Is this bullying or normal 15 year old drama

(12 Posts)
gemandjule Thu 06-Oct-16 08:30:04

DD2 is 15. She's my 4th child, oldest is 22. I thought I knew normal teen behaviour but I'm not sure if this is normal or bullying,
She's always been a very easy kid. She has always had lots of company and socialisation but also used to having to fight her corner to a certain extent, so definitely not a shrinking violet!
She has never had any problems with friends. She's easy going and happy.
She went to a residential summer camp thing for three weeks this summer with 6 of her school friends. We visited her every weekend while she was there and she seemed to be very happy. She did disclose when she came home that 2 of the group had been mean to her in that they consistently made her the butt of the joke. They would be quite witty so made whoever was there laugh so DD felt they were all always laughing at her. She had made other friends though and just hung around with them instead and as I say seemed happy while she was there.
She went back to school a few weeks later. She has been unhappy since she has gone back. Because she told some of her other friends in the group how she felt about the teasing over the summer they asked the 2 girls to stop as they were upsetting DD.
While the teasing has stopped, these girls have now started giving her the cold shoulder and have said they can't say anything while she is around as DD will say they are being mean.
The end result is that DD feels isolated in school. She no longer wants to spend her free time with this group of friends even though she still likes most of them. She is trying to find another group but the nature of 15 year olds is very clichey. She has been crying at home occasionally after school and just not her usual happy self. She does feel however that there is nothing to do now as they are no longer mean to her as such. I have made an appointment to meet her class teacher but I'm not sure really what she can do as the overt teasing/bullying has stopped. DD feels naming names and having these girls called out by the teacher is overkill and will make her even more isolated. She has wondered about moving schools. I'm very conflicted about this. She has always been happy at this school up until the past few weeks. Fall outs with friends are a normal part of life and may not be better anywhere else. Also she herself can list what she likes about the school; she has other good friends there, just they are also friends with these girls so she doesn't want to hang out with them, she plays sports and is on the junior and senior school teams and loves this. Also she has state exams this year so moving her mid year is a long way from ideal.
On the flip side I really want my happy laid-back daughter back! It really upsets me to see her miserable.
Sorry this is so long, all thoughts welcome!

specialsubject Thu 06-Oct-16 09:32:24

Bullying. Bitchy queen bees ( probably daughters of same) sneering, laughing at, ignoring.

What goes around does come around - they will get the relationships they deserve later - but it takes a while. That said, others cannot be forced to be friends.

She needs to compartmentalise, get what she needs out of school ( an education), remember it isnt forever and look forward to leaving. School is not the best time of your life.

gemandjule Thu 06-Oct-16 15:00:23

Thanks Special, I think you are right about compartmentalising.
Things escalated today in that she texted me and my husband from school asking us to come and get her. I was caught at work so my husband went. I spoke to him on the phone before he went asking him not to leave with her until he had spoken to her class teacher or the vice principal.
He spoke to the Vice principal who had some good suggestions, including making her hall monitor and allowing her to pick her team to help her so she would be with people she's happy with at break times. She also suggested speaking to the school counsellor and will organise same.
I think she feels a bit better now that she has a plan and some support. Fingers crossed.

misshelena Sat 08-Oct-16 18:47:11

So sorry your dd is going through this. This is a tough situation as you can't force people to like you.
Do you think those girls are actively trying to get other girls to ignore your dd? Or do they just ignore dd but don't really care what other girls do? If it's the former, then it's bullying and much harder to deal with as this form of bullying is really hard to pin down.
If it's the latter, which sounds more likely, then there's something dd can try. She needs to pretend like none of this bothers her. It's hard, but if she can do it, other girls will understand that everything is back to normal with dd. And they'll start treating dd the way they always have. And if dd starts befriending them, they'll respond as they would before they learned of her summer fallout with those couple girls. It's really hard, but try to encourage dd to not assume that all the girls at school are "in the pockets" of those couple girls who don't like her. If she acts normal, other kids will treat her normal.
Good luck to both of you! Just remember, this will pass.

gemandjule Sat 08-Oct-16 19:20:43

Thanks so much for the reply. I agree, I think it's the latter. I think this will all pass over if she can ride it out. I'm hoping the school counsellor will help her see that if she can concentrate on the positives in her life, and to be fair there are a lot of these, then she will be happy and more confident again and this will help her fit in once more.
Roll on 18 or so! Things do seem to get a lot more straightforward again then.

garlicandsapphire Sat 08-Oct-16 21:33:20

One of my DC's went through something similar. I think your DD is still being bullied. By saying we cant say anything to her as she'll say we're being mean they are actually excluding her. They are being manipulative and their intention is not kind. I think you should speak to the school teacher and discuss what can be done - it needs to be subtle and not shaming your daughter. Maybe mixing up classes or giving messages lightly about what it must feel like to be your DD. School did it with my DC and with some other events, it changed it around.

Peebles1 Mon 10-Oct-16 08:29:51

I agree with misshelena about not showing them it's bothering her. This was my tactic at school - plus humour. My parents moved a lot so I was often the 'new girl'. I was considered 'posh', 'swotty', had a really 'teasable' surname and was quiet and shy. The bullying always started but I never once let them see it bothered me. I either ignored it or responded with humour. For example, if those girls say they 'can't say anything around your DD coz she'll say they're being mean' I'd probably have said something along the lines of 'yep, one word from you two and I'm gonna burst into tears right now'. They always stopped coz they didn't get a rise/reaction out of me. I had some grim times but it usually passed quickly.

Just some ideas for when she's out in the thick of it, poor girl. The teacher's ideas sound great. Hope things improve.

gemandjule Tue 11-Oct-16 08:16:36

Thanks again for the replies. It's cementing my view that while this is very unpleasant and needs to be tackled, there isn't any reason to change schools, I think the strategies being put in place by the school are good. They have followed through and asked her yesterday who she wanted to be on hall monitor duty with her. She named 2 girls I hadn't ever heard her mention but apparently that's what the vice principle advised; to pick girls that seemed really nice but that she didn't know very well. Presumably the idea is to edge her towards a new group of friends. Seems like a very good idea so we'll see what pans out from there.
We've had no more tears for the past few days so hopefully this is a good signs.
Thanks again. Hopefully the thread might give ideas to others in a similar position. It seems very common unfortunately.

gemandjule Mon 28-Nov-16 08:34:57

I'm revisiting this thread. Unfortunately things are no better, in fact if anything they are worse.
She is attending a private counsellor and also the school counsellor. She really likes both of them and seems to be engaged with what they are telling her but unfortunately it just hasn't turned around. She took herself out of the group chats with the friends which means she is very isolated. She went to one event over halloween where she organised herself to get ready with a different group and I really though we might turn a corner as it took a lot of courage to organise that but she rang after 10 minutes at the event to come home because as soon as she bumped into the ring leaders of the events over the summer she says they started laughing at her.
She found comments on social media calling her amount other things a slag and a cheater. These were form a few months previously, so again nothing current, but really threw her.
She has refused point blank to initiate a formal bullying report in school as she feels it will achieve nothing and make her even more of a target.
I really don't know where to go with it. I see no point in approaching the mothers myself as I think the damage is done and no matter what they say or do at this point it will not make my DD happier.
The issue of changing schools is still lurking in the background. The counsellor has advised waiting until christmas to make a decision on this. I hate the thought of it as the school she is in is actually very good and very pastorally progressive. I think the huge issue now is her confidence and I'm not sure moving schools will help that.
I'm rambling now because I have gone over this so often now I'm driving myself crazy. I don't know what I'm asking either, just ranting I think.

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 28-Nov-16 18:03:17

It is really late in the day to change schools if she is in year 11. I woukd encourage her to file a formal bulkying complaint though in order that the school can fully support her. It will seem a long time to get through to summer for her exams but then I assume you can ensure she'll be at a different sixth form to the bullies. The alternative is are there any specialist 5th/6th form colleges near you. A friend's child went to one where they did fewer GCSEs but in one year. It may be that she will end up a year behind but that shouldn't hold her back.

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 28-Nov-16 18:03:52

*bullying not bulkying!!

gemandjule Tue 29-Nov-16 08:36:14

I agree it's not a great time to move schools and I would much prefer her to stay where she is and move her for senior cycle if she is still not happy. I guess if she wants to move though and if her counsellor agrees I haven't much choice. I have no idea where I would sent her, or even how easy it would be to get her into another school mid year. Also would need to try and get one to fit her subject choices. So yes, I agree, really not ideal.
I think also in some ways I would find that decision easier if I wasn't concerned that the issue now is relating to her confidence and self esteem and will not be cured by a move.
It really is frightening how a couple of really nasty girls can wipe out the confidence of a previously very happy kid in a few weeks.
I did screenshot the comments on social media before my older daughter got onto the girl and told her to delete them. There are days when I fantasise about confronting the girls mother with the evidence of what a bitch her daughter is but I do realise that this will achieve absolutely nothing!
Anyway, rant over.
It's helpful to be able to rant here when I can't rant in reality as apparently I have to be the adult shock!

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