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  1. #1

    Default homeschool bullying - wwyd ?

    Hi all.
    Just want some ideas on a 'situation' please!

    We have been part of a study group this year with 5 other girls and their families, all around my daughters' ages - 12/13yrs. My girls see the other girls at the other activities they do.

    The problem we are having is that one of the girls is behaving in a way that makes my younger daughter feel 'shunned' - basically, she is excluding her and telling her that she can't be in the friendship group b/c she is immature and juvenile. She isn't

    My daughter is extremely upset. I have tried to offer her coping strategies for dealing with this other child. She is so upset though, that we are having a break from the activities so she can settle her emotions down rather than having them stirred up a few times a week.

    Now the issue is that my daughter thinks this is helping but is unfair. She thinks the girl who is bullying by exclusion should be the one missing out on the activities. I agree.

    If she was at school, I would go to the school and encourage them to deal with it on our behalf. (Whether they would or not is another thing!) In the homeschool world there is no intermediary...

    Should I go to this girls' mother and request a change in behaviour from her daughter ? This mother is also the mother of my son's best buddy. She has also tried to do some relationship building talks and exercises with the girls group. She is nice. But no-one likes to hear their own child criticized.

    I'm not sure how possible it is to hone in on her own child's behaviour. I'm also not sure what to do about a 3 day camp to our capital city we are all supposed to be going on in a few weeks!

    Bullying can be quiet and insidious and I want to advocate for my daughter. She is right, it isn't fair that she is needing to modify her life b/c of the upset this child provokes. Do I leave it at that ? All opinions and suggestions welcome!!

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  3. #2

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    I am so sorry your daughter (and you!) are experiencing this unpleasantness!

    I haven't encountered this myself, but I can tell you that if someone came to me with the kindness in your heart that you are obviously exhibiting to ask to speak about our daughters relations' ... I couldn't take offense. Girls are *so* complex, the kindest of girls will engage in actions that even they don't understand.

    It may be something as simple as a minor jealousy, or undisclosed hurt feelings. Are you considering having all 4 of you sit down for a frank and kind exchange? If you brought it up as having a goal of making sure that everyone can feel comfortable in the group, I can't believe anyone would be offended (for long :-).

    I wish you both all the luck and joy in the world. Please keep us updated, my thoughts are with you!
    whatsreal in AZ

  4. #3

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    Oh Melissa, this is such a hard situation isn't it and at times harder because we don't have the 3rd party that can be the 'middle man' so to speak. How well do you know the mother? Is an opne and honest discussion not possible, without it being confrontational? I honestly have no idea what I would so, so I'm no help at all I'm sorry. What do you feel in your heart?
    Kylie

    Our Blog - Our Worldwide Classroom

    Eclectically Home Schooling 3 Kiddos Down Under ~ DS 14 ~ DD 11 ~ DS 7

    “Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle

  5. #4

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    Thanks for the empathy Kylie!

    My heart just wants to protect my daughter by taking her out of the situation.
    I don't know how the mum would react to a conversation, and I don't want to burn bridges...BUT I don't think bullying by girls should be ignored either.

    It is so hard to explain to an 11yr old that the bully only wins if you allow them to dominate your thoughts and feelings, and that bystanding friends - even ones you really adore - aren't friends at all.

    Luckily, this group is not her only source of friendship and she has some lovely friends who would never mistreat her.

    I really thought we'd avoid this by homeschooling..silly me! All the literature on this topic I can find is about homeschooling your child because they've been bullied in school, not about meeting it in a homeschool environment.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Arrived pandahoneybee's Avatar
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    Melissa~
    I know what you mean, I have a 14 year son who isn't included by some of the boys when we go to game day. But its mostly because they all have been homeschooled together since the kindergarten. I suggest to tread lightly when you talk to the girls mom and i would talk to her. Go in with something like how would you suggest I help my daughter get over the issues she is having in the girls group. I won't call her daughter out the first time you talk to her but this way she might be watching closer when the girls are together. This is what I did with my son situation I talked to all the moms that had boys his age and it made them aware of the situation and i didn't seem like I was being to rude to anyone We are having a better time with it and yes it is so heartbreaking to watch your kids go thru it! I just want to give those kids what for but our kids need help to stand up for themselves
    Here if you need to talk
    Pandahoneybee -
    Homeschooling two boys (17 and 12),3 dogs, 3 fish, 2 goats, 2 guineas and one grown man in NC since 2008! AND proud mama has 6 Rhode Island Red girls!!
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  7. #6
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    Oh, I'm so sorry. That is awful. Bullying was a large part of the reason thatI pulled my daughter out of public school, since the school's attempts to stop the bullying were unsuccessful, and my wife's attempts to deal with one of the bully's parents just resulted in a lost friendship. My solution was to withdraw from the situation by homeschooling. We don't have as much of a problem now because we don't really belong to any homeschool groups, and the few extracurricular activities we do are closely monitored. She still sees her friends at our house, but of course, I don't invite the bullies.

    I don't have any good advice, but a lot of commiseration.
    Just call me Shoe...
    Previously homeschooled our son and daughter (both now in university)

  8. #7
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    Would it be possible to get ALL the moms together to talk about it? I mean, even if one girl is being the major bully, that still means the other girls are going along with it. ALL of them need to learn more about what bullying is and the impact of it. I personally have a hard time w confrontation, and tend to just run away, but i do BELIEVE that discussing it openly with everyone (moms first tho) would be the best way to handle it.
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  9. #8

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    This sucks. I taught middle school at a very small school for many years and dealing with the "girl friendship issues" was always the most difficult part. When you're looking at a small group - in my school there was only 30 kids - and in the homeschooling world, kids often have only so many potential peers... the advice that one would give kids in a typical middle school would be in part about avoiding the bully and finding new friends. In small groups, that's just not something you can always do and it makes the behavior even more hurtful when it's your only or your primary social group.

    First of all, I think it's hard for adults to really know what's going on in some of these situations. It sounds like the other girl is being a bully, but I feel like there's almost always more to the story. Also, what 12 yo girls think is "mature" usually isn't, but your dd may be acting in some way that makes her the odd one out - possibly even by being *more* mature and not going along with things the other girls are into that she thinks are wrong - or even just things she's not interested in. I think girls at this age are often interested in trying to form identity by being the same as everyone else or as everyone in their group. If your dd is like, hey, that's fine, but I'm not into manga or Gossip Girl or whatever the other girls are into, she may expect that the other girls can do the same for her and listen to her interests when they're not mature enough to do that without being nasty. She shouldn't have to change her behavior to be treated with respect, but if she wants to really be friends with these girls, the honest truth is she might have to. We all form friendships based on mutual interests - proximity (or "we're all the same age, gender and homeschooled") isn't always enough. Whether she should or even would be willing to I think you were right to work with her and hang back a little, but I agree with Cara - if these girls are a group, can you get the moms together to talk about the dynamics of the group and what's going on. The other moms may also have other pieces of the puzzle or even complaints of their own - if not about your dd, then about other aspects of the friendship. Or they may have no idea that your dd was being excluded. But yeah, tread lightly and don't be accusatory.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Evolved wild_destiny's Avatar
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    What a difficult situation, but luckily what a lot of thought-provoking advice. I would definitely tread lightly and try not to be accusatory (like farrar just suggested). Beyond that, I would keep in mind that there are always 3 sides (at least) to every story. It would really help if you had someone reliable that was present that could give a detailed third party perspective on how the girls related to each other. Then you would have an idea of the proper "plan of attack" to solve the problem. Whatever happens, I hope it works out well for all of you, and that your daughter is no longer singled out and left behind. Good luck!
    Deanna
    quirky daydreamer, lover of twisted humor, mother of 4 living in northwest Arkansas

  11. #10

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    I think I lost my train of thought in the middle of my reply before. Clearly I shouldn't try to post things 5 minutes before I host science co-op...
    Want to read about my homeschool?
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    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

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homeschool bullying - wwyd ?