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To talk to the parents?

90 replies

Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 21:17

DD is 8. Two "friends" are being a bit mean to her - leaving her out, making up silly secrets etc. Basically silly schoolgirl stuff but it's been upsetting her for ages and she's been crying about it today.

She has some other really lovely friends who don't have a mean bone in their bodies. I've told her to play with them instead but she really likes these two for some reason (I've always thought they were a bit nasty but I can't choose her friends).

She wants me to talk to their parents. I know their mums well and I'm quite friendly with them but I feel awkward about it - they're not bullying her, they're just being a bit mean. What do I say?? I really don't want to come across accusatory or confrontational - I just want to nicely ask them to have a word with their daughters.

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Am I being unreasonable?

125 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
CherryPavlova · 16/12/2019 21:23

No don’t get involved. Children need to learn to navigate social encounters and friendships themselves. Unless it’s continuous unprovoked bullying then leave well alone.
Maybe explore why she wants to be friends with people who are unkind to her. Maybe also see what she wants the outcome to be of you speaking with their parents.
Talking to parents is not going to make them want her as a friend. Talking to parents will probably make it worse.

RhymingRabbit3 · 16/12/2019 21:28

I wouldn't. If it's not bullying as and she is able to wall away from it and play with others, it is her choice to continue to socialise with these girls and she will learn from the experience.

Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 21:31

I do agree with you both. I've been trying to make her understand that kids who treat her like that are not worth her time. I've asked her if she would treat a friend like that and she said 'of course not' so I asked her why she wants to be friends with kids who treat her that way.

But she's very sensitive and I don't want her to feel like I'm doing nothing about it. So is there something else I can do that makes her feel like I'm supporting her but without talking to the mums?

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ChristmasSpiritsOnThRocksPleas · 16/12/2019 21:35

Honestly if you told me my child was a bit mean I’d think you were mad. What exactly are you expecting? This kind of behaviour is normal, developmentally healthy even, at that age, trying to police it is just going to inhibit natural social development. Their mothers could have a discussion about the kind of behaviour that is good but ultimately that won’t have an effect. Punishing them into good behaviour will prevent them from learning to behave well for the right reasons. An apology, imo it’s a bit ridiculous when grown women go around asking for apologies for things that other people’s children have done to their children. I’d just tell her that people can sometimes be unkind and that she should choose heir friends accordingly (an important lesson for her to learn).

LeekMunchingSheepShagger · 16/12/2019 21:35

No don’t talk to the parents; that’s always a bad idea! Have a word with the class teacher instead.

3luckystars · 16/12/2019 21:37


Keep out of it, you have about 12.75 more years of this ahead of you. Good luck.

formerbabe · 16/12/2019 21:38

Talk to the teacher instead.

Chocolateandchats · 16/12/2019 21:39

You tell her that people can be mean and we are only in charge of our own behaviour. Tell her you can’t do anything as you’re not at school but the teacher/any adult at school can help. If this is frequent, the adults at school can help them learn to “play nicely”.

onlyoneoftheregimentinstep · 16/12/2019 21:40

Please talk to the teacher. It may not be physical but deliberately excluding a child is bullying.

Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 21:41

Ok but if I talk to the teacher, what would be the aim? And I'd be a bit worried that if it got back to the mums, they'd think it was weird I hadn't just spoken to them as like I say, I know them well.

I wasn't planning on asking the mums to get their girls to apologise...I don't know what I was planning on really...just seeing if we could sort it out between us. And no, I'm not the sort of parent who jumps in every time there's a problem, I normally let my kids get on with it. But it's been going on for ages now.

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RubyRed24 · 16/12/2019 21:41

If you know the mums to chat too I would. If my daughter was upsetting someone I'd want to know so I could have a word.

If it's a school mum I had on Facebook then I wouldn't.

Just say you don't want school involved so wanted to let them speak to their kids.

Our school often talk to the girls in a big group about not being mean or leaving people out. That way it's not aimed at anyone specific.

I would and have had to speak with mums and them with me.

sirmione16 · 16/12/2019 21:55

I agree, this is a social skill she has to learn on her own unfortunately it's the worst bit of being a child!

Encourage her to talk to you about how she feels, and give her the tools to handle her emotions. If she feels hurt, tell her it's understandable she does but also that she must recognise she's a fantastic girl who has plenty of friends, and the ability to make new friends. If she feels unsure of this, then point out ways she could connect with new friends. Inform and guide her, tell her that sometimes people do get "cliquey" and that others may not even realise its hurtful, because they may feel empowered by a union and secrets. Tell her it's not anything personal against her, and she mustn't take it to heart, instead she must decide whether she will be hurt by it or hold her head up and move past it and decide she will not let it or them make her sad.

Judemahmoodid · 16/12/2019 22:01

On one hand, if it was my daughter treating another child unkindly, I'd want to know but equally, I'd probably focus on equipping your daughter with the tools to deal with it. My mother used to tell me that "hurt children hurt children" and that I couldn't control their behaviour, only my reaction to it. If you know the parents, have a word but otherwise, I'd encourage her to seek out the kinder children in her class rather than these two.
I agree that it's heartbreaking seeing your child upset by other children.

YeOldeTrout · 16/12/2019 22:03

Be prepared for reports that your DD has been unkind to them in return. It's a hornet's nest.

HoHoHoik · 16/12/2019 22:06

Don't approach the other mums. If any of them react badly and it turns into awkwardness or a falling out then a week from now your kids are all my friends again, it makes things difficult all round.

Speak to the teacher, let her know there are some social issues going on and could she keep an eye on the situation with a view to directing your DD towards the children who do want to play with her rather than the ones who don't.

Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:06

Thank you all for your advice but now I'm not sure what to do! @sirmione16 - I understand and agree with much of what you say and have sat with her tonight talking about all the other lovely friends she has and the fun games she could play with them.

Unfortunately, I think the two girls definitely do realise it's hurtful - they do stuff all the time to wind her up. I'm trying so hard to teach her that rising to it is exactly the reaction they're after but I don't think she cares, she just wants them to be nice to her and be her friend. I really don't want her to be a pushover but she's only 8.

@RubyRed24 when other mums spoke to you, what did they say and how did you feel about it?

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Iggi999 · 16/12/2019 22:10

It sounds like bullying to me. Doesn't have to be physical to be bullying. I would speak to the teacher, from the standpoint that your dd is unhappy and this is why.

formerbabe · 16/12/2019 22:10

Maybe you could invite just one of the other girls over for a playdate...I'd imagine on their own they'd probably be far less inclined to be mean and it might re strengthen the friendship?

whatsyaname · 16/12/2019 22:12

Could you just ask the other mums if they've fallen out ? Then it's not saying they've been mean. So x, y and Z seem to have fallen out. No idea why?

Louise91417 · 16/12/2019 22:12

Your doing everything right with your dd, guiding and advising her, i would leave it at that for now...

Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:16

@whatsyaname that's a good idea, yes!

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Howlovely · 16/12/2019 22:19

Oh this is a tough one. You want to show your daughter that you're on her side but the thing She's asked you to do, you can't do. I think it's likely the girls will make friends again soon. Three is a horrible number for girls and it might be that two at a time pair up and become BFFs while the other is left out, then the following month their alliances change and the other girl is left out. I think helping your daughter to develop other friendships might be the best long term goal.

kerrynov7 · 16/12/2019 22:21

I'm going through exactly this with my nearly 7yo. It's heartbreaking isn't it?
My daughters school is setting up a mediation group between the 3 girls as one of the other mums has also mentioned it to the class teacher. I brought it up with the teacher and just asked if she could keep an eye on the relationship in the classroom. They were already doing so.

Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:23

Thanks @Howlovely I'd love her to just be friends with the girls I know are lovely but unfortunately, the "treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen" style of friendship seems to appeal to her more...

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Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:24

Sorry to hear that @kerrynov7 Is the other mum's child the one being mean?

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