DD15 has been bullied by so called friends.(10 Posts)
My DD who is 15 has been part of a small group of friends for a long time. A few months ago, a new girl joined. Since then she has made up some stories about DD and has managed to convince the others that DD shouldn't be their friend anymore. As a result, they put some horrible things on FB, and on texts to other kids at school.
My DD was devastated, leading to her seriously cutting herself, and having to take nearly 2 weeks off school before Easter.
The school have been hopeless. They made all the right noises, but then only put one child into inclusion for a day and "spoke" to the others. My daughter has asked for an apology, but the others refuse, and the school refuse to make them, saying it will cause more harm!!
I am furious with the kids, and now with the school. DD has hardly any friends now, and I am worried about her mental health. I don't know what I am supposed to do - just let it go and leave her to it, or try to fight for the justice she deserves. I don't even know how to do this constructively as i end up crying or getting angry.
I realise this isn't the worst situation in the world, but wondered if anyone else has any advice or experience to share?
Sorry - I realise I have posted this twice. I thought the first one had disappeared.
Sympathies to your poor dd and you - it's awful when this happens. Teen groups of friends do fall out and/or drift apart and/or drop one member - it's absolutely horrible for the dteen (and for the dparent!) when it happens, and as you say, can be devastating. Have you seen a copy of the school's anti bullying policy? Might be worth having a look, to see what you can expect.
Has your dd gone back to school now? The usual advice i think would be 'ditch those friends, join school clubs, find new friends, take up new clubs outside school', but that can be very difficult, and anyway takes time! Can the school help by suggesting new activities to help her mix with a new crowd? Is your gp involved?
Anti bullying policy will refer to the behaviour policy and the complaints procedure - ask for all three.
Is she in their form? Can she move tutor groups?
There must be one or two who realise what's going on?
There may be one or two who do cody, but i think self preservation often means they (we!) don't speak out but stick with the group. Also from 'the inside' people see things differently - possibly even more so at that age.
Op you say your dd has hardly any friends now - if she has one or two that makes a big difference and i'd say just focus on them if they have stuck around for her - and maybe try gradually to broaden the social circle in and out of school if possible.
How have things been in the last couple of days?
I can see both sides of this. I worked in a (girls) school that didn't seem to have a problem with bullying, but I discovered (during out-of-school DofE training) that a group of girls were being bullied by another group of girls, to the extent they were waiting for a later bus at home time, just to avoid the bullies.
But at least those girls had each other. It must be far more traumatic being a single girl bullied by a group.
Yet I can understand the school's attitude. If the girls are made to apologise if is unlikely to be sincere and they will probably be resentful - they might then actually step-up the bullying, but in more subtle ways. One thing the school I worked at did was to have occasional form assemblies (one form took a whole-school assembly) where subtle bullying was the theme. Perhaps they might consider that. It raises the issue without pointing the finger at anyone in particular.
Is it a mixed school? Does your DD have any boy friends? Bullying between girls can be worse when it's just girls. Boys can put a different perspective on things and talking to one or two trusted boys might help.
You said this started when a new girl arrived. Do you have any more information about this? Did the new girl have to move schools because she had problems of her own? Not condoning her actions, btw, but bullying others might be her way of coping. Difficult to find out, of course, but the root of the problem could be something in her life which needs to be resolved.
It won't help in your case, but I read a book called Gemini Rising, by Eleanor Wood, which explores a similar theme - 16-year-old girl twins arrive mid-term and cause chaos to existing friendship groups. But it does suggest you are not alone.
Definitely not alone leonard - it does seem to be a feature of groups that they every now and again exclude one person. I rather depressingly think it may be 'natural' because it gives the rest of the group an added sense of cohesion. It may be triggered by a 'new' person - the book about the twins sounds interesting! - but doesn't have to be. Can be so hurtful - in fact there's another thread at this very moment about adults - but in a way i think it helps to know it's so common.
Good point about meaningless apologies - though i suppose even if they don't mean it there might be value in making it clear that unkind fb messages and texts are 'not on'.
The other thing i think we can underestimate is how much we can help dteens by making family as comforting as possible. On a number of threads pps have said they survived awful social situations at school because home was a haven - so cuddling up with the duvet and modern family or similar and a pizza is more comforting to dteens than we realise!
the book about the twins sounds interesting!
At the risk of steering the thread in a slightly new direction, really, I think teenagers can learn a lot from books where they can identify with the characters. Things which they would reject if they heard them from parents or teachers yet they can accept from a fictitious character - even though that character is drawn by an adult who is probably a parent and may even be a teacher too. I suppose it's the suspension of disbelief.
And there are many books out there which explore issues which frequently crop up on this forum. Not just bullying but also sex and relationships, teenage pregnancy, relationships with parents... I haven't come across anything on self-harm or eating disorders yet, but they probably exist. Some of these books might be of benefit to both teens and their parents. I confess to having read about 70 Young Adult novels over the past year - I did think about starting a thread where people could give brief reviews because a lot of these books don't seem to be mainstream. I think some are only available for Kindle - not in bookshops.
I don't know if anyone would be interested though - but I'm happy to write a few reviews if anyone wants me to.
Interesting idea! Yes it looks as though the gemini book is kindle only. In your 70 y a books have you come across anything else about op's daughter's situation - when a group drops you, and how to survive it?
I do agree with you that dteens may be more likely to 'listen' to books than parents! But i suppose one problem is that sometimes there's an unrealistic resolution to novels - unpopular dropped girl suddenly becomes high fashion gorgeous miss popular, and friends come flocking back asking for forgiveness, kind of thing. Whereas in real life that doesn't tend to be the outcome, and it's really more useful to learn that you can survive the fallout without 'winning' iyswim. Or, maybe, that 'winning' is something different - getting on with your life is best revenge etc.
But i suppose one problem is that sometimes there's an unrealistic resolution to novels
I'm sure this is true in some cases, but the books I'm thinking about seem quite believable - certainly Gemini doesn't have a happy ever after ending...
That's the only one I've found which relates in any way to the OP's situation though, but there are others which are quite thought-provoking. If anyone else thinks it's a good idea I'll probably start a thread and see what happens.
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