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Year 4 girls - social hierarchies!

(7 Posts)
Ninkynork Fri 05-Jun-09 10:02:00

Hi, does anyone have any experience of problems at this age? DD has had this year completely ruined by obsessions with groups, gangs, parties, invitations etc.

I know it's natural but it worries me that these things do mean that some children have to be excluded or at the bottom of the pecking order. It has been DD up until now but she has started to compete for her position and is becoming part of it, and someone I don't recognise!

She is between two sets of best friends, each with one "strong" character. Why she doesn't just forget them and find a best friend of her own I don't know. These four are all from large families with older siblings and are given much more independence to walk to school, play out in the evenings etc. They all have a lot in common in that they like the same crap popular culture grin

I have been in to school to discuss it and the teacher says she thinks after the summer the girls will mature and may settle down. I'm not convinced and thinking about sending DD to the local school, (she's at the Catholic atm) where she will know girls from Brownies and the area, will be able to walk to and from school and make more friends that way.

The local isn't as good in terms of SATs / OFSTED but I don't really set much store by results and would rather DD was happy and able to concentrate on enjoying learning and the whole school experience, tbh.

Then again, it could be a frying pan / fire situation. I'm a bit stumped sad

notsoteenagemum Fri 05-Jun-09 10:19:52

My DD is at this stage too Ninkynork ,I completely get the not recognising.

I was shocked at her birthday party by the bitchiness from the girls, I even had to use my scary voice!

DD is also stuck between friend groups, one she's been friendly with since nursery,
one she knows from 'activities' and one she plays with when on dinners.

Is your DD happy with the set up?
What would she say to moving schools?

I moved to a new school in year 4 and hated it but that we also moved to a whole new town four hours away from the 'old life' and family which obviously doesn't apply to you, but it is a difficult age to have a big change.

abraid Fri 05-Jun-09 10:24:40

Tell me about it! It seems to be a bad time for girls. Actually my son also found year four hard, too.

My daughter is just finishing year five now and it seems slightly better. But there are still fallings-out and people being excluded/ignored by the group as they jostle for power. My daughter is quite a tough little cookie. She's never been the queen bee in her group but she can normally stand up for herself but occasionally she has come home saying she's had a horrid time at breaktime and doesn't want to go to school.

ABetaDad Fri 05-Jun-09 11:13:40

DS1 is in Yr 4 and he is one of only 2 boys in his class with 14 girls. He does say there are little cliques and groups of girls who play power games with each other and with him. There is a lot of the party invite, ballet class, etc, etc, going on. DS2 is younger (in Year 2 on his own with 8 girls) and it has not really started yet but no doubt soon will.

It is a private school so there is a whole network of old local family friendships and older siblings at the senior school layered on top of course. Arguements over whether we should let DS1 walk to school have also erupted.

I responded to the other thread about power hierachies in boys at this age. We moved DS1 and DS2 from a boy heavy school last year largely because of this reason. As a radical solution and because of our own beliefs about how we want our DSs to be as men we sent them to a newly co-ed girl heavy school as a very deliberate choice by us and it has been a positive one - but DSs do perhaps manage to escape the girl bitchiness a bit because they are boys.

Some of the Queen Bee girls try to exclude what few boys there are from their games - and try to stop other girls playing with them too sometimes.

It is just a natural part of growing up - but not nice all the same.

Ninkynork Fri 05-Jun-09 13:26:46

Ah, it's not just DD then. Thanks for the replies smile

GreatUncleBulgaria Fri 05-Jun-09 13:30:15

They are a nightmare in Year 4, every single parent I knew was utterly hacked off by the end of it. A friend did warn me before we got there and she wasn't half right !

I think the girls in particular start getting hormonal at this point which doesn't help matters.

Things are much better in Year 5 we've found but they've all changed school and been mixed up which has helped in our case.

Ninkynork Fri 05-Jun-09 22:37:32

Do they all change school in Yr 5 in the private sector? I was hoping that if DD started a new school in Yr 5, it might even help the transition to secondary <<optimistic>>

I had a chat with DD at bedtime earlier and we were discussing the pros and cons. She was the first person to mention going to a different school but now she doesn't want to leave her friends hmm

The bitchiness is just one of two issues. There is a girl in her class who has come from another school and has been assigned a full-time LSA for behaviour. The child is constantly making sexual remarks, touching, kissing and licking children, putting her feet up their dresses and using inappropriate language.

DD has always been brought up to be very accepting and tolerant of different lifestyles, but this is totally unwelcome and makes her very uncomfortable.

I realise that this seems like an AIBU By Stealth but I didn't want to complicate matters to start with. Still stumped, WWYD?

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