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WWYD? She is FIVE!
Heartbroken mum

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#1 Steiner-wannabe

Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:20 PM

My DD is 5, turning 6 this year and is in a split PP/yr1 class. She is yr 1 but cusp as she is a late June baby.
There are about 7 year ones in the class, and the rest are PPs. The PPs play in their own PP/kindy area at recess and lunch, so the year ones don't socialize with them.

Ok, my issue is my daughter has two other kids from her PP class last year that she knows. They are both girls, and now it has become a third wheel situation where the bossiest girl (not my DD) is not allowing my Dd to play with the other girl... (still keeping up?)
My DD suffers social anxiety among other things, and last year really only played with boys, but all her 'boy' friends are now in another class and she lacks the confidence to go and play with kids from other classes.
She comes home really quiet and withdrawn and says she plays by herself most of the time.

Now, I know sometimes 5 yr olds embellish the truth a bit, but I have really noticed it in her behaviour.
She is really aggressive to her little sister, and wants to continuously rough play with dad (to the point she hurts him and he yells at her)
She lashes out at us all the time and never seems happy. She whinges over everything (I know, common with the age), but I am at a loss as to how to discipline her as I know she is sensitive and overly anxious she is.

I am disillusioned with mainstream school. Bullying seems so rife, and being 'excluded' from play in year 1 seems so extreme! I am really considering alternative education as I am of the opinion bullying is less common, but I don't want to make rash decisions as I know I am being emotional.

Any thoughts? My heart is heavy at the moment, I am torn between feeling for her, but am sick of her bad behaviour at home....

Edited by iKate, 30 April 2012 - 12:22 PM.

#2 Indatree

Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:25 PM

Sounds like an awful situation. Have you spoken to her teacher? That would be my first step.

#3 rolandsmum

Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:39 PM

poor thing!! i homeschool my kids so dont have that problem, and we meet other homeschooling kids that are not bullies, could this be an option for you?

#4 Julie3Girls

Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:40 PM

Talk to her teacher.


I know the one year we had a k/1 class at school, the yr1 children in the class were carefully selected. And the teachers kept a close eye on any possible problems.

Friendship groups of 3 can be really hard. my DD2 has been part of a threesome friendship.  The first wasn't too bad - it actually did work pretty well.  The friendship was really tight with all 3 girls, and they worked around the issues. Then they had a 4th come into the group, which fixed up any pairing up issues.
Unfortuantely, the following year, one of the original 3 left, and the 3 left didn't work nearly as well.

Talk to the teacher, she can at least keep an eye on things, and maybe encourage the friendships with the other girls in the class. Discourage the exclusive type of friendships.

#5 Natahs_mum

Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:46 PM

I agree talk to the teacher, and see what they say... They may be able to buddy her up with someone so she can play with them at lunchtime, or the teachers can keep an eye on her just to see how she is at playtime. Is she complaining of having no one to play with? (other then the 3 girls)... having a teacher there during playtime they will be able to tell you.

I am disillusioned with mainstream school. Bullying seems so rife, and being 'excluded' from play in year 1 seems so extreme! I am really considering alternative education as I am of the opinion bullying is less common, but I don't want to make rash decisions as I know I am being emotional.
I don't agree with that, l think it depends on the school and their beliefs and programs on how and what they do in regard to bullying. You would need to work witrh the child(ren) and teachers and sort it out.

We all get bullying of some sort where-ever we go and we need to teach our kids how to deal with and to make it a postive environment for them.

But girls of that age can be rather nasty...

Edited by Natahs_mum, 30 April 2012 - 12:49 PM.

#6 BetteBoop

Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:20 PM

We have had a similar situation with DD in a combined class being excluded from play by a very bossy older kid. We spoke to the teacher but she was fairly dismissive and seemed to think it wasn't an issue. She said the behaviour was very common in kids that age and they would be friends one day but not the next.

So the first part is recognising that it is common and may not mean your child is being bullied but falling out with other kids, which is normal. You will need to talk to her to work out what her role is in the conflict. Is she trying to boss the other kids around and storming off if they won't do as she says?

DH and I have been working with DD on what to do when she's left out or having conflict with friends. We've either talked about it openly (at dinner we talk about our day or I've told her made up stories with dolls pretending one of them is being excluded.

The messages we are giving her are:

[*]school isn't just about playing. It's about learning and what you do at lunchtime is just one part of it.
[*]kids who leave you out are being mean. It's not nice behaviour and if they do it, say something to them like 'don't be mean' or 'that's not nice'.
[*]If you're being left out of a game, go up to another kid and say "hi, my name is Jessie, can I play with you".
[*]if someone says something that hurts your feelings or if they hit you, you tell the teacher straight away.
[*]if you're ever sad about school, you can always talk to mum or dad.

I think it's about teaching the child the skills they need to manage this stuff, not relying on the school system. Bullying will never go away - I've worked for bullies who are professional middle aged people.

At the end of the day, your child needs to learn how to cope with people who are mean or irrational.

#7 lizzzard

Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:57 PM

Oh, you poor thing – my heart goes out to you. It is so heartbreaking to see your baby having a hard time…

I would definitely recommend speaking to the teacher as a first port of call. Bullying is such a hot topic at the moment and I think teachers these days have access to a lot of information about how to address it.

You mentioned she has some social anxiety – is she seeing anyone about it? It might be worthwhile having  a chat with your GP to get a referral for a few sessions with a child psychologist for some tips on how to strengthen her resilience and confidence in social situations. I think you’re a great mum to help your daughter deal with this proactively – a lot of people miss the signs. Good luck J

#8 *mylittleprince*

Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:05 PM

I'm sorry your daughter is being left out. I think it's important to teach our children coping skills and strategies which build resilience rather than trying to fix the situation for them. There is no guarantee she won't be bullied at another school and you couldn't keep moving her.

I would definately speak to the teacher. If she knows your daughter is lonely she could try pairing her up with another girl in the class. Teachers have a lot of power and influence and should be able to assist with the situation until your daughter feels confident to make more friends.

All the best.

#9 livesarah

Posted 08 June 2014 - 10:10 AM

I really feel for you, OP. I took my baby son to a *playgroup* a couple of years ago and witnessed two 3-year-old girls actively excluding another 3yo girl. I was on the receiving end of this treatment in both primary and high school but I was really shocked it could start so early. My son is now 4 and he has a little friend (girl) who is regularly cared for by our neighbours (her grandparents). She also engages in this kind of behaviour, both to my son (if you don't do X I won't be your friend any more) and to her lovely and more stringently-parented 6yo brother (telling him he is not allowed to play with them, telling my son he is not allowed to be friends with her brother). My son is a bit of a sheep, frankly, so I worry both about him being bullied in school and about him becoming party to the bullying of other children. I try to step in when I witness this type of behaviour, and use these as teachable moments for my son and for his little friend. As a child I was occasionally party to the bullying of kids even lower down the pecking order than I was, and I am ashamed to this day.

My parents spouted the old-fashioned resilience crap, about school being a place to learn and how I needed to develop the skills to deal with nasty people in real life. Given there was a history of school bullying that affected my dad as a child, and his older brother was severely bullied and committed suicide as a teenager, I was always surprised by their attitude. But in those days there wasn't much alternative.

In my adult life, I don't view being the subject of bullying in childhood as being in any way formative in a positive fashion. Saying kids need to develop resilience to deal with nasty people is crap and is tantamount to victim-blaming. Social anxiety is often caused by bullying, not the other way around. Are we really suggesting that kids who are popular and never bullied never develop those skills and somehow suffer in their adult life because of it? I felt as a child as I do now- that school is a prison for some children, who aren't given a choice about who to associate with. The beauty of adult life is that you can choose not to associate with toxic people, for the most part. Certainly you have more say in the matter than you do as a child.

My husband used to take the same line about resilience that I heard from my parents growing up, when I would say I would homeschool our son rather than let him suffer what I did (I developed an eating disorder that greatly affected my school results, and also self-harmed). My husband's views on home-schooling have changed since he started working in a profession where he sees a lot of children who are subjected to bullying, and hears from most parents just how useless the schools are at dealing with the problem (sometimes kids are unlucky enough to have teachers who make it even worse). And every single one of the home-schooled children he has seen in the course of his work are happy, well-adjusted kids who are engaged to a much greater degree with learning than any of the students he sees who attend school (even though much of the time they are being treated for very similar issues).

OP, I hope your daughter is lucky enough to have some teachers like the great ones described here. Bullying in school can be dealt with. But if you find the school doesn't seem to be able to deal with the situation effectively you should definitely consider whatever other options might be available to you. Don't underestimate the long term damage that bullying can do to a little person.

#10 Saiga Antelope

Posted 09 June 2014 - 10:45 PM

No wonder your heart is broken OP.

I also will be homeschooling my kids. Would you consider it too if at all possible?

#11 Ducky*Fuzz

Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:08 PM

I would invite the other little girl over to establish the friendship more that way.

It's hard. I have half my class tell me they didn't have anyone to play with that day, but when I leave them after eating time, they have all told me who they are going to play with and what they are going to play.  
They come back after recess and lunch telling me they had noone to play with. Usually it happens when they go to the toilet and can't find their friends after.
I have at time called kids away from bossier ones, sent them off to play with the "lonely" child and had a quick chat to the "bossy" child and reminded them that everyone gets to decide on the game/rules etc. That way, the other 2 have organised themselves and the "bossy" child goes to join in. I think (hope!) it's giving all the children tools to work situations like this out on their own later!

#12 robhat

Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:15 PM

My DD is in year 1. No sign of bullying in her grade at all. I'm serious. And she's in an ordinary public school. Another nearby school seems to have some problems with girls being mean and narky though. I think it really depends on the demographic you end up with.

For what it's worth, I'm getting all sorts of behaviour issues with my DD too and she frequently seems unhappy. But I've checked with her and her teacher and nothing seems to be wrong. Best thing I have found to do with her is take her for a walk in the evenings. It helps her burn off some restless energy so she sleeps better and has become a really good talking time for us. She tells me stuff during our walks that I can't get out of her at any other time.

I did recently go to a seminar on anxiety and kids run by local psychologists. Number one rule for parents with an anxious kid is 'do not rescue them'.  However that doesn't mean you let them be bullied ruthlessly. Try to teach skills to cope and how to deal with stuff and get the teachers to deal with things as best as possible but you really don't help your kids by trying to get them moved to a different class or school every time they struggle with friends. Unless of course your kid has such problems that a psychologist tells you to do otherwise...

I know your DD is only 5, but she needs to find the confidence to play with the kids in other classes and to make new friends each year when the classes get mixed up. My DD does struggle with these things too but I can't go to school every day and help her, nor can I expect the teacher to hover over her and home schooling her won't fix it either. Best thing I can do is talk about it at home and give her strategies to try and encourage her as best I can. I take her out to social settings outside of school and get her to practice various strategies for join in play there too. She's gotten much better over the last year and is more confident now. As for the mean girl. I hate those sort! There's always one! I'd talk to the teacher about it but on the whole those bossy mean girls are incurable and I find the best thing to do is to teach your daughter that she deserves respect and that anyone, male or female, that doesn't show her respect isn't worth wasting her time on. She probably won't think much of that at this stage, but I believe if we keep telling our girls that, then it'll mean something eventually!

#13 Guest_Ella Feral Pea_*

Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:16 PM

Thread's two years old guys.

#14 robhat

Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:29 PM

Bugger. I didn't look at the OP date! Stupid 'we are discussing' threads!!

#15 Saiga Antelope

Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:52 PM

Lol oh well. I wonder how things are now, two years later...

#16 mamaishere

Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:10 AM

lol just realised how old this is!! deleted my response...

Edited by mamaishere, 19 June 2014 - 11:12 AM.

#17 Wrynn

Posted 26 August 2014 - 07:31 PM

Definitely go and talk with the teacher. She should be able to help and come up with ideas how to solve the conflict. There's also an idea to maybe throw a party for your daughter's schoolmates at your home? Just simple treats, snacks and funny games for kids to have a blast. They would have a chance to get to know each other and maybe your daughter could bond better.

#18 Guest_Ella Minnow Pea_*

Posted 26 August 2014 - 07:33 PM

Thread's still 2 years old

#19 baddmammajamma

Posted 26 August 2014 - 07:34 PM

View PostElla Minnow Pea, on 26 August 2014 - 07:33 PM, said:

Thread's still 2 years old

Heading toward 2.5.....

#20 Ireckon

Posted 26 August 2014 - 08:39 PM

View PostElla Minnow Pea, on 26 August 2014 - 07:33 PM, said:

Thread's still 2 years old

Hehehe......too funny :-)

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