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Lcshare asks:
Q:

What advice can I give my daughter when there is whispering about her in class?

Two girls have been whispering in class about my 11 year old daughter who is in 6th grade. She is completely crushed, doesn't want to do anything except lay around the house, and I feel like I cant help her. She overheard them saying do you think she's annoying - I do etc. One of the girls is the most popular girl in the 6th grade - so I'm concerned. I know how these girls operate.
My daughter is new to the school this year - she is very cute and smart and does have
several friends already. She can't seem to
let this go and I don't know what to do and how to keep her from focusing on this. Anyone that has been here and has words of wisdom - please help!
In Topics: Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago

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Expert

BBerry
Jan 13, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

I’m so sorry to hear that this is happening to your daughter. It must be especially difficult for her since she’s new to the school this year. I’m glad to hear that your daughter has made many friends, but no one should have to live with being the subject of whispered teasing and ridicule behind one’s back. These sorts of actions comprise a type of bullying called relational bullying. Relational bullying can include gossiping about someone, spreading rumors, excluding people from groups, etc. Some research has found that this type of bullying is more common among girls and that it is just as harmful as other types of bullying. Unfortunately, many individuals don’t recognize these sorts of behaviors as bullying and may brush it off as ‘innocent teasing’ and fail to acknowledge that it is a real problem.

I think the first step toward resolving this issue would be to make sure school staff members are aware of what is happening. As you can imagine, two girls whispering to each other may initially appear to be quite innocent, so school staff may not recognize that they are, in fact, bullying your daughter. It is especially important that staff be made aware of how often this problem has been occurring. It is easy for them to incorrectly conclude that the problem is an isolated incident or a problem that has resolved itself if there is only one report or if the reports stop coming in. Therefore, I encourage you and/or your daughter to report these incidents each and every time they occur. This may help school staff to recognize that this has been an ongoing problem that is not going to go away unless they take action. If your daughter worries that the girls bullying her will overhear her reporting their actions, try to help her make a plan for where, when, and to whom she can make reports in a safe, anonymous way. This may mean staying after class for a minute or two to speak with a teacher, having a permanent pass to check in with another staff member, or making reports after school.  

Once your daughter’s school is made aware of this problem, there are many possible next steps, such as watching for the bullying during the time(s) it is most likely to occur, educating the girls about the bullying they are doing, setting up a clear set of consequences these girls will face if they continue to bully, teaching your daughter appropriate ways to confront these girls (should she feel comfortable enough to do so on her own or with the help of supportive friends) and giving her opportunities to practice, etc.

It sounds like you and your daughter have a good relationship since she is comfortable telling you what has been happening to her and why she is so upset. That is great to hear! Keep those lines of communication open and encourage your daughter to continue telling you how things are going at school.

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Karenmom
Feb 15, 2011
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Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
I wouldn't involve the teacher, I do suggest that she ignore this behavior.

You mentioned that this is "the most popular girl in 6th grade", what makes this so?  Is it possible that the popular girl is jealous of the "new girl" and feels threatened by her presence that she may loose her position.

I have generally found that these tactics are out of jealousy and they are only trying to break your daughter's self esteem as so she can keep her "power".  Explain to your daughter that these "popular" girls feel poorly about themselves and although they may be popular, they obviously feel insecure about the position and threatened by her, if not, they wouldn't waste their time whispering about the "new girl".  It will pass in time, she needs to ignore them and continue to just be herself and not allow this to effect her.  

Best wishes!!!

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Additional Answers (1)

CreativeRachna
CreativeRac... , Child Professional, Teacher writes:
This must be so hard for you.  It can be disheartening to see your child suffer because of teasing or gossip.  It may be beneficial to have a conversation with your daughter about gossiping and bullies.  You may want to tell her that there will always be a few people she may not like and a few people that she may like.  

The best advice for kids is to let them know that although some people may not be their friends, everyone should try to be respectful to each other.  Although this may not be the case in her school, you can tell your daughter to be the bigger person and be respectful to them, while ignoring their whisperings.  This may get the whispering girls to stop, as many times people stop acting when there is no reaction.

Good Luck,
Creative Rachna
> 60 days ago

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