WWYD? 15 yr old DD and horrible phone messages(18 Posts)
DD1 has got involved in a big falling out with some girls who are part of her group. They are being horrible to her and making her life a misery. I don't know whether to get involved, i.e. take screen shots of the messages and report them to school or to keep out of it. DD1 has told me to keep out of it and says she is not entirely without blame, and that she has said some unpleasant things. But she is essentially being picked on by a group of girls, so I think that is bullying, regardless of what DD said to them. It's 3 (or more) against 1. They have each other for support whereas, DD does not seem to have any allies in the group. There are girls in the group who are not giving her grief, but they are not on the receiving end either, just DD.
DD read me some of the messages and these girls are being really unpleasant and threatening. They say she is attention seeking, always talking about her problems and being a victim. Lots of stupid posturing stuff, e.g. 'you picked the wrong person to mess with'. DD told another girl she hates them (the mean girls), which was then relayed back to them. Her other crimes apparently are to complain about in jokes being posted on the group chat that some of the group don't understand and to also complain about these girls giving her evil looks. She also complained about a party being referred to that she wasn't invited to.
She is beside herself, she cried most of last night. She didn't want to go to school. She says she can't go to lunch because of the evil glares and no one to sit with. I advised her to leave the group chats, but she says they keep adding her back in and giving her a hard time about leaving. Last time this kicked off, a couple of weeks ago, she apologised for her part in it, but she said this didn't improve things. I have confiscated her phone (with her agreement) so that she can keep away from the messages, but this is not a long term solution.
She is a bit emotionally fragile and is having treatment for mental health problems. I have given a teacher an overview of what's happening so she is aware and can provide support to DD. But should I take it further? Thanks for reading if you got this far.
Yes def speak to school. She won't want you to, but I would (and have) do it.
What happened when you did ChipInTheSugar?
I am wondering how it will be interpreted by school and whether it will make things worse for DD. DD admits she has also done wrong. One of the girls involved is the daughter of a teacher at the school and I worry that these girls will really close ranks and make trouble for DD if I report it. I wish I could see all the messages myself and understand a bit more about it. DD has a pass code on the phone and doesn't want me to see.
Oh god it's hideous. My dd is y7 and has had this already. I did speak to the school who did some mediation, which worked brilliantly. But they are 11 so more easily cowed by authority!
I think this is how girls operate and you have to wait it out, stay strong, find strategies to manage lunchtime (like text another friend and ask to sit with her), and get as much support at home as possible. Could she leave her phone downstairs so she's not on the receiving end while at home? Can you make home as cosy and loving as poss - favourite foods, film nights etc?
And have you got Queen Bees and Wannabees? V useful explanation of girl friendships and helpful advice.
Watching this thread with interest to see what mums of older girls say.
Ps my dd had also done something wrong. I told the school (it was tiny compared with what everyone else was doing) and she readily admitted it in the mediation. It was really helpful. Also I rang the school on a previous occasion to get advice and to ask what they would go if she needed intervention. That was incredibly useful - they are used up this - and totally respected my wish for confidentiality. Neither they not I told my dd, though I relayed the information to her.
Would do not would go!
Used to not used up!
Nor I not not I!
I'd be asking for the passcode first so you know the full story and that you can't go in all guns blazing just in case your daughter could be saying equally bad/worse things back. I assume since she's telling you things then that is a good sign, but I would be making sure!
Also, yeh I would be speaking to the school.
Thanks for the support. This is so difficult.
I will see if I can get a bit more info out of DD today and see how things are. I suspect she will have received some more messages today while she doesn't have the phone, so I will try and get her to show me later, and then I have got some concrete information with which to phone school.
I think I do have that book Ceeceecee, I haven't looked at it for years, but I will take another look.
I would look properly at the phone to see what DD is saying to them as well. IF you're satisfied that she is being bullied, then def go to the school. She should let you if she wants you to help her, but it should be her decision as often mine say 'don't tell school' I only do if I have their permission.
Useful for your dd to read too - the film Mean Girls was based on it.
DD now 17 went through this more at 12/13 though.
She agreed that we would both assess all her conversations/social media and I would help her answer or not as the case may be. We probably did this for about 9 months.
I think it gave her confidence to sound off to someone she knew would not repeat anything in school so not fuelling more drama plus we could discuss why certain girls needed to do certain things.
Even now at 17 with a totally private phone she will still occasionally say will you help me word something Mum.
School never really improved but DD was able to manage it well and College has been so different in a very good way so things will improve for your DD as they get older I think.
I had something vaguely similar happen to my son. I didn't see any messages, but he was excluded from a group of friends and reading between the lines they spelt it out to him they didn't want him around any more. I don't think they were bullying him as such, but there was the usual thing of excluding him from Facebook groups, social events etc
He still feels lonely now sometimes (this happened a few months ago) but it is getting better and he is socialising with different people. I contacted the school - or rather, I knew of one teacher he particularly got on well with and I contacted her directly. She was brilliant, she spent an entire lunch time talking it through with him and addressing his problems. I don't think she took it further with the other kids (he didn't want her to) but talking it through helped greatly and changed his perspective. It helps to talk things through with someone outside of the family I think.
Is there one teacher your daughter really likes that you could contact? Alternatively, schools often have pastoral care services who are good at helping with these issues. So definitely worth having a go.
Thanks. Yes she is being well supported at school and there are some teachers who are looking out for her thankfully. I will definitely escalate things with school if I need to. Today seemed to be a bit better. Taking her phone away seems to have helped and some friends made sure she went to lunch with them. I'm so relieved she has friends she can trust. But the phone is only a temporary measure. I dread to think what messages are waiting for her but she hasn't asked for it back yet.
Poor girl that is so miserable, at least the school is on your side and she is sensible enough not to ask for her phone. And the main thing she has some decent friends to provide moral support. Teenagers are horrible aren't they? If there are further texts you could show the school as evidence. In the long run it may be worth changing her number. My son took the extreme decision to delete his Facebook account completely (extreme for a teenager anyway!), so he is gone, a`non' person as he says. He has a sort of phantom account now to keep in touch with family. Although I appreciate that must be nigh on impossible for most teenagers , especially girls
Have you discussed blocking particular numbers majesticwhine, or is that too 'final'? I suppose they could always be unblocked if relationships improve?
Feel very sorry for today's teenagers having to navigate social media - i don't think many adults could handle those types of messages, let alone dteens!
Flowergirl that teacher sounds great - what did she say to change your ds's perspective? The 'being dropped by your group' thing is horrible and can be so bad for dteens' self esteem (as well as hurtful!) - what kind of thing did teacher say that helped?
I think it was just someone he could trust that he could talk to. He's in year 11 so the teacher explained he just has to get through these next few months, that there is a different culture in sixth form, and that the classes will be all mixed up so he should be mixing with new people anyway - I hope. He has also had a lot of support from (marvellous) older sisters. Even so he's a bit sad still, the School Prom is next month and he's decided not to go, but I know in different circumstances he would have loved it. I don't think he is bullied so much as MajesticWhine's dd has suffered, more ostracised and excluded.
I feel sorry for today's teenagers as well. I think they have a rough time of it, harder than we had. Blocking numbers is a good idea, better that changing your number - although you can `blame' changing your number on a new contract or new phone or something, and pretend it was outside of your control.
It's all on whatsapp and I know you can block people fairly easily. DD seems reluctant to do this for fear of being called a "pussy". I will keep talking to her about it.
She should screen shot and save messages, then block their numbers. Honestly. Maybe try to talk to her about what she would do in real life if a group of people were shouting at her and insulting her? She would walk away, right? Thats what blocking amounts to. It isn't 'being a pussy', its saying 'I dont have to listen to this anymore'. She needs to take the actions available to her to protect her emotional and mental health, and blocking is the first step.
Personally, I think you should definitely report it to the school.
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