Wednesday, November 18, 2009

an interesting conversation

Kate and I have been butting heads lately about what she wears to school. She has a closet full of nice clothes. In fact, many of the items were chosen by Kate herself. Anyway lately she wants to wear the same (old) clothes and argues relentlessly with me.

Yesterday I asked her why she hadn't worn a shirt that I had just bought her. When she saw it for the first time she loved it. Then I never saw her wear it again. Today she said, "I just don't like it. It looks weird on me." All of a sudden it dawned on me so I said, "Has someone said something to you lately about what you wear?"
Kate: "Yeah. xxx told me I looked weird in that shirt. So did xxx."

Wow. How did I not think of this sooner? Suddenly I recalled her wearing (again) a pair of jeans, an old shirt, and a spud sweatshirt the other day. Even before she put it on she said, "xxx wore this yesterday!" Kate isn't being teased or harassed, but she is so sensitive. Furthermore, Kate is very impressionable. She is a follower. She cares way too much about her appearance. So, our conversation turned into, "Kate what matters is what you think, not your classmates. If they don't like your shirt, who cares?" Easier said then done I realize, but hey, I had to start somewhere.

Tonight after we worked on her homework, spelling, and her reconciliation packet, we discussed things she could say if someone tells her that her shirt is weird again. We even role played. The plan is for her to reply, "well I like it" and leave it at that. Then I had her practice things she could say if she hears someone saying unkind things about anyone else.

It felt so good to connect with her. Thad has been working overtime nonstop this week, and I have been so stressed out that I forgot to be 'there' for my kids. What's funny is that I can't even imagine having this conversation with Olivia. She doesn't seem to be bothered by this stuff. Then again life is a whole lot different when you are four.

Do you remember ever having what you thought was the cutest outfit, haircut, toy, or something only to have your heart broken by some comment? I know I do. For now, we will continue to work on conflict resolution. Good luck to all you moms of girls.


Erin said...

You are an awesome mom, Bonnie. I was so touched reading about how you not only talked with Kate, but role-played how to handle different comments from others, and that you felt more connected with Kate after that. Go you!

HHLSS said...

I had the same thing happen with my daughter and she started wearing only T shirts and jeans and none of the cute outfits she had. I also went over with her what she can say when other girls comment on her clothes. Now this year she wears more outfits that she says are "fashionable" and she doesn't seemed worried about it. She does have some clothes she won't wear because she says they make her look fat now.....WHAT??!! I guess that is my fault.:(

Vicky said...

Kate is lucky to have you for a mom! Its not easy to recognize how vulnerable our "sensitive" kids can be. I too think your idea of role playing was spot on. You gave her such a good tool that she can use repeatedly. Hopefully, she won't have to though :)

Sara said...

It's not just girls. Noah asked the other day why he doesn't have Abercombie or Holister clothes. He too wears the same thing day after day. He also wants to "quit" K-Kids because a few boys have been teasing him about being in it. :(