08-12-2020 03:06 PM
My 13 year old daughter was friends with a girl for years and they were so close. The other girl could be quite needy but my daughter was so happy to be her friend and stood up for her. In year 7 the other girls decided to exclude this girl and my daughter backed her up and then became a target for bullies. She got through it and made other friends with her best friend. Once again a bully struck and it came from her new friend group. This time she was the target. There was physical bullying in the way of being punched, slapped and her food pushed out of her hands so she would come home hungry. So my daughter decided to leave the group after the bully poured a whole bottle of water over her head. Her best friend didn't back her up and stayed. Then the social media bullying started.
I thought I had a good relationship with the mother of the best friend so I sent her a text. She was very sympathetic and she had no idea this was going on. We chatted on the phone and I felt happy this would be sorted and at least she would still have her best friend. That mum called me a week later telling me her daughter is so upset because my daughter is ignoring her. She wasn't ignoring her she was avoiding the bully who she was still hanging out with. I was told that my daughter can't tell her who to be friends with and that was it.
Now that mum won't even acknowledge my daughter if she see her walking to school and organises outings with the girls joint friends and doesn't invite my daughter. When they are out together they prank call my daughter or post on social media so she knows she was excluded.
I just don't know what to do. My daughter has made new friends but this girl and her mum try everything to take them away. My daughter says things like it's ok mum I'm used to it. That makes me feel so sad that she feels she can't trust anyone.
08-12-2020 04:49 PM
Hey @LJmumof3 this is such a tricky situation! Bullying is so awful and hurtful, and watching your daughter go through it must be really upsetting for you, my heart goes out to you
I'm wondering if there has been any involvement from the school around this? I understand they are in highschool, sometimes schools are able to step in and provide support to students around conflict and relationships, do you know if this has happened or would you be interested in speaking to the school (maybe the year/wellbeing coordinator?) about this?
Your daughters ability to brush things off, saying "it's ok" shows that she is really strong and resilient (which she no-doubt learned from you!) but she might still benefit from looking at these resources we have on our website about bullying. There's some tips there on coping with bullying and looking after yourself when it's happening to you.
We've also got resources for parents here about supporting their children when their being bullied which you might want to have a look at.
It's such a shame that this other mum is now excluding your daughter as well when you made the effort to sort things out with her. If you wanted to speak to someone one-on-one to get some support for yourself, I'd suggest contacting Parent Support service where you can chat to someone about what's going on and how you're feeling about everything.
I hope some of this info is helpful, feel free to let us know how you go. Thanks for posting here, your daughter is lucky to have you in her corner.
08-13-2020 12:01 PM
Thanks for replying Hannah-RO. The information is very helpful. I want to make sure I say the right thing to her. I have also been upset, frustrated and hurt that this is happening to my child but I don't want to put that onto her.
Thankfully the physical bullying has stopped since she stopped hanging around them and she has asked me not to contact the school. I told her if she gets anymore messages bullying her I will have to let them know. I have access to her social media but she just deletes the messages so I can't see them. It is a hard job keeping an eye on a teenager with a phone and social media!
She has been asked to go to the zoo this weekend with a group of kids so she is happy about that. When I was in the car with her alone she did tell me that another group of girls she hangs around went to one of their houses after school but they didn't invite her and talked about it in front of her. I told her that I know that would be upsetting but maybe they didn't understand that they were hurting her feelings. I told her that maybe they are just a bit immature. She had soccer training anyway and came home happy.
I can come across as being very confident and all together but little things can play on my mind later and I dwell on it and can't sleep. I can also be left out of things by the other mums and not thought of to include in something. I really don't want to project that onto my daughter but I think I already have. I need to break the cycle.
08-13-2020 02:14 PM
Hey @LJmumof3 I'm glad you found the information helpful, did it give you any tips on what you might be able to say to her?
That is really good that the physical bullying has stopped - you are completely right though, social media makes a lot of things very tricky to monitor! There is some info here specifically about cyber bullying , there are some tips about involving the school, which I understand she doesn't want you to do, but I think it's great you've told her that you will have to if things escalate - it's clear you're really trying to do what is best for her and respect her wishes as much as you possibly can.
It sounds like there are some real positives in her life like this group of friends she's going to the zoo with and her soccer playing, it's great she's got these things happening as well so the bullying isn't all-consuming for her, do you feel this is the case?
The exclusion happening between the kids and also the other mums sounds really awful, I'm sorry you are experiencing this, it must be so uncomfortable and hurtful. And its completely understandable that you are feeling upset and that things are playing on your mind, do you feel like speaking to someone might be helpful?
Parentline is a counselling service that can provide support over the phone, is this something you would be interested in trying? Let me know if you would like to discuss any other types of supports, you deserve to feel supported as well while you're going through this tricky time
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