Teenage Daughter Being Bullied

Updated on February 03, 2009
M.K. asks from Linden, VA
4 answers

It has come to my attention in the last few week that what I thought was teenage girls acting immaturely has escalated to a serious bullying situation, with my 16 1/2 yr old daughter being bullied. There is history behind my daughter and this group of girls, a clique of honor students who are not only very smart academically, but at psychological bullying too. My daughter has grown up with them and considered them friends, but has seperated herself from them for over a year now, no longer wanting to let them control her life. The more she has pulled away and formed a nicer group of friends, the more they harass. She has a neurological disability that is worsened by stress and I am amazed that she has done as well as she has. She has behaved very maturely and not lashed out, but now I find out that some of her other friends have recently come to her defense. When this happened, as is typical with bullies, they ran home crying to mommy, and their parents complained to the school. I have dealt with some of these parents in the past and they are of the opinion that since their child is a straight A student, they are too smart to behave in this manner. In the past when there were squabbles between the girls, and my daughter acted inappropriately, she was punished by her father and myself and apologized. Now, she has matured beyond this kind of behavior, but still is suffering because of those who haven't. The school has intervened and claims it is too hard to determine the root of the problem and is sending a letter to all parents of all children indicated. We, (child and parent) are being asked to sign a contract that states there will be no such behavior from anyone. I feel like once again these young ladies have come away unscathed at the price of my daughter's esteem. I am wondering if any other parents have had this dilemma. I would appreciate any advice or support you many offer. My daughter will graduate at the end of this year, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel, only the tunnel seems awfully long at this point.

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A.F.

answers from Washington DC on

i am to a mother of 1/2 dozen and that is the hardest thing to deal with i think. but in my case it is a boy that is getting bullied and i did to go to the school and the same thing happened. all there was is letters sent home and my son is only in 4th grade. u can email me at [email protected]____.com

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L.L.

answers from Dover on

I can really empathize with your situation, and I wish there was a solution I could recommend! Unfortunately, you cannot change the behavior of the other girls, especially if their parents see nothing wrong with it and refuse to help.
My daughter had problems with a few girls in middle school and I requested that she have no classes with them and ate during a different lunch "shift". The girls we had to deal with were just plain mean, and during 8th grade they also got into drinking and smoking pot. Not a good crowd!!
I was very proud of my daughter for pulling away from these "friends" and forming bonds with some really nice kids. I saw her experience as a way to open many discussions about friendship, peer pressure, doing the right thing, etc. Help your daughter see this as a learning experience and just keep reminding her that in a few years, she won't even remember these girls' names! In other words, help her see the "big picture" and focus on her future instead of the problems in the present. Being on this end of harrassment will probably make your daughter a much more compassionate person in the long run. And don't forget to remind her how proud you are of her for making good choices regarding her friends :)
As for my daughter, I ended up sending her to a private high school, away from these girls and it was the BEST decision I ever made!! I heard some pretty scary stories about what these girls were doing in their free time and I was so glad my daughter was away from them. I know that a different school might not be an option for everyone, so try to focus on your daughter's interests and encourage her to get involved with lots of extracurricular activities. I've always believed that being involved kept my daughter out of trouble...too much free time is never a good thing!
Navigating the teen years is certainly interesting! My daughter is halfway through her 2nd year of college and doing really well...just try to focus on the future and remind your daughter that this mess will be over soon.

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A.H.

answers from Norfolk on

Well, I am assuming that removing her from that situation and homeschooling isn't an option or you would have considered it. The world inside a school building is so unlike the real world, where if what you describe happened anywhere else (job, grocery line, etc.), it would have been taken care of easily. My only advice is to be there to let her vent and have your shoulder available to cry on, because I don't believe there's much else you can do without the other parents and the school admitting that these other girls are doing anything wrong.

Will she learn from this? I can't imagine what could possibly be learned from it. As I said, if an adult is bullied, they have the option to remove themselves from the situation and if it gets physical, an adult has the option of calling the police. Your daughter has neither option while she is enrolled at the school. I wish you both the best.

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M.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Please know that the following suggestion is a last resort option after all other non violent methods have been tried. I just feel that sometimes its a necessary evil to fight fire with fire so to speak. I know this is not going to be popular advice with the crowd but sometimes you just have to stand up to bullies even if it means hauling off and hitting them. This is not the first answer, it is a last resort but I have to say I have never heard of a situation actually getting resolved by just ignoring them or walking away it usually keeps going on and the only one left feeling bad for herself is your daughter for letting them do this to her. I disagree that way down the line she will forget who these people are. Everyone I know remembers their bullies especially those they didn't stand up to and stick up for themselves against. those that eventually stick up for themselves, in my case I hauled off and hit her, remembers that time of feeling like you took care of yourself instead of feeling like they made you small and insignificant.

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