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How to get DD to open up to us re issues at school

(5 Posts)
hillbilly Wed 19-Nov-14 10:14:03

DD (9) has been experiencing some low level issues with a boy in her year. Name calling, pushing etc which has left her upset at school and also meant that she has not played with some of her friends so much because he is within the same group. It is being dealt with, however, we only found out through on of the TAs at school.

Bit of back story - she had an issue in yr 1 with a girl and subsequently they were not in the same class for yrs 2 & 3, but put back together in yr 5. Issues started again and were dealt with and they are no longer in the same class.

These kind of issues have manifested themselves in an facial tic for DD which is how we know something's amiss. We have repeated said that she must tell a teacher when things happen (which she usually does), and also that she tells us so we can deal with it. We are a happy, loving family who spend lots of time all together and she has always been given the space to express herself.

Does anyone have any ideas about how else to encourage her to share with us what's going on?

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Wed 19-Nov-14 22:20:31

You need to speak to the teacher and MAKE THEM deal with it and stop it.

It's their responsibility. DD should not be in the position of having to tell a teacher at all! Sorry she's having trouble.

hillbilly Wed 19-Nov-14 22:53:21

Thanks Claw. I have spoken to the teachers. It happens in playtime and is often unseen I think. Interestingly, we had parents' evening yesterday and all 3 of her teachers (they are streamed so 3 teachers) were keen to talk to me about it. She is very petite for her age and I wonder if it makes her a target although she is pretty strong minded too.

There is going to be an intervention on Friday with the whole group of friends so let's see what happens.

tethersend Wed 19-Nov-14 23:03:49

You could try some techniques at home which make it less daunting for her to tell you things...

One is to avoid having a face-to-face chat. Going for a drive is helpful, as you are able to talk without looking at one another. Or you can look out of the window together. Or just potter in the kitchen. Sometimes children feel a misplaced sense of shame about bullying, and this technique helps to make that lessen enough to speak about it.

The other thing which is helpful is "I'm wondering if..." This allows the child to 'tell' you things without having to actually tell you IYSWIM. "I'm wondering if someone is saying horrible things to you at school and making you sad..." allows the child to say yes or no, or even shake or nod their head.

I echo the advice to speak to the teachers again. If she finds it hard to speak to the teachers, perhaps they could devise a special non-verbal signal that she can use when it's happening or has happened.

I hope it gets better for your DD- well done for challenging the school on this.

joozy Sun 23-Nov-14 18:58:51

To start with, at least the school are taking it seriously. That's good.
I feel for your daughter, and you - because speaking from experience it is quite stressful. Your dd sounds similar to mine in character and it does seem the secure children are prone to being picked on. I would guess that children might be envious of your family's closeness - certainly was the case with us. One thing I found helped was my dd keeping a book by the bed where I encouraged her to write about her day.
Hope it gets sorted soon for you all. smile

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