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In helping my 10 yr old Dd deal with this issue with a friend or should I just butt out?

(53 Posts)
QueenieLovesEels Wed 14-Nov-12 11:11:33

My daughter has formed a friendship with a neighbour's child which I think is toxic.

I walk her daughter to school everyday and collect to help my neighbour out but my daughter is becoming increasingly uncomfortable around the girl.

Her friend has body issues and I believe an eating disorder. She has a very narrow range of foods she will eat and then minuscule amounts of them. She is underweight and fills up on sweets because there is an open cupboard policy in her house. My daughter has asked how she manages to eat so much junk and still be thin and I had to explain about visceral fat. I mentioned how the focus should be on health and that your body should be nourished to enjoy life. It's really horrible though that I should have to go down this route.

She has now started commenting on my daughter's weight as well as other perfectly healthy girls in the class. She seems to have developed a bit of an obsessive interest in my daughter too. She claims they are twins, copies all her work, is constantly trying to come over to play and yet makes derogatory remarks about my daughter's looks and clothes.

My daughter isn't interested in clothes or fashion and finds all that stuff boring. She is interested in the world and experiencing stuff to put it in a nutshell. However, this girl is really starting to get to her and she is uncomfortable with the focus.

This situation has not been helped by the fact my daughter passed a test which she didn't. She has now started telling my daughter that she isn't smart and that she should have passed instead. It's all very wearing.

I know the child is unhappy and have explained this as gently as I can to my child but on the other hand I don't want my daughter experiencing the fallout constantly.

So what would you do? Speak to her mother? Have a chat with the teacher? Make an excuse as to why I can't walk her (hard)? Or just let my child navigate her way around this?


Justforlaughs Wed 14-Nov-12 11:14:55

I'd certainly start with a chat with the teacher and if her mother is a friend to her as well. There si also the possiblity that this girl is bulemic.

dreamingofsun Wed 14-Nov-12 11:15:05

she's going to have to learn to deal with difficult/unpleasant/odd people throughout her life so she might as well start now. at least this way you have some understanding of the situation and awareness of whats going on. look on this as a learning experience

from what you say your daughter hasn't come to harm and sounds as if she's reasonably clued up anyway.

dreamingofsun Wed 14-Nov-12 11:16:42

agree with justfor too.

AlienRefluxovermypoppy Wed 14-Nov-12 11:18:47

Blimey, this is a tricky one. Ideally you would tell your DD to stay away from her,but that's going to be impossible, so are you ever present at these conversations? Or is it your DD telling you this? Because I would say something to her at the time, like, 'you don't need to worry about your weight' or 'you will pass next time' this also shows your DD your view of these strange opinions. But if you're not there, maybe talk to the Mum? Is she approachable? A friend even?

Failing that, I'm not sure, talk to the teacher? Not much help am I?! But I do sympathise!

PropositionJoe Wed 14-Nov-12 11:31:15

I would aim to support your DD in the background, without interfering. Ask her if she wants the girl to come round to play and if she doesn't, you be the one to say no. As others have said, take more of a role in their conversation so that you can correct the other girl's comments. Talk to your DD about things that the girl has said (but be very tactful, she may well repeat your comments verbatim to the girl). I can't see any good coming of talking TI the mother but you may eventually need to have a word with the teacher. Monitor things for a bit, see if your DD can find her own way around it.

QueenieLovesEels Wed 14-Nov-12 11:32:23

No I am never within earshot when she fires her darts.

My daughter wants to extricate herself from this friendship as she feels smothered.

I think they are fundamentally very different people. My daughter is not used to being around this sort of sniping and doesn't want to hurt her feelings by tackling her over it.

I made the point to my daughter that her own feelings were of no less importance than her friends and she should feel free to challenge behaviours that make her uncomfortable.

She is dealing with the talking behind the back of the hand stuff to another person whilst the person looks at you now. The the other person reports what that person has said.

I told my daughter that good friends don't gossip and run hurtful things by you. A good friend challenges what has been said and never repeats it so the person it is about hears it. That way the person who is being nasty doesn't get anything out of the situation.

It's all rather reminiscent of Cat's Eyes by Margaret Atwood.

PropositionJoe Wed 14-Nov-12 11:34:56

That sort of stuff she will have to learn to deal with by herself, I think.

WorraLiberty Wed 14-Nov-12 11:37:42

So you think this child is underweight and the child thinks your DD is overweight

Both you and your DD have discussed her friend's eating habits and her weight

That part for me means all 3 of you are BU and should probably stop worrying about what others choose to eat or how much they weigh.

The copying of work and teasing over the exam, needs to stop if it's bothering your DD so perhaps a word with the school is in order.

How old are they?

Floralnomad Wed 14-Nov-12 11:42:04

Presumably they will go to different secondary schools so she will be able to move on then . TBH girls can be a bloody nuisance but I wouldn't assume she has an eating disorder because of what she eats. My DD ( older) has a very limited diet and always has but she doesn't have an eating disorder . Unless your DD is getting upset I'd stay out of it but just be supportive , unfortunately you'll find girls like this come along regularly . In my experience they are way nastier to each other than boys from about Yr 4 onwards .( have both myself)

pigletmania Wed 14-Nov-12 11:42:25

I would talk to the school and her mother. If your dd doesn't want gobe her friend she has every right not to be. If it is affecting your dd negatively, I would tell the mum that yo are no able to walk this girl to school anymore. The girl needs professional help

pigletmania Wed 14-Nov-12 11:43:45

Even if she does not have an eting disorder now, her views are unhealthy and she might need some therapy to see past those as they could turn into an eating disorder

steppemum Wed 14-Nov-12 11:45:50

mm tricky, I would do a bit of all the things you suggested.

have a quiet word with teacher and ask her to separate them and explain that you dd is finding the friendship hard going and hard to get out of.

Talk to her mum and say you can't walk every day (invent a reason, you and dd are going elsewhere on tues and thurs) you can just walk round a longer way, call in at a corner shop etc

talk to you dd openly about what is really going on. 10 is not too young to understand. Eg, she is being mean about the test because she is jealous and finds it hard to admitt she coudn't do it, so it is easier to undermine someone else etc.

She is going to have to deal with people like this, and this may be a good place for her to learn to stand up for her beliefs (as in, that isn't kind, I don't want to be part of that ) good reinforcement from you will help.
But this is quite a lot of toxic input for her, and it is very wearing dealing with this all day long, and she is only 10, and I think at some point it may start to rub off, especially the body image stuff. So I would definitely be looking to reduce contact.
Sometimes it is easier for you to be the baddie - dd isn't allowed to come over to your house today because I said so, so that dd doesn't have to make th eexcuses.

QueenieLovesEels Wed 14-Nov-12 11:47:23

I have only discussed my daughter's body image with her when she has asked me after she has been insulted and asked if she is fat.

My daughter isn't overweight. Her friend is however very underweight and has issues around food. She comments on what other girls are eating and keeps talking about how lovely and thin she is etc. She looks malnourished. I don't 'think' she is underweight-she is.

I have discussed eating habits because this girl is trying to normalise hers around my child and my daughter has asked me. It is having an impact on how my child perceives her body and that is not acceptable.

WorraLiberty Wed 14-Nov-12 11:48:45

Oh they're 10? Sorry, didn't spot that.

Sounds like a pretty shite diet to me but nothing that points to an eating disorder from what you've said.

Lots of 10yr olds would fill up on shit if allowed to.

pigletmania Wed 14-Nov-12 11:49:09

I would definitely reduce contact, find an excuse not to walk her dd. the other girl really needs help though

pigletmania Wed 14-Nov-12 11:49:58

Worra it's not the eating crao but her attitudes towards food and body image. That is worrying

WorraLiberty Wed 14-Nov-12 11:51:24

Well I'll have to take your word for that because we can't see either of them.

But I'm very wary of people assuming someone is overweight or underweight because from reading MN, it's clear that those opinions differ big time and some people have lost sight of what is/isn't healthy looking.

freddiefrog Wed 14-Nov-12 11:54:29

I never know whether I should intervene or not.

My eldest is having problems with a girl in her class which is spilling into her friendships and stuff out of school too. They're in year 6, and this child was supposed to be going to a different secondary school so it would have just fizzled out, but is now going to the same as my daughter

DD is quite soft hearted and at the moment is just ignoring her antics, but it seems to be escalating so I'd like to have a word with her teacher, but DD really doesn't want me to so I'm keeping a discrete eye on it

WorraLiberty Wed 14-Nov-12 11:54:57

That's what I'm saying piglet

To me isn't that worrying and doesn't particularly point towards and eating disorder

My son is in Yr 5 and the 10yr old girls in his class are also interested in fashion, clothes and body image.

Some of them bitch about other kid's weights...that's nasty but imo doesn't automatically mean they have any disorders.

WorraLiberty Wed 14-Nov-12 11:56:08

WTF?? My typing is shot to shit today...sorry just re-arrange the letters and add a few missing words cos I give up blush

pigletmania Wed 14-Nov-12 11:58:04

No don't take my word read the op, and her replies. Talks about what other girls are eating, commenting on the op dd weight and that of ther children. She has developed obsessive behaviour of op dd. does that not suggest a problem hmm

pigletmania Wed 14-Nov-12 12:00:06

We never talked about it like that worra and even as a teen if we did with friends it would be just in passing like oh she has a bpnice body, or love her hair, not how lovely and thm she is kind of thing

pigletmania Wed 14-Nov-12 12:00:34

Meant thin stooopid I pad

steppemum Wed 14-Nov-12 12:04:46

piglet - the op says that the other girl was making a lot of body image related comments, whcih caused her own dd to start asking am I fat? The op then talked to her dd about body image and reassurred her about healthy eating, as a response to her daughters questions. op has said that again in the post at 11:47

This constant talking about weight, body and diet is coming from the other dd and is why the op is concerned as her dd wasn't into it before.

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