Dealing with 7 yr old girls & bitchy behaviour!
MrsWorrier · 02/11/2011 14:11
Please give me some advice!! My DD is 8 this week and having a sleepover for 4 friends. One of the friends is what I can only describe as a 'bitch' - she manipulates and divides this group of girls and bursts into tears if you confront her about it, or she doesn't get her own way. I know this because she is consistently upsetting my daughter and when I tried to talk to her about it (in a very reasonable way!) she went and told tales to her mum, who then rang me up and said that her DD had told her I was being 'grumpy' to her & we almost ended up falling out about it (mum is one of my best friends). The list of situations she causes is endless, but for some reason, my DD and her friends keep including and playing with her (I think they are all frightened of her). She ignores, belittles and humiliates my daughter in front of her friends, but her parents are totally oblivious to it. It is really upsetting me, and my DD sometimes cries about it too. My DH says I take things too personally and shouldn't get involved, but you can't help but feel cut up inside when another child hurts yours. Any other experiences? I'm just so worried that this will get worse as they get older - having been bullied in a similar way myself at school, I know the devastating consequences of bullying for ones self-esteem. Please help!! Many thanks.
ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs · 03/11/2011 09:16
Difficult age IME, my DD is 10.6 now and I remember a couple of years ago to that just beginning to be a bitch age. Her and her friends would fall in and out of friendship constantly. As you describe, there was one girl who nobody seemed to like but always included.
What worked for my DD was to have a sleepover but with one other participant. Once you go above there just being two people in a situation, it is inevitable IME, that a clique will appear and one person is left out. So 2:1, 3:1, etc.
TheBolter · 03/11/2011 09:28
I am in a similar position to you, in that I too have a Y3 girl who is 'friends' with quite a manipulative little girl, who is also the daughter of one of my friends. It makes life quite awkward sometimes. I do try to encourage my dd to foster strong friendships other than with this girl, and I am here for her to talk to whenever she needs to vent. I think that helps enormously. I try not to get too personal and defensive whenever she speaks to me of this girl, instead I try to keep a neutral tone and try to help her to see the 'bigger picture' as to why this girl might behave in the way she does, while at the same time remaining sympathetic to dd.
It is a tricky path to navigate, but I wouldn't get involved in any but the most extreme of circs. I think your friend was possibly being faaaar too defensive herself in phoning you up and confronting you, perhaps if it was my dd I would have had a quiet, almost apologetic word with you and suggested that we work out a strategy to help get through this. But then I know I would be mortified if it was my dd who was being seen as a 'problem'.
I was a very sensitive child who went through mild bullying at school and as a result I am hyper aware of any problems that may affect dds, as I know how much it can affect your whole life. The only thing I do try not to do is 'project' my fears and personality onto my dds. They are actually quite different in many ways to me as a child, and I think dd1 is possibly a lot tougher than I was.
MrsWorrier · 03/11/2011 12:28
Thank you both so much.
TheBolter: Last night I sat my DD down and we tried to discuss the situation, and I did indeed encourage her to try and make new friends to get away from this one. My husband is telling me all the time not to project my fears onto my DD - you're right in that point! But it's so hard, and last night I went to bed feeling those feelings that I used to feel myself at school - it was awful! Like you, I would be mortified if my DD was seen as the problem, but her parents are literally blind to the trouble she causes :(. I'm going to try and remain a bit more neutral when discussing it with her too, I'm too quick to 'jump on the bandwagon' of the discussion. I need to remember I'm the adult.
Riptheirthroatoutliveupstairs: I think you're right in that we should've just had 1 friend over - but you know what kids are like!! I even tried a last minute 'why don't we go out for tea with them all instead' tactic but she wasn't having any of it.
Anyway, I will keep you posted as to what happens!
bunnyspoiler · 03/11/2011 12:35
I think the best way is to stay out of their friendships. You can't affect what this child says and does but you can help your DD by helping her develop a confident and mature response to the behaviour. i.e. helping her know what to ignore and what to stand up against.
CeliaFate · 03/11/2011 13:03
I've bought "Queen Bees" from Amazon (can't remember full title sorry) and it gives really good advice on how to advise children through friendship issues.
MrsWorrier · 03/11/2011 14:02
Thank you ladies! Just found the book on Amazon - it's called Queen Bees and Wannabees - will see if i can get a copy and read it cover to cover .
You're right to say I should stay out of their friendship - but when you see their little faces all anxious it just breaks ones heart. DH and I going to work on building her confidence and encouraging interaction with other chidlren.
MCos · 03/11/2011 16:44
DD1 had a lot of hassle from a 'friend' like that (she was 5-6 at the time). We used to discuss what happened and how DD1 dealt with it is, and talked about alternative ways to deal with it. I helped DD1 to understand that such behavior is not nice, and that she didn't need to stand for it, and to call her friend on it (e.g. I don't want to play with you unless you stop (whatever bad behavior was going on at the time). Overtime, DD1 got quite assertive. They are no longer friends.
daisysue2 · 06/11/2011 22:27
My dd now 8 had a similar problem with a girl in her year 2 class she controlled all the girls and told them exactly what they should do. She was unhappy so I told her to go and play with another of her friends and to make it know that the other girls could play but only by their rules this time. The rules where that no one person was allowed to be the boss and tell others what to do. If she didn't want to follow those rules then she couldn't play. Anyway the short story is that all the other girls in her class came and joined her group and the very bossy girl was left with one friend.
My dd has been happy ever since but she did take control of the situation.
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.