my daughter is the unpopular kid in class

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sunnydaysarenotenough Tue 21-Sep-21 11:19:55

I'm really struggling with the situation my daughter finds herself in and would appreciate some practical advice on what to do next.
Background - we are British but live in Europe and our kids were born here. They've been in the local school since nursery and speak the language fluently etc, so we always assumed they would fit right in. My son is doing OK at school socially and has a few friends, but my daughter is really struggling. She is now in Y6 and has gone from having a couple of friends in earlier years (always boys) to absolutely no friends at school.
She is quite a resilient character, and last year palled up with a boy in the class who was being bullied, but he has now left the school and she is alone.
Of course, she is not perfect, but she is really kind, funny, lovely looking and loves sport. However, she's now at an age where the boys don't want to play with her anymore - and when she asks to join in a game of football they call her names - every day - mainly ‘fat’ (she is slightly chubby but is tall and sporty – essentially a normal sized girl in a country where some kids are smaller).
The girls all refuse to play with her at all. This came to a head last week when they held a vote that decided she cannot join in any class games during breaks - and no one will allow her to sit with them at lunch.
Her class teacher gives the impression that she is not especially keen on her either - mainly because she hates sitting for a whole day in the same classroom, which is the rule here since COVID.
She’s always the last to be picked for any team or group activity – even in sports, which she is good at. For example, her pupil group in music class (which the teacher had to put her in because no one wanted her to join their group) had to perform a dance to some music last week, which she is perfectly able to do well, but she was told by her colleagues that she had to go last because she’s ‘rubbish’. It's quite an academic school and although she has a good brain the teachers tell me she often seems to be disorganised or unmotivated in the classes. She has passed every year to date with a low/medium grade.
Last Friday she was crying about the whole situation and telling me that everyone hates her - pupils and staff. She wants to leave the school.
Unfortunately, it would be incredibly difficult for her to change school - there are not many alternatives here, apart from very poorly funded state schools, where she may or may not fit in and may not recieve a great education, or English language schools for international students, which I’ve never heard anything good about. Her current school is supposed to be the best in the region.
So here we are… I've been through all the practical things that I can think of - even buying new ‘cool’ shoes last weekend, as the class teased her about her shoes. She has nothing especially 'different' about her – apart from that she always preferred playing with the boys when she was younger - she just seems to have become the unpopular girl in the class.
She does football club outside of school, but is the only girl there, so no friends to be made. She just isn’t interested in dance academy or any of the other more 'girl-oriented' out of school activities.
If she stays at the school she will be in the same class of students for the whole of school until 18, so things really need to change… I would really appreciate any ideas as it is breaking my heart and I really worry about the long-term implications for her self-esteem etc.

OP’s posts: |
noprofessional Tue 21-Sep-21 11:23:59

I would move her. A "great education" doesn't trump a child's wellbeing for me. Rather an average bog standard school and a happy child.

SequinsandStiIettos Tue 21-Sep-21 11:25:26

Oh God. Are you in Germany?

Dishwashersaurous Tue 21-Sep-21 11:26:28

She needs to move school.

She's experiencing bullying and the school is doing nothing about it.

You have no option but to move her school

Threearm Tue 21-Sep-21 11:27:09

She isn't unpopular, she is being bullied. It clearly isn't a great education and no education is worth this treatment.

HTKB Tue 21-Sep-21 11:27:15

OMG your poor little girl, and you. Your heart must be breaking for her.

Surely the teachers are coming down like an absolute ton of bricks on this excluding and bullying? I assume you have repeat meetings with the teacher/SLT/ head? What do they say?

I would be like a dog with a bone with this but if you haven’t/can’t then you need to start, or move her. Anywhere will be better surely.

PyjamaFan Tue 21-Sep-21 11:27:58

I agree.

Being unhappy and lonely for all those years is bound to have an extremely negative affect on her mental health, possibly for the rest of her life.


CMOTDibbler Tue 21-Sep-21 11:28:34

I can't imagine anything worse than being stuck in a class like that for your whole education where the school apparently care nothing for their pupils either. Move her to a state school and support her academically with tutoring if necessary, but she needs to move out of a toxic environment ASAP

MysteriousMonkey Tue 21-Sep-21 11:29:07

Move her! Surely it is more likely to be an improvement than not?

readingismycardio Tue 21-Sep-21 11:29:49

your poor DD. I do sympathise. And you seem really distressed too. I'd probably try to kick a fuss with the head of the school, in writing. The teacher seems biased too, which is ridiculous.

HarebrightCedarmoon Tue 21-Sep-21 11:29:57


I agree.

Being unhappy and lonely for all those years is bound to have an extremely negative affect on her mental health, possibly for the rest of her life.

Jeez, what a helpful post. hmm

Nothanksverymuch Tue 21-Sep-21 11:30:01

You need to move her.

There is absolutely no point in keeping her at the "good" school if she develops mental health problems as a result of damaged self esteem and refuses to go to school completely by the time she is 14.

It is better that she is happier and does somewhere she can flourish.

LuaDipa Tue 21-Sep-21 11:30:50

Move schools. Good school or not it clearly doesn’t suit her and she can’t learn properly when she is so unhappy. Her own teacher doesn’t even seem to like her which tells you everything you need to know.

She is miserable. Leaving her there would be so detrimental to her when she has already had a tough time of it, please just move her elsewhere.

nothingcanhurtmewithmyeyesshut Tue 21-Sep-21 11:31:38

Move her. She won't be receiving a great education anyway as she is demoralised and unmotivated. She's better off working to her full potential in an average school even if its an English school than she will be not bothering and being unhappy in an excellent school.

SequinsandStiIettos Tue 21-Sep-21 11:31:52

Actually, scrap that, as many schools are state-funded there, including Gymnasien.
It sounds hard, it sounds tough, it sounds lonely and it sounds hard on your daughter.
Been there, done that (twice).
Would hip-hop dance be an option? Not that girly but girls do it. Or line dance?
Will she always be in that cohort? So no voluntary resitting a year? Can she switch classes if in forms?
Resilience is hard to teach but also overrated. She sounds tough enough but my heart breaks for her, as it did for my two. Maybe new school, new start is an answer.
She will survive it and eventually will find her own tribe, but braving it out can be detrimental. Could she join guides? Is there anyone to reach out to? As for being excluded from groups, that bitchiness needs reporting to whoever is in charge of pastoral care.

tensmum1964 Tue 21-Sep-21 11:31:56

I would look in to moving her. Its always a risk but can be a new start. If the available option isn't as good academically you could always get her extra help via a few private lessons a week. She may well thrive better at a less academic school if she feels happier. As she is year 6 she is of an age where making friends is easier than for example year 8 or 9.

Anyoneforcoffee Tue 21-Sep-21 11:32:20

Hello your poor daughter. I had a similar issue (European school in U.K. and I wasn't from country most pupils at the school were from) and this sounds like some of what happened. I realise it was bullying now. It isn't ok and the teachers need to address it.
I also was a larger child (taller etc) and that didn't help. I can say it did impact me and while I am glad it was a great education it was brutal. In the first place see if you can agree a strategy with the school. Make sure if you can your daughter has lots of self esteem boosting activities outside of school and is aware she is excellent at lots of things.

Nothanksverymuch Tue 21-Sep-21 11:32:44

@HarebrightCedarmoon I think @PyjamaFan has been absolutely right in posting what they have. My DSIS is in her 30s and still suffers as a result of bullying she received in high school. She developed anorexia and completely dropped out of school by 13 because of it. She did go back and receive her education when she older, but the irreparable damage was already done.

Whaleandsnail6 Tue 21-Sep-21 11:33:03

I'd move her. I'd rather her go to a school where her education is at risk than her mental health and self esteem being harmed every day like it is now. Would tutoring for a couple of hours a week be doable if she did go to a different school and you felt the academic side of things was poor?

I'd also be putting big complaints in about her current school. How dare she be experiencing this and not one teacher doing anything about it or trying to make her feel valued.

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 21-Sep-21 11:33:11

Have a look at the international schools, they may be better than you think.
If your daughter is so unhappy, the school she is at is not as good as you think anyway, so a move may be the best thing.

Hockeyboysmum Tue 21-Sep-21 11:33:35

Move her. The school sounds hideous. And if the teachers are allowing the kids to vote on whether a child can join in or not id be furious and remove my child that same day. And any child who joins in this vote would not be one id wish my child to be friends with. By year 6 they are old enough to know themselves how awful that is.

I genuinely cant think of any good reason to leave a child in that situation.

Comedycook Tue 21-Sep-21 11:34:34

I'd move her.

Unicornhorns Tue 21-Sep-21 11:34:34

Go and have a look at the other schools. They may not have the best reputations but may be a better fit for your DD.

Dillyjones72 Tue 21-Sep-21 11:35:23

Move her, immediately. For whatever reason everyone, including staff, seems to think she’s a target and that’s okay. They took a ‘ vote?’ The staff sound useless.
It’s not a good school if it allows a child to be treated like this. I can imagine a scenario in which my kids schools allowed this situation to continue.
Don’t care if she’s as odd as heck, everyone had their place and their people in this world, EVERYONE.
That’s not a good school, move her. Academically you can always get help if needed, tutors or whatever but it will take a lifetime to re-build her self-esteem if this continues. Find her a school that is known for sports, particularly for girls. Allow her the chance to shine at something she’s good at.

HunterHearstHelmsley Tue 21-Sep-21 11:35:34

I was this child at school. It was awful.

I'm popular as an adult but as a rule I don't like most people. That's definitely a consequence of my school experience.

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