Author Topic: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?  (Read 8089 times)

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whatsanenigma

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #60 on: June 21, 2013, 05:52:47 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.

Again, I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you.  I just get, for some reason, that you think the way to help this girl achieve confidence and happiness (in whichever order or both at the same time) is to tell her, using the exact words, "You are too sensitive" and/or "you are overreacting".  That most certainly would not have helped me, and I sincerely doubt it would help anyone (though I could be wrong).

TurtleDove

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #61 on: June 21, 2013, 06:01:50 PM »
I have no idea why you think that since that is not what I said. I think she needs to be told these things AND needs to develop skills to not be so easily hurt. I don't advocate being cruel to anyone. I do advocate allowing her to be her best self, and telling her that being super sensitive is going to allow her to be happy if only people weren't so mean to her is not likely to help her.

Judah

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #62 on: June 21, 2013, 06:08:28 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.

Again, I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you.  I just get, for some reason, that you think the way to help this girl achieve confidence and happiness (in whichever order or both at the same time) is to tell her, using the exact words, "You are too sensitive" and/or "you are overreacting".  That most certainly would not have helped me, and I sincerely doubt it would help anyone (though I could be wrong).

I wouldn't tell this particular girl that she overreacted because her reaction was private and she didn't cause a scene. I would tell her that she needs to learn to laugh at herself and not take others' comments so seriously. 

I have a niece who was the over-sensitive type. Not out of a lack of confidence, but she just had no ability to laugh at herself at all. She was in her late teens before she finally figured out that getting caught doing something silly didn't make her look stupid, it made her look human, and it was okay to laugh at yourself when you make a silly mistake.  This is what I see as the problem for the girl in the OP. She made a silly mistake and lacks the ability to laugh at herself and shrug it off.
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blahblahblah

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #63 on: June 21, 2013, 06:14:16 PM »
Quote
the other boy was being a snotty teenager
I think this is unfair to the boy. IMO the boy didn't do anything wrong; the youth leader did.

TootsNYC

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #64 on: June 21, 2013, 07:04:17 PM »
This girl was not a drama queen--she didn't make a scene, etc. She was crying quietly in private. OK, the bathroom, but it was as close as she was going to get.

And I would NEVER use the words, "you need to [be different than you are]." What a HORRIBLE verb: "need to."

The truth is, she would be more powerful if she could be stronger in the face of that sort of situation.

But the way for her to end up stronger is *not* *not* *not* for someone to tell her that she "needs to be someone else."

The way to do that is to say, "Yeah, I get why it stings! But I want to point out a couple of things--your mistake was perfectly ordinary; most of the people in the room didn't care or thought it was funny; they all could  make that mistake left right and center; and the other leader was frankly out of line, so it's really all about HER, and not about you. Ye gods, it was a game! So, please feel strong; please don't feel that you *really* have done anything terribly wrong. There's nothing wrong with you.
   "The 'wrong' is in all those other people. I'm a neutral person, and I'm telling you, this is a fact. Believe it."


TootsNYC

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #65 on: June 21, 2013, 07:38:49 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.


Wow, talk about hyperbole!


What thing did she do that would make someone fire her--if that had been a place of employment? Not one thing.

She got really quiet. And she cried later, in private.

Considering the OP's update about the leader's tone, which sounds pretty critical and "shutting out," that was completely appropriate for the girl to behave that way.

For one thing, I note that the OP doesn't tell us that anybody tried to coax her back into the game, etc. If the OP noticed that the girl had pulled WAY back, surely others could have (including the leader). But her participation wasn't valuable enough to anyone, which probably made it worse.


Christabeldreams

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2013, 08:25:54 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.


Wow, talk about hyperbole!


What thing did she do that would make someone fire her--if that had been a place of employment? Not one thing.

She got really quiet. And she cried later, in private.

Considering the OP's update about the leader's tone, which sounds pretty critical and "shutting out," that was completely appropriate for the girl to behave that way.

For one thing, I note that the OP doesn't tell us that anybody tried to coax her back into the game, etc. If the OP noticed that the girl had pulled WAY back, surely others could have (including the leader). But her participation wasn't valuable enough to anyone, which probably made it worse.
Op again, and while I did encourage her a bit, (I.E: "Have any ideas, name?") the game ended shortly thereafter, hence why no one else commented on her silence.

TootsNYC

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #67 on: June 21, 2013, 08:41:45 PM »
You know, I've been thinking about it.

It's really not that this girl needs to be less sensitive. Her sensitivity is fine--I think the other leader was kind of rude to her. The OP, who was right there, thinks the other leader wasn't that great either.

What the girl would greatly benefit from  is not to be told to stop being sensitive, but instead to recognize and capitalize on her sensitivity.

She knows something now about this youth leader. This sure isn't the sort of youth leader you'd go to with a problem. So, this girl has info that the other girls may not.

And, she will benefit from learning to control her expression of sensitivity, and to learn to keep her core value strong.

She's already on the road to handling the sensitivity well. At 13, she protected herself from further attack by withdrawing from the game; she also sent a message to the leader and the others around that this had been an attack, and that she was offended. All without making a scene.

And she found a safe place--and a safe person--to let her emotions out.

People shouldn't be told not to be so sensitive. They shouldn't worry about trying to change that. Sensitivity is a good thing.


Christabeldreams

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #68 on: June 21, 2013, 10:09:56 PM »
You know, I've been thinking about it.

It's really not that this girl needs to be less sensitive. Her sensitivity is fine--I think the other leader was kind of rude to her. The OP, who was right there, thinks the other leader wasn't that great either.

What the girl would greatly benefit from  is not to be told to stop being sensitive, but instead to recognize and capitalize on her sensitivity.

She knows something now about this youth leader. This sure isn't the sort of youth leader you'd go to with a problem. So, this girl has info that the other girls may not.

And, she will benefit from learning to control her expression of sensitivity, and to learn to keep her core value strong.

She's already on the road to handling the sensitivity well. At 13, she protected herself from further attack by withdrawing from the game; she also sent a message to the leader and the others around that this had been an attack, and that she was offended. All without making a scene.

And she found a safe place--and a safe person--to let her emotions out.

People shouldn't be told not to be so sensitive. They shouldn't worry about trying to change that. Sensitivity is a good thing.
POD!

kareng57

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #69 on: June 21, 2013, 11:27:12 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".


I agree 100% - and this is as a mother of a son who was "too sensitive".

His teachers brought it up with me and we worked on a plan.  When there's a child who takes even good-natured joshing as a major affront - someone does have to step in and explain that the other kids are sometimes just joking around and there isn't necessarily malice.  (Sometimes of course there is and we have to help him/her understand the difference).

It does no good to assert to a child "you're sensitive, therefore they are always wrong".  If people do so, the offspring will likely be, in the future, some of the co-workers we've all had - for example, - "hey, Judy, have you seen my calculator?"  "What, you think I stole it from your desk?  Why would you think that?  Manager...!"  Learning to have a thicker skin is a life skill.

Peregrine

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #70 on: June 21, 2013, 11:43:48 PM »
I was obviously too flippant in my earlier post... :-[  Kareng57 said what I was trying to get across in a much better way.

I didn't mean to imply the girl was a drama queen....what I feel, is that if the incident were dragged back up after it has already been forgotten by the leader and the other kids, perhaps even by the girl herself.  It could come across as drama-queenish.

I do think it would be good if the OP keeps an eye out to see if this was a one-off or a something that comes up often.  But based on one incident, I wouldn't necessarily think that the youth group is a hot-bed of mean girl/boy bullying.   

Allyson

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #71 on: June 22, 2013, 02:23:30 AM »
This girl was not a drama queen--she didn't make a scene, etc. She was crying quietly in private. OK, the bathroom, but it was as close as she was going to get.


Exactly. I am not one to think 'nobody can ever be oversensitive, and if someone's feelings are hurt they are always owed an apology' but in this case, the girl didn't react inappropriately. Had she derailed the game, or tried to get the group leader censured, or something, I might think 'oversensitive', but crying is typically not a reaction that's controllable. I remember being 14 and the least little thing could set me off. My friend was 5 minutes late to meet me? She doesn't want to be my friend anymore! I don't think it's helpful to just say 'you shouldn't feel that way, you're obviously not a secure person, get over it' not because it's mean but because it's not useful. 'Be more secure in yourself' is not exactly something one can just do--it's a process. And I think the appropriate thing to be teaching during that process is how to handle it when one reacts like that.

I think saying things like Camlan pointed out would be more helpful. Or telling people 'you're feeling an emotion, it's not wrong, but it also doesn't mean you need to act on it--before doing anything, take a breath, take a step back, have a moment to cry in the bathroom if you need.' I think sometimes people get caught up in whether it's correct to have a particular emotion or not. Address the behaviours, not the feelings behind it, because the former is controllable, the latter often not.

Fleur

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #72 on: June 22, 2013, 02:53:22 AM »
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.

While I don't 100% agree with your stance on the girl, I do have to very heartily cosign this statement.

TootsNYC

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #73 on: June 22, 2013, 06:45:11 AM »

I think saying things like Camlan pointed out would be more helpful. Or telling people 'you're feeling an emotion, it's not wrong, but it also doesn't mean you need to act on it--before doing anything, take a breath, take a step back, have a moment to cry in the bathroom if you need.' I think sometimes people get caught up in whether it's correct to have a particular emotion or not. Address the behaviours, not the feelings behind it, because the former is controllable, the latter often not.

Actually, it would be sort of insulting to say this to her. Because that is what she DID.

If one were sort of close to this girl, she could perhaps say, "Hmm, let's see--are you accurate in your perception of their motivation? Are you accurate in your perception of the OTHER PEOPLES' reactions?"

AngelBarchild

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Re: Is this belittling a child? And what to say about it?
« Reply #74 on: June 22, 2013, 08:04:14 AM »
I'm a little late to the party, but I really think you should just let it drop. My daughter is 15 and the other day she cried because I asked her to pass me my glass of tea. About a minuet later she told me she was completely nutters and in desperate need of a nap. Then she wandered off to her room with a magazine, and came back an hour later perfectly fine. Teens can sometimes be a big ball of hormonal crazy.