Author Topic: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?  (Read 8090 times)

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camlan

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #45 on: June 21, 2013, 04:22:30 PM »
I love your post, Camlan.

Thanks. 

It's just that this is an issue I feel strongly about.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


TurtleDove

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #46 on: June 21, 2013, 04:22:38 PM »
How you (general) would react to something like is completely irrelevant.

Hmmm, this is where we really disagree then.  I would say that real life, especially in adulthood, requires a person to take into account how general yous would react to something.  For example, let's say this girl doesn't change her behavior and doesn't learn to handle her emotions.  How will she hold down a job?  Surely someone will call her out for making a mistake.

Christabeldreams

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #47 on: June 21, 2013, 04:25:33 PM »
Op here, and to answer a question several of you have been asking, the youth leader's tone was completely serious. She was not joking when she told the girl to keep it zipped. I think that, more than anything was what set off my hinky meter.

camlan

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #48 on: June 21, 2013, 04:27:07 PM »
I think there are some things you and I can work on that will help you to deal better when you are publicly embarrassed or criticized like that, so you can stand  up to those people and not have to leave the group.

To me it is obvious that no one was publicly embarrassing her or criticizing her.  They were joking around.  It was a game, for crying out loud.  If this girl's self esteem is tied to how well she plays a trivia game at a church function, that is what should be addressed, in my opinion.  She is entitled to feel however she feels, but the only person she is hurting is herself.  The world is not likely to change to accomodate her inability to function in it. I hope she can learn to better handle her emotions and stop being hurt by common banter.

Which is exactly what I posted. It would be a kindness if an adult would step in and help her do this, instead of just telling her she did something else "wrong."


Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


turnip

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #49 on: June 21, 2013, 04:28:13 PM »
I think there are some things you and I can work on that will help you to deal better when you are publicly embarrassed or criticized like that, so you can stand  up to those people and not have to leave the group.

To me it is obvious that no one was publicly embarrassing her or criticizing her.  They were joking around.  It was a game, for crying out loud.  If this girl's self esteem is tied to how well she plays a trivia game at a church function, that is what should be addressed, in my opinion.  She is entitled to feel however she feels, but the only person she is hurting is herself.  The world is not likely to change to accomodate her inability to function in it. I hope she can learn to better handle her emotions and stop being hurt by common banter.

I'm just astounded at this post - really just kind of dumbfounded.  She's a 13 year old girl - of _course_ she is concerned about looking dumb while playing a trivia game in front of her peers!   Every 13 year old girl ( including myself ) was like that.  Every 13 year old girl in Young Adult literature was like that.  Have you ever read Judy Blume?  Paula Danazer?   It is part and parcel of being that age.

The whole 'tell her to toughen up' approach never actually works either.  And I am fortunate enough to function in a world where 'zip it' would still be considered an inappropriate statement - whether to a spouse or to a coworker. 

TurtleDove

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #50 on: June 21, 2013, 04:31:04 PM »
When I was a 13 year old girl, my friends and I joked around and could take jokes.  Sure, I cared what people thought of me, but it would never occur to me to be embarrassed about a mistake in a game.  Never in a million years.  It would also never occur to me that anyone else would be upset by it either.   I guess different people react diffently.  My experience is that more people see it my way.  Clearly it's not universal!  I do maintain, however, that people who are confident enough to not be rattled by such things tend to be happier people overall.

Honestly, I would have thought the boy was flirting with me.

blahblahblah

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #51 on: June 21, 2013, 04:34:29 PM »
Quote
Op here, and to answer a question several of you have been asking, the youth leader's tone was completely serious. She was not joking when she told the girl to keep it zipped. I think that, more than anything was what set off my hinky meter.
Okay, speaking as someone who initially thought that the girl was being too sensitive, in light of this new info, I think the youth leader was completely out of line. For pete's sake, it was just a silly game.

The girl was being overly sensitive re: the boy's remarks, but my guess is that maybe the leader's reprimand was the main catalyst and the boy's comment could have just been the icing on the cake.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 04:37:30 PM by blahblahblah »

citadelle

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #52 on: June 21, 2013, 04:43:51 PM »
I do think it is possible to be too sensitive. The world can be a difficult and challenging place, and too sensitive means that you will suffer more in it. Of course you are entitled to your feelings, but most people aren't going to care, so when someone observes that you are too sensitive, it is not necessarily a criticism, but an observation that you have some role in your own pain, and therefore, the power to make it better.

All yous are general.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #53 on: June 21, 2013, 04:47:52 PM »
When I was a 13 year old girl, my friends and I joked around and could take jokes.  Sure, I cared what people thought of me, but it would never occur to me to be embarrassed about a mistake in a game.  Never in a million years.  It would also never occur to me that anyone else would be upset by it either.   I guess different people react diffently.  My experience is that more people see it my way.  Clearly it's not universal!  I do maintain, however, that people who are confident enough to not be rattled by such things tend to be happier people overall.

Honestly, I would have thought the boy was flirting with me.

Not everybody is automatically this way, though.  Some of us need help to get there.  Just telling her she's "wrong" or "too sensitive" is just cruel, in my opinion.  You cannot help the first thought that pops into your mind, after all.  Especially if she's had experiences where people really are being mean to her, and even more especially if someone has tried to tell her "it's just a joke" when she knows that it really wasn't.

I know that something that would have helped me in such situations (bullied unmercilessly at school and then not sure how to act when in places such as girl scout meetings) would have been if someone had reassured me that it was now safe.  That of course my first reaction would be to panic and get upset because that's pretty  much all I was used to, but this environment is not that one.  It is safe here and people really are just joking, talking as they would to anybody else.  And maybe for good measure, somebody could have helped me practice how to react to jokes, to help me understand how to formulate replies such as was mentioned by a previous poster who said they would have said something about how I won't blurt out the answer again because that's the only way you can get answers.

I am not disagreeing with you, Turtledove, and I don't think anybody else is either.  I think we want the girl to get the help she needs to get to that point.  And just telling her "you are too sensitive" will not help achieve that goal.  What will help, IMHO, is support and encouragement to relax and feel safe, that it's okay to relax the hypervigalence and just enjoy, maybe for the first time in a long time, being just another person hanging out with friends.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #54 on: June 21, 2013, 04:51:54 PM »
I do think it is possible to be too sensitive. The world can be a difficult and challenging place, and too sensitive means that you will suffer more in it. Of course you are entitled to your feelings, but most people aren't going to care, so when someone observes that you are too sensitive, it is not necessarily a criticism, but an observation that you have some role in your own pain, and therefore, the power to make it better.

All yous are general.

I agree 100%.  What you say is absolutely true.

What I would like to point out, though, is that just saying the words "you are too sensitive" isn't really a good way to fix the problem.  Any attempt to fix the problem should be done very carefully and with much patience and understanding.

And also, if a person has been bullied, maybe they are not actually "too sensitive".  Maybe they are extending the level of being sensitive out into places it does  not belong.  But maybe, in the environment where they are being bullied, the amount of sensitive that they are is actually correct, because people actually are trying really hard to hurt them, be it physically and/or emotionally. 

Which is why I suggest an approach based on the concept of "it is safe here, nobody is trying to hurt you, you can relax".

turnip

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #55 on: June 21, 2013, 05:12:07 PM »
When I was a 13 year old girl, my friends and I joked around and could take jokes.  Sure, I cared what people thought of me, but it would never occur to me to be embarrassed about a mistake in a game.  Never in a million years.  It would also never occur to me that anyone else would be upset by it either.   I guess different people react diffently.  My experience is that more people see it my way.  Clearly it's not universal!  I do maintain, however, that people who are confident enough to not be rattled by such things tend to be happier people overall.

Honestly, I would have thought the boy was flirting with me.

Sure.  People who are prettier tend to be happier overall.  People who are natural athletes tend to be happier overall.  People who are smarter tend to be happier overall.   But saying "Don't be so ugly/clumsy/stupid" is not generally considered useful.

I think the difference is you are assuming being 'sensitive' is, at some level, a choice this girl is making, and if she realized there were better options she would make different choices.  I think most of us who have been in her shoes realize that she is not trying to be sensitive, and not trying to lack confidence - but it's the way she is, and the way to overcome it is gradually, with the loving support of her mentors and peers.  Not by being snapped at by a group leader.

TurtleDove

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #56 on: June 21, 2013, 05:17:23 PM »
"Sure.  People who are prettier tend to be happier overall.  People who are natural athletes tend to be happier overall.  People who are smarter tend to be happier overall."

Actually, I don't think this is true. I think people who are secure in themselves tend to be happier. It's an inside job.

turnip

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #57 on: June 21, 2013, 05:23:16 PM »
"Sure.  People who are prettier tend to be happier overall.  People who are natural athletes tend to be happier overall.  People who are smarter tend to be happier overall."

Actually, I don't think this is true. I think people who are secure in themselves tend to be happier. It's an inside job.

I'm not suggesting it's either/or.  But apart from that - why do you think some people are secure in themselves and not others?   

TurtleDove

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #58 on: June 21, 2013, 05:30:20 PM »
I don't know. I know that I made and still make the choice to think for myself and be confident in what I do. I know plenty of very insecure and unhappy beautiful, talented people. I also know plenty of not-traditionally-attractive not-super-smart not-athletic people who are confident, happy, and therefore "attractive" as people.  I am not saying it is easy to be confident, just that it can be done and it is an inside job.

Peregrine

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #59 on: June 21, 2013, 05:32:57 PM »
I get where Turtle Dove is coming from on this.  The kid is entitled to her feelings....the other boy was being a snotty teenager and the adult didn't help matters any.  In this case though, it might be more harmful for the girl to drag this issue back up.  If anything more is said by the youth leader or the girl seems to be the brunt of additional teasing by her peers, that is the time to act.  But bringing it back up could just end up making her look like a drama queen and open her up for more harassment.