New here, Intro, and Cattyness ?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
New here, Intro, and Cattyness ?
4
Thu, 11-17-2005 - 12:45pm

hi. i've got 2 girls ages 6 & 3 with another girl on the way, due in March!
i don't handle little girl cattyness very well, and anytime my 1st grader tells me that 'so & so' was snotty to her, i get very stressed about it. more so than SHE does! i know they say that little girls can be very catty at times, but my hollie just isn't that way, so it's hard for me to accept. she's always been one of those kids who will play with anyone. she doesn't pick 1 friend & cling to her like her preschool teacher told me is what most girls do. her preschool teacher had brought up this point in a conference once, and acted concerned. it didn't suprize me though b/c she's never been that kinda kid. she's pretty outgoing & not shy & she will play with anyone willing, boy or girl.
the last time a little girl was snotty toward hollie, i couldn't eat for a whole day! then, the next day we received an invitation to this girls birthday party, so that was a complete waste of starving energy on my part!
how do you guys handle little girl cattyness toward you dd's?

kriste w/hollie 5/24/99

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Thu, 11-17-2005 - 6:22pm

Hi Kriste:

It will be interesting to see what other replies you get to this question. I have a boy (my six year old) and a girl (who is four) and cattiness has not yet been a big issue.

However, I was bothered last year by certain boys being less then nice to my son. My first reaction was to tell my son that he certainly did not need to play with everyone and if someone was not nice to him, that he should just look elsewhere for his friends. However, after reading a book about bullying in school, I have changed my answer. I still don't know if I am doing the exact right thing, but my new method seems to be working out better for my son. I now first just say something empathetic, like, "Oh, that would have made me feel pretty bad too." Then I say something like "Well, you know first graders really are still learning how to be friends and sometimes they say mean things without realizing that this is not how a friend behaves. Do you think you could just forgive them and give them a second chance?" Because, in fact, what I said is true. First graders ARE still learning how to be friends and I think the best thing a kid can do is to brush it off and try not to be too hurt or upset by it. I have noticed that since taking this tact with my son, that he will rationalize the less then kind behavior to himself now. He will tell me something that happened and then say, "But I know he is still learning how to be a good friend, so it didn't hurt my feelings. But I told him he better not call me that anymore!!" So I know that he is standing up for himself without getting all upset about it, which is, I think and hope, the best response he could give to kids who might try meanness out on him.

At first I was concerned that this would make my son be a doormat for bad behavior imposed upon him, but what I have observed is that it really IS true - it's not just something to say to a kid to make them feel better. The same kids who were mean one day will change their behavior based on how my son handles it. And they will be friends and better people for it.

The absolute worst thing a child can do is to take meanness personally or be too sensitive to it. I speak from personal experience here. You need to give your child an alternate reason for why another little person wasn't kind to them, so they don't immediately take it upon themselves. That person could be having a bad day or maybe she just hasn't yet figured out how to be a good friend. There are lots of other reasons for the meanness other then, "She hates me because I am a loser." :)

Hope this helps,

Susan

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Registered: 12-16-2003
Thu, 11-17-2005 - 10:15pm
Hi and welcome. I have a 7 yo ds and 11 yo dd. Trust me, she is in Jr. High, catty central! I tell my kids to use thier judgement. Do you truely want to be friends with someone who treats you and others like that? I do tell them if it is not a regular for that kid to be snotty that perhaps they had a bad day. Everyone has those, but when the kids are always bratty, then it is up to my kids to decide. I ask if that is how they believe God wants them to act. My ds is small for his age, but will quickly stand up for anyone getting picked on. Since he has been in martial arts for years, he has a lot of confidence in his abilities to defend himself. I figure I can guide them, but can't pick thier friends. These are learning opportunities to teach them good decision making!!!

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Fri, 11-18-2005 - 2:07pm
thanks ladies. what i usually tell my dd is "sometimes girls can be snotty. some days they can be in bad moods. but you're a sweet girl so don't take it personal".
like i mentioned, thank goodness I take it worse than she does! she's kinda free spirit that way. i do spend time volunteering in her classroom & from what i can see, they all get along fine. the teacher says that too. i guess it just catches my dd off guard when a girl is in a bad mood now & again. hollie's pretty much in the same mood everyday.
thanks again.
kristie w/ hollie 5/24/99
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 11-25-2005 - 1:17pm

I have had this issue with Tre and his friends at school a LOT! The truth is that that's childhood.

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