Social problems in DD's class

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Post  Tue, May 21 2019, 11:15 am
LONG POST, sorry! I don't know what to do about my 7th grade daughter's social situation. We live OOT and the kids' school has very small classes in the upper grades. 7 girls in her class. Every day she comes home glum and says nobody likes her (in her class). Ever since 5th grade, which is when the class size dropped dramatically due to families moving away, she has felt like she's being shunned. Right now the girls have divided themselves up into 2 cliques of 3 and she is left out. She did have good rapport with one of the groups until a few months ago when that particular group got interested in boys and started running off to corners whispering and giggling to each other, leaving DD out- which I am obv thrilled by as I don't want their influence on her. The other clique has historically been the ones that were more mean, although now they are being less obvious bullies. Their treatment of DD is that subtle passive-aggressive, quiet, eye-rolling type of girl-meanness that teachers don't seem to notice. Micro-aggressions, one of my friends calls it.
Over the past 2 years I have broached the subject with both the principal of the lower school and the head of the girls middle school. I have talked to various teachers, one of whom, infuriatingly, told me that if she didn't see what happened there was nothing she could do about it. That's the general attitude of the teachers, that they don't see it so it must not be a big deal.
The situation is so weird that it makes me second guess DD: is she being overly sensitive? Is she somehow annoying these kids and unconsciously pushing them away with her own behavior? I very gently brought that up to DD and her smart reply was that a. she doesn't have problems making friends in other grades and b. it's been like this for 3 years now. She is a pretty, fun kid. She bathes, she dresses nicely, she fixes her hair... there's nothing obvious about her to pick on or want to avoid.
In the past I was not overly worried about it because DD always seemed to be able to let it roll off her back and hang out with girls in other grades. But now I see it wearing down on her. She is more depressed, more emotional, more clingy to me. I get paranoid that maybe nothing is being done because some of the other girls come from influential, full-tuition-paying parents in the community (and relatives of those in charge of the school) but I try not to go down that road because I know the parents of all these girls and mostly like them a lot. I think it would backfire to speak to the parents about forcing the girls to be nice and DD doesn't even want me to. I have said to DD maybe we should think about sending her to the other Orthodox day school in our city but she is vehemently opposed to that (has the reputation of being scholastically far inferior to ours and DD wants to be prepared for college). In the past she has always said she doesn't want or need to change schools. But heartbreakingly, yesterday I brought it up again and she did not dismiss the idea out of hand. She asked "well... where would I go?" and wanted to discuss some of the options. That tells me things are really getting bad for her. WWYD? How to proceed?
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Cheshire cat


Post  Tue, May 21 2019, 11:22 am
Poor kid.

There is very little that any adult- teacher, principal, mother- can do to change the social dynamics of a class.

Perhaps you could invite one or two girls occasionally to your home, and try to give them a nice time?
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Post  Tue, May 21 2019, 11:53 am
Hugs to your dd that’s really hard!
My friend grew up OOT with 5 kids in her class. Sh didn’t click with any of them socially but everyone was still NICE to each other. Out of school she developed hobbies she did on her own, made friends in other grades (sometimes 2-3 years older than her, she was very mature). And was busy with her siblings a lot.
I’d try to enhance dd’s social group out of school, enroll her in a couple of after school extra curricular activities, encourage her to play with other age kids by recess. And ignore her classmates. She’s only in class with them, during learning time. Otherwise see if she can handle having an attitude like they just don’t matter. Of course to be nice and polite but thats it. Anytime a kid of mine was bullied the first thing I’d do was strengthen them socially in other ways to give them confidence to deal with the bullying. Really works wonders!
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