I Should Have Believed Her

Posted on Aug 28 2016 - 8:18pm by My Little Villagers

I Should Have Believed Her

My daughter with ADHD has a tendency to overdramatize things that happen to her. If she stubs her toe, then that day becomes “the worst day in the world!” If she gets one spelling word incorrect on her test, she says, “I’m the dumbest kid in the world.” I love my second grader to pieces, but to say that she is a Drama Queen is an understatement. I don’t know if it is an ADHD thing, a girl thing, an Italian thing, or maybe all of the above, but this is how she’s been for as long as I can remember.

When my daughter would come home from school, telling me that she had a bad day because “all of the girls are mean,” I had a hard time believing her. How could it be that all of the girls in her class were mean to her? I told her to stop exaggerating. I told her that she must have misunderstood what the girls were saying or doing, because again, how could all of the girls be acting this way toward her? Also, my daughter isn’t the best at reading social cues, which is very common for children with ADHD. She is also very sensitive. Sometimes, if another child so much as looks at her a funny way, that could set my daughter off into a crying spell.

The past several months, my daughter and another girl in her class have become very close and are now best friends, which has been an enormous blessing for our entire family. Instead of crying in the morning about not wanting to go to school, she now happily puts her school uniform on, because she can’t wait to see her best friend. They even got each other sets of best friend necklaces and bracelets that they wear. I love my daughter with all  of my heart, but I admit she is a bit “different” when compared to the other girls in her grade. She is immature, very hyper, and can’t stop moving around. She is impulsive, impatient, and can even be rude sometimes, although that is not her intention at all. (These are all things that we are working on, by the way.) Fortunately, her best friend loves her positive traits so much, that she is willing to forgive her for her negative traits and even work with her on them. (Only a parent of an ADHDer knows what a tremendous blessing a friend like this is.)

At recess, my daughter only plays with her best friend, because she is her only friend. It wasn’t until recently that I found out the heartbreaking reason why. While talking to her best friend’s mom, I found out that there were several “mean girls” that formed a group way back in Kindergarten. Little by little over the past two years, they have been “recruiting” other girls to join their clique. When my daughter and her best friend would play with some of the nicer girls, the “mean girls” would call the nice girls over to their group and tell them not to play with my daughter and her best friend. Can you believe this shit? These are seven year olds purposely excluding other girls? (I don’t know about you, but this clique crap didn’t start for me until I was in middle school.) Sadly, it gets worse. One day, one of the girls from that clique that was also friends with my daughter’s best friend gave her an ultimatum; She told her that she could either join her clique to be in the “Fabulous Group” or stay friends with just my daughter and be in the “Weirdo Group.” I want you to think about this for a moment. A seven year old girl is given the choice to join the “cool group,” which consists of all of the girls in her grade verses being friends with only one little girl with ADHD, who is “different” than a typical little girl and can be difficult to be friends with at times. Think back to when you were in second grade. What would you have done, really? Well, I am happy to report that she chose my daughter. This little girl has so much strength, courage, love, and honor in her heart, probably more than some adults I know. As you can imagine, I absolutely adore her.

When my daughter came to me before and told me that all of the girls at her school were mean to her and wouldn’t let her play with them, I didn’t believe her and I feel like absolute shit because of it now. She did the right thing by coming to me and all I did was dismiss what she said, because I thought she was just blowing things out of proportion like she always does. When I heard what was really going on at school, that my daughter is purposely being excluded and isolated, and that she is being labeled as a “werido,” my heart completely sank. I felt like the worst parent alive. I went to church today and I asked God for forgiveness. I asked Him to give me the same strength, courage, love, and honor that my daughter’s best friend has in order to fix what I should have fixed when my daughter first came to me. I also had a long talk with my daughter and asked her for forgiveness too, which she gave me immediately.

My Mamma Bear claws are out and in full force now. I have contacted the principal of the school and I will be visiting the schoolyard at lunch tomorrow to see for myself what is happening. I plan on having a parent-teacher conference soon as well. If these “mean girls” are still bullying after the principal and teacher get involved, I am not afraid to contact each and every one of their parents until this stops for good! Please follow My Little Villagers on Facebook for updates on this story.

If you have experienced bullying at school with your child, please share your experience and advice in the comments.

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13 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Teri August 28, 2016 at 11:36 PM - Reply

    My son has ASD… in grade 4 he ran afoul of another boy in his class of whom I shall call B. Now B was charismatic…. blonde hair and blue eyes and the ability to convince adults that he is dripping with sincerity. My son.. with poor social skills and even less understanding of social cues was clueless… he just knew that there was a boy in his class who picked on him.

    B figured out my sons triggers… and learned to press them with skill. There were a couple of physical altercations as well… which brought down the wrath of his father and I down on the elementary school… and this is when he would drip with sincerity and convince the teacher/VP/principal that he really was sorry and it wouldn’t happen again. Last year was grade 9 and now he had a whole crew of friends that were targeting my son… again we descended with rage that after 5 years that this was still going on. Told the school if they didn’t get it dealt with we would be going to the school board and then to the papers.

    My son is a gentle giant… Who wouldn’t hurt a fly but has now attended 4 years of jui jitsu training and just recently made his coach tap out… next time this kid tries anything physical my son will be ready… and the school was told that my son can and he WILL defend himself.

    Kids are MEANT today… they always have been but it seems to be getting more vicious and it is troubling.

  2. S Daniel August 29, 2016 at 1:26 AM - Reply

    Good luck. I sure hope it is like our second school, not the first. My son was bullied by the entire class, starting in 4th grade. The principal did little to stop it, the counselor told him to keep ignoring it and be nice to others, but said nothing to the offenders, and the parents justified their child’s actions. We switched schools to one that taught inclusiveness and demanded that as action. the first school “talked” about not bullying but did absolutely nothing to stop it from happening.

  3. Sora August 29, 2016 at 1:38 AM - Reply

    If you think it’s hard as at parent then you can’t even imagine what it’s like to grow up as a kid with ADHD and ASD.

  4. Marlene August 29, 2016 at 2:09 AM - Reply

    Oh. My. Gosh….
    I would be right there with you in taking those steps, kids are so mean nowadays and especially to our ADHD kids lately. 😥

  5. Denise August 29, 2016 at 2:19 AM - Reply

    My 9 year old has ADHD and to be honest it has been an journey that at times tugs at my heart strings ! I have the education part down
    And she has made tremendous strides. She is actually going to leave a self contained class and go into a fourth grade inclusion class.

    It isn’t that part of her life that makes me sad. It is the social interaction. The girls who leave her out or don’t have the patience for her . Her bestie moved . She had the patience of a saint and truly loved my daughter and accepted her . The girls that she is friendly with that she hangs out with are not a part of her school. But they don’t always include her. They have their secret play dates and language that she doesn’t get to be a part of ….they tolerate her at best…. And I get it….her impulsivity ….in your face kinda communication…not getting social cues …..
    There are times she gets a hint that there is something going on and she isn’t a part of …she gets sad and hurt ….and misses her bestie ….and so do I
    We live in a world that is difficult to navigate . I keep the positive coming have found the sports she likes to be a part of and hope through therapy to give her the skills she needs to deal with this cruel world .
    I love her with all my heart and wouldn’t trade her for one second…adhd and all.

  6. Karen Glenn August 29, 2016 at 3:49 AM - Reply

    My son has ADHD, along with severe food allergies. He has been bullied his entire life in school, even when he has changed schools. He is a drama king, always has been, and I too thought he was being over dramatic with what was happening. However, when he broke his knee, he was accused of “faking it” (even by some of the teachers!) It was the patella that was broken, which is what he would say. The kids made a video of him and the entire school saw it. It was so prevalent that even on his spring break when I took him to a public pool some boys could be heard to say it was the patella kid. They also started throwing nuts at him during lunch(one of his severe allergies). It became so severe that we had to remove him from school completely for the rest of the year as he was becoming suicidal, which for us was the best decision we ever made. He now attends a school that is tailored to people with ADHD and so far is working well. Best wishes for getting your little girl’s school issues resolved, 7 years old is just way to young to be faced with such cruelty.

  7. Randi August 29, 2016 at 3:49 AM - Reply

    Good luck tomorrow. Your going to need to be strong because you may see things that will throw you another ball.

    You might want to ask the school direct questions on how they plan to handle this and when you can expect to review their results. They may try to sweep this under the rug or even minimize the situation.

    Looking forward to hearing how your day went.

  8. julie williams August 29, 2016 at 12:23 PM - Reply

    i dont know if my son has ADHD but when i read your stories i believe he does….hes hyperactive he wants all my attention im a single parent am now in a new relationship he does not want mew to be with anybody he cries and naggas for alone time all the time when my bf is not their he plays whole day without looking for me or askinf for attention. hes over excited about everything,he cant keep quiet for even one minute or he cant sit still he is always moving around…he cries everymorning to go to school now that my mom gets him ready for school hes just melodramatic…when im in a conversation with other people he naggs the whole time for my attention its like i should not talk or be friends with anybody..he really makes me exhausted sometimes i need a break…but than again whats life without my precious son he lights up my life and stresses me out at the same time

  9. Missy August 29, 2016 at 2:18 PM - Reply

    We switched schools from a private Catholic school to public school this year because my son who also has ADHD got bullied. Even came home from school with a kids footprint on his face. The kid who did it the school NEVER contacted his parents they did not find out until a month later when I showed them a picture of my sons face. It was all about the money to the school they did not correct the children. So we switched schools and thankfully he is having a much better year.

  10. ADHDchick August 29, 2016 at 4:35 PM - Reply

    As an adult with ADHD, I can say this is not a new thing… This same behaviour happened when I was in primary school, and continued through high school. One common misunderstanding parents have of children with ADHD is that we’re over-dramatic,when actually we’re sensitive. We really do feel like it’s the worst day ever in that moment. Being sensitive is an important part of who we are, and it helps us to stand up for what is right. When your daughter says all the girls are mean to her, please assure her that she’s right, they are! Please tell her you are proud of her for being herself and for standing her ground. Help her feel proud of herself. The mean girls will always be there, but because she’s unique and sensitive, she will rise above. It’s not just her peers that will be mean either, sometimes it will be teachers. Adults can be be wrong just like kids. As her parent, listen to your daughter, and be her best advocate. You may have to tell a teacher that their behavior is unacceptable. Your daughter has the right to be treated with respect. This will help your daughter become a strong person, who can address issues when they occur, and who is not afraid to make a difference in the world. I strongly encourage you to to get a copy of “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Suess. Read it to your daughter regularly. When I was young it was my favorite, and even now the meaning behind the words is relevant. I am glad you have realized how mean kids can be, and I’m confident from your experience that you will embrace your daughter’s feelings as they come. If we’re guilty of anything, it’s brutal honesty and “no filter” as my Mom would say.

  11. Sarah Thompson August 29, 2016 at 11:40 PM - Reply

    I am the single mother of a 10 year old boy with ADHD and I also have ADHD and we are on the far end of the spectrum. I’ve experienced this situation in two ways, I was that friend and then I had those friends. I live in Utah and I was raised in the LDS Church (Mormons) and I’m not religious and here’s part of the reason why. When I was in the first grade and new girl had moved to our community and she was weird and Hispanic and I loved all of her ideas immediately. I loved hanging out with her. She was from California and she was so different from anyone I met. A group of girls that went to church with me told me that my friend couldn’t come and play with us anymore. I asked them why and they told me “She is Catholic and doesn’t even want to be Mormon”. I explained the church taught us to love everyone and that’s when my mother’s awesome parenting kicked in. I told them “I guess me and Geena will find some other kids to play with.” One girl yelled at me and told me I was going to hell. I had a an ADHD fit or what me and my mother like to call “rage vomit” and said ” you will go to Hell before I do because jesus said Love Everyone, not just Mormons, and Geena never asked me to choose sides and if you were really my friend, you wouldn’t have done that so my heart says Geena is my friend”. Needless to say the girls made my life a living Hell. Two more girls moved in as well and they were twins and they hung out with us. The girls didn’t have a lot of money and honestly, their home lives were something out of a scary messed up movie and did anyone care? Nope. Just white trash girls with no money, like me. In Utah, there isn’t a ton of ethnicity so I guess that’s when people start going after the less fortunate. Geena ended up moving away and one of the twins ended up pregnant by the 6th grade due to sexual abuse in the home and so both girls were removed and put into Foster care. Then, I had no one. I got beat up in the bathroom, one group of girls let me hang out with them but they’d make me do ridiculous things like eat gum off of the gym floor, what’s sad is that I did that. After a while I got sick of people making fun of me and started to lose more control of the things that were coming out of my mouth. One day, a boy was making fun of me in home EC and where my part was. I flip my hair in front a lot. I told him “you need to be more worried about your pizza face than where I part my hair. Noxema is a thing.” The whole class, including my teacher started laughing and so I was rewarded for negative behavior and that continued on throughout high school and people stopped messing with me because I am very quick witted and have no problem making someone look and feel stupid. Well, I didn’t, but as an adult trying to break this terrible habit I still struggle with. I never picked on anyone I felt was lower of the popularity totem pole than I was because I knew how terrible it was and I honestly can’t tell you how many people have communicated that I helped them get through high school without committing suicide. When I saw a social injustice happening, I was there with my cape and s on my chest. I graduated in 98 so bullying wasn’t an issue that was really talked about. People who were gay, especially men, were persecuted at my school and you can bet your ass I was there to defend them. So I tried to use my mean powers for good like a social Robin Hood or whatever. My son is now in school where bullying is talked about all the time but I have a unique situation where some of the school staff is bullying my child. My mother left my father right after I began my senior year of high school and later revealed she was in a same sex relationship with my school counselor (my mother is also a school counselor and was doing her internship at my high school) and needless to say, the bullying started again but I had become a monster. One girl asked if I was a dyke, just like my mom, and I threw her through the trophy case in the main hall at school. The reason I’m telling you this is because I have both of my mother’s that have worked in education for over 15 years and at our IEP meeting, the board dealing with my son still try to pull fast ones on us. It’s infuriating. One of my son’s teacher would use her hand to do the quotations when she said “ADHD”. This is my son’s fifth grade year at this school and you can believe everyone there knows me by name. The receptionist would watch me storm into the school and I would here her whisper “Aidans mom is here”. Once I told her before she hung up the phone, “you might want to also worn them that I’ve brought Hell with me.” They used to put him in a timeout room until he would sit in the “compliance” pose for 5 minutes. Locking a child in a room with no furniture where they refuse to let him leave is solitary confinement making the school to prison pipe line available. He’s been suspended several time for stupid stuff. I am fighting these people instead of switching schools because nothing will get better at that school for other people’s kids who may not be as informed as I am because I’m so lucky to have two amazing mother’s. What about the ESL students whose parents don’t speak English. And it’s messed up that we treat people with mental health issues this way. I’m so sick of the whole stigma. Each child learns differently and making someone feel like crap because of that is extremely cruel. Life is hard enough, remember that everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. I loved your blog. Thanks again

  12. Tatiana September 9, 2016 at 5:07 PM - Reply

    Have you considered giftedness? If you feel your child is smart (even if she doesn’t seem above average) I would talk to a child psychologist about the possibility. So much of what you wrote sounds like my son (emotional overexcitability (dramatic, exaggerating, does she have a vivid imagination even?), feeling dumb if he gets something wrong (could be attributed to perfectionism, not meeting her own high expectations, doesn’t manage her own emotions and frustrations very well), and I also initially attributed those characteristics to ADHD until I learned about giftedness. That’s not to say she doesn’t also have ADHD (my son is both). Here’s some info if you’re interested. Read and see if you think it sounds like your daughter: https://www.verywell.com/is-my-child-gifted-1449131

  13. Mommy Sam September 25, 2016 at 6:32 PM - Reply

    I have seen bullying when my ADHD son was just about 2.5 years old, and the bully was just about as old (in fact, a week younger than my son), right in front of my eyes n in the same house as us. I come from a culture where siblings tend to live together in one big house after getting married, and so my son was (and continues being) bullied by his own cousins of his own age. I have intervened many a times, but the bully’s parents werent making ANY effort to correct her behaviour, so gradually, i ‘taught’ my son how to hit, how to raise his arms out in defence n how to pull hair. While it may sound quite raw, luckily for us, this has been the ONLY way he has been able to at least reduce the bullying.

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