Playground politics - bully parents(21 Posts)
Hello, this is my first ever post. Nice to meet you.
Wish it was about something a bit more constructive but I'll save one of those for later on!
Basically, I need some advice please?
For nearly a year now I've been having to deal with quite a strange playground situation. My youngest DD. is at Pre School and has developed a friendship with another little girl, who is very sweet but her Mother has turned out not to be.
I've tried to invite them over for a play (the mother made me feel like I was just bothering her and that she was too busy - I work too but make time for my kids) and she simply does not want my DD around.
She has a friend (who I have known vaguely for a long time) who also has a daughter the same age who now completely ignores me and the Unkind Mother makes comments in the queue in front of my Little DD frequently like "Don't worry your friend will be here soon, make sure you play with her" which to me seems really petty and unkind. I checked with Pre School and they said that it had been brought up in a meeting that my DD was being excluded. The worst thing was seeing this woman on a School trip giving my DD. a filthy look. She's 4 for goodness sake!
Of course, my DD wanted to invite her to her party which we did but both mothers cancelled with an excuse 2 days before - again not nice.
I did at one point to the friend mention that my DD had been feeling a little left out but she just got defensive and absolutely didn't want to know.
I've tried very hard to let it all go as on the scale of things - it's quite petty - but now that neither women will talk to me and sometimes sit in a car together being bitchy right next to mine - or if I just keep my head down and walk past - the ring leader makes a nasty comment - I'm at a loss as what to do? I can't win.
The latest thing is befriending all of the Mums I know and being super friendly to them. Even though she's normally (and her friend) quite a distant type. I park somewhere else but resent that I have to, to get away from them.
Is it some sort of control game? I am aware that they've both recently split from their partners and that must be tough but I wonder if they are a bit jealous that I'm with someone and we are close.
I've heard this woman has been weird with people before but as I'm not really one to stand and chat with other Mums too much about other people I feel quite alone - even considering different School for my 2 kids just to get away but why should I unsettle my DD's?
It's really hurtful when someone is so mean to your little child with no reason. Pre School say my DD is quite quiet and never unkind.
Any advice appreciated x
Don't want to leave this unanswered . It sound horrible . Would you join the PTA and get to know some other school mums through that?
Simple ignore her get on with your life get your partner to bring you DD to school. Go on school trips with him. Show them you have a loving great family. Get to know the other mums...and dads. I use to take my daughter to school the mummies loved me..
Take the unkind person with a pinch of salt and stop avoiding her. Give her a nice smile and say its ok I understand...
makes you feel good...
It won't help but there is parents like this at every school. These days I don't give a fuck. I don't do PTA. I don't help out at school. I avoid it. Ds has issues with being bullied at school. And tbh whilst there is probably parental reasons behind it, i don't think it is specifically encouraged in the way you are describing. We have got around this by ds having a good group of friends at an activity after school that is completely away from school. I find the parents there are brilliantly lovely. yes I do speak to the odd parent at school but mostly i drop and run. Life it too short for petty silliness. It it a hurtful situation but politeness in the face of adversity is probably the best route.
IF the issues are overspilling into class to the point where exclusion is total and you don't think it will stop. Unsettling dds when this young whilst is not the best is far better then landing yourself in a situation where you are unpicking the damage of the child having suffered bullying.
If it helps I had a random parent swear at me in the playground today because she didn't like the fact/manner in which i told ds off. Life is tough and sometimes ignore and move on is the only course of action. And imo playground politics is like being back at school. And I fucking hated school
Thanks so much for your replies. It really helps just talking about it and having some support.
I wish my dh could take them to School but he is away lots.
Joining the PTA is maybe a good idea - and finding a balance of not getting too involved but getting to know the nice ones better.
I will try smiling (have already done this lots and been ignored - but will try again)
It's just the thought of 5 years of seeing this hateful lady.. And remembering the nasty looks and behaviour towards my little girl!
Thanks again x
I ll teach you a Chinese trick. Always smile to the person who offends you. It offends them more when you are not flustered by their remarks. It irritates them when you just ignore the remark as insignificant.
Then when the time is right cut them down...
Remember to smile...
I am rather rubbish at this advice stuff having made a total prat of myself recently by misreading a situation
However the advice of smiling through will confuse and iritate them so good & bad try and find someone who will at least acknowledge you every day that will help
Also offer any help within the group so that you are on the inside, seeing what happens in the daily routine may make you realise it is just the adults problem and that the kids are only following examples set
I wouldn't have the reaction that they want, as others say just smile pleasantly and keep your distance - pretend that you haven't noticed.
If it is any consolation their DCs are very young and they still think that they can control frienships and situations when they are not there- they will learn. The ' your friend will be here soon, make sure you play with her' simply won't work in the very near future- children's friendships don't work like that.
The PTA is good for getting to know people and you can join without getting a big job. There will be lots of other things that you can try soon like Rainbows.
Thanks EmilyAda and ExoticFruits I do try smiling but they either glare at me or look away.. Or laugh (weird). I am a sensitive (hopefully thoughtful) person and I think bullies pick up on it. I just wonder what they're going to do when the kids get a bit older, like you say, and they want to go to each others houses for tea?!
With another friend really poorly at the moment, it does make you see how silly these situations are - life's too short!
Much appreciate your comments. Really helpful.
O btw here is something to brighten your day. People who are cliquey are usually very insecure themselves. So just the simple act of smiling will unsettle her...ha ha she will be talking about you all day. whereas you have just gone shopping.
So why care you have already won.
My experience of bullies is that they don't have many real friends. If you continue to be friendly with the other parents, the bullies will slide into insignificance.
I wouldn't be parking round the corner though. I would stand right next to them. They are the ones that don't know how to behave.
I'm sure your daughter will make lots of friends, because she knows how to.
Thanks KenLee and ThisisMummyPig. It really helps having some good advice. I think my energy levels got so low with it all, and not really understanding what we had done wrong in the first place (nothing at all) apart from being polite and friendly. I guess these kind of people are bored and like you say, insecure. Although rising above it all and smiling at them is the most sensible thing to do - I almost find that zaps more energy than keeping away from it all. Because I know the response will be a dirty look/glare which makes me feel quite sad.
Would be lovely to drop my daughters, say hi to people then head off feeling good.
Anyway, I'm sure it'll change eventually as bullies get bored and move on x
Some people can be soooo weird.
We've had similar things happening when our eldest was going to school. Just do your thing.
But if it really gets out of hand go to another school.
The problem isn't yours, it's theirs.
There's no reason for being mean to someone else. Even if you don't get along with someone. It's no reason at all.
If you feel really bad about it all. Just find a nicer school. You can stay and pretend it doesn't affect you. But big change that on a different school people are much nicer and things will go a lot better for you and your child.
Don't see it as letting them win or something. What does that matter. Just choice for yours and your child's happiness.
Years ago I went with my eldest swimming. In this toddler swimming group there were some parents who barely spoke to me. They were very horrible. Why? Because I looked young and they thought I was a teenage mum.
Now what kind of reason is that?
I left that group. I don't want to be with such idiots and neither do I want my son around them.
Don't let them damage your confidence.
The problem really is with them. Not with you!!!
You'll never be able to be friends and get along with everyone. That's ok and normal. But that's never a reason for someone else to be so horrible with you and totally no reason what so ever for being horrible to your daughter.
On one hand. If you can stand up to them.. keep busy.. form relationships with other parents (even in other years) and keep smiling.. then they will move on and other people will also start realising how awful they are. On the other hand, if this doesn't happen then my strongest advice is Get out while you still can, before this nasty behaviour impacts on your child. You wouldn't stay in a job that was like that.. you'd look for another one. I had a similar experience and decided to tough it out..thinking there was some kind of virtue in enduring it and standing our ground. There isn't. The result was that the parents continued to behave this way, excluding me and so did their children, excluding our child. Some of the sheep joined them = equals miserable school experience for our child.
HI Joozy, sorry to hear you have had to put up with this shite, they sound a touch psycho to be honest. kenlee you are right to say smile as you walk past them, I would go further, sing if you can hold a tune. Show them that they are not bothering you and you will feel a whole lot better. All the very best and I hope things improve.
Thanks very much everyone. I appreciate your advice, it's nice to not feel alone.
Since this all happened (with the Summer Hols in between) I had kind of found a way of coping with these women and also developing friendships that are good and healthy for my youngest Daughter.
But.. my elder Daughter was also really good friends with these women's friends daughter. Not anymore! I might add I have had an okay relationship with this woman before and had a laugh here and there.
The very insecure woman who started all of this (for reasons I will never know) seems to have worked her magic on her too now and I over heard them talking about my Eldest Daughter (I was walking to my car), saying that she didn't want her playing with her anymore.
So - her daughter now flatly refuses to play with mine and has changed from a sweet little thing to being unfriendly - which has caused my eldest daughter to get really upset (she is usually quite a steady girl who doesn't upset easily).
The thing is - this mother still smiles at me in the playground (when she feels like it) but I find it all very distasteful and two faced - and unnecessary.. and also remember this woman being at my house not so long ago saying that she thought all the Mothers in the playground were weirdos (I did say to her at this point that I prefer to smile at people and think positively) - she wouldn't leave and was gossiping away even though we'd had a bereavement that day in the family and I desperately wanted her to go!
She also had a little Birthday party for her daughter, didn't invite my daughter (her daughter kept asking mine if she was coming but she was clearly not invited) - then approached me and said they were going to have a party (weird) and then again didn't invite her but managed to invite lots of other kids over in the Summer hols.
I realize this all sounds like a really silly situation (well, it is) but I just don't know what to do next. I find all three of these women really childish and if it were just me - I wouldn't give them any of my energy but for some reason my daughters like theirs, so I am a bit stuck.
We think this might all come down to some sort of jealousy (can't really go into detail on that but it's totally unjustified). Both my girls are kind and quite quiet at School, so I am told by their teachers and they deserve better than this.
We have enquired about changing Schools but the local one is full and it seems a bit unfair that we get pushed out because of someone else's behaviour. I'm also mindful of asking any of them what their problem is because I think they like all of this negativity and they will see that they have got to us.
I might add that there are some very nice parents at the School too and it's not all bad but it just leaves us feeling really confused and deflated.
What to do? Any ideas? Thanks for reading this x
Ancient Chinese saying......
Given time the snake will shed it skin. Then will be exposed. Endure the hidden snake until it is caught.
Thanks once again KenLee I hear what you're saying!
Hi, I know this is quite an old thread, but I am having the same problem with my daughter (age 6) - it is one particular mum and we were friends until she accused my daughter of being too bossy with her daughter. She goes into school complaining to the teachers about my child, she has spread so many lies about my child, that she now doesn't get invited to parties very often and when I invite children for tea, their mums make excuses as to why they cannot come. Her child and the children of her friends constantly make comments to my daughter that could only have originated from an adults vocabulary. I work part-time, so I am not in the playground that often. This mum spreads her evil gossip on the days I am not there.
Did you resolve your problem? I am thinking of reporting her to the governors - do you think they would be able to do anything.
just I'd write a letter to the head 1st & request a meeting.
If this is ineffective, then a letter to the governors.
(The head might find this parent a pita too )
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