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Friendship issues - Y3

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Lilybett, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Please can anybody help? I am tearing my hair out with some of my class. After EVERY playtime and lunchtime children come to me to tell me that so-and-so was being mean to them. My standard response was to ask if they told the person on duty but now it always spills into the next lesson because now I always have somebody come in and sit sobbing! These chn then sulk for ages, refuse to engage with the lesson, sit with their heads on the desk etc. so it's more than just a social problem.
    Because it happens outside, I have no idea what's gone on. The toilets are also a big problem. Of course, when X says through tears that Y was bullying them, X protests "I wasn't!". Then X's friends back up X's story and Y's friends back up Y's story and I never get to the bottom of it. Then I've wasted 10 minutes of the lesson and it's getting ridiculous. I've also had girls come in to tearfully tell me: "___ says she's going to say I was picking on her when I wasn't so I'll get into trouble" - which takes it to a whole new insane level!
    I have gone mad on praising kindness etc. and making chn 'star of the week' in celebration assembly for friendship skills... Our PSHCE focus is on 'good to be me' and they are great at saying nice things to each other within a lesson but then they're horrid to each other at playtime!
    I thought maybe from tomorrow, I'd take some time after lunch to have them write in their jotters about what kind of lunchtime they've had so I can nosey through and see if any patterns emerge... I really don't know what to do, though. The chn can be sneaky and also, I've had parents coming in before to complain when I've handed out sanctions (for good reason!) so I definitely don't want to be handing out punishments when I'm not SURE someone has done wrong. But I also don't want bullying to do unpunished, especially when we teach them that they 'MUST tell an adult'...
    Please help! xxx
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    This is going to sound awfully harsh but I would say you just need to stop listening to them. Ask sternly "Did you tell the adult outside? Yes? Then I'm sure they dealt with it properly and so there is no need to tell me as well." Speak over them to say this if necessary and make it clear that you do not need to know if they have already told someone outside.

    If you start to listen and hand out punishment, you do then actually undermine the staff outside who have dealt with it.

    Also if it is just girls being equally nasty to each other on various days then it isn't bullying. But your girls do seem to know that they will get a whole heap of your time and attention as well as get others, who are not their friends, into trouble by telling you all this nonsense. They are getting an awful lot of reward for this nastiness.

    Consider having a 'reporting box'. Let children know it is only for very serious incidents that have not been told to a member of staff. They are to write the event on a piece of paper, with their name so you know who to ask about it later, and put it in the box. Make sure they know you may or may not do anything about it depending on how serious you decide it is. Mostly they can't be bothered because it isn't all that serious. And they aren't actually getting your attention for the accusations so are likely to stop.

    Instead of your writing after lunch consider 'sticker time'. They sit on the carpet and choose a classmate for a sticker for something good that happened at playtime. They think about this during the register, then you hand everyone a sticker and they give it to whoever they want to. Then, if there is time, you ask a few people who they gave it to and why. Makes for a positive start to the afternoon and requires no follow up later.
  3. Minnie: my heart sang when Isaw you had replied.
    LOVE the reporting box idea, going to make it tonight.
    Totally right about them getting time and attention. I once heard one of the girls who is involved EVERY DAY boast: 'Sometimes I go to the toilet and stay there for ages so I get to do less work!' haha, so I had considered that some of it is codswallop that they bring inside because they know I'll give time over to listening, and they've also learned that nobody actually faces any consequences because I don't know what's gone down!
    Thanks so much, feel really clear on how to handle this tomorrow now xx
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    LOL I remember being more or less the same at that age...

    For year 3 and 4 it never worked, we had a very strict teacher and never bothered to tell her anything. Were too scared of being told off sternly for telling tales. (I do that sometimes for really trivial tales as well.) But then in year 5 we got a very young and sweet new teacher and so told her EVERYTHING! And if there was nothing to tell we made it up. Poor woman, I do feel for her now...

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