I am looking for advice, children's books & parenting books that could help us teach DD how to stand up for herself more, not get pushed around & handle her emotional reaction to situations that upset her.
DD1 just turned 4. She is very sweet, free spirited & also a little emotional. She is a beautiful little girl, small for her age & also sometimes still a little goofy/silly. She doesn't have a mean bone in her. We have noticed lately that the 7 year old girl next door, as well as her 8 year old female cousin have been kind of mean to her, impatient & sometimes downright nasty. Sometimes DD doesn't quite notice & kind of lets it happen, other times she gets really upset & cries.
The girl next door is the older sister of DDs best friend, a 5 year old boy. DD goes to school with him & plays with him everyday. They bicker like an old married couple somedays, but he is never mean to her. His sister is mean. DH & I have actually always had a little problem with her-ever since they moved in 2 years ago. She is sneaky & dishonest about things. She pushes DD to do things after we say not to. Like when I give them a snack & say to all of them clearly-don't ask for anything else because we don't have anymore, 10 mins later we hear her outside telling DD to go ask her Mom for more. Or when I say they can't play inside our house today (they regularly trash our house & then run out the door & say they are going home right when I say it's time to clean up) she will keep sending DD to the door asking to play inside. Often when they will come over to ask DD if she want to play outside, I will ask them to wait one sec while DD puts her shoes on (her brother always does that when it's just the 2 of them) and she will just grab her brother & run out the door laughing leaving DD hysterically trying to put her shoes on & catch up with them. Last night, DH witnessed a really upsetting moment where she said something so mean to DD that he collected our kids & said it's time to go home & left without even looking back. DD didn't even notice what she had said and was only upset about having to come home. We are moving in a few weeks so we won't see them anymore but I would still like to teach DD about not giving in to peer pressure & not letting kids talk nasty to her etc.
My niece has been meaner and meaner lately. Also really sneaky. She tries to get my other niece (5 years old) to leave out DD all the time. We catch her whispering about DD & doing things that she knows she isn't supposed to be doing etc. When she gets caught, she lies initially & then comes clean. She also starts other kinds of trouble, tattles inaccurately & more. DD doesn't speak up when they are leaving her out & if she tries to tell us what really happened with a situation, she can't get it out before the tears start flowing.
My 5 yo DN & DD have been inseparable since birth. But recently, my 5 yo DN started K & soccer & has new friends. So now of course she has the older cousin trying to monopolize her when the cousins are together or when we go to her soccer games, she gives DD the cold shoulder. DD takes it & continues to follow her around like a puppy dog. I want her to say something like "if you are going to be mean to me in front of your new friends, i will go play with someone else".
I am not saying DD is perfect. She is going through a cry baby/whining phase, but she is never mean, always includes everyone & doesn't look for trouble in the least. And she is so loyal to her cousins & friends, even if they aren't.
I know once she starts school full time & gets involved in her own stuff, she will have her own thing going on too which will be good.
I want her to be kind, gentle & all that. But I do not want her to get walked all over & kicked around either. I think I feel like I need help in this area because I was always very popular BUT too nice & even now still...tend to give more than I get in my friendships & relationships. I am too loyal. DH also tends to be a giver & I see him letting his family walk all over him often. Neither of us like conflict.
Advice & reading suggestions?