How can I help my grade-schooler who is getting teased because she's shorter than other kids her age?

How can I help my grade-schooler who is getting teased because she's shorter than other kids her age?

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Grade-schoolers don't want to stand out too much from the crowd physically. Six- to 8-year-olds can give each other a hard time about their height (or weight, for that matter), and no child wants to be singled out for being too small — or too tall, skinny, or fat. You can help your child feel comfortable in her own skin by showing her that you accept her for who she is, little stature and all, which can go a long way toward staving off any insecurities about her appearance now or later on in life. So choose your words carefully. Instead of "You are my sweet little girl," say, "You are my strong, healthy girl." And avoid attributing your child's lack of ability to height.

Your grade-schooler's concerns about taunts are real to her and she needs to find ways to cope with them. Role-playing can help. You or your partner can act as a tormentor, calling her "Shorty" or whatever derogatory term she has to face. Then together you can come up with a response that your grade-schooler can feel good about. It may be something as simple as a blasé, "Yup, I'm short, and you're tall." It's important to stress that her comment be kind or at least neutral — you don't want to teach your child that it's okay to say something hurtful in response to another kid's cruelty. Let her know, too, that she may have to follow up a few times before such upbeat and honest remarks stymie her name-callers. Likewise, learning to respond unemotionally to ribbing (a bored "So?" may do the trick) should make a bully give up, since she's not getting the reaction she wants.

If you or your partner are on the small side, make sure you catch yourself before saying anything negative about your own height or any other physical characteristic. Such criticism could undo all your efforts to boost your grade-schooler's self-esteem.

And if you were ever mercilessly harassed about something, let your child know how you handled the situation (if you think such tactics are appropriate for her to try). It can help your child to know that she's not alone with her dilemma.

Watch the video: How to deal with a child who hates school (February 2023).

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