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Advice on how to handle a school mum

(51 Posts)
Sonnet Sat 07-Sep-13 08:11:43

I would welcome some advice please or a kick up the bum if I am being over sensitive. grin

There is a school mum who does not appear to like my Dd for some reason. I have gathered this impression over the last year. She makes jokey negative comments to me about her. She also praises the other kids in a totally over the top way while ignoring my dd. 2 recent examples this week to illustrate what I mean.

We were both watching a sports team of 7 which included my dd and not hers. She kept up a conversation of how fabulous each if the team members are and how the deserve to be in the team. eg, fab shot Anna, she is an excellent player, really deserves to be in the team. Amazing defending Evie, Jess you are fantastic etc... The only player that did not get a mention was my Dd (who did play well and that is according to other parents)

A few of the girls, including my dd, are auditioning for a part in the school play. She bought the subject up whilst talking in a group of mums including me and most of the the other mums with Dd's auditioning by saying 'so I hear dd is auditioning' . She then proceeded to tell me who else is, how good they are and how she would be 'happy for either x,y or z to get the part' . Again my dd was the only child not mentioned.

These are not isolated events but frequent occurrences.

I handled this usually by smiling and agreeing how fab the other girls are. But yesterday I was surprised how upset and rattled I felt about the latest incident and I have a sinking feeling in my stomach about facing this again for a whole year...

Am I being over sensitive ?

Whocansay Sat 07-Sep-13 08:20:19

It sounds as if your dd is one of those kids who's pretty good at lots of things and this woman's jealous to me. Smile sweetly and ignore, it will annoy her.

CailinDana Sat 07-Sep-13 08:20:27

No you're not. She sounds like a nasty cow. She is testing you with indirect bullying to see how much you'll take. She's likely to escalate this.

Two options: ignore, so each time she says something like this just act like you haven't heard a word of it, or call her on it every time.

KristyThomas Sat 07-Sep-13 08:20:57

I think maybe some people will say you are being oversensitive, but I think if I were in your situation, it would get to me too.

No real advice except to say that I think you're handling it the right way by just smiling and nodding, retaining your composure. With the school play thing, it almost sounds like she was trying to bait you into either bragging about your daughter or bitching about the girls - something she could then repeat to other mums to make you sound bad. By handling it the way you did, you prevented her from doing that.

BeckAndCall Sat 07-Sep-13 08:22:44

She sounds energy sapping and I sympathise.

I'd be tempted to shut her up with a comment like 'unfortunately it's not your opinion that counts though!' On things like auditions and team selections.
And as tempting as it is, I'd resist the urge to do down her own DD, rather 'kill her with kindness' to make a point - your DD is doing so well! I was so pleased! Etc etc. ( I know you didn't say you had that urge - that may be just me!)

CailinDana Sat 07-Sep-13 08:23:17

It might help to think what a saddo she is to need to behave this way. Just have pity for her don't pay a blind bit of notice to her games.

toomuchcoffeetoomuchwine Sat 07-Sep-13 08:23:44

Rise above it, she sounds like a tool.

SpottyDottie Sat 07-Sep-13 08:26:01

I don't think so. You now need to step up and tell her directly that she praises all but one child. It just happens to be your child though. She seems to be getting a kick out of it too as she is a repeat offender.

I speak from experience. My DD has had nothing but grief since a certain girl got moved into her class. However, DD isn't a pushover. But this other girls mum spoke to me about their difficulties and she said she had sat her DD and their other friend down and asked them outright what it was about DD they didn't like! I was so shocked, I gave a passive response that 'we all have faults even HER DD' but later, and even now, I am fucking cross with myself for not pulling her up on asking her why the hell she felt the need to ask such a petty question.

Poppanicolino Sat 07-Sep-13 08:27:00

Bloody hell, you're all so patient. I'm not sure I'd be able to stop myself from asking her expert opinion on my DD, whilst surrounded by several other mums.

PersilOrAriel Sat 07-Sep-13 08:30:47

Why was she even watching the sports team if she didn't have a child participating? I can think of better things to do with my time than watch other people's children!

CailinDana Sat 07-Sep-13 08:32:27

Poppa - I'd probably say "God you'd swear my dd didn't exist!" but according to my friends I only get away with saying things like that because I have an Irish accent.

headinhands Sat 07-Sep-13 08:33:45

Just give her a wide berth but back away slowly so she doesn't notice. Foster relationships with other mums/groups.

neontetra Sat 07-Sep-13 08:34:34

She sounds like a pathetic cow. I would be tempted to say Yes, these other girls are great, but also praise your own dd to the hilt, not defensively but in an upbeat, cheerful way. If she actually disagrees, to your face, and tells you that she thinks your dd is bad at x, y or z activity, then she is more transparently overstepping the mark, and you can tell her how rude she is being.
Also avoid her and walk away as much as you can. You may have to bump into her at times but your not married to her, related to her or working with her, so really you have only the loosest of obligations to acknowledge her existance at all. Good luck!

mammadiggingdeep Sat 07-Sep-13 08:41:07

Oh my goodness....she sounds awful. I would try to rise above it if I were you. Not terribly helpful I know but I wouldn't say anything or youll end up looking like the one with the problem. Just remember that she is the one with issues and is obviously insecure with how great your daughter dd1 starts school next September. From what I hear from my friends this kind of thing is common....not looking forward to school gate politics!!!!
Good luck

PrincessKildare Sat 07-Sep-13 08:42:47

I personally would steer clear of her but i know often this isnt possible. If it isnt a possibility then you should say out right "so that leaves DD. what do you think of her chances?" Dont pull her in a way she knows shes annoyed you, but dont ignore her either or as someone says she will just escalate her bullying. its shit that this happens when all ur doing is collecting ur wee woman. good luck.

Lovingfreedom Sat 07-Sep-13 08:44:03

Why is this woman's opinion so important to you?

GwendolineMaryLacey Sat 07-Sep-13 08:44:54

Jealous jealous jealous. And nasty. Avoid, life is too short for people like that who are pretty unimportant in the scheme of things anyway.

Sonnet Sat 07-Sep-13 08:48:09

Thank you all, I feel a little better now. It is a tricky one as she comes across all friendly but then after any encounter I feel wrong footed!
I think in an odd way she is jealous whocansay. Her own dd is a lovely girl and fab at dance drama and she child models. She is a competitive mum though.
callindana interesting you use the word bully as I totally agree but didn't want to put that in my opening post.
She will also bitch about other girls and I make a point if never joining in and actually disagree with her.
smile beck and call as I have justifiably praised her dd !

I think if I was ever to bite back, or say aloud what is in my head then I may cause outright antagonism. Eg at the team event I really wanted to say to her 'so my dd is crap is she? Why don't you just sat so'
So, I will try to carry on just smiling sweetly and ignore, never be drawn in to any negative comments but feel justified in thinking her a right bitch and a bully with isshooos...
Thank you for making me feel better smile

InternationalPower Sat 07-Sep-13 08:48:47

I wouldn't pull her on it at all. That just shows her you've noticed and care. Feel sorry for her, it must be very stressful to be that interested in every detail of school life, even when your own DC are not involved.

Ignore and avoid.

Lovingfreedom Sat 07-Sep-13 08:50:25

Ignore her. Tbh I bet you're not the only one who finds her and Little Miss Ballet Pumps a bit of a pain in the arse

Zoe999 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:50:26

I agree with cailindana , it helps to realise that these types are insecure wrecks, but, still, it's so unpleasant to be picked as their whipping boy. And it could escalate. There's a mum at the school gates who tried similar shit with me, I ignored it to be begin with because it's hard to know what else to do. standing in front of me when I was actually mid conversation with somebody, interrupting me, cutting me down to size with such patronising comments in public...... Eventually I said in a calm voice please don't stand in front of me when I'm talking to somebody there was a moment of extreme awkwardness afterwards. She didn't apologise. She looked put out. But.............. she thinks twice about interrupting me, knocking me out of a conversation. She was unbelievable really but I think she has a personality disorder. If you have been to the moon she has a season ticket.

Squitten Sat 07-Sep-13 08:52:18

Meh, who cares about this woman's opinion? Assuming you are not friends outside of school, why do you care what she thinks?

Just keep telling yourself that she is being a bit of a sad case and leave her to it!

Zoe999 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:54:02

ps, and although this woman is not nice to me now, I think she has detected juuuuuust enough 'don't fuck with me bitch' from the fact that I asked her not to stand in front of me when I was talking to somebody. But like I said, and like Cailin Dana said, she is not a 'centred' individual. I think she has an ego the size of king kong and self -esteem of a mouse. So she comes across like a bulldozer.

Sonnet Sat 07-Sep-13 08:54:05

lovingfreedom her opinion is not important to me and I do not seek it out. She volunteers her opinion on everything and everyone.
Neontetra I love your comment 'so where does that leave DD.... I could have used that in the sports example. I really doubt she would outrightjy say anything nasty she would probably not comment/respond.
Oh, and I will be avoiding like the plague...

headinhands Sat 07-Sep-13 08:54:05

These types of people are known as jellyfish. You only start to notice you've been 'stung' about 20 minutes after the encounter when you look done and notice ruddy great red, angry welts down your entire left side.

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