How can I get DS2 to grow a thicker skin?

(10 Posts)
woodrunner Thu 09-Jan-14 08:05:57

DS2 (12) is always coming home from school mis because people have been 'nasty' to him. Turns out the examples are things like in a group discussion his teacher didn't think his idea was very good and told him why.

Reading between the lines, I get the impression a few people are getting a bit tired of his company (teachers included) because he seems to demand such special treatment or he'll act wounded. I really want him to learn how to be be more cheerful and robust about stuff. But how? Don't want him to think I don't care if he's upset but do need to encourage him to grow a different attitude when he tells me all these very minor grievances that he has with other people which are making him so unnecessarily miserable.

profilewithoutaname Sun 12-Jan-14 00:50:31

It's difficult.
Maybe try to make him understand that it's not that important how people think of you.

Maybe use a few examples out your own life. Or just make something up. Like:
When I was young I walked with me head against a glass door. I thought it was open. But it wasn't.
Everyone around was laughing at me.

And I felt just awful.
But guess what....

First they laugh and maybe they'll laugh again about it when they see you again. But after a week people barely speak about it. Things are just the same as they always were.

Just be yourself and if something happens or someone laughs at you. Know that we all do silly things. It happens to everyone that someone makes us feel terrible about ourselves. That's normal, that's life.

The difference between that and bullying is that a bully will do it deliberately and again and again to make you feel bad about yourself. Friends or people you know can do it. But don't realize that you feel uncomfortable about it.

Or like with me walking against that door. They didn't wanted me to feel bad about myself. But it was just so funny for them they just couldn't do anything else then laugh about it.

Best thing is not to get upset about it. And try to laugh about it too.

woodrunner Sun 12-Jan-14 14:50:28

Thanks for your reply. That's good advice (and made me giggle because I really did do that glass door thing once and felt such an unbelievable fool but in the long term - so what?)

He really does need to learn to laugh with others when he gets into a pickle (which he often does as he is very forgetful and a bit clumsy.)

Your distinction between friends laughing at you and bullies is a really good one. I'll definitely pass that on. He's much brighter right now anyway. He just has massive black and white mood swings. The world is either brilliant or dreadful. maybe that's just tweens.

kylesmybaby Sun 12-Jan-14 14:54:57

Watching with interest OP. It's a difficult one that's for sure.

LastingLight Sun 12-Jan-14 17:16:05

I wonder if role playing could help. Have him say something to you that would upset him, and model your response thought processes out loud.

woodrunner Sun 12-Jan-14 20:12:55

Lasting Light, that's a really good idea. I'll try that next time he tells me about some minor slight or teasing that has left him in tears at the end of the day.

BananaNotPeelingWell Sun 12-Jan-14 20:21:58

Do the school have anyone that deals with pastoral care for the pupils? Ours has a dedicated and trained person in school who will talk things over with anyone who has concerns or needs some support and strategies for coping with school life.

woodrunner Mon 13-Jan-14 14:19:58

Yes they do and they say they are on to it, but nothing much seems to be happening. hmm

BCBG Mon 20-Jan-14 22:05:15

'forgetful and clumsy..hmm.. I have a very dyspraxic DD and your DS sounds just like her - the Dyspraxia website has some very interesting advice on how dyspraxic children find it difficult to form social bonds - I will try and find link.

Ten minutes later.. nope hopeless, but cut and paste might help:

Clumsiness. May drop things, spill things, bump into people, etc.
Difficulty writing, both forming letters and the speed. Writing may even be painful.
Reading difficulties.
Speech problems.
Poor short term memory. E.g. If given a list of instructions to carry out, may remember the first and last one but not the ones in between.
Awkward walking and running.
Trouble using a knife and fork. E.g. cutting food or spreading butter.
Sensitive to touch. E.g. uncomfortable brushing your teeth, brushing hair and having it cut and certain clothes uncomfortable to wear.
Sensitive to the texture of certain food, e.g. mashed potato
Sensitive to sounds, e.g. may not like loud music or the noise from a hoover.
Poor concentration. E.g. easily distracted by background noise.
Poorly organised. E.g. leaving things you need for school at home
Have trouble learning new tasks particularly those involving organization and concentration.
Problems carrying out personal hygiene tasks, E.g. cleaning teeth, applying deodorant, cleansing face, etc
Trouble with social skills, E.g. problems reading and understanding body language, trouble understanding distance rules when sitting/standing next to someone, cannot keep eye contact, etc.
People will not understand your problems so you may not be accepted socially and you may have trouble making friends.
Phobias or obsessive behaviour and impatient.

My DD really struggles at times with the social bit, hypersensitivity, etc

heather1 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:11:38

Just wanted to add my Ds is very sensitive too. I strongly suspect he is Dyspraxic and dyslexic. Children with these learning differences (whether they and their parents are aware of them of not) have low self esteem.
My Ds is very sensitive but also a kind, thoughtful and loyal friend. So I try to emphasise the positives of his personality.
If he has problems and school we talk about then and discuss what could happen and when it's appropriate to involve an adult (something Ds struggles with)
I'd also suggest a chat with his teacher. They may have some suggestions and a different perspective to offer.

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