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Girl who is bullying DD (8yo) now pretending to be victim - how to deal with this?

(11 Posts)
runningLou Wed 23-Mar-16 13:29:46

DD (8yo) has been suffering at school from a difficult group of girls. She has had one pushing/hitting incident, some taking of food in dining hall ... generally just low-level exclusion tactics. I have spoken to the school, and DH and I had a meeting last week with class teacher and pastoral lead.
The girl who is the ringleader in the group is very manipulative and dominating. Her latest twist is to accuse DD of bullying her (!?!?) because on a couple of occasions DD had refused to engage with her at break time. DD was very upset by this yesterday. We had a long conversation about how choosing not to play with someone one day was not the same thing as bullying.
DD is unconvinced - I think she almost actually believes the girl's accusations and the lies she spouts. DD is incredibly anxious about school as she feels this other girl's version of events will always be believed. She does not report incidents as she thinks she will not be taken seriously. DD joined the school 18-months ago when we moved house - other girls have been there longer.
I have e-mailed the pastoral lead today to explain this latest version of events as I really want DD to be heard.
I am currently fighting with the school about moving classes - it is 3-form entry - but they are reluctant to move the girls around. How can I help DD?
At the moment we are having 30-45 minute chats about this stuff every night. She needs to de-brief and cannot wind down but bedtime is getting later and she is so stressed all the time ... as am I.

TheTroubleWithAngels Wed 23-Mar-16 17:46:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

runningLou Wed 23-Mar-16 19:20:46

Are you playing devil's advocate deliberately? To be clear, DD didn't choose not to play with this girl in order to go off with another group. She hid on her own in a quiet corner of the playground. She is totally intimidated by her.
She did report the hitting to me, and I spoke to her class teacher. She would not speak up in school alone for fear of being disbelieved.
Yes, they would still see each other at play times but in a new class DD would have a chance of making new friends - at the moment the girls in her class are utterly dominated by this toxic group.

MMNC Fri 25-Mar-16 19:45:36

Hi, my son had a similar experience a few years ago, so you have my complete sympathy. I agree that changing classes will give your daughter the opportunity to make friends with other children. Often at primary school children tend to play with children they are grouped with in class. You should put in writing a request for your daughter to be moved - giving your reasons, making clear that your worried that the schools inaction could make your daughter become vulnerable. Ask for a response and if they request then ask to speak to your schools safeguarding officer (there should be someone responsible other than the head). This person has a legal responsibility to consider the child's well being.

Give your daughter lots of hugs and while it may seem like she's convinced herself that she's at fault, but if you continue to reassure her it will eventually lift her out of her doubts

Good luck x

Chocolatteaddict1 Fri 25-Mar-16 20:03:30

really unhelpful post thetrouble confused

What is the teachers reaction to what's going on? What's action has been taken? She must be very anxious bless her

Spandexpants007 Fri 25-Mar-16 20:09:04

It's perfectly appropriate to steer clear of someone who is bullying you.

Isolating someone and excluding an individual is bullying. But this is not the case with your DD. She is trying to avoid the bully and shouldn't be forced to play with her because it would cause her a lot of distress

mikado1 Fri 25-Mar-16 20:19:27

She absolutely should refuse to play with this girl, otherwise the bully wont see the effect of her behaviour (which is likely because of some unhappiness in her own life). I have seen a lot of this mean girl stuff at this age. You need the teacher and school to be on the ball here. If I was you I would take notice of the different incidences, even now retrospectively if you have a good idea of dates. You add on what yiurcdd has said-on x date ds2 st a away from Y in playground and subsequent threat. Go with this to school. Reassure dd you are going to help and get this sorted and that it is not her fault.

mikado1 Fri 25-Mar-16 20:26:33

I should add, not playing with the bully is on a list in my classroom for what to do if you're bullied and it's an important one because often the bully is the popular one and there are such blurred lines as victims often continue to play with, and even follow sad the bully round. This also gives the bully a defence 'but we're good friends'. I have even had mother's refuse to follow up on bullying of their child because they are 'friends' confused

coco1810 Mon 25-Apr-16 19:33:11

We had exactly the same thing happen to DS for the whole time he was at primary. Tbh, his school was useless as it wasn't physical bullying, they were not interested at all. Like your daughter, he has to this day school anxiety. There was a lot of exclusion from games, play dates, birthday parties etc. Bedtimes were horrific as he needed to share what had happened but by doing this he would get terribly upset.

This is what I suggest: Keep a complete record at home of every incident for say three weeks and then make the head aware.

We taught our son the three steps. Ignore, warn and then tell (By yr5 ds was constantly in head teachers office demanding some thing be done!).

Self esteem is SO important and you sound like a fantastic mom! We made DS a scrap book of everything he was good at, everything we and his family loved about him.

We also enrolled ds at kickboxing classes. Not to beat this child up but to help his self esteem and to release his anxiety in a positive way. He is now a black belt and has such self control.

Good luck x

DougalTheCheshireCat Mon 25-Apr-16 20:10:46

Op am about t do bedtime, so I will come back later if I need to go.

Just to say, I was bullied like this throughout primary school. Similar dynamic (though the perpetrator was the later joiner) and similar behaviour from her. I remember once getting the upper hand with her and her running to the teacher in tears and my burning with the injustice of the years and years of suffering st her hands.

I thunk you are right to pursue with the school on your DDs behalf. Record every incident, including the 'turning tables' event. Other will be able to advise better in the formal process which didn't exist in the 1980s.

Meantime, or as well, I would encourage your Dd to think about / read the dynamics. What is the story of the girl who is driving it? What's her home life like? How does she do at school? Do the other girls that hang off her really look like they are having fun, or are they afraid to, and going along lest her fire turns on them?

Looking back, what drove it for me was jealousy, which worked at a number of levels: I had a happy home life with a stable family, her family was a complicated step family and she got passed around quite a bit. Everything we did at school, work wise, she was good, and I was better. At the end of our second last year I won an award. And I can remember her coming up to me and saying 'my mum will complain to the school of you get made a house captain after this'

In short, what was driving her behaviour was unhappiness at home, driving insecurity, support by a her mum who resented my success. The turning tables tactic is quite clever, and suggests to me that maybe at home her behaviour is being supported and encouraged. Bullies learn their tactics somewhere and it is generally at home.

It didn't get better in my case until we all changed schools. But understanding what was driving it helped me to cope, to care less, to become strong.

Ironically we went on to the same secondary school, and were in The same class for another four years. But the dynamic was different, the spell broken. I flourished, she didn't. I've not seen her in years but from what I hear, I would no way swap my life for hers now, though I wishes that every day of school from age 6 to 12.

Rather, looking back as an adult I feel sorry for her that she felt so bad about herself, that the only way she could make herself feel better was by being so horrible to me.

Back to your DD, help her to use her wind down talks with you to analyse the dynamics of what is going on. It's a useful skill and it might help her to change things herself. My guess is the perpetrator is jealous of your DD in at least one way.

There is a great quote about Prince around at the moment, commenting that he obviously worked out early on what value to assign to other people's opinions, (the right value being : very little)

DougalTheCheshireCat Mon 25-Apr-16 20:11:05

Op am about t do bedtime, so I will come back later if I need to go.

Just to say, I was bullied like this throughout primary school. Similar dynamic (though the perpetrator was the later joiner) and similar behaviour from her. I remember once getting the upper hand with her and her running to the teacher in tears and my burning with the injustice of the years and years of suffering st her hands.

I thunk you are right to pursue with the school on your DDs behalf. Record every incident, including the 'turning tables' event. Other will be able to advise better in the formal process which didn't exist in the 1980s.

Meantime, or as well, I would encourage your Dd to think about / read the dynamics. What is the story of the girl who is driving it? What's her home life like? How does she do at school? Do the other girls that hang off her really look like they are having fun, or are they afraid to, and going along lest her fire turns on them?

Looking back, what drove it for me was jealousy, which worked at a number of levels: I had a happy home life with a stable family, her family was a complicated step family and she got passed around quite a bit. Everything we did at school, work wise, she was good, and I was better. At the end of our second last year I won an award. And I can remember her coming up to me and saying 'my mum will complain to the school of you get made a house captain after this'

In short, what was driving her behaviour was unhappiness at home, driving insecurity, support by a her mum who resented my success. The turning tables tactic is quite clever, and suggests to me that maybe at home her behaviour is being supported and encouraged. Bullies learn their tactics somewhere and it is generally at home.

It didn't get better in my case until we all changed schools. But understanding what was driving it helped me to cope, to care less, to become strong.

Ironically we went on to the same secondary school, and were in The same class for another four years. But the dynamic was different, the spell broken. I flourished, she didn't. I've not seen her in years but from what I hear, I would no way swap my life for hers now, though I wishes that every day of school from age 6 to 12.

Rather, looking back as an adult I feel sorry for her that she felt so bad about herself, that the only way she could make herself feel better was by being so horrible to me.

Back to your DD, help her to use her wind down talks with you to analyse the dynamics of what is going on. It's a useful skill and it might help her to change things herself. My guess is the perpetrator is jealous of your DD in at least one way.

There is a great quote about Prince around at the moment, commenting that he obviously worked out early on what value to assign to other people's opinions, (the right value being : very little)

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