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13 year old DD is begging to move schools(20 Posts)
DD is in year 9 in an all girls academic school, she hasn't been happy at school since the end of last year. Since September she has come home miserable at lot of the time as she doesn't have many friends. The super popular girls have taken against her and the girls that were her friends are sidelining her. She says it's because nobody wants to be seen to be her friend.
She has been saying that she hates her school for some time now and I've listened but taken the stance that everyone hates school at this age. I do believe that it will get better next year when they're taking options and not in the same form for all subjects. DD says that she now has a reputation as a loner and has admitted that she's being a doormat and hanging onto the group she was originally friends with rather than be on her own even though they exclude her.
I have in the past suggested that I speak to school but DD says that it will make things worse and all school do is say that someone is being bullied which sets off a load of whispering and rumours. All she wants to do is move schools and start again, she thinks that she'll never shake off the image she has.
I'm just not sure what to do for the best. We've talked today about her being a bit of a doormat with girls in her class and that perhaps being alone might be better than sitting next to them but being ignored. I wonder if she chose to not be with them rather than tagging along it might at least give her some self respect.
Really I'm looking for advice on how to help her, do I talk to school? and should I consider moving her?
I had a shit time at school around that age too. I stayed until 6th form, not sure what good both staying and leaving did for me. By the time I left, I had weathered the worst of it but was still pretty unhappy. At the new school, I did better true although I had been in the last school so long, it felt as if the new kids were slightly alien like...I felt they weren't like me so still felt like an outsider. Bt I did make friends and was happier.
All in all, I would let her leave at the end of the school year.
your poor DD.
my DS went through similar but he has special needs - but i would do what ever will make life easier for her. Dont underestimate what this will be doing to her self esteem - its hard to just pick yourself up and get on with it alone.
What are the alternatives? what other schools are there, how big are they and has she really thought it through?
for me, i think the school need to be given the chance to know whats going on but your DD may well be right - in that things may not improve for her where she is. (they did for DS but only toward the very end of school when kids mature a bit)
she is being bullied but in my experience schools do not deal well with bullying well no matter what they say - however you could give them the benefit of the doubt and speak to them first - i think its so hard for girls and dd goes mental if i go over her head with anything at all.
i would i think if you can convince her, speak to the school first but dont down play how miserable a situation this is for her. If it cant be solved, i would consider her request.
I'm currently going through a nightmare with ds1 who has been having problems with other children at school since yr8 he's now yr11 and the situation hasn't improved at all and has got worse.
So I'd say if dd is really that desperate to move I would let her. Reinforce the fact that it's not the easy way out and that she can't keep moving so needs to see it as the opportunity to make any changes that need to be done on her part.
groups of girls can be so nasty.
I would move her if she really wants it.
Thank you both. I found school exactly the same at this age and whilst it got better as I got older I've always found it hard to make friends, so I know how she's feeling. I'm thinking of talking to her school but telling them what she said to me about them making it worse so asking them not to approach it in the way they have with others. I also feel that we shouldn't just move her without trying to make it work at school now. There is another similar school, mixed (not sure if that's better or not) I don't know if there is a place there but I may give them a call in the morning. DD2 starts at DD1's school in September.
I'm doing my best to support her and be understanding, but I'm finding it hard not to relate and therefore can't tell if I'm being influenced by my own experience.
In a nutshell DS1 was miserable at his school in Year 8 and all year I waited for it to get better. It never did. So we moved him and he is a different child.
youngminds.org were very helpful when we had similar probs
moving sounds best since she doesn't rate the school re bullying
it will get better somehow
At the exact same time- early Year 9, I went through the same thing. My own best friends turned on me and made my life hell with bullying.
I seriously contemplated asking to move schools and felt like my life would never get better but a few months on I made new friends with a different set of girls at school and to this day they are still my best friends.
Is there really no other sets of girls she might have common interests/ share hobbies with?
You have to talk to school. They're there to help you. Also how they react will give you an idea of how DD really is coping at school.
The thing is, the school may be able to stop bullying, but it cannot force these horrible girls to actually be friendly to your DD.
The same sort of thing happened to my DD in year 6, although she did have 2 or 3 really good friends. She wanted to move to a secondary school in a different town, so that she could make new friends without them knowing all the gossip and nastiness that went on. We went to look around, and liked it, so she went there. She is now in Year 11, and is really happy and confident, a completely different child.
Is there another school not too far away that your DD could go to? It definitely worked for us. Good luck, I hope she will be happier soon.
It wouldn't hurt to see id there are any spaces at other schools. DS1 ended up at one 12 miles away but it's worth it to see his smiley face again. DS2 may well go to the original school but DS1 just didn't 'fit' it.
I think talking to the school is often counter productive really (word gets around, etc). Unless a student is being physically bullied there isn't a whole lot they can do about the bitchyness and snide remarks that are often the cause of so much distress.
She may be in a really good academic school but if she hates it there she wont do well anyway. I know teaching kids that you can run from problems like this isn't a great life lesson....... but on the other hand what is the benefit to staying?
If she has been consistent about wanting to change school then I would start exploring the options............
Hi there -feel for you - I have been there also.
One of my DD's (although in year 7 now) was getting badly bullied - all low leval stuff by one particular vile girl. My DD said she would move to another school to get away from this girl. I thought originally it was a bit drastic.
To cut a long story short I have just got her moved to another class where she has good friends. I know I was lucky - the school didn't want to do it - but I wouldn't give up! This was 3 weeks ago and she is much happier.
I know your situation is different and a change of class would not make things any better.
If it was me If my DD wanted to move schools for a fresh start I would go with it. I think a year 9 girl knows there own mind mostly and if she's not happy anyway a fresh start may be what is needed. I suppose you have nothing to loose. One comment about teachers - one writer said they do nothing - this is partly true. But I do think what can they do really?
Hope it all works out what ever you decide.
I work at a small school and we regularly have pupils move to us mid year having been unhappy at a previous school. I also have children this age. You can not imagine the difference the difference we see both in confidence and academically.
If the problem is persistent then it isn't just a phase. ACT make sure your daughter can see you take her seriously. Give her a hug from me.
It is a long time to be unhappy at school I think we would all be looking at ways of changing jobs etc if we were being made to feel uncomfortable and being ignored at work.
I would contact other schools and see whether they do have places and then possible venture for a look around.
If you contact the school then what can they do - as someone else said you can't make the other girls become friendly and possible all girls together enviroment isn't good for some of these girls and this is why they are behaving like this, though it happens in mixed I think it is possibly watered down by boys presence.
I agree with Ivy - as an adult, if you find yourself in this sort of situation in your working life you do all you can to leave and get away from nasty people.
Children need us to facilitate that - spending several hours a day being at best ignored is hideous and soul-destroying.
I wouldn't even wait until the end of the year - cut her losses and move asap. She'll always thank you for it.
Thought I'd report back with positive news.
I had a couple of chats with DD and it transpired that she was most upset that her group of friends were sidelining her and had said some things that hurt her and implied that they put up with her rather than wanted her as a friend. So we talked about standing up for herself and having a bit of self pride so not allowing this to happen and still tagging along.
she didn't knock for her friend on the way to school the next day and generally kept away from her friends. She was absolutely convinced that they wouldn't care, but thankfully they did and sought her out to find out why she was avoiding them. Dd explained that she couldn't be friends with them if they were going to say the things they'd said about her and the friends were very upset and reassured her that she had misunderstood what had been said. She bounded in with a huge smile and a tonne of confidence. I think she's learnt to be a bit more confident (and that Mums advice isn't so bad).
Happy days - my God it's heartbreaking to see your child upset. Obviously I will keep an eye on things, but I can hold off looking at other schools for the time being.
Lovely to read your last post Walnutty, I do hope things keep going the same way. Exclusion bullying is beastly and very difficult to for teachers to either spot or prevent.
I would move her, my DD moved in year 8. Was very unhappy and since then she has found a gang of friends and is deliriously happy at her new school.
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