Sorry, I've posted this in Behaviour and Development too, but it's probably the wrong place. My daughter and her three best friends have been close for years. There is another friend who they have all been spending more time with. This girl organised a band for the school music festival with my DD and her three friends. A few weeks ago she told my daughter she was out of the band, and keeps the other girls on their toes by switching favorites, and deciding who is in or out as she pleases. The other girls realise what's happening, but seem so grateful when the "queen bee" lets them "in" that they won't stand up for themselves, or for my DD. A few days ago she made some horrible comments about my DD's appearance. My DD feels she has been isolated from her friends and thinks that this must be due to her being "less pretty" than the others, which is absurd. My daughter is in fact extremely pretty. I have let this run its course for a while, but it is affecting her confidence now. I don't know what to do as they are only 9!
Aaaaghh, I've just posted you a really long reply & lost it thanks to crash
In short my own DD is the same age & went through similar just after Xmas - speak to the School, if they are any good, they will be aware this is the age all this sort of politics kicks in & will want to monitor & put strategies in place to stop it all, or as DD head said by year 6, the patterns set in & it will be far harder to resolve - also if you can, speak with the other Mums too
its also a good opportunity to help your DD learn a good life lesson, if she's pretty, lets face it, she will always be a target for insecure bitches, clever & doubly so, so learning young how to cope with that is no bad thing
My own DD is coping brilliantly now & now when things flare up again she's developed her own ways of sorting it out & it doesn;t bother her the way it did,, she's surprised me by how mature & in control she is now over it all
One girl spoke out to the Head about what was going on as it was all very sly & initially DD was getting the blame, Queen bees Mum was a great help as were the School -
so it WILL get better, but in dealing with it, you can also help your DD understand why this sort of thing happens - jealousy, envy & insecurity & others just being sheep & how to roll with it
Sympathies. My dd2 is having similar and she is only 6!! I encouraged her to play with other girls (outwith the group), and she has the advantage of having a (bossy and protective!) older sister at the school. The one thing that rankled was that I said to her to explain to her "friends" that they were not being very nice to her, so she was going to play with someone else. But when she did, "queen bee" went crying to the teacher, saying that my dd wouldn't play with her, and dd got into trouble!!
At parents night, I explained the situation to the teacher, but didn't want to name names, and didn't really want the school to do anything, just to know what was going on and not to tell dd off when she stood up for herself. Her "friends" were giving other children stickers NOT to play with dd! It did seem to flare up when dd got lots of accolades for good work, star parts in plays etc, so i do suspect there is jealousy afoot.
It's difficult, though! dd seems quite settled and ok about it, she plays with another little girl now, although still gravitates back to the others at times. I'm hoping she will form friendships with others, as, if they are like this at 6, I can see a rocky road ahead if she stays in their little group!
Thanks for that, rockinhippy, I will speak to teacher and head today. I can see what could potentially happen. It's easy when bullying comes from outside, but this is very subtle and pernicious as it's happening in her circle of friends. I do hope she learns from this. In fact, when she was kicked out of the music group I was very surprised, as DD is a very good musician. Also DD keeps saying all Queen bee cares about is looks, so this girl has undermined DD's confidence in both fronts. It's very disturbing...
DD had the same problem in yr3/4 with a girl who would decide who was allowed to play and who wasn't. Meant dd wasn't allowed to play with her friends most days. I spoke to the teacher who did sort it out. They did go on to be best of friends in yr5 and 6, but went their separate ways in secondary but the girl went back to her old ways.
Sadly IME the dynamics definitely changes when they hit this yr4 age group, I can only describe it as more sinister, relentless & manipulative than anything previous, I was quite shocked it kicked in so young, I expected yr6/7 as it was in my day, but the Head had picked up on the possibility of it before I had even realised & was concerned about DD missing a chunk of School due to health problems & how that would affect the dynamics - I expected the usual spits & spats, DDs queen bee friend had always been a problem, seen the same crying wolf behaviour from her in the earlier years too, but this time round it was much different, relentless & controlling the other DCs to do her bidding, or they risked being at the brunt of it too
Basically my DD also had problems since much younger, same core group of friends since the beginning of School, similar things happening at 6 to your DD Jooly, but having had the whole group here a few times I had already noticed things changing, it was so sudden too, 1 minute it was the same sort of thing you describe, not good, but sort of little girls being little girls & then suddenly it was like young women, much cleverer, more subtle & more difficult for teaching staff to see through it as it was gang mentality - I spotted another of the group being picked on at a party here -
I watched QB orchestrate it, yet she never at any point took part, instead had another girl literally hound another of DDs friends every time she went near the food table, subtle jibes, "are you really hungry again" what, you at the food again" "how many plates have you had " etc etc - the word fat was never mentioned, but the implication was clear, but nothing I could pull her up & tell her off so to speak, DDs friend still ended up in tears though, because there was no doubt of what was meant - I was gobsmacked at how adult it had suddenly become -
DDs situation was similar too, chip, chipping away, but when she went off & left them they hounded her - QB having side kick telling her "your either our friend or you might as well go kill yourself" - Young Male teacher getting the group together to see what was going on, had my DD speaking out against the whole group on her own against the rest of them, none of the others dare speak up, so like your DD, mine was seen as the source of the problems because in her frustration & upset she was naturally getting stroppy when sat with all her friends, lying & blaming her - took a couple of weeks to get that put right thankfully the other girl was eventually brave enough to speak out, when spoken to alone - some of the others owned up to jealousy of DD too
I've gone through phases of wanting different friends for DD, but its just not that easy, ironically out of all of DDs friends she probably has most in common with QB in terms of interests & ability, difference is DD thinks its great, QB sees DD as a threat, & lest face it, it IS what she's going to face in life - she's very pretty & very clever too, add to that very popular with the whole School & she's a target for this sort of thing, I'm actually happier to see her dealing with it head on, than running off & finding new friends, but as I said I also had the support of QBs Mum over it, she talked to her DD at length about whats acceptable & not - I know she will always be a problem, so does DD, but she's no longer controlling the group, nor able to manipulate staff etc & she knows she's met her match in my DD, which I think is actually better
The one thing I realised I forgot to add last night, a good bit of advice I got on here was to try & find your DD some sort of out of School activity away from this group, doing this really did help my DD a LOT whilst going through the worst of it
V18 that is so scarily similar to DDs problems - in my DDs case it all came to a head over a School talent contest, QB & 2 side kicks were competing, as was DD & another boy from class & they were all practising at break time in the playground - DD & her partner were getting a lot of compliments for their singing & rapping act & were tipped to win that heat - QB manipulated DDs partner into pulling out, leaving DD to sing alone, whilst at the same time hounding her - DDs confidence was shot & she wouldn't get up & sing alone - the School were great though & had DD join in with another years comedy act, this gave DD something to take her mind off it
Is that something that might be organised via the School with your own DD ?? - it gave DD new friends to play with too, all of which helped the situation a lot
I think 9 - 10 year old girls are pretty terrible for this, tbh. Same happened to my dd and, I'm sure, at different times, many of her friends. Things are better now in Yr 6.
I bought my dd the book Queen Bees & Wannabees, just to reassure her as much as anything that it was all "normal" and that some insecure people insist on being the Queen Bee because they crave attention as much as anything (and probably aren't getting enough of it at home).
Thanks to all. Spoke to teacher, who was very supportive. They are going to deal with it by talking to the QB and the other girls, but it was made clear that the QB has had private problems and is trying to gain some control of her life...