Dealing with a sensitive child

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Lil P was very sick the whole of last week. She had got some mild form of food poisoning (after eating at Mac D?? ) and was throwing up constantly. She stayed at home and missed her school. Day 2 she developed fever and was sort of delirious.. She had been complaining about not wanting to go to school and I generally assumed that she didn’t want to go to school because she was feeling sick..But amidst her tears she complained that she did not want to go to school because she was afraid that her teacher would scold her.. On prodding, she said that on Friday, she had “accidentally” colored a wrong section in her school activity book and her teacher was displeased. Lil P was sad that she had upset her teacher and kept repeating that it was an accident.. meaning a honest mistake and she was sorry. It took me 15 mins to calm her down and get her to sleep again.
But I couldn’t sleep for a long long time.. It scares me that such a small issue affected her so much that in her drug induced stupor she remembered the incident and was upset about it. I know her teacher personally and she is a very sweet lady. Lil P also loves her a lot and is doing very well at school. She constantly wants to please her teacher and is upset when she doesn’t get importance. She is very sensitive to how the teacher reacts ( I’m sure the lady doesn’t even raise her voice at her) .. Lil P has always been very sensitive. She cries if some random kid in the park says something mean to her.. or if she says hello and the other person doesn’t respond.

I didn’t know what was the right way to handle this.
Should I tell her as if its not a big deal.. and ask her to forget it? – Nah! won’t work with her. It was a big deal for her.

I tried telling her that since it was a mistake, an accident as she put it, the teacher would understand and would not be angry. – She was not very convinced.

I told her I would talk to the teacher during the PTM and explain that that it was an accident.. she then didn’t want to go to school till PTM..

I then told her I would write in her diary and she can go show it to her teacher and say sorry herself … that kind of calmed her and that is what we did today.

She went and said sorry to the surprised teacher.. and all is well today.

But my mind goes in overdrive and I shudder to think she is turning into those kids who would go hang themselves because they lost a mark or because someone said something to them.. Over the next few days I want to sit down with her and try explaining it to her.. Do you have any suggestions? Or am I overreacting?

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  1. Hmmm, I don’t have kids, so I can’t understand child psychology, but I am sure that you’re definitely not overreacting.
    Being this sensitive to little things is not a good thing for her, especially when you’re not around her.
    I hope some mothers will be able to help you here, but I think you should consult someone if your daughter continues to show signs like these..
    And hey, don’t think so much negative stuff about hanging etc in extremes… hope things will be fine 🙂

  2. Nope you are not over reacting.. a lot of kids consider their teachers as Gods 🙂 and I can well understand what Lil’P is going through…it has happened to me as well 🙁 and my parents did exactly what you its okie…as she grows a bit older, I am sure she will understand..

    Hugs hugs and hope her health is better

    and just to let you are other reasons why children refuse to go to school

    R didnt want to go to school today
    RM:Why R
    R: mereko black uniform aacha nahi lagta

  3. You are certainly not over-reacting Shruti.. Some children are very sensitive and as parents, we get a little anxious, specially with so much info flooding the web..

    I generally let Vyas field the situation himself.. If he’z made a mistake (which is perfectly OK), accident or otherwise, he gets to face the criticism (and these days, its in its mildest form from the teachers, and I find the teachers are more involved..) There have been instances where he’z taken incomplete work to school and the reasons will be valid too.. But he has to do the explaining and convince, or get an earful.. I don’t know if it is right or wrong, but I feel they must learn to accept that they are bound to make mistakes and in that event, face the consequences- mild or moderate! I keep reiterating that it is ok to fail.. As long as the teachers are ‘good’, I think there is no need to worry..

    Let me know what you think abt handling it this way..

  4. I think your reaction was pretty OK. You did fine as a mom, so chill !!
    You know your daughter, you are the best judge of her sentiments and behavior, so you did ‘samjhofy’ her with all that prior knowledge.
    Sometimes we get scared about what we do as moms…I guess that happens when we’re overloaded (in your case, she was unwell, plus your work, etc etc) and also because we’re too close to the problem (assuming there is a problem). So don’t raise the issue with P again, let this episode go.
    Do something totally fun and different with her. You both need it.

  5. Hi Shruti new to your blog and must say Great job.
    As a mother I can understand your concern but the fact is that in real life we can’t always shield them and it will never bode well for our kids to be hyper sensitive. You must acknowledge her feelings but also express to her that there is a easy way to deal with this that does not involve skipping school and crying, which is pretty much what you did by giving the note for the teacher. So kudos to you. 🙂

  6. Don’t worry. Your kid will outgrow it. My daughter used to be like that in kindergarten, now I call her a buffalo for the thick hide she seems to have developed.

  7. Its your concern not over reaction Shruti…..I also get into same situations due to an over sensitive kid. But lately I have decided to let him handle these situations himself. Because I can not be present everywhere with him and he needs to grow up.

  8. You’re surely not over-reacting and you did the right thing .. that diary is a very useful thing. When Naisha started going to school I once had to ask her tacher to give her a hug everyday. She’ll get better as she grows older. MEanwhile it’ll help if you keep reiterating that everyone makes mistakes, that people do not dislike you for one mistake.. give examples. Ask her if you made a mistake (forgot to get what you promised her etc.) does she stop loving you forever? Talking is the key I tell you.:-) And hugs .. to her and to you.

  9. @Nisha – we are dealing with it slowly.. It will take time but I want to be able to get her to be a little chilled about school.
    @R’s mom – ur mom is a teacher na? 🙂 n R is a doll.. thanks for sharing it.. made me go LOL and my tension just evaporated.
    @Vidya – Rightly put.. I was not worried about her being afraid of her teacher .. but she was not ready to face the situation. I think what u said makes a lot of sense.
    @Neelum – took ur advice and baked a cake! We loved it.
    @Swapna – Welcome here . I guess as a mom we just learn on the job and keep learning every day.. toughest job on earth I say.. going to office is easy peasy..
    @LG – Ayyo 🙂 But good for her!
    @craftisland – yes i need to let her face the consequences.. and be supportive along the way.
    @OM: thanks for that insight.. Counter examples should help.. I’ll try it this week.