Mother Worry

I am worried for my children….

They have moved schools this year, as I’m pretty sure I’ve said before.

My daughter at first said she had many friends and a best friend, now seems to have few, if any, and is having issues with one particular girl who says something new and mean and hurtful to her every day….

My son, who seemed to have established a good group of friends, was once invited to his ‘best’ friends house, but not again, and yesterday came home saying he was ‘a loser’ – this is not how he speaks, this is not even in his vocabulary – I asked him why – at first it was because he wasn’t good at hockey, then it was because people were ganging up on him at downball…no straight story and his “I’m making this up as I go” face.

So what do I do? At their old school I would have talked to the teachers about it and they would have looked after my children (while they weren’t strong in academics they did try to make sure everyone was relatively happy), but I’ve written to my daughters teacher and she hasn’t responded…I’m on new ground here in the public school system, so any advice would be welcome.

I want my babies to be happy, not crying every night…

Any other Mums out there – Help! – Please?



Filed under random bumph

12 responses to “Mother Worry

  1. Gosh. I have no good advice. Hmm. Maybe a visit to the school to talk to the teachers. Are parent-teacher interviews coming up where you could talk to them?
    That sounds really hard. I am sorry for your kids. School can not very fun sometimes. I remember that well.

  2. Being picked on and surviving is a human rite of passage. Unfortunately if you storm in there all guns blazing you will make things much worse for them. Subject to any excellent advice that @Nomie_yardarm’s can give you, I would recommend speaking to the school on the QT & trying to get a buddy or mentor for your kids (if they don’t have this system in place).

    With the girl that says mean & hurtful stuff to your daughter – you could try workshopping this with her – you pretend to be the girl and get her to practise replies to the mean stuff. There was a girl that used to do this to me at school. I found taking a deep breath and saying things like – “that was a nasty thing to say, you must be really unhappy in your own life if you have to say stuff like that to me” etc. Public humiliation is the best way to deal with mean girls.

    Mean boys have to be fought eventually though – you’ll need to talk to a man who has been picked on & survived.

  3. Talk to the teachers and talk with your children. All you can do is keep the school informed while keeping things in perspective. Make sure your children have something to do/somewhere to go when being picked on or left out. Make sure they understand that nasty comments aren’t about them, they’re about the poor self-esteem of the other person. Help them to understand that kids who do this are looking for a reaction and trying to make themselves either feel better or look better.

    Lawandshoes suggested responding to the mean girl with a comment about their unhappiness. That may work but in reality it’s the truth about that girl. She really is unhappy to be so mean. If your daughter responds with a positive it too may help. Prepare possible answers with her. If this girl says a mean thing to your daughter and your girl responds with something nice such as “Your hair is really pretty today” then the other girl will look like a bitch and perhaps the compliment will help her start feeling better about herself & she may see your daughter as a friend instead of a target. You need to decide what approach works best for your daughter & with this other girl but there will be one that works :)

    School is tough and I’m so glad not to be there myself again. I hate it when I see my children being treated unkindly or left out but it’s what they’ll encounter outside of school as well so we can’t shield them from everything.

  4. I don’t really have any advice, though I would probably have a quiet word to the teachers to feel out how they think your children are settling into school. You could then also bring up your concerns, and work with your children on strategies to deal with the issues they are facing. Hugs to both of them and you x

  5. Talk to the teacher. That’s a great place to start. Ask her for advice on dealing with the situation. Secondly, I’m a big fan of what lawandshoes said where you do some role playing with your daughter. It’s a great way for her to feel empowered in the situation. I am sorry they are having a hard time. I know how much it hurts you and them. Hugs to you all. xxx

  6. It’s so hard, I have no advice I’m afriad but the comments above have some good stuff. I hope you sort it out, you are right school should be as happy as possible not somewhere that makes them come home in tears.

  7. If the teacher hasn’t responded, head straight to the Principal. Call the office and tell them you want a one-on-one meeting with the Principal and tell him/her what’s going on, and that you tried to have a chat with the teacher about it. Do it in a calm way. You want these people on your side.

    My friend has a son who always seemed to get bullied. He doesn’t really stick up for himself much (therefore, is a target). People who are mean are that way usually because they can get away with it. My friend used to sit down with her son and tell him things he could say to the boys bullying him and he would, and then he’d get left alone after the first couple of weeks of bullying.

    As for your son talking about being a “loser” etc – I think you just have to reiterate to him he is certainly not that. Sometimes it’s good to take the kids out one-on-one for a milkshake or something and then casually work in to the conversation about school etc, and then they’ll open up. Then you can address whatever is making him feel that way.

    Hope that helps. xxx

  8. Thank you everyone – Think I’ll workshop with my daughter and go and talk to teacher just to see if she’s noticed anything – If daughter does have particular friends, or if she seems left out, If this girl often does this or not…
    Son seems much better today. We talked about it all yesterday afternoon and it turned out it was a group of boys picking on him and his friends during downball – trying to get them out – then one boy making up silly songs about them as they got out…he felt really bad for his friends, and apparently they were doing really hard shots on purpose (son has not played downball before this year – I get the feeling that when he plays with mostly his friends they take that into account) and that ‘maybe’ someone else called someone else a loser – but I hope, I hope we’ve talked it through enough for him not to take that on board…
    Thank you all – A LOT – *hugs many*

  9. Sorry, late to this… life is just too busy at the moment :(
    OK, can you go and speak to the teacher, face to face? Then if that is not successful I’d approach the principal. Otherwise the principal will just ask if you have spoken to the teacher… (round & round we go)
    New schools are hard… but remember also that sometimes children will tell us something about their day that really was perhaps a 5 minute time span. This does not make what happened trivial, just letting you know that as parents we often go to the worst case scenario in our attempts to protect our children.
    Also, (and yes I’m aware of just how corny this sounds, but it can work) give your kids some tips on breaking the ice… such as for your daughter to say to someone she’d like to get to know ‘hey your hair looks nice… or, I like your shoes….
    Also remember for children on primary school (even late primary school) often friendships change, group dynamics shift.
    It’s all about giving your kids the tools to help them get through these situations, give them words and phrases to use, as Jodie above suggested…
    I would just add a word of caution… some girls do back off when challenged by a smart reply, others will just dig their heels in and begin to target more… I’ve found it helpful to have a few one liner quips ready to pull out, then practice the cool walk away as if what they have said is like water off a ducks back… even though what the girl may have said does hurt, don’t let them see it (that’s what they want)
    Sometimes talking to the teacher will also bring their attention to a situation they may not have been aware of. Face to face is best, even great teachers can sometimes mislay notes from parents… or have something slip their mind… face to face works best.
    Sending hugs to you all xxx

    • Thank you so much – again – for this – we worked on a cool walk away – which made little one laugh – imaginary sunglasses and all :) It just seems like this girl is doing more and more every day – I’d love for daught to come home and be HAPPY :s xxx

  10. As above – go in and speak to the teacher. Make an opportunity. Some people just don’t communicate well by letter.

    Being picked on. I’m afraid I’m a bit of an expert (continuously bullied at school from age 9 to 16). How did I stop it? Violence. Not something you can recommend, though. Dudelet (6) does have friend issues too and its something we worry about. But (as someone else said), the alliances and relationships at this age shift so much and so rapidly and the same applies to older children too. Have they managed to maintain any connection to people at their old schools?

    • Making time to speak with teacher today – although there seems to be more going on every day. Makes me realise what a strong little girl I have. I was bullied too – about the same age range – which is why this gets to me SO much. She has managed to keep in touch with one friend from Melbourne, however contact is sporadic at best unfortuantely, and seems like there isn’t much we can do about it. My son has become very pro active actually and decided to buy his own ball to play down ball with so that he and his friends could just have their own game as he puts it ‘then no-one gangs up and we are all nice” But yes, teacher is aware there is something going on with the girls already as she spoke to the whole class about including others in play – but still – I’d like to find out how daughter is doing. I’ve also been encouraging her to make some friends in the class below hers as they will be moving up to her year level next year. I just get really scared for her and that big move to high school in a year and three quarters… Thank you for feedback :) can’t imagine son ever getting in an actual fight – he tend s to yell and storm off and attack objects instead of people, or internalise things – don’t know if this is good or bad…maybe there just is no good way to deal with anger and hurt….

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