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To stop teaching her

(17 Posts)
Narnia72 Thu 08-Sep-16 22:37:59

Dd (8) had a best friend from reception through to yr 3. In summer term friend (A) decided she no longer wanted to be friends with DD. It caused huge amounts of upset on my daughter's part, they had the same friendship groups and A was now telling them that she didn't want to play with DD and so the other girls were leaving her out too. She was v bewildered. I'm not blind to her faults, I know she can be bossy and silly sometimes, but she is a kind and caring girl who absolutely loved A. I think A outgrew the friendship and DD was a bit smothering, I get that, but if A was speaking to her the day was ok and if she was telling the others not to play she was v sad. I hoped it would all die down over the summer but DD bounced into school on day 1 and every single day since she's had tummy ache. She hasn't said it's friendship related although I have asked, but other friends' mums have reported back that their girls have said there was an argument between A and DD on day 2. However apparently on day 3 A came over to ask her to play. So it sounds as though the cycle is starting again.

Here's the tricky bit. I started teaching A clarinet back when they were all friends (it's my job). She came after school and then her mum picked them up and took them to another club. The arrangement is still nominally in place, although was strained last term. DD will still say she wants to be friends, but is at the mercy of A's moods. I am just wondering if teaching her in Dd's house and forcing a social interaction on the walk to the club isn't doing DD any favours.

I want to be professional about it, after all, I don't want to lose pupils and have it bandied around that I drop pupils at a moment's notice, but my first loyalty is absolutely to my daughter. I was hoping the parents would say A didn't want to continue, as obviously they hear A's side, and the mum is clearly not enamoured with DD, so would keep her out of the way, but nothing has been said to that effect. The club and lessons resume next week.

And, as an aside, I am so sad that year 3-4 girls are so bitchy and horrid. They seem to be so mean to each other. I don't remember upsets like this.

Sprinklestar Thu 08-Sep-16 23:08:50

I don't think I'd want to teach the other girl in this situation. How well do you know the parents? Could you have a chat and say that if the upset between the girls isn't resolved, then you'll have no choice but to terminate the contract/stop teaching? Do they know what's going on? Does school? From your side, it sounds like your DD is being bullied. They may well have a different take on things or be unaware.

Firsttimer82 Thu 08-Sep-16 23:21:11

Oh my god I can remember being so desperate about friendship groups in year 3-4. Falling in and falling out. We were all horrible but I remember a girl who would love to be best mates and then drop me and cause me heartbreak. Once she threw a party and i swear didn't invite me just to upset me. She also old everyone her mother hated me. Subsequently I have realised she didn't have the happiest life at home and was mean because her mother was awful to her. Still she treated me mean and I was keen! I made it through but i do really wish I had been taken away from her quicker as then I went on to find much nicer mates as I grew up. My point being clearly A is toxic to your daughter. I would limit contact til things die down.

WorraLiberty Thu 08-Sep-16 23:29:28

I think the tricky bit is the Mum taking them to another club.

Teaching is your profession, so I'd stick to teaching the child but make your own arrangements for taking your DD to her club.

PerspicaciaTick Thu 08-Sep-16 23:55:55

What is your DD's class teacher doing to help your DD cope with friendships in school? Make sure that they are aware that the problem is continuing into the new school year - and that some of the behaviour (around telling others not to play) is arguably bullying.

Narnia72 Fri 09-Sep-16 10:01:37

Oh shit it is bullying isn't it? I am so worried for her, she's the least resilient of my children and is always going to be the weakest link in friendship groups.

Her teacher is new to the school and teaching, and it's her first week, so I haven't really spoken to her yet. I will do so next week.

I think we're going to find a different club, to stop that connection. I want her to do stuff out of school without school friends, so that will be good for her.

I am struggling with my growing dislike of this girl. I am totally professional in teaching her, but before I liked her, now I'm reading stuff into her behaviour when's she comes that may or may not be there. I think it's the fact that she's coming into my daughter's space that's bothering me. I could say I've had a jiggle around and am happy to teach her at home if that works. It will take time out of my teaching time through to incorporate travel, so I'll lose out financially. Gah, what a dilemma.

DD comes first in all this and I need her to be reassured by that.

This is so hard, for her and for me. I want to me all tiger mum and shout at A "be nice to my dd". Obviously that won't stop anything, and only wind the parents up.

Clarinet1 Fri 09-Sep-16 10:44:19

Speaking as someone who also has private music teaching experience (the clue's in the name!) my first thought was to move A's lesson so that it does not lead into the trip to the club as you were considering above - just tell her parents that you have rearranged your days or whatever. That way you avoid the interaction between A and DD and still get to keep the pupil and the income.

On the other hand, if you feel that your own attitude towards teaching A has changed, however unavoidably, perhaps you should consider whether to continue teaching her. You don't have to make a big scene about it - perhaps you could say that you've had to cut down on the number of pupils or suggest that you know teacher X who might work particularly well for A.

Finally, if all else fails, is A the kind of pupil who will continue learning for long? (Let's face it, some don't). Or will the issues between her and DD simply "All come out in the wash" with time?

BarbarianMum Fri 09-Sep-16 11:30:30

Are you sure it is bullying? Ds1 is a quiet, gentle lad who was being totally smothered by one of his friends. He just wanted to play with other friends sometimes, although he was/is happy to play with this lad occasionally. Is your dd ever ok with A not playing with her?

Arseicle Fri 09-Sep-16 11:35:13

I want to be professional about it, after all, I don't want to lose pupils and have it bandied around that I drop pupils at a moment's notice

But you aren't being professional about it, and you are dropping a pupil because she doesn't want to be friends with your daughter. That will get around and it won't look good.
If you are a professional teacher you don't choose your pupils based on the fluid friendships of young children.

And don't jump to the bullying thing either, children are allowed to change their friendships and to spend time with different people, just like adults are.

Frusso Fri 09-Sep-16 12:22:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Narnia72 Fri 09-Sep-16 20:31:29

DD isn't trying to play with her anymore. A is a bit of a queen bee who decides whether DD should play with her or not. She tells the other girls in the friendship group whether DD is persona non grata or not. DD does have other friends but if they are playing with A sometimes she's allowed to join in, she never knows.

This isn't a whim and an incidental falling out, it's been going on for over a term.

Good idea about moving her lesson time. I've been looking and I could do it when my kids go swimming if I can move someone else, who wants to go at a different time. If they can swap lesson times that would be perfect.

I am trying to find the balance between my job and my kids. A lot of my pupils come from DD's school as I started teaching one girl and her mum kindly recommended me to lots of other parents. The lines are a bit blurry at times.

FreyaFriday Fri 09-Sep-16 20:44:23

I would carry on teaching A, but I would knock the activity that follows the lesson on the head and say that your DD doesn't want to do that activity anymore.

I'd also speak to the school as it does sound like bullying to me. Not necessarily A not wanting to play with your DD, but the fact that she is telling others not to play with her. It's just not on, and is very unkind. The school need to be aware of it.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Fri 09-Sep-16 20:53:09

Di you have a peripatetic link with the school? If so and you declined to teach one child for personal reasons I think the patents would have cause for compleint.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Fri 09-Sep-16 20:53:28


ChicRock Fri 09-Sep-16 20:58:22

The professional thing to do would be to arrange the lessons so that A comes to your home at the time her lesson starts, does not cross paths or come into contact at all with your DD, then leaves as soon as the lesson is over.

spaghettithrower Fri 09-Sep-16 21:02:22

I would keep teaching her - but is there a time when she could come when your daughter is at another activity so that there is no chance of the two meeting? And I would certainly change the time so that there is no need for the two of them to have to go to the club together.

PunkrockerGirl Fri 09-Sep-16 21:21:00

What ChicRock said.
Dd stays in her room (or wherever) while the lesson takes place. A then leaves when fetched by her parent without any contact with your dd.
It's difficult I know, op. My dh is a private music teacher and sometimes it can feel like your home's not your own for the rest of the family. I'd just say to A's mum that you've had to reshuffle your timetable and that A will have to change the time/day of her lesson. I totally get the bit about losing out financially if you have to teach A at her house not many people do
flowers Hope it works out ok.

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