Resilience, grit, drive and all that (DD10)
ReturnOfTheBlackSheep · 12/02/2022 08:07
One of the girls in DD's class has been told by a boy that she is fat and he gave her tips on how to keep her weight down. They are 9-10 year olds. DD's friend has now been refusing desserts etc. The same kid has also told her she stinks etc. DD has also been commenting on the healthiness of food and, it seems to me, not eating quite as she used to.
DD often comes out with phrases like "well the boys are always better than girls" "boys are better at that" etc. She's good at maths, but very conscious that the girls who finish all their work for the week are called swot and laughed at. She's stopped trying to play football because the boys say the girls can't play and e.g. in PE lessons she says they get aggressive and will only pass to their friends.
I don't know how to equip her for this. However, I'm pretty sure I need to do something about it now! Until now, she has been getting on with her homework and wanting to do well (and doing well) but her attitude to her work has taken a nosedive recently and her marks respectively.
KleineDracheKokosnuss · 12/02/2022 08:11
I’d start with contacting the school to see how they are combatting the misogynistic bullying that seems to have taken root.
KleineDracheKokosnuss · 12/02/2022 08:13
For her, I’d:
- start drawing attention to female role models.
- clearly explain that the boy is a bully who is simply trying to make up for his own inadequacies
- spend time strategising and practicing responses
ReturnOfTheBlackSheep · 12/02/2022 08:26
They have been "working on it" with an external advisor since they went back after the summer.... but to be honest, it really doesn't seem like a lot has changed. At the moment they are using the double sports lesson to split the class. For three weeks, the boys get the gym (don't get me started on that) for physical/combat games and self-assertion training and the girls get to stay in the class room for an emotional and social competency workshop and play board games
start drawing attention to female role models.
Do you have any suggestions?
clearly explain that the boy is a bully who is simply trying to make up for his own inadequacies
We've been through this and stressed the importance of not standing by.
spend time strategising and practicing responses
Yes, I've tried to do some of this with her, but her having the confidence to do it in class/school is another matter. The teacher's main response is to tell the girls to ignore them.
KleineDracheKokosnuss · 12/02/2022 08:31
The schools response is inadequate and deeply sexist. Boys get active training and girls get to sit quietly and socialise? What a way to reinforce.
Frankly, I’d either get activist or move her to a school that doesn’t have ingrained sexism.
For role models - depends on her interests. You need to match them up with things she will find interesting. My daughter likes science and computers so we’ve talked about Ada Lovelace, the curies, lots of the women involved in the space race, etc.
I also signed her up for martial arts, climbing and other things that require a strong body and good nutrition.
ReturnOfTheBlackSheep · 12/02/2022 14:45
The schools response is inadequate and deeply sexist. Boys get active training and girls get to sit quietly and socialise? What a way to reinforce. I know, I think that too, although DH told me I was being ridiculous so I held off speaking to the class teacher.
DD does plenty of sports outside of school.
rugbychick1 · 12/02/2022 17:53
An introduction to female role models are the 2 Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls. My almost 10 DD loves these books. School definitely need to be spoken to about the gym/sports thing, I started from a very early age with my DD that girls can do anything boys can do (May also have been worded that girls are better than boys). I've also said studying is a good thing. Learning is power
gingerhills · 12/02/2022 18:03
I'd speak to the school about tackling misogyny.
I'd see if any professional female footballer or coach could come in and give a workshop on football skills to the girls.
And I'd teach her some strong comebacks to boys who neg like that.
She and her friend could try:
'Your opinion means nothing to me/us.'
'Go away. We're busy.'
'You seem desperate for our attention, why is that?'
'Negging again? How sad.'
If he looks up negging, he'll learn the girls are onto him.
mewkins · 12/02/2022 18:11
I second this! It's a fantastic book!
The attitude of the schools sucks. They should be paying attention to this.
Op, apologise if this has already been mentioned, is there any opportunity for you dd going to a girls' secondary school?
My dd has had a really positive experience so far and speaking to friends with older girls at the same school, all have really grown in their own confidence because of it. There is a really good culture of hard work and building other girls up, which I really appreciate.
ChateauMargaux · 12/02/2022 18:41
What a load of horse shit.. excuse my language.
This article is worth ploughing through.. it's focused on the US but it does raise some interesting points to think about.
Your daughter should not need to learn to be resilient, she should be in a nurturing environment where ever child is respected, encouraged and cared for so that she can reach her full potential. People do not learn resilience by being bullied or belittled.
At the age of 5, girls believe that they are as good as boys at Maths. By the age of 8, they no longer believe this to be true, but nothing in their brains or innate ability has changed. From then on, it is an uphill struggle for girl who are placed on tables with boys who struggle so they can learn from teaching them while the quiet mathematical boys get to sit together and bounce off each other and work ahead. Girls get praised for helping others, told they are good at reading and not supported when they are struggling. They are socialised to stay quiet and they internalise their achievements often only answering questions when they know they are right and often not even then because they will be called a swot. They often take longer to get the answer because boys are socialised to rush to the front and laugh at themselves when they get it wrong so they take more chances and appear to be doing better. This carries on... well yes, Mary does do well in the tests, but when she is working she doesn't always get to the end of the exercises... she doesn't display the behaviours that we know result in successful exam results.... she also seems unsure of herself and I have asked her if she wants to move up to the top set but she says she finds maths a struggle so we think she is better off where she is.. often when Mary is getting high B's or low A's when Johnny who rushes ahead, finishes the exercises quickly, but rushes things so makes silly mistakes, gets middle to low B's but the teacher thinks he has potential and so does Johnny so he gets moved up.
As for sport.. dear bloody god... when will this end!!! For every hour of sport available for girls there are 4 available for boys. They would do more good teaching boys empathy, social skills, reading and meditation and teaching girls the pure joy of sport generated endorphins.
The female role model suggestion is difficult.. look around the school.. who do the school put forward as role models, is there a female head, who is invited in to speak.. look at the books at school.. are the role models girls and are these books read by the boys.
I don't agree with telling people bullies are insecure.. that's often not true.. look at Boris Johnson. The stupid arrogant bastards rise to the top and trample on the little ones.
The teacher's response is terrible. Girls should not be subjected to being objectified, diminished and undermined at every turn. The answer should not be that the girls have to learn to live with this deeply misogynistic behaviour, be quiet and just get on with being complicit in their own oppression. Get angry... make change... fight for your daughter's future.
Moonface123 · 12/02/2022 18:55
l can understand the teachers response to ignore him, if you want to be happy you have to learn not to take stuff personally, what others say and do is a reflection on them, not you, and that people who say unkind things are often deeply unhappy.
Work together on self esteem and confidence, because if you have healthy self esteem and self confidence you don't need approval of others and you are hard to manipulate and control.
ChateauMargaux · 12/02/2022 23:10
www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/05/single-sex-public-schools-brain-science-gender/?fbclid=IwAR1Cg3p2mibS5PTH-VHE-zcDbgJ1CfdPnJOm-0XugBkzykm2qZTTsQTkjSw. the article I mentioned but didn't post....
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