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Why are kids so mean


shygirlsmum
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Just letting off a little steam here.

DD has been having trouble with another girl at dance class for a while now, both aged 11. Examples of the behaviour are that she pulled DD's hair in class (so hard that DD actually cried) then denied it was her even though several other girls witnessed it, on another occasion she threatened to smash DD's phone and tonight, she tried to cause an argument between DD and another girl by making up a ludicrous story. She proceeded to go round other girls in the class trying to turn them against DD. So far DD has turned the other cheek but tonight has really upset her.

The girls have been a close friends for many years - former dance partners, the other girl recently moved dance schools to our new school (we have been there almost a year) I have so far dismissed this behaviour hoping that when she settled in things would calm down. I am really good friends with her mum and value our friendship, I have not discussed the situation with her as I have never been one for getting involved with kids squabbles. I know that her mum will know something has happened as she frequently gets into scrapes with other kids and blames everything on the other party telling her mother a pack of lies, she has had several incidences at school and her other dance class.

I apologise for the long rambling post but I just wanted to let it out!!!!

I have no intention of confronting things at this time, the only time I would do this is if DD couldn't take it anymore, I am hoping things will seem brighter in the morning, night peeps xx

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Ask the teacher if she has noticed any awkward dynamics in the class, state that your dd has been upset after class a few times, that way you aren't pointing the finger of blame at any one particular child but asking a generalised question.

 

Even if she hasn't seen or heard anything she will at least be aware that there is an issue, and can look out for it, hopefully stopping the nastiness before it escalates further.

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Shygirlsmum I'm so sorry to hear what a rotten time your dd is having, my heart really goes out to you as we have been in a very similar situation and I know how hard it is to deal with, especially when the child's mother is a friend. Have you tried to bring the girls together? When we had a problem dd's teacher gave the girls a duet together to make them learn to work together and be a team, we had sleepovers and encouraged a friendship and gradually things improved, although there will forever be a clash of personalities between the two girls, but they do have a very close friendship now. Best of luck to you all and I hope that your daughter doesn't have to suffer more nastiness.

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Tbh they have been great friends for years, previous dance partners etc. The other girl recently had an issue with another girl, the mothers spoke and the issues seemed to be resolved for a while. Last nights incident was after about 3 weeks of relative peace. We do a car share (3 girls) and she if she is true to form next dance run she will be sweetness & light.

 

As sad as this sounds DD is actually used to her little spats but last night she worked her way around the bar slagging DD off to other girls in the class, most of whom dismissed her but DD found it really upsetting. Another parent messaged me to tell me some of the horrible things she had said. Fortunately the girls are a really nice bunch of kids, she had actually called DD a nasty name (something an 11 year old should not be saying) and one of the girls sent her off with a flea in her ear and defended DD.

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Oh how terrible!! One thing my dd learnt from her experiences was how to handle mean, nasty and very selfish people, it is a skill that has done her well and she actually feels sorry for the nasty kids as she says it must be terrible to feel that insecure that you have to try to distory another person, she knows not to take it to heart. Lucky for your dd to have a good supportive class around her!! I hope your dd feels better soon and remind her what a lovely person she is and obviously the rest of the class think so if they won't hear the nasty things being said about her x

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Oh how terrible!! One thing my dd learnt from her experiences was how to handle mean, nasty and very selfish people, it is a skill that has done her well and she actually feels sorry for the nasty kids as she says it must be terrible to feel that insecure that you have to try to distory another person, she knows not to take it to heart. Lucky for your dd to have a good supportive class around her!! I hope your dd feels better soon and remind her what a lovely person she is and obviously the rest of the class think so if they won't hear the nasty things being said about her x

Unfortunately it isn't only children who can behave like this I know of one adult who does! 

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How sad akh but Unfortunately there are some very nasty people out there, we just have to learn how to deal with such people and not let them impact our lives and happiness! The world is made up of many different personalities and we are not going to get along with them all!!

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I'm sorry to hear that your DD is having to go through this, but it does at least sound as though the other girls know her well, are level-headed and are standing up for her, which probably says a lot for her - and also a (rather less positive) lot about the other girl.  It's difficult to spread vitriol if nobody will believe it.  Sounds as though it would be great if one of the girls who isn't being picked on would stand up to this girl and tell her where to get off!

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This girls behaviour is totally unacceptable, she is bullying, and that should never be accepted or tolerated. I would privately phone the principle of the school to alert her to what is happening in their studious. To dance at your best means you should be feeling relaxed, secure and happy. This girl appears to have a behaviour issue, everywhere she has attended, she has a history of negative behaviour

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Thank you for all your supportive comments, I just needed to vent a little. Unfortunately the girl involved does have a history of this type of behaviour. I am very proud of the way DD has dealt with things so far. DD is a quiet girl but has always been popular with her peers, so hopefully this will all blow over.

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I find this behaviour more than mean. Pulling your DD's hair is an assault and threatening to break someone else's property is totally unacceptable. It sounds as if this girl has some kind of a problem. I suspect that your friendship with the mother has influenced your handling of the current situation and the friendship generally. Your DD should not be this girl's 'friend' and I would encourage her to distance herself from this girl as much as possible. I wonder whether you have not discouraged this friendship or even encouraged it because of your own friendship with the mother. Perhaps it's time to change your approach and tell the mother about her daughter's behaviour. If she really is your friend she will respond positively. If she's hostile then at least you will know where you stand.

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It saddens me when kids are mean to others, it doesn't stop as they grow up though. My DD is now at US, 2 of her closest friends went to a different US, together, they now say they don't have time for my DD, who I know misses them dreadfully after being really close friends for at least 10 years.

Dynamics of friendships change and usually someone ends up feeling hurt, if your DD can learn to handle this other girl now it can only stand her in good stead for the rest of her life. I wish you both lots of luck and hope it settles down quickly.

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I agree with aileen; pulling someone's hair so hard that they cry is assault. How many children are in the class? Did the teacher not notice your dd crying and ask if she was ok?

 

I think something to ask yourself is what you would do if this happened at your dd's academic school. Possibly you would ask for a meeting with the teacher and discuss the school's anti-bullying policy. If you wouldn't be happy for this to happen in school then it shouldn't be allowed to continue at ballet.

 

I'm also curious about a student being allowed to "work their way around the class" trying to stir up trouble - is changing where they are at the barre allowed? In dd's local classes the girls stayed where they were during barre, and talking during class was discouraged. Is the class very large?

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Friendships are complex and when one party feels that the friendship has run its course or establishes other, closer friendships it it can be very hurtful to the 'rejected' party. Regarding your DD, orchidblue, it may be of small comfort when I say that friendships often fade surprisingly quickly when children move schools. And this happens with adults as well. Most friendships do not last long when people move job, house, town etc.

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This girl is a bully. Simple. The teacher needs to exercise control and put a stop to it. Possibly she isn't aware so I would agree with Anna C, talk to the teacher and explain what has been happening. Good luck, wish your daughter the best, she shouldn't have to tolerate behaviour like this.l

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I'm sorry your DD is having to go through this.  I agree with other posters that you should have a quiet word with the teacher.  Pulling hair and threatening to smash belongings is not acceptable behaviour and the teacher needs to be aware that there have been issues and do her best to stop anything happening at ballet class.

 

Personally I would be inclined not to talk to the mother of the child in question, especially if she is a friend and you value her friendship as you say you do.  I have been in a similar situation with both my DDs.  With my eldest, it happened in both academic and ballet school.  The ballet teacher spoke to the class as a whole about acceptable behaviour and what would not be tolerated and all problems ceased.  The academic teacher, who had been their teacher a few years previously, was more on the bring them together and I should speak to the mum (my close friend) approach.  I followed her advice and that was a real mistake.  My friend's reaction was hostile.  Our DDs over time became friends again - but our adult friendship has never really recovered.

Several years later my younger DD encountered a similar problem with a friend who started being mean to her.  Again, the mum was a close friend.  This time I avoided talking to the mother and concentrated on my DD and her other friendships.  The bad behaviour did indeed blow over very quickly, especially when the girl realised that none of the girls liked the way she was behaving.  She and my DD drifted apart and are friendly rather than friends but I am still close friends with the mum and she was really pleased that we kept our friendship separate to that of our DDs as she was ostracised by some mothers because of her DDs behaviour, in a couple of cases by women she had been friends with since her early teens.

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Bullying in any situation is awful....a stop needs to be put to this as otherwise she will continue to be damaging to others & will also be a very damaged individual in the long-term. My DD's time at a Voc school was completely ruined by a manipulative & nasty child. Her behaviour included doing /saying mean things then accusing my DD & others od doing just the thing she had done....& she seemed always to be believed by staff! Whilst no proof, I undoubtedly believe it was her who left a very sharp map pin under the duvet on my DD's bed - the steel pin pointing up right where one would sit down....I was only glad that I found it whilst placing a teddy in her bed rather than my DD finding it - either by sitting on it/finding it in her bed & any resultant injury that could have happened. Or even if no physical injury occurred I do think this sort of thing is what could cause mental scars & trust issues. The Houseparents frankly were inadequate in my opinion - suggesting it 'must have blown there'....what? Under a duvet???? & there was no board & no pins in the vicinity of DC's area.....but the nasty kid in Q had a board & map pins in hers...hmmm. I requested my DD was not told as I did not want to traumatize her...frankly, I did agonize about whether I should even leave her there that night or ever again.... A meeting was apparently had with the dorm (excluding my DD) telling them that a pin was found in a bed & letting them know that a parent was worried it might have been a deliberate act  but really I think they should've gone in hard line to try & get a confession from the culprit (pin just blew there....& the duvet blew over the top of it.....yeh, right) Kids should be in fear of being chucked out of any school for such bullying behaviour/assault as my DC & yours have suffered. I would like to add that this child in question even continued after my DC left the school by extending into social media bullying. My DC like yours received backing from others - former schoolmates posted comments saying how mean it was of this girl. My DC swiftly 'blocked' her & I think wised up quickly to the dangers of stupid online tagging. I wrote a hundred letters to her parents in my head, but life is too short to waste time on these pitiful non-entities. I only hope she one day realises just how mean & cruel she was & hope that that moment has already come & her current dorm mates (if she is still at voc school) are not similarly suffering. DD left that school without a backward glance....& is now extremely happy elsewhere.

No - that was me ranting as have never got it off my chest before! Apologies all!

I think the way a school - whether full time or part time - deal with these issues of bullying is key....you must go to the teacher. She must deal with it to YOUR satisfaction.

Good luck!

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Shygirlsmum sorry to hear of this but really at age 11 the mean girl should know better and not have excuses made for her.

 

I do actually believe more parents should get involved in squabbles as this is where they learn their lessons from their parents

 

I can't stand it when kids are mean but the parents just shrug and say let them sort it out themselves as sometimes they can't if one of them is too passive or polite.

 

I'm afraid I'm with the member who said hair pulling is an assault. It's not on. Where was the teacher?

 

I've had to work hard with my daughter sbout similar instances a year ago when she was 10. she has strategies that work for her now such as saying the persons name quite loudly to draw the teachers attention and just keeping away at the beginning of class. And support as a group can be good too.

 

If you don't feel you can approach the mum then making teacher aware could help

 

Good luck

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I have been on the recieving end of this many times as a child and adult. Don't bother with the parent as honestly kids learn the behaviour or that they can lie and get away with such acts from them. Just politely try and distance the two girls and try not to get caught up in her behaviour. If she comes back and tries to be friendly again just be wary and don't get sucked in, the act can be very convincing :(

 

Definitely talk to the teacher though, you wouldn't tolerate the same thing at academic school!

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Bullying in any situation is awful....a stop needs to be put to this as otherwise she will continue to be damaging to others & will also be a very damaged individual in the long-term. My DD's time at a Voc school was completely ruined by a manipulative & nasty child. Her behaviour included doing /saying mean things then accusing my DD & others od doing just the thing she had done....& she seemed always to be believed by staff! Whilst no proof, I undoubtedly believe it was her who left a very sharp map pin under the duvet on my DD's bed - the steel pin pointing up right where one would sit down....I was only glad that I found it whilst placing a teddy in her bed rather than my DD finding it - either by sitting on it/finding it in her bed & any resultant injury that could have happened. Or even if no physical injury occurred I do think this sort of thing is what could cause mental scars & trust issues. The Houseparents frankly were inadequate in my opinion - suggesting it 'must have blown there'....what? Under a duvet???? & there was no board & no pins in the vicinity of DC's area.....but the nasty kid in Q had a board & map pins in hers...hmmm. I requested my DD was not told as I did not want to traumatize her...frankly, I did agonize about whether I should even leave her there that night or ever again.... A meeting was apparently had with the dorm (excluding my DD) telling them that a pin was found in a bed & letting them know that a parent was worried it might have been a deliberate act but really I think they should've gone in hard line to try & get a confession from the culprit (pin just blew there....& the duvet blew over the top of it.....yeh, right) Kids should be in fear of being chucked out of any school for such bullying behaviour/assault as my DC & yours have suffered. I would like to add that this child in question even continued after my DC left the school by extending into social media bullying. My DC like yours received backing from others - former schoolmates posted comments saying how mean it was of this girl. My DC swiftly 'blocked' her & I think wised up quickly to the dangers of stupid online tagging. I wrote a hundred letters to her parents in my head, but life is too short to waste time on these pitiful non-entities. I only hope she one day realises just how mean & cruel she was & hope that that moment has already come & her current dorm mates (if she is still at voc school) are not similarly suffering. DD left that school without a backward glance....& is now extremely happy elsewhere.

No - that was me ranting as have never got it off my chest before! Apologies all!

I think the way a school - whether full time or part time - deal with these issues of bullying is key....you must go to the teacher. She must deal with it to YOUR satisfaction.

Good luck!

I'm so sorry this happened to you that sounds awful! I dealt with a girl like that and unfortunately they are too sly to be caught and way too convincing liars that no one wants to believe you. I'm glad you got away and your daughter is happier now :)

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Peanut68 sorry to hear of your experiences and happy that you got away and your DC is happy now.

 

I'm in a situation myself currently and have felt trapped by what seems to be the best thing for DD's training versus my morals and principles regarding bullying and getting out of a situation.

 

Sometimes we have to be so strong to weigh everything up and make the right decisions :)

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Peanut68 sorry to hear of your experiences and happy that you got away and your DC is happy now.

 

I'm in a situation myself currently and have felt trapped by what seems to be the best thing for DD's training versus my morals and principles regarding bullying and getting out of a situation.

 

Sometimes we have to be so strong to weigh everything up and make the right decisions :)

I think you mentioning morals & principles is really key - there are always some in all walks of life who seem not to share the general accepted standards. & sadly they often 'get away with it' as those who suffer from this do not want to make a fuss or be tagged as a snitch or trouble maker. I do think though schools need to make it very clear what will & will not be tolerated & also kids & parents need to know how to & to whom to communicate about such issues & just what the procedures that will be followed are. Good luck with resolving any troubles for your DD - stay strong! I am a believer in what goes around comes around....we can move away from a nasty individual...they will always have to live with themselves & the knowledge of what they have done....I do believe that everyone does have the same moral understanding, just not always the same manners.....but deep down, they will know they have done wrong & quite probably will suffer inwardly for it long after we have all moved onwards & upwards!

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I am so sorry to hear about so many going through this kind of situation, it really is horrible. I can't imagine the worry of having a child away from home and fearing for their safety. I also believe what goes around comes around will continue to support DD and encourage her to be her best self and rise above the nastiness. I have decided to see what happens after Christmas and if matters persist I will speak to the teacher (or possibly the parent if I'm brave enough). I hope that everyone find a resolution to their troubles. Xx

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I should like add to my post above - thank you for all your kind comments, advice & support. It was good to get it all out there. Also thank you to those who shared their own experiences, it must be hard to revisit those tough times. I'm glad to hear you came out the other and are moving onwards & upwards xx

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Please speak to the teacher, maybe just before term starts.

 

Quite honestly, if I'd witnessed that behaviour, especially the hair pulling, in my school, I would have expelled the culprit immediately.

 

Sometimes us teachers are unaware of surreptitious bullying or unpleasant sly behaviour. Only recently I had to deal with a situation brought to my attention by a parent. All quickly resolved thank goodness, although wasn't anything too serious.

 

Us teachers need happy students to get the best out of them. And if there is a problem I'd rather know about it, I wouldn't want to lose any students due to them being intimidated by their peers.

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... those who suffer from this do not want to make a fuss or be tagged as a snitch or trouble maker. I do think though schools need to make it very clear what will & will not be tolerated & also kids & parents need to know how to & to whom to communicate about such issues & just what the procedures that will be followed are. Good luck with resolving any troubles for your DD - stay strong! ...

 

 

I think you're absolutely right about people not wanting to be seen as a snitch or trouble maker - either child or parent! :)

 

I've seen some dance schools have some policies in place as I was trying to educate myself around acceptable teacher behaviour (yes I know that sounds ominous but that's a whole different thread:) ) and I think I for one would like to see more of that as very reassuring.

 

The other thing I would say on this subject is that I don't think my child is an angel but if she was ever doing anything like this in terms of bullying others I really would want to know about it. Teachers don't do children any favours by not telling parents sometimes although I understand some parents might not care, I'm sure the majority do.

Edited by annaliesey
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I sympathise with teachers and other staff who have to notice bullying and then take appropriate action.  Except in instances where there is physical violence, bullies can often be very subtle with the way they operate.

 

I was not bullied as a child but in my working life experienced 2 sustained periods of bullying.  The first time it was by my line manager and I was so naive I just believed it was the way line managers behaved.  At one point I could do not right and every draft I submitted was rejected with cutting comments.  With one document I was so stressed that I sought advice from my friend.  She found a document he had written on the same subject so I literally copied a couple of paragraphs.  When he again rejected my draft, specifically commenting about the paragraphs I had copied from his document I finally realised he was a nasty vindictive bully.  I was not his only victim and one of my colleagues left rather than face him anymore.

 

The second time was when I was approaching the end of my career.  It was a senior manager (but not my line manager).  He was so subtle that I did not even realise I was being bullied until someone else said to me that she did not know why I put up with his behaviour.  I was desperately unhappy in work but had not actually connected that with his behaviour.

 

I would urge you, at the very least, to talk to the teacher as soon as possible.  Bullying can have lifelong consequences.  The first instance I described happened over 30 years ago and while it is at the back of my mind when I think about it, for example while reading this thread, it still causes me distress.

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I have found in my experience that lack of confidence and jealousy tends to be the main cause of bullying in dance schools.  Those who are less able or don't feel confident in their own abilities pick on the girl they perceive to be better, more confident.  It is hurtful and can get really nasty.  It has reduced my normally happy DD to tears on many occasion.  She has however come out of it more confident and a stronger person after trying to understand the reasons behind it.  Jealous mums taking it out on other DC's are the worst.  

I would advise that you speak to your dance teacher and explain.  Our wonderful dance teacher (sadly departed)  spoke strongly to the whole class about bullying and the fact that it would not be tolerated in any form.  She went so far as to say that bullies would be excluded from the dance school.  By not calling out any individual she got her message across without embarrassing my daughter or anyone else.  My DD is still at the dance school and although she gets the odd comments from the most jealous girls, on the whole she is very happy.  It was worth speaking to the teacher in our case, hopefully it will be in yours.

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Janet I agree that sometimes you do not even realise you are being bullied until somebody else points it out. Both my DH and I have been subjected to the bullying of our boss. We could not understand why we were being constantly critisised, even though we were constantly going above and beyond our remit. I seriously thought the problem was with me and it has severly affected my confidence and belief in myself. Even though now several people have come forward and expressed their contempt at how we have been treated its hard to believe its not us but the boss who is at fault. For a developing child the consequences of bullying can be life affecting and should be dealt with very severly. If this bullying has gone on for some time it might be worth having your DD talk to a professional to make sure the effects are not lasting shygirlsmum.

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