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6yr olds and dominating friends.

(9 Posts)
Runoutofideas Fri 17-Jun-11 10:38:28

My dd1 (6 - Yr1) has recently befriended a child who was new to the school this year. They mainly play in a group of three - DD who is quiet and lacks confidence, another very quiet, shy girl (B) and the new girl (A) who is much more confident, mature and really quite bossy.

Dd1 says that "A" tells her she's not allowed to play with other people and if she is then A physically drags her away. If dd is playing with "B", typically those hand-clapping rhyme things, then "A" again barges her out of the way and takes her place, If dd says she's going to tell the teacher "A" physically restrains her and has threatened violence, although has not carried out the threats.

I find notes in dd's book bag which say things like "You made me sad today cos you played with X,Y,Z" with a sad face. My dd is sensitive to these notes and I find the behaviour quite controlling.

I am trying to teach dd ways to stand up for herself. Saying "no" loudly and planting her feet firmly so she can't be pushed out the way. DD says this doesn't work as "A" is much bigger and stronger than her.

Really I'm after tips of how I can help dd. I haven't spoken to the teacher about it - maybe I should - but I do kind of feel that dd is going to come across more forceful people all through life and needs to learn some strategies for dealing with them. I don't know what else to say to her though apart from "A is not in charge of you - you do what you want" and "you only have to do what the teachers tell you, not other children". Any ideas....?

2BoysTooLoud Fri 17-Jun-11 10:42:07

I think you should speak to the teacher and show her the notes. Teachers and dinner/ playtime supervisors can then keep an eye on the situation and intervene when appropriate.

RosemaryandThyme Fri 17-Jun-11 10:51:16

Would it be possible to talk to the bossy girl's mum ?
She might be in the position of having a bossy child and not having a clue how to improve her own childs play / social skills.
Writing notes like that (and only 6!) is soooo horrid, that little girl really needs some pointers and good role models.

SenoritaViva Fri 17-Jun-11 10:55:16

I would speak to the school rather than the family, in an attempt to fix the problem rather than make a complaint. The girl needs to develop her social skills and as 2boystooloud says then the school can help them develop positive relationships.

Tell the teacher and show her the notes. They can keep an eye on things in the classroom, and guide things so that she's at least getting a break while she's in there. I'd specifically mention the physical threats and pushing as imo that's going beyond normal friendship dynamics. It could be that they can do a talk about playing nicely under the PSHE heading.

DD (7 now) isn't particularly quiet or timid, but there's one girl she's friends with who does the same thing and it drives me batty smile I've given DD the same advice as you, and most of the time it works (DD is now a lot taller than her which helps!) but we'll still have days when all she talks about is how X wouldn't let them play whatever game and all I can do is remind her that she can walk away and there are plenty of other people to play with. With us as well we've got the problem that I get another set of parents approaching me to ask DD to play with their DD as X leaves her out. The problem is, DD doesn't particularly want to, nothing to do with X at all!

They do get better at dealing with these sorts of things as they get older. We definitely had more problems with it in reception/Yr 1 than we have had in Yr 2.

DeWe Fri 17-Jun-11 11:17:29

I've got one of those bossy girls. I know that the more vunerable she's feeling the harder she tries to dominate, which is awful. It's strange but she only really does it at school, if she meets children in the park or similar then she's sweet with them.
From my perspective I would say talk to the teacher because they can do something about it at school. If you spoke to the parent, they can chat to her at home, but often they need someone to just keep an eye out at school. Even if the child wants to change (and mine does, she cries about it at home) it's difficult for them to remember in the heat of the moment. If you know the parent well enough you could go to the teacher together and say that you both want to resolve this.

Runoutofideas Fri 17-Jun-11 11:52:46

The girl's mother is lovely but quite soft so I'm not sure what she could do. Also there are additional health problems within the family which may well be upsetting child A, and they are not currently living in their permanent family home, so as DeWe so rightly said, she could be trying to dominate more because of feeling vulnerable and insecure. I really don't want to give the family additional stress at the moment so think it needs to be handled by school. I have stupidly thrown the notes away, so I have nothing to show the teacher.
I've tried to get dd to include child A in other games with other friends, but apparently "A" won't join in as they are her "enemies". I don't want dd to exclude "A" because I think she is having a tough time at the moment, however I don't want dd to suffer because of it.

2BoysTooLoud Fri 17-Jun-11 11:56:55

Ask for a meeting with the teacher and tell her about the notes and everything else. I am sure the school would rather know and will want to support both children.

DeWe Fri 17-Jun-11 12:33:14

Talk to the school, don't worry about having thrown the notes away. Doubt they'd ask to see them. Don't let the school say "the other girl's having a hard time" because it's not fair on your dd, nor, in the long run is it helpful to the other girl.

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