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Avoiding Carrying Negative Behaviours On At High School(6 Posts)
My daughter is Y6 going to high school in September. She’s been at the same vipers nest of a primary class for 7 years – some of the boys are as bad as the girls for bitching, undermining and just general unkindness. And it’s only got worse as they’ve moved higher up school with the advent of mobile phones, Insta, Watsapp groups etc.
She’s avoided the worst of it, I’ve still had to comfort and console her regarding hurtful comments and reactions she's received, but lately I’ve had to speak to her several times about the way she behaves to other people. And I’ve drawn her attention to messages she’s sent that are less than kind.
She’s not going to the same high school as her primary classmates, but I really don’t want her taking the same dodgy principles to the next setting. She’s met some of her new classmates (they have been drawn from all over the area so her form is made up of girls who all come from many different primaries), on several playdates and they all seem lovely. They have a little chat group online and have been conversing for a couple of months now – very supportive, friendly and positive. And then she goes back to ‘I was asking Lia, not you…’…’Talk to the hand’…..’Do you even have a brain?’ type stuff.
My daughter very quickly assimilates to her environment, and I’ve seen what a positive effect being out of, and away from a toxic environment does for her. But I’m worried she’ll need help to adjust, so that when stressed or feeling overwhelmed she doesn’t revert to the unkind behaviours that she’s been used to.
Our family are kind to each other (mostly – we do have a 17 year old son, who’s a bit stand offish and dismissive at times), but we’re supportive of each other, and it’s disappointing to see that example doesn’t filter down to situations when she’s with her peers.
Are there any books, movies, other sources/influences that deal with positive friendship modelling, as well as us as a family continuing to? Any other advice?
I'm probably not going to be too helpful here, but I would say that if she can't be nice on social media, she shouldn't have it. 11 is too young.
Given you are unlikely to want to do that as it sounds like it is quite entrenched, maybe look at a) reducing the platforms, b) more oversight, c) clear warnings she will be banned if she oversteps.
Thanks for your reply. It's very helpful and I agree completely. She knows the phone can be checked at any time, and we are weaning her off it, encouraging her to play tennis with us, learn French and read during the evening, which is great. But sacre bleu…it’s not easy when the kids she regards as cool are on their phones all night. Even when they call for her, the phones are being used when they’re together. I want reduce this habit as she will be home alone with my 17 year old for some of the summer hols, and the last thing I want her doing it spending time on her phone, though I know she needs it to keep in touch and maintain links with her new secondary school friends.
We had a disaster socially in Year 6 and I was relieved that DD had a fresh start with not a lot of girls from her year group in her new form. It is not easy but this is what we did:
I would try to encourage actual meetings not just chat via WhatsApp. Let her arrange meets at your house, going swimming, bowling, for an ice cream or coffee.
DD’s school luckily discourages social media for KS3 age, there is some but the majority manages just on texting and actual face to face dates.
Be prepared for some fall outs, 11-12 is a nightmare age for social interaction as they need to learn so many new rules and hormones are playing up. It feels like there is always on on PMS and it affects all. It normally blows over quick and I see the difference now a year later but it is worth checking on things and helping to manage situations before they go out of control. They have to learn it themselves, you are now there to guide them.
Thank you - that's really helpful and encouraging.
I hope things are much better for your daughter now.
Yes, she manages to find a nice friendship group. You will find that you are more excluded from actually knowing them unless you meet them at your house, i only knew two until last weekend. And I only have the phone number of one of the mums.
I think that has actually something to do with it as well, you don’t meet them, you cannot get involved by default. They have to sort them out, the mums are not on the playground helping out.
It is also important how good the school is in spotting trouble, when DD had a run in the form teacher straight away made clear to all of them that it is not acceptable behaviour and strangely enough they are now on speaking terms and even friendly when before they could have scratched the othere’s eyes out.