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Mild bullying in school


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leonat January 24, 2013


My daughter attends a private, christian school in Baltimore County. She is in the 1st grade. She has a little girl classmate, who is also in her 1st grade class.

The problem is this: My daughter says that this classmate picks on her often and sometimes makes fun of her (when it is unwanted). This classmate also grabs her often (so-called in a playful manner). My daugher does not want her to do these things to her. I told my daughter to tell this classmate to 'stop it.' I told to her to tell the classmate to "leave me alone'." But the clssmate continues to bother her.

My daughter does not have many friends and she believes that if she (my daughter) is too forceful with this classmate that this classmate will not want to be her friend. My daughter and this classmate sometimes have playdates together -- after school and on weekends.

Yet my daughter does not want this classmate to continue to 'tease' her.

I have told daughter to ignore her, to not to pay her any attention, to tell her to stop it, to tell her not to touch her. But it continues.

What should I do not now? This really seems to bother my daughter. I know that she will face situations like this as she grows up and that she should learn how to handle these things now.

But I do not want my daughter to feel 'pressured' or 'bothered' or 'harassed.'

Should I tell the teacher about it? Should I tell the classmates' parent about it?
Should I stop my daughter from having after school activities with this classmate?

Can anyone give me some ideas or suggestion of what I should do?

Thank you.

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MagnetMom January 25, 2013


Hi leonat, and welcome to the GreatSchools Parent Community.

First off, my heart goes out to you and your daughter. You have been doing a great job so far of empowering your daughter. Since the bullying has not stopped, I'd talk to the teacher. Teachers are often unaware of issues that happen on the playground and sometimes the bully can intentionally hide the behaviors from the teacher. By talking to the teacher, the teacher can keep an eye on them, make sure they're not paired up for activities, and certainly make sure it doesn't escalate.

As for play dates, I definitely would give this a cooling off period. Maybe down the line they can pick up the friendship, but I wouldn't intentionally encourage the friendship knowing it's more a case of 'frenemies' for now. I wouldn't ban the friendship, but I'd make sure she has other friends and play dates until this blows over.

Good luck, and let us know what happens.

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TeacherParent January 28, 2013


Tell the teacher - don't lay blame or fault and explain that the girls are friends but that your daughter doesn't like what her classmate is doing in school. Ask the teacher to keep an eye out for it and to help the girls develop an interaction that works for both of them.

If they get along on their playdates, they can get along in school too. Your daughter can't solve this on her own yet at this point - that takes finesse - and her teacher should be able to help the girls learn a better way to play together at school.

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leonat January 28, 2013


Thank you so much for all of your comments.

I have a parent/teacher conference on 2/1/2013 (for the regular, quarterly report card conference meeting). I plan to raise the issue then. But, I also plan to try some of your other suggestions.

Again, thank you so much.



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