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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My 20 year old daughter is sharing a house with 3 other girls

Customer Question

My 20 year old daughter is sharing a house with 3 other girls at university. They have ganged up on her and are being very unkind. She has tried to ignore it and hoped it was a passing phase, but it is getting worse. It has been going on for a couple of months. The mother of one of the girls regularly stays at the house because her own relationship has broken down. My daughter doesn't know how to broach the proble. They have made comments about her staying in her room with the door closed, but she needs her privacy and has lots of work to do.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank you for consulting JustAnswer. How long has long has your daughter lived with the girls? Are they all good friends?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She met them last year in her first year at Uni. they started sharing the house in september. they regularly talk about her loudly in the communal sitting room. the mother seems to have stopped staying alot, but last night one of their boyfriends burst in to her room sopposedly mistakenly, but she feels it was to check if she was in. All 4 girls met last year in the halls of residence. The other 3 are a year younger as my daughter had a gap year. My daughter is not the type to need to constantly hang out with others; she has always been very self-sufficient. She is capable and able to cook well and keeps her room very nice. she loves her degree and works very hard, putting in a lot of hours.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
If there is any way possible, your daughter needs to move out of that house. It may be that the other girls are jealous of your daughter's successes. Your daughter seems to have a good head on her shoulders and wants to continue to do well. She does not need the drama of backstabbing "friends." It is almost certain that the mother who stays in the house is aware of the problem but allows it to keep happening because she gets to live there as well. What your daughter might do is to sit down and talk to all of the girls about why they are singling her out if she plans on staying there. But make sure that your daughter has another friend in the room for support. The other girls must be mature enough to have an adult conversation. I just have the feeling that things may get worse in the house for your daughter and it may start affecting her studies. Having that boyfriend burst in the room is just the start of more annoying things to come. The situation does not look good. Therefore, your daughter can talk to the girls and try to hang on there to finis out the year or move to get away from their antics.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I wish she could just move out, but they have all signed a one year contract with the letting agent which ends at the end of august. so we're trying to think of survival stategies. so far we have come up with:

  • maintain as much contact as possible with other friends.
  • Not be alone at weekends, either invite boyfriend, friend of family member, or go visiting herself.
  • have a conversation with each of the other girls individually (I really like your idea of having a friend there). In my experience as a teacher, when this kind of bullying occurs, there is a ring-leader and followers who are scared of the ring-leader. Perhaps their better natures can be appealed to?
  • If there is another incident like the bursting into the room, I will drive down myself (2 hrs) to have a conversation

Is there anything else you can thing of?

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
If at all possible, have one of your daughter's close friends spend a great deal of time over the house...almost like moving in. If not already done, she needs to put a lock on her bedroom door. She also needs to keep documentation of every bullying and inappropriate action that has occurred and will occur with the date and time. Make sure she keeps that with her in case her friends search her room and WILL destroy the documentation. if she gets mail at the house, maybe switch it to a PO box. Get a mini fridge. that she can keep in her room with some of her own food. I would not trust those girls at this point. They seem immature and may try anything. It's really silly and childish behavior but your daughter's safety and emotional well being is most important. When August comes, move out and never look back.