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I've just had a phone call from the mum of one of dd's friends saying that dd is bullying her daughter.

(136 Posts)
seeker Fri 13-Feb-09 12:55:59

They are both in Year 8 at different schools. They go on the bus together, and apparently, dd has been ignoring the other girl, turning her back on her, deliberately leaving her out of conversations, generally excluding her until this other girl doesn't want to go to school and is in tears every night.

I am completely gobsmacked by this - I just didn't think my dd would behave like this - but I know that's what all bully's mothers say, so I'm ignoring my mother tiger feelings.

I'm not sure how to take it forward - I need to talk to my dd, I know, but do you think it would be a good idea to have a "meeting' with dd, the other girl, her mother and me? And I'm meeting dd and another friend for a pizza tonight - the friend goes on the bus too - should I talk about it with both of them or wait to talk to dd alone? Help!

Tamarto Fri 13-Feb-09 12:57:12

IMO i'd talk to your DD alone at least to begin with. See what the story is then decide from there.

fryalot Fri 13-Feb-09 12:59:20


I would ordinarily advise you to let the school deal with it, but if they go to different schools this will be impossible.

The first thing I would do is ring her school though and speak to her form tutor or someone that knows her quite well and see if her behaviour is everything you would want it to be at school.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to also ask the form tutor for advice on how to deal with this situation, it's quite possible she has come across this before.

Also, it will give her something to watch out for in your daughter's behaviour at school, this does need nipping in the bud before it gets worse.

Fimbo Fri 13-Feb-09 12:59:26

I would talk to your dd alone. I am glad you have realised that your dd may be doing this to the other girl and not thinking she is an angel.

My dd (yr 6) is going through something very similar at the moment with a girl in her class, I would never be able to approach the mother as she think her dd is wonderful.

fryalot Fri 13-Feb-09 13:01:07

And before you actually "deal" with anything, I'd get your daughter's side of the story. Teenage girls do lie and it's not necessarily going to be your daughter doing the lying.

Don't just assume that she is doing what she is accused of.

(but likewise don't assume that she isn't!)

I'll have a ponder while I'm tidying bedrooms and if I think of anything else I'll come back to the thread later on.

good luck

cocolepew Fri 13-Feb-09 13:03:00

Talk to DD alone first.

I had this problem last year (DD 'friends' bullying her). I phoned a Mum to talk about itand got a mouthful of abuse about how awful my DD was hmm. So good for you for remaining impartial.

Lovetingles2 Fri 13-Feb-09 13:05:44

Well done you Seeker, for acknowledging that your dd might be at fault.
However, This could be a blown out of all proportion situation.
Were the girls good friends initally? How well do you know the other family? How was the mother on the phone? Will she accept fault in her own dd, I mean, does she think her dd is perfect?
I would sit down with your dd tonight and calmly ask her version of events. Then go from there.

seeker Fri 13-Feb-09 13:05:45

It really does seem out of character. I can imagine her losing her temper and saying someting horrible, but this seems like a sustained campaign.

Squonk - we've coincidentally just had a parents evening where we were told what a caring sensible thoughtful little friend to all the world dd is, and what an excellent form captain she is because she is so tuned in to other people's feelings!

CreativeZen Fri 13-Feb-09 13:07:04

Yes, speak to dd alone first. If there is any discrepancy between what she says and what the other girls says, you could then speak to the friend you are seeing tonight to get an impartial third view.

Also, don't forget that, even if your dd is doing this, there may be a very good reason, such as the "victim's" previous behaviour.

susie100 Fri 13-Feb-09 13:07:17

Seeker - sounns like normal behaviour to me, not talking one day, bessie mates the next. Not what I would call bullying at all she is not compelled to talk to a girl on the bus is she?

Lovetingles2 Fri 13-Feb-09 13:08:22

blimey, it does sound out of character then....
could it be something as simple as your dd just doesn't really want to be friends with this girl and girl is finding it very hard to deal with?

seeker Fri 13-Feb-09 13:09:21

Susie - not normal if the other girl is in tears every night and doesn't want to go to school, is it? Or am I very naive about the ways of teenagers?

fryalot Fri 13-Feb-09 13:10:31

ah. In that case, speak to dd first and get her side of things. Make it clear that you are NOT accusing her, but you have had a phone call and want to get to the bottom of what's what.

Let us know what she says then we can decide advise you what to do next.

(yes, I'm going to tidy bedrooms in a moment. Honestly)

StickyThread Fri 13-Feb-09 13:12:42

Just on the basis of what you have said, I'm not sure that this does neccesarily amount to bullying, does it? If your dd is participating in a campaign of ostrcising -- involving several kids -- or urging other kids to join in with her behaviour, then that is bullying. But just refusing to speak to her might simply be that she is angry, etc.

Even if not bullying, it is hurtful, and I'm sure you'd want to have a word with her about trying to rebuild bridges, etc. But to call it bullying implies an attempt to intimidate, or a maliciousness, that need not be there at all.

Tamarto Fri 13-Feb-09 13:13:17

Seeker - No you are right, even if the other girl is V. sensitive, it isn't normal. But there could be lots more to the story that the other mum doesn't know or didn't tell you.

It might be that your DD not talking to her was/is the last straw, you'll know nothing untill you speak to your DD.

You have a great attitude about it all, if your DD is like you in that respect i'd imagine it'll be easy sorted. smile

Lovetingles2 Fri 13-Feb-09 13:17:08

I agree with Tamarto and Stickythread, this really might not be the reason the girl is crying, but is the straw that broke the camels back.
I'm sure you'll be able to sort it out easily and there is nothing particularly sinister about it, let us know how you get on.

Songbird Fri 13-Feb-09 13:21:36

It sounds a bit extreme that a girl on a bus who doesn't go to the same school can be the reason for another girl not wanting to go to school at all. Maybe the girl is being bullied at school and used to have the bus trip with an out-of-school friend to look forward to, and now doesn't even have that. It sounds quite sad, whatever started it off. The other girl is obviously miserable. If the teachers have pointed out what a kind and thoughtful person your dd is, use this when you have a chat with her. Say it seems out of character, everyone says what a nice person she is etc etc.

Songbird Fri 13-Feb-09 13:22:39

Just realised I've done the opposite of summarising in one sentence what everyone else is saying blush

Gorionine Fri 13-Feb-09 13:22:51

I would ask for more info as well. I would not have thought that ignoring someone was classified as bullying. Not the nicest thing maybe but bullying really?

seeker Fri 13-Feb-09 13:29:33

But the other mother must have been pretty sure of her facts to ring me, surely?

Songbird Fri 13-Feb-09 13:30:40

Mmmm, wouldn't bet on it!

CreativeZen Fri 13-Feb-09 13:33:19

No, she has her dd's version of events. She can't be sure of facts unless she was there.

As your dd doesn't attend the same school, it seems odd that this girl is refusing to go to school. After all, she doesn't have to sit with your dd on the bus. It sounds as though she may be a victim of bullying at school and is using your dd as an excuse.

Bumperslucious Fri 13-Feb-09 13:35:31

Oooh, sticky situation. I would talk your DD alone, but make sure you don't start in a accusatory way, see what her side of the story is. Even if your DD is doing what the other mother says it may not be that she is the instigator, there might be other girls involved.

Lovetingles2 Fri 13-Feb-09 13:38:20

I don't think ignoring someone is bullying either, unless she is encouraging others to do the same.
Perhaps the girl refuses to leave your dd alone?
It does sound a sad situation, but can't believe that your dd ignoring someone is sole reason for continual crying and school refusal

Sibh Fri 13-Feb-09 13:42:34

Seeker - it sounds as if you are handling this very carefully. Can you introduce the conversation with DD in a way that lets her admit mistakes if she has made them?

So, start by saying what was said at the parents' evening, then explain what the other mum has said, say you'd like to hear her side of the story, but also add that if she's made a mistake in dealing with this girl, or has got caught up in a group treatment of her, then you can help her think of ways to sort the situation out and get back on track ...

A friend of DS's is treating people a bit badly lately and I think he's a bit afraid to admit it and find coping strategies because he doesn't feel able to be honest about what's gone on.

It does sound like this is a story that will have more sides to it than the other mother's version.

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