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Old 01-26-2012, 11:20 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,860 posts, read 18,875,631 times
Reputation: 25110

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My 9 year old is a really sweet girl. She never wants to hurt anyone's feelings and she's very easy for other kids to guilt-trip into doing things for them. She wants to help everyone. When she sees (or hears about) a kid who needs something, she starts going through her belongings to see what she can donate. The teachers always seat her next to the problem kids because she helps them and calms them down. At least once a year, she has some kind of major conflict with another child that I have to talk to her teacher about. There's always a lot of crying and begging me not to talk to the teacher because she doesn't want the bully to get in trouble. This year, she's had two problems, a boy saying sexually explicit things to her and a girl hitting her whenever the teacher's not looking.

My 6 year old is not a sweet kid. She never does anything just for the sake of helping anyone. If she doesn't want to play with someone, she has no trouble telling them to get lost. You can't change her mind about anything, and if someone threatens to stop being her friend, she doesn't care. She's the size of a three-year-old and we were worried about her being picked on at school, but it hasn't been an issue at all in the three years she's been going to school. She's very smart and she's nice to her teachers...she compliments them at least twice a week on something they wear or do (she's told me that she makes sure to say something good at least that often, to all of her teachers). Everybody in the school knows her name, even the big kids.

So this has me thinking...do you have nice kids who have a hard time at school? How can we toughen them up without them losing the caring personality that makes them special?
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:32 AM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,319,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
She's very smart and she's nice to her teachers...she compliments them at least twice a week on something they wear or do (she's told me that she makes sure to say something good at least that often, to all of her teachers).
Lol. Sorry, not to de-rail but this is too good to let pass by.

Make sure she become fluent in a foreign language and steer her towards a career in the diplomatic corps.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:27 PM
 
11,229 posts, read 9,225,730 times
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The best of both worlds is a solid self esteem that allows confidence not to put up with any guff along with genuine empathy. Mix your two kids and you have a perfect blend! Not sure how to accomplish that.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, MD
3,241 posts, read 3,146,703 times
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I think tough people just always have it easier in life, they don't really feel guilty about a lot of things that would bother more sensitive people, like offending someone or brushing someone off. A lot of them don't end up well though because a lot are tough by necessity, like they grew up in an abusive and/or impoverished situation. I generally don't care all that much about helping people out and I think it saves me a lot of time and effort. You'd think I'd have fewer friends but usually tough people kind of attract people with their confidence.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 9,651,862 times
Reputation: 19408
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
My 9 year old is a really sweet girl. She never wants to hurt anyone's feelings and she's very easy for other kids to guilt-trip into doing things for them. She wants to help everyone. When she sees (or hears about) a kid who needs something, she starts going through her belongings to see what she can donate. The teachers always seat her next to the problem kids because she helps them and calms them down. At least once a year, she has some kind of major conflict with another child that I have to talk to her teacher about. There's always a lot of crying and begging me not to talk to the teacher because she doesn't want the bully to get in trouble. This year, she's had two problems, a boy saying sexually explicit things to her and a girl hitting her whenever the teacher's not looking.

My 6 year old is not a sweet kid. She never does anything just for the sake of helping anyone. If she doesn't want to play with someone, she has no trouble telling them to get lost. You can't change her mind about anything, and if someone threatens to stop being her friend, she doesn't care. She's the size of a three-year-old and we were worried about her being picked on at school, but it hasn't been an issue at all in the three years she's been going to school. She's very smart and she's nice to her teachers...she compliments them at least twice a week on something they wear or do (she's told me that she makes sure to say something good at least that often, to all of her teachers). Everybody in the school knows her name, even the big kids.

So this has me thinking...do you have nice kids who have a hard time at school? How can we toughen them up without them losing the caring personality that makes them special?
I'm not sure it's about "toughening" them up. I thnk it's more about trying to instill a sense of empathy in them and in teaching them to think logically. Teaching our kids that others lash out at them because they're miserable and jealous, can go a long way toward toughening up their skin. I think it's more important to teach them to be less sensitive than it is to toughen them up. Life has a way of toughening you up, all on its own. Kids need to realize that people DO mean things, say mean things, act inappropriate, etc. Over protecting them when they're little only makes it harder later in life.

I think that our job as parents is in modeling kind, responsible and appropriate behavior, as well as expecting them to worry about THEIR behavior. Too many kids are taught to worry more about other kids' actions, not theirs. That's where it all falls apart. Double standards are....well...stupid and irresponsible.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,206 posts, read 2,093,871 times
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My 9 year old was a bit like yours, she can take what people say to her to heart and it makes her upset so she cries. I tell her not to allow another person to make her feel bad about herself. That kids say and do mean things to make you feel as they do, bad, and don't allow them to do that. I also have told her that kids will find any weakness you have whether it be you're too skinng, big, have freckles, to tall, to short etc..and exploit that, so no matter what someone at some time will tease you about something. I tell her she needs to stop letting these rude remarks get to her so much because that is the reaction they want. As soon as they see she doesn't react, they stop.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:18 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,690,207 times
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I think what's hard is when you have a sweet child is to realize that the world is not a sweet place and it is going to be more difficult for the child. You don't want them to lose their natural goodness -- but you don't want them being hurt either.

Yes the tough cynical children will have an easier time - both at school and in the work place where it's also a dog-eat-dog world.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:30 PM
 
12,913 posts, read 19,782,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
I think what's hard is when you have a sweet child is to realize that the world is not a sweet place and it is going to be more difficult for the child. You don't want them to lose their natural goodness -- but you don't want them being hurt either.

Yes the tough cynical children will have an easier time - both at school and in the work place where it's also a dog-eat-dog world.
I don't think either the sweet or the tough child will necessarily have an easier time. Resiliency is more important than those inherent qualities. I'd rather have a kid who realizes that even if somebody is mean to them it doesn't indicate there is anything wrong with them. Tough kids tend to run into authority figures who try to knock the chip off their shoulder.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Wherever women are
19,022 posts, read 24,673,685 times
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Hhhmmmm... older girl sounds like my character and younger one sounds like my little brother. Telling similarities. My brother was/is a badass throughout, he still is.

But I wasn't a good boy for far too long. In my teens, I went kind of loco and totally turned around on my old self. I think the transition was made primarily owing to sports. I joined the field hockey team and played midfielder for 6 to 7 years. It brought the angry guy out of me

Make her sportive, competitive etc., but you may not want that. Having a nice kid is nice. But you need to be careful and hope that that nicety does not become timidity in adult life.
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