DESCRIPTION OF THE SUCCESS STORY
With my husband, we have decided to give to our daughter some extra money once per week. There is no specific day for that.
Once, we have agreed with her to buy something from the school canteen instead of getting something to eat from home. She got 2 euros and she could keep the changes. After I came back from work, she told me that she got an “A” in literature.
After our common family celebrations, I asked her what did she get fpr that. She said “just a cheese pie”. And “What about the changes?” I asked. She said that she gave them to her friend, Dimitra, to buy a chocolate.
I was really curious about that and I started to ask more questions on that. “Why honey do you do that?” I said.
She did not answer me immediately “She asked me to give her the money and I could not say no!”
“Why honey?” I said.
“Because if I did not I would be her NO! “ and she gave me a thumbs down signal.
I started a further discussion with her. I realized that Dimitra is blackmailing most of the kids that if they do not act as she tells them, then they will be in her NO zone, meaning not friends.
That is…. Thumbs up = you are my friend /Thumbs down = you are not my friend.
My daughter told me, that when the bell rings, Dimitra is waiting in the classroom and if someone does not wait for her, then she is a “Thumbs down” person. And they feel like her slaves.
I told her that she cannot buy friends. Friends are close to you, because they like you and love you. And they want to take time with you, just because you are such a person. I insisted that she should not allow anybody to heart her emotionally and physically. If Dimitra wants something, she could ask for and my daughter will decide what to do.
I advice her, that next time someone asks for money, she could have as an excuse that she has to give the changes to her mother of father. She could avoid any conflict using this excuse.
The most important for the discussion, was to realize that she is not the problem…Dimitra is!
The story is a simple and maybe a daily case for students. It was not supposed o cause any major problem. But it might be a problem if someone let it!
The problem is that Dimitra managed to manipulate the other student. And this can be a daily practice, if the student does not react.
The good thing is that mother noticed the difference. And the relationship between mother and daughter was the key to the solution.
Although we do not have a reference to the school action, we are confident that the school can react and stop Dimitra’s actions. School teachers can provide feedback to the other students and give an example that preventing is better than healing. It is a good example for the victim and the victimizer.