View Full Version : ADHD Daughter + Mean Girls = WTF Do I Do?


vintageme
05-23-14, 06:54 PM
Daughter just ended 4th grade. It was a rough year, socially-- this was the first year that she had any kind of awareness that she was different. She's emotionally and socially younger than her peers, and the Mean Girl clique tormented her all year (some of which she noticed, some which she didn't). Teacher was so overwhelmed with 5 ADHD kids in class + her first year teaching. She addressed problems when I brought them to her attention, but nothing ever resolved. Mean Girls would just stop for a while and start again in a more subtle way. The school/district doesn't want anything labeled as "bullying" because of their zero-tolerance policy, so they mostly ignore or minimize issues.

She's going to a new school next year, which will maybe help, but 5th grade has Mean Girls, too. Any advice/strategies? I want her to learn how to deal with this as best she can; I don't want to be a constantly intervening parent if there's a better way.

silivrentoliel
05-23-14, 07:20 PM
kids are cruel... imo, unless she can learn to take their constant meanness with a grain of salt and really learn to ignore them and not internalize what they are saying, which is really freaking difficult, she's going to have a rough go at it till she graduates.

my little sister, who is as NT as a kid can be (ok, she's not a kid anymore, but she'll always be a kid in my eyes), was bullied really badly at school and my parents ended up pulling her out completely and home-schooling her.

Lunacie
05-23-14, 09:09 PM
There has been a couple of reports in the news lately on how parents deal with their child being bullied.

One mom saw it happen and grabbed the bully by the throat. She's facing criminal charges but many parents are calling her a hero.

One dad got fed up with the school doing nothing to help and filed an order of protection for his child to force the school to put his child and the bully into different classrooms.

Of course, that still leave the issue of recess (until middle school) and lunch period, as well as walking to the buses after school or riding a bus with a bully.

My granddaughter faced this problem big time in 3rd grade. Her bully lived just a few houses down from us, rode the same school bus, was in the same class. Finally I called his mom and said it has to stop. She tried to justify her son's bullying by saying my granddaughter was a drama queen. Sorry lady, but nothing justifies bully behavior!

Her mom enrolled her in TaeKwanDo and it was somewhat helpful, but she's still been bullied all the way up to her sophomore year. Now she's doing online school but still taking choir at her old school and still dealing with bullies and mean girls.

Stevuke79
05-23-14, 09:51 PM
In my experience, there is nothing scarier than watching your child be picked on. My daughter is only 6, but I've googled around regarding this. Most of the information out there is garbage and bad advice, but I've found a few things that I thought were very good like this (http://www.wikihow.com/Defend-Against-Verbal-Bullying).

Ultimately, based on my own experiences the only person who can make it stop is her. I don't think most parents would approve of the advice I would give my child, but I would look around for ideas to coach your daughter in a way that seems right to you, and ultimately the opportunity here is to teach that people will do these things only (and unfortunately always) as long as you let them.

sarahsweets
05-24-14, 04:42 AM
aside from involving the school when things get unbearable which sometimes can help but not always,you have to teach her to have sharp wit and an even sharper tongue. She needs to learn come backs that will have her fly under the radar of the teacher or at least gain some understanding, yet make it so the bullys know where they stand with her. TBH I went through this last year with my daughters middle school. I involved the guidance counselor, principal, teachers etc. There were girls involved that were former friends and once one mean b*Tch declares her self head mean girl, other girls too afraid to be the target fall into line. When it got bad with this one girl and boy calling her a ***** and prostitute I sent her brother who is 6' over to the one boys house. My only requirement was for him to not threaten direct bodily harm or bring a weapon. I think he ended the conversation with "next time I hear you talking about my sister I am going to take you down to the train tracks and show you whats on the other side"
Maybe that makes me a horrible parent encouraging this but guess what? It stopped and it gave her more power knowing she had back up and she has been able to stand up more for herself and help a former mean girl that was now the target.

salleh
05-24-14, 04:59 AM
* insert many bad words here* .....what in the blazes is going on in schools today ???? don't tell me it's just in public schools ....or is it ?? .....I do not remember ever having an instance of bullying in the schools I went to ......

......It seems every parent on this forum with school age kids has had this problem .....are there bullies in every class making life miserable for everyone else, or at least making some people miserable ????


....I do not understand mean ....I just don't get it .....never have, never will I have run across a few bullies in my time, but not to the extent that is going on today .....and I am talking about as an adult ....not as a kid .....

Lunacie
05-24-14, 02:02 PM
aside from involving the school when things get unbearable which sometimes can help but not always,you have to teach her to have sharp wit and an even sharper tongue. She needs to learn come backs that will have her fly under the radar of the teacher or at least gain some understanding, yet make it so the bullys know where they stand with her. TBH I went through this last year with my daughters middle school. I involved the guidance counselor, principal, teachers etc. There were girls involved that were former friends and once one mean b*Tch declares her self head mean girl, other girls too afraid to be the target fall into line. When it got bad with this one girl and boy calling her a ***** and prostitute I sent her brother who is 6' over to the one boys house. My only requirement was for him to not threaten direct bodily harm or bring a weapon. I think he ended the conversation with "next time I hear you talking about my sister I am going to take you down to the train tracks and show you whats on the other side"
Maybe that makes me a horrible parent encouraging this but guess what? It stopped and it gave her more power knowing she had back up and she has been able to stand up more for herself and help a former mean girl that was now the target.

I wasn't bullied in school - probably because I also had an older brother.
Who then bullied me at home of course. :(

My grandchildren are both girls. No brothers, no cousins within driving distance.
It's up to their mom and me to be their 'back up' when they are bullied.

heytheredelilah
05-24-14, 02:55 PM
Daughter just ended 4th grade. It was a rough year, socially-- this was the first year that she had any kind of awareness that she was different. She's emotionally and socially younger than her peers, and the Mean Girl clique tormented her all year (some of which she noticed, some which she didn't). Teacher was so overwhelmed with 5 ADHD kids in class + her first year teaching. She addressed problems when I brought them to her attention, but nothing ever resolved. Mean Girls would just stop for a while and start again in a more subtle way. The school/district doesn't want anything labeled as "bullying" because of their zero-tolerance policy, so they mostly ignore or minimize issues.

She's going to a new school next year, which will maybe help, but 5th grade has Mean Girls, too. Any advice/strategies? I want her to learn how to deal with this as best she can; I don't want to be a constantly intervening parent if there's a better way.

Do you have any sort of centres for support for children who are bullied? This is one (though it is not in your area) http://www.nelsonyouthcentres.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=6

Check out the website and the programs, you may be able to find something similar there. I know of a child who was bullied and the difference is night and day after receiving treatment and attending a group like that. Self confidence levels, communication skills, etc etc go WAY up. He was 12 when he started attending and had been bullied since kindergarten consistently.

Remember she is still a child and she can still change quite quickly! So I really, really think something like this might help her a great deal.

Also focus on reinforcing her strength! Don't give her the impression or vibe that she is somehow a victim and that you are scared for her in any way. Give her the feeling that she is very strong and that she can deal with the bullying in a healthy way. It may take a lot of explaining and repeating, but constantly reinforce the idea that she is confident, strong, etc. If she does something brave, tell her she's brave, so that she can notice all of the great things about herself. You have to truly trust her and let your own fear go to do this!

I think sometimes children also have trouble realizing when they are being bullied and what is acceptable behaviour and what isn't. She needs to learn not to be friends with or interact with those who do not treat her respectfully. They have a problem, not her, and she needs to stay away from them.

MADD As A Hatte
05-24-14, 08:19 PM
Daughter just ended 4th grade. ... She's emotionally and socially younger than her peers,

She's going to a new school next year, which will maybe help, but 5th grade has Mean Girls, too. Any advice/strategies?

Hi VintageMe, My daughter had similar issues in primary school, so reluctantly, I had her repeat a grade (as in, do a school year twice). Quite honestly, it's the best thing I could have done. Within the first school term I could see the difference - my teary, angry, frustrated, fragile little daughter transformed into a normal, happy go lucky, laughing, "giggling girty". Keeping her back a year made a huge difference to her self confidence, her willingness to go to school, her ability to make and to keep friends, her desire to want to go to social things like birthday parties etc.

If you're starting her in a new school, how about enrolling her in 4th grade again. It will take her from bottom of the pile, in terms of emotional and social development, and put her relatively speaking, more towards the top. My daughter doesn't even remember repeating the school year, except when it comes up in conversation. The alternative of holding her back a year in high school just doesn't even bear thinking about, it's too stigmatised at a critical stage of developing their sense of self.

It's a basic tenet of ADD types that we lag behind our same-age peers, in terms of emotional, cognitive, and social development, until well into our 20's.

The mean girls will always be there, all her life. At school, at work, everywhere. She'll gradually learn her own best ways of coping, which is where as her mum you'll play an important role. I learned to accept, when I got older, that I just wasn't part of the "it girls", not part of the in-crowd.

I'll find a couple of videos for you, that we watched in our psyche course this year, on mean girls and bullying. Quite edifying, really.

Cheers

P.S. The upside of my daughter having had the same sort of horrible year that your daughter has just experienced, is her understanding of what it feels like to have people be mean to you. I'm so proud of her. Now, in mid high school, she is actively empathic (e.g. making friends with new girls, who are trying to fit in), and she lets the mean girls know when they're being mean. She's popular enough to get away with it!!

PPS Watch the Patricia Quinn lecture in my signature. She deals specifically with the ramifications of ADD and developmental lag, and (if undiagnosed, untreated, not managed properly) it's debilitating effects on girls - becoming teenagers - becoming emerging adults - becoming women. She's got an excellent website too, which is noted in the links.

MADD As A Hatte
05-24-14, 08:30 PM
Any advice/strategies? I want her to learn how to deal with this as best she can ...

Here's one of the videos about Mean Girls:
It's in Australian, but you should be able to understand it without subtitles!

Bullying - Mean Girls - Catalyst: ABCTV
8 minutes

http://www.johnwiley.com.au/highered/hoffnung2e/content/video_cases/mean_girls/

MADD As A Hatte
05-24-14, 08:34 PM
... and here's the second video ... it particularly about cyberbullying ... something to be aware of when you're thinking about whether to give your daughter a mobile phone, how carefully to monitor it, whether to let her open a facebook account etc.

Cyberbullying - Catalyst, ABCTV
8 minutse

http://www.johnwiley.com.au/highered/hoffnung2e/content/video_cases/cyberbullying/

LynneC
05-27-14, 08:44 AM
In my experience, there is nothing scarier than watching your child be picked on. My daughter is only 6, but I've googled around regarding this. Most of the information out there is garbage and bad advice, but I've found a few things that I thought were very good like this (http://www.wikihow.com/Defend-Against-Verbal-Bullying).


Great link...I'll be bookmarking that one... :)

Corina86
05-28-14, 05:30 AM
I think this is the worst scenario for a bullied kid: when you former friend becomes your enemy. The bully knows your secrets, soft spots, weaknesses and she probably uses them against you. Also, when a bully is in your group of friends, you can easily lose the group altogether.

Others have given good advice on how to deal with bullies, but I think you need and teach your daughter how to choose friends, how to spot potential bullies, to keep certain things to herself (if they might be used against her) and how to make as many good friends as possible. This is won't stop bullying, but it makes it less aggravating. Also, it might help keep her away from those that could have a bad influence.

The fact that I was bullied by the worst kids in my class was bad, but it could have been worse if I had been their friend, since they were all smoking, drinking heavily (kids can buy booze anywhere here) and hung around dangerous juvenile delinquents. The girl who was my best friend pretty much became a prostitute at that age (13-15) and so did other girls in my school, but there's no way anyone could ever influence me in that direction. But if they had taken drugs, maybe I would've joined in.

vintageme
05-29-14, 04:20 PM
Thanks so much for all the feedback. I have a lot of links to click and Australian to translate! ;)

I really wish she listened to me, at all. I was an alpha girl-- I know what's up on the other side of the Mean Girl fence. Trying to explain to her that so-and-so is NOT her friend is futile. For as good at she is with pattern recognition, she doesn't see social patterns. Does not understand when she is being played; doesn't see manipulative behavior at all.

So when do they catch up? Twenties, did someone say?

Stevuke79
05-29-14, 05:57 PM
For me (and I apologize if you meant girls specifically :)), I never really caught up in that regard. But when you're a child your forced to go are a standard tempo that's set for everyone - and this can disadvantage an ADHD'er. But after high school everything got a lot better.

Daydreamin22
05-29-14, 07:07 PM
[/B]Definitely read the book, Little Girls Can Be Mean

It's a woman with a PHD and she's been on many talk shows. I read it as a teacher's aid and it helped a lot. I couldn't bare not doing exactly the right thing, mich less anything. I stayed up all night reading the book when I saw a sweet kind friendly girl get bullied on the first day by a diva who we were worned about from preschool teachers. She was the hardest to manage because I was working on the other kids and I don't know how to help/change a bully. Ias an aide, but the other girls that followed her, as well as the ones she picked on's perceptions and actions/thoughts/behaviors were changeable for the better.

I bet there is a more recent solution. But this one is a must read, too because it worked in the kindergarten classroom.

Also, check out Harvard Elementary school. They got the bullying teqnique more correct than the rest of the country. (Go figure) really hope that helps. Get to the bottom of it! Also you might want to read the book, the outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and David and Goliath by him as well.

I just read a book about workplace mobbing. It can be devastating. Make sure other things in life aren't falling if you can help it.

tripleE
05-30-14, 09:56 AM
Vintageme - "Queen Bees and Wannabes" is apparently a good book.

When DD was having clique trouble in grade 4/5 I did a search for it and came up with this great 1-page list that summarized the role of each person in a clique (unfortunately I just looked again and can't find it but you might have better luck).

It explained how each position behaves and then explained how they ultimately lose something by playing their position, except for the "friendly floater". So that gave us a key word and a goal - be the "friendly floater". And we could name the behaviour - "so and so is trying to be the Queen Bee" etc.

Also the American Girl book on friendships is excellent for girls. DD is in grade 6 now and finds that useful.

I found that she didn't understand cliques in grade 4 - got drawn into things really easily. Grade 5 she started seeing the patterns. Grade 6 things were clearer and now she is at the point (end of grade 6) that she is mostly navigating things comfortably. Sometimes it's just time, and talking. And having friends outside of school really helps too.

Best of luck.

Vandeluca
06-06-14, 05:56 AM
Wow Vintageme..too bad we're not closer...I have a just finished 4th grader (As of today)....We don't get the same type of bullying (overt) nor does she notice it all the time. She gets the 'ignored' type or just people being mean to her (girls). I personally find the ignoring type worse because mine has a mouth to handle herself. Not always appropriate, and can make problems worse. Whereas the ignoring, is not obvious to the teacher..but very obvious to the other kids who are watching the ignoring...

Mine is also one of the youngest (by age) to start with...coupled with being behind to start.

I often wonder myself if starting anew (new school) would change things...