Kids fall out all the time at school, especially in primary school. I’ve got 3 children, and it’s pretty much a given that at some point there will be some friendship difficulties along the way.

Recently I was approached by a parent who said her child was experiencing some difficulties with my child’s behaviour. Unfortunately at the time I couldn’t really stop and talk about it, but I got the gist of what they were saying. I only wish they had of spent some time looking up ‘how to deal with issues at school’ or ‘what to do when girls fall out’ as it would have saved so many issues.

When something like this happens, we did what we always do and ask our own child for their side of the story. The other thing we did was speak to the school straight away to see if they had any concerns about our child or this friendship in particular. The result of these conversations left us drawing our own conclusions about what had happened and we thought little more of it. We just assumed that if the issues continued the parents would speak to the school for their advice and support and so that their allegations could be investigated appropriately.

We kept checking in with our daughter about how her friendship was going. We spend a lot of time talking to our children about their behaviour anyway. We have 2 daughters who are very close in age so we are used to how children are together. There are always fall outs in our house and more often than not, both children have contributed to the situation in some way.

A few weeks passed and I received a text making a further allegation against my daughter about an incident that took place at an after school club. I thought it was strange as I would have assumed they would have spoken to the club first. We spoke to our daughter and it seemed that there was another side to the story.

It became clear that some boundaries needed to be set, and I tried my best to encourage the parent to take their issues to the school so they could be investigated appropriately. Unfortunately this was not received well and I received a list of one sided allegations about my daughter and it was very clear that the parent was not interested in the other side of the story at all. It may come as a surprise to some, but I wouldn’t necessarily accept one child’s version of events no matter how much that parent had spoken to them in detail.

At this point we sent the list of allegations to the school and asked them to investigate. We also spoke to the after school club about the allegations made there. There was an investigation and the appropriate action was taken and as far as we’re concerned the matter is now closed. The important thing for us is that our daughter was able to share her side of the story.

This story is a typical example of why parents should not try and address things themselves. It’s much more appropriate to raise concerns through the school as both sides of the story must be heard and a balanced view taken. I’m sorry we didn’t drag our child over the coals for behaving like a 7 year old child and accepting your very one sided a loaded version of event and we never avoided you or glossed over the issues.

We were, in fact, very proactive about it and did what we could to support our child to make better choices where she was wrong. On some occasions, she was simply being a child. The manner and tone in which you approached the issues causing you concern was deeply offensive and I hope that it doesn’t happen to another parent in the future.

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