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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
Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:25

Didn't realise I'd enabled the voting thing

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Frozenfan2019 · 16/12/2019 22:27

It does sound like bullying. Being deliberately mean is bullying!

I would speak to the teacher.

Fatasfooook · 16/12/2019 22:27

It’s your job to teach your daughter how to deal with this situation not to tell other parents how to deal with theirs. It’s normal 7 year old stuff. Empower your daughter to walk away from the girls. Teach her to value herself.

Jumpjumpjumper · 16/12/2019 22:29

My DD is also 8.

Have left her to fight her own battles, but when she kept asking to change schools, I stepped in.

Not willing to post too much on here. But I started with the class teacher. Then the head.

Yes, they have to learn. But I wouldn't put up with it in my job. So why should my daughter?

kerrynov7 · 16/12/2019 22:30

So my daughter says. But one day it's her, another day it's the other. What's my daughter doing in all this?
I think they are probably all as bad as each other in some ways but it doesn't mean I'm happy with seeing my daughter in tears over it Sad

Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:30

@Fatasfooook I'm definitely not planning on telling the other parents what to do. And I am really trying everything I can to make her understand they're not worth her time - but how exactly do you get that through to an 8 year old who just wants to play with the friends she's had since reception?

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Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:33

@kerrynov7 exactly, if your daughter's crying about it then it's obviously making her feel bad which to me makes it sound less likely that she's the one being mean.

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jwpetal · 16/12/2019 22:34

U disagree that children need to learn social skills in their own. We reach them all kinds of skilks, yet we leave them high and dry when they ask for help. You can approach it with the parents if you know them. Work a plan and feedback. Teach to be kind and support but also to stand up.

Mrsmadevans · 16/12/2019 22:35


Blueopal15 · 16/12/2019 22:39

OP this is bullying ... 2 girls ganging up on a 3rd is pretty classic stuff . It happened to me as a child - ultimately I moved on to Make kinder better friends - but it was a decision I had to make myself after quite a lot of reflection - keep talking to your daughter and steer her in the right direction but please don’t talk to the mums . With the benefit of adult hindsight my two bullies really didn’t have much going for them apart from the power they got from bullying me .

looselegs · 16/12/2019 22:42

This is bullying. End of. These girls know that what they're doing is upsetting and winding up your daughter, yet they still keep doing it. And your daughter is getting upset and hurt by it all. As the parent of a daughter that was bullied at school, there is no way I would be telling my daughter to deal with it, or trying to teach her strategies etc etc. I would be at school first thing tomorrow morning, speaking to the teacher and asking her to step in and speak to the girls involved, otherwise it will escalate.

WaxOnFeckOff · 16/12/2019 22:43

Controversial, but in my experience, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Speaking to the tree isn't going to get you very far would be my view.

My son was bullied at primary and we were on friendly terms with the parents of the boys (though to be fair we didn't really like them that much tbh). We spoke directly to the school but parents came up to me in the playground, all apologies etc. However, when the bullying continued and I complained about it both directly to them (as they requested) and also to the school. Funnily enough they became less sorry and I ended up in a confrontation with the Dad of one of the boys in the playground after i'd witness the boy getting up in my sons face and shouting at him. Dad was way taller and stronger than me but still thought it appropriate to get into my face as well. I just held myself as tall as possible and stepped forward into the little space he had left between us and fronted him out. Funnily enough he backed off and if only i'd managed to persuade my son to do the same to his son he maybe wouldn't still be feeling the after effects 10 years later.

I'd support your DD by encouraging her to tell teachers and support staff and as you are doing, to play with other DC.

Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:43

@Blueopal15 interesting - from the way your thread starts, I really thought you were going to advise me to talk to the school. Not a criticism, I was just surprised.

Everyone seems to have a different opinion!

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LockThatFridge · 16/12/2019 22:43

I’m going to go against the grain and say that she’s still only little and while she does need to learn to deal with these situations herself, she has come to you for help because she can’t. From an adult’s point of view it seems easy to just walk away but it won’t be for her. I think if you are close to the other mums then you could have a quiet word. Nothing accusatory but maybe just mention that your daughter has been struggling and is feeling sad and ask if their children have noticed anything. They will probably ask their children and it might be enough of a wake up call for them to check their behaviour. It could get worse if they think that your daughter had told tales but if it is framed in this way then they might just take it as a warning.

Molly2016 · 16/12/2019 22:45

I’m going through something similar right now, except in my case the children are younger and it was the teacher who brought it up at parents evening.
I thought I was friendly with the other mums, but one got massively defensive. It’s turned really awkward and I wish I hadn’t mentioned it.
I’d speak to the teacher and ask them if they could kept an eye on the situation.
In my situation I’m trying to expand DDs social group with play dates with other children but for now I dread the school run and seeing this other mum.

Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:48

@LockThatFridge yes, that's what's bothering me about it - that she's come to me for help and I need her to see that I'm at least trying to do something. She's never really asked me to help her with something like this before so I don't want her to feel let down.

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NCasIknowMNetters · 16/12/2019 22:48

I have 2 DDs. DD1 has had a friend for years (now diagnosed with something on the autism spectrum) who from time to time would lose it at her and injure her - bash her with a bat, punch her in the eye, stab her hard with a pencil in the arm leaving huge welts.

I left it with the school to deal with. The other child's mum and I used to deliberately NOT make eye contact at pick-up when my child was holding an ice pack and her child was standing looking downcast. Recently she said to me that she was very grateful that I never reacted to any of this with her, as other parents had.

DD2 has a troubled friendship group, and I have had a conversation with the teachers about it as she's been upset and not wanting to go into school (Y4 so 8-9 year olds). However I know for a fact that the mother of the child that causes DD2 the most upset has gone into school complaining that MY child and her friends are excluding their child. I'm leaving it entirely to the school to deal with, but were that mother to talk to me directly she'll get both barrels of my (peri-menopausal and sick-of-this-shit) temper. There's 2 sides to these stories and it's the best advice in the world to leave it to school to deal with it as they can actually see what's going on.

WaxOnFeckOff · 16/12/2019 22:48

Dc either learn this behaviour in the home or don't have it dealt with at home when they are toddlers, that's why speaking to parents is a waste of time, either they are intrinsically the same or are ineffectual in dealing with it.

Dollymixture22 · 16/12/2019 22:49

It does sound like bullying. If it was my daughter I would want to know his was happening, just to explain to her how this behaviour is making her friend feel.

I remember being a bit mean to another girl when I was a little older than your daughter. As a group we got a bit carried away. Nothing too bad but we did giggle about her and exclude her. I still know her and she brings it up every so often. I am deeply ashamed and wish someone had told me at the time that I was making someone very unhappy.

Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:51

@NCasIknowMNetters that's a good point about the school being able to see what's going on.

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Interestedwoman · 16/12/2019 22:55

Do you want the girls to be her friends /nice to her just because their mums have told them to be, though? That'd be kind of fake, wouldn't it? I had some fake friends when I was about 13 (form tutor told them to take me under their wing to stop me being bullied.) This was all well and good until I realised what'd happened as they didn't contact me in the school holidays. It was devastating and I became depressed, feeling I didn't really have any friends (maybe I would've had more if I hadn't spent all my breaktimes with these well meaning girls.)

A friendship is either there or it isn't- trying to shore it up just means she's wasting time she could be spending making better friends, and eventually these girls will let her down, anyway.

Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:57

@Interestedwoman good point. I don't want them to be friends with her at all, really, but I do want them to stop being horrible to her. Ideally I want her to ditch them but she just can't seem to understand that's the best thing to do.

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Namechangearooney1 · 16/12/2019 22:59

...and I'm sorry to hear you had a bad time at school, that's awful x

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TheGoldenNotebook · 16/12/2019 23:04

Honestly if you told me my child was a bit mean I’d think you were mad.

Really?? You wouldn't want to discuss why someone would think this.


Yes this is relational aggression and is horribly common. Speak to the school and ask them to keep an eye on things. And build your daughters confidence and strengthen good friendships. But don't do nothing. Children gain the positive self esteem they need to deal with situations like this by being supported to deal with it themselves but that support is crucial and a child who knows that their parent has their back is a happier and more confident one.

Interestedwoman · 16/12/2019 23:06

I'm not a mum sadly, so I can only speak from my own experience. I didn't feel I could confide in anyone at home about what was going on at any point- so you're daughter already has a great asset.

Regardless of what happens with the friends, you could use this to help her learn to deal with negative experiences/emotions. Emotional support is so important and I wish I'd had more. Focus on providing comfort, doing stuff to make her feel better etc, probably like you are doing. Then as an adult she'll be better able to manage her emotions than someone who hasn't had the same input about how to manage negative emotions.

I feel the situation with the 'friends' will resolve itself in time- if they don't value her they'll move on and it'll sort the chaff from the wheat.

Best wishes xxx

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