This is a long one but please read. I really need advice!
I usually dont overrreact when it comes to my DDs friends, I find that they can usually sort it out themselves and there is no parental interference necessary.
However, today I was completely shocked when another parent whom I gave known for years accused my daughter of being a bully.
Let me explain:
My daughter has two groups of friends at school. One group of four consisting of two girls and a boy and also a best friend, let's call the best friend Holly. As I understand the groups usually don't mix, my daughter takes turns to play with all of them and her best friend has other friends she sometimes plays with. It has all been great for a year or so. However a few weeks ago I noticed my daughter distancing herself from the group of friends and only playing with her best friend, Holly. I did not think more of it as children constantly change friends, only I asked my daughter if everything was OK, she said all was fine.
I also noticed one of the moms from the group of friends were behaving differently from before. She cancelled play dates with her daughter Poppy twice within the last few weeks and gave me strange reasons.
Today my daughter had been invited for a play at Hollys, it had been decided a month or more ago, and I received a text from hollys mom yesterday that she is picking up both my daughter and Poppy (from the group of four)for a play date and is arranging pickups etc.
My daughter said she was disappointed as she wanted to play with her best friend only and that she doesn't really play with Poppy anymore and that Poppy and Holly only know each other through her and are not really friends.
I did not think more about it until I received a call from Poppy's mother this afternoon; she says Poppy is crying and do not want to go on her play date with Holly because my daughter was going to be there and that she had broke not down last weekend because my daughter is so mean to her! She basically said that she did not care if her daughter and my daughter were ever friends again (they have been good friends for years and never fought) but my daughter should not stop her daughter from being friends with a Holly (Holly and Poppy have never really been friends as far as I know!!!)
She also said she had spoken to other parents who also said that my daughter had been horrible to her daughter! She said that her daughter was so sad she couldn't go on the play date now (which was a lie as her daughter had been there and she had been mean to my daughter when Hollys mom wasn't around!)
She even threatened to talk to the class teacher (My daughter is a very good student btw, I guess some jealousy could come from that)I was in complete shock! I have never had problem like this before! I said I was going to talk my daughter. I was shaken and wondering what had gotten into my daughter -it seemed very much out of character. (Not saying my daughter is perfect- she is not- she has her moments- but I constantly have to tell her to stand up for herself, she's too nice and others often try to take advantage of her)
I confronted my daughter when she came home; she looked at me with a blank face and then burst out in tears. My daughter said that she had been pushed out of the group of four by Poppy, because a new child in school had become part of the group. She said that Poppy had whispered horrible things about her to others in the group and screamed things in the playground at her and as a result she had stopped playing with them and started playing only with Holly for the last few weeks.
I guess Poppy regretted being mean to my daughter and tried to be friends with her again, but my daughter wasn't interested and wanted to play with Holly (who is nice to her) instead. Poppy started being even more mean to my daughter and it has now culminated in her fabricating lies about my daughter that her mum is spreading around to other parents!
I am not sure how to deal with this! Do I take the high road, leave it be and talk to Hollys mom directly (to save my daughters relationship with her best friend) and just say sorry to Poppy's mom?
Or do I tell Poppy's mom what happened? Problem is, I doubt she will believe me. And I don't want a fight on my hands. Right now I want my daughter as far away from Poppy as possible.
What upsets me the most is that I have known both Hollys and Poppys moms for 3+ years and we have always had a good relationship! I am very disappointed both for my own sake and my daughter. What really hurts is that Poppy's mom had told everyone in the group but me! I thought we were friends! She only told me today because her daughter was invited to a play date with my daughter and Hollys mom wanted her to talk to me as she did not want to cancel last minute on my daughter!
I don't know what to do. Please help!
1. Accept that the mantra 'bitches be crazy' is completely true and this is your life forever more. (This applies to the moms as much as the kids!)
2. Never believe your child is completely innocent or that any of the kids are telling the whole truth (invoke Dr. Houses' mantra - Everyone lies!). This way you end up avoiding the whole holier-than-thou-egg-on-your-face situation. Kids often have as skewed a grasp on reality and perspective as anyone!
3. Never apologise and never accept blame. (See point 1 and 2 for justification)
4. Ride out the storm. Hug, comfort and listen to your child whilst remembering 'this too shall pass'.
5. As a last resort suggest a neutral place where the kids can play and the mums can drink (coffee is fine, for tears and fireworks, wine is better!). You'll often find the kids behaviour is a copycat of their parents, so a shitty deceitful child will have an obnoxious bat shit crazy mum (wine will make her show her real colours, no matter how friendly she's been to you over the years!)
I would talk to my daughter only and try to make her feel better and give her the advice so see fit. There are always different stories and I'd think the girls wouldn't want parents to interfere. Unless someone is continuing to be hurt in any way. I'd have a quiet word with any teachers involved. So they can be alert to any goings on. Hopefully it will blow over.
Fenced thank you, your post made me smile for the first time in a few hours! So very true! And yes, that shitty deceitful child certainly does seem to have an obnoxious bat shit crazy mum!
And no, I'm not in denial about my daughter always being innocent -I know she's not! But to strike out and say she's a bully because she had an argument with her friend is just a bit too much...
And it will pass...
The crazy mum and I were supposed to have a joint birthday bash next year, something tells me that's not going to happen!
sorryoldwoman I agree that it's better to let them sort it out themselves, and I may have a quiet word with her teacher, I was in two minds about it as I don't want to take focus away from my daughter's academic progress, or to be one of those difficult parents, but if I ever were to discuss something like this, I think now would be the time.
Thank you both for reading my long post and replying, you really made me feel so much better!
Oh you poor thing. I was living in Mexico City when my dd was little and the traffic is so bad of course my dd could only play with a child whose parents I was friends with. I went home to Ireland so that her friendships could be separate from my friendships, because otherwise it is soo complicated.
Nowadays from reading MN it seems that in the UK everyone has to be friends with the other mum for their kids to be able to be friends. That way madness lies.
Thank you, I do feel quite sorry for myself and find it hard to sleep tonight I agree, it does seem less complicated if children have their own friends, and I think I am learning a lesson here.
I'm just hoping my daughter won't lose her best friend because the other girl is jealous (and her mother crazy)
It feels very calculated as the same mum were talking badly about another girl in the group about six months ago saying to me that her dd wouldn't play with her because she was not as clever as her daughter, encouraging me to stop inviting her to play with my daughter (I am still inviting her btw, she's a lovely little girl) -exactly the same way she is doing with my dd except she saying my dd is a bully.
As I write it I am really realising I should have known better. And what kind of person gossips about an 8year old anyway?
How old are these girls? "Shitty deceitful child"?!
The girls are 8, the gossiping is done by (some) of the mothers. I am posting here to get support and to vent over (what I consider) very unfair treatment of my dd yesterday which brought me to tears and has kept me up all night.
I get that it's hard when kids fall out, but to have been awake all night in tears is, frankly, ridiculous and will tea have your daughter nothing about being resilient.
As horrible as it is, conflict resolution is an important life skill and kids will fall out.
I have a DD of 9, girls can be especially cruel but by showing her that it happens and how to cope with it you'll be helping her to be a strong, happy child. Getting good so offended on her behalf and behaving like this will do her no favours at all I'm afraid.
*teach your daughter, bloody phone!
The fact is, every mother sticks up for her own daughter, (DD as they say on here). Either Poppy likes to be Queen Bee or there are two sides to this. Perhaps DD rather liked having Holly to herself and as a result Poppy made a fuss centred on excluding your DD. That age can be tough!
That said I don't think you addressing the other parent will honestly help. If the teacher gets approached by Poppy's parent, (more drama!), so what. Then you say your piece. If I were a teacher I would say let the children work it out for themselves.
The class and year group is not just Poppy and acolytes. I suggest you encourage your DD not to try and hang on where she's unwanted but to befriend others. Don't panic that 'everyone' will pay attention to what Poppy's mother is saying. Other mums might only listen to appear polite or just let it wash over them. Remember you have years of this and high school to endure so don't let it get ti you.
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