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Is this typical y8 behaviour?

(53 Posts)
ImminentDisaster Sat 07-Oct-17 00:19:49

Dd finally told me tonight what's been going on at school. There's a group of y8 boys targetting the girls, persistently negatively commenting on their perceived flaws. (negging?)

DD has copped for the "you're so fat" angle. She has been trying so hard to be more confident and is a bit destroyed. We have talked about it tonight. She also says they say she is in love with someone and that she's having sex with him. She's 12. They are 12. I think it's a bit beyond teasing. They made her cry in a lesson.

I'm wondering how best to support her, obviously let the school know and keep talking to her, but what else? She's really bright, lovely, funny, was relatively innocent until Y7. They make fun of her for liking school too, ffs. I'm a bit despairing.

Anyway, we are moving soon to an entirely different area and I kind of want to believe it will be better at a new school, but if this is fairly typical then I should probably not tell her it will be. It's so depressing. Is this how it is now? Am I just so ridiculously naive?

Anyone have any useful advice or experience please? Thanks!

ImminentDisaster Sat 07-Oct-17 00:21:55

Btw, obviously I know girls can be as bad before anyone thinks I'm being sexist. Also interested in experiences of that.

Out2pasture Sat 07-Oct-17 00:37:15

I would think the lack of self confidence is at the root of this being upset by bullying and the precocious sexual activity.
I would be reinforcing lots and lots of positive qualities that have nothing to do with size and discuss how beauty comes from within.
how she is loved and lovely for what ever qualities she has and that although she can be friends with young fellows of the opposite sex that sexual relations need to be put on hold for a little while until she learns to like herself more.
I would warn her to be very aware of digital media as even if you move to a new area some of this may follow her.
as for that age group...I can't say as mine are much older.

Perfectly1mperfect Sat 07-Oct-17 00:46:38

I am not sure if it normal but I know between the boys there's lots of 'banter', basically constant piss taking of each other. Its not about personal things that people can't easily change like weight, facial features though, more just general stuff. The personal stuff seems to be frowned upon, much to my surprise. Boys and girls seem to be happy being in the same group.

I think there is hope that the new school may be different. Unfortunately there are idiots at all schools though. I hope your daughter ok. I think secondary school is the hardest experience of anyone's life.

SerendipityFelix Sat 07-Oct-17 00:50:22

Where and when are 12 year olds having sex?!? At school?!? Is that not some kind of safeguarding/duty of care issue?!?

Perfectly1mperfect Sat 07-Oct-17 00:54:39


I think you need to re read the thread. They are only saying she is having sex, she isn't actually. I think the OP would be more alarmed than she is if that was the case.

vlooby Sat 07-Oct-17 01:30:57

As a teacher for 10+ years I think this sounds particularly nasty, as it sounds like your DD is getting a lot of 'attention'.
Definitely let school know. In more extreme cases I've known students to make a note of what happens and when to help reinforce what they are going through.
Hopefully school can help quickly and DD's confidence can be rebuilt before you move.

ImminentDisaster Sat 07-Oct-17 01:39:15

Oh god yes. No one is having sex, they are just accusing her of it. That is definitely not happening. Sorry if that wasn't clear! I mentioned it as I found even them saying it to be age inappropriate. I will read the thread properly now. Thanks everyone who has responded!

Ploppie4 Sat 07-Oct-17 01:42:06

Have you spoken to the school about the most recent interactions? Obviously you need to keep reporting all the crap that’s going off as it happens. What have the school done about it and what are they planning to do?

Some schools don’t deal with this sort of thing very well. Some schools have more bullying because a culture develops and isn’t challenged appropriately.

When are you moving?

Ploppie4 Sat 07-Oct-17 01:47:06

Your DD needs to give the impression she doesn’t care and is steady emotionally while in their presence. Yawning. Looking board. Ignoring them and laughing to a friend about something totally different.

ImminentDisaster Sat 07-Oct-17 01:51:03

Read it properly now. Yes, I would be horrified if she was having sex at age 12 (she absolutely is not). She's not on any social media herself apart from WhatsApp, which I check. She was furious with me for not letting her have it in Y7 but now says she's grateful she didn't. I realise this doesn't solve the problem of someone else spreading photos around.

She also talks about how she doesn't want to be pressured into wearing make up or not eating to lose weight. Bless her. She shouldn't even have to think about these things. She also says she thinks the ones who are messing about are mad to jeopardise their education (to me, not to their faces! She's not daft).

I will definitely email the school about it, I think. We've been trying to eat more healthily and exercise more, she's really done well. Obviously, I'm awake at nearly 2 thinking about it so I should probably go to sleep so I am some use tomorrow. Thanks for the advice so far and sorry if I wasn't clear about the sex which definitely isn't happening.

(Thanks Perfectly, you've given me hope that she'd be ok elsewhere. She'd be fine with that sort of ribbing.)

ImminentDisaster Sat 07-Oct-17 01:55:34

Hi Ploppie, she only told me tonight at around 8pm that it was happening so no action possible by the school yet.

We are intending to move at the end of this school year, but heaven knows if we will be able to get a place for September at a decent school. That's a whole separate thread! It could have been a bit more flexible, but dd2 is in y6 and we wanted her to have her last term with her friends.

I like the ignoring tactics. Will practise them with her.

Out2pasture Sat 07-Oct-17 01:55:55

YY to Ploppie's suggestion.
the attitude that the boys are extremely immature and you (dd) can't be bothered to listen to that drivel.

Ploppie4 Sat 07-Oct-17 02:26:08

Yes do some role play and you can play the boys in the thickest most stupid fashion.

Perfectly1mperfect Sat 07-Oct-17 02:26:51

Hi again

Your daughter sounds very mature. And these boys very immature. Ploppies advice is perfect, kids will persist only if they get a reaction so your daughter just needs to not react to it at all. Act like she's heard it all before, it's not a big deal, not shocked, not upset even if inside she is. They will soon move on.

God, it's so hard. It takes me back to my own secondary school experience, was glad to be out of there. But I think with the right set of friends it can be a better experience. Keep things good at home, keep talking to her, let her know she can tell you absolutely anything and you won't be shocked. I know sometimes when they tell me things,on the inside I am like shock but outside I am like smile. I have had a lot of practise. wink

I really do hope she's ok, and you too. It can totally take over when your children have issues at school. I hope you manage to get some sleep. x

Ploppie4 Sat 07-Oct-17 02:26:59

Help her to see them for the twits they are

Bekabeech Sat 07-Oct-17 06:24:16

First let the school know and if they are any good they will crack down. Some of this is “normal” but a decent school will crack down, devote PSE time to positive self image etc.
Second keep talking and listening to your DD. Even “confident” girls can find this kind of thing damaged their self image. Do keep monitoring her and take her to the GP if her “mood” deteriorates.
If school do not respond or brush it off, then get her out. Mental health is worth an awful lot.
And I would value your eldest DDs mental health a lot over your younger DD finishing year 6 with her friends.

Do let any new school know what has been happening and see how they can support her and will deal with similar there.

elfinpre Sat 07-Oct-17 06:28:50

This behaviour was highly typical of boys at my school 30 years ago, I'm sorry to hear things haven't improved and boys are still allowed to get away with this crap. It made me miserable at school and affected me for years.

Firefries Sat 07-Oct-17 06:43:36

See I don't not think she should have to pretend that she's not bothered and ignore these boys. That doesn't always work and it can inflame boys to keep going and say worse things.
No, she should be supported by you and the school and those boys need to be held accountable.
As a mum it's your job to show her that you have her back. You also get to teach her that as a girl she doesn't have to put up with boys (or anyone) bullying her. It's time to stand up to them and report it and get help with it. If she ignores these boys then she learns that any future boyfriends or partners can do this to her too.
Her learning right now is actually that their behaviour isn't normal and it cannot go on.

orangeowls Sat 07-Oct-17 06:52:12

Speak to her head of year and let them know what is happening. As a teacher it’s easy to miss these things when you only get a snapshot of seeing them in lessons. It is definitely going too far, some year 8s tend to be horribly cocky as they are no longer the youngest in the school.

Ktown Sat 07-Oct-17 07:11:39

The school needs to step in as it is bullying and I would like to know how these kids parents would react if they heard this language. Unless they use it themselves. It is totally unacceptable behaviour, I'd go nuclear with the school.

SerendipityFelix Sat 07-Oct-17 07:46:41

blush that’ll teach me to MN when I can’t get to sleep. I got confused with all that she says they say!

OP your DD sounds like a fantastic young woman and I’m so sorry that she’s going through this. I agree the school needs to step in - you need to get the name of every child involved in the bullying and insist that the school address it with their parents too, as well as focusing on some whole class/year discussion about bullying, sex and relationships education, eating disorders etc. I do worry about 12 year old boys engaging in this behaviour too, they sound pretty damaged themselves.

Can you get her turned on to things like everyday sexism, introduce feminism etc? Sounds like she’s already mostly there herself!

Alonglongway Sat 07-Oct-17 08:13:12

My DDs are 17 and 19 and lived through plenty of this. Unfortunately i think it is school culture these days. Schools are big and busy. Kids under massive pressure and it comes out in all sorts of horrible ways.

Based on our experience my advice would be:

Set a strong tone from home that this isnt how it has to be - talk feminism, talk about language, role model for her when you watch TV, encourage her to download at home but in a critical manner, trying to avoid moaning endlessly

When she’s ready, educate her towards great social media content - there is LOADS out there - she needs to hear inspiring voices

Use the tutor, head of year system to get her some support

Make sure you have 1:1 time having fun with her - we have some of our deepest and best conversations walking the dog

We’re into gadgets and social media and Ive never really policed it with my DDs but I strongly encouraged them to take control and turn it off and actively turn away from troubling content

I really don’t like the view that girls just have to take it - both mine were exposed to porn in school - DD1 has stories about vile pictures being sent around the kids’ phones - they need to feel ok about not being part of that, not being peer pressured into tolerating it. If i don’t have to put up with it in my workplace, why should my daughters have it in school? DD2 had a boy next to her in ICT who used to watch porn in lessons - really smart kid who broke every firewall he came across - she was miserable and put up with it for a while but i finally snapped and complained. He got dramatically marched out of a lesson one day and that seemed to finally bring home to DD2 that it’s ok to complain

I wish you both strength and luck!

DizzyDandelion Sat 07-Oct-17 10:13:22

I would be horrified if I found out my year 8 boy was doing this. Definitely speak to tutor and/or Head of year/ House.
In fact, send email this weekend copied to all. The email needs to be sitting there on Monday morning ready to be dealt with.
Banters my arse. Horrible, bullying behaviour and i would put a rocket up my son's bum if found out he was involved in such talk.
Good luck.

Malbecfan Sat 07-Oct-17 12:21:46

Many year 8 boys are really immature and follow one another without any thought as to the consequences. Individually they can be sweet and charming, but collectively, they can be idiotic and vile. Obviously, there are many exceptions, but in the 2 classes of them I taught yesterday, the majority speak first and engage their brains a while later.

To the OP: speak to the school on Monday. The things they are saying are completely unacceptable and the perpetrators should face consequences for their bullying. You could perhaps phrase it that you have talked to your DD and she will go in with her head held high, but what about the child who is less confident or whose parents cannot help? Best of luck to you both

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