This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
How long did it take your child to settle after moving schools (aka why are girls mean?)(14 Posts)
DD moved to a new school at the beginning of the year, into Y2. She seems to be settling in ok, but on a few occasions (including today) she's come home in tears because one girl in particular and her seem to butt heads. There's a bit of excluding going on from this other girl. But mostly I think her and DD are very similar personality types, so they rub each other up the wrong way. It came up at parents' evening and the teacher described it as 'there are a few girls with strong personalities in the class, including DD'.
It breaks my heart to see her sad. She was really happy at her last school, even though her old class had several very disruptive children in it and two outright bullies, but she didn't seem ruffled by any of that. Her new class seems much nicer, calmer, etc. But I think she's struggling to find her place in it. I think the fact that she's also gone from being one of the brightest/ most able in a class to now being more in the middle doesn't help and I think she's struggling a bit with how they do things differently at the new school and what the expectations are.
Is this something that will just sort itself out in time? Should I be intervening more with this thing with the other girl? We mentioned it to the teacher last time this girl really upset her, so they are aware of it, but I don't know if I should mention it to her mum too? Stage some sort of intervention with the two girls? I suggested a playdate to DD and she looked absolutely horrified! In general, I just tell DD to play with other children and to avoid this girl as much as possible (although on some days she'll come home and say they played together or did such-and-such learning activity together and it was fine).
On days like today I just feel utterly shit for taking her out of a situation she was very happy and settled in and making her go through this (even though we had to - we moved house).
Yes you need to intervene - but not with a playdate, let the teacher know that there is a friendship issue. It will blow over very quickly.
My DD is in year 4 and we've sorted things out easily that way.
Year 2 is a tricky year for friendships as their sense of self develops and they start to notice others more but don't have much emotional maturity to deal with it. Love-hate relationships are very common where girls can flick in seconds from best friends to nastiness.
Tell the teacher (I'm a Y2 teacher and would want to know).
Have other girls that your DD says she likes around for playdates so you are widening her circle and giving her options of who to play with. When there are problems talk them through with her and work out ways to deal with it when it gets nasty.
It will take time but she will settle. Part of this may not be a settling thing but an age thing too.
Y2’s a bit of a tricky age where all the girls seem to struggle a bit (have one just gone through it, another going through it at the moment) - we had about a month of it this point in the year and then a bit later toward the end of the year when they were all big fish in a small infant school shaped pond... it’s settled down a lot now they’ve all moved up to junior school together (and I get it with the younger one now again)!
I think it depends on the school and the children in the school/class. My dd transferred mid year during reception to a bilingual school and was welcomed. And any new girl that joined the school has also been welcomed (I only know about the girls though, as my dd tends to play mainly with the girls..she will play w the boys sometimes, but just prefers the girls). However, it might be more difficult the older they are?
Thanks all. The teacher is aware, but puts it down to 'similar strong personalities'
Interesting to know that this is a 'thing' in Y2. Hopefully it'll all just settle down as DD becomes more comfortable and secure in the new class.
The other girl has probably been used to being the Queen Bee. Your DD has arrived and is perceived as being a challenge. There is more to school than one girl and I would certainly start to invite possible friends round.
If your DD is similar to the other girl, does she need to butt heads with her? Would it not be more sensible to find other DC to play with.
The lunchtime supervisors can keep an eye on your DD at lunchtime. Is your DD trying a bit too hard to be liked and is she trying to organise play? I say this because my DD felt excluded in y3. Same problem - strong characters. It generally will settle down but DD steered herself away from the “in crowd” and found better friendships elsewhere. So invite those not in the “in crowd” round to tea.
I know it's painful to be on the sidelines here but this will get better and no you haven't done a bad thing! Time will resolve this, your daughter will make her own friendship group and while she and this other girl may never really be friends, it will cease to matter much. You don't say how large the school is - youngest DDs school mixed up classes at the start of every school year which if this is the case at your child's school, also helps if they are no longer together. We moved youngest DD in Year 2 from a small village Primary where she was a popular child with a wide group of friends to a much larger Primary in a Town when we moved - her first year was awful and she was bullied by a particularly unpleasant child who banned the other girls from playing with her (if my DD was playing with a child in the playground, this girl would come up and remove the other child!). I don't think DDs attitude helped though -she didn't want to leave her old school and wasn't keen to make new friends. Time changed all that though as it will for your DD (with some teacher intervention). As the other PPs have said, encourage other friendships & develop outside interests where she will have a chance to mix with girls and boys from her school outside the school setting and away from this child (DD did ballet, musical theatre, Brownies and rugby). If there any nasty instances with this child, don't be afraid of going back in again to the school - otherwise the teacher will assume the problem is resolved. Personally, I would definitely not raise it with the girls mother nor would I have the child around for tea. At the end of the day, it's a lesson for your DD that not everyone in life is going to like us and how to cope with that and realise it's ok - I hope that doesn't sound harsh! Like you, I did feel we had done a bad thing by youngest DD by moving, five years later looking at the very secure child she is I feel I should have believed in her more!
Bubbles yes - I think dc might be trying a bit too hard to join in, etc. I think she's a bit socially awkward/ insecure and that puts the other kids off. Whereas most will probably just ignore her, I think this other girl actively tells her to go away, etc.
It was a bit heartbreaking at the playground at drop off this morning. A bunch of kids from her class playing various games. Dd tried to interact or join in and they just kind of ignore her or don't engage with her. She then sidled back over to me and made herself busy looking for something in her bag. It made me so sad. She's a lovely, funny girl, and I so hate to think of her being left out - I was nearly in tears when I got back from dropping her off.
SJane that's encouraging to hear your dd got through this. And yes, maybe I just need to have more faith that it'll work out ok in the end.
It's a single-form entry school with quite small classes. But DD already does out of school activities (Rainbows, swimming). But I do wonder what else we could do to build up her social skills. She comes across as very confident, articulate, etc. But I think she struggles a bit to connect to people and read social signals.
To be fair, she’s only small and still learning these things! I would definitely look at other out of school and in school activities. Is there a choir she could join? Or perhaps drama or musical theatre where she can build up confidence and friendships? Try not to be anxious and ask her too many questions otherwise it will transfer itself to her - I used to ask DD pretty generic questions ‘What have you enjoyed about your day?’ etc.
Yes good point. I must stop asking her who's she's played with when she comes home from school. Tbf, she's never mentioned anything apart from that one particular girl being mean to her.
My niece is in year 3 and her teacher told my sister alot of the girls fall out but my niece doesn't get involved. My 4 year old was upset last week by a more confident kid. I had a chat with her about life. I explained there was a girl who picked on mummy when I was younger but I had other friends so I played with them instead. I told her that not everyone will always be your friend but it doesn't mean you have to be sad. It seemed to help. I had a quick word with her teacher and said I'm not blaming the other child as it could be personalities at this point. She seems ok now.... It blew over. I think kids struggle more now than we did. They seem to grow up quicker and seem to know alot more alot younger. It's incredibly sad to see isn't it. I hope she feels happier soon. X
So how many girls can she be friends with out of 30 in the class? It’s very hard when there are established friendships. She will find it easier. I didn’t mean to invite the queen bee round. There will be others who might be friends without the drama. Could she find another group in the playground for example?