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Year 6 girls urgent friendship advice needed please

24 replies

PorridgePot · 07/09/2012 09:26

Please can I get some advice/ perspective on how my dd is treated by her 'best friend'? I will list some points that define their day to day relationship, and have a couple of questions that I'd be grateful for feedback on.

? Refusing to allow to join her eg when working at a computer/ group, saying ? there?s not enough room? for her
? Being rough and threatening eg pushing her very hard on field so that she fell, hurting herself because she was angry with dd
? Regularly gripping dd by the arms, saying things like ?I could really hurt you? ?I could kill you? (some joke, eh?)
? Regularly initiating situations whereby one person in a 3 is made to feel excluded
? Saying hurtful and inappropriate things eg telling another child, who was concerned about dd?s absence at school that dd was ?dead and that her ashes had been scattered?
? Breaking dd?s trust/ confidence
? Regularly talking about sleepover/ playdates etc involving other children, in front of dd in an exaggerated way, saying how great it will be
? Blowing ?hot and cold? for no apparent reason (being showered with attention/ affection one day and totally ignored the next)
? Making dd feel that she is not free to explore other friendships, as attempts to find someone else are often undermined/ sabotaged

I can't bear going through another year like last year, with dd regularly upset by her. I feel like i have lost all perspective on this. The class teacher last year put it down to there being a "3's a crowd" scenario and took a no blame approach to resolving issues with the girls.

To what extent is this par for the course, considering that girls can be spiteful? In my heart of hearts I feel that there is a power imbalance in the friendship which is so marked , that there elements of bullying. what do you think and what would you do?

day 2 of term and dd was really distraught last night and finally admitted how much this girl is getting to her (she even admitted that this was behind her request to explore an alternative secondary school).

Have arranged to see the teacher after school but am not sure at all what to say. i don't want to seem like a nightmare parent going in to school so early on but i can't just ignore this, surely. any advice folks? please x

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Toughasoldboots · 07/09/2012 09:32

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Toughasoldboots · 07/09/2012 09:35

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PorridgePot · 07/09/2012 09:38

I am certain, toughasoldboots. i dont want to say too much, but there are at least two other parents whose children have experienced or witnessed things. (i found this out after confiding in one parent whilst at the end of my tether).

i have tried and tried to encourage other friendships. as soon as dd tries to build other friendships, this girl turns on her charm and lures dd back by showering her with attention. then the cycle starts again. i wish had the strength to stand up to this girl and stop herself getting sucked in.

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Toughasoldboots · 07/09/2012 09:40

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PorridgePot · 07/09/2012 09:40

funny you should say that re violence, as the other stuff is more hurtful to dd :(

thank you for posting :)

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PorridgePot · 07/09/2012 09:43

x post. if you asked this girl about the gripping arm thing, she'd say it was a joke, but it is just one way of wielding power, imo. the phyiscal harm done isn't the issue really. the pushing on the field was a fairly isolated incident.

the emotional stuff hurts more, as i said

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Toughasoldboots · 07/09/2012 09:45

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sweetfluffybunnies · 07/09/2012 09:48

The friend needs to be told in no uncertain terms that physically hurting people is wrong and will not be tolerated. That is the school's job and you should insist they do it.

As for the other behaviours, this girl is not a good friend to your daughter. Could you encourage other friendships at times when this girl is not around? At home after school, at out of school clubs etc? This girl clearly has problems with self-esteem, but that is not your daughter's problem.

PorridgePot · 07/09/2012 09:52

Toughas, i think that the class teacher was sympathetic to a point, but this child is very manipulative and i just dont think the teacher got the measure of her. maybe i wasnt direct enough in pushing the point as we know her family.

i see what you mean re the violence. the emotional stuff has a toxic subtlety about it that's hard to pin down. thats one reason why i am going to tell the teacher about her saying dd was dead, as it illustrates her cruelty, imo.

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overthemill · 07/09/2012 09:54

you must talk to school. I am a teacher and i know i would want to know and try to resolve it - we have lots of ways, getting kids in groups, individually etc to talk to them. Violent behaviour and other bullying is not on. But having said that, I moved my dd after 3 years of crap to a new school where se flourished and could shake off the past where she hadn't been strong enough to do it herself. the break gave HER new perspective. go with your gut

PorridgePot · 07/09/2012 09:58

sweet, i have tried and tried to persuade dd to play with other people, but at the end of the day my dd has to decide for herself whether she will continue to let this girl have such influence over her.

i need to push her to invite other people over more, though.

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PositiveAttitude · 07/09/2012 10:00

That age girls are a nightmare and as a parent it hurts so much to see your DD hurting and going through all this.

We have had similar with all 4 of my DDS (Now aged 21, 19, 18 and 16 - DS (15) was easy compared to the girls! Hmm ) Anyway, what I have tried to get mine to do is to explain how the other girl's behaviour is damaging them. Encourage other friendships, as you have done, but when the first friend comes running back and tries to control again encourage your DD to stand up to her and politely refuse her friendship if it means an exclusive friendship. It took DD4 a while to understand that she did not need to run back to her "friend" as soon as she showed an interest and she has been far happier since she moved on totally and she will now say she doesn't know why she put up with it for so long.

It is insecurity in the other girl which is making her like that. You could discuss all the motives with your DD and also tell her what you think will happen. My DDs were amazed that I could see through their friends and could see if one of them was going to act up if she did not get her own way, but it meant that they were not so surprised by it and could see that I was telling them the truth about these girls.

I would contact the school so that they know that your DD is upset by it all. Perhaps this year's teacher will have a different approach to last year's one.

PorridgePot · 07/09/2012 10:03

overthemill, she has been at the school for only 2 years as we moved town, and i want to avoid another move before secondary school, if at all possible.

dd is complex. she is bright, bubbly girl who does haveother 'part time' friends (but they are mostly paired off together). but she is also sensitive and can be anxious. this girl is affecting her self esteem :(

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PorridgePot · 07/09/2012 10:09

Positive, thanks for your post. last night we talked about strategies for distancing herself from this girl and talked about the reverse psychology of it (dd had noticed already that this girl only wants her when she acts disinterested). i hope dd will recognise when she is trying to win her back, and that she will resist. fingers crossed for today!

by the way positive (and others), would you say this was a form of bullying?

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MrsEricBana · 07/09/2012 10:11

We experienced similar with dd and her supposed best friend last year. School wanted to know very specific examples just as you have listed above. School were kind and supportive to dd BUT did not do enough to tackle the other girl and just spoke to the class in general terms about being inclusive, kind etc and did not call in the other girl's parents, which I was shocked by, as this was persistent, extremely upsetting and damaging to dd.
The turning point was being recommended a little book called "Bullies, Bigmouths and So-Called Friends" by Jenny Alexander - not expensive (£3ish) which is a small, groovy looking paperback that contains little scenarios and the child has to tick what they would do in each situation. Dd liked working through the book (on her own) and it made her realise that the girl was simply very unkind, it wasn't anything she had done and it gave her tools to use each day when the situations arose. I don't think the other girl improved that much but dd was able to deal with it much better and it became much less of an issue. This was a very hard lesson for her as ds had never experienced anything like it at that age but she is much more confident now than she was before it all happened.
Really hope you get this sorted soon. Good luck.

MrsEricBana · 07/09/2012 10:12

Yes I would, in response to your last post.

PositiveAttitude · 07/09/2012 10:12

Yes, I would say it is a form of bullying. If your DD feels that she has to do what this girl says, or feels intimidated by her, it is a form of bullying. Perhaps the school could be a bit more pro-active in showing the other girl how her actions are not the best way to be a friend.

overthemill · 07/09/2012 10:13

porridge I understand, we had a similar situation, we moved here and she did 2 terms in lower school yr 4 and then moved to catchment middle school yr 5. She had issues immediately but we tried to sort it out, wanting to avoid another move. but when her attendance dropped to 50% through a mixture of genuine illnesses (but caused by underlying stress and anxiety issues and incredily low self esteem) we finally moved her against advice of school and EWO to another local school where from day one she was smiling and happy and eager to get up each day to go to school. She has flourished and moved back up into top set for every subjec getting the highest grades in the end of year report.
She was there for one year (year 8) and has just moved with her peer group to her upper school (2nd day today!).

I am certain that the horrid bunch of kids at her old school were doing her head in. I hope your dd gets through it. But my advice is, go with your gut, she is your daughter and you know her.

Toughasoldboots · 07/09/2012 10:21

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PorridgePot · 07/09/2012 10:23

MrsEric, i am going to order that book on amazon if i cant get it in town today. thanks so much for the tip!

overthemill. thank you for your advice. i think i will just have to monitor things very carefully.

does anyone think its a bad move popping in to the school so soon in the term? i will prob just outline some of the incidents but say i'm not expecting any action at this stage, but just want them to be aware of this ongoing situation, explain that i have discussed strategies with dd and that we may need their support in the future if things continue. how does that sound?

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PorridgePot · 07/09/2012 10:26

part of me actually feels a bit guilty blotting this girl's copy book with the new teacher so soon in the year by talking to the teacher about her . ( i do have compassion her, bizarrely). but... i know from experience that when dd tries to distance herself, she may well go and 'tell' on dd. hence the need for giving them some background.

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Mintyy · 07/09/2012 10:31

Emphasise to your dd that when the friend piles on the charm to lure her back if she starts making friends with other girls, then this IS just all part of the cycle. She has done it before, then gone cold, and will do it again. Tell her that the girl likes to control other people and that is not an attractive quality in anyone. Try and persuade her not to be charmed by her, if you can.

VivaLeBeaver · 07/09/2012 10:31

Dd has this going on, she's just gone into year 7 and it's still happening.

One of her friends is terrible for blowing hot and cold, comes Round here one day and ignores her the next, tells her Togo away and then sends messages to dd asking why dd is ignoring her.

She sent dd a message on Facebook a couple of weeks ago saying she want sure if she wanted to be friends with dd anymore. Normally dd would beg her to stay friends. Well this time I helped dd compose a cool but polite message basically saying if that's how she felt it was a shame but it was fine and that dd wouldn't have anything to do with her anymore. Well this girl was sending messages back apologising, saying she didn't meant it, could they please still be friends, etc. it's like dd now has the power and even if she's upset on the inside as long as she doesn't show it then the girl isn't getting a reaction which I'm sure is what she's looking for.

We also got a book from amazon called the smart girls guide to friendship troubles which dd says has been helpful. Gives lots of scenarios and ideas of how to handle them.

PorridgePot · 07/09/2012 10:35

minty, you are so right. i think i will get her to draw/ write down the cycle to help make it clear.

viva, i want to give your dd's 'friend' a virtual slap. it makes me seethe.

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