My 11 year old dd is always being picked on. Please help.

(92 Posts)
manicstreetpreacher Tue 06-Nov-12 16:33:05

Hi there!

My 11 year old dd seems to have a target on her back. Without going into long winded explanations, she has had a hard time of it since about year 3 in primary. We've changed schools because of it, she won't defend herself because she tried it once by saying something back at a girl who'd been goading her all day who then went to teacher and guess who got blamed? She also won't defend herself for fear of being called snitch or incurring the wrath of the other person's friends.

By the end of year 4 she had lost her best friend because the class queen bee took it upon herself to spread lies. This friend had been with her since nursery and she was heartbroken for several weeks afterwards. This ultimately led to a change of school despite us covvering every other avenbue first without success.

She's come home tonight completely fed up, sick of the fact that nobody likes her and that people pick on her for no reason. She's even had boys doing it too. Today, for instance, in her PE lesson she told me about a girl who was verbally horrid to her all afternoon yet nobody stepped in to do a thing about it.

My heart breaks for her, I really don't know where it's going to finish up - I feel as though home ed may be the only answer for her. Nobody seems to like her. She never gets asked anywhere and nobody ever accepts our invites to tea etc.

Also, her new secondary is very big and whilst I don't want to be going in every five minutes like some demented mum from hell I don't really know what else to do.

I feel like I have really badly failed her. I can't understand why this keeps happening to her. I wish she would fight back even if it meant getting into trouble - at least the people that pick on her might think before they did it again if so.

Just had enough really. Any advice would be greatly received.

bigTillyMint Tue 06-Nov-12 17:24:32

Awww, your poor DD.

Over the time that this has been happening, I guess you have been talking to the school(s) about it? What have they said?

manicstreetpreacher Tue 06-Nov-12 18:01:14

Tillymint, the first school were useless. I became very disillusioned by them as Queen Bee's mum was on the pta and her gran on the board of governors, the child herself extremely popular with both the kids and the adults and as a result we never stood a chance. I still think a lot of this has contributed to dd's problems and as a result her lack of self esteem has obviously made her an easy target. She's never quite gotten over it all.

The second primary school were great at first but then kind of wrote her off as being oversensitive. I couldn't be bothered to argue by then. I knew for a fact there was one girl there giving her crap and the others went along with it for an easy life. She just doesn't really fit in and I knew she'd have problems at secondary school. I was in there last term because a lad from her second primary school started giving her abuse in front of his mates.

Nobody helps her. If my dd saw that kind of thing happeniong to someone else she would go out of her way to comfort them - but it seems that it just isn't cool to like her!

I'm seriously considering home ed - it's a shame I have to really - every child should have the right to a decent education in a caring safe environment but I really don't know what's wrong with kids these these days. Either I've done something wrong by bringing my dd up to be nice or I care too much. Perhaps I just shouldn't give a damn? No one else seems to.

aufaniae Tue 06-Nov-12 18:03:20

Have you spoken to her secondary about it? Might be worth a try at least?

DolomitesDonkey Tue 06-Nov-12 18:09:52

I'm so sorry your daughter is being bullied like this, but I'm glad to hear she has her mum who loves her, values her and is on her side. Please try and re-build her self-esteem... Lack of it can ruin a life. sad

I'm sorry, I don't have any relevant advice, I just wanted to post because your post has gone pretty much unseen and I just wanted you to know that people do care.

Fwiw, I'd take her out of school now with a loose plan to going back after Xmas and having 8 weeks to consider our options.

beckythump Tue 06-Nov-12 18:23:10

You haven't done anything wrong and you don't care too much.

Our ds's story is very similar to your dd's including the change of primary school. He would now be in year 6 but we took him out due to ongoing bullying/exclusion by peers and also dyslexia which all added to his stress over school.

All I can say is that home ed in the caring safe environment of home has been a big success for us. We are still finding our own way to go about things and adapting to a best fit for us as a family, but our ds is getting his self esteem back and is loving being away from the restrictions of school. We are learning about all manner of things, quite possibly none of which are on the national curriculum, and feel much happier and more relaxed.

Yesterday for example we visited a scrapstore where all the ingredients to make a rocket where discovered and collected - ready for our trip to the space centre next week. Then we walked with the dogs on the beach. We seriously discussed homelessness, litter, tides, amongst other things, before sharing a chapter read out loud each from our latest reading book sitting in the car in the sun with a flask of hot chocolate.

Home to make soup together then a snuggle on the sofa to learn about William 1st which is where we have got up to in our chronological history studies.

Today we walked through the woods with rope and sparklers with another lovely home ed family with a ds of the same age. Lots of learning, lots of fun, zero bullying.

DolomitesDonkey Tue 06-Nov-12 18:25:45

Becky that sounds incredible!

Op, when I said "go back", I didn't mean to that school - but instead to "education" whatever form it may take.

hairbearbunch32 Wed 07-Nov-12 11:03:28

Below is a message I posted on a primary school thread. My DD is at secondary school now. She is outgoing and makes friends easily. However she still has problems with some girls from primary school.

DD will stick up for herself but usually will just ignore them. Whatever she does makes no difference to how these girls treat her. One of the queen bees is quite introverted/nervous away from her group of friends. I wonder whether there is jealousy from her towards my DD.

I do however think sometimes children do need to stand up for themselves whatever the consequences. If she doesnt they may carry on if they think they can get away with it.

Are their any peer mentors at your DD's school? Someone for her to talk to their may help.

I'm sure if she was at my DD's school, my DD would certainly befriend her!.

*When my DD was in primary, she stayed out of all the cliques and never took sides. She has a mind of her own and has never been a follower.

However she would be excluded by various girls for not choosing a side or being bitchy behind others back .For this reason she was unpopular. The mean girls were invited to all the parties.

Her teacher one parents evening told me she was far more mature than other girls her age.

I used to think sometimes that if she was more like them she would fit in and perhaps school would be easier for her.

All i know is that girls can be very mean and spiteful. Not sure what the answer is though!*

Sonnet Wed 07-Nov-12 11:30:54

Hairbearbunch32's post about her DD could have been written about my DD. She is now in year 11, is happy and popular. She carved her own path, not joining any cliques which bought problems of its own.

She was an easy target when young and not one of the "cool kids".

I am trying to think when it all changed. Possibly when the grils had matured and grown up.

She was physically bullied by one girl whose parent was a teacher at the school. Before I went in and made a fuss I talked to DD about how to handle it. We practised the words, the body language, the eye contact until DD felt confident about tackling her. Guess what - DD spoke and acted as we had planned and the girl left her alone ever since. the real "victory" for DD was the growth in self esteem she received for managing it herself.

I agree with all posters who say to focus on building her self esteem.

Good wishes to you both. Your DD sounds delightful and soemone that my DD would have chosen for a friend.

hairbearbunch32 Wed 07-Nov-12 11:58:53

Thank you Sonnet. Good to hear about your DD. Hopefully as the girls do mature things will improve!

manicstreetpreacher Wed 07-Nov-12 15:55:57

I've spent the last couple of years trying to build her confidence but as soon as I build it up some little shit sends it down again. She's actually started to believe that she is useless and incapable of being liked because every time she picks herself back up the same thing happens again and again.

Also, she isn't a 'follower' as described by Hairbear. My dd calls them 'sheep', they do the wrong thing to fit in because it 's easier, they get left alone that way. Woe betide the girl who breaks the mould and decides to think for herself.

I wouldn't consider myself a perfect parent but I've started to wonder just how many people are making an effort to bring their kids up in the right way when the vast percentage of them are so bloody horrible.

manicstreetpreacher Wed 07-Nov-12 15:58:54

@ beckythump - you have certainly given me food for thought. HE would have to be a last resort for me as it seems very daunting but at the end of the day if it was the only thing to do then I would do it.

I have heard this so often. Girls seem to be far worse because of the Queen Bee scenario but some boys stand out as well. DS1 was always teased and made fun of for being geeky. Year 9 was the turning point when he seemed to Gell with a lovely group of similar friends.
My niece sounds like your DD. Lovely girl who refuses to be a sheep. She is however very over sensitive, perhaps as a result of the bullying?
Sometimes though, you have to compromise just a little to fit in.

beckythump that all sounds lovely but all the stuff you describe is the sort of normal family thing I would do with my child in addition to school.

ExitPursuedByABrrrrrrr Wed 07-Nov-12 16:53:04

I read something in the paper last week I think about some sort of counselling for children who find it difficult to cope with playground bullying. It was in The Telegraph. Might be worth a read.

manicstreetpreacher Wed 07-Nov-12 17:09:38

Forgot to mention she has had counselling. But it didn't really help because she clammed up and wouldn't talk to them.

EdgarAllansPo Wed 07-Nov-12 17:13:47

Does the secondary school have any kind of counselling service for the students where your dd could go to discuss assertiveness? Or any kind of buddy system, mentoring from 6th formers, or advocacy?

If your dd is getting nowhere taking this to her form teacher, can she make an appointment to see her head of year? The school needs to help with this from both angles; helping all the students be acceptably assertive, and also treating others how you would want to be treated (with respect, and not excluding anyone).

Children don't arrive at secondary school with such social schools and self control. It should be part of the school's policy and teaching to encourage better behaviour. What do the staff say they are doing about it/ will do about it?

EdgarAllansPo Wed 07-Nov-12 17:16:12

X post.

Hm...How about taking her to something like karate, where is is apparently about sport but things like attitude, assertiveness, self confidence and respect are also taught?

lljkk Wed 07-Nov-12 17:16:14

Could you switch to a different school?
That was the cure for me & DS when we suffered similar.

ByTheWay1 Wed 07-Nov-12 17:21:13

Problems tend to dissipate a bit around year 9 as the "queen bee" gets herself a boyfriend and it is then not cool to pick on other kids, just to be snogging outside school at lunchtime - that's how it worked at our school anyhow.....

So keep your fingers crossed!

I reminded my DD that she is nice - the other is horrid and everyone knows it underneath. and that as her "nemesis" wants to work in childcare to remind her that she is old enough to be held criminally responsible for her actions - so could end up being banned from her family business should anyone go to the police.... The campaign against DD didn't stop - but it was lessened by that - and NEVER violent....

manicstreetpreacher Wed 07-Nov-12 17:41:56

Thanks everyone.

We enrolled her in some self defence classes in year 5 and she stopped after 4 weeks because one of the girls there was laughing at her because she was clumsy doing the moves. She refuses to attend anything extra curricular or clubs etc because she would rather be by herself where it's safer.

Some great parent I've turned out to be!

Yes, the school has systems in place but in my experience it's all hot air. I'm reluctant to keep going round in circles like I have many times before. Her year coordinator is aware if her problems and she has said I can contact her but I just feel like I should be concentrating on getting dd to fight back rather than reporting every little slight - it is a jungle out there and the sods are obviously feeding off the fact that she is weak. It's the only explanation I have - she's been called fat (she's as thin as a rake), ugly (she is quite pretty), gay, geeky, everything you can think of. The latest one today is that she 'talks funny'.

She's one of the nicest kids you could wish to meet and my heart is breaking. I can't help but wonder if she'd be better off being bought up by someone else as I have quite clearly failed. There comes a point when you just get sick of it and can't take much more.

ScarahScreams Wed 07-Nov-12 17:48:56

This is so bloody awful for your DD. Poor girl.

ScarahScreams Wed 07-Nov-12 17:49:41

Does it start of well but then go pear shaped? What seems to be the trigger for the bullying?

manicstreetpreacher Wed 07-Nov-12 17:58:47

The trigger seems to be her existence! I really, really don't know other than the fact that they can obviously sniff out someone who won't retaliate.

She doesn't smell either. And her clothes are clean and of good quality.

F****d if I know.

ScarahScreams Wed 07-Nov-12 20:45:51

Oh manic sad

beckythump Wed 07-Nov-12 21:02:09

SecretSquirrels I used to think like that too about home education. Our reality however when ds was at school was battles and cajoling in the morning to get up and breakfasted, teeth washed, bag and lunch ready for school. Followed by a sullen monosyllabic stressed child at the end of the day who just wanted to watch TV. Followed by battles and cajoling to do homework/reading and chivvying up to bed at a sensible bedtime because of school the next day.
Even holidays and weekends were times when anything remotely like reading/writing/schoolwork was shunned completely because 'it's the holidays'.
It is so very much different now. Ds gets up when he is hungry for breakfast, is relaxed and excited about what we are going to do and full of plans. He goes to bed when he is ready to and loves late night reading and researching.
I think he is develpoing a trust and a self-esteem/motivation now that was so missing before.

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