Problems with girl students. Help Please!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by JamTeach, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. JamTeach

    JamTeach Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2008

    It surprises me that already in first grade girls can be so catty with each other. :(

    We are almost done with our second week of school and I got a phone call from a mom this morning telling me that her daughter was having a fit because she did not want to come to school. I asked why and she said because her daughter is telling her that another girl in the class is mean to her. The student named happens to sit across from her daughter and from my observations I have seen no problems whatsoever. They play together at recess and during free choice. Neither one has come to me with any problems and/or tatteling about the other one....or anyone else for that matter.

    The mom asked me what I was going to do about the problem. I told her that for starters I would move her daughters desk and perhaps if she was sitting by other students she would find some other people to play with.

    Now here's the problem...I don't know what else to do. I can pull the students aside and talk to them, but girl #2 is a very...high maintenance child...and I just know that when I talk to her I will then get calls from her very protective and enabling parents.

    Any advice?!?!?!

    :thanks:
     
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  3. missk83

    missk83 Companion

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    Aug 21, 2008

    We had a similar problem in the 2nd grade class I assisted in, only with boys. Even though one was supposively being bullied he still wanted to be with the bully during his free time.
    Could you pull the girls aside and have a general conversation about what friendship means? Ask them to tell you what they think it means, and then add your own thoughts, such as saying nice things and being fair, even throw in the term bully.
    If the parents contact you just tell them that talks about friendship and bullying are normal in a first grade classroom, and that their daughter is not the only one receiving this advice.
    See where it goes from there...
     
  4. JamTeach

    JamTeach Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2008

    Thanks. That's a great idea.
     
  5. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Aug 21, 2008

    Perhaps you can meet with the two girls and ask them What happened to cause them to be upset? Howdo they feel about? this and brainstorm some things they might do to solve the problem. With first graders you might make some suggestion for solutions as well. Let them choose the solutions they would use to actually solve the problem. I'm sorry is fine,but it is not solving the problem,you need something else with it. Then tell the girls if there is a problem they should let you know so you can solve it by talking about it as you just did. Keep checking with them to see how things are going.
    I hope I'm wrong,but I think these parents are going to be a pain in the neck all year.
     
  6. JamTeach

    JamTeach Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2008

    I think so as well. :unsure:

    It's frustrating because the mom of girl #1 said that her daughter comes home every day loving school and telling her about all the things we did. Then every morning she starts to cry and doesn't want to go.
     
  7. JamTeach

    JamTeach Rookie

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    Aug 22, 2008

    I think I was just making this into a bigger problem than it really was.
     
  8. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Aug 22, 2008

    Another thing to think about... a lot of kids go through some sort of "seperation anxiety" around this age. Is it possible that this student is using the bullying as an excuse to not leave home in the mornings? I'm just asking b/c you said she seems happy when she comes home and then gets upset in the morning.

    Now, I had a group of catty girls last year and we worked ALL YEAR on friendship things. So, that is a very real possibility too. One thing I started to do is pull them aside at the end of the day and have them tell me the best and worst part of their day. If mom or dad calls, I can say, "Oh, when I asked them about their day, they said that XXX was the worst thing. Please let Darling know that if something happens to let me know next time!" That helped to seperate my one girl w/ anxiety from the rest of the cattiness.
     
  9. brandi0718

    brandi0718 Comrade

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    Aug 22, 2008

    I have had a lot of students come in crying and wanting to go home.....not because of anything that has happened at school, but because they wanna stay with their mom. I think that this is probably the real problem with your student.
     
  10. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Aug 23, 2008

    Yep. This is often the case. However, there are some very important things you need to find out.

    How exactly is the girl being mean to her? Often first graders will confuse mean with annoying. If the girl who's mom you spoke to simply doesn't like something about the other girl - maybe she's too loud, is a bit physical when she plays, or is a show off or a know-it-all, then she could be reporting that as being "mean." There's a big difference between hitting or name calling and just not wanting to share toys.

    Where is this supposed "mean" behavior taking place? If it's on the playground or at a time when the students are not under your direct supervision, then there might be little you can do about it. If the girls choose to play together outside the classroom, then that's their choice. The girl who is complaining can choose to play with other kids or elsewhere. Also, if it is a real issue involving actually bullying on the playground, then it is an administrator issue as well. The mom should be speaking to the principal as well as you.

    Why is the girl friends with someone who is being mean to her? This could be the early signs of either a bully or a chronic victim of bullying. Often, bullies main targets are kids who either they perceive or perceive them as "friends." At any rate, you need to see if this is what is going on and if it is, then you need to make our administrators, counselors or whoever handles these things at your school aware of what is going on.

    What is the other girl's side of the story?
    You need to ask her. Also, you might want to contact her parents as well. They may be able to nip the behavior in the bud if it's minor. On the other hand, if their child is being accused of being a bully, then they have a right to know about it.
     
  11. fuzzybunnie

    fuzzybunnie Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2008

    If you perceive that these are going to be problem parents, it's very important to communicate to them that what their daughter tells them is not necessarily what is going on. Some parents never get this, alas I know from experience with a boy who made up a story blaming someone else every time he got into trouble. His mother swallowed it hook line and sinker, and complained to the principle (who backed me all the way). The sad thing was to watch this previously nice boy turn into a self-satisfied manipulator by the end of the year. He even lied to his grandmother in Spanish right in front of me, not realizing that I understood a few crucial words. Of course the grandmother believed him, not me.

    You can explain all the things the other posters have mentioned: maybe she wants to stay home in the mornings (my guess), maybe the other girl is just playing too rough, maybe they just need a talk about friendship, not hurting feelings and making choices. I talk about all these things to the entire class, but at this age they really are not able to empathize well, so they have to be reminded over and over how to be kind to one another. I tell my parents that at about 50% of first grade is about behavior.
     

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