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.

THERhubarb Tue 13-Nov-12 12:03:43

The world IS full of little shits though. Sometimes we can only tackle the little shits once we've made changes within ourselves so that we are less emotionally affected by their actions and words.

In an ideal world, all little shits would be hung out to dry, but this is far from an ideal world. It's a cruel world and we need to raise our children to be strong and confident enough to get through life without too much trauma.

madhairday Tue 13-Nov-12 12:08:46

manic - I can hear your heartbreak for your dd through your posts, and am so sorry for what you and her are going through. But you must not blame yourself in the way you are doing. You are a loving mum who have brought up a thoughtful and caring dd.

There are little shits out there, in every school, but they are a minority, the problem is that with the whole pack mentality thing the other, perfectly nice girls are afraid to go against the 'queen bee' and so keep quiet or follow her example. Much of it is based on wanting to be seen as ok and normal themselves, and so they sacrifice the picked on person. You will occasionally get a very strong child who would stand up for the bullied one but it's more unusual. You could say they are all little shits by the mere fact of their complicity but in reality they are simply trying to survive. Not an excuse, apart from their immaturity and inability to know what to do with such situations.

This doesn't detract from the fact that our dds are the ones being targeted and suffering because of such set ups. And it's in these situations schools should be working hard to mediate and yes, punish the perpetrators, because they shouldn't be getting away with what they do.

I'm sad there are so many on this thread with similar experiences, but in some senses it's reassuring to have the solidarity and encouragement of each other. Maybe we should make this a longer term support thread for those facing this.

For me, it's made me see that I do actually need to talk to the school, whatever dd says. We cannot just stand by in case of looking pushy or paranoid. I was bullied myself and my self esteem was shot to pieces for years. It took a long time to become happy with who I am. I don't want my dd's teenage years to be similarly blighted.

Keep hanging in, manic.

Hopeforever Tue 13-Nov-12 12:09:52

Every person is different and so every person who has written their experience and that of their child is different to.

Please msp don't throw away the comments from people who say PERHAPS the way your child reacts makes them more prone to bullying. It's not a bad reflection on you or on your DD, it's just life.

CBT is a great way forward for some people, it doesn't involve lots of sharing and talking, but it's new ideas and ways to rethink common difficult situations.

Astelia Tue 13-Nov-12 13:36:00

The world isn't full of little shits, there will be one or two in every hundred that are nasty to others, the other ninety eight are nice most of the time.

I agree that some kind of social skills training can help in knowing what to say to the bully, it can help in making friends too. Sometimes adults feel they don't know what to say in certain situations and find it useful to have some pointers on body language and conversation openers. Children can find it helpful too.

manicstreetpreacher Tue 13-Nov-12 16:57:08

No, there are hardly any little shits in the world at all when everything is rosy in your garden. I realise that.

I didn't go into all the details in my original post but she has had counselling (18 months under CAHMS) and was called a weirdo by a girl in her class at primary school who overheard her talking to the teacher about it, this led to more namecalling. She won't go for any more counselling now, flatly refuses. Everything we do to try and help her just seems to meet with a dead end, we have been condtantly bigging her up for the last two years but she won't hear of it - every time she feels happy something happens for her to spoil it.

Yes, you're probably right. There maybe is something wrong with her and I will probably have to try HE. I've sure as hell tried everything else. Maybe I should put her up for adoption, someone else might do a better job than I have.

I fucking give up.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 13-Nov-12 18:07:08

I'm sure there isn't anything wrong with her. She's probably just a bit different, if you don't fit the norm at the beginning of secondary school it can be social disaster.

My dd is a bit of a geek. She's not into Justin biber, make up, etc. she's more into manga and mine craft and animals. Saying that she is very fashionable, I've made sure she's got the right clothes as I know how much kids are judged on their clothes.

But I'm glad she's not obsessed with make up, etc. I see girls her age on fb, posting loads of pictures where they're pulling the duck face with full slap. Dd is happy been her own person, not following the crowd. Well she would be if it wasn't for the nastiness.

That doesn't mean that it's "her" or that she has issues. But it's more than a bit annoying that other kids aren't more accepting of someone a bit different. I'm not saying they have to be friends, but there's no need for nastiness.

On a brighter note dd has told her HOY about the false rumours that are been spread. She's also stood up to the girl this morning and told her to leave her alone, that she's going to end up expelled the way she's going. hmm grin

She said the girl walked away after she said that, so hopefully it hasn't made things worse.

This girl lives in our village and I think if I do see her I'm going to be tempted to politely and calmly tell her to leave my dd alone.

madhairday Tue 13-Nov-12 19:37:34

That's good Viva. My dd also stood up to the girl today, asked her why she hated her and asked her if she could be nicer to her. The girl shrugged and denied a bit but ended up saying she would be nicer from now on. So proud of dd, for standing up to her. We'll see how it goes.

manic, don't give up. There are children that just get picked on, as you can see from many posts on this thread, nothing 'wrong' so to speak (I don't think of my dd's dyspraxia as something wrong, just something a bit different) but out of the norm. Coupled with being very quiet that can make someone a target, sadly. Don't blame yourself because you've loved and cared for her, and are trying to help her all you can.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 13-Nov-12 20:17:49

I tell dd a saying that my boss used to tell me when I was young. Soar with the eagles don't scuttle with the chickens. It always makes her laugh.

Visualarts Tue 13-Nov-12 22:29:53

Manic, takeonboard made such a good point about it affecting the whole family - it has made you so low. But really don't blame yourself, you are being such a caring parent. and as others have said, your dd is probably just a bit different, therefore has become a target.

i'm sure there is a theory that in any situation involving a lot of people kept together, there may be a 'natural' tendency for one or two to get targeted - adults are subject to greater constraints (convention, legal, social), so it doesn't happen so much. So one answer may be to ensure the students have greater constraints - come in, school! What are they going to do to stop it? And how are they going to help her rebuild her self esteem (asking her to help with 'responsible' stuff, encouraging her to do a suitable club?)

There are various books about how to cope with school probs - expect you've tried loads, but it might be worth having a look if not?

Astelia Wed 14-Nov-12 09:59:00

I don't get why the school aren't coming down heavily on the perpetrators here manic. I can only speak for my school but we track these sort of instances so if it happens repeatedly the bullies will be come down hard on. If it hasn't stopped after the HOY becomes aware of it and speaks to the culprit(s) they go through school disciplinary and their parents are called in.

Please keep a record of every comment, silent treatment, mean stare, stealing of belongings, intimidation. When presented with the evidence the school must act.

THERhubarb Wed 14-Nov-12 12:07:01

"Yes, you're probably right. There maybe is something wrong with her and I will probably have to try HE. I've sure as hell tried everything else. Maybe I should put her up for adoption, someone else might do a better job than I have.

I fucking give up. "

Well if you feel like that, I wonder how your daughter feels? hmm

I'm sorry Manic but I think you need to look at your attitude here too. You may try to big your daughter up, but if these are the kind of vibes that she is getting from you then you might as well be running into a brick wall.

This is about your daughter, so why have you turned it all about you? You have suddenly become the victim. A parent who has tried everything, who implies that her dd is a failure by the very tone of her posts and who now talks about giving up on her.

Yes I'm sure you will say that's just frustration talking, but you've been given a lot of time on this thread and people have posted a lot of good advice. You seem to have an excuse for everything though.

I feel very very sorry for your dd. I hope you'll read through the posts again and instead of reacting, just think about them.

Spalva Wed 14-Nov-12 13:35:11

Manic, my dd is out now. We will either HE or wait to find a better school.

When dd was 8 she was suffering through that physical and verbal abuse I already mentioned. We had decided to move country. At that point, I found out that my mother was dxd with breast cancer. I went to see her, had my first mammo, found out I had it as well. Dd spent some time with me and then left to start school in new country (same French school system, though). The abuse started up again. This time: three girls spitting in her face every time she walked by and one threatening to bring a knife to school to use on her (found out about that over a year later). I was in another country having chemo. When done, I got to the new country and changed schools (international school). It started up again. I knew that a lot had to do with dd's body language. At that point she slouched and looked away any time a kid came near. She finished that school year and I took her out to HE. One of the first things she did was go out and get dreadlocks. At the beginning of that school year she met a boy who is still her best friend, though he now lives in the States. They talk about Star Wars and computers and apps and astronautics and tell stories...She spent one year unschooling. Then she told me she wanted to try school again, to show that she could do it. She went into the same tiny private school that her best friend was at. We found money to do it. She tested through the roof on reasoning and logic and English -- though her math score was dismal. And then things were fine. She had one or two ugly episodes with the class jerk but her time at that school will be remembered always. She ended up being on a championship robotics team, the mathcounts team, winning the science fair and the MATH day competition.

By the way, after two years of a very good school her math score went way back up but her logic and reason score went way down. :-))

Do not hesitate to take your dd out and give her time to process all that has happened. It's called de-schooling in unschooling. Academically, she will be fine if she spends six months doing nothing else than telling your horror stories and following her own interests (I KNOW how emotionally draining those horror stories are; people, it is not easy to listen to these stories especially if you have a close relationship with your child because they will come constantly for a while and seem to take up every ounce of parenting effort you can give). After a while away from all of this she will discover herself and find her way.

Dd wants to go to the ZAP day in London, so I am signing her up.

Spalva Wed 14-Nov-12 13:45:57

I wish we could edit!

I wanted to add that at the point I took her out of school she was 9, just turning 10, and talking about wanting to die.

I realize now that I could have played a much greater role in helping her to socialise or getting her professional help. It was hard because we were/are expatriates and help in our language was not to be found. But I do know there were things I could have done to help her (body language, mainly, but also not criticising the girls in her class and being more proactive about getting those girls -- even the bullies -- to our home for more one-on-one play so they could get out of the pack mentality). I had a tendency to just snub the girls/boys who were being mean and I honestly wish I hadn't done that because it didn't help dd's own attitude towards those kids.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 14-Nov-12 17:04:45

Manic if you're still reading this thread I wanted to say not to give up.

I was unsure about going to the school but it seems to have worked.

The two girls that have been bullying dd were taken out of lessons today. The girl who was spreading rumours was taken out this morning and then at lunch came up to dd denying she had spread any rumours. Which was a lie, but it sounds like she won't be doing it again.

The girl who has been hitting dd was taken out of lessons this afternoon and came back sobbing. So it sounds like whatever was said to her was quite serious. Hopefully it will make a difference.

Dd is feeling a bit more positive.

madhairday Wed 14-Nov-12 19:06:04

That's great Viva. So glad the school have acted on it. Hope your dd continues to be happier.

My dd seems happier too since she faced up to the bully. The girl has been fairly neutral with her today, a much happier state of affairs.

Are you ok manic? Please do come back, you have support here

BooksandaCuppa Wed 14-Nov-12 20:13:25

To OP and all others in same situation:

Don't at all give up on asking school to take each and every incident seriously. A good school will have rigorous policies in place to deal with the situation. Their duty of care is first and foremost to make sure your dcs are safe. If they are failing in that duty, they are not a good school. There should always be somewhere safe where your dcs can go: library/learning support/peer listeners

I work in a secondary school and the staff there care very much about our children's safety; we have children excluded (internally or externally) for incidents far less serious than some of those mentioned here. Take it to the Head if HOY/tutors are not helpful. After that, take it to the Governors. Easier said than done, I know, but failing that, you need to move schools.

homeagain Sat 17-Nov-12 03:21:04

I'm so sorry you and your daughter are having such a horrible time - she sounds a sweetie. have been having similar problems with my ds, and discovered Kidscape, which runs courses for bullied children to help them to cope. The co-ordinator told us that the children they see are invariably the delightful, well-mannered ones. But they are incredibly supportive and it was a great day. They're taught how to establish eye-contact, and face the bullies down without being aggressive themselves etc. They will also fast-track you if things are really bad. Might be worth it? At the very least it might help your daughter to see that she's not alone. It costs £20 to cover admin costs. I hope things get easier - you're not alone, though I know it can feel that way sometimes.

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