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My 11 year old dd is always being picked on. Please help.

(92 Posts)
manicstreetpreacher Tue 06-Nov-12 16:33:05

Hi there!

My 11 year old dd seems to have a target on her back. Without going into long winded explanations, she has had a hard time of it since about year 3 in primary. We've changed schools because of it, she won't defend herself because she tried it once by saying something back at a girl who'd been goading her all day who then went to teacher and guess who got blamed? She also won't defend herself for fear of being called snitch or incurring the wrath of the other person's friends.

By the end of year 4 she had lost her best friend because the class queen bee took it upon herself to spread lies. This friend had been with her since nursery and she was heartbroken for several weeks afterwards. This ultimately led to a change of school despite us covvering every other avenbue first without success.

She's come home tonight completely fed up, sick of the fact that nobody likes her and that people pick on her for no reason. She's even had boys doing it too. Today, for instance, in her PE lesson she told me about a girl who was verbally horrid to her all afternoon yet nobody stepped in to do a thing about it.

My heart breaks for her, I really don't know where it's going to finish up - I feel as though home ed may be the only answer for her. Nobody seems to like her. She never gets asked anywhere and nobody ever accepts our invites to tea etc.

Also, her new secondary is very big and whilst I don't want to be going in every five minutes like some demented mum from hell I don't really know what else to do.

I feel like I have really badly failed her. I can't understand why this keeps happening to her. I wish she would fight back even if it meant getting into trouble - at least the people that pick on her might think before they did it again if so.

Just had enough really. Any advice would be greatly received.

ExitPursuedByABrrrrrrr Mon 12-Nov-12 16:59:57

Your porr DD Viva

Why are girls so bloody horrible?

ExitPursuedByABrrrrrrr Mon 12-Nov-12 17:00:11

poor blush

manicstreetpreacher Mon 12-Nov-12 17:16:46

APMF - thank you so very much for that suggestion.

I wish my dd was bossy and domineering - in my experience the girls that fall into these categories are the ones who have most friends.

My dd won't say boo to a goose - her confidence is shot to pieces to the point where she just keeps her head down and hopes for the best. I can hardly get her to leave the house other than going to school. She won't join any clubs or do anything to attemp to make new friends as she is cyncial, jaded and distrusting aged 11. Exact words 'They'll only turn out to be nasty there so what's the point?

I hope to God your dd never has similar problems because, let me tell you it is crap! There's not a day goes by that I don't punish myself for failing her and wishing that I had bought her up to be an absolute bitch because you sure as hell don't get anywhere these days by being a nice guy.

Everyone else, thank you and I am so sorry to hear that you are in the same boat. Hugs to all your dds and dss. xx

Visualarts Mon 12-Nov-12 18:23:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

APMF Mon 12-Nov-12 21:11:59

OP - I'm sorry that you found my comments offensive but it appeared to me that you weren't lacking in supportive posts so I thought I try to offer you a different perspective.

I am not saying that your DD is bossy or that she deserves the treatment she gets from other kids. I'm just saying that you should perhaps observe your DD and see how she interact with other children and also talk to the class teacher and ask for her insight.

It is something you should consider rather than unquestioningly accept that all the chidren your DD comes into contact with are 'little shits'.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 12-Nov-12 21:17:54

The problem is though is that if one popular girl decides that your dd is a target then other girls will join in. There is very much a pack mentality with it all.

The other girls join in picking on the victim, possibly just glad it's not them. They know if they stick up for the victim they risk becoming a target. So they try and outdo each other in nastiness.

marriedinwhite Mon 12-Nov-12 21:49:36

Bullying and its existence is based on the perception of the bullied person. In the public sector at least if employees were being tormented by stories of pooing themselves the perpetrators would fact disciplinary action.

It is a great shame in my opinion that school children are given so little guidance about what is acceptable in the real world.

I am so sorry some of your daughters are suffering like this. They are still children and they can't realistically act as their own advocates; you desperately need to do it for them; in the same way that a worker or employee has a trades union rep.

madhairday Mon 12-Nov-12 21:53:02

married I agree, it does seem they get away with so much, it's wrong sad

dd had another hard time today with this girl who shouldered in on dd and her friend, took her friend off and told dd nobody liked her or wanted to be with her. Friend didn't know what to do but did then later come and hang out with dd. It's just horrible to see them go through this stuff.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 12-Nov-12 21:58:32

Realistically how much can apparent contact the school when they're in secondary school?

I've rung today as dd has been punched on more than once occasion last week.

I've told her to tell her HOY tomorrow about the nasty rumours and about the boy who hit her this afternoon. But should I ring the school about issues like this? I don't want to be ringing up every 5 mins saying that X has said this, y has said that. But is dd just meant to put up with someone saying stuff about her every day with the purpose of humiliating her?

Visualarts Mon 12-Nov-12 22:00:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Visualarts Mon 12-Nov-12 22:07:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 12-Nov-12 22:16:43

Thanks. Yes dd does have 3 or 4 good friends which I'm thankful for. I know she's luckier than some. It's still shit to be getting punched, having the piss taken out of constantly by others.

Visualarts Mon 12-Nov-12 22:30:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummytime Mon 12-Nov-12 22:42:31

In a decent school (secondary) you shouldn't have to phone ever five minutes, because the first time you report an incident it is dealt with swiftly and firmly.

For example: my DD returned to school after a day off sick. A boy greeted her by calling her a "witch". She told me about it that night. I phoned the HOY next day. DD was talked to, and reassured. The boy was instantly put in detention, he was warned not to say anything to DD. When he did jeer at her, she went to the HOY, and he was put in isolation.
This year he is much less trouble (although according to DD, he is still a "sexist pig").

Your DD really needs to have an extra-curricula activity with a different set of children.
You might also want to contact "Red Balloon", for some specialist help.

racingheart Mon 12-Nov-12 23:44:08

I love marriedinwhite's long post further up the thread. It is true that some of us just don't much suit being a child. I didn't. DS1 doesn't. If you refuse to be a sheep and pretend to fit in for the sake of it, you will be isolated and jeered at. But in adulthood, the same qualities can lead to a much more interesting life than most people even dream of.

That's not much comfort for your DDs right now, but long term, I really hope it works out in their favour.

madhairday Tue 13-Nov-12 09:34:43

Visualarts thanks. DD is very reluctant for me to talk to school, thinks it will make it a lot worse (it did in y6 because the teacher was hopeless and made it so much worse sad ) So not sure what to do, but leaning towards having a quiet word with either her form tutor or the SENCO if this carries on.

Viva, it's hard isn't it, you don't want the school to feel you are a pushy parent, but then again you want to stand up for your dd. She should not have to suffer this kind of thing. I would keep ringing, because they should be doing more, meaning you shouldn't have to ring so often iyswim.

manicstreetpreacher Tue 13-Nov-12 09:48:32

I'm just frustrated because my dd has become a broken person who now thinks it's normal to be treated like crap. It is hard not to think that all the other girls are 'shits' when your heart breaks every day. It isn't her fault she's weak - if her being weak rubs other kids up the wrong way then it says more about them than it does her as far as I'm concerned.

Like I said earlier, I should have bought her up to be an absolute cow - they never seem to run into any problems.

And as for 'seeing how she interacts' - she doesn't. She'd rather be alone because it's safer that way.

I'm obviously wasting my time trying to explain.

Visualarts Tue 13-Nov-12 10:04:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DawnOfTheDee Tue 13-Nov-12 10:34:19

I think I can (sort of) see what AMPF is trying to say.

Both me and my sister (3yrs older than me) were bullied at school and my sister responded to this in much the way your DD is. In a way it becomes a vicious circle as isolating yourself, thinking everyone is going to be nasty before you get there, becoming too introverted seems to feed back into the bullying cycle. It just made her even more of a target....so she'd isolate herself more....and on and on.

My DSis also did rub people up the wrong way. Not by being bossy but she could never see how certain things she did antagonised the situation even more.

You're right in that 'rubbing people up the wrong way says more about them'. I totally agree and my heart breaks for your daughter who is having such a horrible time at the hands of the bullies.

However, learning how to deal with people and learning coping strategies are still important.

It's good that your DD talks to you about this though. I second visualarts in that I think you ringing the school and trying to work with them is what you should try first before home ed. It's still very early in the school year (i'm assuming she's just started secondary school?) and now is a good time to tackle the problem.

I sincerely hope things improve for your DD.

takeonboard Tue 13-Nov-12 10:43:38

There is so much good advice on here, bullying affects the whole family as you know it has affected your self esteem as a parent too. Don't give up on contacting the school your DD needs and deserves their help.

Kidscape are a great organisation specifically helping bullied children, have a look at their website and definitely contact them about your daughter attending a ZAP course they are in London but are attended by kids from all over the UK and some from oversea's. A zap course would be a great start to rebuilding your DD's self esteem, ask for Linda Frost - you will feel better after speaking to her, honestly!


Astelia Tue 13-Nov-12 10:47:06

I recently went on a bullying training course run by Robert Pereira, an Australian educational consultant. He did a number of classes in the school with various year groups getting students to think about scenarios like when someone got a really nasty text message or was laid into on their first day at a new school. He let the students explore the motivations and helped them to empathise with the victim.

He made many points when speaking to the adults, one being that 95% of girls are nice to each other most of the time and the second being don't blame the teachers as unless you tell them what is going on they won't have a clue as girls are so devious. He said you can't force a bully to be nice but you can encourage the nice children not to side with the bully, through work on empathising. Of course schools should be working to cut out the bullying too- but it is very insidious. If there was an easy answer it would have been found years ago.

Unfortunately it only takes one girl (and some sheep like, scared followers) to make life totally miserable for someone. The triggers can be anything- but particularly things which threaten the queen bee (like someone being very pretty or having nice hair or being successful in some way) will really set them up as a target.

Being well spoken or having nice stationery, all these things can be a trigger. It is very sad.

Manic do keep talking to the school and get them to keep a record of what is going on. They should then stamp on repeat offences. See if you can google Robert and you might find something useful on his website.

THERhubarb Tue 13-Nov-12 10:55:46

Seriously I would consider CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).

Some kids have a really low opinion of themselves and when they hit puberty this can get even worse with all those hormones swimming around. They think they are rubbish at everything, you compliment them and they turn it into a negative. They seem to attract bullies because of this negative self-loathing cloud that hangs over them.

Of course the bullies need to be dealt with but first the child needs to gain a little bit of confidence and start to love themselves, only when they start to see themselves in a different light can they effectively deal with bullies like this.

I know how exhausting it can be to continually have to turn their negatives into positives but this is worth doing at home. Compliment them on their appearance, rave over their homework, set them challenges at home (like cooking a meal) and even if it's a disaster, find one thing they did really well and praise them for that. They won't accept the praise, they will say they are rubbish and their disasters prove that but keep going anyway.

And have a word with the GP about getting them some help. Young Minds is a great charity that can give free advice to parents and point you in the right direction.

Trouble is, once your child has got themselves into a negative rut then it's very hard to get out of it and sometimes they need a little outside help to achieve that. Once they are teenagers, they no longer take the word of their parents so it's useful to have someone else who can challenge their way of thinking and turn it around.

Hope that helps a bit.

THERhubarb Tue 13-Nov-12 11:06:29

I hope you don't take any of that the wrong way btw OP. My dd is 12 and is also very quiet. She is teased because she doesn't wear Miss Sexy trousers as part of her uniform, because she doesn't concentrate on her appearance or watch X Factor or swoon over Justin Bieber. In short she is different.

She can also be prone to a lot of negative thinking so in a way she may feel that she deserves this ill treatment because she's rubbish and a failure. We've tried very hard to change her perception of herself and we're now at the stage where the girls no longer actively tease her, they just leave her alone. This is because dd doesn't react, she isn't bothered by what they say or think and this shows now.

We've had to build up her confidence and self-esteem by constantly pointing out what she was good at. She has been sending emails to her aunt who is a brilliant self-taught artist and who has really bolstered dd's confidence. She also has an uncle who thinks the world of her and constantly tells her how wonderful she is. I think if it was just us doing this she wouldn't take much notice but when the praise is coming from others, it does make a difference.

Can you not have a word with your extended family and friends and get some of them to take an interest in your dd? Does she share interests with any of them? If she likes writing can she not send some of her stuff to a friend who is also good at writing for some much needed praise? Could someone take her to the cinema? Or can she go on a shopping trip with an aunt?

Just people taking an interest in you as a child can help raise your confidence no end.

Yes you could deal with the bullies and you should deal with them but there are bullies everywhere, at school, in youth groups, in the workplace, at college, University etc. What your aim should be is to boost her confidence to such a level that she knows she is valued and loved and no longer cares what these people think.

I sincerely hope that my advice is taken in the right way and that things start to improve for both you and your dd. Don't think you have failed, sometimes kids do take after their parents so if you were negative as a child she may have taken after you, or sometimes it can be one incident that just spirals. But the fact that you are on here, asking for advice means that you are actively seeking help for your dd, so keep doing that!

APMF Tue 13-Nov-12 11:45:52

OP - As a parent, if my DC experienced social problems at the old school, at the new school, at extra curricular activities etc I would be looking to see if my DC had problems with social interaction skills and whether professional help was available. I certainly would not be telling myself that the world is full of little shits that insist on targeting your DD.

I'm sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear.

APMF Tue 13-Nov-12 11:49:41

Rhubarb is saying what I am saying but in a more diplomatic way smile

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