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to ask what you would do in this situation? Girl unpleasant to DD.

26 replies

Nooshooz · 11/04/2013 18:19

I've namechanged.

My DD is 7, and is in year 2 at school. She's always had lots of friends and hasn't really had any issues with anyone up until now. She's sailed through school, academically and friendship-wise.

About 3 months ago a girl in her year, whose mum I am friends, but not close friends, with started being horrible to DD occasionally. It doesn't happen at school, as they are in separate classes this year and DD has 3 close friends in her class that she generally plays with all the time, but it seems to happen at any parties or other out of school activities that DD and this girl attend. Until the nastiness started we were maybe meeting up with the mum and her DD maybe once a month or so at each others' houses. Once the girl had been nasty to DD a couple of times I decided to not make any playdate arrangements for the time being as obviously I wasn't prepared to make DD play with someone who was unkind to her. I didn't say anything to the mum though, I've just not made any further arrangements with her. She knows I am busy though, and she is too, so it's been ok.

The first time it happened was at a party. DD got upset when we got home and said that this girl had said that she didn't like her, and had told others not to like DD too. I think 2 or 3 jumped on the bandwagon. DD is normally quite thick skinned and doesn't take things to heart but I think even she found it upsetting as the girl was saying really nasty things to her and getting others to turn on her. I know that kids are kids and I didn't think too much of it as DD was only upset for a short while, and it didn't seem to bother her overly so I left it.

Since then this girl has been horrible to her several times at a dance class they attend at the same time once a week, whispering about DD and telling people not to stand near her/talk to her. Then there was a party at the start of the Easter holidays and again it was the same thing, whispering about DD, and telling people not to talk to her and not to sit with her. And now today DD has been to another party this morning/lunchtime and this afternoon at home she has got very upset as this girl hit her several times at the party (not in eyeshot of the party child's parents, of course!), and again was telling people she hates DD and not to talk to her. DD says there were 4 girls at the party today plus this girl (out of 8 of them) that wouldn't talk to her and were laughing at her and whispering about her.

I am unsure about where to go from here. DD is adamant she wants to continue with the dance classes, and when I look at it why the heck should she have to stop them. So I will be speaking to the dance teacher. But I'm unsure about whether to speak to the girl's mother or not,and also to school, as none of it has happened at school? The mum is one of those that thinks her daughter is a perfect angel, and no matter what tack I take will take offence, and also I think speaking to her will be pointless as nothing will come of it. I obviously want to stand up for DD, so I know I need to do something. DD says after today's party she feels like 'everybody hates her' which is untrue as she has lots of friends, but I think this girl is quite sneaky and could potentially turn others against her. Plus it seems unfair that at every party DD goes to this girl is there causing trouble for her and making her have a rubbish time.


OP posts:

MissyMooandherBeaverofSteel · 11/04/2013 18:29

You can remind your dd about all the frienfs she has and give her some good comebacks for this girl to build her confidence a bit.

I would probably stay at parties with her for the time being and have a word with the mum, she may be offended but she will mention it to her dd whether she admits it to you or not, but I wouldn't go to the school with it yet if nothing has happened at school.

Its horrible when your child is upset so you have my sympathies Thanks


Nooshooz · 11/04/2013 18:49

Thanks MissyMoo!

I am definitely going to have a word with the mum at some point, am just working out what to say. I'm not brilliant at confrontation, and don't want to go in all guns blazing but at the same time I really want to get across to her that it's not acceptable for her DD to treat my DD that way.

I don't think DD would be happy for me to stay at parties; none of the mums do these days and I think she'd be embarrassed and would be worried that it would lead to further mickey taking from this girl.

OP posts:

eggsandwich · 11/04/2013 18:55

I totally agree with what Missy said, tell the dance teacher about what has been going on and I would also stay and watch at dance class if I was you, and also stay at any parties she goes too and possibly give this child a bit of eye contact nothing else, just so that she knows you know what's been going on.


Nooshooz · 11/04/2013 19:20

We're not allowed to stay in the dance class hall itself but I can sit in the waiting room and watch through the doors so I think I will do that, eggsandwich. Hopefully the fact that the other girl knows I am there will deter any nastiness.

I was thinking of speaking to the hosting mum at each party DD goes to with this girl and just explaining what has happened, but I don't know if that will make me look a bit of a troublemaker? This other little girl is generally quite quiet and I think many think she is very cute and that she wouldn't hurt a fly

OP posts:

Lizzylou · 11/04/2013 19:31

I would tackle it with the Mother.
Why should your Dd be put out because of her Dds nastiness?
Equally her behaviour will go unchallenged otherwise. She may stop picking on your Dd
But move onto someone else.
She needs to know that her behaviour is unacceptable and bullying.
If you don't feel able to speak to the Mother I would say something to the girl. Along the lines of "I do hope that there will be none of last week's whispering and sniggering this week xxxx" with a hard stare.
Don't let a 7 yr old girlfriend hold you to ransom and make your DDs social life so upsetting. The longer she is getting away with it, the more she will continue.


Nooshooz · 11/04/2013 19:34

Very valid points there, Lizzylou. I have a feeling if I speak to the girl she will go crying to her mum and blow it up out of proportion, so I think I will speak to the mum. I was thinking something along the lines of "Do you know what's going on between the girls as each time my DD has been anywhere where your DD is at the moment she comes home crying as your DD has said she doesn't like her and keeps whispering about her?" or is that too confrontational?

OP posts:

Lizzylou · 11/04/2013 19:42

Not at all! If I was her Mother I would want to know what my child was doing.
I loathe all that "my child is a darling" people.
Hopefully her Mother just mentioning your convo to her DD will stop this.


Grammaticus · 11/04/2013 19:45

That's too confrontational - if you decide on a direct approach you need to tone down the directness of the approach by using very very carefully chosen words.


deleted203 · 11/04/2013 19:48

I don't know if this will be helpful but when DD1 was about 9 she was having these kind of issues with a really rough girl in the year above her, who was awful to her in playground/social situations. Family were fairly notorious locally.

I confronted mother and child at the school Christmas fair by going up to them and saying, 'Are you X's mum? I wonder if I could have a word with you about X bullying my daughter. She is making her really unhappy'. Mother was completely taken aback and child was mortified. I then addressed child and said, 'DD is really upset that you keep calling her names, etc. Why are you doing this, darling? You are older than her aren't you? It's not very nice, is it? If you don't like DD just stay away from her'. Mother immediately pounced on child and said 'I don't know anything about this...what have you been doing?' and child was so stunned it muttered things uncomfortably and said, 'Sorry,' guiltily.

I then smiled sweetly at mother and said, 'I'm really pleased I got to see you. I didn't want to have to go complain to the school about X. Hopefully it is all sorted out now'.

I then swanned off. But mother obviously had strong words with child and took the hint that I would be going in to school if it didn't stop - because she had no more trouble.

Might we worth trying?


Rosesforrosie · 11/04/2013 19:52

Just to throw a different perspective on it, I would tell the school. Especially if it's an infant-though-junior. You don't want them ending up in the same class for year 3+. I wouldn't ask them to do anything as such, just be aware and keep them separated (as they do this already it isn't actually action as such). i wouldn't tell anyone else you have done this

I would also privately tell the dance teacher so that she can be extra vigilant and ensure it doesn't spread at dancing.

I wouldn't stay at parties or pre-warn other parents- you don't want to come across as a gossip/like you have it in for the other child. That said, if the next party happens to be at a close friends of yours who it is natural for you to help out/hang out with I'd consider that.

I'd do lots of subtle confidence building type stuff with DD. invite her close friends round to play/or even a fun day trip if you can afford it, do things that give her a chance to strengthen bonds with nice children- which makes them all the more likely to stand up for DD when you aren't around.


Lizzylou · 11/04/2013 19:52

That is not too confrontational at all!
Really, this girl is making your daughter's social life unbearable and bullying her. Far better to speak to the Mother rather than burning all bridges with her and speaking to school or other mothers.


MissyMooandherBeaverofSteel · 11/04/2013 19:53

I think thats a bit confrontational tbh, I think I would bring it up like 'I was really surprised the other day, dd said your dd took a dislike to her and she was really upset, did your dd mention if my dd did anything to her at all, obviously I only get half a story from mine, and they were such good friends, seems a shame' thats telling her that her dd has really upset yours, not putting the blame on anyone so the mother won't get defensive and forcing her to talk to her dd to 'find out' if your dd did anything (which you know she hasn't). Might be enough to stop her.


stepawayfromthescreen · 11/04/2013 19:59

personally I would never ever approach a parent. Just creates a stink and can often be divisive between the children, creating a bigger problem than the original one. If you are going down that route, be 1000% sure of your facts. I had a situation recently with one of my dd's where a mother texted me to say that my dd had been mean to her dd. This followed 2 days where my dd had returned home from school sobbing over things this girl had said. I hadn't spoken to the mother, but I basically just told her to back off cos her dd is capable of dishing it out and if I had a fiver for every time her pfb had upset my dd, I'd be very rich!


lakeofshiningwaters · 11/04/2013 20:01

I agree with MissyMoo - if it's going to be a shock to the mother, best to introduce it in a non-judgemental way, like 'I was hoping to speak to you, to see if you could help with the way dd is feeling at the moment. She's been quite upset and feeling as if noone likes her. She tells me that your dd has said ....... at xx's party, and on a couple of other occasions too. Has your dd said anything at home?'

When I've dealt with bullying in my classes previously, I have found that emphasising the upset of the child involved first, tends to get the other child's parent onside in wanting to help, rather than going straight on the defensive.

Hope things improve for your dd.


DangerousBeanz · 11/04/2013 20:09

I would also mention it to the school, just a quiet word with the class teacher that there have been a few issues out of scool and could she just keep an eye on it and ask the mid days to watch out too. This way the class teacher can monitor the situation and if it does spread into school, which, from what your saying about the other child being sly, is probably only a matter of time, it can be nipped it in the bud pretty quickly.
I would also ask the other child's mum if she was aware of any reason they hadn't been getting on lately, just casually in a they used to be such friends and that all seems to have changed sort of way., so she is aware there is something going on then you can go back later and say it's not improved or whatever and it won't be a bolt out of the blue to the other mum.


IdreamofFairies · 11/04/2013 20:11

i have on occasion taken a different tone with mothers who i dont know how they will react rather than being straight to the point.

along the lines of ' i know your dd prob didnt realise but she upset my dd a little at the last few parties maybe you could have a word with her see if there is anything going on'
i know this underplays the whole thing but a good mum will investigate what is going on.
and if she isnt willing to do anything she has no real comeback to you or to your dd which could make it awkward for you.
i would talk to the school and dance class as well just so they can keep an eye out.


Chockyeggpants · 11/04/2013 20:15

Tell the teacher and escalate to head of KS 1 and head teacher if necessary.
Inform the dance teacher.
Do NOT approach the other girl.
Do NOT approach the parent.
It could really backfire and get nasty if you go to the child or parents.
Invite other people to play.
Do things away from school and DDs classmates to build confidence.
Bullying seems to start earlier and earlier. Sad.


Floggingmolly · 11/04/2013 20:16

I don't think it's too confrontational. You have a question to ask / point to make, why beat about the bush? Her dd's behaviour is an issue; you don't need to worry about upsetting her in the process of sorting it out.
Or am I lacking social skills? probably


TomArchersSausage · 11/04/2013 20:19

Could you ask the girl to tea? Might take the wind out of her sails.

Whilst she's there say something like 'Nice to see you two getting along. I was worried the last time you met up there was a problem...??'(meaningful look)

Ok I know it's probably not politically the right thing to do, but it'll let her know that you know iyswim. And I think that counts for a lot.


EATmum · 11/04/2013 20:29

I think your best bet is to build your daughter's confidence to deal with the other girl's behaviour herself. Maybe talk with her about strategies for saying to other adults that she is unhappy, or saying directly to the girl that what she is doing is unkind.
And maybe support her friendships with the other children independent of this girl - its always good to have allies! She may like to read Sleepovers by Jacqueline Wilson which covers this kind of situation and will show her that she's not alone in dealing with this.
It's so hard when it's your child and they're being picked on. I hope you're ok.


Lizzylou · 11/04/2013 20:41

Flogging, you and me both I think!
I just cannot see why adults would be pussyfooting around a 7 yr old who is causing such upset.
But I suppose I must counter this with the fact that I have seen firsthand the damage a "my little darling would never do that attitude" has had with my half siblings , my stepmother was mistress of it. So I have always been open minded towards my own boys behaviour. If they were implicated in bullying or being bullied then I would want to address it.


Chockyeggpants · 11/04/2013 20:48

I felt like punching the parent who tried to blame my DD for the fact that his DD was bullying mine.
I ended up apologising to him! How stupid am I??!!


Lizzylou · 11/04/2013 20:57

Chock, no, you are not stupid. It is tough soeaking up! And I would probably be the same.
I just honestly believe that our children need to see that we "have their back", sorry, couldn't think of another way of putting it! But equally that we don't blindly believe that they are always paragons of virtue.
I think as op is friends with this other girls mother she can have a friendly word without getting rude or aggressive. Planting the seed may be all that it needs. The more this girls behaviour goes unchallenged the more she thinks it's ok. She is only 7 !


stepawayfromthescreen · 11/04/2013 21:00

that's the thing chocky, kids often tell their parents stories to cover their own backs. I tore strips off my dd a year ago when her friend accused her of various things. It later transpired that dd's friend had made it all up deliberately to get my dd in trouble cos she was jealous of dd's new friend and felt pushed up. What she'd made up was really quite awful, I was shocked when she discussed it with dd in front of me and admitted it was all a lie. And I'd dealt with it very strictly, really told dd off.
How crap did I feel when I realised it was all a lie?
Tread carefully. Girls can be quite devious. After my own experience, I would never ever take a parents word as gospel anymore anyway.


Nooshooz · 11/04/2013 21:26

Wow, loads of very helpful replies there. Thank you everyone!

I am going to think on it for a couple of days. DD doesn't go back to school until next week and she seems fine this evening. In some ways I am reluctant to speak to the mum because, as someone has pointed out to me on here, it then could possibly escalate the issue into something bigger and long lasting that it is now. I know how kids are friends one minute and not friends the next, and I don't want to offend the mum in any way so that it turns into a fall out between she and I, as I think that would be pointless and unhelpful.

I don't think I could bring myself to have the girl around for tea right now. I know DD would be horrified, and if the little girl started being horrible to DD here it would really upset me.

Luckily DD is generally a very confident girl. I have had a chat with her about things to say to this girl in return, and have also said to her to just ignore her and walk away when this girl starts being unkind to her. DD is normally popular, I think this girl is a little jealous of her tbh. DD has a close group of friends that she hangs round with at school but none of these friends have been at any of these recent parties. This girl never does anything in the playground at school, so I think she tries to utilise any opportunity to 'put the boot in' with DD when her very close friends aren't there to back her up and stick up for her.

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