View Full Version : Too nice to stick up for himself
My son is seven years old and the sweetest kid you're likely to meet. He's also pretty shy.
It's hard for him to speak up even when he knows he needs to.
He found a couple of boys that he got to be pretty friendly with, but now they won't play with him at recess. Who knows why? I can't get inside their heads to know the reasons. But now my son still wants to play with them during recess, but they literally run away from him. I don't see this as bullying but rather my son is too shy to A) stick up for himself and B) try to play with other kids who will be nicer. I know he's well liked by other kids in his class, so finding friends won't be hard. Just mustering the courage to start all over will be hard for him. We're trying to get him to tell us kids he'd like to make playdates with, and he's involved in sports, but it's still really difficult.
I suppose I'd love any advice from parents who may know what I'm talking about. Also it just makes me sick to my stomach to think of that sweet kid just wanting desperately to play with these kids and they just turn their backs on him, and make him feel bad about himself.
Venting, even online, helps. Thanks for reading.
04-01-2008, 02:34 PM
I understand I worked in a kindergarten classroom last year and saw the "mean girls" I remember thinking to myself how awful it was to see this little girl ignored by her peers.We had a meeting with the little girls mom and told her we were doing our best to keep on it but in a public school it would be different than in the private one we were at. The mother than started asking every kid in the class over for playdates one at a time.She would try to do something special too like craft or baking so the child that went there the next day would say" Oh I went to (girls)and we did "things" It was so cool"! So others were asking to go. She did these twice a week for like two months and within maybe three weeks we saw a difference in the way her daughter was treated,Not to mention her daughter was far more confident talking to her peers. Well I wish you good luck and hope this helps.
04-01-2008, 10:47 PM
Well, I don't have any advice but I've witnessed things happen with my 2 1/2 yr old daughter. It was nothing too serious and I think at this age children don't know better. When seeing my daughter play with the kids at daycare, I see she gets along with them & she has 2 official friends. But I've seen her attempt to play with a toy and another child will just run right past her, sometimes accidently bumping her out of the way. My daughter will just stand there and watch the other kid play with this sad look on her face...it breaks my heart!!!!!!! Seeing how something like that affects her at this age makes me so worried about her experiencing it as she gets older!!!
04-02-2008, 12:27 PM
First of all, I understand completely what you are saying and I want to assure you that in the long run your child will be fine, not only fine, but great in a few years.
I think I said in another thread that at that age the "popular" kids are sometimes just bullies that make other kids play with them and if your child is very sweet and not aggressive it can be daunting for him. That will change drastically in a few years. I know you don't see these particular kids as bullies, but they are still not being very nice and there are nice kids out there.
In the meantime, there are things that you can do to help him through this like encouraging him to find boys like him. They are out there and they probably need friends too.
Before school in the morning help him think of a cool game to play and talk to him about what other kids might want to play. Help him think of a game plan and get him excited about it.
It's harder on us moms than it is for them I think! If you want more ideas, feel free to contact me!
04-03-2008, 09:57 PM
My daughter is the same way - very sweet and kind and would never dream of hurting anyone's feelings. She is not shy and is actually well liked and quite popular, but has faced the "mean girl" problem this year - and been way too "nice" to speak up for herself. She actually thought that telling these girls to be nice and telling them to stop picking on her (and the other girls) was rude!
I worry that we train our kids to be polite at the expense of standing up for themselves.
We have found with our daughter, who is six, that role playing really works. She needs to know exactly what words to say. She needed "permission" from us and from her teacher to defend herself verbally. (She skipped a grade and is much younger than the others, and the girls targeted her for that.) She now feels more comfortable saying, "You can't talk to me like that! Be nice!" and then walking away from them when they start making comments.
Another thing that helped was that we pointed out that most of the other kids are really nice, that she is invited to playdates and parties, that she is never without someone to play with.
I like the idea of setting up playdates with the other kids and having fun things to do.
I would also strongly suggest volunteering at school to see with your own eyes what goes on. When I started going in weekly, the other kids got to know me and to hear fun stories, do fun projects with me, read great stories. It also allowed me to see what was happening and to see the teacher's reaction to situations in her classroom.
I agree with casalinga that it's often harder for us than for our kids. But be sure to let the teacher know what's going on. She's probably not outside at recess. Maybe she could lead a game and get the kids working together. She could also steer your son toward some other, nicer kids. Teachers can be great at fostering friendships. When I was teaching, I made it a point to eat lunch with my kids once a week and to play with them at recess once a week. The aides said it improved behavior, that my kids had the best table manners and were very inclusive of everyone on the playground. I have to believe it's because they knew how proud I was of them when they acted appropriately!
04-04-2008, 12:37 PM
I hate to sound sexist but I think it is also harder for girls than boys. Girls can really get emotional and overdramatize the situation, and make it seem like things are just tragic at school when maybe it's not so bad, and boys can be just fine with things we think should bother them. Sorry for the generalization, but this is just something I've seen to be true.
09-23-2008, 06:58 PM
you don't want a kid that stands up for herself and her ideas. My daughter is sweet, but the school thinks she's "aggressive", since she has an idea of what is "right" and will stop a just about nothing to "correct flaws in our society".
09-30-2008, 10:33 AM
If your child is shy, it is practically normal for a seven-year-old. You basically need to show him how to socialize with others by taking him to either your relatives or have him make new friends in his community. I would also recommend visiting this website called Nogginpower2. One thing I learned from visiting Nogginpower2 is that they have a great deal of manuals, such as Making New Friends, Getting Great Grades, Discipline, Getting a good Night Sleep and Better Social Skills. By reading these manuals on Nogginpower2, they can help you better communicate to your seven-year-old as to what or why he is so shy in front in others. They would also provide your child some confidence in his well-being. Thank you and good luck.
09-30-2008, 09:55 PM
If he isn't choosing new friends for playdates, make some family dates. On Saturday invite a couple potential friends and their families to join your family at a children's museum or at a park. The opportunities for interaction might help him decide and may help force him to interact with others. After a few experiences of this sort, ask him again who he'd like to have a playdate with. You mentioned he's in sports. Do you guys ever go out for a smoothie or an ice cream afterward? Maybe a teammate or two could join you then. Give him some time. Don't put pressure on him. Give him opportunities, but let things happen as naturally as possible. If he sees you moving heaven and earth to find him friends, he might think he isn't capable of making friends on his own. Make the plans, but don't try to force the friendships. I know at our school the school counselor had "friendship groups" for students who were struggling with peer relationships. If your counselor is aware of the situation, you might ask her who she thinks might make a good friend for your son. Just a thought.
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