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Bullying? Please advise

(13 Posts)
Moose16 Thu 09-Jul-15 11:23:26

The youngest of my 4 children is a 10 year old girl, in Year 5. She is quiet, gentle, loving, funny, active and probably a little young (naive?) for her age. We (her parents) don't see anything wrong with this naiveity, and by the way, our other 3 children are absolutely fine socially and have great friends. However she does struggle socially. On a 1-1 everything is great, she has fun, she can laugh so much it is infectious and other parents love her. In a group of 'friends' there is however a big difference. She is ignored, left out, the one who is last to be chosen, kids look stright through her as though she is invisible. Oh how this hurts. I see this happening when she is dropped off at school, at parties, at clubs... and it hurts. It stays with me for the rest of the day and I feel sick with worry.
One 'friend' whispers constantly to another girl and my daughter has said how uncomfortable this makes her feel. Another will be very sweet with my daughter but if she doesn't do what the other girl suggests she gets a mouthful. There is no outright physical bulyying.
Now these things wouldn't be so bad if it happened, just once, or maybe twice. You support your chidlren with strategies and hope they can use them, or a version of them. But these things are happening daily, more than once. Bless her, my daughter puts on a brave face every day naively hoping that the other girls will be different to her. I am so scared that one day she will have had enough, that she will refuse to go to school or parties or clubs, that it will affect her deeply psycologically and emotionally.
I do not show my daughter how worried I am. We are upbeat, enthusiastic and positive and support and love her. Where am I going wrong? How can I help her.
She may be quiet and not as gregarious as other children but it doesn't mean that she is worth less than them or have nothing to contribute.
Our (adult) friends and relatives find it hard to believe that she is having these problems.
I am so worried about how she will cope at High School in a year's time.
She has a voice. She is not invisibible.
Please help...

Childrenofthestones Thu 09-Jul-15 11:44:11

We went through something very simular at the start of this school year with our 12 yr old.
She just couldn't click and a friend that moved up with her started to see herself as one of the cooler girls and put my daughter down in front of the cool girls to up her own status.
It was heart breaking to watch girls coming up the road at pick up time in twos threes and fours, chatting away and us sitting there cross fingered hoping may be tonight......but no, she'd come up on her own, forlorny anight after night.
What worked for us was when we went to see her form teacher .He was very receptive and said despite what we saw, she was not the only one like this. He had several tactics to try and leave it with him. Sure enough over the weeks things did get better. He was pairing her up with other girls that he thought would make pals with her for various tasks.
I think it was a combination of him taking it on and her gaining confidence that has lead to where she now has a close friend and two or three others. She is far happier than wee ever thought she could be.
I would recommend talking ( in confidence ) to the form teacher. Good luck.

Moose16 Thu 09-Jul-15 12:16:12

Thank you so much, this is really interesting. Yes, we did see the class teacher and one other teacher was informed too. A period of observation was agreed and we thought this was a good idea. It all seemed to go really well and no problems were observed. The other teacher happened to be close friends with one of the other girl's parents...
Once the agreed period of observation had finished 'things' went back to normal.
In my head during the day when I'm at work I find myself shouting 'How would you feel if this happened to you?' to the other girls...Of course I would never say it to any of them but we're so at a loss about how to support our daughter any further.

Moose16 Thu 09-Jul-15 12:16:46

Btw, apologies for my original poor spellings smile

anotherdayanothersquabble Thu 09-Jul-15 12:23:48

My daughter is 8 and in year 3. Similar situation, ok one to one but in a group she is ignored, pushed past and laughed at. She was desperately unhappy at school. The two things that made me take action was seeing the girls in her class push in front of her at her own birthday party and another child (who doesn't like her) tell her Mum that one day in PE, DD fell over and everyone laughed and that this would make her feel sad.

I took DD out of school. In the beginning I had no idea how it was going to pan out but school were very supportive. (We are not in the UK so I don't know if it would have been possible in a UK state school.)

Telling people at school made a huge difference, initially they assumed it was the school work that ws the problem but when they asked, I told them the real reason and parents were genuinely shocked. I think that has helped when DD has gone back as her class mates realise their behaviour has an impact on her.

DD wanted to take part in a number of school trips so we agreed that she had to go to school At least part time if she wanted to do the trips. She attended three days a week for the summer term and the full time for the last three weeks. She also saw a child psychologist who helped her see how the importance of her beliefs, her reactions and those of other people.

We are on holiday now and she is a happy, but she was happier at school than she had been in a long time, before the end of term. I don't know how next year will pan out but I think one day a week at home is likely. I am lucky we can be flexible and it doesn't have to be all or nothing.

I was not as strong as the OP and DD did know that I felt her sadness and that it made me very sad. I wonder if she puts on a smile so she doesn't worry me, but I do see genuine happiness at times. It has been very very hard as it has been going on for three years to varying degrees but I hope it will improve from now.

mistymeanour Thu 09-Jul-15 12:55:12

I would push the school to do more - an observation is not enough. The teacher (as said upthread) can try pairing your DD up with other children she may get on with. Some schools have older befrienders and mentors for children in the playground, they may have a friendship group at lunchtimes, or SEAL sessions and /or a counsellor who can help with confidence and ways to deal with the bullies, or permission for struggling children to go to the library to play games at break and lunch. It is near the end of year so the teacher may just be trying to play it out without acting.

Have a word or drop an email to next years teacher about the problems your DD is having and ask what he/she will do and follow up! If no result, go higher (govenors/head). Would it help for your DD to move class? I am so sorry - it is such an awful situation to be in isn't it!

Moose16 Thu 09-Jul-15 21:38:44

To DD's mum: Wow, this is just like what I see too. Even at DD's own party, yes we have had that too. It was a good step forward when you told other parents. Well done, it must have felt wonderful for the others to have acknowledged the problem after so long. I desperately want to do the same but am afraid of a confrontation...so here's where I admit to my own lack of confidence socially which I didn't want to bring out. I sort of stammer and stutter my way through and in a 'situation' end up apologising even though I am not in the wrong. So I have to overcome this for my daughter's sake.
Anyway, taking into account mistymeanour's advice and your own actions I do hope DD has a great year next year. Thanks to all of you so far for your contribution here. I know that my daughter isn't alone in feeling this way, but it seems to spread. It seems that the more people she knows (through clubs and activities etc) the more people latch on to how the 'core' treat her and this becomes the norm for them too. I need to stop it somehow, it's like a virus. But as I said before, and you only have to know her, she has a voice, she is not invisible and I will find a way around this smile
Moose xx

Moose16 Thu 09-Jul-15 21:38:45

To DD's mum: Wow, this is just like what I see too. Even at DD's own party, yes we have had that too. It was a good step forward when you told other parents. Well done, it must have felt wonderful for the others to have acknowledged the problem after so long. I desperately want to do the same but am afraid of a confrontation...so here's where I admit to my own lack of confidence socially which I didn't want to bring out. I sort of stammer and stutter my way through and in a 'situation' end up apologising even though I am not in the wrong. So I have to overcome this for my daughter's sake.
Anyway, taking into account mistymeanour's advice and your own actions I do hope DD has a great year next year. Thanks to all of you so far for your contribution here. I know that my daughter isn't alone in feeling this way, but it seems to spread. It seems that the more people she knows (through clubs and activities etc) the more people latch on to how the 'core' treat her and this becomes the norm for them too. I need to stop it somehow, it's like a virus. But as I said before, and you only have to know her, she has a voice, she is not invisible and I will find a way around this smile
Moose xx

Moose16 Thu 09-Jul-15 21:38:45

To DD's mum: Wow, this is just like what I see too. Even at DD's own party, yes we have had that too. It was a good step forward when you told other parents. Well done, it must have felt wonderful for the others to have acknowledged the problem after so long. I desperately want to do the same but am afraid of a confrontation...so here's where I admit to my own lack of confidence socially which I didn't want to bring out. I sort of stammer and stutter my way through and in a 'situation' end up apologising even though I am not in the wrong. So I have to overcome this for my daughter's sake.
Anyway, taking into account mistymeanour's advice and your own actions I do hope DD has a great year next year. Thanks to all of you so far for your contribution here. I know that my daughter isn't alone in feeling this way, but it seems to spread. It seems that the more people she knows (through clubs and activities etc) the more people latch on to how the 'core' treat her and this becomes the norm for them too. I need to stop it somehow, it's like a virus. But as I said before, and you only have to know her, she has a voice, she is not invisible and I will find a way around this smile
Moose xx

Moose16 Thu 09-Jul-15 21:38:45

To DD's mum: Wow, this is just like what I see too. Even at DD's own party, yes we have had that too. It was a good step forward when you told other parents. Well done, it must have felt wonderful for the others to have acknowledged the problem after so long. I desperately want to do the same but am afraid of a confrontation...so here's where I admit to my own lack of confidence socially which I didn't want to bring out. I sort of stammer and stutter my way through and in a 'situation' end up apologising even though I am not in the wrong. So I have to overcome this for my daughter's sake.
Anyway, taking into account mistymeanour's advice and your own actions I do hope DD has a great year next year. Thanks to all of you so far for your contribution here. I know that my daughter isn't alone in feeling this way, but it seems to spread. It seems that the more people she knows (through clubs and activities etc) the more people latch on to how the 'core' treat her and this becomes the norm for them too. I need to stop it somehow, it's like a virus. But as I said before, and you only have to know her, she has a voice, she is not invisible and I will find a way around this smile
Moose xx

Moose16 Thu 09-Jul-15 21:38:45

To DD's mum: Wow, this is just like what I see too. Even at DD's own party, yes we have had that too. It was a good step forward when you told other parents. Well done, it must have felt wonderful for the others to have acknowledged the problem after so long. I desperately want to do the same but am afraid of a confrontation...so here's where I admit to my own lack of confidence socially which I didn't want to bring out. I sort of stammer and stutter my way through and in a 'situation' end up apologising even though I am not in the wrong. So I have to overcome this for my daughter's sake.
Anyway, taking into account mistymeanour's advice and your own actions I do hope DD has a great year next year. Thanks to all of you so far for your contribution here. I know that my daughter isn't alone in feeling this way, but it seems to spread. It seems that the more people she knows (through clubs and activities etc) the more people latch on to how the 'core' treat her and this becomes the norm for them too. I need to stop it somehow, it's like a virus. But as I said before, and you only have to know her, she has a voice, she is not invisible and I will find a way around this smile
Moose xx

Moose16 Thu 09-Jul-15 21:38:45

To DD's mum: Wow, this is just like what I see too. Even at DD's own party, yes we have had that too. It was a good step forward when you told other parents. Well done, it must have felt wonderful for the others to have acknowledged the problem after so long. I desperately want to do the same but am afraid of a confrontation...so here's where I admit to my own lack of confidence socially which I didn't want to bring out. I sort of stammer and stutter my way through and in a 'situation' end up apologising even though I am not in the wrong. So I have to overcome this for my daughter's sake.
Anyway, taking into account mistymeanour's advice and your own actions I do hope DD has a great year next year. Thanks to all of you so far for your contribution here. I know that my daughter isn't alone in feeling this way, but it seems to spread. It seems that the more people she knows (through clubs and activities etc) the more people latch on to how the 'core' treat her and this becomes the norm for them too. I need to stop it somehow, it's like a virus. But as I said before, and you only have to know her, she has a voice, she is not invisible and I will find a way around this smile
Moose xx

anotherdayanothersquabble Thu 09-Jul-15 22:54:41

I don't stutter but I cry, a lot! I couldn't talk about it without crying, it was mortifying!! I have two other children at the school so did have to explain why she wasn't at school. Cue tears...

Good luck, you will make her voice heard. She is lucky she has you and that you have noticed.

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