When to involve school or parent(9 Posts)
Name changed as need advice- apologies it's long winded .
dd Y7 has become friends with a girl at school who has been self harming. Dd was afraid to tell me in case I stopped her friendship and instead she told a teacher at school Dd explained everything to me later the same day after school. the school did call me to check my Dd is OK because her friend will not open up to a councillor - only to my Dd. I don't know the girls parents and by chance was seated next to her Mother at a school function a month later. We had a short conversation and the girls mother asked if the reason behind the self harm was X. Which I confirmed it was -I didn't feel I was betraying my Dds trust as It wasn't initiated by me. Since then the girl has been telling classmates my daughter has ruined her life and her relationship with her parents, although she isn't telling them that she is self harming. I'm fact my dd hasn't told anyone except myself about the reason behind the self harm. Now the girl has taken to punching my daughter in frustration.
Today my dd had a tearful breakdown in class after being verbally abused by the girl involved.
Would you go directly to the school or contact the parent. The last thing I want is to make it any worse for my Dd- who I think given her age has handled the situation very maturely.
Thanks camel- I think I'm just worried it will make things worse. It's a new school for us and I have no idea what to expect in terms of how they will deal with it.
Go to the school, do not contact the parent. The school needs to deal with this.
I would never talk to a parent about something in such a situation.
In future teach your DD that she cannot keep secret anything where someone is in danger, just as neither a teacher or you can keep quiet if someone is in danger.
Her friend is obviously deeply unhappy, and probably very anxious, this may have made her anxiety worse, but ultimately is the only way she will get help. Reassure your DD she did nothing wrong, and did the best thing for her friend (regardless of what her friend says).
Hopefully the school have informed SS.
Thanks mummytime. The school asked the girls Mother to speak with me initially when the self harm was exposed and we had a phone chat which is why I was considering whether to call her now. I don't want to cause her Dd more anxiety but at the same time my Dd should not be suffering the backlash . After sleeping on it I think I will speak to the school. I'm trying hard to convince my Dd she did the right thing but all she can see is the negative effects. Last night the girl posted on a group chat social media my Dd has ruined her life . No one in the class knows about the self harm except my Dd and the teachers. Not sure if school has informed anyone outside.
V difficult for 12 year olds to deal with.
The school worries me - they should never have got the mother to contact you!
Because: a) the mother might just be part of the problem.
b) anything you could tell the mother is just "hearsay"; that is it is what the daughter told your daughter who told you and you are now repeating to the mother - this is like a game of chinese whispers.
c) the school safe guarding officer should be dealing with this issue, and almost certainly should have "referred it up".
You now should complain to the school, because they have messed up dealing with the initial report of self harm, and are now allowing your DD to be bullied. BTW do not let them fob you off that these incidents are "happening outside of school" so they can't do anything about them. They can do something about such events, and this is cyberbullying (which is taught about in schools) - a good school would deal with the incidents towards your daughter very seriously.
Of course this girl shouldn't have turned others against your daughter and should not be violent towards her but some of your post does concern me as a parent whose child once self harmed.
Why would your daughter fear that you would stop a friendship due to self harm?
You do know that self harm is the most common form of abuse don't you and that lots and lots of teenage children do it.
You do know that you should have absolutely no idea what the school is doing about it and what the counselling situation is don't you.
You do know that this girl is vulnerable and that you should never ever have disclosed something told to your daughter in confidence to her mother?
You do know that self harm isn't a disease and it doesn't make a person bad or even mentally ill.
Contact the school to support your own daughter and ask for some assistance and information about self harm, it's incidence, and why teenage girls do it.
Please don't think badly of girls who self harm. It isn't sinister. My daughter did this in Yr 7 because she was so stressed by the transition to secondary school and the behaviour of some of the other girls there and scared she would be bullied by them. She felt totally out of her depth. She forgot her PE top one day and one of her friends and a teacher went to the Head of Year. It all spilled out later that day and we just hugged and I made a doctor's appointment where she confirmed why she was so upset - in private without me in the room. After that some adolescent counselling was arranged and all has been well since. My dd is 17 now. She doesn't have mental health problems, she has had a very successful school career and is looking forward to applying for university. Fortunately, other parents who were told were very very supportive and concerned for her and us. Nobody contemplated telling their daughters not to be friends with mine because she had a vulnerable patch and self harmed - quite the reverse in fact.
I have not read anywhere the OP suggesting that she may have stopped her daughter's friendship? That her daughter was nervous to tell her incase is a very different thing.
My daughter often says 'I didn't tell you mum because I thought you'd be cross'. Often to do with stuff that I would never be cross over, and so thankful she was able to tell me, no matter how delayed or round about manner.
They're still young, and anyone dealing with self harm for the first time may not get the protocol for handling correct, it's not always highlighted in Y6/Y7 in schools. But doesn't make the OP think badly or that it's sinister...she's just seeking help as to how to deal with both the girl in need of support and her daughter now on the backlash, compounded by the school's lack of ability to deal with this effectively.
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