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The neighborhood bully/mean girl

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

We live in a complex so it's hard to segregate the kids. When kids are out playing, they are altogether; there's no separate space or yards.


My DD is 6 and there's a girl several years older than her (10); I'll call her M. When no other older girls are around M is all over my daughter, wanting to play only with her, telling her they're best friends, etc... But when any other older girl is around, M will drop DD like a rock. I can understand her wanting to play with kids her own age, but M is really mean about it. She yells at DD, calls her names, and makes rude gestures at her. Even when the other older girls want to include DD, M refuses. Obviously, this is really upsetting to DD. M's parents witness this and say nothing, even when I and other adults talk to M about her behavior.


This is really upsetting to DD. I've tried to get DD to play with other kids but she still sees M as one of her best friends because of the times M is nice to her.


I've thought of flat out refusing to let DD play with M but I am not sure how I could enforce that practically. I try to keep DD inside whenever M is out, but sometimes M is out for a long time, and it's hard for us to sit in the house all day when a bunch of kids are playing right outside our window. We go to parks and other places as much as possible, and I try to invite other friends over.


Since M's parents are uninterested in getting involved, and none of what other adults have said to her is effective, I feel the best strategy is to teach DD how to stand up for herself. DD is having a hard time with this because she would much rather be playing with M than defending herself to her, so she keeps trying to be nice. Does anyone know any resources for helping kids this age (DD is a young 6, in kindergarten) stand up to this kind of behavior? All the resources I know are for older kids.

post #2 of 2

I'm sorry you're both in that situation, it sounds really frustrating. If I had to handle that, and since your daughter is 6, I think maybe I would allow her to choose whether she wants to play with M after talking explicitly about the possible consequences. She can decide whether the occasional pleasure she gets when M is nice to her is worth the sadness she feels when M excludes her. If she decides to continue to play with her, I think you're right that this would be a good opportunity for her to practice setting boundaries. Maybe she could tell M that she will only play with her if M treats her like a friend all the time? (Of course, your daughter would need to be prepared to enforce that rule by no longer playing with her if M continues to exclude her.) Good luck!

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