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NOt sure how to play this one - is it bullying or something else?

(7 Posts)
Wisedupwoman Tue 31-May-11 18:29:23

My DD is coming up 16. She's bright, funny, engaging and humanitarian to all. She is in GCSE's all of which she will get great marks in, and will do a 6th form.
But in March this year her dad and me suddenly separated after I discovered his second affair in 4 years - he'd been planning to go. DD had been begging him to tell me as she'd 'known' for some time.
I've done everything I can to support her and get support for her from school, family and so on.
But her peer group seems to be crashing around her ears and it breaks my heart. They exclude her from practically all their socialising, talk about it in front of her but don't invite her, blame her when she asks what she has done wrong, etc etc. She is now saying she doesn't want to go to school for the first time ever. I told her headteacher that she is having a hard time with her friends and asked for some support for her. I am furious with these girls but my DD is scared that saying anything will make it worse.

What would you do? Am I overreacting, do you think?

Happymum22 Tue 31-May-11 19:16:25

To be completely honest while it all sounds extrememly nasty, and my heart goes out to your DD as someone who went through similar with my parents divorce and very messy fmaily situation.
Although I have to say with DDs the situation sounds very common. Girls are like that- one minute your 'in the crowd' attention on you, happy, secure feelign fab. The next week its all about Jessica over there who has a new boy on the go or is talking of an upcoming party her parents are letting her have. Girls instinctively fight for their own survival in the group over ensuring everyones happy/included. Girls are all very insecure int heir teenage years, and to them the way to feel secure is to be 'in the group', loved and popular amongst their friends. If someone else is not happy, as cruel as this sounds, a lot of girls simply feel glad its not them, use it as a bit of an advantage that they are 'in' and shes not, making them feel better. All horrible and nasty but true and common and normal.
When its a problem is when it goes on a long time and your daughter has tried to be included by having soical events shes organised, making a real effort to be included by chatting to the girls in the group even if on an individual basis. Do the other girls know whats going on with your family?
I suspect it is likely your DD is viewing everything extremely negatively and to you, the person she can vent her emotions to, she only recalls the real bad situations and while their exclusion of her is terrible, from their point of view they probably are thinking 'whys X so moody and quiet all the time recently? we just want her to be normal again' but shes anxious they dont want her, and so isnt acting normal and is naturally upset by them, and your family situation so everything seems a downwards spiral.
My DD had a similar situation in year 11 also, she is evry bright had everything going for her, but family life was tricky and she was very upset by it all but bottling it up, friends came and went and on the weeks she felt excluded she'd come home and tell me awful stories.
Looking back they were not often, were most likely exagerated and most likely all teh girls in turn went home saying similar things because the fact is not all girls can be the one the attentions on/in the group all the time because ones always feeling less 'in the group' or included than others.
Perhaps you need to encourage her to explain to her friends, even jsut one or two close ones, whats going on in her life and how its made her feel drained and insecure and that she just needs their support. if theyre real friends they will be there from that moment onwards, all will be forgotten and the excluding from social events will stop.. otherwise yes I'd take action in terms of encouraging her to make other friends.
At her age, i wouldnt speak to the teacher, shes of an age she should tackle things herself- maybe encourage her to speak to a teacher about it. they are unlikely to interfere at that age but will help her deal with everything goin on.
Sorry this is quite a ramble and im sorry if in any point i make it sound your daughters fault- it isnt at all..but i do think its very natural teenage life and perhaps the problems are more to do with family life changing how she is and the amount of energy/way shes acting with friends thats causing problems.
if that makes sense?! i dont think the girls are bullying, more not knowing how to deal with the way your DDs feeling and its spiralling out of control. Although the leaving out of social events is more concerning.
Ah right. hope this helps a bit!!

Happymum22 Tue 31-May-11 19:20:07

Having re-read your message, i see the exlusion is bad, especially if its leading to her not wanting to go to school. DO you think shes blaming her distress (which will be very bad, divorce REALLY affects kids as they loose all their security and everything they knew) on friendships?
I think big chats are needed so you get to the bottom of it, find out if one of two of the girls in the group are nice or would be people she could talk to and (non defensively) explain things from her point of view and how shes feeling?

Wisedupwoman Tue 31-May-11 19:39:05

Hi Happymum thanks.
My DD is always the one in the group to 'sort things' between the girls who fall out, she's the one who they all go to to talk about their probs.

But now she is dealing with something big and life changing suddenly they seem to resent that she is asking for something in return. As well, she is the only one who doesn't drink, have sex or any other experimental stuff. She is the youngest because not 16 til August. so any parties are hard for her because she is dealing with her friends whilst they are acting out when drunk or whatever.
She is desperate to have a lovely 16th birthday party but they tell her they won't come unless i provide alcohol which i won't, under any circumstances and she wouldn't want it either.
i think she nees a new group of friends really but she just wants to be wanted by the one's she has shared her school life with. her 6th form is at a new school where I'm hoping she'll meet more like-minded mates who understand and share her interests (she's academic but her passion is sport).

You have made me feel a bit better though, like I'm on the right track, but god, teenage girls!!!!!!!!

frazmum Tue 31-May-11 20:37:19

You've got some good advice there - but slightly off topic. Would you be able to organise a weekend away for the two of you for her 16th? London for a hotel & show, or even a city break. Or even a surprise party with extended family if she's close to them.

frazmum Tue 31-May-11 20:38:26

Meant to say my suggestion is slightly off topic - not the other posters who gave great advice. Agree about teenage girls, have two myself. Love them to bits but ......

cardibach Wed 01-Jun-11 12:57:57

I had a similar issue with my daughter (15). She moved forms (something she had resisted in the past when problems with her friends were brewing) and is now MUCH happier. She has got closer to girls she was friendly with in the past, and they are much more 'her kind of people'. She is doing Duke of Edinburgh, is on the School Council and is really happy, so it can work out. I understand her desire to stay with the same friends, though - and you pointing out that if they treat he like that they aren't really friends doesn't help, does it?
She had to be the one to chose this approach, though, as it did mean an effort on her part to make new friends (or develop existing acquaintances, really). If your daughter is resisting this, it won't work yet, I don't think. Hopefully the move to Sixth Form will help her to move on with her friends, too.

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