How do I know if my daughter is being bullied or if it is simple childhood conflict that needs to work itself out?
My daughter has had issues with one of the girls in her class being mean to her. She solved this issue by befriending the 3rd girl in the class, now she is telling me that the girl is nice to her when the teacher is there but in the bathroom she pulls the 3rd girl aside and says things like 'remember we are not friends with ___' or 'we are not going to play with ___ at recess'. Is this bullying and should I be concerned or is it simply a way of young kids working out a pecking order, etc? Thanks for your help!
It is difficult as a parent to hear that your child is experiencing this type of behavior from classmates. Here are some general tips to helping your daugher through this type of situation:
1. Understand/assess the level of bullying--how often, who is involved, etc.
2. Teach problem solving/assertiveness--how could they respond in the future?
3. Communicate openly with the intent to listen and understand, but not to "fix."
4. Help create a network of friends/support systems
5. Promote confidence and self esteem
6. Spend one-on-one time each day to provide support
7. Assess child's social skills/ability to control emotions
8. Get input from teachers on their observations
It is important to not step in and intervene, but to help your daughter learn to cope and not let it impact her self confidence. If she feels loved, supported and empowered at home it can go a long way in helping her be able to deal with similar issues in the future.
I think the girl is just being controlling and telling her who she can and can't hang out with but I say just keep an eye out for anything else because it could get worse, not saying it will just saying it might.