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Top tips for building sensitive 6yr old dd's emotional resilience/robustness?

(6 Posts)
helsbelscaitie Thu 20-Mar-14 13:09:01

DD is kind, caring, sensitive and a loyal friend. Her "best friend" at school is less so and somewhat fickle with her affections, telling dd from time to time that she isn't her friend anymore, dd can't sit by her and such like. "Friend" strops/sulks if dd doesn't do as she wants, so dd usually does to keep "friend" sweet. I think "friend" is completely aware of how she's behaving and playing dd. I hate to see dd upset. How can I help her build her emotional resilience and develop strategies to deal with such scenarios whilst not negating her kind and caring nature. DD is an only at home, two grown up brothers.

changeforthebetter Thu 20-Mar-14 13:12:56

Encourage other friendships, play dates, trips out etc. Have a quiet word with the teacher about your DD and see if s/he can mix the groups up a bit.

DD2 has a friend like this - spoilt rotten and very demanding. However, DD is quite robust I think.

FWIW I don't think best friends is a great idea so young. Lots of pals (including boys) is better.

GeorgeWinsor Thu 20-Mar-14 13:52:02

I agree with the post above about dealing with the issue in school, but I actually think to build confidence you are best encouraging an activity outside of school. If you can find something she enjoys and is good at this in itself will give her more confidence in general and make her more robust.

helsbelscaitie Fri 21-Mar-14 21:22:44

Thanks for your replies. I agree with all your points. We don't really talk about "best" friends at home but it comes up a lot at school. I'm organising play dates etc to try to broaden her class mates and make her less reliant on this one "friend" but she continues to veer back to this same child! She does out of school stuff and does well with that but back in the environment with class mates the confidence seems to fall away. As for boys for friends as well, I completely agree but have been shocked by how young they are when they become dismissive of girls. Two male friends in her class have had parties and their mums have apologised to me that dd was not invited but the boy insisted it was a "boys-only" party (because they were den building and commando style parties) - and the mums let them get away with that unchallenged! And we wonder where sexist attitudes start! angry Keep the ideas coming.

ElinElin Mon 24-Mar-14 13:14:09

I had the same problem with my dd. The scenarios you are describing could have been written about my dd. Since nursery and through school teachers have always described my dd as kind, caring, considerate, role model etc etc. All these things are lovely to hear but yes I do also sometimes worry that people take advantage. She has had this so called best friend for a long time. My dd is forever coming home upset due to friend upsetting her at school. I used to just tell her to get on with it, play with other friends etc. When my dd tried to play with others her friend would not like it and she would spread rumours about my dd. My dd (7) has said that she tried to tell her friend it makes her sad and if she keeps doing it she doens't want to be friends etc but my dd kept forgiving her friend. My dd explained to me how upset and uncomfortable this other girl has made her feel. At that point I said to her that if she is making her feel so unhappy enough is enough. I want to teach my dd to stick up for herself and not to be walked all over. And tbh if your dd is normally kind hearted etc she is still going to be that person just need to learn that there are occassions when you need to stick up for yourself.
In my dd case the ironi was that when dd finally did stick up for herself the other girl's mum got involved and said my dd had been rude to her dd. (this mum knew nothing about all the times her dd had upset mine)
So from experience I would say as many posts above, encourage her to play with lots of children rather than one, talk to dd about what a good friend should be like, tell her it is good to be kind etc but explain that in life not everyone is like that and she just needs to learn how to identify when to stick up for herself.

helsbelscaitie Thu 27-Mar-14 23:18:25

thanks @ElinElin. I really could be reading about my dd, reading about yours! She also keeps forgiving and says the "friend" sometimes gets upset and then dd gets all the blame from other schoolfriends. Geez, its a jungle out there! Since I started this post, she's signed up for a 6 week karate taster - another string to her bow in tackling the issue wink and I've arranged some play dates with different children. As you say, she needs to stick up for herself and will still be that kind child within. Thanks for your thoughts and good luck with your dd too smile

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