Daughter being ostracized - FamilyEducation
Daughter being ostracized
02/16/2008 at 15:51 PM

My daughter is in grade three and for the past three months has been having difficulty with her friends.  They tell her to meet them at a certain spot on the playground and then they never show up, or they will agree to play with her and then choose a game that she can't play because of her asthma.  When she tells them that she can't play it the response is "Oh well" and they go off to play without her.  They have taken things that she says and turned them around so that when they go to the teacher my daughter is in the wrong and gets into trouble until everything gets sorted out and the teacher discovers that it wasn't quite the way she had been told.  To this date the teacher has never apologized to my daughter and the other girls have not been reprimanded.  My daughter is in a grade 3/4 split classroom and there are only these other 4 girls or the boys for her to play with.  She is very lonely, she does not want to go to school and even though she is in extra curricular activities, these same little girls are there as well because back in the fall they were getting along and they all joined things together.  My daughter used to be a very outgoing, friendly social little person.  Now she has become a shy more withdrawn individual who is becoming a perfectionist about everything she does.  She takes piano lessons but does not want to play in any recitals because she might make a mistake and people (she thinks) will laugh at her.  Her self confidence has been terribly eroded by this and just to make things even more interesting we have just discovered she has a unilateral hearing impairment and so that will make her even more different from her classmates.  Does any one have any suggestions on things I can do to bolster her self-confidence?  I would like my little girl to feel happy again.

  Ok, so I have 6 kids, the oldest is 30.  When she was just a little older than your little girl, she started having similar troubles with friends.  I was her Girl Scout leader, along with my husband, and so there was one forum where we could have direct influence and observation of what was happening. 

   It could be the age creep thing (kids maturing younger), but this kind of snottiness didn't happen to a large extent until at least 4th grade with any of my children.  It is not that your child is "overly sensitive", it is that your child is sensitive, and one of the ways some kids (particularly girls) accomplish their developmental task of social integration is to make themselves part of a pack of harriers.  In fact, my 17 year-old son, in an essay for his highschool English class, said that the purpose of public school at that age is to make you able to deal with mean people. 

  This is why I have taken to home-schooling my children in the fourth grade.  It has worked out very well both academically and socially for the younger three children. 

  I wonder if you could start volunteering in the classroom or the playground at least one day a week.  That would do a few things to change the dynamic for your daughter.  1.  It would give you the opportunity to observe things first-hand.  2.  It would make the other children more aware that your daughter does have parents who will protect her.   3.  It would make your daughter have 1 day at school when she is not completely reliant on the social structure of the school for her physical and emotional safety.

  If that isn't an option, you could consider home-schooling her for the rest of the year.  Most likely you could get curriculum materials from the school.   Or maybe you could find a different public or private school where she could have a chance to start over.  This might be enough intervention, but in my experience 4th grade is even more of a fox-hunt than 3rd. 

  Tell me what you come up with.  I hope you figure something out.


What your daughter is experienceing is the first level of bullying.  I would suggest that she stop trying to be friends with these girls.  Their behavior will only escalate as time goes on.  Your daughter deserves to have friends that she likes and that like her.  Why is she so interested in these girls?  Try to get her involved in something where she can meet other gilrs to hang out with.  The bullies will only hurt her in the end.  Bullies are generally cowards and they are seeking out children that are weaker than them in order to feel powerful.  A very dangerous game.  Help you daughter to see that these girls are not worth being friends with.  She deserves better.  Good Luck.


My son is in 2nd grade and there is a little girl in his class and after school program who is a little different. She is skinny and she wears glasses.  My son's teacher said that she appreciates the energy he gives to her because the other girls bully her.  The teacher and I worried that he was getting slightly drained by constantly comforting her or spending time to play with her.  We decided to move my son to another table where he would not feel so responsible to help her.  I absolutely encourage him to be a friends to her, but have asked his teacher what she is doing to help the bullying situation.  She said she has assigned the other girls one on one time with her.  She is having groups of two work together and has targeted the other two girls to work alone with her. She said she believed the situation could be improved if the bullies have accomplishments with the bullied girl. I wonder if you ahve spoken with the teacher to see if she can offer any help.  Also if you could get some first hand observation by volunteering you would be better able to asses it as well.


This sounds just like what my dd went through. She is also in 3rd grade in a 3/4 split class. At the end of 2nd grade she would come home crying that she didn't want to go back to school & if I could please homeschool her. At the start of this school year we have had problems come up with a whole new group of girls (the girls changed  but the problems didn't). We worked together to come up with a plan. We came up with the idea that she would tell them that they are being mean & that she would play with them another time & then SHE would walk away(giving her the control). The hardest thing that my dd had to do was not react to these girls as she is sensetive as well.  We talked about that they do this because they get a reaction/response out of her, that what they are doing is wrong, but if she can try to stop reacting then it won't be fun for them any more. I did ask my dd what has helped her. She has told me that she just goes & does something else. She does volunteer in her 1st grade teachers classroom, in the library & also helps the noon aids. Please don't hesitate to go to the teacher, she may not be aware of how bad it is. We had to go to my dd's teacher in 2nd grade, bacause things were getting out of hand. The teacher was surprised at how bad things were. The girls were very sneeky & sly.   Good luck. My dd sends your dd a big hug. My dd stepped right up & said "can I be her friend?" So let your dd know that she does have a friend out here in cyber space.


Thank you for your input everyone.  The teacher is not open to volunteers in her classroom unless she is doing a special project.  I have talked to her.  Her solution was to send all the girls in a group to meet with the school counsellor.  I told her that since the counsellor did not know any of the girls it would be better if they went as individuals a few times so the counsellor could get a bit of an understanding of each girls personality, then start bringing them together gradually.  The counsellor decided to see my girl alone and the others as a group, then she tells my girl what they are accusing her of, and then asks my girl if she is sure that she doesn't want to join the others in their group then they could all work together. To make sure that I wasn't missing something in my own girls behaviour away from home, I asked another parent of some girls in the other class what her daughters opinions were of my girl. She was honest and so, thank God, were they.  They said my girl can be bossy sometimes, but there are other girls who are worse than her.
 On the "up" side her older brother has stepped up to the plate and plays with her one noon hour every week, she is talking with the grade 4 girls in her class (even though she is too nervous to actually try and play with them at noon), she is playing with the grade 3 boys in her class when her asthma allows, and I drive into town 1 day a week at lunch and pick her up from school and we hang out together.  A coworker and close friend of one of my friends in a distant city has a daughter the same age and she has offered that the two girls could be e-pals.
The problem still exists and as time goes on I am seeing more of the psychological effects of this bullying in my girls self-esteem and self-confidence so I really appreciate all of your suggestions and she appreciates your interest in trying to help her.


Hi, I have an 11 yr old daughter. She does well in school and seemed to get along with everyone. She is nurturing and always willing to give a helping hand to teacher and classmate alike. In the last 3 months however, I have noticed a change in her interaction. This change I noticed is with her peers in her Church Sunday School Class. I would always observe her in conversation with someone but now I rarely see her engaging in happy banter like before. My normally reserve but confident daughter seem to be trying very hard to fit in and I observe her trying to make jokes and get involve in conversation when the other girls are talking together and sometimes ignoring her. Yesterday at a particular party, one of the girls pushed her so hard and it was suppose to be play. All these girls came to my daughter 10th birthday last year and they all seem like good, well behave girls. Now I observe a that they have form a kind of click (sp) and my daughter is not part of it. I train her not to force herself on any friends and for the most part that is how she was --until a month ago. She seems to be trying to be included at times and then at other times I see her sitting by herself. It is painful and I wonder if I am overreacting. Can someone please respond. Thanks. I should mention that I am feeling a bit of the same from some people in the Church. This was after I thought it was safe to offer my services and get a little more involved. Could there be a relationship. ?

I posted a comment about my 11 year old daughter and cannot find it. I am looking for answers. I am new to this message board. Can anyone help me to find my post and see if anyone replied. Thanks.

Fourth and Fifth grade span the time when some kids (usually girls) get really cruel, and other kids (also usually girls) need to figure out how to survive the fall-out. I got to the point with daughter #3 where I just would take my kids out of school at this age. Other strategies include--countering teasing with humor, developing friendships with adults, spending time in community activities (theater, choir, not sports) where there are a range of ages involved.

I wish I had some wonderful advice for you. Your story made me log off the computer and give my little girl a hug. This is one of the many reasons I'm glad I homeschool my kids. I hope things get better for you DS.

I know its been a few months since you posted your story but I'm just now reading it and have to respond. I hope things are better for your little girl now but if they aren't you need to find out your schools policy on bullying. Your daughter is being bullied and if you do not take control of the situation it will only get worse.

To metro123: After what I have gone through with my girl, my heart goes out to anyone else going through the same thing. It is hard to watch your child being pushed aside by others and not be able to "make it better". Will your daughter open up to you and talk about what is going on? My girl kept her feelings inside until everything (in her words) exploded into a big mess! Through many talks, tears and cuddles gradually the story of what was happening to her at school, came out. The psychological effects of bullying are very pervasive, I am discovering. I am having to teach my daughter how to react to different things, to help her to understand that not all comments or actions are meant to hurt. She no longer trusts her own social judgement and asks me constantly why someone acted in a certain way or reacted the way they did. I feel that you need to talk to your daughter and let her know of your concerns for her happiness. I let my girl know that I had posted a comment on this forum and let her read all the replies. It made her feel good to know that other people besides Mom were supporting her and wishing for her happiness. It sounds like you are new to your church, is there another one close by you could "try" out and see if you feel more welcome there? A church is only as welcoming as the people in it, unfortunately.

I too have a daughter who has always been outgoing, laughing, played with everyage. But when grade 5 hit, the cruel world slammed her to the wall. The girls in her class formed groups or clubs and one day she was permitted in and the next day the brunt of their cruel games. It was the "lets all wear red tomorrow" but then they'd change the colour and not tell her about it. In retaliation my daughter started telling lies about the girls to get back at them but that only got her into more trouble and hated by the piers even more. She was left out of birhtday parties. She is the only female child of her age in Sunday school and feels that she just doesn't fit anywhere. Who is your best friend and how many friends you have, makes up grade five girls identity. Her self value was dropping. I have been keeping close contact with her teacher and we deal with each social chalenge as they appear, helping her identify her mistakes and learning to appologize. Sometimes it is her instigation and other times it's the girls. We have encouraged her to find other friends to play with and pointed out that as parents we have friends of all ages and to feel free to enjoy true friendship with people you like and that like you back, no matter what their age is. We identified her self-worth and point out all the benefits of being her friend (interests in crafts, art, biking, baking and piano)and asured her that she is worthy of having friends. During tenting in the summer holliday's she made a new friend and they had a great time so we encouraged her to start a pen pal relationship. This way she gets special letters from a 'FRIEND' and that weekly asures her of her self worth. Unfortunately I am not in a finacial situation where I can pay for extra curricular activities for her. She has settled down now and is becoming more comfortable knowing that we love her no matter how many friends she has of her age. She now plays with other girls and the strangest thing has happened. Some of those piers who didn't want her around, took a turn at being the new outcast and then returned to playing with my daughter. She learned not to change into what others expect but to be true to herself and others will like you too. This is the year of pier pressure and if not dealt with can become bullying. She no longer dwells on being in the "cool" group but instead focuses on having fun! A much healthier choice. We pointed out that standing around gossiping and putting on lipgloss was not as much fun as hanging from the jungle gym or playing games,so why would she devote all her energy to joining that "cool" group of friends? The good side is that the boys found hanging around and playing with my daughter far more interesting than the "look good can't move" croud and my daughter loved the attention. I have cautioned her that boy 'Friends' are fun in a group but having a boyfriend alone is not appropriate which lead to the sex talk. She is on cloud nine as having friends of the exact age no longer defines who she is. She is well liked by staff at school as well as kids of all ages. Hope some of this helps.

My son is only 5, but he's in spec ed. I already see some kids shying away from him b/c he's "different". The whole thing breaks my heart. Worse than that, I blame the parents. They're the ones who don't want their kids interacting w/ my son, so of course they're having an influence on their children. It's very sad. My best advice to anyone in such a situation is to stick to the kind people who truly want to have you as a friend. Who needs those other individuals who are uncaring and hurtful. Life is too short to waste energy on them.

My own daughter's problem started in Grade 4 when we moved her into a new public school so she could enter a French immersion program. She is shy but kind-hearted (too nice, as I often heard from teachers) and met in that school a bunch of girls that were not particularly kind to her. Those were the same kids she found in the school daycare. Her morale got badly affected to a point that we had to move her into a Catholic school in Grade 5 to see if things would get better. She found a couple of new immigrants there, which apparently stuck to her while needed. Unfortunately, kind-hearted as she is, my daughter took them as friends and got devastated the next year to find out they did not want her around anymore. Now in Grade 7, those kids and their new group not only do not let her in the group but keep ridiculing her and trying to separate her from any new friend she ends up making. To the point that our daughter is begging us to move her out of that Catholic school. My wife and I did not have that experience at her age so we are at a loss as to what exactly to do to help her. Any advice is welcome. Thx.

Go to the school administration and try to have the problem of your daughter being rediculed resolved. If that is not possible, then move your daughter to another school so she can have the chance to have a positive school experience.

I really don't think the solution is to keep running. I totally understand how your daughter must feel, but this happened not once, but twice, in two different schools. She can't keep switching schools! You need to teach her how to stick up for herself and toughen up. I was always a push over in school, and I feel I never had the guts to stick up for myself. I'm not sure why I was like that b/c at home I was a very different person who didn't take crap from anyone. One time though, at a new school, a girl got in my face, and for some reason I stood up for myself. I guess I about had enough. Do you know that this girl never bothered me again? I was so proud of myself after that. I know it's hard when this is not your normal personality, but if your daughter doesn't stick up for herself, there will always be kids who see her as weak and who will knock her down. Eventually this will effect her self esteem, and that beautiful personality of hers will be crushed. Teach your daughter to be respectful but firm. Eventually she will gain that respect back. There will always be bullies out there. Every child is different and unique. Don't let your daughter lose herself in all this. She seems like a wonderful girl. The world unfortunately isn't always wonderful, though. The fact is, this is a part of life. Your daughter can't run from every negative situation. She needs to face these things head on. If she does this, she will become a stronger, more confident individual. She will also realize that these kids are unimportant to her, and that life is about so much more. In time your daughter will meet her true friends. Many friends come and go, but a true friend always sticks by you. Give it time, and always be there for your daughter. She will get through this.