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Do I say something? Sorry, it's an essay

(15 Posts)
manchestermummy Mon 02-Feb-15 09:29:09

I know I'm in danger of coming across as that parent, but I have a very upset dd and my heart is breaking, so please be nice.

DD1 is 7 (Y2) and a sensitive soul. She's also incredibly bright (not just our opinion; she's one of the highest achievers in her year in a number of areas) so over-thinks.

Last week at school, DD was duped into making an obscene gesture by some of the kids in her class. They had a pretend argument about which is your middle finger, and DD (who at seven doesn't know about these things) showed them all. Of course these little swines children ran straight to the TA to say that Manchesterdd swore. She didn't get into trouble - the TA said "never mind, it's a mistake, you aren't a sweary girl" - but DD was ever so upset.

I really want to talk to her teacher but DH says leave it, and is concerned that we have sheltered DD too much hmm. I'm not stupid and I know they pick it all up, but at seven there's just no need, is there? We are careful about our language at home at least (dd was horrified when Mel B said "Bloody" on the X Factor - she knows the word is not nice but that some adults might say these things) as I just don't see the point in trotting out swear words.

Then, this weekend, dd1 had an upset stomach because she was so fretful about going to school. This time, one of her friends is "being mean". From what she says, it doesn't sound too terrible, but she's upset, and she just cannot cope with these situations. I am not prepared to tell her to pull herself together - in the manner of the 80s way of dealing with this type of thing that meant I spent most playtimes alone at primary school - but at the same time, I suppose she does need to take things on the chin a bit more.

What I really want is for their teacher to remind these kids to be nice to each other. DD loves school, but only the learning part, apparently.

All insights, even "pull yourself together", greatly appreciated.

sneepy Mon 02-Feb-15 09:39:45

I would speak to the teacher. Your dd is very upset and doesn't want to go to school. Teacher needs to know this and a quick "be nice to each other" from her wouldn't hurt anyone. Chances are it's not just your dd being teased.

Also, I would try to give your dd some tools to deal with it. Stock phrases like "that's mean and I don't want to play with you" or "fine I'll play with x then" worked for my dd. I also taught her to roll her eyes and walk away, which has backfired on me now she's in y4 but was very effective in y2. I think the trick is not to negate your child's feelings but to get them to take some if the power back by at least pretending that they don't care. Hope that makes sense.

Seeline Mon 02-Feb-15 09:40:22

I think if your DD is that upset about things, you should mention it to the teacher - even it is so she can keep a special eye out for 'mean' friends. I don't think it ever des any harm for kids to be reminded about being nice to each other, and about appropriate language/behaviour.

manchestermummy Mon 02-Feb-15 09:43:11

Thanks for replying.

I've given her a few phrases to learn but she says they don't work. I will remind her though! I'm on the receiving end of constant eye rolls at work (which is unpleasant) so I don't want to "fight fire with fire", as it were, but I can see why you'd let her know that tactic!

DropYourSword Mon 02-Feb-15 09:46:33

I have to say I agree more with your DH. I understand your DD is upset, but this is the sort of thing kids do ALL THE TIME. I'm pretty sure the teacher will regularly 'remind' kids to be nice to each other. I guess you could mention it to the teacher if you're so upset, but I would worry that your daughter will almost be feeding off your emotion over this. I think providing her with coping strategies, such as the eye roll and a "whatever" would be a better way to deal with this than rushing in to fight every battle.

manchestermummy Mon 02-Feb-15 09:56:17

Maybe I'm naive though, but these are 6/7 yos: it's normal to make obscene gestures? Really? And it's okay to pick on a child who doesn't know about giving the finger at 6/7?

DeWee Mon 02-Feb-15 10:00:53

Ds said loudly at about the same age during an argument: "I know what I'm talking about so Full Stop!" One of his friends with an older brother (ds's speech isn't clear) reported that he had sworn. I am sure that his friend thoought that he had sworn; I'm certain that he hadn't as he didn't know that word at that time. Ds was very indignant, but but the teacher's reaction was very similar.

I can see both sides.

Your dd is upset enough not to want to go into school. In which case the teacher needs to know.

However she does need to have some resiliance (I mean this in a nice way). She didn't get into trouble, sounds like the TA was really nice about it. At some point she may get into trouble, most children do at some point, and if she can't cope with not being told off, how is she going to react if does?

My dd2 has had to build up her resiliance (she's 11yo) and it does effect her friendships. Because at times she has got upset over such little interactions that people can feel that they're treading on egg shells round her. And also some children will act that way to people who give a reaction.

manchestermummy Mon 02-Feb-15 10:05:59

I know that she needs more resilience. One of the issues is that she is popular - the current 'meanie' does tend to stick to dd, so we wonder if she doesn't like dd playing with other children.

I've told her to stay away, but I also don't want her to be mean back! It's counterproductive. I don't expect her to understand the concept of rising above, but I want her to learn that to be strong you don't have to be mean something many adults could do with knowing.

DropYourSword Mon 02-Feb-15 11:08:42

Maybe I'm naive though, but these are 6/7 yos: it's normal to make obscene gestures? Really? And it's okay to pick on a child who doesn't know about giving the finger at 6/7?

I presume that was directed at me, but I didn't say either of those things. I'm in my thirties but still remember silly things like this is primary school happening. Like DeWee says, she didn't actually get into trouble for it, as the TA correctly interpreted the situation.

sneepy Mon 02-Feb-15 18:14:13

I think it's fairly normal for 6/7 yos to know about rude gestures and swear words, especially if they have older siblings. The teasing is normal too but that doesn't mean your DD needs to put up with it.

So if the stock phrases don't work and you don't want to teach eyeroll and walk away, what are you going to do? Your DD needs to know she has the power to walk away or tell the teacher or tell others to stop it. "Rise above it" is for when some random is shouting at you at the bus station, not for when your best friend is being mean.

Madcats Mon 02-Feb-15 21:06:27

Is DD an only child? Were you an only child? As a younger child, I was teased relentlessly by my brothers; school peers were amateurs!

Your situation sounds unpleasant, though, and I think it is worth raising it with the form tutor and head. If a kid hates school at 7/8, it probably isn't going to be much fun in the teenage years. You are so right to try to fix things now.

Actually this could have been one of my friend's threads, but the year-group is different by a year or 2.

DD was in quite a close group of friends (where there was another girl forever trying to create friction). Thankfully we moved, but the original girls' parents have involved the HT at their Junior school to get the problem nailed. Some schools have fairly extensive PSHEE on this sort of stuff.

In the interim, does your daughter have scope to do clubs outside of school? We live in a small city so find DD has plenty of friends from other schools who I reckon would help her love life if school got tough (and we go to a rather lovely school with great classmates).

I sincerely hope your daughter loves school by the summer

SilverDragonfly1 Wed 04-Feb-15 13:20:13

Excuse if too personal, but it sounds as though you're experiencing bullying yourself now and have done so in the past. I do think it would be worth getting some kind of counselling for yourself to help you explore how your own experiences are impacting on the way you deal with your daughter's situation. You seem quite ambivalent about her standing up for herself, maybe worrying about her turning into one of the bullies? Apologies if I have interpreted wrongly.

sebsmummy1 Wed 04-Feb-15 13:28:10

I'm writing this as an adult who was very sheltered as a child and then we moved and I was thrust into a very rough JMI. Man I was mercifully bullied because I knew nothing about see, didn't know swear words etc etc. I really felt like is been totally stitched up and my life was hell for three years until I managed to get into my local naice Grammar.

So I would ask you to try and help your DD become a little more street smart for her sake. She doesn't have to start swearing like a squaddie but life is pretty rambunctious nowadays sadly and kids know stuff we'd rather they didn't. Don't raise her to constantly stick out like a sore thumb, it's mean.

sebsmummy1 Wed 04-Feb-15 13:28:59

*sex not see

Crouchendmumoftwo Fri 06-Feb-15 20:40:15

I think you are getting too involved in your daughters life and she needs to toughen up and learn mechanisms to cope with everyday situations in life.
Im saying that coming from being an only child and being somewhat like your daughter - a bit dare I say it 'wet'. I was that child. I was at a lovely sweet primary school but when I went to a big comprehensive I just could not cope with savvy kids who were in the main savvy siblings and I crumbled and was bullied for a long time. That forced me to toughen up and in the end I became friends with the bullies. You dont want your daughter in the same situation. You need to teach her coping strategies at home ie how to deal with situations such as walking away, making a joke of something, speaking to the teacher herself - not you, learning banter to cope - role play with her. She cannot always rely on you, you need to give her the tools to help her cope with these everyday school situations. Ive had to do that with my son and daughter, to bite my lip and not get involved in every petty school argument, they have to fend for themselves. My son is aged 7 and at his very middle class affluent primary school all the boys are obsessed with the peace sign of fingers and the swearing sign and tricking each other into doing it. It's all part of growing up. You will do her no favours getting involved.

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