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New child in school being excluded - what to do?

(25 Posts)
Lovecat Wed 30-Jan-13 10:40:56

Following on from the two current threads about kids being not invited to things - I've been mulling this over for a few weeks and would welcome the advice of the MN collective.

There's a child in DD's year (Y3) who is new and she is being deliberately excluded from a lot of stuff. I really feel for her, but it's very hard - according to the other children she's a very angry child who hits and shouts and consequently no-one wants to play with her.

There is a Queen Bee child in the year and the school asked her mother (so I was told by the mother) if she would encourage her DD to befriend her, but as she'd apparently already punched the QB child by then the mother said no way...

I've asked DD if she'd have her round to play, as I'm wondering if her anger is caused/exacerbated by being excluded from things, but DD was so horrified by the suggestion that I backed off. I can't force her and she's now wise to my trying-to-be-subtle hints that XXX might not be all bad if she got to know her and tells me to stop going on about it, she doesn't like her and never will...

Although I've now found out that the QB child is saying nasty things about her (she's blonde, as is QB child and DD - they're the only white kids in the year and prior to the new child's arrival QB and DD were known as 'the blondies' - apparently QB child was telling DD & others that the other child's hair must be highlighted and she wasn't a natural blonde like they were!) and I've come down VERY hard on that with DD. DD by the way is not a QB and is quite socially awkward (not girly, lives in her own world) so she is ridiculously grateful for any time QB spends with her and I gather she doesn't want to do anything to spoil it hmm

DD is having her birthday party soon, it's not a whole class party so the question of excluding her hasn't arisen there, but I'm wondering if I could raise the issue again of having her over? Maybe she actually is an awful bullying child, but I can't help thinking that if I'd come into a small school (21 kids in the year) at 7 where everyone else had known each other since they were 3 and they closed ranks against me, I might get angry & frustrated too?

One thing that got to me was about a month ago when I came to pick up DD, the girl ran up to me and said "DD's my FRIEND!" - DD then complained all the way home that no, she wasn't her friend, she barely knew her, why was she saying that etc. etc.... sad

I was thinking that if she came over I could keep an eye on them and if things did get heated I could either take her home or step in. I just hate the idea of a child being written off before she's started, which is what this seems like from an adult pov (I was bullied and excluded as a child so perhaps I'm just projecting here)...

Sorry for the essay, just wondering what is the best thing to do?

Lovecat Wed 30-Jan-13 10:42:53

Arse! I mean to post this in Chat!! Be nice, please smile

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 10:45:10

I'm like you, I'd force dd to be her friend...

Yfronts Wed 30-Jan-13 10:49:46

Ah just invite her and tell DD shes coming to tea. That way you have at least given it a go. It is possible that the QB is turning everyone against the new child. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work.

TisTheSeasonToBeJolly Wed 30-Jan-13 10:50:11

Yes id do that, invite her over. Maybe your dd's feelings will change towards other girl outside of school.

drmummmsy Wed 30-Jan-13 10:50:44

yup, i'm with hully - be nice, play nice, and be everyone's friend grin

StanleyLambchop Wed 30-Jan-13 10:55:30

I would invite her to the party. If your DD moans, say that she is able to choose all her other guests, but that you get to choose one guest and you are choosing this girl and it is non-negotiable. Then you can also get a feel of if this girl really is angry & shouty.

My DD was shouty in reception, it turned out becauuse some of the other girls would exclude her and it made her cross/upset. Many, many class sessions on friendships later things are better. So I can understand your POV on whether the exclusion is making her act the way she is. Good luck!

Carrie37 Wed 30-Jan-13 10:56:33

I would try talking to the school. Tell them you are concerned and that you are working on Dd's attitutude from home but could they do circle time etc to talk about new people etc etc. Also ask them to watch what's going on in playground and then tell Dd "teachers are going to be watching who is playing nice".

I have experience of being the new child's mother and it's incredibly hard for mother and child!

I was asked over for coffee by one of the other mums and to bring Dd too and that worked well.

pinkje Wed 30-Jan-13 10:58:47

hi there, why not invite her mum over for coffee - you'll get a chance to know her and see what her values are. She must be finding it hard too, being in a new place?

bringmeroses Wed 30-Jan-13 11:01:33

I'd ask the parent and dd over for a cuppa and play, that way dd can get to know this new girl as a by product of adults getting together and without the possible stigma (in her eyes) of elevating her to proper friend status by having a tea date. Then cross fingers and hope new girl is nice after all!

pigletmania Wed 30-Jan-13 11:19:25

I would invite the child and the mother over, so it's not an exclusive playdate and teir is no pressure placed on your dd, to be entertaining someone she may not be keen on. The chid might be angry for a number of reasons, that might include te bullying towards her.

pigletmania Wed 30-Jan-13 11:22:20

Give it a chance and see how it goes, really feel for the poor girl. Tell your dd that she is coming to the party, but you cannot force her if she gets very upset. I would invite mum and dd over for coffee

ExitPursuedByABear Wed 30-Jan-13 11:25:03

Definitely invite her over, or maybe a trip to the park or somewhere with her mother as well. If it doesn't work out, at least you will have tried.

GooseyLoosey Wed 30-Jan-13 11:25:08

Not sure that I would invite her to the party if dd was vehemently opposed to the idea. Would definitely invite her over though. Did this recently for a new girl at dd's (8) school. The girl has not really made friends, I think because she is an elective mute. She came around and her mum stayed for coffee the whole time. She did not so much play with dd as play along side her, but it seemed to help her and dd is now happier to try and help her at school.

thegreylady Wed 30-Jan-13 11:53:37

I'd have her and her mum rouns asap and maybe,after that,your dd might feel more inclined to ask her to the party. QB child sounds a bit toxic to me-she is probably worried that your dd will prefer the new girl to her-3 is an awful number when it is little girls.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 30-Jan-13 12:09:25

As it is not a whole class bday party and your DD has said she doesn't want the new girl to come I would not invite her to that. I don't think that is fair (and I speak as one who did exactly that and it was a disaster). However, having her over another time in a more low key way might help. I tried this in a very similar situation and found that Dd and the other child usually got on ok but Dd still had to be persuaded, the situation persisted for a couple of years and in the end I stopped applying pressure. I feel sad about it, the other child still has difficulties and I am friends with her parents but I don:t think you can force them to be friends...particularly if the other child is continually thumping people.

Crinkle77 Wed 30-Jan-13 12:28:55

I would not force your daughter to be friends with this child. Perhaps she feels that if she becomes her friend then the other children will start excluding her too. I would invite her to the party but if she does not make any friends after this then it is not your problem. Her own mother should maybe be the one to help her make friends or broach the problem with the school.

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 30-Jan-13 12:28:58

I was bullied a lot at that age. If I brushed against another child, they would make a big show of pantomiming spraying themselves down with disinfectant and yelling "Ewww! She touched me!" and everybody chanted rhymes including my name and how ugly and disgusting I was. The teachers turned a blind eye or sometimes joined in. This went on from years 3-10 or so, I'd say. So, I'm not being unsympathetic to the new girl when I say this:

What you're asking your daughter to do - to defy the QB and risk being seen as contaminated by association with the new girl in the eyes of her peers - is a really big thing. She risks being cast out alongside her. And, I think it's very possible that your daughter will go to great lengths to make it clear that she is NOT friends with the new girl. She may tease or bully in order to demonstrate to the QB that she hasn't caught the cooties, so to speak.

I would try talking to some other mums that you know and see if there couldn't be a way of involving the new girl in activities with a small group of girls so that the impact could be spread out a bit and it wouldn't be one lone girl putting her head above the parapet.

firesidechat Wed 30-Jan-13 12:46:38

I think that I would tread very carefully with this one.

In an ideal world your daughter would be very kind and selfless, have this girl as her friend, turn the whole situation around and cause everyone else to befriend the new girl.

However I was once "forced" to be someones friend when I was about 10. Not by my mum, but by the girl herself. She wasn't a very nice child to put it mildly, physically overpowering due to her sheer size (very tall and heavy) and had no friends. I was a somewhat shy and sensitive girl and couldn't stand up for myself and she basically bullied me into spending all my break times with her. She scared me and it was a really horrible time.

I know the situations aren't the same, but would just advise caution.

Having said that, I would have still asked my own children if they would help a new girl in the situation you describe. However I would leave it alone if they were very opposed.

bringmeroses Wed 30-Jan-13 13:40:59

Katy - WHAT?? The teachers JOINED IN??? You poor poor thing, that is really unbelievably harsh. sad

OP I agree with Katy and others about not getting your daughter into a bad place by forced association. It's lovely that you are so concerned for the new girl but I hope you can find a way of helping that won't put your daughter in a difficult position.

Hullygully Wed 30-Jan-13 15:21:32

what katy said

Andro Wed 30-Jan-13 15:39:53

Don't try and force it! Your DD will dislike (and possibly disrespect) you for it and may well end up isolated and bullied because of it.

sparklyjumper Wed 30-Jan-13 17:07:29

Personally I think that I would stay out of it. I remember being at school and I wasn't popular but wasn't unpopular. One of the popular girls mothers would always invite me to her dds party every year, my mother would force me to go because she was friends with the girls mother.

I hated going, the girl didn't really want me there and told me so so it was just horrible.

I would teach your own dd not to bully, not to play with bullys and not to purposely exclude children from games, and leave it at that.

oldraver Wed 30-Jan-13 17:30:43

I think you are concentrating on the wrong child.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 30-Jan-13 17:42:47

I wouldn't make my child play with someone they don't like, nor would I force an invite and make my child share his toys with someone he actively dislikes for a good reason.

I wouldn't like that to be forced upon me, so why would I do it to my child? confused

And I do know the other side if this btw, one of my dc has AS and struggled with friendships a lot at primary school. It broke my heart that he didn't have proper friends for such a long time.

Stay out of it. If you have taught your child to be kind, and that she can't be mean, then that is enough. She should be allowed to make her own friends. Forced friendships never work anyway, so it's pointless.

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