Need help with girls being mean in middle school...

Cynthia - posted on 03/16/2009 ( 34 moms have responded )

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My 12 yr.old daughter is being told by another girl at school that she is fat. Just to give you an idea, my daughter is 4'9" and weighs 95lbs. She is not ballet dancer thin, but she is very athletic and healthy. This girl at school has gone so far as to describe, among a group of other girls, a dream she had of my daughter "being run over by a doughnut truck that was chasing her because she was their best customer." My daughter tells me she's beginning to feel self-conscious about her clothes now and I'm very concerned about the long term effects this could have. Does anyone have a recommendation for how to best intervene/help our daughter? Going to the school can sometimes make things worse, but not going to the school can send the wrong message, as well.

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Rebecca - posted on 03/17/2009

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Candace Hall has given some awesome advice. Let your daughter lead as much as she can, because these types of situations will happen through out her life and she will need to learn how to handle them.

Marcelle - posted on 03/17/2009

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Yes, contact the school. Reinforce your daughter's self-esteem. Teach you daughter how to defend herself against jerks.



 



My daughter is in this bracket and has been teased at various times about various things. She hated me talking to the school, but it did help get some children off her back. She also started hanging out in a group, never on her own. The bullying stopped because they would have to get the whole group then (about a dozen girls). She has also developed a sarcastic tongue, which I'm not so happy about, but it is better than fighting.

Leesa - posted on 03/17/2009

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First of all i would definantly go to the  school but do it quietly ask for an appiontment with the teacher and principal and ask them to moniter the situation you dont want the other girl to beaware of the "dobbing" as this could make things worst. My 10 yr old had body image problems constantly calling herself fat and trust me she was far from it but we sat down and done a BMI test so she could see she was wrong we discussed how they alter all the images she sees in magazines i even showed her some before and afters. and of course constant positve reinforcment help

Tahnia - posted on 03/17/2009

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Go to the the teacher she has the best connection with. Schools cant help if they dont know what is going on. I am a teacher and I need to know what is going on so I can do my best for my students. The teacher or school can have a class or whole school talk about the matter without making it known it is about any particular students. If that doesn't do anything then a teacher talking to the girl/s involved would be the next step.

[deleted account]

Oh! Teach your daughter how to respond. Next time she could say something like...Surely your life is not so boring that you have to constantly be so interested in mine. Of course I am not a psychologist but it puts the feeling stupid where it belongs. Middle school can be mean and she needs to defend herself. The sad part is that she will have to deal with jerks like that her entire life.

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Aida M - posted on 03/25/2013

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I have a little guy that just turned eight, to give you an idea, he is 4'5" and 122lbs. He was being bullied in school and in the bus. I am homeschooling him now, and although, I do not feel this is the answer to all situations I think it was the best I could do at the time for him. He seems much happier now. As far as your little one, there will always be girls that will envy her and due to their own fears of inadequacy they feel the need to search out victims. The one thing I did to boost my son's confidence is to have him join a sport, in your case it could be any club (sport, art, chess, music or any club that would be uplifting) and give your little one the understanding that she is not alone in this. Sometimes when a young person have others around will give them a sense of empowerment to be who they are. Look for events she may like to participate, there will always be those that will attempt to make her feel bad or make her stumble on her quest, but once built up she will be someone they will think twice before attempting any psychological boo games. As far as yourself meet with someone at school even search out other parents that may have similar situations and make sure you have let someone else know what is going on. I would suggest building her up and see how she soars above the ones attempting to step over her. Height and weight won't be a factor when you walk tall. :)

Cookie - posted on 03/21/2009

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"Hello Cynthia, Yes I am back, just checking on you & your daughters progress & seeing what's new. Wow that girl has some dream issues as well as mental issues going on. You need to climb that ladder of comand @ your school district & nip this thing in the bud asap. Just keep letting your daughter know that she's beautiful, encourage her to talk things out with you and in the mean time spend some quality time with her one on one doing something that she enjoys as well as you, build her self esteem higher, let her know that the problem girl has some issues & things will pan out. Cynthia summer is right around the corner please go to your school district for help on this situation because I am sure your daughter has not seen or heard the last of the problem girl. Take it from a Mom who has been to hell & back with atleast one out of my two daughters so far. Keeping you & your daughter in my prayers, Blessings~

Annette - posted on 03/21/2009

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You can request to stay anonomous with your concerns regarding your daughter's bully, perhaps meeting after school is done with is a good way to go...There are way around you being involved without harming your daughter further.  good luck...

Annette - posted on 03/21/2009

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I've had a similar problem with my 11 year old daughter.  From experience I recommend that you go directly to the "TOP" The principal...There is just so much a teacher can do so cutt to the chase and speak to someone in higher authority.  The results to my daughter's situation has digressed with the BULLY but I continue to stay on top of that accordingly.  I hope this helps and another recommendation is to have your daughter see a counselor or join a "self esteem" activity in her school or out of school.  Take care and Good luck ... a Brighton resident.

[deleted account]

My daughter was being bullied in grade school and we used most of the suggestions listed here. In my daughter's case it was a boy picking on her. I had my daughter stand up for herself. If during the next recess the boy was still bullying her she would go to the yard duty teacher. If it still didn't stop then she would go to her classroom teacher. After several days of my daughter following this chain of command and still having issues with this boy I had decided that enough was enough and that I would call the school if the boy bothered her again. That day my daughter came home with a story about the boy pushing her down and saying some mean things and 3 of my daughter's friends standing in between my daughter and this boy and standing up for her. I thought "what a perfect opportunity to focus on the positive." I wrote a letter to my daughter's classroom teacher explaining the weeks of bullying that had been going on, the steps my daughter had already taken and then said, "I'm not going to give you the name of the boy who has been bullying my daughter because this letter is not about him. This letter is about three wonderfully brave individuals who deserve to be recognized." I went on to explain how these girls had stood up for my daughter and I named each girl calling them "upstanding citizens" who we were "lucky to have as apart of our school community." My daughter's school has a citizenship award that they give out to select students every month and I asked that these girls be given this award and that their class especially understood how special, brave and heroic they were. The teacher did all that I asked (leaving my daughter's name out of the story) and succeeded in creating a movement in the school for other students to stand up to bullies. The boy stopped bullying my daughter (it turned out that he had a crush on her and thought that 'teasing' her would get her attention).



Now obviously not every child would respond so well to this situation but I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement and in this case it worked. By making an example of the right way to behave and not the negative things that were happening, my daughter saw that she had friends she could count on and the bully saw that an entire school was against him.

Tamara - posted on 03/19/2009

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I would absolutely go to the school. As someone who was bullied repeatedly from third grade until I graduated high school, I only wish my mom had gone to the school when I was being tormented instead of telling me to just stand up for myself or suck it up. Your daughter's school should have an anti-bullying policy in place that these girls can be disciplined under.

Jennifer - posted on 03/19/2009

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does your daughters school have a harassment policy???? My son is in middle school also and his school has a harassment policy.. check on that and also your daughter needs to tell the principle or guidance councler there at her school and see what they can do...Tell your daughter it is ok to be that healthy. some of these girls today are so skinny it looks like the parents are starving them to death... lol... Ok i hope this helps hun..

Nikki - posted on 03/19/2009

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It is funny how most schools have a "no tolerance" for school bullying. Yet they do nothing about it! It is so out of control. I teach my children how to be respectful. Parents need to be parents. That is what it comes down to. Behaviors are learned. My daughter is overweight. She is only 10 and deals with this crap. She is lucky though because she is also sooo tall, so most kids are fearful of her even though she is the sweetest most polite child. That age is so hard. I mean your daughter is 95 lbs and is starting to think she might actually be fat. That is just nuts. I would say let her talk to a counselor. You to. Maybe a counselor could help teach her how to be tactful about all the teasing.

Cynthia - posted on 03/18/2009

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Quoting Molly:




3. Speak to the school administration or a teacher or counselor you trust - NOT the other child or her parent. Let the school take the responsibility of managing this bullying situation. Most schools have a policy for this. You do not need to put yourself in a confrontational situation with another parent, and it is inappropriate for you to confront the other child. Leave it to the authorities unless you find they are unable or unwilling to help.






Most definitely:  I would never approach another parents child directly.  If the matter should continue or begin to escalate we will contact the appropriate authority at school and proceed from there.

[deleted account]

You have lots of good advice here, but I would focus on a few things:



1. Reaffirming your daughter and her personal sense of self worth



2. Teach how to respond and  defend herself in a clever way



3. Speak to the school administration or a teacher or counselor you trust - NOT the other child or her parent. Let the school take the responsibility of managing this bullying situation. Most schools have a policy for this. You do not need to put yourself in a confrontational situation with another parent, and it is inappropriate for you to confront the other child. Leave it to the authorities unless you find they are unable or unwilling to help.

Cynthia - posted on 03/18/2009

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You guys have all been great to offer your help! I really appreciate it. Seeing all the different responses illustrates my original dilemma, but has helped me clarify my own position so I can better help my daughter through this. We have talked a lot these past few days and made some decisions for now. We've talked about how she has to learn stand up for herself (as she does for her friends) or I will do it for her. I armed her with a few choice responses for the girl at school and my daughter came home yesterday feeling pretty pleased with herself for having taken a stand. We have a long way to go, she is only 12, and it's only been one day, and I may still have to meet with the school about what is happening, but again, thank you so much for your interest and help.

Tami - posted on 03/17/2009

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when my daughter was in jr high, we found that having her and the bully talk to the school counselor helped. if it's a friend and they've had a falling out, sometimes it's better to let them work it out themselves. they may be fighting this week and best friends next week. but if you think it's going beyond on that, notify the school. ask your daughter how she thinks it should be handled.

Shelly - posted on 03/17/2009

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Cynthia'



  I agree with Nicole about going to the school and reqesting a sit down with the parents.  I don't agree that they already know b/c if they are working moms then you don't always know what your kids are up to so I would get together with the school so that things stay civil and let them know what has happened...Good luck

Shauna - posted on 03/17/2009

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I asked my 11 year old daughter because I wouldn't know what to do either. She said if it is bothering her a lot, go to the teacher and say something. Try to get the situation resolved because it is hard to go to school every day when you have to face bullies. I don't know what it is with girls this age because my daughter and her friends all seem to think they are all fat, and they arn't. Hope everything works out for you and your daughter, whatever you decide to do.

Tam-lien - posted on 03/17/2009

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I have a daughter who went thought something simular to what yours did but still the same. My daughter was bugged for being too skinny and tall. She was called all sorts of nasty names. She kept coming home hurt. They even got her on facebook. They made her feel ugly. It's nice what poeple said to say to your child about being beautiful but the trueth is no matter what you say it's not the same as what their peirs say. She told me about it and did not want me to tell. I told her if it continues I would get

involved. At one point it just kept getting worse were they wanted to fight her so I decided to go and speak to the school. She was not very happy about it. They spoke to the girl and tried contacting her parents. so for a few weekes she got someone else to do her work. But once I got in touch with her mom and told her what her daughter was doing it all stopped. When your child is telling you about what's happening it's a cry for help! Even though your child says don't get involved. She had to see how her way worked out before I showed her how my way worked. She realised that dealing it head on was the best choice and parents do need to get involved as long as they are not fired up to make things worse. She is a much happier person in high school. You can't fight every battle but you can stop some from runing your child. Hope this helps.

Shawn - posted on 03/17/2009

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Hi Cynthia -



I am a mom of 4 - my oldest is 13 and I know where you are coming from. My daughter has never had issues with weight, but she has had issues with just about everything else with the mean little !@#$% in junior high school. When I was growing up, I didn't have any real friends until I was around 16 years old. I was teased and mocked and made to feel very ugly and poor. I was also afraid to stand up for myself. I raised my daughter to be the opposite - she is outgoing and very brave. I don't condone fighting or even getting even by hurting another child, but  it would be very helpful if you encouraged your daughter to defend herself...and sometimes that means fighting fire with fire. I know in our school district, bullying (and that's what the mean girls are doing to your daughter) is against the rules and there is a zero-tolerance policy in place. The problem is that parents and kids don't raise enough hell when it happens, so it continues. My advice is to first of all, tell your daughter not to be afraid of these girls and don't avoid them - if necessary, she should stand there and stare the girl down who is running her mouth - almost like "I dare you to finish your sentence". If she feels up to it, she should tell the girl off...but if none of that works out, you should definitely go to the school and raise holy hell! I am famous for it - the teachers, principal, and the dean of discipline in my daughter's junior high hated to see me coming...once my daughter started to stand up for herself, and the teachers stopped allowing this type of behavior, we never had any more problems. There is no quick/easy fix, but you have to adopt a "momma lion" attitude - no one messes with my cubs! Because, yes, it WILL have long term effects.

Bonnie - posted on 03/17/2009

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Middle school is the hardest...my daughter is 11 and has to put up with constant teasing from her classmates.  They call her names and do all sorts of mean things to her and I have gone to her school and spoke with her teacher and it got better for a while then started back up again.  Positive reienforcements everyday, we pray about it and I let her know that I went though it in middle school too. Jesus went through much worst and he is the son of God! If at any time it gets too much for her to bear she should let me know and I will get the parents involved and all the powers that be!  Love your kids, encourage them, kiss them, have fun with them and most important talk to them and listen to them.  Let them know that this too will pass and those same kids might have some issues of their very own thats why the say and do ugly things.

Stacy - posted on 03/17/2009

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I think you should go to the school and talk to the guidence councelor or the principal or one of her teachers that you feel comfortable talking to. There are "no bully" laws and they should be put into effect. My son was bullied for 2 years at his school by a much smaller boy (when they were 8-9), I was told that the principal wouldn't do anything cuz he gets extra money (low income) for this child being at this school. Well, enough parents went in and complained. This boy now goes to another school and my son hasn't had any problems all year. It's a great feeling. But I do suggest you go talk to the school. And if she is doing this to others, then maybe all the moms and girls should go in together. That might help too. Talk to the Superintendent if the principal won't do anything. I hope this helps a little.

Kelly - posted on 03/17/2009

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Hello Cythia; like the others, I feel so bad that your daughter is going through this. The middle-school years are the worst! Just offhand, I would not suggest going to the school. I just feel that the only person we can change is ourself, and based on that, I am more likely to encourage my kids to examine thier response to a bully, and see what can be done there, rather than expecting adults to step in. I definitely think you can help her think of some ways to respond, to hopefully put this mean girl in her place. I know, that sort of goes against our instinct as a mom, to want to fix things for our kids. But she is getting close to high school age, and as a part of growing up, will need to learn to resolve things on her own. Of course, this can also be a time to start to learn that other's opinions of her don't matter as much as they seem to, and also for her to realize how much the things she says and does can affect others' feelings. Well, its easy for me to say, I have only had boys that age, my girls are still little. I do remember how mean kids that age can be, but I feel like I learned some valuable lessons from being that age. I hope it gets better soon!

Anet - posted on 03/17/2009

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Hi Cynthia



My heart bled when I read your caption! As a mother of 2 boys that are super sensitive to what others say of them or what they say to kids, this is shocking!



Do not leave this matter unattended it you love your daughter, which I am sure you do. Approach the school, the mother of the child and the child if need be.



We had a serious matter of bullying at our school where our eldest son attends school. The teachers eventually set a period per week to give educational session to the class in a whole regarding this matter. Posters were made and the full impact was explained to both the kids and the parents.....I am happy to report that the matter has been cleared.



Good luck!

Angie - posted on 03/17/2009

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I have the same prob.. My daughter is still in grade school, she is 4'5" and weighs 120. We just found out of some medical issues and are treating them so hopefully that will help her but what I had to do was go to the school counsler and all parties and parents involved were called into a meeting. We sat back and watched the girls have a talk with the teacher counsler and principal. They discussed what was being said was wrong and caused hurt feelings, they were explained the no bullying policy and that making fun of another child was considered bullying. After two sessions they are the best of friends now. Hope this helps you are your childs advocate and you have the right to go to any admin in the school and they are required by law to provide your child with a safe positive learning enviroment. If it doesnt get reported those girls will keep doing it and think its ok because they get away with it.

[deleted account]

At age 12, your daughter may be venting out her frustrations. Sometimes, just like adults, kids just need to vent. You need to ask her if she feels better from venting on you or if she is telling you so that you will step in. I have found that my kids usually just want to vent & the problem isn't really as big as they make it sound. They just need to get it off their chest. Be careful! If you told me your husband wasn't helping around the house & I called him on it, you would feel betrayed. Don't do that to her.

Rhonda - posted on 03/16/2009

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Hi, I'm kind of going through the same things with my 12 year old daughter, but a different situation.



I might suggest going to the councelor and talk with them to see if they could somehow help out in the situation, without making it seem like your daughter is being a tattle or pointing fingers at who is giving her the troubles.



Just re-assure your daughter to be strong every day and just ignore the bullies.....as best as she can. They just like to find that one person to pick on, probably to let out their own frustrations that they have about themselves. As moms, we need to encourage our daughters to concentrate on their school work and to be themselves, not someone that other people think they should be.



I have told my daughter many times that no matter how old you are people will always make comments about how you look, how weird your clothes are, how ugly your hair is, who you should be friends with,or even if you have a pimple....you get the picture.



Hope this helps. Good luck and tell your daughter, she is beautiful the way she is!!!!!

Kelsy - posted on 03/16/2009

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go to the principal. what this girl is doing is bullying. Almost every school in the US has a policy on bullying. My daughter is in kindergarden. She was the class bully until I had a long talk with her along with her teacher. She has since stopped.

Maria - posted on 03/16/2009

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I would do this if I were the mom worrying about my daughter: I would have her tell me or write out at least 5 good things she loves about herself, whether it is her physical appearance, her grades, her talents, her character, etc. Then I would add at least 5 more positive things that I've seen in her or continue to see in her -and tell my daughter that based on these facts that she will grow up to be a totally confident woman with a wonderful outlook on life. I would also tell her that the mean girl is one that we would pray for (being that I'm a Christian) for this girl gets her validation from bad-mouthing others -

I would then go as far as seeing if perhaps my daughter would be willing to stand up for herself with me right by her side to the girl (although I would actually stand a bit away to give them some space and some privacy)and have my daughter very politely tell her what she had heard what was said about her and add, I'm not sure that you were aware that it is hurtful but I'd appreciate it if you would stop.

Having your daughter trying to work it out with the girl first is my first try and if it still persisted, let my daughter know that she and I will go together to the principle first to get his/her advice on how to best handle the situation from that point. Above all, remind your daughter that her approval of herself needs to come from within herself first and God (if you're a Christian). -- Let her know to hold head high even when she doesn't feel like it because usually it is a false idea that would have her believe otherwise. Always remember that she is in charge of her feelings.

Emilia - posted on 03/16/2009

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I absolutely, positively believe you should approach the teacher or the principal and insist that they talk to that child's mother. How this young lady went into a dream to describe her bullying also lets you know that something is definitely amiss at home. That is bullying and your school should be very aware of that and help you with this issue. As far as your daughter is concerned let her know that she is just fine. Not everyone looks the same and all these issues about body image is very perplexing even for us women. I don't want to go off and talk and talk about this but if you want me to I can....

Joanna - posted on 03/16/2009

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That sucks! You couldn't pay me to be that age again. I'm sorry you're daughter is going thru that.



I know what you mean about contacting the school or not. I went thru a similar situation with my oldest son a couple years ago. I finally went to his teacher and when she confronted the bully it came out that this other boy was jealous of my son, which is why he claimed he was saying the unkind words.



What does your daughter think you should do? Does she want you to intervene with the school or not? Bullys always do so to make themselves feel better. They're usually very insecure themselves. Sometimes they pick out the easiest target and sometimes they target someone they're jealous of. Any way it happens, it's never okay. There are very serious reasons why many schools have adopted no tolerance for bullying policies.



Maybe you and your daughter could both talk to a school counselor together? You wouldn't necessarily have to name the bully, but just get some advice and insight on how to deal with the situation. I think it's great that you're not ignoring the problem or just chalking it up to being that age.

Sarah - posted on 03/16/2009

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I was a 12 year old girl that was made fun of all the time. the girls didnt make fun of my weight but they did make fun of the clothes that i wore, because i didnt have the best of clothes. they were hamy downs, nonw of them fit, and i only had three outfits. it got bad enough that i was fighting in school and we had to move becaue of the fighting.



but nothing was resolved because my parents never went to the teachers. my mom said that it was just the people they were and that i had to deal with it.



promise me i believe that you will notice a big difference when you go up there. Schools are a place for children to learn, and with them not wanting to go to school because of people making fun of them, then that makes a big difference on their learning. something has to be done about it.



GOOD LUCK cynthia

Sarah

Nicole - posted on 03/16/2009

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I know I'm young and far from this but it hasn't been that long since I was in middle school myself. My advice to you would be going to the school and maybe even asking to sit down with that particular girl and her mother. That girl has no right treating others that way and I assume her mother wouldn't do much about her actions either considering the way her daughter speaks of others. Getting the school involved is probably your best bet! In the mean time I would try everything you could to keep your daughters confidence up. Whether its taking her shopping for clothes she feels good in or just reminding her daily how pretty she is. That poor girl is so young and this is the last thing she should have to worry about.

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