DD being bullied, and evidence of her leading several boys on (phone and FBook/MSN). Where can we get help before she self destructs?(17 Posts)
Hi, We have a 14 yr old DD wtih very low self esteem. When she was 12 we found her talking explicitly (there was no follow up to the talk) to boys on the internet- telling them she would 'get off with them' and letting them think she would send them photos (she then pretended the web cam was broken...we don't even have one). We banned her off the computer for a year. Around the same time she was being bullied in school for clearing her throat funny and blowing her nose strangely (she drags both out, seemingly not able to do it properly). The bullying was sorted out and we thought she had settled back into school ok.
She does have some strange behaviours which i have always suspected to be a mild form of aspergers/something similar, tho' she does well at school and each thing seems to be too small to actually be a problem (she misunderstands some facial expressions; doesn't understand sarcasm- everything is literal- i know this makes her an easy target for bullies).
She is now 14 and we have found that she sneaked out of the house one night, from 1.30am-4.20am, to meet boys. her phone showed she was leading some of them on. She has not had sex and hasn't tried alcohol or smoked- in all other areas she is very naieve. At the same time, the bullying has begun again wtih a different set of people making up gossip and alienating her from all the friends she didnt have. It is through school, the bus, Facebk and phone and is (speaking as a teacher, not a parent) the worst i have ever heard of, with girls threatening to beat her up etc; so much so that she wants to move school. There are 3 girls spreading malicious gossip about her, saying she is having sex with lots of people. None of this is true- she doesn't 'hang out' on the street and only has girls in for DVDs on a fri or sat. These girls are also losing her friends by telling them she is saying things about them which she is not- they then all fall out with her and she is on her own in school most of the time now. i fear she is leading boys on for attention and to boost her self esteem, which has earned her the nickname of 'slag' in school over the last few weeks . The schools involved are, since yesterday trying to resolve this, but i know we need professional help before she self destructs. WHERE and HOW do we get help? We have put it off so far in the hope that it all resolves itself and because we are afraid of the 'wrong' help doing more damage. All suggestions appreciated! We live in Northern Ireland. mary.
Sorry not any great advice, but didn't want this to go unanswered, bumping for you x
God what a horrible situation for her mary, and you.
Firstly, if she is sneaking off to meet boys in the middle of the night, why are you so sure she is not having sex with them? Does she know about safe sex? You need to let her know that "in the future" when she does have sex, she needs to use condoms (and tell her where she can get them). Also might be worth thinking about the pill/implant if you think she's not responsible enough (sorry no idea if these things are available in the same way in NI). It's not nice to contemplate, but this situation can only get worse if she is having sex and hasn't had any advice.
In all honesty, is moving schools an option? It sounds pretty horrendous.
Assuming not, what are the girls like who she has round for DVDs? Are they the ones who are being driven away by the gossip? Teenagers need a buffer of friends to help protect from bullying, as well as support from the teachers. Are you going to go in and talk to the teacher?
How is she at home? Presumably you are giving her plenty of love, hugs and reassurance already?
i would move schools straight away. it doesn't sound like she will be able to shake off her label as an easy target at this school.
wrt outside/professional help. i would start with the GP and see if you can get her some counselling/esteem building sessions.
pill/implant etc is all available in NI the same as mainland. (i am NI aswell)
what are the school doing/saying they are going to do about the bullying?
Highly recommend the teen sex ed site Scarleteen.
Thanks everyone...she is much loved and we show it at home and with things we do together (we both went for dinner and cinema on sat; shopping on thur eve). I can't be 100% sure she isn't having sex of course but i'm 100% sure she has done something leading to it but not actual sex. yet. I have read all of her phone messages and msn messages adnd so have a pretty clear idea of what she has done. She has sadly been leading on boys but not actually following through. I am thinking of putting her on the pill within the nxt year just in case.
I spoke to both schools about the bullying and they have been great. Initially the bullying was stepped up but we are keeping up pressure on the girls so hopefully it will have some effect. The facebook bullying now consists of the girls leaving long and explicit slagging matches about her (on their own profile pages) without them mentioning her name. The girls principal spoke to her about bullying in her uniform so she waited at the bus depot with her school blazer and tie off so she could shout verbal abuse! I told her headmaster of course and he is to pull her in this morning. Keeping up pressure is the only way to get the bullies.
As for the self esteem, I have an appointment with the GP to see about a councellor....I know all this is stemming from self eesteem.....Her father and i divorced when she was only 18months old and once i paid him off we didn't see him again(nor have his parents incidentally, ane this is since 1998). I am remarried and we have a daughter who is 3. All complicated, i know. I have always been worried that the rejection by her birth father will cause problems in the future and i am sure this is the cause of her seeking affection/acceptance from boys.
Moving schools isn't really an option- she is at a great grammar school and will not move to the Grammar in our town ( we have told her she can) but has suggested moving to a secondary school which i wont allow as it would mean a move in 2 years for alevels to the other grammar anyway, so pointless.
I am so, so worried about raising a girl with no confidence or self esteem who ends up in bad relationships as an adult.
Hopefully the doctor will ahve some suggestions. I did go to see him last year when we found the original messages on the internet, but it was no use as he wanted her to come in and talk to him and she refused. Wish me luck! x
It's really nice that you have a good relationship with her, and spend time together etc (really sad IMO when parents abandon their teenage DC to fester in their rooms). She must love you a lot, but at the same time be very embarrassed by what has been revealed. I think would have probably died of shame on the spot if my mum had read my emails/texts to boys and they weren't even very rude! I think it's a really good idea that she go and talk to the doctor about sexual health advice etc. Sex education is generally completely crap, and she might not want to hear it from you (although do try, especially the "where you can get condoms from" bit, and about the pill). At around that age my mother, wonderful woman that she is, said that I might want a separate doctor to the family doc, and set me up with a female GP. Can you do something like this? It was much better for me to speak privately to nice female doctor rather than male Dr _ who had looked after me as a kid.
Great that the schools are reacting well, and keep up the pressure.
Does she do any activities outside of school? What are her interests? For many teenagers knowing that they can get away from school people and see different friends at Scouts/band practice/youth theatre is a lifeline.
Also try to talk about the future a lot. IME yr 10 & 11 are better than years 7-9. Will she be going to a separate school/FE college to do A-levels or whatever?
Does she have ambitions for the future? She needs to have her eyes on the future both to give her something to aim for (i.e. not get pregnant by some idiot now), and to remind her that this time of her life will pass and she will move on to better things.
Thanks EvilAnts....the school has been really great and things have improved there. She is now starting to see that she has some amount of responsibility for what has happened ( ie getting herself a name) and that boys will show off and exaggerate. we gave her her mobile back this morning...she will have it duuring the day and an hour of her choice at home.....she is having an outing to the shops and some friends over on friday. With the computer, we moved it into the living room and allow her on FB a little while most days. The ring leader of the bullying is still persistant but i think we are wearing her down, fingers crossed.
I know we need to get her doing more outside school...she used to do so much until she was about 11....now it is just golf and cadets (which she isn't going to at the mo, because the bully goes).
I have made her an appt for the doctor for a knee injury so will talk to her about contraception options and tell her she can talk to her when she is ready. She says she is not that kind of girl' when i talk about sex
Hopefully she is starting to understand that something terrible could happen, when she starts drinking, if she kept up this teasing banter with boys.
Have you heard of an organisation called BeatBullying? They can help to create a system in your school called Cybermentors - where a group of kids are trained by BeatBullying to give the children an outlet for what is happening at school. It really is worth looking into....you could also see if your school has a programme lined up to teach Emotional Intelligence which is aimed at the whole school, not just individuals, teaching among other things empathy, tolerance, choice and self-confidence.
Nottirednow, thanks- that is a great suggestion- i hadnt thought of it......ans learnbright i will look into the BeatBullying. She is refusing to go to the school councellor but we have an appointment next week with someone, so fingers crossed.
Things got better for a wee while but have detiorated again. We are actuall having to go to the police this evening...we will have a problem with evidence as she uses others phones to contact DD, but they will give her a caution at least...it is mostly indirect bullying where the girl is making up stuff... telling others she said things about them when she didn't; they then turn against DD and make her life hell in school. It is quite amazing that DD has only seen this girl twice, briefly, since june and this is how she is carrying on. Things have gotten so bad that DD actually walked out of school after 2nd lesson on Monday as she couldn't face going to class. Her file had been intentionally broken (again- one broken each week now) and then last night on facebook we saw girls laughing about having broken it.I am in bits. As well as this i am expecting our 3rd child in 4 weeks; but so glad that i will be at home more for DD and not at work until september.
Mary, do you have any good martial arts classes in the area? DS1 joined when he was at primary school and being bullied. We were very impressed because the teaching methods of his karate class were all focused on improving self esteem, whilst giving good instruction and exercise too. (It is an ideal sport for the non-sporty, as well as for more athletic kids too.)
It meant that he got out of the house twice a week, and made new friends there, as well as boosting his self confidence. He never used the karate to physically defend himself, but felt reassured that it meant that he could, if he ever needed to. To be honest, the twice weekly break in routine, with new mates, in a structured supervised setting was the greatest thing for us all, and gave us a break from focusing on what was going on in school.
That's a great idea. I used to get bullied a fair bit when I was a teenager and later I learned Karate. It gave me a good boost in self confidence but along with it, self discipline. Surprisingly I never used anything I learned in anger and if anything I was more restrained. I would walk away from fights and only if I couldn't avoid it I fought.
What a great suggestion! I will look into Karate Since last post we had to go to the police- the girl was threatening to 'dance on (DDs) head' if she saw her. The police called to her house and she said it was her that was being bullied by DD and she would be in to make a statement...she hasn't yet. The mother and older sister then arrived at DDs school and gave the head of the Senior School abuse. To avoid this girl, since sept, we have changed DDs mobile number, taken her out of Cadets, banned her from the bus station before and after school and closed down her facebook. All not very nice for DD but what could we do- and still it didn't stop. Hopefully it will come to an end soon.
Saw DDs school again- the girl who damaged the files ripping out out homeworks and notes got a 2 day suspension; DD started on the Duke of Ed and we decided for the meantime not to go to counselling as the GP said it can sometimes do more harm than good. But we know where it is if we decide at a later date. He told us to focus on building her self esteem rather than letting her think she 'had a problem'.
I will look into the Karate tonight
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