Nasty Little Second Grade Girls....

Updated on October 23, 2011
E.G. asks from Canton, GA
21 answers

My little girl, Mia, has been caught picking her nose. Okay, I said it. I know it's a gross little habit, but she's seven, for God's sake. No nasty germaphobes need comment on this posting please!!!

Anyhow, she is also quite sensitive, sweet as sugar, and will put up with just about anything in her little "book nook" group of girls in second grade, including being picked "last" to read every time. She is getting sick of this. One little girl, however, has started to really rib her about the nose picking. Knowing how little girls can be, I am really worried that this will balloon into a full-fledged roasting of my daughter by the girls in her class.

Her school had a "50's" day to celebrate the 50th day of school. Mia saw some of her classmates dancing and asked if she could join them. The same little twit who was in her reading group told her she could not. The reason: "you pick your nose!" I hearkened back to my own school days and remembered how hurtful that sort of ostracizing was. I wanted to drive to this little girl's house and talk to her myself.

I'd like some advice how to do a little bit of social repair for my daughter. Aside from getting caught with her finger in her nose, she is a sweet, kind, beautiful little girl who would never DREAM of turning her back on a kid the way these little girls turned their back on her.

Help Mommas!



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answers from Pittsburgh on

Ugh. So sad.
At that age, they really feel the need to "establish" a pecking order.
She should be told to continue to be sweet and not sink to this level.
Seems at all ages, the reality is that other "mean girls" will rally around the ringleader.
Explain again, why she should not pick her nose.
Reinforce this frequently.
Tell her to look for nicer girls to be friends with.
Poor kid.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

These posts today are just confirming to me why I'm glad I have homeschooled all my girls at that age. I don't see what you can do from the sidelines. If you can not put her in a new school with a fresh start, and convince her that disgusting actions will lead to unforgiving people being mean, then you will have to teach her to hold her head up high until everyone forgets.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

The tone of your voice, "nasty" seven year olds" makes me think you are the type of parent who contributes to the problem. Whenever we feel our children are angelic and others are little devils we are modeling the wrong behavior. As Lisa J said your daughter should just dance, not ask. I watch the children in the Elem school where I work. Confident children do not get bullied, picked on or teased. We need to teach our children that everyone has good in them even when it's hard to see, that none of us our perfect, and that we are responsible for our own happiness.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'm sure the girls are grossed out by what they saw your daughter do, and sadly (because unlike boys, girls tend to remember things for a long time) she is going to be seen as the "nasty" one for a while.
Let the teacher know what's going on in her reading group so she can make sure your daughter isn't always picked last, and so she can pay extra attention to how your daughter's coping.
I have to add, I think it's really naive to say "my daughter would never dream of turning her back on a kid." Trust me, she will. Every single child at some point in their sweet little lives is mean, hurtful and/or thoughtless. The key is to make sure we keep guiding them in the right direction along the rocky path of childhood, and even rockier path of adolescence.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

I think every kid picks there nose. They learn not to do it in front of each other. You can talk to the teacher about it and ask the teacher to tell the girls that they have to be nice.

and tell your girl not to ask if she can dance. She should just start dancing! She has to learn how to deal with mean girls because they will be around her all her life.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Sometimes peer pressure is the only things that can make a little girl change a bad habit. I would say for this little thing they may have made a sort of positive impact. If it were for any other reason I would say talk to the teacher.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I would talk with her teacher, ask the teacher what she has noticed and ask for suggestions as to how to deal with this group/clique. The teacher should be willing to step in about the always reading last, too.

Help your daughter to understand that not all girls will like her, to reach out to other girls in the class, and role play things she can do or say in different situations.

Little girls CAN be mean. And even confident girls CAN get picked on. My 9 year-old is quite confident and most kids in her school like her. This hasn't stopped one or two incidences of bullying, or what would have developed into bullying if we hadn't helped her deal with it. Her teacher was also a great help.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

First of all, you need to include the teacher in the problem if you haven't already. It's a big classroom and as much as we would like for them to see everything sometimes they can't or just don't. If you point out the situation, she can keep her eye out and redirect the girls or correct the situations as they arise.

Then, if it were my daughter, I would turn it around. It never feels good to be left out or mocked. As much as she would like to regain acceptance, what does that really mean for her? They would expect her to do to other girls what they are doing to her. Some people just aren't good friends. Some people just aren't nice. It's not a matter of whether or not they will be her friend, it's a matter of whether or not she wants them to. Does she want these hateful little girls to be her friend, knowing it will be just as easy for them to do this one day if they don't like the way she did her hair or the shoes she wore, or because they all have the one type of Barbie she doesn't?

Teach her how to find other places to cultivate friends, so that she has a wide network and if people are mean she has others to play with. Role play with her how to make friends on the playground, in gym, at lunch, with other people in the class, even (dare I say it) the boys.

And, most of all teach her to defend herself. She shouldn't act out, but she shouldn't walk away with her tail between her legs, either. She should feel comfortable to have a few "go to" phrases to employ like, "You are being mean, and I'm glad I know what kind of girl you are because you wouldn't be a real friend, anyway." or "That's ok, there are PLENTY of nice girls and boys to play with, I don't need to dance with you."

Hope this helps.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

All and each grade my daughter was in, from Preschool, the Teachers have ALWAYS, spoken to the ENTIRE class, about behavior and teasing and name calling and what not.
So, if something like this happened, well I would speak to the Teacher. Who of course wanted to know, SO that, they can, talk to the class, about what is mean/nice, appropriate/not appropriate.

Then at home, you can also speak to your girl, about herself. About nose picking and how that is something you do at home, or in private if out of the home. And that, a person can get sick that way. Germs are on hands, if you pick your nose, you can then get sick. Thus, wash hands and keep clean. My Husband for example, will get sick, when he bites his fingernails. And the saying always goes, during cold/Flu season, if you put your hands to your face, you can get sick.
So maybe teach your daughter about this. Basic hygiene and just the facts about it.

My daughter, has a classmate that picks her nose. And well, all the other kids know this. THEY find it... gross.
But they are her friend, and they tell her. Because this girl will pick her nose, then is very 'huggy' with other kids, and they get grossed out. They don't want to get hugged, after she picks her nose.
Who would?

So it is a fact... people see picking your nose, as gross. Who wants boogers, on them? And then the person uses their hands to touch other things.

I would really, since your daughter is already 7... just speak to her about her nose picking habit. Because overall, you said she is a nice kid... so even more so, she should know about how habits like this, can gross out other people. It is done in private.

My son is 5 and a nose picker. But I teach him, that as he gets older, others don't think its cute or funny. It is.... icky.
He understands.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Nose Pickers. Boogey Eaters. Line Cutters. Schoolwork Cheaters. Hitters. Biters. Kickers. Tattle tellers. Stinky feeters. Dirty Clothes Wearers. Space Invaders. Mean laughers. Hallway runners. Arm suckers. Finger sniffers. NonWipers. Liars. Swing hoggers. Gum hiders. Food stealers. Always laters.

Weird Kids.

Pick ANY unacceptable social behavior and the other kids will JUMP on that person.

For the simple reason that their parents, friends, siblings, and teachers have been telling them it's wrong, not to, and don't their whole lives. The same way you would jump on an adult who is driving on the sidewalk, or stealing, or carrying their toddler by the hair. We're told it's wrong. We believe it's wrong. And we jump on those who do the wrong thing.

I bet Mia WOULD in fact, jump on another kid who is doing something SHE believes is wrong.

Grey reasoning (like it being okay to steal in some situations, but not others) isn't something most young kids possess. And, quite frankly, it isn't something a good portion of adults possess (anyone you avoid because of their behavior?), but they're less black and white than most kids.

In most kids' minds "wrong" = "wrong"... and there isn't any shade of grey involved. A nose picker is as shunned as a bully who is as shunned as a line cutter. Hitting is wrong. Picking your nose is wrong. Cutting is wrong. Wrong = Wrong, so they speak out against it, and then ostracize them.

FIRST; Have to stop the behavior.

SECOND; Need to teach "rebound & deflect" (aka how to remove the social stigma... in this case... it's pretty easy. Once she stops it's the "I USED to, but that's gross. I would never pick my nose NOW." Of course, the behavior has to Actually. Be. Stopped. Or then she's a Liar, on top of Nose Picker... and it will take a looooong time to overcome that. Almost everything else can be removed by the next grade (because the grade lower, everyone is a "baby".

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Oh E., I'm so sorry poor Mia is going through this. Little (and big) girls can be cruel. And unlike boys, they tend to hang on to everything. Unfortunately it's like in our blood or something. I think the only thing that can be done right now is for her to never do it public anyway!! Tell her she can only do it in a closed bathroom, with a tissue, then wash hands. She just can't can't can't do it in class or anywhere else anyone can see her. She's learning the hard way what can come of it if caught.

My oldest had many accidents up to K and I told her to get herself to the bathroom as soon as she felt the need to go. That she CAN'T have accidents in K. I actually told her that the kids will laugh and forever remember her as "R____ peepee pants". You all may think that's cruel, but it's the absolute truth and I wanted to put that fear in her so she'd be sure to get her butt to the bathroom. She only had one bad accident that year, out at recess, and was mortified and embarrassed. Just the way it should've been. Luckily no other kids knew and the teacher got her inside and had her change. She NEVER did it again!

I don't think there's much to be done or said to the other girl. Maybe speak to the teacher and have her tell/ask the other girl to let the issue go, to give Mia a fresh start. But Mia can't do it again. I'm sure it'll be a deal breaker on the other girls part if she catches Mia again. Think about it, if you caught a coworker picking during work what's the likelihood you'd want to have lunch with them?

I hope thugs get! Hugs to Mia.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I'd tell her not to ask if she could join but dive right in... If you ask, you always give the chance of a negative or refusal for something that should not have no as an option. These are her classmates - you don't have to be everyone's friend but you still have to be friendly to everyone. Maybe have the teacher take 30 minutes out the day to make sure the children are reminded of this simple and basic 'rule'.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

First, I would speak with my daughter and come up with some sort of way for her to stop picking her nose in public, or is she does have a kleenex handy.

I find it less gross if someone is picking their nose if they are using a kleenex! But like someone else said, picking the nose and then wanting to touch someone or play with items the other kids are playing with, I can see where the other kids are grossed out. However, I don't think saying "no because you pick your nose"...I would teach your daughter to wash her hands and then she can reply "I washed my hands, can I join?" Then see where that takes her.

If it still happens then I would address it with the teacher.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Not saying this will work, but you could try it.

Take Mia to a get her nails done. Do the whole manicure thing. Then put sparkles on her fingers, ones that will hurt her nose. Tell her she must not put her fingers in her nose, because the sparkles will scratch in there. Give her a package of fancy tissues.
Have her use GermX or Purell. This stuff tastes terrible I cant imagine picking my nose with it on my hand.
And if she doesn't get this taken care of soon, by 6th grade the kids will be brutal and it won't be just the girls.

ONe mom suggested some one on one playdates. GOod idea. That way you can be there to catch Mia and redirect her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Girls just get meaner, so be prepared. Also, my 8th grader feels sorry for a girl in her class because she was the nose picker when she was younger and the girls STILL don't want to hang out with her because they still perceive her as gross. And actually, she still picks her nose. Make sure your daughter stops that habit or she'll be labeled forever.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I highly reccomend you the American girl book, "Taking care of your body" you can skip the chapters about period and deodorant use if you'd like since she is only 7. But do read together the chapters about cleaning your hair, teeth and hygiene in general. I also has some wonderful advice about dealing with mean school girls.
My little girl and I read it when she turned 9 and she LOVED the book, she use to have it in my car and re read it while we were on the road. It taught her so much about keeping your body clean. By the way I bought for her because she had the bad habit of NOT brushing her teeth unless I was there watching her like a hawk.
If I wasn't in the bathroom with her, she would just turn on the electric toothbrush and hold it in her hand WITHOUT putting it in her mouth once, she was tricking me thinking if I heard the buzzing noise I would assume she was brushing but she got caught.
Good luck and remember it's just a phase.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

She's in second grade, that means she's probably seven. It's time to tell her, "Well then honey, it's time to stop picking your nose."

Also tell her to go find some other girls to be friends with.

And I picked my nose until about 4th grade, but if someone had caught me, I would have stopped sooner. I only stopped because I got the feeling kids were figuring it out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

First of all hugs to Mia. All children have less than appealing habits at one time or another. She just happened to get busted by a peer. I would up my efforts in arranging opportunities for her to socialize. I would have playdates up the wazoo. Also, it might help to have ongoing discussions about assertiveness. Practice things like good eye contact, strong voice, and super hero stance (hands on hips feet apart). Talk with her about the importance of body language. Maybe have an impromptu Halloween party or Holiday cookie party with all the girls in the class.
Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Oh... what a bummer. Kids can be really unforgiving at these ages, and unfortunately no matter how much we tell our kids not to do a bad habit, sometimes it takes learning the hard way and peer pressure to get through to them. Not a very gentle or kind way to learn :(

I would talk to the teacher about this. In our 1st grade and second grade classes here the teachers are very conscious of social learning as well as academic. They have a theme each month, like cooperation, kindness, flexibility,etc... and focus teaching around that theme. Even if your school doesn't do this, a good teacher can address the class in a way that gets through to all of the kids that picking on others isn't nice.

I would also really work with Mia about sticking up for herself with words, and giving her tools to use when she's in difficult social situations. This won't be the last time she has to deal with a "nasty" girl or boy. I love role playing with my kids about stuff like this. We talk about what is a small problem, like if someone is calling you a name... you can ignore, walk away, speak up (what you should say) and what happens if it becomes a big problem... (for example) she walks away and they follow her and persist with name calling then push her. The latter requires "reporting" as in telling someone like a teacher or recess duty adult that you've tried solving the problem yourself and it has escalated.

You might also try reading some "bully" books with her. We have one called "Bullies Never Win." that my kids like.

Good luck... it's a tough road!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I would probably set up play dates with the girls she does like. Get to know her own group. Not everyone likes everyone. At our school there are counselor "lunch buddies"where about 6 kids eat lunch in her office and play games to help kids make friends. Perhaps she could be teamed up with the mean girl for something under supervision? Or just be teamed up with others that have similar interests. Sometimes just finding that you do have something in common makes the bullying go away. I would think the more sensitive you are and act, the more you are a bully's target. As long as she has even 1 good friend to play with, you do not need to be friends with all. I was never in a group, but always had 1 or 2 close friends. I would definitely talk to the teacher as well, just to point out the issue and to ask who might be a good match for play dates.

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