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How can I make my DD happy? (long and fairly futile)

(33 Posts)
katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 22:03:44

DD is 7
She is bright and intellegent
She doesn't want to go to school

I got her report last week -
Rebellious phases
Her work is erratic
Not showing any enthusasm
Lacks motivation

She was being bullyied (about 6 months ago) and this isn't continuing at school - (they have promised)

She is a typical stroppy 7yo - but she hates her body

I need help - I am doing something wrong, she is unhappy and I don't know why

We spend time together, her dad is caring and reasonably (for a bloke) supportive
We are using a pasta jar and doing a scrapbook to help her body image.

What else can I do? I'm desparatley unhappy about the situation

pinkmama Wed 20-Jul-05 22:08:10

That must be tough katymac. My dd is also 7 and she has on occassion said she is fat, which really disturbs me, so how you cope with this I dont know. What is the past jar thing?

katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 22:10:45

Piece of pasta if she's good and take away if she's bad thinking of using Legoland as the prize at the end (if the jar gets full)

DD is mixed race and hates being "brown" and having curly hair

pinkmama Wed 20-Jul-05 22:13:43

What was the bullying about? Did the school report surprise you or did you already have an idea she was unhappy? Does she have close friends who she sees outside of school?

Sorry for the interogation, just trying to understand your situation a bit better

bigdonna Wed 20-Jul-05 22:17:19

Does she have any friends who are mixed race?.My dd would kill for curly hair .My dd has lots of mixed race friends,they are all so beautiful!.I think she gets a bit jealous of them.She is 6,Maybe you could try taking her to the hairdressers with you or a manicure.

katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 22:19:57

A child (2ys younger) that I was minding was manipulating situations so that DD was in the wrong - I am no longer minding the child and the school have assured me that they never play together or even near each other.

I've been saying to school for months (before easter) that there were problems and the school has brushed them off - she's fine everything is OK etc so I was a bit surprised. I met with her teacher who said that parents like me () worry about things other parents don't care about

Her BF is in the year above (but same class) she does the same work as her (as I said DD is bright) but this child is also having problems (with confidence and fear)

Sorry for all the waffle

katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 22:22:18

Bigdonna - we're in a rural area so no multicultural families within miles

Manicure is a good idea - to boost her confidence (is a facial going too far?)

pinkmama Wed 20-Jul-05 22:43:16

I think bit of pampering would be great. DD loves a bit of girlie time with me. Last shcool hols we went for girlie shop in the town and bought hair accessories and went for lunch. She thought it was fantastic and really enjoyed herself.

Is she going into Juniors this year, or is she at a primary school?

MarsLady Wed 20-Jul-05 22:44:49

where are you based katymac? roughly........

katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 22:45:42


She's at a primary

katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 22:46:16

As you can tell I'm very unhappy that I'm failing her

MarsLady Wed 20-Jul-05 22:47:42

sorry, just read that you are really rural.

I think you need to surround her with some really positive images and make the effort to get her to places where she can see women like herself involved in all sorts of things. Easier said I know... However, the last thing that you want is for her negative self image to continue into her teens.

What do you do about her hair? (None of this is about you and any imagined failings by the way). I think a facial is too much.

MarsLady Wed 20-Jul-05 22:48:50

NO, you are not failing her. She has been bullied and manipulated. It will take time for her to recover. You are her mother and you love her completely.

What we need to find are ways to make her love herself again.

Will be giving this much thought!

pinkmama Wed 20-Jul-05 22:51:05

I dont think you are failing her at all. Please dont give yourself a hard time. I ouwld see how she goes over the summer away from school. Maybe try and have friends round quite and see how next year goes. It could be that another teacher could make a big difference to how she is at school.

Feel useless as dont really know what to suggest to you, just really feel for you because I think out of everything we all want for our kids its their health and happiness that come above all else.

katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 22:51:27

thought the facial might be - we might make a facepack and "do" each other

We are cutting 'lovely' people out of magazines and sticking them in her scrapbook - i am trying (subtly) to steer her towards mixed race lovlies, but we cut out all races

Just after Easter she spent a day at a Nth London school - but it didn't hit home that she isn't unique (ie there are other mixed race childrn around)

katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 22:53:44

Thanks Marslady and Pinkmama

Grateful for anyone elses perspective

pinkmama Wed 20-Jul-05 22:53:50

Katymac, I am off to bed (nearly 39 weeks pg and knackered). I will keep thinking, and come back and check on how you are tomorrow.

Try and stay positive. You sound like a lovely thoughtful mum.

MarsLady Wed 20-Jul-05 22:54:46

I think that she needs a lot of time with you. She needs affirmation about herself and I agree that the summer could be a real healing time for her.

Continue to remind her about how wonderful she is. I think that she will be ok. As has been suggested, surround her with her good friends and have a wonderful summer together. If I think of anything else I'll post.

MarsLady Wed 20-Jul-05 22:56:27

Another thought. If you want my mixed race DD (about to be 7) could write to her and they could be penpals. DD2 likes writing letters. I just have to be more organised about posting them.

katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 22:56:39

Thanks again ladies

The summer will be very busy I'm minding about 5 a day and we are doing trips nearly everyday

Sleep well Pinkmama

katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 22:57:46

That would be great Marslady - DD is a great writer (not very neat - but well she is 7)

Shall I CAT you?

MarsLady Wed 20-Jul-05 22:58:41

yes! DD2 will be really excited. She's got a penpal already and thinks it's wonderful to get and send post.

katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 23:05:11

i've CATed you

You asked about her hair - it's a fairly loose afro curl and I use a leave in conditioner - she has had it quite short, but it's about 2 inches long at the mo.

Our hairdresser has gone to Sri Lanka for 3 months and I've asked 3 local hairdressers to trim it - but they have all said no we don't know how......

Unfortunatley I'm not great with her hair - but her Dad is

MarsLady Wed 20-Jul-05 23:08:57

Are you letting it grow now? When it's long enough you can put little plaits in it.

If she doesn't like her hair then it's time to make a feature of it and how beautiful it is.

My girls have both wanted to have straight hair like their white friends. It's hard for them to understand that in a few years their friends will want their curly hair.

Don't worry that your hairdresser has gone away for a while. Just grow your DD's hair in her absence.

katymac Wed 20-Jul-05 23:10:42

Dh twists it - it looks lovely, but needs doing everyday

She likes it loose - but it looks a mess

We are really trying to make her believe she is beautiful

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