Here's my situation:
I have 2 children. Not wanting to brag....but both are academically gifted! They both have some social troubles however. I worry about both of them, as they are not well accepted by their peers. They are both kind and caring to others, but do not always get treated likewise. My 6th grader is overweight...that is one thing that she is teased about, but her biggest "issue" is not that. She is teased about about being smart...the first quarter of school this year she received 3 top academic awards. If this were an athletic achievement, that recipient would have the "red carpet treatment" . This is not the case for a student who is "just a smart kid" She is proud of success, as are her Dad and I.She spent most of her 5th grade year "hating" school---because of the teasing. It was reported that she was being bullied----the students that were "called on it", still are not nice to her this year. She was "counseled" by the (then) principal to just ignore them and go about her business.
What I am wondering is how I can help her and why she has to be the one that has to continue to put up with the crap? She is a part of a rather small class, as we are a small school district. She has attended school with most of the kids since pre-school. She doesn't have many friends--none of the girls in her class are her friend----this is tough, especially at this age. She already has ideals for her future, and that is to be a Marine Biologist! Academically she can do this!! And as an adult I believe she will do fine, but she wants to be a "normal kid"---her words last year were "I just want to be normal, not the fat smart girl"! Any suggestions?
From: Jane, LP
One antidote is to expose her to activities outside of school (church, music, arts, sports) where she will have the opportunity to meet a whole new set of girls who might share an interest. Considering that weight is an issue, something physical sounds like a smart option, and summer is a great time to look for a new activity at a day camp, for instance.
Another option is to look for an activity you can do together, from a mother/daughter book group that you organize, to biking or hiking or walking or swimming. Summer is obviously a good time for you -- and she -- to regroup and try to develop some coping strategies, including the possibility of some good counseling.
As for her being the one who has to "put up with the crap," more and more, schools are realizing that these situations need to be dealt with systemically, as a community, rather than as an individual. Doesn't sound like your school is there yet. So consider this: There are plenty of anti-bullying curricula available. If there isn't one in place in her school, get pro-active by urging the administration or the PTO to look into this. In some states, Mass among them , there is now anti-bullying legislation which mandates teacher education, among other things. There also are some up-sides for a child to being a victim, at least according to some. One other thing to consider, is that girls can be really mean to each other. We tend to think of that as a issue that happens when girls are in middle and high school, but it often starts much younger. And being overweight, as you point out, undoubtedly makes her a target.
I've provided a bunch of links for a number of scenarios. Hard to know which one can steer you in the right directions, but I hope one does.
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