique-far better to cultivate other friends maybe through a shared interst in a sport,hobby or club.

AnaS Tue 14-May-13 03:36:28

Oh dear! My dd (currently yr6) has had a nightmare since year 4 and we were really hoping things would improve in year 7. From this it doesn't sound very hopeful sad

lljkk Tue 14-May-13 06:09:55

Actually DD has been an outside observer for yrs2-5, providing daily detailed reports of everyone else's social upheavals while her own social life stayed quite calm & stable. She suddenly swapped friendship circles end of y5 and has bumpy time since, not too bad, I think, but shows how little you can predict.

mummytime Tue 14-May-13 06:32:43

My DD1 was popular in Infants, years r-2; then was abandoned by a lot of her friends from year 3 onwards. The chief Queen Bee wouldn't have had a clue how unhappy her DDs behaviour made my DD1s life. She wasn't bitchy, just very successfully isolated my DD1 in school.
I was also told things would get better in year 6, they didn't, and school was a lonely place that she endured.
However year 7, with a new school, away from the Queen Bee, was much, much better.

DD2's worst year was year 2, and she is much happier than her big sister. But she doesn't need friends as much.

lottieandmia Tue 14-May-13 09:43:51

'Sugar Kitties' grin so true! Last year the teacher banned my dd's class from playing a game called 'The Puppy Club' because it caused the most vicious rows!

50shadesofvomit Tue 14-May-13 16:22:06

Im going to don my flame-proof suit and admit that my year 5 dd is in the group with Queen Bee and its a nightmare.
They are nice to adults like me but can be extremely bitchy. My dd is not QB but like the other girls she falls over herself to impress QB. I really don't know what to do.

When I listen to the girls FaceTime or read their iMessages they can be vicious. When they have sleepovers it always results in arguments or sulking yet they are always gagging for more. Sigh...

What am I supposed to do about this bitchy phase? Wait it out?

50shadesofvomit Tue 14-May-13 16:23:23

In y4 the girls including mine were so much more innocent and lovely. Is this what having a teen dd is like?

lottieandmia Tue 14-May-13 16:26:17

There's no easy answer 50shades - now that your dd has been sucked into the gang she will fear doing anything that could turn her into a victim I expect. I've always tried to promote the idea to my dd that if she can see that something is wrong, she mustn't get involved. But her class size is very small - possibly more difficult if it's a big class?

lottieandmia Tue 14-May-13 16:28:16

This kind of thing can and does go on throughout school. I remember being in year 9 and towards the end of the year the friendship groups all completely changed and never returned to how they had been previously and people who had been really great friends suddenly no longer had any time for each other.

mummytime Tue 14-May-13 16:28:36

Watch "Mean Girls' read Queen Bees and Wannabes.
I would also get her involved in other activities (eg. music or sport) with a different group of girls. Build her self-esteem, maybe get her involved in some kind of charity/voluntary work (even do it as a family). I would also keep her very much part of the family, and involved in family things, not always allowed to be with her peers.

By the way I wouldn't allow my DDs to have access to facetime, email, etc. in year 5. And computers should definitely be restricted to communal areas at that age.

lottieandmia Tue 14-May-13 16:31:52

Personally I would stop the sleepovers if they are feeding the situation.

amidaiwish Tue 14-May-13 17:48:39

With yr7 is it better or worse in an all girls school?

Secondme Tue 14-May-13 18:15:54

They are all as bad as each other from year 4, I found. (DD keeps out of it mainly though) Year 4 was going to the SEAL room every time they had an argument, year 5 was just mayhem, Year 6 was girls coming in crying every break because they'd 'fallen out' naming no names hmm. Now, in year 7 there are a few really horrible girls and all 90 girls in year 7 were sent into the hall at lunch because someone had graffited (is that a word?) nasty personal comments to other girls over the girls loos. The head of year was furious and threatened to go 'on the war path' and examine everyone's handwriting individually. They need to be caught but quite so many distressed students?
So yes and no, sometimes it doesn't get better (like in dds case) but sometimes it does.
Oh and pointythings, I completely agree about year 7 being the worst year. Most girls form dds old school are at her new one and there is a really dreadful girl too among others. With more girls, there are way more 'situations'.

Secondme Tue 14-May-13 18:26:25

Oh amidai, I don't think it matters. DD is mixed, but some friends are all girls and I think there are loads of problems whatever.
Just remembered, DD used to tell me all kinds of gossip from school where she and her close friends watched all the situations unfold. My sister knew more about the 'girlfriends' of one boy than his own Mum!
The best advice I ever gave DD was in year 4. Keep out of the arguments. It never gets you anywhere. And to this day, she keeps out of it. (silently cheers in head)

amidaiwish Tue 14-May-13 18:32:45

Thanks, am having the mixed vs all girls dilemma for secondary! Dd1 is quite good at keeping out of it, a bit too much sometimes I think. When she tells me the stories I would be fed up if I was her friend. She's like dh, avoids confrontation!

Happymum22 Tue 14-May-13 21:16:38

I think wht we have to remember is that people in the workplace generally can be pretty catty, there are always clashes in personalities and school is the place where we can teach our children how to deal with it.
I always did a PSHE circle time with my year 5s about falling out. Talking about how all through life it is going to happen and getting them to look at the big picture and think about mature ways to deal with it.
Rather than taking the moral 'how can i be a good person' stance, we took the egocentric approach of 'how can i survive and be hurt least and keep out of trouble' (they did plenty of moral nicey nice stuff every over pshe lesson)
I found this really worked and noticed a difference and that it was easier to deal with problems when they arose. The children want to be strong and be seen by the teacher to be being mature, and so those behaviours started to be shown rather than the 'tell tale' immature girl behaviours. (Didn't stop it completely but did make the children stop and think)

I also notice a lot comes from how the mother/father/parent deals with it. The ones who wrap them up in cotton wool, tell them to tell the teacher if anyone is ever a tiny bit nasty and go marching into the school at every little thing, tended to have kids who couldn't stand up for themselves, sort out their own problem and over reacted in these bitchy girl situations. Children need to learn resilience and that in this world a lot of it is about surviving and being a strong person who acts professionally and maturely.

Happymum22 Tue 14-May-13 21:21:44

Yes secondme, i agree it is the same between all girls and mixed but girls arguments are cattier, more vicious and usually need teacher input to sort out.
There is a clear distinction between silly arguments over usually nothing, and more serious bullying when a girl takes things too far.
DDs year group in year 7 had a similar incident where girls were writing horrible hate letters to other girls and posting them into lockers. Quite early on in year 7! The staff discovered the letters were all from the school planner and had the sheets page numbers. All girls planners were inspected to see who was missing those sheets. Culpit was found and in serious trouble as, obviously, this was serious bullying.
Sounded like a full on crime investigation but they dealt with it harshly and fairly and nipped the problems in the bud.

50shadesofvomit Wed 15-May-13 11:04:33

Thank you for the book recommendation. i suspect that now she is friends with Queen Bee she wants to keep things that way. Her school is 1FE and there seems to be a couple of girls who are outsiders and I suspect dd would do anything not to be in their shoes. Ill be interested to see how secondary will change things as the secondary has 7 forms per year and our primary is the smallest feeder primary so there will be more QB vying to be top dog.

My ds1 is in y7 at the secondary dd is going to and apparently all the girls were kept behind after assembly yesterday as the y7 girl's loos are have hate graffiti on the doors. I don't know any further details but sounds vicious and I worry for my dd.

Ds1 and his mates seem to sort things out much more easily. They argue but once they make up all is forgotten unlike the girls who seem to be more catty.

Secondme Wed 15-May-13 16:24:57

Handwriting inspection today. hmm

cassgate Wed 15-May-13 18:19:24

I agree with happymum22 that the way the parents deal with things makes a difference. I have a dd in year 4 and since year r there has been one girl who I will call rose who sees herself as queen bee. I remember from year r to year 2 every few weeks dd would come out of school with tales of rose said this and that, rose said shes not my friend anymore and I cant go to her birthday party. My response was always the same "oh dear thats not nice, stay away from her and play with someone else. She will soon want to be friends with you again when she sees that it doesnt bother you". Other parents handled it differently though and would go marching into school ranting and raving that little joan and mavis (not their real names) were upset because rose was being mean etc. We are now year 4 and rose still sees herself as queen bee but her antics dont bother dd in the slightest. She occasionally comes out of school with rose was mean to me today. My response "well we all know what rose is like dont we". On the other hand Joan and Mavis have not learnt to deal with it and are still sensitive and upset by the slightest thing.

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