Registered: 1490849282 Posts: 12
Reply with quote #1
So, this has been DD’s first season with company. Overall it’s been a positive experience-she’s learned a lot, made new friends and grown as a dancer and person. However...there is one little girl who has been, frankly, awful to my kid. She’s pushed her around in lineup, told her she can’t do anything right, told her real friends are mean to each other (obviously, I told her this isn’t true; when she said this to the girl she said I was a liar)....need I go on? Since this is the first year for these kids to compete together as a mini team, the SO gave them a talk at the start of the year to help each other and gently point out if someone was out of place and/or made a mistake, but this girl seems to have taken it as a blank check to pick on whoever she’s placed next to-she’s done this to dancers in other numbers. My daughter can handle bullies (she unfortunately was bullied in kindergarten because of her hair color), but this has been her first run in with mean girl behavior. She’s been in tears over the way this girl has treated her more than once. I asked her if she wanted to do company again next year, and she said yes, but she hopes she won’t be next to this girl in any of the routines. Any been there, done there advice?
Registered: 1516896573 Posts: 97
Reply with quote #2
I am sorry. The only real piece of information, not truly advice, is to clarify that she is a "mini" that is young enough, and should be supervised enough that her teachers should be aware of this behavior.
You can't very well tell the teacher how to do their job. You just can't. Many have tried, few have come out the other side feeling positive about the result. You have two choices. Get out or tough it out. There's really nothing else to do. Teachers and owners and directors who allow this nonsense to happen right in front of their noses (and they know ALL about it, I don't buy the idea that they need it called to their attention) with the very young dancers and who don't choose to set the tone that this is simply not going to fly in their studio. If the top doesn't nip it in the bud, it will continue. So start making up your mind now where your boundaries are and then stick to them or get out of that studio. Nothing is going to change. I believe this will sound harsh, but I've seen it happen so many times before and you are powerless to change the bully. You can only control how you respond and encourage your child to handle this the way you believe is best. My advice, stick to actions that involve you and your dancer. No good comes from trying to intervene in any way.
High Silver Member
Registered: 1496616548 Posts: 107
Reply with quote #3
I am usually in the minority on this but the studio my DD attends has a strict anti-bullying policy. So if there was any bullying the company director would want to know. If I were you I would let the SO know and just share a few of the incidents with her/him and ask that the negative behavior come to an end.
Registered: 1517870509 Posts: 65
Reply with quote #4
I don’t know how it is st Comp studios but the SO would want to know at our studio. Although she may not be able to stop it. There is a girl like that at our studio. Here is the interesting part. My dd has danced with her for 7 years. The girl was always the way you are describing. 7 years later she still is. But no one like her. She spent so much time on others she didn’t spend anytime critiquing herself and she has been held back for th last 3 years while the other moved up and continued to improve. Now the girls just ignore her. Although several years ago one girl left the studio and blamed the mean girl as the reason.
On another note: my dd faced a bully at her school when she was 8 & 9. At the time the mean girl had a secret club and all the girls wanted to be in it. But she would pick on every one and she would tell lies and make them
mad at each other. My daughter finally tired of her and took my advice. Ignore her. Pretend like she doesn’t exist. Don’t talk to her and don’t listen to her. At first the mean girl doubled down and she tried to bring others in. I told my dd to hold out. It would stop. Then to my surprise when the double down did not work the mean girl did her best to be my dd’s best friend. I told my daughter don’t give in. You can be nice but don’t play with her and don’t be her friend. Play with people who are nice. Finally she gave up and left my dd alone. Her ‘secret club’ friends saw what happened and learned they didn’t have to put up with her either. It was tough for my daughter to go through, but it worked and the early lesson helped my dd later when she ran into the bully at ballet.
Good luck to your dd and no matter what you do, tell your dd to stay strong!
Registered: 1457385957 Posts: 1,655
Reply with quote #5
Often times mean kids are the kids that are hurting inside, that maybe aren't getting the love they need at home. This girl is a mini. If it were me, I would invite the girl over alone for a play date and sleepover, give her some positive statements, and see how the girls get along one on one. Maybe I would do it a few times. THEN if the behavior continued I would tell my daughter to ignore her. You're in a better situation because the bullying girl is young; there is still time to help her change. Maybe if all of the girls on the team show her a little love she'll change, instead of everyone ignoring her.
With all of these school shootings happening, and "experts" saying the shooters were all loners, saying we should try to solve the problem when the kids are younger. . . A friend of mine posted this on his timeline and I found it powerful: "Often the school shooters have been found to be the outcasts: the ones excluded, neglected, and bullied. For sure, none of them were the "popular" kids. So I've got a suggestion for all these students walking out of school today in protest. How about walking right back in and befriending some of those students you leave out at recess and never sit with at lunch. Those you laugh at and make snarky remarks about within earshot. Wanna change the climate of your school? Then get your asses back in there and BE NICE TO EVERYONE". Do I think little kids should put up with bullying? No way. But I think trying a positive solution first is always the best way to go. THEN, if that doesn't work, ignore her.
Registered: 1460994425 Posts: 20
Reply with quote #6
I think you should bring it to the dance teacher's attention! She may not know if it is a large class, and no one has ever complained to her about it. These kids are young and still need guidance! Instead of sitting back and allowing it to continue, the adults should address the behavior. A lot of money, time, and hard work is put into competition dance! Your child does not deserve to have to put up with that type of behavior!
Registered: 1490819226 Posts: 254
Reply with quote #7
Wow I could have written this myself. In fact I just finished reading an email from the Studio manager on the behavior of our minis at our last competition.
We had an issue last year that unfolded right in front of me. While I was standing an holding my daughters hand - a "mean girl" told my daughter she could not come on stage for awards with the rest of the team. I said "what", and the mean girl said, well hold on let me ask the others. Then returned quickly and said "nobody wants you to come". Another dancer was in earshot of this conversation, came right up to my daughter and took her hand and led her right to the stage. I was about to just take my daughter and leave, and this young girl had the compassion to do the right thing. I thanked her mother profusely and told her she is raising a wonderful girl. Fast forward to our competition this season where my DD's "Best Friend" on the team the year did the same thing to my daughter. The BFF really has been trying to befriend the mean girl (who is older), and has done so. So again, this time when the girls were going on stage (with the mean girl) her BFF said to her "no, it's only me that can go, no one else". As you can imagine again, my daughter felt demoralized. This so called BFF had very boastful comments about her performance (it was her first solo and she did very well), and let everyone know, especially my daughter who had been dancing longer than her. Anyway - amongst other things that I witnessed and not witnessed - my daughter started to "not dance" when mean girl was around, and to avoid comments. It got so bad that when we were practicing solos and the mean girl came in, she literally stopped dancing. We had a long talk after that. I said if she is going to steal the love of dance from you we are going to stop dancing. You are going to have to deal with these type of people your entire life. You can let them take from you, or you can choose to ignore their comments and follow your passion. Dance is a long road, there will be many changes to who is the best over time. Do it because you love it, and ignore everything else. Things have improved for my daughter, but I do feel that it is because she is open about it and we can talk. This past weekend was a setback though. I will say that I have spoken to our studio owner - and she is very against this type of behavior. She has spoken to the girls directly, and sent messages to the parents too (which I just read today) to address the topic. To be honest though, we went through this last year and it really didn't improve the "actual" situation. It was more me talking with my daughter to hopefully build skills on how to react, not to get hurt feelings, and to continue to work hard no matter what anyone says.
Registered: 1330024582 Posts: 1,694
Reply with quote #8
You can't control this kid's behavior but you can help steer the way your daughter thinks about it. With a young kid, I would try to help my child see it as 'sometimes people aren't tactful' rather than 'sometimes people are mean' or 'that kid is mean'. You don't have to excuse the behavior but you can help your daughter start from the position that it's a problem this kid has with having a filter rather than the fact that this kid doesn't like her or is targeting her.
I find that people are generally happier in life if they don't take things personally.
Registered: 1490849282 Posts: 12
Reply with quote #9
Thanks everyone. When the behavior initially came to light, I told DD that the other girl probably had other stresses in her life with school or her family that made her act the way she does. Not that those reasons excuse or justify her behavior, but they do explain it. We teach our kids to be polite and kind to everyone until given a reason to act otherwise, and even then meanness is not an option-politeness is.
That said...competition season is over, and DD won’t be spending as much time in the lineup next to this girl. I’m going to let the rest of the year and summer play out, and if it starts up again next fall bring it up with SO. These kids are first through third graders, so they’re definitely young enough to change their behavior.
Registered: 1457385957 Posts: 1,655
Reply with quote #10
Originally Posted by
golightly1118 Thanks everyone. When the behavior initially came to light, I told DD that the other girl probably had other stresses in her life with school or her family that made her act the way she does. Not that those reasons excuse or justify her behavior, but they do explain it. We teach our kids to be polite and kind to everyone until given a reason to act otherwise, and even then meanness is not an option-politeness is. That said...competition season is over, and DD won’t be spending as much time in the lineup next to this girl. I’m going to let the rest of the year and summer play out, and if it starts up again next fall bring it up with SO. These kids are first through third graders, so they’re definitely young enough to change their behavior. That sounds like a really good plan. Hopefully things will improve next year.