I'm at a Loss ---Struggling with My 7 Year Old, and Her School.

Updated on December 07, 2012
K.S. asks from Vernon Rockville, CT
10 answers

My daughter, who is 7 years old, is a bright, very smart and beautiful girl. She is shy at times and sometimes needs a little more confidence in herself. However, this year in her school, has been hell. I was having issues with her behavior in school, when she returned from my ex husbands home. I have since changed his visitation schedule, and her behavior very much improved. She has been seeing a therapist as well, just to see if there were any other things going on that she didn't feel comfortable talking to us about. Anyways, so in school, it seems like she's having some issues. There are two kids who seem to keep blaming her for things she didn't do, and its constantly just these two kids. I've brought these issues up to her teacher, the school social worker, and the principal. It still isn't being resolved, and my poor daughter is visibly upset. It's like i can't seem to win. I don't know what I can do....aside from going and sitting in the class for the day and finding out myself what is going on.....I'm frustrated!

What can I do next?

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answers from Sacramento on

Take it to the district superintendent. If those in charge at the school aren't taking it seriously, you need to be her advocate. She's too young to handle this herself. Take it to the next level.

ETA: Another approach entirely is calling the parents of the two girls involved and telling them the situation. You could take the "As a parent, I thought you'd want to know" ... and then mention you're hoping they might be able to help the situation.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from New York on

There is one of two things going on - either your daughter is antagonizing these other two kids (intentionally or unintentionally) whichcause them to be mean, or these other two kids are not really being mean, but your daughter is perceiving them to be. My DD had a tough time in 2nd grade too. They seem to go through some developemental changes at this point in their life. My DD would cry whenever there was a transition. Part of the probem was that her 1st grade buddies had all gone into another class together. Then her class had a bunch of other girls who were all buddies who had been in 1st grade together. The only other girl in the glass was a down syndrome child who was very sweet - but not the same. i kept telling my daughter that it would get better as the cliques from the prior year faded. They never faded - or that was the perception of my child. It's also a big growing year academically - they begin to use and stretch the basic reading and math skills learned in 1st grade. Its a tough year.

Rather than bringing up issues with the teacher and counselor, instead ask their opinion, ask them to suggest ways to help your child deal with these other kids, etc. Consider that she could simply be blaming her anxiety on these two kids because they make her nervous based on how rowdy they are or soemthing like that. If she learns some tools to deal with these kids it might help. have her draw pictures of recess at school, or circle time, etc and have her tell you about the picture she's drawn - it might help. If you work with the teacher and are open to her opinion and suggestions it will go a far way with the teacher and she will be more open to watching out for your child.

Good luck mama. I always looked at these situations as a life lesson that's easier to learn when you can come home and get hugged by mom than when you're 26 in the real world.

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answers from Nashville on

Equip your daughter to have courage herself to face those two kids and tell them to stop telling lies on her. Your daughter has to be able to confront them. She is shy and they are taking advantage of her. She probably also don't have the guts to stand up for herself. Give her the tools that can help build confidence. I have somewhat a similar issue.

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answers from Columbia on

I would write a letter to the principal. Detail what you have done so far, when you talked to the teacher, the school social worker, and the principal. Let them know that you do not feel as if the issue is being taken seriously. Let them know that they have 1 week to take action to resolve the issue or you will be contacting the district superintendent.

My own boys were the victims of racial slurs and harrassment (some boys were calling them 'stupid honkey,' and 'dumb a$$ white boy' among other things). I immediately wrote a letter to the principal outlining my concerns and hinting that if the school was unable to control the bullying problem, I would contact the district. It was addressed immediately. The very same week, the school had an assembly about bullying and discrimination. The school became a ZERO BULLYING ZONE.

It's important that you not just focus on these two kids, even though it is tempting. Contacting their parents is unlikely to help, since their parents will punish them, and then they'll come to school pissed at your daughter. d Children who bully tend to learn it at home, so getting them into trouble with parental bullies isn't going to teach them not to bully. Just like with my boys' situation, I knew that the kids making those slurs were hearing that sort of talk at home...so there was no sense in the school calling the parents to basically imply that their entire family is a bunch of racists. The problem had to be dealt with it in another way, since it is systemic.

Bullying, discrimination, and harrassment are community problems. By that I mean that, yes, only one or two are doing it...but the rest are standing by and allowing it to continue. So talk to the school about what must be done to make their school a NO BULLYING ZONE. That means that kids who see other kids being bullied don't tolerate it. They tell one another to stop. They stick up for kids who are being bullied instead of supporting the bully with laughs and being bullies themselves. Bullies learn that there's no social payoff for their behavior because THEY become the negative target instead.

Best of luck!

C. Lee

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Laredo on

It's hard to see our children struggle at school and not be able to help them. It's especially hard if we don't think the teachers and the school is protecting her, or understanding your child the way you do. I had behavior problems with my daughter, and as I always know in my gut when it is caused by environment, or by her testing her waters. You are doing all the right things, but what I found I needed to do was to make sure my daughter was on a regular schedule. (Sounds like you have already made some adjustments) I took her to a behavior specialist to check for any underlying issues, and when things didn't seem right I listened to my gut and I switched schools. We can't all home school, but what I worry about is 2 things: not making excuses for my daughter -- she must be held accountable for her acting out in school and learning to make good decisions. 2. Is all this "trouble" affecting her self esteem. If you see that she is losing confidence, walked on by students and teachers then you need to advocate for her, and maybe remove her from the situation to something more in your comfort.

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answers from New London on

For next year:
Make sure that you write a note to the principal, teacher and, also, send a certified letter via mail to the superintendant telling them that these 2 girls cannot be in the same class w/ your daughter next year ! Write the letter before they make the class lists (usually in May).

For now: I would call that teacher and make an appt to have a conference. If nothing is done, call her again for another conference and so on...until this matter is taken care of.



answers from San Francisco on

Things like this have been a thorn in my side since my own daughter was in school and she's 32 now!

I just saw a news story last night where two girls in 5th grade were being physically and mentally bullied at school. They had talked to the teacher and principal, as had their parents and the only thing the school did was to have the girls (the victims!) sit in the office at recess. Well, that's just made things worse. These kids are punching these girls in the stomach; making sexual remarks to them; gyrating their hips at them in a sexual way. It's way too much. So the parents went to the media since the school would not do anything.

All this to say, that schools can and will bury their heads in the sand so they don't have to deal with this type of stuff. I suggest you DO go sit in the classroom and observe for yourself.

Is your daughter getting in trouble for these things even after telling everyone that this is happening? Truly they can't stop what comes out of these kids' mouths, but they can tell them that they don't believe them and make THEM sit in the office at recess as punishment for lying.

Good thoughts going out for your daughter.



answers from Los Angeles on

Can you sit in the class for a day? It could be very informative.
Regardless of what's really going on in class, your daughter could benefit from some social skills. Like standing up for herself, how to avoid people who bother her, how to make and choose friends who stand up for you, how to get over challenges, etc. Not easy lessons, but I might channel my focus that way instead. Even if she's separated from those kids there'll be different kids in the future.



answers from Dallas on

I would talk to the principal and tell her the steps already taken and the continuation of the behavior. If I were not satisfied with her answer ask for your child to be separated from these two. Either they move to a different class or move my daughter. Put it in her file that they are never again to be in the same class.



answers from Miami on

Public schools suck badly at dealing with bully issues. They reward the bully not protect the victim. Switch her class to a schedule that has the least to do with those kids as possible. Send an email to the school stating your daughter is being denied her right to a safe learning environment due to these bullies. cc the county school board. Start looking for a smaller montisorri school

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