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to think about seeing Headmaster about DD's vampiric friend?

(241 Posts)
Doctorwhosit Fri 16-Feb-18 12:24:49

Never thought I'd ask for help, but I am really, really stuck.

DD (15) is not terribly socially confident at best of times. She's been involved with a friend (R) with mental health issues for two years. When R is well (seldom) they have a great time. When R is unwell (usually), she is very controlling and (I think) rather abusive. She's managed to socially isolate DD. Personally, I have seen or heard of many instances where R (who is an extremely bright girl - top in everything and musical genius) has made dramas/situations where DD's friendships were broken.

I'm not an interfering -Iworkandjustlethergetonwiththings- mum and I've been watching and waiting to see how DD would handle things, just being there for a sounding board. I've a lot of confidence in DD, she's sensible and bright. She's also very caring. Finally, last spring, DD said enough's enough and ended the friendship with R. DD started seeing other people, looked happier, marks went up, the lot. I was very proud of DD and how she'd handled her first intense relationship.

THEN R had meltdown and a teacher told DD that it was her responsibility to look after R's emotional needs and that she had to be R's friend again. This keeps being repeated by teachers at DD's school. DD is now R's slave again. Isolated. Unhappy. Anxious. Just in time for GCSE mocks, R is currently suicidal and yesterday, instead of studying her Chemistry (for which we have not only paid fees we can't afford to school, have also paid for tutor and so are eating beans on toast most of the week), DD spent her day largely talking R out of running away from home.

I finally interfered two weeks ago, when DD asked to see GP about anxiety (we did, and GP not terribly helpful). I went into school and talked to House Mistress and Tutor Group Tutor. We talked about several things and about R and about how it was inappropriate for DD to keep being made responsible for R's well being. R is seeing Counsellors, doctors, etc and is really quite an ill young lady. DD has now been referred to School Counsellor, for which I'm grateful. But when House Mistress talked to DD about her problems, she said, 'I really admire how well you look after R. If not for you, she wouldn't get out of bed in the morning.' Just telling DD, once again, that she MUST keep supporting R.

Of COURSE I feel sorry for R. But, ffs. DD should not be told by the school that she is supposed to be involved in R's care! DD having trouble sleeping, concentrating, isn't exercising, is eating cr*p, is needy and irritable. She's just at wits end. She's got no friends left. And R keeps on creating drama after drama and problem after problem to keep DD on the hook. R's ex-boyfriend (they are all three mates) was told by school counsellor to stay away from R. R won't let him go, keeps asking why, why, why he won't talk to her. DD is trapped and I see R as a poor little vampire, going around and sucking everyone dry of emotional energy.

I don't know what else to do. AIBU to think about phoning the Head's office when they return?

TheCatsPaws Fri 16-Feb-18 12:27:16

Is this boarding school?

SpicedGirl Fri 16-Feb-18 12:29:06

That’s a ridiculous situation your dd is not responsible for R’s happiness and wellbeing. Put dd’s Needs first and put your foot firmly down.

Malbecfan Fri 16-Feb-18 12:29:16

YANBU. I would make that call. In fact I would take your OP and remove any emotion from it (so it is just the facts) and email it.

There are 2 children in need here, one of which is your DD. This sounds like incredibly poor handling of the situation in that they are prioritising the needs of one student over another. I'm glad your DD has you onside!

YorkieDorkie Fri 16-Feb-18 12:32:49

No way would I let my DD be crushed by R. At what point is her mental health considered? I think this is where I'd step in and say I want R to have nothing to do with your DD. It's cruel but your daughter is a child, not a MH carer.

Doctorwhosit Fri 16-Feb-18 12:33:11

It has boarders, but DD and R are not boarding.

Quartz2208 Fri 16-Feb-18 12:33:52

I definitely would I assume it’s at least a private school so definitely push (and look st options for next year and a levels)

Your responsibility is your DD and at 15 hers is herself it’s unfair on the school and other adults to pass responsibility to her otherwise they would have to step up

QuiteLikely5 Fri 16-Feb-18 12:34:16

I would be furious. Your daughter is not this child’s saviour.

Ring the school and lay it on the line.

Tell your daughter to stay away from this girl.

Doctorwhosit Fri 16-Feb-18 12:35:31

DD gets generous bursary and I think she feels that she should be contributing even more because of it.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 16-Feb-18 12:35:43

Oh good god no that is not on. If qualified and specialist adults are unable to support her enough that she doesn't have these problems wtf do they think a child with her own set of problems to deal with can do.

How dare they.

Ywnbu at all to speak to the head. Yoir dd can't keep that up it's too much

relaxitllbeok Fri 16-Feb-18 12:35:46

YANBU at all.

Coldhandscoldheart Fri 16-Feb-18 12:36:36

Honestly, I haven’t parented a teen, but this really does sound like a situation where you need to step in. someone needs to put their foot down, and from school’s response, it will have to be you.

I would also sit down with your dd and be sure she understands what & why you’re doing this, that she is not responsible for R’s emotional well being, beyond being friendly and kind.
She does have a responsibility to herself, (and actually also you a little bit, because fees) to keep herself healthy.

brownelephant Fri 16-Feb-18 12:37:20

yanbu make that call

R is responsible for her own mental health and your dd did well distancing herself.

SugarMiceInTheRain Fri 16-Feb-18 12:38:08

Ridiculous and totally unfair of the staff to be making your DD responsible for R's wellbeing. Sorry, but she has her own worries and should not feel obligated to look after R at the expense of her own mental health.

malificent7 Fri 16-Feb-18 12:39:03

Sounds like rubbish management at school...poor your dd

Coldhandscoldheart Fri 16-Feb-18 12:39:05

Sorry, just seen your update. Do you mean DD feels she should give more or the head thinks she should because of bursary?
Because if the head she needs to be set straight.
If your daughter, the mist she owes them for bursary is to make the mist of the opportunity she is offered at this school. Which she is currently not doing due to this situation with R.
If you like, what she owes the school is good grades.

Trailedanderror Fri 16-Feb-18 12:40:51

I'd have gone in all guns blazing at the initial 'responsibility' comment. No one is responsible for anyone else's happiness. And to tell that to a vulnerable girl...angryshock

flowers Are you in touch with the other girls family? Can you give them a heads up that you're going to be restricting DDs social media so she can work and take away her phone? Explain to your dd that your angry with school that they've encouraged the friendship, that you wished you'd intervened earlier, and do it.

blackteasplease Fri 16-Feb-18 12:40:57

Yanbu at all.

You make that call. tell the school how it is going to be. Tell dd to stay away from r.

UpstartCrow Fri 16-Feb-18 12:40:59

Your child is being coerced by both R and the school.

Tell your daughter you support her,. she is not responsible for R, and she needs to concentrate on herself and her exams.
Then tell that to the school.

Tell her you will back her up, unconditionally, that she can use you as the excuse to get out of anr responsibility that others are trying to place on her.

louiseaaa Fri 16-Feb-18 12:41:16

I would say that the school is failing in their duty of care to your daughter - as her needs are not being met. Her emotional wellbeing is as important, and staff are being dis-ingeniousness in palming off their responsibility to the other student on to your daughter. I would deff intervene - and yes - advice to strip the emotion and lay bare an accurate report of facts is the way to go. So for instance this scenario has affected my daughter's wellbeing to the point that she has requested a DR appointment. Another point is to say how this is affecting her learning ( to the detriment of).

CougheeBean Fri 16-Feb-18 12:44:20

You need to be really firm with the school and make sure your daughter is adequately safeguarded. I'm not surprised at all to see that R is a high achiever academically. I know this is anecdotal but I had a very similar situation at school, nightmare friend who dragged me down. School were so concerned about her attendance and possibility of failing exams they completely brushed over my own MH issues that I KEPT trying to raise with them, because they only saw me as a line of communication with the friend who I guess was a far higher priority. My head of 6th even buddied us up for all classes despite watching her reduce me to tears from stress in lessons. Literally because she was more likely to show up if she was guaranteed the chance to torment me. Your DD may even need some school intervention to keep them apart so she can have some breathing space and a healthy, non-dependant friendship.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 16-Feb-18 12:46:31

Omg this is totally unacceptable, I would be going to your dd housemistress or headteacher and tell her in no uncertain terms tgat R is not your dd responsibility, they have a duty of care to provide R with the appropriate support, if this carries on yiu are lodging a complaint to the board of governors. I would then tell my dd that she is not resonsible for R, and that she is her own person and free to be friends with who she wants.

Doctorwhosit Fri 16-Feb-18 12:49:43

Thanks so much, everyone. It is making DD feel much better and she's just said, 'I love mums. They're great.'. She's then told me that she's actually been pulled out of class, TWICE, to go and calm R down. I am now SO CROSS I can't tell you. Daughter was predicted all 9s at the beginning of this year and some marks have come down to 7s because of all this ridiculous drama.

motherhen71 Fri 16-Feb-18 12:50:00

I'd just add that your daughter sounds incredibly sensible and mature and you should be very proud of the girl you've raised. You have done totally the right thing by trying to let her sort it initially but now's the time to go and see the school and explain that this is an unacceptable situation that is having a terrible negative effect on your child.

Doctorwhosit Fri 16-Feb-18 12:52:17

DD loves motherhen71.

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