Supporting "socially vulnerable" children - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-23-2010, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Between the "highly sensitive child" thread and filling out my daughter's Pre-K application, I've been thinking. Excuse me here as I try to get my thoughts out, and if you have any advice or BTDT or especially books to recommend as I begin my 6 month maternity leave, that would be great.

The Pre-K application asked me to discuss what I perceived as my daughter's strengths and weaknesses. As I wrote through it, I clarified some things that had been bouncing around in my head, and it also made me realize how my daughter is so much like me. I read the "highly sensitive child thread" a couple of days back, and was just skimming the bullying thread, and kind of came to the idea that I would call Lucy "socially vulnerable." I'm wondering what I can do to support her and not have her suffer the emotional confusion and difficulty that I experienced

ETA: I just googled "socially vulnerable children" and that moniker doesn't fit Lucy necessarily. She's not shy, withdrawn, anxious as far as I can tell.

* very bright--maybe gifted, maybe not
* very outgoing to both adults and children--well, most of the time. She is four and a half, after all
* can be a leader among her peers, and often wants to be

* perfectionist
* very good memory (in other words, can't let things go!)
* very peer-oriented--concerned constantly about what her peers think; when excited about something, even a new t-shirt or a drawing she did, says things like "wait until all my friends see this... they're going to be so surprised;" easily saddened (and can't let go of this feeling) when a peer criticizes her ("Mae said my journal was boring")
* easily influenced by peers in terms of what they do, what movies they see, things they own, things their parents allow them to do
* very susceptible to the actions of the "mean girls"--comes home devastated if so-and-so didn't play with her

But she's not shy or timid or anything like that. If you didn't see the emotional reactions to things after the fact, you'd think she was a really well-adjusted kid. (Kind of like her mother... I'm all about impostor syndrome )

Also, what is a developmentally appropriate peer-orientation at this age, especially when I don't like a lot of the mainstream (junk food, junk media) influences of some of her peers? How can I counter-act it? (I've read Hold On to Your Kids, but while it was very inspirational, it seems more practical for older kids.)

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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#2 of 5 Old 02-23-2010, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by staceychev View Post
* easily influenced by peers in terms of what they do, what movies they see, things they own, things their parents allow them to do
We had this issue earlier this year. In fact, I posted about it here at one point. None of our family friends are mainstream, and DS is in preschool this year. All of a sudden, he was coming home wanting to play video games, go places, and see movies that he'd heard about from school. We let him watch/do a couple of things, but he pretty quickly realized that he wasn't into it.

That's really stopped a lot of the desire to do what the other kids do for him. I think it's just that it sounds cool and different, but once you get a taste, it loses the mystique.

It's like parents in a way. My mother was single and pretty chaotic all the time. My friends *loved* her. They thought she was great while I envied the stability they had in their lives. They knew where they were living month to month while we moved frequently. They had dads or step-dads who were pretty permanent. My mom's been married 5 times and had a slew of partners in between. I view the desire to do what friends are in the same way - a grass is greener type of thing.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#3 of 5 Old 02-23-2010, 12:36 PM
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You described my 4.5 year old DS perfectly. I don't have any tips but wanted to subscribe to see what others tell you.
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#4 of 5 Old 02-23-2010, 03:01 PM
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my dd's are pretty similar and I've never thought of them as "different" from other kids....I remember being similar myself. The fact is, if you send your kids to school, the things their peers do are going to be MAJOR games, movies, clothes, food, slang, interests...and seeking their approval. Kids are going to be influenced by their peers no matter if they attend school or not, but when it's a major part of their life (hours every day) then it is going to be more noticable....and it doesn't have to be a negative provides lots of learning opportunities for her and for your family.

I have to admit, though, this is one of the main reasons we decided to homeschool.

Heidi : Married for 15 years, expecting our 8th baby in July!

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#5 of 5 Old 02-23-2010, 03:29 PM
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I think that everything you described is within the range of typical for a 4-5 year old. It certainly describes my dd, who's 5 1/2. I think if you have a highly sensitive child (and dd is definitely highly sensitive both physically and emotionally), it's harder.

In the neighbor kids, I've seen age and maturity solve a lot of these issues.

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
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