Should I confront to the mean kids' parents?

Momofninni - posted on 07/02/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I have a sweet and timid 7 year old daughter(almost 8 now!) and my husband and I have been living in our apartment for the last 10 years. A few years ago, my daughter(then 5 years old) became friends with a 9 year old girl(let's call her "older girl") that lived nearby. I would let my daughter play with her in our/their house many times but I was not very comfortable with her being friends with a much older kid. My daughter really liked her. So we changed a few rules and i told my daughter that she could only play with her older friend in the playground. Everything was fine until now.
A few families(4 families with 8 kids between 4 and 7 years old) have moved in together from a different state. My daughter was excited to have some new friends and played with a couple of kids on a few occasions in the playground. Our apartment has a nice playground and these families have moved in very close to it. One day, when we were in the playground, i saw my daughter and a few of these kids talk for a few minutes. Then my daughter came running to me and said "Mom, Those girls there say that nobody likes me. One of them says that i am annoying and that you named me "------" because it rhymes with annoying. She says that that i cant come to the park anymore and that everybody here hates me. She says that i can not walk by her house. She says that "older girl" has told everyone in their group to not talk to me and stay away from me ". I was surprised and told her to say things like" This park is for all of us to play, You can't be mean like that..i have friends that like me and so on.."
I see that "older girl" has influenced these kids and it is not a surprise that i saw her and these kids together many times sometime back. Older girl is 12 now and I have never seen her play with kids her age. She is always around the little kids.
And now my daughter dreads the playground. It is summer vacation and i want her to get some activities like riding her bicycle or scooter or find other friends to play with. But the first thing she says would be no to the playground because of these kids' presence all the time. I have talked about what matters the most. I have told her that she doesn't have to be scared of the mean kids. I have told her that she has to bold and confident when she bumps into them(Her body language when these kids are yards-away is worth mentioning, she will act like she has to run home as early as possible.) I don't know what to do. Do i confront this matter to the moms(they usually bring in blankets to the playground and have their conversations everyday)?

My daughter has a weird problem. No matter how many years she has known someone, she is shy when she meets them for the first 3 minutes. She won't say hi but would hide and smile and giggle. But after the initial 3 minutes, she is very comfortable and very friendly. She becomes a social butterfly. Even at 7 years she is shy to say a "Hi" and some people may find this rude. I don't know if "older girl" found this weird and picked on this to get my daughter. I can only think of this reason or my changed-rule about playing with her.
How do i make the situation better? Appreciate any ideas!

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Enna - posted on 07/09/2013

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If you know the other moms at all, then I think it would be appropriate to talk to them about it. You'll have to be very diplomatic about it because no one wants to hear that their little angel is being mean to someone. Try to get your daughter to play on the playground, or nearby while you're talking to them so hopefully the kids will either start playing with her, or the mom's can see for themselves what's going on.

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