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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sweet little dd is extremely sensitive. Pretty much a raised eyebrow or a softly spoken redirection gives her about all the guidance she needs, and we don't use punishments of any kind.<br><br>
Our neighbors are the opposite. Spank, yell, go to your room, to bed without supper, and their latest undertaking: rinsing their 3 and 5 yo's mouths out with real soap <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: . In spite of all that, the kids are good kids, and the 3 yo girl is pretty much dd's best freind.<br><br>
Yesterday dd discovered a really cool finding: a petrified frog. It was a full sized frog, in a sitting position, that had gotten - I suspect - trapped on the hot black top of our driveway and has simply dried out before it could hop to the safety of the grass or shade. Poor thing.<br><br>
So dd shows it to me and dh, and we examine it with her and act appropriately excited and interested. Then we see the neighbors pulling up intheir care and she decides to take it next door to show the kids. Okay. I warn her that they might thnk it's yucky and to not worry about it if so.<br><br>
She runs over happily exclaiming "Look what I found!" The mother says "What's that? Oh god, gross! A dead frog! Get away! I mean it, dd, get that thing away from me, NOW!"<br><br>
Dd is confused - no one ever talks to her that way. So she turns and starts to walk toward our house. I can kind of see and hear all this going on on the other side of a hedge, and at this point I walked over to sit in a lawn chair where I couldn't see. I hear the boy run over to her and say "What is it?" and dd is saying "It's a petrified frog." Then there's some scuffing sounds and a moment of silence. All of sudden dd is staggering back through the hedge, blinded with tears, sobbing so hard that she can't talk.<br><br>
I ran over and picked her up, asking what happened? She keeps sobbing the name of the kids' mother, but can't get anything else out because she is crying too hard. About this time the mother comes walking around the hedge, telling dd "Honey, I'm sorry. It wasn't anything to do with you. I'm just sqeamish and I didn't want that dead frog over here."<br><br>
Dd just melts down, turning her head the other direction, saying "No! No! Be quiet! Stop talking!" I apologized to the mom, and she was apologizing to me and trying to explain, and I took dd into the house to calm down.<br><br>
I've never seen dd that upset. It took her almost an hour to stop crying. She was just wracked with sobs, to the point where she couldn't breathe or talk. Everytime dh or I would try to explain or ask what happened she would escalate back into a crying frenzy again. Eventually she calmed down looking at pictures of dh and I from before she was born.<br><br>
About the most I could get out of her later was that the kids' mom had 'made me leave'. Everytime she would talk about it her eyes would well back up with tears and she would say "I don't want to talk about it because it makes me upset", so I didn't push it.<br><br>
I don't know exactly what happened, but I suspect that the mom had walked over when the kids were looking at the frog, and either grabbed her son away or else pushed or pointed dd in the direction of our house. I know she hadn't said anything more, because I was in hearing distance, but clearly she'd done something with her actions that made dd feel as though she wasn't wanted over there.<br><br>
This isn't the first time that dd has come home in tears from the interactions at their household. Dh and I talked and I think we've come to the conclusion that we aren't comfortable letting dd play over there unless we're with her. It's unfortunate, because it will limit her playtime with her best friend. But the coarse interactions that these parents have with their children and with dd just seems like more than dd can emotionally deal with at this point.<br><br>
Any other ideas or perspectives? Thanks for listening.
 

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Your poor little girl. I agree with your plan to only let her there supervised, at least until she is a bit older. Your daughter has been having a hard time lately and maybe as she gets a bit older she will not take things like this so intensely personal. Maybe invite the friend over more... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s to you and your babe- I am always so moved by her sensitive nature and very thankful she has such a nurturing mama.
 

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Your daughter sounds so sweet. That would upset my daughter (age 3) too -- she is extremely sensitive, and starts to cry whenever she feels like someone is upset with her. She also gets embarrassed easily, and would've been mortified to have been shooed away by the neighbor mom, especially when it was over something exciting she was trying to share. Good grief -- has that mother never spent any time around children? Everyone knows you're supposed to be excited and appreciate whatever kids want to show you.<br><br>
I think in your position, if I was comfortable talking to the neighbor mom, I'd explain that your DD is very sensitive, so she tends to overreact and get extremely upset when someone is abrupt with her. Hopefully the neighbor will temper her communication when your daughter is around.<br><br>
Then I'd talk to your DD, and tell her that different people have different personalities, and just because someone says something in a harsh tone, it doesn't necessarily mean they're mad at you or don't like you or anything. Some people just have big voices, and talk loud and strong. I'd confirm her feelings, and help her get some perspective on what happened: "I think it scared you when Mrs. Neighbor used her strong voice with you, and I know she feels bad about that." Then I'd ask HER whether she was comfortable being around Mrs. Neighbor without you or your partner in the future. If she doesn't want to miss out on time with her friend, and says she thinks she can handle it, I'd give her some strategies for managing her feelings, and putting things in perspective when/if Mrs. Neighbor speaks harshly in the future.<br><br>
I'm kinda of the persuasion that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go round, and my kids will run into and ultimately have to deal with all types. I want to give them coping skills to whatever extent possible. If it's just too difficult and upsetting to her, and she feels like she'd be uncomfortable being at Mrs. Neighbor's house without you, then that's fine. But if she wants to give it a go, I'd support her, and help her work through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies.<br><br>
We've done pretty close to what you've suggested, Aliviclo. Once dd was able to talk about it without getting emotional, we explained that some people think frogs and stuff are cool, and some think they're yucky, and that the mom's reaction didin't have anythng to do with dd.<br><br>
We let some other adult friends whom dd likes in on the situation, and they came over asking to see the frog, and making a happy excited fuss over it. Also the mom dropped by when her daughter was over for a playdate, and she apologized again. All of that was helpful.<br><br>
Dd asks me to walk her over to the neighbor's house now - she doesn't want to just run through the hedge to talk to them when they're out anymore. So that's fine. The parents tend to monitor their behavior a little better when they know I'm hovering nearby. I hate the way they treat their kids in general.<br><br>
So dd's recovering nicely. And me too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> .
 
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