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Tina C

Advice needed - 6 year old girl troubles!

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Since Easter Layla has been very upset about going to school. We have started to get to the bottom of it and it is her 'friend' who is being 'nasty' to her.


We have taken the view that it is just normal playground stuff and tried to give her tools to deal with it. (Back story - Layla never played with other children when she was younger - she also hated loud noises and had a speech problem - yes we did think she was mildly aspergers - so she is probably a bit immature when it comes to social skills etc).


However it has got to the stage where, we are told after gentle prodding, that it is happening in the classroom (when the teacher isn't looking), in the cloakrooms and even at our own house. Further complication - I have looked after this little girl since they both started school because both parents work full-time. She arrives at 8.00 and leaves at 5.00 so as well as being in the same class they spend an additional 3 hours a day together.


Layla has now told us that she sometimes cries when B is being nasty and OH has started to mutter the word bullying, while I think it is still Layla beng unable to cope with other girls and playground politics (she still plays with boys more than girls) and if she doesn't toughen up a bit she really will become the target of bullies. So I am of the view that we try and help her sort it out herself (and have told her that is what we are trying to do).


I have had a word with the girl's mum but am not convinced she has even tried to approach B - she admits she is quite weak because she feels guilty about not bing around enough. Am going to speak to her again today. Have also told their teacher.


Does anyone have any views and advice on this? I am considering asking that they be put in different classes next year (which they may be anyway) and of course giving up looking after this little girl


More info - Layla is in the 'top' group in the class while B is near the bottom (eg Layla is already a year ahead of her on the reading scheme). She has a more stable home life and, despite her lack of social skills, appears to be well-liked. B is very insecure and I think part of the problem is jealousy - she does not want Layla to be friends with anyone else (Layla seems to be playing with other girls more these days). Also, B has older brothers and spends a lot of time with older girls who are now 9 and 12 - so she has picked up some 'survival skills'.


Sorry to go on, just feeling a bit bewildered by it all. Doesn't help hat I am going to chapel of rest today to see my Nan who died while we were on holiday.


Feel free to tell me that I am an over-protective older parent of an only child.....

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Feel free to tell me that I am an over-protective older parent of an only child.....


No-one will tell you that!


You are the loving mother of a precious child.


Have another word with the teacher and the child's mother. Hint to the mother that if things continue, you will not fee able to look after the child any longer.


Could be that the inconvenience of having to look elsewhere for reliable after school care may spur her into action.


Maybe the teacher could arrange for the children to be split up in class etc.


I'd certainly ask for them to be split up next year if there is no improvement


Perhaps when this child comes to your house you could start a general chat about "kindness" and "friends" and how it's nice to have more than just one friend etc.


Maybe ask another child to tea when this child is visiting and monitor he interaction between the children.


It's is difficult to see where normal playground banter stops and bullying begins.....perhaps some of the Omleteers who are teachers could give you some strategies to help Layla fend off this unwanted behaviour.


Am very sorry to hear about your Nan.


Good luck.

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:) Tina, I'm just dashing so just a short reply.

But, I've read & re read your post, and I think you have answered it yourself! Just posting here has probably crystallised your own thoughts, so I would say trust your own instincts, although as you've shown, sometimes we have to voice them to realise what they are.

The main points seem to be that Layla does need your help. Having made the teacher aware is great, and def. altering the childcare arrangement and class for next term are good for long term.

You & OH are both right. 8) Yes, you do need to help Layla to develop socially and work out her own solutions. But, this is hardest to do whilst she is still being bullied and spends so much time in the company of B.

Layla sounds like a child who needs that after school time to pour out her day to you, and this is hampered. Also, the time spent with B is stopping her mixing with other girls. Maybe you could use the rest of term to get to know one or 2 other Mums/children and create a social life with them.

Having other children who she has chosen over to play, (even boys!) rather than being stuck with the one she hasn't chosen, will surely help her development & also show you & OH just how much is down to this situation with B & how much is Layla's nature.

Then, address if there's any action to be taken re Asperger's spectrum, you don't want to miss any support with coping strategies.


Reading your post, I think you're half way there. Nothing wrong with being a caring, loving Mum, so forget the age thing, but mixing with other Mum's may help you get all this in context.


All you want is a happy Layla, so keep listening and reassuring. Yes, the answer does lie in helping her to develop, but you need to remove the obstacles too, and the relationship with B does sound a hinderance, and I don't think trying to change B is the answer!

Very best wishes to you, OH, and a precious little girl. xx :):)


PS. Thoughts are with you today. xx

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Oh, this sounds so familiar - Lauren had similar problems from Reception until this year and it has only just settled down (age 9)


Excellent advice already given so I will just add that I found a wealth of books (on Amazon but in Libraries as well) which were really helpful and pointed to ways of providing 'coping strategies' for the child being bullied or just not coping as well as thay might.


Just seeing that there were books on the subject seemed to make Lauren stronger and the strategies helped while we were all trying to sort things out with other parents/teachers etc.

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Thank you for your prompt and supportive replies. You are such a caring bunch!


B's mum is going to have a word with her and teacher has promised to keep an eye on things. B's mum admitted that some of the things that are going on sound as if B is copying the way she is sometimes treated by the 9 year old girl she spends time with. She also said that she does not want her daughter turning into one of the little beeps that live round here. (That wasn't a swear word, just not a very nice word).


Having B around over the past year and a half has actually helped Layla a lot as she has had to share me (and thus not become too spoilt) and she has learnt a lot about interaction with her peers. We do have other children around to play as well (they take it in turns to choose) and Layla now does drama one afternoon a week, without B, which is also helping her confidence.


re the Aspergers - we have talked to doctor and teachers about it and also got in touch with professional body, the name of which escapes me, before she started school to see if she could be assessed. They advised she was still a little young to be properly assessed and also that it is very difficult to diagnose in girls, partly because the symptoms do tend to be milder. We then decided to leave it to see how she coped with school and she really did become a different girl, from Day 1 - in contrast to her time at nursery, which she hated. She also finally got the speech therapy she needed, two years after being diagnosed as needing help, (shortage of speech therapists in this area) and that really helped.


Anyway, thanks for letting me pour all this out. I do sort of know where to go with it but just wanted a 'second opinion' and to find out if we are just being paranoid. Difficult to talk to other parents here as don't want to colour their view of B.

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Girls are so nasty aren't they? Both DD1 and DD3 had terrible trouble with so-called friends. In primary schools, they just want to be liked and so their strategies are entirely the wrong ones and they find it difficult to take our more informed advice.


I agree that having this 'friend' at home before and after school is not ideal for your daughter as it cuts down the precious interactive time together. On the other hand, you have access to this child where most of us don't. You haven't said what form the bullying is taking. Do you know? If you can find out, I would tackle that head-on:


Say it's name-calling. If you could get a moment while your daughter has gone to change, to the toilet etc, you could talk to this girl. 'I understand that you are calling my daughter names. I don't expect you realise, but it is really upsetting her. So it must stop right now. I'm sure you don't mean to make her feel so miserable. If it continues, I will have to speak to your parents and to the school and there will be big trouble. I hope we can just sort it out ourselves, because I like having you here before and after school. We've got to know each other quite well and we like having you around. It would be such a shame to lose that.'


I don't think it would take much to unnerve a 6 year old, so you can probably do it in a pleasant way. But let her know that you will not let your daughter be upset by her or anyone else. My attempts to be positive with her are based on what you said about her own home life. If you can think of her kindly as a needy child, it might help you.


Good luck!

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I think you're doing all the right things and I'm sure Layla is thrilled to have such a caring mother!


To chuck in my tuppence - I'm not sure if separate classes is the right thing to do. Although only you know how upset Layla is - is it affecting her school work? Firstly, although B is obviously upsetting Layla, B has obviously been a friend in the past and with Layla's reticence in social situations, starting a new school year, in a separate class from B may be difficult to step. Secondly, she needs to learn that friendships come and go and that problems are not simply solved by separation or ignoring them.


HOWEVER, I would try and extend her social circle, until the end of term continue to invite friends back so that hopefully both Layla and B can gain new friends and learn to share one another. During the summer holidays, if you do not look after B, then she can strengthen friendships independently which should help boost her confidence.


Hope that helps, you can always get great help and advice on this forum but don't forget to trust your motherly instinct!

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hi there - it sounds to me as if you are doing all the right things, and I do very much understand the difficulty between helping her stand up for herself and the fact that the 'bullying' is getting her down in the first place.


my now 10yr old was so badly bullied by a particularly nasty little girl all last year that we eventually moved our girls to a different school (with excellent results all round - socially, much happier, better academic results etc etc).


the trouble is that girls can be horrid, and your daughter sounds sensitive while B sounds more confident, which means maybe that there is a bit of an imbalance between them? and B could be picking up on this to gain some sort of an edge. could also be that B is jealous of your child's happy home, doing well at school etc (we found out that a prime cause of the bullying my daughter got was because "you've got red hair and you live in a big house" - ludicrous, inexcusable, and neither factors we could do much about).


I do urge you to make sure the school keeps on top of it - in my experience, they can quite easily let things slide after an initial improvement they take their eyes off it and it starts up again. and also keep reminding both girls that name calling, and whatever other types of nastiness are not acceptable - you are allowed to be cross with someone for something they've done, but you are not allowed to be nasty for the sake of it. I also told my daughter that people who bullied other children did it because they were weak, and that strong, good people don't need to do this.


I dont know if this is any help, but you sound as if you are well on the way anyway!

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There's been some great advice already, although I think that you've pretty much worked things out for yourself, and you are the person best placed to assess what's going on, with the support of the teachers and B's parents. So really all I want to say is to offer support and sympathies, it's horrible to see your child upset, but it sounds like you're doing a great job of looking out for Layla and supporting her. I hope this situation resolves very soon.

We've had similar experiences, with my daughter when she was in year 5 with a particularly manipulative and catty little classmate, and with some quite nasty bullying for my son a couple of years ago. All resolved now and fortunately both were nipped in the bud reasonably quickly so can now be put down to experience, but boy, it's horrible when you're going through it, and that awful dilemma between wanting to go all out to protect them opposed to the standing back a bit and helping them to develop their own strategies to cope with it.

You've got Layla's interests to the forefront, no-one knows her better than you, so I'd say go with your instincts. Good luck :D

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I'm not sure i've talked to any parents whose daughters haven't gone through this! It seems to be something that girls do - horrible but true. Those of us who have bullied daughters should maybe be thankful that we haven't got bullying daughters!

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But, I've read & re read your post, and I think you have answered it yourself! Just posting here has probably crystallised your own thoughts, so I would say trust your own instincts, although as you've shown, sometimes we have to voice them to realise what they are.



I agree with what has been said....Layla is learning through this experience about many things, fear, upset, social conventions etc She will be guided by your responses of course and she will be stronger when she talk about her feelings to you and her teacher.good luck

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i think what you have done is for the best, try to separate B from your little girls life by removing her from as many situations as you can at school and at home.

i am speaking as a teacher, mother and somebody who was bullied in a similar situation. you will find that B will use your daughters reliance on their friendship as a weapon and the more she gets away with the more she will do, it is often about being insecure in themselves and using others to make themselves feel better. when the bully in my case moved house and changed schools my life changed. i would certainly recommend different classes and stopping the child care.

i wouldnt speak to the child yourself as it could make things worse, and definately dont do it on your own because you are opening yourself up to other problems if the child doesnt like to be confronted.

your daughter will find other nice friends and being with B might be holding her back.

she is so young that you can help influence her frienship group, find a girl who is academically on the same level, ideally with parents that you like. invite her for tea/for a play/ to the zoo without B, see if they get on, then slowly push B out of your life.

i hope all goes well, i think you are doing all the right things and your daughter is lucky to have a loving caring mother. its a shame about B's situation but its up to her mother to sort out, you need to be selfish for your daughter.

take care

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Sparkleee, you've said it all! I totally agree.


I urge you, Tina, not to confront B, she might get back at Layla for being a tell-tale. When Layla does complain to her teacher she must also do it discretely. Children hate the idea that they are "told on" and it could encourage classroom support for B.


I know Layla is a bit young, but could you encourage her to keep a diary of her feelings? I have seen this work with children with aspergers before, its a great way to help them express themselves.

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Poor Layla. :(


Little girls are NOT sugar and spice!


You seem to know what to do, but I would reiterate whats already been said - try and encourage your child to have different children round that she has chosen, and monitor interaction (this is also interesting as little girls seem not to like groups of 3 as one always seems to get left out, so watch it and see if its your daughter of B getting cut out).


A discreet chat with the teacher often goes a long way - they have strategies for keeping children away from each other if there is a problem like this, that the children might not even be aware of.


Good luck and do let us know how you get on.

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Very sound and good advice all round.

I totally agree that widening Laylas social circle , nurturing & encouraging new friendships will make a huge difference.

Little girls & bigs girls can be very horrid indeed (makes me glad I had 2 boys )

The bickering & spitefulness that goes on in Michaels year (year 3) amongst the girls is horrid. The I'm not playing with you cos you spoke to HER :roll::roll::roll::evil: Some of the mothers are just as bad :roll:

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I don't have anything new to add to the previous advice, but just wanted to give you a hug and let you know my thoughts are with you. Your daughter is lucky to have such a caring Mum. I have a 6 year old too, so you have my full sympathy.

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Thank you all for your comments. Still trying to assess what is happening - the problem is that these are 6 year olds who are still at the stage where they can't always remember what they said or did 10 minutes ago. let alone that morning at school. So, although we have some idea of the sort of things that are happening, all Layla can remember sometimes is that B was 'nasty' to her.


Examples so far


B physically separating L from her best (male) friend while they were playing 'Dr Who (what else?).


B holding on to L at 'carpet time' when the teacher was asking them to move forward.


B 'saying things that aren't true'.


And what generally seems to be B putting Layla down in front of other friends, trying to make herself look better, trying to make Layla look like a baby. (Layla is very tall and B has a big thing about people thinking L is older than her, when she is in fact 6 months younger).


So I feel we need to try and help Layla respond to B's actions ('don't be silly', 'you know that's not true', 'stop it!', 'let go') than think of it as 'bullying'. Any other suggestions on how to help Layla deal with the above situations gratefully received. L is a very gentle child and as well as not knowing how to be naughty (honest - she watches aghast when other children misbehave) she does not know how to be assertive. She is getting over it, but she also has a bit of an issue with physical contact with other children.


Its the fact that it has made Layla cry that makes me cross as B must know she is upsetting her. Teacher said she has not seen Layla upset but then she is not in the playground.


B's parents have had a chat with her and she is also having difficulty remembering what has been going on. Her mum has asked me to tackle her immediately if I see anything going on - and I do agree that it is easier to get them to face up to things at the time at this age. Her Dad explained to her that as they like playing different games, Layla may sometimes want to play with other children and not her, so she should find others to play with. She turned up the next morning looking very sheepish so at least this time I know they really have spoken to her.


Mike and Layla sat down and wrote a 'play' the other night to try and draw out more info about what was going on and show Layla how to respond. I have been cast as the narrator but we have not had time to perform it yet!


Anyway thanks again for listening!

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Sounds liek you're doing great. If anything with your support this may help your daughter with her life skills and may also help B with hers just coming from different directions. From what you've beensaying I would have problems with B being labelled a bully. Thats something that sticks and could do a lot of harm. Its so difficult being 6 isnt it :)

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hope you don't mind if I resurrect this? only I am getting the problem the other way around now.


my 10 yo was bullied, so we moved her to a new school last summer. much happier, doing much better, all fine etc.


today the head called me over - she and some other girls had been nasty to a girl 2 classes below them (who is a friend of my 8yo), all sorted out by the teachers, my daughter and 1 other apologised (she says there were 2 other big girls involved, but they didnt get called to the teacher).


we have had a long chat, and seemed to agree the following points:


- the little one would have felt very sad to have the big girls saying nasty things

- my 10yo knows how it feels to be bullied and its not nice

- she has promised if anything like this ever happens again that she will try and stop anyone else involved, and then tell a teacher

- bullying someone else makes her no different than the girl who bullied her.


she knows the teachers, and I, are VERY disappointed in her, and she feels sad now. obviously I'll tell her dad tonight, and get him to go down the disappointed route rather than the shouting route.


I've also spoken to the Mum, and apologised, and asked her, as well as the school to let me know if it ever happens again.


what do I do now? should there be some punishment, eg withdrawal of some privilege or something? or is the feeling that you've let your parents and your teachers down enough?



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I should imagine that she feels contrite enough as it is, but perhaps you might want to add a bit about trusting her to be grown up enough to honour all that she has agreed to, and warn about dire consequences (like withdrawal of MSN time :wink: ) if she should re-offend.


You daughter is now in the position of having seen both sides of the coin, and could play that to her advantage in helping others who are bullied. She might like this repsonsibility and the element of trust that goes with it.

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