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How to get 6yo DD to not be in awe of classmate....

(105 Posts)
KrispyKremes Wed 20-Mar-19 09:16:40

DD is in Y1.

I don't know if it happens in all classes, but, there's another girl in the class who seems to have somehow convinced the rest of them she is the best thing ever.

I think it's because she comes across very confident and is very bossy.

Yesterday she really upset one of the girls (was proud to hear how kind my DD was and cheered up the sad girl. But DD still saying things to me like "Emma let me sit next to her in assembly yesterday" "Emma says I'm one of her BFFs" then the next day crying because Emma likes my DD but she isn't a 'main BFF' like Olivia is etc etc.

Talking to other mums all the girls seem to just want to do anything to make this kid like them.

GGrrrrr.

I had a chat yesterday how proud I was DD was so kind. And that being kind is the most important thing. She was upset becasue Emma said she is fancy and DD isn't. And I replied "you are fancy, but what's more important being fancy or being kind?" and DD agreed being kind is. But I just know she'll be back in there now and they'll all be treating the 'popular' kid like she's the queen and be trying to win her affections.

She isn't a bad child. I guess this is the dynamic that's happened. So I'm never going to insult the girl to my DD. But is there a way i can make DD see she's just another kid in the class, not the leader etc?

SoyDora Wed 20-Mar-19 09:18:52

Watching with interest as there is a girl like this in DD1’s class! DD is a friendly, sociable little thing with plenty of friends but they all seem to idolise this one girl, and DD will say things like ‘x let me play with her today’. I’m struggling with how to talk to her about it too!

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Wed 20-Mar-19 09:19:43

There's always been a girl like that in every class.

But what does "fancy" mean in this context?!

SoyDora Wed 20-Mar-19 09:21:41

What complicates it a bit in our case is that x is the daughter of one of my best friends!

Whereareyouspot Wed 20-Mar-19 09:22:49

As an aside, can we please stop insisting to girls that being ‘kind’ is the main aim in life

It is actually a huge fault of women to constantly try and be ‘kind’ to their own detriment

She should be encouraged to reflect on and be aware of how her actions effect others and through this see that the strong girl is actually using her behaviour to make others feel sad or left out. That is thus not actually good behaviour and not something your DD should seek to get approval for.

So shine a light on how this girl actually makes others feel and how true friends let us be and don’t play with our emotions

But leave out the be kind mantra.

Harebellsies Wed 20-Mar-19 09:23:37

I think you are right to work on this, because this topic comes up all through childhood and adolescence and also adulthood. Girl crushes of admiration are fine but not when they encourage self loathing. I think key is to strengthen her own self love, by singing her “Just the way you are” by Bruno Mars and spsnding time with ber and highlighting that everyone is different but lovely in their own way. And also steering her away from friendships that are unhealthy, finding other friends that have a different focus. I personally think that being a Groupie to the popular kids can cause unhappiness for life.

Harebellsies Wed 20-Mar-19 09:24:51

*spending time with her , not with 🍺 beer

Bowchicawowow Wed 20-Mar-19 09:25:47

Many years ago when I was about this age our teacher asked us to do a painting of our best friend. The teacher displayed the results on the wall. Every painting, bar one was of exactly the same girl. I have no idea what ever happened to her but her star faded when she reached secondary school.

Wide0penSpace Wed 20-Mar-19 09:26:09

A similar thing happened with my son in Y1. I encouraged other friendships by inviting other friends over to play. He soon formed a little close friendship group which didn’t focus on popular boy.

This boy still seems to be ‘top dog’ in Y3 but my son has his other friends and isn’t so easily influenced by him, he’s also starting to see that some of his behaviour verges on bullying and isn’t kind.

blackteasplease Wed 20-Mar-19 09:27:52

There's always one! Yr1 and yr4 seem to be particular flash points for this

KrispyKremes Wed 20-Mar-19 09:28:33

@Whereareyouspot

I agree with what you're saying.

But it is important for everyone to be kind. Nothing to do with gender.

I try to act kindly every day, but it doesn't mean I get walked over. I see friends who are "too kind" and people take the piss, so I know what you're saying. I do, but there needs to be kindness in the world. And kindness is a better trait than being "fancy" (Which in the case of these 6 year olds is glittery hair bows, lip balm and keyrings.) so I told DD Emma might say she's fancier than her, but that's not kind, and being kind is more important than being fancy.

Our whole household acts kindly and respectfully to one another. I see no problem with kindness. My DD also knows if people are treating her unkindly and will cal them out on it. But is having a hard time seeing that in this girl as she has stars in her eyes about her.

SauvingnonBlanketyBlanc Wed 20-Mar-19 09:31:50

Not quite the same but ds 5 says things like "so and so told me off today " "so and so wont let me do this" (same person each time) I've told him that the only people who can "tell him off" are adults in the school and his parents, another child cannot tell him he cant do something.Im not having him thinking that children with stronger personalities can dictate to him,he is on the same level.

lastqueenofscotland Wed 20-Mar-19 09:33:28

We had a girl the entire class was in awe of at that age when I was young about 90 million years ago.
I think as children grow up and develop their own personalities a bit more and build releationships better this fades

Arowana Wed 20-Mar-19 09:38:45

From the other side of the fence - I have a child like this. When he was in year 6, the class went on a residential trip and had to fill in a piece of paper about who they wanted to share a room with. The teacher told my son that nearly all the boys in the class (18 out of 21 or something like that) put his name. I honestly don’t know why it was like this, although he is tall and good at sport, which is important for boys. But it seems to me that children have some kind of natural instinct towards hero worship. In which case, maybe it’s better not to try and fight this (by telling her not to do it) but accept it will happen and give your DD tools to deal with it (eg building up other friendships, working with your DD on resilience etc).

If it makes you feel any better, the transition to secondary school was not very easy for my son. After being a big fish in a small pond he has had to learn that he’s not the special one any more!

Bagpuss5 Wed 20-Mar-19 09:42:51

I think you can be magnanimous, generous and kind if you are capable, confident, maybe reasonably outgoing, so I would build that in dc. And helps if you have stuff to give. So the wonder child can give of her time or attention and could be described as being kind. That would count for more with the DCs as everybody wants it.

teyem Wed 20-Mar-19 09:43:04

I'd just let her get on with it for now. This is one of those life lessons best learnt early from the comfort of a loving home.

Ottessa Wed 20-Mar-19 09:44:31

As an aside, can we please stop insisting to girls that being ‘kind’ is the main aim in life

Agreed. Also, OP, I have a six year old who thinks another child in his class is the bee's knees, so I tell him I think that Freddie is a pointless little snip. So not kind, and honest -- poor Freddie's best feature is an ability to dribble and a cool haircut, and he is never going to set the world alight -- demonstrating adult lack of kindness and the fact that alternative opinions on people are possible. grin

VioletBlu Wed 20-Mar-19 09:50:11

I do agree with a PP that "kind" can be misinterpreted as "walkover". My DM brought me up to be "kind" but that meant putting myself last and it's a really hard habit to break. I feel guilty if I put myself first even if it's something other people would do without a moment's thought.

I personally wouldn't make it a competition about "kind" versus "fancy". (It's possible to be both!) I would phrase it that this girl can do her, but your DD does herself and she's great just the way she is. I would also do as a PP has suggested and focus on building up her other friendships so this girl doesn't have the upper hand so much, because of a multitude of playdates/fun times etc your DD has shared with more like-minded other friends. Instead of spending energy on toning this girl and her influence down, I'd put energy into moving on from, or around, her. You are unwittingly giving this girl even more importance. If she makes your DD feel bad/less than good about herself, then make a mental note she's no real friend of your DD's and behind the scenes help your DD to move on.

If your DD does want to talk about her then of course you'd hear her out and not ignore her concerns or feelings, but I just wouldn't focus too much on her and how your DD is kind whilst this girl is fancy (or thinks she is) etc etc. Your DD needs to increase her own confidence or self-worth so she genuinely doesn't need this girl's approval.

ppeatfruit Wed 20-Mar-19 09:51:31

Aronwa I could've written your post! It's a developmental stage that children go through at the age of about 6, obviously not everyone, our ds was made to feel different by being too charismatic (he didn't do it consciously) and ended being expelled from 2 schools sad

If you think about it we all looked up to pop stars, celebrities etc. and we learn they're just people! Rationalising doesn't really work with them, if the teacher is good she or he will make ALL the class feel special at varying times. !

Ihaventgottimeforthis Wed 20-Mar-19 09:52:03

My DD went through similar experiences - why doesn't so-and-so like me today etc - and it brings back painful memories of my school years, thirty years ago! Bonkers isn't it.

I'm afraid I get quite blunt and say 'well so-and-so is just a person like everyone else in your class, we all have our good and bad traits and they way we get through life is to find people who have more good than bad, and who value & respect us as much as we value and respect them.' It's a bit sanctimonious but it does help DD hopefully to see through the pecking order in the class, and start to respect herself as just as good as anyone else.
The 'fancy' stuff? I would come down mega hard on that I'm afraid. Bows and bangles do not make a good person, and I think girls are never too young to learn that what you wear or look like is no indicator AT ALL of how good or strong or nice a person you are. In fact they're just cheap tat that is harmful to the environment and an utter waste of money. It's not a point of view that many people share, especially other mums!
I do still use nice but I see the issues with it too, haven't figured out a plan for that yet!

BarbarianMum Wed 20-Mar-19 09:55:44

I teach my ds that being kind is one of the most important things in life. That includes being kind to themselves.

Ottessa Wed 20-Mar-19 09:55:49

I like your blunt approach Ihaventgottime.

VioletBlu Wed 20-Mar-19 09:56:56

Oh and also, the most popular girl in my class for years in primary school was a quiet, sweet, unassuming girl who was never "going to set the world on fire" either (to quote a PP). She was probably near the bottom of the class academically, wasn't particularly good at skipping or drawing (the going currency in those days grin) or anything else.

Literally everyone wanted to be her friend because (I think) basically she accepted everyone, she didn't take sides, she was easy to be around, she wasn't bossy, she wasn't the best at this or that or the other, she didn't compete with anyone over anything, she just turned up and was pleasant to everyone in class.

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Wed 20-Mar-19 09:58:09

ability to dribble

grin poor kid

OP we have this too with preschool DD who is 4yo. I had no idea it started so young! We also tell her to be kind but do this with all our children inc DS. And we talk about consistency so if someone is nasty sometimes and nice sometimes that is no good.

I also tell her when popular girl is being off with her, to just say "fine. I'm going to play with another friend" and walk away. This seems to work to an extent as popular girl is quite insecure and doesn't like the rejection so tends to calm down a bit after DD does that.

Frankly though, I'm just hoping they will wind up at different primary schools!

VioletBlu Wed 20-Mar-19 09:58:31

ppeatfruit your DS got expelled from 2 schools for being too charismatic? shock

formerbabe Wed 20-Mar-19 09:59:58

Same thing in my dds class. One girl is incredibly popular and the girls all fight to be her friend. She's a nice enough girl, certainly not a bully or anything, but I do wonder why she is so popular.

sleepwhenidie Wed 20-Mar-19 10:00:42

Agree with pp about putting the focus on other people to be real friends with. A conversation about what proper friends are like, how they make you feel etc. Ie someone who says their your best friend one day and drops you the next is not a good friend so don’t trust them.

And yes there is one in every class I think, especially girls! IME the same phenomenon happens with boys but it’s more of ‘coolest kid in the class’ - I don’t think boys put the same emphasis and emotional investment into having ‘best friends’ that girls do, which is a good thing! As a result they aren’t manipulated in the same way. (Bullying is a different thing I think, though the manipulation can certainly border on it).

MTGGirl Wed 20-Mar-19 10:03:36

My son phrased it great about the popular boy when I asked him why he doesn't like him:
"He's a lemming, will do as the group wants to stay the most popular!"

Coffeeandcrumpets Wed 20-Mar-19 10:03:45

I think this situation is repeated in most classrooms. Just a word of warning,, it will get worse, once they hit pre puberty. O the dramas!!

NewAccount270219 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:04:12

Many years ago when I was about this age our teacher asked us to do a painting of our best friend. The teacher displayed the results on the wall. Every painting, bar one was of exactly the same girl

This is a bit of an aside but what was the teacher thinking - it was an exercise bound to breed conflict in the class! And to still put them up when she saw they were all of the same girl!

Moominmagic Wed 20-Mar-19 10:04:50

I'm really surprised at the comments warning about teaching kids to be kind. It's the number one thing I teach my kids. Perhaps I'll reconsider how much emphasis I put on it and rephrase it as they get older (age 5 & 7 now) but for very young children I would still think it's a good foundation to build on.

formerbabe Wed 20-Mar-19 10:08:41

And yes there is one in every class I think, especially girls! IME the same phenomenon happens with boys but it’s more of ‘coolest kid in the class’ - I don’t think boys put the same emphasis and emotional investment into having ‘best friends’ that girls do

As a mother of a boy and a girl, this definitely rings true for me. I hate the gender stereotype regarding friendships but from my own experience it seems to be true. My ds's friendships are much more simple. There's no jealousy if another boy plays with their friends...there's a more the merrier approach. With my DD, she comes home upset that someone else played with her friend and the girls may say they don't want to play with her that day, then be friends again the next day...there always seems to be a drama.

Drogosnextwife Wed 20-Mar-19 10:10:15

I had this in our class, there is always one. I was a confident happy child and I think this girl saw me as competition as the "most popular", whereas I couldn't have cared less. She decided to make my life a misery, bullied me for years until I was a quiet little mouse who couldn't talk to anyone and felt like crying most days.
Not that that will happen to your DD OP, I certainly hope not. What I went through in those years made me who I am today, I don't take shit from anyone, I have so much empathy for other people it may be a problem 😂.
It may wear off, it may not. Try and make sure your DD realises that actually what this girl is doing is nasty and tell her not to copy what she is doing. That's all you can do really, and hope that the teacher is picking up on it and dealing with it. Perhaps have a word with the teacher if you are worried your DD is being singled out by this girl.

Fairylightsandwine Wed 20-Mar-19 10:11:16

We had the same in my class when I was young. I remember this particular girl losing the butterfly back of her earring in the playground and practically the entire school on their hands and knees looking for it!
When we all reached secondary school her star definitely faded. So many other kids from other schools and I think we all got a bit more confident. I wouldn’t worry too much to be honest, it’s all part of growing up.

Milicentbystander72 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:12:27

Re the 'kind' thing.

I gave a dd and a ds. One of the mottos in our family is "it's nice to be nice" (along with "this too shall pass" and "I am me and that's a good thing to be".

I was always taught to be kind to people. I think it's a great thing. I'm no walkover believe me. I'm confident, fairly strong and have heathy friendships.

My dd is in those awful teen Y9 years. I'm proud of the fact that so far in school she's managed to be a loyal friend, stand up for herself but never managed to be involved in any teenage 'drama' (yet). So far, striving to be 'nice' alongside respectful, thoughtful and generally friendly has done ok for her.

Likewise with my ds. He's quite cheeky but when push comes to shove he's kind to his friends or people he sees in trouble.

OP, I think in time dcs work out which children are actually good to want to hang out with. Like a PP said former Queen Bees never seem to hold their place as they get older.

IncrediblySadToo Wed 20-Mar-19 10:13:05

Surely there’s been one in every class since the beginning of time?!

I can still remember the name of the girl we all thought was the Bees Knees. It didn’t do us any harm. It’s all part of growing up, leave the kids to get on with it.

Birdie6 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:13:08

There was a girl at school with DD - just the same scenario ! She was so bossy and self-confident, she just bowled the other girls over.

When I got to know her and her mother, it came out that she lived 50-50 with each parent, and they were both very competitive with this only child. Letting her have anything and everything, vying with each other over what they bought her, hanging on her every word . No wonder she had grown up entitled and bossy - she bossed her parents as well. I ended up feeling really worry for her , since I couldn't see a good future for her.

sleepwhenidie Wed 20-Mar-19 10:14:31

formerbabe yes, I have 2 DS’s and one DD...my DD’s approach in a co-Ed class was that she didn’t join cliques and would play with different kids all the time, very often the boys. There was never anything discussed about it. Her closest friend there was a boy. In y3 she moved to a girls school and was bewildered by this stuff going on. It was definitely also going on in her co ed setting as well, she just instinctively steered clear! Luckily she didn’t remain in thrall to the queen bee for very long, unfortunately (now y6) there’s still a core of girls that are though and there’s been a lot of unhappiness.

ASundayWellSpent Wed 20-Mar-19 10:19:16

Hiya we have a 5yo DD and this kind of social dynamics has been coming up soooo often and from what I can tell its only going to get worse, or more intense!

I was in the "being kind is the main thing" camp too, coming from my mother who was FIRMLY "oh dear is DD having a rough time well the main thing is that she doesn't do anything to get her in trouble".

After lots of research, soul searching etc with DH we have completely changed tack and our DD is so much happier and more confident from it. We impress on her the importance of being strong, clever, funny, friendly, inclusive, participative, inquisitive, brave... but kind isn't on the list anymore. That doesn't mean that she ISN'T kind, it means that its not what we are aiming to work on with her as "the main thing".

In as much as the admiration, I would try and not put too much store by it infront of her. When she fawns about the girl "ah that's nice," or regarding the fancy comment for example, that sounds like something she has heard from the girl herself "is being fancy important? I know I have always been more excited about being good at judo!" type of thing. Until age 8 we are 100% their main reference, obviously at school age other influences come more into play, but your example and reaction will give her cues much more than what the girl does or says.

Maybe try and get her involved in an activity away from school where she can build confidence and meet other children?

ppeatfruit Wed 20-Mar-19 10:19:25

Yes Violet he seems to inspire others to follow him, mind you the first school was a not very good Steiner.

The 2nd was also private, he was influenced by older boys and the Head didn't want his class to follow him! Saved us money on the fees, but his self esteem suffered. He has not succeeded educationally but he is living the life he wants to as a part time musician and yoga\music teacher

DanglyBangly Wed 20-Mar-19 10:21:21

I have no advice for you other than to say this scenario is extremely common, incredibly frustrating and without easy remedy. You are not alone.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Wed 20-Mar-19 10:22:49

Teaching our girls to value themselves for who they are, to not be manipulated by others, to walk away from infighting, drama and gossip - that's what I hope to do.
I had to learn the lesson in sixth form that life is so much better when you find friends that aren't hard work, and who care about you for you, and who you never have to chase or watch what you say or try to stop them leaving you out - when you find those friends then it gives you great strength and confidence, that you can then carry for the rest of your life.
I'm trying to teach DD that gradually, and sometimes just want to rage at other mums parents who seem to enjoy nothing more than perpetuating schoolfriend dramas like it's some pre-teen Love Island. I'm really heavily critical of gender stereotyping and have zero time for gossip - but I also have to struggle to filter that for DD who is not yet 10 and needs to develop her own feminist rage opinions in her own time!

mcmooberry Wed 20-Mar-19 10:24:59

There's a boy queen bee in my daughters' Year1 class and one of them comes home and says things like "X said I could be in his company today" or, on sadder days, "I wasn't allowed in his company today". It makes me laugh it sounds so ridiculous! In this case I think it's because he is very tall and clever and the oldest in the class. He's a likeable boy to be fair, just strange how much power he has.....

ppeatfruit Wed 20-Mar-19 10:29:00

It's a life lesson, try not to make a big deal out of it. Just bolster your child's self esteem, not too much, but take them out on their own, or have a little talk to them about anything. if they have siblings so they feel valued and loved by you.

SaveKevin Wed 20-Mar-19 10:32:58

Bloody Queen Bees!
All you can do is work on your daughters self esteem, show her theres more to life than school (e.g Beavers / Brownies, clubs outside school), help her build friendships outside the queen so that she is less reliant on the pickup and dropping aspect. Help her find her feet and confidence of who she is and to try and find like minded people.

twosoups1972 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:34:28

As an aside, can we please stop insisting to girls that being ‘kind’ is the main aim in life

It is actually a huge fault of women to constantly try and be ‘kind’ to their own detriment

What bollocks. Being a kind, thoughtful individual IS important, male or female. You can be kind without being a walkover. I bring my dc up to be kind, put themselves in others' shoes etc.

mummmy2017 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:35:20

We had a queen bee, who gave permission for people to sit with her for lunch.
I never cared, so long as I had a book.
I met her the other day, we are both middle aged, I was with my children , seems she never married, had children or even got a decent job, I actually felt sorry for her.

MinisterforCheekyFuckery Wed 20-Mar-19 10:35:38

My DD is in Reception and this has started already. There is one girl that all the other girls seem to worship and even though she's not very nice (scribbles on other kids drawings, is very bossy, tries to dictate who can play with who) they are all desperate to be her friend. It's frustrating but it's just part of growing up, isn't it? I don't think there's much to be done about it other than supporting your DC's positive friendships.

heartfull83 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:40:11

*As an aside, can we please stop insisting to girls that being ‘kind’ is the main aim in life

It is actually a huge fault of women to constantly try and be ‘kind’ to their own detriment*

Also think this is nonsense!! I teach my DD and DS to be kind. Nothing to do with gender. Thinking of others and treating others (and yourself as a PP) said with kindness and respect is a wonderful HUMAN trait. A girl that is kind that grows up to be a kind woman does not mean they are weak or a walkover. Likewise for a boy.

Happyspud Wed 20-Mar-19 10:40:20

Forget about the girl. And be very careful not to make a mean example of her to make a point to your DD. That’s a bad lesson to teach.

Just focus on teaching your DD to be strong, resilient and able to think for herself. These are normal social interactions of a group. You don’t need to teach her anything about that person, just about herself.

minipie Wed 20-Mar-19 10:43:58

We have exactly this scenario in Y1 DD’s class too. Unfortunately there are only 9 girls in the class and the class seems to have got very gender segregated very early. So by the time 4+ of them are hero worshipping miss Queen Bee there aren’t many left for DD to play with.

DD went through her own phase of worshipping QB last year and there were many ups and downs and tears depending on whether QB had decided to blow hot or cold that day. After one tearful evening we had a conversation along the following lines:
Do you usually end up happy or not happy when you try to play with QB?
“not happy”
Who do you think is a good friend, someone who makes you happy or someone who makes you unhappy?
“someone who makes me happy”
So is QB a good friend do you think?
“no”
I was also fairly blunt about what I thought of QB’s behaviour. No demonising but just pointing out her strategies so DD could see through them, iyswim.
The end conclusion was that DD decided to avoid QB from then on.

Much happier since although still the issue of not enough alternatives. However gradually QB’s aura seems to be wearing off for the other girls too and the teacher has tried various measures to break up the cliques and encourage inclusion which is really helping.

As an aside, DD’s class seem to have the “fancy girls” thing too!! WTF does fancy mean anyway?

shockandawe1 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:44:59

Completely agree with a PP that 'stars fade'.

Some great advice above. Keep doing what you're doing and take on board some of the thoughts of others on this thread to empower your DD.

It's life, I'm afraid. I do remember the really popular girls from primary school not being the popular ones at all in secondary.

You're doing a great job. X

thaegumathteth Wed 20-Mar-19 10:50:12

Bloody schools expelling the charismatic kids grin

My dd is 8 and in with ‘the cool girls’ in her class and I REALLY wish she wasn’t. There’s one girl who rules them all and plays then off against each other and it pisses me off no end. Dd is pretty robust and will play with other people and don’t seem to take offence if she isn’t ‘allowed’ to play with the girl that day but it completely enraged me! I think dd is realising that she’s not cool she’s mean after she came to our house and criticised everything and I (gently) put her in her place.

I tell my kids to be kind regardless of their gender and in general they both are. They also know not to take any shit and it’s ok to stand up for themself when they need to.

I don’t necessarily hide what I think of the annoying kid(s) either. I’m not rude but I don’t pretend they’re not annoying.

Ds went through this briefly but he has a power tolerance for bragging than dd!

Buddytheelf85 Wed 20-Mar-19 10:51:31

Echoing PPs here - there was one of these in each of my primary school classes in the 90s! I can’t explain it but I think the ‘Queen Bee’ thing is very normal behaviour.

Sorry to miss the point of the thread but what does ‘fancy’ mean in this context? Wondering if it’s a regional thing?

thaegumathteth Wed 20-Mar-19 10:52:24

God ignore all the typos!

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 20-Mar-19 11:06:05

We had this with dd. She was actually besties with this popular girl until something minor happened and the mother reacted as though my dd had abused hers. Dd was in yr1 and 5 at the time (summer born) and this girl was almost a year older, which at that age also makes a massive difference. Because of the mothers batshit reaction, suddenly overnight the girl ignored dd for 6 months and told everyone they could only play with her if they refused to play with dd. This and other things relating to my health sent dd into a bit of a mental health crisis.

Suddenly dd had no friends in the playground so I got her involved in some activities out of school. Firstly very gentle things like rainbows to build her confidence. She grew out of this quickly and I then got her involved in a range of sporty activities, dance etc - she loves sport. I understand your dds circumstances are different but from a confidence perspective it is a really good thing to find friends with common interests out of school.

Having always had difficulty to go to school she became very close to school refusing. It was a tough time. I talked to dd about her unique selling points. Ie not everyone can be popular, she is strong, very loving, great at x sport, good at doing this, a good friend etc. I called her my angel and when she was sad about the girl I’d say she’s popular not everyone gets to be popular. Dds an angel, not everyone gets to the found it very difficult to go to school. Even before this. Had I known about the cuddle button, I would have used that. Trying to associate herself with being mummy’s angel was my way of making her feel warm inside and loving toward herself.

From not having anyone to play with in yr1, dd became very much in demand by yr4. So much so that she was very good friends with 2 different groups. So that they all got to play with her, the two groups of friends agreed a rota, where they alternated between the two groups of friends mon-thurs and dd chose on Fridays. This was obviously without my knowledge and the first I heard of it was dd complaining the school put a stop to it! Perhaps at the time she was considered a popular girl. I really have no idea. All I know is that life really does change and popular children aren’t always popular forever.

Dd now really no longer wants to be friends with the ex friend. But for years she was hankering after it. Even in yr4.

With your dd and this girl, she is being unkind. Your dd has other friends. I would definitely be organising playdates with children other than her. Not to ostracise or be nasty to her. It is of course fine to be a popular child and being popular doesn’t necessarily mean nasty. If you think you can have some kind of influence over the friendship, by all means ask her to come over too and model how “we do things in our house”. Having her over will perhaps give you a bit more understanding about the dynamic between her and your dd. However I wouldn’t be encouraging friendships if you see her being nasty.

Also talk lots to your dd about how she should expect to be treated thus teaching her good boundaries.

Fazackerley Wed 20-Mar-19 11:06:38

*As an aside, can we please stop insisting to girls that being ‘kind’ is the main aim in life

It is actually a huge fault of women to constantly try and be ‘kind’ to their own detriment

She should be encouraged to reflect on and be aware of how her actions effect others and through this see that the strong girl is actually using her behaviour to make others feel sad or left out. That is thus not actually good behaviour and not something your DD should seek to get approval for.

So shine a light on how this girl actually makes others feel and how true friends let us be and don’t play with our emotions

But leave out the be kind mantra*

god please yes stop going on to girls that they have to be kind

and don't use the word bossy

you wouldn't describe a boy as bossy

Yes there are girls like this but tell dd to play with someone else and to stick up for herself.

VioletBlu Wed 20-Mar-19 11:08:02

I think "fancy" means cooler/better accessories, having better versions of everyday things, being allowed to experiment more, being more fashionable, knowing more about what's cool and what's not, the latest crazes, the latest dances. Being "in the know". That's what "fancy" meant to us in my day. We had a fancy girl in our class too (last child, only girl, indulgent parents) but fortunately for her she was nice with it and wasn't at all a show-off (see, it is possible!)

Fazackerley Wed 20-Mar-19 11:09:29

All three of my dds had clubs out of school with friends there. When they came home pissed off about so and so leaving them out, I could remind them that school is for learning and their great friends were out of school. This might seem a bit harsh but it almost completely negated the effect that the more controlling children had on them at school.

Springwalk Wed 20-Mar-19 11:10:12

This happens in every class in every year.

Chill and let your dd figure out what she wants to do with her friendships. The source of all anxiety with girl friendships is mainly parents getting involved. Let them sort themselves out, and celebrate your dd's emotional integrity. Steering in any direction is likely to end up backfiring.

Fazackerley Wed 20-Mar-19 11:12:23

I think "fancy" means cooler/better accessories, having better versions of everyday things, being allowed to experiment more, being more fashionable, knowing more about what's cool and what's not, the latest crazes, the latest dances. Being "in the know". That's what "fancy" meant to us in my day. We had a fancy girl in our class too (last child, only girl, indulgent parents) but fortunately for her she was nice with it and wasn't at all a show-off (see, it is possible!)

yup, dd2 was like this and always has been. Pretty, confident, happy, always smiling, nice clothes (hand me downs from older cool sister). Some girls were very keen to try and bring her down a bit, but it didn't work, she's almost 17 and still like it. She's nice too, not so nice that she feels she is responsible for everyone's feelings though, and I tell her that as long as she isn't deliberately nasty then she is absolutely not responsible for anyone else's feelings about her.

StarlightIntheNight Wed 20-Mar-19 11:13:51

I think this is normal, kids look up to other kids etc. If you do not want your dd to look up to her or be so close, just explain the reasons why and encourage other friendships. On occasion, my dd started playing with a child who is a bad influence (saying bad words and doing naughty things). I asked my dd to play with other dc who are well behaved in the class etc and that was that. It made a difference, as my dd would get influenced by the dc who did not have the best behaviour. So she would get into trouble as well. Anyway, this was two years ago and she has made other friends etc. And also these so called popular girls change every year or so. It was the same when I was growing up. I used to admire a girl who was popular when we were year 1, by year 3 this girl's popularity went completely and someone else took over.

MarshaBradyo Wed 20-Mar-19 11:16:35

It’s very interesting. I’m yet to reach this with dd as she’s little but I know from having two boys how different that feels from the female friendships fostered at my school.

I see it in the way the age 9s behave now. It could be just pure socialisation but it is interesting to observe.

HexagonalBattenburg Wed 20-Mar-19 11:28:49

Went through it with DD1 at the same sort of age - child in question was very much glammed up to the eyeballs by mum (who, although lovely, was very very image-orientated and had passed this on to her child from a very young age) - lots of wanting the same hair style as X and "X says I have to wear these clothes to be cool" type nonsense. I squashed it down quite hard as X struggled with the idea of friendships being open and fluid and had a history of latching onto a child and not allowing them to be anyone else's friend for months - so we went through how friends fall out, and it was a sensible thing to do to make sure that we play with all our different friends and just to be friendly and kind to everyone but say no if you're not happy doing something... and it did even itself out after a while.

DD2's that age now and we've had similar focal classmates appear with quite a nasty bullying undertone going on - facilitated by the mum who only wanted the child to be friends with the girls she deemed to be pretty and well-presented (with similarly well-groomed parents) for her child. Thankfully the child in question has moved on now and DD2 is very emotionally resilient with the attitude that if someone isn't going to play with her she'll find a better offer or amuse herself - but the dynamic seems to appear at that age. There's also a similar dynamic with the boys in the class where one lad (who is absolutely lovely) who is very articulate, confident, academically good and good at football (the key factor in playground currency) is very much the kid most of the boys are desperate to hang around with.

formerbabe Wed 20-Mar-19 11:36:59

I also find if my ds has a fall out with another boy, it's forgotten about very quickly whereas within my dds friendships, incidences are remembered.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Wed 20-Mar-19 11:50:45

We had a queen bee......... I met her the other day, we are both middle aged, I was with my children , seems she never married, had children or even got a decent job, I actually felt sorry for her.

And yet you judge her by whether she married or had children or had a high flying career? She had the life she chose. Same as you have the life you chose.

Fazackerley Wed 20-Mar-19 11:52:44

Ugh

I hate the sight of grown women delighted that a confident popular child has somehow not been successful in life

There will always be women prettier, thinner, richer and more popular than you. Get over it.

Happyspud Wed 20-Mar-19 12:23:02

Agree with you Faza. The contempt for these small children from some posters ☹️

Fazackerley Wed 20-Mar-19 12:47:00

It is perhaps not a coincidence that mothers who feel satisfaction at the sight of a once popular child becoming an unsuccessful adult have children that struggle with relationships with popular kids.

Chickychoccyegg Wed 20-Mar-19 12:55:18

This seems to happen in a lot of classes, all 3 of my dd's have been in this situation over the years, rhinking someone is amazing, pretty much because the other girl is usually very confident, outgoing etc snd always around age 6 or 7, drives me a bit crazy!

Stawp Wed 20-Mar-19 12:58:34

"ppeatfruit

Yes Violet he seems to inspire others to follow him, mind you the first school was a not very good Steiner. The 2nd was also private, he was influenced by older boys and the Head didn't want his class to follow him!"

It's difficult to not interpret this to mean your son was expelled for influencing bad behaviour in the other boys. They're not going to expel a boy for influencing all the other boys to be polite, quiet, and well behaved are they?

Tigek Wed 20-Mar-19 13:22:32

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Drogosnextwife Wed 20-Mar-19 13:25:12

*As an aside, can we please stop insisting to girls that being ‘kind’ is the main aim in life

It is actually a huge fault of women to constantly try and be ‘kind’ to their own detriment*

Absolute shite! I have 2 sons I have always kept up the "be kind mantra" because everyone should be kind to each other.

Tigek Wed 20-Mar-19 13:28:13

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Drogosnextwife Wed 20-Mar-19 13:29:15

you wouldn't describe a boy as bossy

Actually I tell my youngest ds to stop being bossy all the time and have described him as bossy on several occasions 🤷

Drogosnextwife Wed 20-Mar-19 13:30:30

*Sons Drogo
Not daughters.*

Yes I have sons, should we never tell girls to be kind?

Tigek Wed 20-Mar-19 13:32:12

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Drogosnextwife Wed 20-Mar-19 13:32:20

Perhaps some of these "queen bees" should have been told to be kind more often by their parents or guardians and they might not be so horrible to the other children around them. Boys and girls.

MarshaBradyo Wed 20-Mar-19 13:33:11

Why would you want your child to of either sex being unkind without comment

I’m pleased my boys are kind - but also have many friends - both are important to me

Drogosnextwife Wed 20-Mar-19 13:33:32

And I also feel the bitterness by some posters here is possibly why they were never popular at school.

Yup that will be it 🙄

MarshaBradyo Wed 20-Mar-19 13:34:42

Some of these posts are ridiculous

Of course children can be guided to act in a kinder way

Tigek Wed 20-Mar-19 13:35:58

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MarshaBradyo Wed 20-Mar-19 13:37:49

Children can be strong, not a wallflower and know their own mind. And be kind. Plus have lots of friends. I don’t see why not

Drogosnextwife Wed 20-Mar-19 13:38:00

I hate the sight of grown women delighted that a confident popular child has somehow not been successful in life

Or perhaps it's because they relate it back to their own experience as a child and remember how they felt, having to put up with being excluded and feeling shit every day.

heartfull83 Wed 20-Mar-19 13:38:23

I am really perplexed at the thought that girls shouldn't be kind.

The opposite of kind is unkind.

So girls should be unkind?

But it's ok for boys to be kind.

HUMANKIND SHOULD BE KIND!

It means to be friendly and considerate. I think the world is lacking a lot of this at the moment.

MontanaSkies Wed 20-Mar-19 13:38:34

I think kindness is a good thing to teach - as long as you teach that kindness goes both ways. Act with kindness towards others, yes. But also recognise whether others are treating you with kindness, or not.

MarshaBradyo Wed 20-Mar-19 13:39:25

Yes definitely to teaching them to recognise it and not put up with friends who are not

Tigek Wed 20-Mar-19 13:40:14

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PinkCrayon Wed 20-Mar-19 13:44:43

I think the tide ends up changing on kids like that, more so if they are mean or bossy.
Your child will change too as she gets older. My child was extremely meek but as she has gotten older I would say from age 8 she has started to stick up for herself if someone says something horrible to her she used to stay silent she now tells them she doesnt care what they say and has learnt to distance herself from mean/bossy children. She has grown in confidence and doesnt pander to anyone anymore.
You are right to teach your child kindness I dont think enough parents do!

Tigek Wed 20-Mar-19 13:46:01

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ooooohbetty Wed 20-Mar-19 13:46:36

Everyone should be kind. It's really not a bad thing for boys and girls. Boys are described as bossy in same way that girls are.

BarbarianMum Wed 20-Mar-19 13:48:31

Everyone should be kind but kindness does not equate with always putting your own feelings last. And in a friendship it should be reciprocated.

Zooop Wed 20-Mar-19 13:49:15

Both my dds have had to deal with a child like this. It was painful, but I consistently asked ‘is she a good friend to you? Is she kind to you?’. And after a while they both clocked that no, this child was inconsistent, often unkind, and not a good friend. And naturally drifted away. School also helped with social skills and finding other friends - the ELSA programme.

Tigek Wed 20-Mar-19 13:51:33

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sydenhamhiller Wed 20-Mar-19 14:15:48

YY KrispyKremes

I don't think being kind is a girl thing, I think being kind is a human thing. I have a son and two daughters, and I am very careful to have the same expectations of being kind for all three of them. Surely, being kind is a great aim to have in life? It doesn't mean being a pushover, to me a large part of it at primary school is "if you don't have anything nice to say, do not say it at all".

My 13 yr old middle child, a girl, is amazingly kind, it is the character trait most parents of her friends/ teachers comment on. And whilst I am proud of this (not smug, the other 2 not so much), I do talk to her often about how her job is not to make everybody happy, and her wants and needs are just as important. And that stating these opinions is not rude, but just assertive.

I agree that girls can be socialised to 'just make everyone happy', but if we teach both our sons and daughters to be kind, I think the world would be a much nicer place. <looks at very sparse Kindness Tree in corner of Y3 classroom>

Yabbers Wed 20-Mar-19 15:44:39

can we please stop insisting to girls that being ‘kind’ is the main aim in life

Utter bollocks.

Everybody’s main aim in life should bo to be kind. If the world was a lot kinder, we wouldn’t have the shit in the world that they do.

DD is “queen bee” (urgh, what a horrible description) always has been and even her teachers have commented on the unusual pull she has on her classmates. She also has a disability and this makes it even more unusual as it seems usually kids like her are excluded or picked on.

She has never played on her status, is always seeking out troubled souls and her class teacher paired her this year with a new boy who had been kicked out of three previous schools for behaviour issues. She has a knack of calming him down when he is getting angry and he is thriving. She also is his protector and makes sure other kids see the good in him too. That alone has made a big difference and even his mum said she can’t believe the change in him. Apparently he’s never had friends. Another lad who has sat next to her for two terms is now doing much better with loads more confidence because she takes the time to help him in class and to boost his confidence. It helps her too because she learns well by helping.

She is the kindest girl I know but is no pushover. It is possible to be assertive without being a dick about it.

How sad so many here are waiting for her to fall from grace when she becomes a teenager or an adult.

OP, I know it is difficult but I really would advise not getting too involved. When DD mentions something someone has done that bothers her, I just remind her there are lots of reasons people do things and there are lots of other children in the class. I’ve always discouraged a “BFF” relationship, especially in early years. Friendships evolve and making sure she has a strong group of friends is better than one. My mantra is not to put all your eggs in one friend basket.

Fazackerley Wed 20-Mar-19 17:20:21

Of course it shouldn't be everyone's main aim in life. For a start you can piss people off simply by existing. Be friendly if you can, be respectful but no girl should think her reason for being at school is to befriend everyone.

I may be a horrible person but I don't want my dds to be paired with the troubled souls to make their life easier. If they seek them out and choose to do it then fine. Its a massive PITA to be defined by having to be someone else's protector.

Anotherday39 Wed 20-Mar-19 17:25:25

Kids are awful. Adults even more so.

Consider it an intro to life, and give her some armour (self esteem) to let it not get to her. Easier said than done, but it never stops.

Next stop, bullies

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