Have spent some days over the past week reviewing qualitative data of bullying reports made to teachers. On Wednesday morning, I had a bullying report made to me by a parent c/o the Brownies. There is a carbon copy (or near enough) of the report among my qualitative data.
So I have an eight year-old who is desperate to be friends with one of my Brownies (another eight year-old) – who, in full knowledge of this – ‘please be my friend…’ is refusing to be friends and encouraging others not to be friends with her either. The irony. Not to mention how utterly sad I feel on behalf of this Brownie: I’ve been there, with more than one friend.
Based on my PhD research, I’ve come up with an empathy-based game and a strategy for talking to the girls. But that’s not the end of the story. I’m scared of speaking to them. Scared because I know what effect it could have if I get this wrong. I could make it hundreds of times worse if the Brownies think someone’s gotten them into trouble. If I do nothing, then the nastiness will continue. I’m walking on a tightrope. Please help me, God.