I need your advice

I don’t know what to do. I wish my problem was simple, like what to wear to the Kidspot 50 Top Bloggers of 2012 cocktail party tomorrow night. (Although that’s gone a bit pear-shaped as well – I can’t wear my new Leona Edmiston dress, my fake tan is wearing off and I’ve developed Michael Jacksonitis, my legs are all patchy.) But it’s not. It’s Sprog 1, and it’s complicated. Her problems in the playground continue (see https://housegoeshome.com/2012/02/09/sticks-and-stones/). A classmate has been telling other kids she’s “evil” and not to play with her. How do you deal with that? Do you storm up to the child and give them a good shake? Do you lean in close and hiss threats in their ear? Do you call their mother? Sprog 1 doesn’t want me to do any of those things. I think she’s hoping the kid will get over it, be her friend again. I worry I’m making a mountain out of a molehill (see pic of molehills, above). Maybe it’s just a rite of passage that every girl goes through. Should I butt out and let Sprog 1 get on with it? I don’t remember my parents fighting my battles for me. I’ve tried expanding her social circle. I invite other girls over for playdates. But when the classmate gets wind of it, she steals them away, whispers nasty things about Sprog 1 in their ear. Yesterday, Sprog 1 told me another child had been told bad stuff about her. I asked why she thought it was happening – was there something she’d said or done that was making the other kid act this way? I explained it was better that I knew. I needed her side of the story, just in case there were complaints about her. She said she didn’t know. You take your child at her word, don’t you? Then I think about the parents who say they didn’t realise their child was the school bully. How could they possibly not know? Maybe I’m clueless too? Sprog 1 can be pretty tough on her little sister sometimes. She’s no angel. But she doesn’t seem the type to hurt others. Has your daughter had problems at school? How did you cope? What did you do?

12 thoughts on “I need your advice

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  1. Alana – I’m all for the quiet intervention I have to say. Tell the teacher. Consider ringing the parents for a non-blame “hey, there seems to be a problem here, have you noticed anything?” type discussion (keep it to questions)…. It’s heartbreaking to watch your child suffer, and sadly, they do if they are at all “different”… But you don’t want them to become the “victim” – so nip it in the bud. You just have to remember all kids need to learn about friendships – especially the potential bully. When they are teenagers, or a little older, I let them sort it out. But right now, I reckon, they are still at an age where skillful grown ups around them help. You don’t need to tell her what you’ve done. See if the teachers can sort it out in the first instance. Good luck at the cocktail party too!

  2. One of the Mums at school was telling me there was a group of girls who would wait at the school gates and then run off when her daughter got to school. They did it for ages and it really upset S. This was in kindy. Now she is in Year 4 and they are the best of mates.
    But this sounds like it is in a different ballpark. I agree with Fee, I would call the teacher. This girl is being mean and a bully. Sometimes I think it would be so much easier to have boys. Girls can be so nasty.
    I was terribly bullied at school and Mum used to tell me to ignore them. That did not work. I wish someone had stood up for me. You are doing the right thing by being concerned.
    See you at the cocktail partay.

  3. i agree with fee – the school needs 2 know & take the 1st step of talking 2 the child… as the parent of a child that stood over another child & got confronted about it by the other parent, b4 they even bothered 2 tell the school, i really feel this is the 1st step 2 take… but, also as a parent of a ‘bully’, i needed 2 know, so i cld deal with it at home as well, so, make sure the school tell the parent!!!

    good luck!

  4. I have a theory Alana that may help. Give me a buzz and we will workshop it. I agree you must do something and the sooner the better. X

  5. I think a word to the teacher would be a good start, however I don’t think the teacher speaking individually to the child would be such a good idea. I think this could back fire as the ‘bully’ would then be aware that Sprog 1 must have ‘dobbed’ and could actually make things worse for her.

    Maybe the teacher could do a lesson / session on bullying and get the whole class to participate. That way it won’t be just directed at the ‘bully’ and the whole class would be more mindful of what ‘bullying’ can consist of. Maybe the other kids aren’t even aware of what is actually happening.

  6. Forgot to mention that there may be other kids in the class that are also being ‘bullied’ in other forms, so an open discussion may be good.

  7. Hey Alana,

    Completely agree with Fee, you need to chat to the teacher and a little session on friendships and been nice to others is in order. x

  8. Hi. I read this post this morning but didn’t comment right away because I was hoping that I’d come up something wise to say.

    Turns out, I’m as stumped as you. Girls are bitches. Not yours. The ones who are giving her a hard time.

    Glad to hear you’ve spoken to teacher. But seriously, if your girls are anything like you, then they’ve been blessed with the smarts and a wicked sense of humour. For these reasons they are going to be A-OK in the long run.

    In the meantime, time just ‘hangin’ with your Sprog will affirmed her that she’s cool and just fine the way she is.

    I really feel for you. Nothing worse.

    1. Am really looking forward to getting three weeks with the Sprogs away from it all over the school hols. I hope it will be a nice circuit-breaker for us all.

  9. I know this is a little late but yes, I vote for talking to the teacher because they are better placed to watch the dynamics of the friends, groups and unfair treatment.

    We had a lot of this last year (Year 3) and it is really hard to negotiate from the sidelines. Each child only tells their side of the story and often they are both at fault. Whether it be from expectations, communication, working in groups or individuals leading the group. And self-awareness in children is almost impossible.

    There was a lot of group discussions on how to solve problems and deal with each other when things don’t work out for one or more.

    So keep an open dialogue with the teacher and let them tell you where the problem lies. And ways to help Sprog 1 communicate and connect with her peers.

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