I think my DD is being bullied by her former BFF(8 Posts)
DD is 10. She had been best friends with a girl in her class from the age of 6, and for years they were inseparable, had the same type of humour, loved the same toys etc.
At Christmas, my DD broke down and told me that she had been having problems with her friend. I had noticed we hadn't seen her as much, and my DD told me that basically from September last year, her friend had been blowing hot & cold. Things like being friends one week, then shouting at her, or excluding her, telling her she was a stalker for trying to be friends etc. Christmas was awful - she was so miserable, and although she has other friends, DD didn't want to see anyone. She had been trying to deal with it herself without telling us.
The rest of the school year played out pretty much the same. My DD and her former BFF apparently agreed to be 'friends, but not BFF', however in practice, the BFF just ignored DD, which I was fine with. There had been a few instances where the BFF and other girls ganged up against DD - a bit of name calling, or picking fault with her - if she ignored it they would start saying 'it's rude to ignore people' and try to twist things so DD would be in the wrong.
So DD is now spending a few days at summer scheme, and the former BFF and the same gang are also there. Today DD came home to tell me that her former BFF accused her of being a bully, and quoted an incident which occurred 3 years ago as proof. (The incident did happen - DD did a thing that wasn't very nice, but she apologised for it at the time.) There appeared to be quite a discussion about it, where DD was told she was a bully and a liar. When DD tried to disengage, the usual 'you are being rude to ignore us' line was trotted out.
It seems to me that the former BFF is seizing on this transgression and rather enjoying playing the victim.
I contacted the scheme co-ordinator, and he has said he will deal with it, however I am worried about her going back to school in 3 weeks time, and that the problem will persist. I want it to stop, and I want to support my DD. I have spoken to her, tried to reassure her and to make her feel loved. We have also been focusing on other friendships, but this is understandably upsetting for her.
Has anyone any advice in how to deal with this?
Y5/6 are tricky for girls ime. I'd be tempted to pull her out of the scheme / the only thing that worked for dd was having a breather when things got nasty. Foster friendships with other girls but expect them to change. And try and step back a bit - all you can do is support your dd and maintain perspective.
Kiki's right, it's a very difficult age. My dd goes to a really big school so at least there are other people to go about with when her friendship group implodes. Which seems to be quite often.
I talk to my dd about my own friendships and how I wouldn't want to be friends with Jane if if she was horrible to me for two weeks then was nice to me again but expected me to be horrible to Barbara. That's what I don't understand about it. The desire to be friends with these orchestrators of meanness.
Also, you need to make sure they have opportunity to make friends with other people out of school.
Also, I would try to move away from the 'they used to me best friends' thought. They aren't going to be again and really it's a life time ago.
Thanks Kiki and Savoy. I know I need to take a step back, but I feel so upset for my DD.
I am going to send her in today and see what happens, but I am inclined to take her out of the scheme if it happens again. I have arranged for her brother to move groups so they will be in the same group together - at least that way she won't feel quite so isolated, however that is a pretty short-term approach.
I think I will need to go to school and discuss this with her teacher before term starts.
That sounds like a great plan. I used to send mine in with a book as well. Short-term plans are all you can do - it's your dd who has to shift her friendships.
My dd just left y6 and the ups and downs have been unbelievable. She got really cross with me for criticising the friend who's been horrid to her for most of y5 and 6 - they are suddenly bffs it seems. A lot of it is hormonal. I have found it unbearable at times but have realised that it helps to maintain a little distance so I don't feel angry at these 10 year olds. They are learning relationship skills and need a bit of help with it.
I would get the contact list out of all the classes in your dd's year and go through who your dd likes, then spend the next four weeks arranging to see other friends, building some good solid friendships for September.
Take the old bff out of the equation, can the holiday scheme your dd can well do without more of the same, and focus entirely on her new friendships. Perhaps sign her up for something different or something with another friend. There is no way I would be sending her to a scheme with a gang of girls that are unkind and have been bullying her.
Emotional distance is good, but a plan with your dd is needed, then she can start the new academic year feeling confident. I would also be calling the school and making sure she was in another class, stating the difficulties between the two as negative for her education. This might just put the whole thing to bed come September and give your dd a brand new chapter. All girls go through this at this stage, but supporting them quietly but allowing them to deal with it mostly in their own way, seems to be the best way forward.
I ended up not sending either of them in to the summer scheme last Tuesday. I thought that DD needed some space away from it. The summer scheme leader texted me to say he had had a discussion with the group they are all in about not bullying, and not bringing issues from school into the scheme.
On Wednesday I sent my DC back in. The ringleader didn't come in until after lunch, then broke down in tears during one of the activities and had to be brought out. DD asked her if she was ok, and former friend mumbled something about her mum phoning me, although I haven't heard anything since. IME this is typical of this girl - manipulating the situation to play the victim.
DC are going back today. I really really hope everything will be fine. I have spoken to DD, told her to try to play with other people, and if anything starts to walk away and say that she doesn't want to discuss it. If it continues, I have told her to speak to one of the leaders, and if necessary, I will come and get her. Part of me wants to protect her from this and just remove her from the situation, although I also think dealing with this type of situation is a life skill, as she will encounter this type of person throughout her life, and will be encountering this group of girls back at school.
HeartofGold that is great advice - I have arranged for lots of other friends to visit over the next few weeks. DD has lots of other friends, but none were at the summer scheme.
Unfortunately the school is quite small, and there is only one class in each year, so no chance of moving classes, but I will be speaking to her teacher before term starts.
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