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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, today my DD had her first experience of a friend picking on her for being younger and smarter, first saying that DD wasn't smart and then calling her a nerd for going upstairs to the gifted room.<br><br>
I don't know yet what to do in these situations, and my blood was starting to boil and I was getting teary all at the same time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Yes, DD is young. She just finished first grade (today) and was kind of weepy because she will miss school and her teacher. She will turn 7 the same week they start second grade. Her frind called her a baby for being so sad.<br><br>
The friend being hurtful is much older, although they were in the same grade, same class. Friend is 8 already, she was held back a grade. She kept telling DD that she was smarter because she was older and DD needed to just "consider it." DD, with her awesome vocabulary, told her that she was using the wrong word and should have said "accept it." That made her friend angry and it all just spiralled down from there.<br><br>
I tried my best just to let them work it out on their own, but the friend just would.not.quit.it, so I told DD we were leaving (we were at the playground).<br><br>
How do I help both DD and myself in these situations? I just wanted to snap at this girl, but really, she's just a little girl so I couldn't. DD just kept saying, "Fine, okay" but couldn't get the girl to stop.<br><br>
I know I can't pick my DD's friends for her, but I know that this is not a good pairing. Her friend enjoys being older and dominant and will lord it over the other kids that she is a whole year older.<br><br>
I ended up taking DD home and explaining to her that her friend was confused when she thought that being older meant being smarter. I told DD that I know lots of people older than I am who aren't nearly as smart and vice versa...lots of younger people are a lot smarter than me.<br><br>
But the fact is, DD will always be a little bit younger and a little bit smarter than most of her peers. How can I add to her social skillset to help her handle these types of conversations? I know I won't always be there to pull her out of them.
 

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I've noticed that as the kids are maturing they are less tolerant of crying. They associate crying with very young children so when a 6 year old child cries over a seemingly trivial incident it can cause other more mature children to lose respect. In my son's class there was a cute little 7 year old girl who would cry easily and the other kids really noticed that it was inappropriate. I think this can even make a smart child look less intelligent to their peers because they aren't at an age to differentiate. I've noticed that children use the word 'smart' for traits other than IQ ...From a child' POV a smart child is also mature, has control over their emotions and is also well behaved.
 

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I don't think it sounds like the problem is that your DD is younger and smarter. I think the problem is that, at a time when your DD was already emotional, a child she thinks of as her friend teased her and wouldn't let up.<br><br>
I'd focus on teaching my child the difference between a friend and just a classmate. I'd try to do it by asking leading questions because kids don't usually respond well when we try to tell them who to be friends with. You could asking why she likes this girl, what are the traits of a good friend, how do we feel when we spend time with a friend, etc. Try to get her to realize that this kid isn't her friend.<br><br>
Our friends comfort us when we are down. They don't kick us.<br><br>
I think you did the right thing by leaving the park. I sometimes tell other kids to stop obviously bad behavoir. Sometimes just saying "that's enough" or "lay off" is all it takes.<br><br>
I'd also talk to my DD about concidering who's opinions she values. She'll hear kids say a lot of nonsense over the years (and then she'll hear grown say a lot of nonsense!).<br><br>
There are some people who have zingers come out of their mouths from time to time, and when you realize that a person is like that, it sort of helps the next time it happens. It helps to see it as being about the other person, and not about you. It helps it not to be a such a surprise.<br><br>
But there's no reason to be friends with someone who zings you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Linda on the move</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15441902"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think it sounds like the problem is that your DD is younger and smarter. I think the problem is that, at a time when your DD was already emotional, a child she thinks of as her friend teased her and wouldn't let up.<br></div>
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I think that's probably it. DD was sad because school was over for the year and friend/classmate couldn't relate so she zeroed in on the "I'm older and smarter than you."<br><br>
So maybe the fact that this girl also threw in the the nerd comments about Dd's gifted class was something totally separate?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>connieculkins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15441884"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've noticed that as the kids are maturing they are less tolerant of crying. They associate crying with very young children so when a 6 year old child cries over a seemingly trivial incident it can cause other more mature children to lose respect.</div>
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we posted at the same time.<br><br>
This is true to an extent, but I've seen 6th graders cry a couple of times this year. I don't think it is a maturity issue. They cry over bigger issues.<br><br>
Other kids ignore it (to give the crying child space) or try to comfort if they are a friend. They don't ridicule. Ridiculing a crying person is just mean.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I've noticed that children use the word 'smart' for traits other than IQ ...From a child' POV a smart child is also mature, has control over their emotions and is also well behaved.</td>
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agreed. "Smart" gets used to mean all sorts of things. I would encourage your DD to look beyound the "smart" thing and recognize that different people have different strengths. Her friend most likely knows some things she doesn't know, has been places she hasn't been, etc. It isn't a contest.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kate42</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15441953"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So maybe the fact that this girl also threw in the the nerd comments about Dd's gifted class was something totally separate?</div>
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Well, if someone told my DD that the gifted class was for nerds, she'd mostly say, "yeah, I'm a nerd. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">"<br><br>
Friends are people who, if they say something that hurts your feelings, didn't do it an purpose and apologize when you tell them how it made you feel.<br><br>
People who like to hurt your feelings are NOT your friend!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Linda on the move</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15442196"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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agreed. "Smart" gets used to mean all sorts of things. I would encourage your DD to look beyound the "smart" thing and recognize that different people have different strengths. Her friend most likely knows some things she doesn't know, has been places she hasn't been, etc. It isn't a contest.<br></div>
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Yes, that was what I was about to post. I would discourage an emphasis on "smarter" and instead suggest that people are smart in different ways and it isn't a contest. Also, on another calmer day, I believe it might be a good idea to talk a little about how this sort of teasing can be motivated by insecurity. Maybe encourage a little empathy...just like it can be hard to be the youngest kid it can also be hard to be the oldest one in the group.<br><br>
And, sorry to reveal my ignorance as a homeschooler, but is seven young for second grade? I thought seven was the typical age for a second grader.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Roar</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15442603"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Also, on another calmer day, I believe it might be a good idea to talk a little about how this sort of teasing can be motivated by insecurity. Maybe encourage a little empathy...just like it can be hard to be the youngest kid it can also be hard to be the oldest one in the group.</div>
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This is what I was going to add. While you are right that it was hurtful to your daughter, and inappropriate - and you did the right thing to leave - I would consider also what it might feel like to her to be a full year or two older than the other kids in the class. She is possibly feeling insecure, and convincing herself that she isn't "less smart" than the other kids, by trying to bully another child into believing so. And who better to bully than the child 2 years younger? I think it comes from a place of insecurity (and immaturity) more than anything.<br><br>
Of course, that doesn't help your child much, but maybe if she can empathize a little, she won't be so hurt by the comments. I know that's asking a lot of a 6 year old. Ugh. I wish childhood was easier!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kittykat2481</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15442646"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is what I was going to add. While you are right that it was hurtful to your daughter, and inappropriate - and you did the right thing to leave - I would consider also what it might feel like to her to be a full year or two older than the other kids in the class. She is possibly feeling insecure, and convincing herself that she isn't "less smart" than the other kids, by trying to bully another child into believing so. And who better to bully than the child 2 years younger? I think it comes from a place of insecurity (and immaturity) more than anything.</div>
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This is exactly what I was going to say. Honestly, I felt a little sorry for the older girl when I read your post. She is likely coming from a place of insecurity. I try to encourage empathy in these types of situations and ask my child to try and look at things from the viewpoint of the other child. In doing so, your child will be less likely to find a situation like this intimidating. Of course, it's completely understandable that your dd was bothered by it, but I would try to emphasize that it is about how the other child feels and not anything in particular about your dd.
 

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I wonder if it would have helped if you could have pivoted the conversation to specific things the girls are good at rather than letting it stay stuck on "smarter."
 

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I'd just work on her empathy. This girl was held back. That can't have felt good. She's going to be sensitive to her age and makes herself feel better by saying older age means smarter. You might question the friendship. Ask your DD what she really gets from it, how it makes her feel. Sometimes it pays to be blunt. They are little. They are learning what a real friend should look like. I'd encourage her in other directions now just so she can see that there are options.<br><br>
Both my kids are young in their grade. Both started second grade at 6 for many months. The only kids who ever gave them grief for being young were kids who were held back a grade or put in kindergarten a year (or two) late.
 

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I'm not sure this has much to do with being "gifted", but has more to do with the older girl behaving inappropriately. I would have called her on it. If she had been teasing your dd because she wore glasses or because she had on pink shorts that wouldn't be okay, either.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">She kept telling DD that she was smarter because she was older and DD needed to just "consider it."</td>
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I would have told the other girl that it's not kind to compare that way and that we're all different and we all have different areas of strength and bring our own perspectives to life. If I knew something that the older girl was particularly good at I'd mention that, "you're really great at hooping" and "dd is really great at state capital trivia".<br><br>
I also wouldn't allow my dd to "correct" the other dd's language. Maybe the friend did mean "consider it" instead of "accept it". I could see how either one could work there. Correcting that way is just asking someone to get upset.<br><br>
I believe in letting kids work some things out for themselves (I've got 2 dds and I'm not going to play referee all day), but if they're arguing in this way in my earshot, I'm going to step in and redirect it to more appropriate language and encourage empathy and kindness.<br><br>
I look at it the same way I do manners and saying "please and thank you". If I ask my dd if she wants some olives, for example, and she says, "No! Gross!" I'm going to redirect her and ask her to rephrase in a more appropriate manner. She certainly doesn't have to have any olives, but she does need to get her message across in a kinder way with a "No thanks."<br><br>
So, I would have stepped in earlier and asked the friend to "consider" my dd's feelings and I would have also asked my dd to consider her friend's feelings and not correct her language that way, and privately I might also talk to her about the friend feeling not as smart as some of the other kids in the class (I probably wouldn't say dd herself).<br><br>
They both just need a little empathy coaching, IMO.
 

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Teach her the "cool comeback and eyeroll" trick.<br><br>
I like the "Well thank you for sharing that with me", add in a slight roll of the eyes, turn and walk away.<br><br>
Or "That's a weird thing to say... why do you think that?" Wait for the answer.... then say "Oh, OK, thanks for explaining that".<br><br>
She's going to get picked on a lot. Seven is a little young to start, but it's still going to happen. I almost think it's harder for the moms than the kids. But, it happens to everybody, some kids learn to head it off, some kids let it bother them more. The ones who get more upset are the ones who get picked on the most. Even the nicest kids in the school will eventually say or do something mean.<br><br>
It really has nothing to do with her nerd class. Or who is older or smarter. It's just how kids treat each other sometimes.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>beanma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15443248"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I also wouldn't allow my dd to "correct" the other dd's language. Maybe the friend did mean "consider it" instead of "accept it". I could see how either one could work there. Correcting that way is just asking someone to get upset.<br></div>
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Completely agree with this.<br><br>
There's a little gifted girl who did something similar to my son the other day. She doesn't know he's gifted too since it's something that we just found out and there's no reason to advertise it anyway. She asked if she could borrow something and then my son said, "until when?" But for some reason she didn't understand "until when?" and her first assumption was that my son didn't know what the word 'borrow' meant so she immediately started saying, "well, don't you know what borrow means?" and then she started defining it. It was all very frustrating for my son and in order to communicate with her he had to reword his statement, explain that yes, he did know what borrow meant and he needed to know when she could return it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the replies! I've been mulling this over, and I think what's happening is that the two girls are realizing in their own way that they aren't really suited to be friends. Their ages and personalities are just too different and this may be the natural end to their friendship.<br><br>
I asked DD why she corrected her friend's word and she said that she thought she was helping her. I can see that, but I explained to her that she probably should have asked her friend what she meant instead of jumping in to correct.<br><br>
For those wondering about ages, the cut-off here for school entrance is 9/1. DD's bday is 8/14 and she is the youngest child in her grade.<br><br>
And, yes, I do empathize with the other child. It's got to be hard for her, being older than the rest of her class. It's just kind of hard to feel that empathy as she's calling your own child a "loser nerd", kwim? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> A day after the incident, it's a lot clearer.<br><br>
The thing is, up until yesterday, DD had no real idea that her age and her classes made her different in any way and hearing these things said to her threw her for a loop.<br><br>
I'm guessing that most gifted children will run into situations like this (I know I did as a kid!) and I'm trying to figure out the best way to guide her through them.<br><br>
Thanks, mamas!
 

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meh, I don't think that there is a huge difference between a year in age. My kids are in a mixed age 1--3 grade, 10 kids per grade. When you look at their work, sure there is a difference. But when they are socializing, they all seem to just blend in... Maybe because this is the norm? When they are individually working some kids seem more mature then others, but as a group socializing, I don't think--well, that child is in 1st grade and she's in second.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I honestly don't know if the year and a half age difference between the two girls will be an issue later on, but right now there is a big gap between six and eight.<br><br>
I've come to realize that although DD's classes were mentioned, this probably isn't really a gifted issue but one of two kids not getting along.
 
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