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To have stepped in to try and help DD

(62 Posts)
Sissyinthesummertime Fri 24-Jul-15 07:07:11

Please help me get some perspective.

DD is 11, and will be starting Y7 in September. All in all she has had a good Y6. She was bullied in earlier years, but came into her own in Y6 and made some good friends, started going to parties (had never been invited before). Of course she was happy, so so was I.

The last few weeks of term have seen some girls she thought were her friends turn against her. Low level stuff I.e not inviting her out, buying each leaving presents and not including her. She seemed to shrug it off quite well, saying she wasn't bothered. Only 1 of these children will be in high school with her.

However, at an outside activity thru do, they've turned quite nasty. Picking on her, winding her up until she retaliates. She was very upset after this activity. Also, they were all going to a sleepover after this and were rubbing it in. It was heartbreaking to leave with DD watching them all drive off.

Now they've all blocked her on Instagram (the dreaded social media). She also found out that one girl has set up a message for the whole class to remember their last week. DD isn't included.

To top it off, she does an activity that she loves. It will help her with what she thinks she might want to be when she's older (I appreciate that this can change!). We put her name down and waited on the waiting list for over a year. Her friends joined her at this activity and all was going well. Now based on what's happened she wants to drop out as she's too afraid to go.

Thanks if you've managed to get this far!

At this point I decided enough was enough. DD will not be pushed out of this activity/club. She loves it.

So I know the mums of these children. Yesterday I sent them a message to ask if they could see what had happened. Non accusatory and fully accepting that DD could in some way also be at fault. I realise she isn't perfect.

One mother replied saying as far as she thought it was DD picking on all of them and she wouldn't do anything more. Radio silence from the others, although I know they've received the message.

To the point - am I mad for stepping in? Should I let them fight their own battles? I just don't want to be 'that mother'. The mum that replied insinuated that she doesn't get involved in children's affairs. I think this is all well and good when your child has the friends on her side. Safety in numbers and all that.

What should I have done? What would you have done? I haven't slept all night for worrying about this. Such a way to start the holiday.

esiotrot2015 Fri 24-Jul-15 07:11:44

hmm
You poor thing
Could you tell us what the mother who did reply actually said ?

I'd see this as a new start tbh

Leave these girls behind & big up secondary school & new starts

If dd doesn't want to do the activity that's fine
They'll be loads of much more exciting clubs etc at her new school

Basically sod the lot of them & start anew

LindyHemming Fri 24-Jul-15 07:13:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JugglingLife Fri 24-Jul-15 07:13:29

Hi sissy, didn't want to read and run. Unfortunately year 6/7 girls can get into spats all of the time. They certainly have done this year in my daughters school. What I also tend to find is that if left to their own devices they do tend to sort themselves out very quickly. There are always 2 sides to a story and it seems that the other side may not match yours IYSWIM. Given that she is moving to a different school in a few short weeks I would just leave it. Make sure she continues doing her special activity, remind her that she is everybodies friend. Enjoy your summer hols. This too shall pass and before you know it she will have made a whole load of new friends at secondary school.

Spartans Fri 24-Jul-15 07:17:03

I can't really say Yabu or not. Each situation is different.

Dd wasnr get on with a girl at school. They got on one minute then fell out the next. When they fell out the girl was quite nasty to dd. Then dd would end up getting upset. I let the teachers deals with it. I worked with them, but tried not to jump in. Until I over heard one of the mothers basically telling everyone my dd was ruining her dds life. So I went up and asked her what she was talking about and the reeled off a load off stuff that her dd had done that caused the situation.

At which point it all stopped. I think her dd wasn't being entirely truthful about why they weren't getting on. Where I had the neutral perspective of the teacher. In this case though dd hadn't been an angel, but after a fall out had just wanted the girl to leave her alone. I think the mother had no idea what had been going on that caused the problems.

Usually I would leave it to the teachers. Can you speak to the people running the activity? Ask them to keep an eye out.

FenellaFellorick Fri 24-Jul-15 07:17:47

Would it be worth replying to the mum that actually responded, saying thank you for getting back to me. Would you give me some examples of how my daughter is picking on the class and what x is telling you that she has done? I would like to understand what is going on in order to try to help.

That way (if she responds of course) it will either be with actual things your daughter is doing, in which case you can go over it with her, or it will be evident that her child said something when questioned that they thought would deflect blame/attention but with no way to back it up, or they will come out with a list of plainly ridiculous things that it will be obvious are crap.

TerrorAustralis Fri 24-Jul-15 07:18:38

YANBU

I don't think it's worth pushing it with the mums. But I would definitely speak to the activity organiser and ask that they monitor it and don't allow bullying during the activity.

CarlaJones Fri 24-Jul-15 07:19:02

I feel for you. My dd is the same age. It's understandable what you did, but since the mums aren't willing to admit what their dds are doing is wrong, I'd concentrate on the fact that most of them are going to different schools and your dd can have a fresh start away from these unkind girls and you won't have to deal with the mums any more. thanks and brew andwine though as this sort of thing is horrible and stressful.

ConstanceBlackwood Fri 24-Jul-15 07:23:05

Sissy as the mother of a now 15 year old daughter you have my sympathy. We have had quite a bit of drama over the secondary years with mean girl type exclusions, DD not being invited etc etc.
It's horrible but my strategy was to give DD lots of advice on the behaviour of some girls-why they might feel the need to be nasty and to ignore them.
She has shifted her friendship group completely over the past 4 years and "found" her group more recently.
It's heartbreaking when your DD is excluded but I think it happens at some point to lots of girls. I have tried to encourage my DD not to get involved in that type of behaviour but peer pressure is quite a thing for teen/tween girls.
You will probably be drinking a lot of wine over the next 5 years but I think it all settled down eventuallygrin

Sissyinthesummertime Fri 24-Jul-15 07:23:05

I think I wanted to achieve exactly that. I just wanted them to be friends. DD does have to continue seeing them. I so don't want her to leave this activity. She loves it.

I also strongly believe that you should call people on bad behaviour. Don't let them get away with it. I wouldn't have done anything had DD not mentioned leaving the club we tried so hard to get into.

I suppose I was naive to think that would happen. These mothers are all friends. I have my own friends, I've no problem with this. We were always polite and friendly with each other.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 24-Jul-15 07:24:20

Sounds dreadful for her. sad
I'm almost prepared to believe that there is a Queen Bee at the school who set this up but that's possibly a bit far-fetched.

The good news is that she will only see one of them at school next year, so she has the summer holidays to bolster her own self-esteem and turn herself around so she goes into secondary with optimism that she'll find and make new friends.

By all means encourage her to continue her activity. If there is a different school/club/venue at which she could do it, then maybe move her - if not, then she'll just have to tough it out. The BEST response she can have is to show these mean girls that their behaviour to her doesn't affect her and she's just going to carry on doing what she's doing regardless of them.

I don't think you were mad to intervene, or attempt to, but I do think you'll be seen as "that mum" if you try to follow up now; you've tried, you've got nowhere, let it go.

louisejxxx Fri 24-Jul-15 07:25:43

I didn't want to read and run but don't have any sound advice really other than once she starts school in Sept and makes new friends she'll forget all about it. I know that doesn't help for now...but it's important to remember that at 11, all friendships seem like they'll last forever - they simply won't and they may have drifted apart once all at new schools anyway.

Although conversationally, I'll be the 1 that she is going to school with in September will come crawling back at some point for fear of having no friends when they start...

Flossyfloof Fri 24-Jul-15 07:32:43

I really wouldn't ask the activity leader not to allow bullying. There is a criticism implicit in that - that you think that, without your request bullying would be happening.
It is very hard and girls do tend to fall out a lot as they mature.
I don't see any virtue in sending a message, although I sympathise with you I don't think any good will come of it. Of course they are going to see the message as blowing things up out of all proportion andtje scenario where they question their kids, kids admit to bullying, apology
/punishment happens is unlikely, I think.
I hope your daughter continues with the activity and I would try not to ask her too much about bullying when she is doing it - see it as a fresh start all round.

CarlaJones Fri 24-Jul-15 07:35:55

It's good that only one of them will be at the new school as they won't be able to continue the behaviour. I'd try and get your dd to continue the activity as everything might change in September. Some of the other kids might drop out, friendships might change because of the new school etc.

Sissyinthesummertime Fri 24-Jul-15 07:37:03

I guess sending the message was wrong. I fear I've made things worse for DD as now they'll see her as the one who complains sad

I'll encourage her to continue at her activity and keep an eye on things.

Flossyfloof Fri 24-Jul-15 07:40:12

What's done is done - it might make them a bit wary of continuing. I would try to make your daughter aware that she may have some irritating habits which could be getting in their nerves, ( not excusing any bullying behaviour). Make her realise that you can't be liked by everyone in your life, in the same way that she doesn't like everyone and that not being liked by someone doesn't have to be hurtful. That is a good lesson to learn - I am not sure I have learned it yet, but I wish I had.

exLtEveDallasNoBollocks Fri 24-Jul-15 07:59:24

DH stepped in for DD. After a month or so of bullying behaviour he blew up at the HT, but also approached two of the mums and told them exactly what had been going on.

The school acted well and put in place a series of 'bullying lessons' (I know that sounds wrong) but made it very general.

The mums were different. One was horrified, stamped on her DD v quickly, put punishments/sanctions in place and importantly talked to her dd about what she was doing, why it was wrong and how she felt when it happened to her.

Second mum didn't really see it, didn't really believe it, said the school would deal with it and brushed it under the carpet.

DD is now friends with and playing with first girl, and has gained back some of the friends she lost. She has kept her distance from second girl and one other - and we have noticed that others seem to be distancing from them too.

I don't blame you for getting involved, not at all. I did at the start of it all but it didn't help (in fact made things worse at first), but when DH got involved, in conjunction with the school it did help. Unfortunately with these things you cannot know what will happen until it does.

The good thing in your case is that your DD is moving schools and will get a whole new bunch of friends. I'd keep her busy these holidays (if possible) and push the 'new start' aspect of Sep. Is the club still running through the hols? If it is can she ignore them when she's there? Or drop it for a couple of weeks, then go back when the dust has settled?

Sissyinthesummertime Fri 24-Jul-15 08:03:18

The thing is. I'm not sure she has annoying habits! It's difficult to explain but she has other close friends and I'm good friends (outside of school) with the mum of two of them. They have kirs planned for the summer, and I've asked them both to be really honest with me. They say DD is in the main lovely.

I do think her problem is that when they initially fell out with her over something minor, she retaliated and made things worse. So they've clubbed together and feel safe that they are 'hard done by' by nasty DD. When I say retaliation - I mean she answers back when teased I.e I don't care I've got other friends, you're not going to my school anyway etc. I have told her that yes she should stick up for herself but she needs to be careful that it doesn't come across as nastiness.

Thanks for all the replies so early in the morning!!

I'm going to try hard and forget about it. I just feel like a fool to step in and try and sort it.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 24-Jul-15 08:08:32

You need to teach her the art of civil PA response - like "I'm sorry you think that" and "really? that's interesting" when they are rude/mean to her. Confuses them. Or smile faintly and turn away, as though they are puzzling entities.

OvertiredandConfused Fri 24-Jul-15 08:14:26

In terms of the activity, I see no harm in a word with the leader to say there have been a few issues between the girls and ask them to keep an eye to make sure it doesn't transfer over to this club.

That's not accusing anyone of bulling, or questioning the leader's approach, just being quietly practical. If you keep it low key and as neutral as you can, it should be fine.

MagicalMrsMistoffelees Fri 24-Jul-15 08:16:03

Horrible situation, heart breaking to see your child singled out for cruel and nasty treatment at the hands of classmates.

I wouldn't have messaged the mums - face to face is so much better - but now you have, I agree about asking the one who replied for specific examples of the behaviour she's accused your daughter of. But then I would move on and forget these 'friends'.

From here on I would focus on next year and all the new friends she will make. I wouldn't send her to this club either if they're all there. It's just not worth it.

But you know this situation and the children involved best so do what is right for your daughter.

HuftysTrain Fri 24-Jul-15 08:25:30

This has reminded me of when I was in year 6, although we called it Junior 4 back then. It was, without doubt, the bitchiest year of my entire schooling with the girls (never the boys) constantly falling out, telling tales, plotting and conspiring. Our parents were involved a few times - looking back, it makes me cringe. It was all so dramatic! Once at secondary school it calmed down completely. Hopefully this will be the case for your DD too. A new start. Try to put it out of your mind.

FurtherSupport Fri 24-Jul-15 08:31:45

I wouldn't have contacted the mums, honestly how would you have responded if you'd received a similar message? All you can do is ask your child, who is obviously going to make it seem like the other's fault and provide a list of all the other child's misdemeanours. The list is entirely likely to be genuine as yr 6 girls can be vile to each other, especially if DD's been trying to give as good as she gets.

You absolutely should contact the leader at the activity though. She might be able to shed light on what the problem is and must protect children in her care from any bullying. (although you might have to be prepared to hear that that goes both ways). I wouldn't want her to leave the activity either.

TheHouseOnBellSt Fri 24-Jul-15 08:40:44

OP it's awful what's happened but the best thing is to move on completely. It's over...as for the activity, make her go a few more times in the hope that things improve and if they don't...well....she loved it but if she's being ostracized then she won't anymore so let her leave OR speak to the leaders.

Sissyinthesummertime Fri 24-Jul-15 09:01:41

Honestly, just talking to DH and if I received such a message, I would come down on DD like a ton of bricks. There is no way I would let her treat another child in this way. If I thought she was at a sleepover with 2 other friends sending nasty messages on Instagram then blocking someone I would not tolerate that. I would make her apologise.

I am so angry that she wants to stop out of this activity. It was her activity she loves it. It will lead to a qualification. They just joined as it seemed like a nice thing to do.

I think DH is going to get involved now as he can see the angst it's causing. He's more level headed than me grin

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