How can I help my sensitive daughter while she is visiting grandparents far from home?

"I have a very sensitive, almost 9 yr old daughter. The issues we have is that she feels like all her friends are being mean to her. We are lucky because she is very smart and makes friends easily. We have tried scolding, and talking and writing it all down. But we have had the most success with taking a "moment". When she has a moment (crying usually) we have her take time to herself. She goes and plays by herself or reads. This allows her to compose herself and then when she comes out she is fine. Unfortunately we do have to remember that smart children like ours learn very quickly how to manipulate a situation (GRANDPARENTS). My daughter is currently spending her first summer away from home (FL) and is in TN with my parents. My other niece is also there and is very sweet but young and doesn't really understand how to joke with my daughter. 4 days ago my niece said my daughter was acting like a loser. Well they will be playing and then all of the sudden out of nowhere my daughter is crying hysterically. I am so far away that there is really nothing I can do. What can I do to help from this distance?"

Asked by Stacey in commenting on the article, "Raising a Sensitive Child":
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Friendships and peer relationships, My child's grandparent(s)
> 60 days ago



Jun 30, 2010
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

Being so far away you do not have a lot of control over what happens in TN with your daughter, or your parents and other visitors, including your other niece.

I suggest that you might try having conversations with your parents on a regular basis about what is going on in their household.  By all means share with them the effective strategy that you are using to help your girl compose and cope.

  Encourage them to set household rules and limits and to be sure they can enforce them with small, predictable and workable consequences for poor behavior choices made by the children.  There are many good articles and tips on this site for effective parenting strategies and ideas.

You can also have regular conversations with your daughter in which you remind her that she knows how to compose herself and come out 'fine.'  These conversations need not be long ones, but enough for her to do some venting if she needs to, and for you to remind her of her useful tools.  

You can also talk over her experience with her when she comes home to see if you can get some learning "mileage" from it. Most of all, trust that your daughter will grow and learn from being fortunate enough to spend a summer with her grandparents.

Lots of luck.
Bette J. Freedson, LICSW, LCSW, CGP
Clinical Social Worker
JustAsk Expert

Did you find this answer useful?

Additional Answers (1)

MimiR writes:
Tell your daughter that she's acting in an improper fashion.  If she feels that upset, then she may cry, of course, but she should do so in private.

I have a feeling that many of her hurt feelings will go away when they can no longer be used to manipulate the situation.  Sensitive or no, she needs to learn to deal.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
Answer this question


You are about to choose ${username}'s answer as the best answer.

Cancel | Continue

*You can change the best answer in the future if you think that you received a better answer

How likely are you to recommend to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely