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1 Burnside Child Care and Parenting- General

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Mom, They're Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems

by

Mom, They're Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

THE EVERYDAY LIVES OF CHILDREN: Normal Social Pain

Every morning when the buses pull up in front of an elementary,

middle, or high school building, an extraordinary

social drama unfolds. Most adults miss the importance

of this opening act of the school day, because it is a daily theater,

apparently so predictable that grown-ups are not alert

to its intensity. But kids get off the bus with their minds

geared not to Spanish, spelling, or computer class, but to

seeing their friends. They're ready for the curtain to rise on

the action of the day--for the conflict and connection of social

life.

Children suffer when they are teased or excluded or

have a fight with a friend--and parents suffer emphatically

right along with them. Our job is to bear that pain and

also to put it in perspective. After all, we lived through

cliques and betrayals and heartaches, and our children will

too. Of course, there are things we can do to ease the pain--

theirs and ours--but our first job is to take a deep breath and

trust in children's resilience and in the process of human

development.

The social troubles children face are so predictable and

inevitable that it is hard to call them traumas. Nevertheless,

they do hurt and they do sap a child's confidence. Losing a

friend, having a secret betrayed, and being teased are just a

few examples. As parents, we want desperately to help children

escape these hard lessons of life, or at least master them

when they do happen. We know that lectures don't really

work, but we keep giving them anyway, just in case. We

aren't sure what else to do. We also know that our own endless

worrying doesn't help, but we have a hard time turning

it off.

Research shows that the majority of kids fall somewhere

in the middle of the social hierarchy. Their status ranges

from basically accepted to well liked to wildly popular. For

these children, intense social issues (and pain) are still prevalent.

In fact, pressures and conflicts are universal as kids

deal with clashes among the individual, the friendship pair,

and the group. Most of the answers to the questions in this

section begin with reassurance. Our goal is to help adults

understand such factors as temperament, group dynamics,

and child development. Our hope is that a better understanding

of these things will provide some perspective, a

dose of optimism, and a little relief from the anxiety we feel.

Parents and other adults all have their own painful memories

of social struggles. These memories are triggered when children

hand over their pain to their parents. It's hard to separate

the new pain of your child's present from the old pain of

your own school days. It's a bit like getting your toe stepped

on when it's already broken.

When we label much of what you worry about as "normal"

social pain, we do not in any way mean to trivialize it.

The pain we feel when we lose a loved one is universal too--

and therefore "normal." But that does not lessen its sting. In

fact, knowing that something is universal, that you and your

child are not the only people who ever went through this

pain, can be powerfully comforting.

If you read between the lines as you look over the questions

in this section, you'll see that more often than not, what

parents and teachers are really asking is this: "Is my child

normal?" "Are the children in my class normal?" There is

often a great deal of anxiety and concern behind these questions.

Much uncertainty and anxiety comes from a lack of

experience about how normal it is for children to be in pain,

or how normal it is for children to be so difficult for adults to

understand and to handle. Normal children are not wonderful

every minute. Their friendships aren't always a scene on

a Hallmark card. In fact, they throw us all kinds of curve

balls. I often share with parents this quote from the brilliant

child psychiatrist D. W. Winnicott in his book The Child,

The Family, and the Outside World, "What is the normal

child like? Does he just eat and grow and smile sweetly? No,

that is not what he is like. A normal child, if he has confidence

in his father and mother, pulls out all the stops. In the

course of time he tries out his power to disrupt, to destroy, to

frighten, to wear down, to waste, to wangle and to appropriate.

Everything that takes people to the courts (or to the asylums,

for that matter) has its normal equivalent in infancy

and early childhood (and in adolescence), in the relation

of the child to his own home. If the home can stand up to all

the child can do to disrupt it, he settles down to play; but

business first, the tests must be made."

We have to bear the pain that our children share with us,

pain that might break our hearts or annoy us or remind us of

our own horrible peer experiences. And we have to keep a

sense of perspective about all that pain. Indeed, the first rule

of worrying as a parent is to take the long view.

There is a story about an anxious first-time mother

who called her baby's pediatrician constantly, sometimes

several times a day. After a couple of months of this, he asked

to see her. This is what he said: "Mrs. Smith, you have given

birth to a child. You have opened yourself up to a lifetime

of worry. You have to pace yourself." Kids, too, need

to learn to pace themselves in the long-distance race of growing

up.

In the first of the two case studies that follow, you will

meet a mother who learned to manage her worry and to promote,

rather than anguish about, her child's friendships.

The second case study in this section will introduce you

to Karen, a young adult, and her reflections about the complex

interplay of identity, friendship, and popularity during

adolescence. Karen's ability to look back on her own social

life helps her make sense of a struggle that was hard to

understand when she was living through it. We hope her

view will give you added perspective on your own children's

experiences in the world of friendship and popularity.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Through vividly written case studies and a reader-friendly question-and-answer format, Mom, Theyre Teasing Me is full of specific, how-to advice for parents to help their children navigate the sometimes harsh terrain of social life-which includes name-calling, after-school fights, esteem-crushing cliques, and malicious exclusion by the popular kids. Through thoughtful discussion and insightful suggestions, parents will discover

• The difference between real risk and normal social pain

• The appropriate time to intervene-and when to step back

• Tips on how to mediate between children-without appearing meddlesome

• The importance of teaching and encouraging leadership

• The redemptive power of friendship

Mom, Theyre Teasing Me answers key questions about the many manifestations of social cruelty, offers compelling descriptions of prime “teasing” scenarios, and illustrates how to counter them. It is an indispensable book for involved parents who want to make their childs formative years rich and rewarding.

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed authors of "Best Friends, Worst Enemies" comes the perfect companion volume: a practical, how-to guide for parents to help their children navigate the sometimes harsh terrain of social life.

About the Author

Michael Thompson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, lecturer, consultant, and former seventh-grade teacher. He conducts workshops on social cruelty, childrens friendships, and boys development across the United States. He is the author of Speaking of Boys and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Raising Cain, as well as Best Friends, Worst Enemies, with Catherine ONeill Grace and Lawrence J. Cohen. The father of a daughter and a son, he and his wife live in Arlington, Massachusetts. Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D., is a psychologist and the author of Playful Parenting. He is also a columnist for The Boston Globe. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife and daughter. Catherine ONeill Grace is the author of numerous nonfiction books for children and was a former middle school teacher. For fifteen years she wrote a Washington Post column for young readers about health and psychology. She and her husband live in Waltham, Massachusetts.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345450111
Author:
Thompson, Michael
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Author:
Thompson, Michael Phd
Author:
Michael Thompson, Ph.D.
Subject:
School Age
Subject:
Bullying
Subject:
Social interaction in children
Subject:
Parenting - General
Subject:
Life Stages - School Age
Subject:
Parenting
Subject:
Child Care and Parenting-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20040831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 0.58 in 0.52 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General

Mom, They're Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345450111 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Through vividly written case studies and a reader-friendly question-and-answer format, Mom, Theyre Teasing Me is full of specific, how-to advice for parents to help their children navigate the sometimes harsh terrain of social life-which includes name-calling, after-school fights, esteem-crushing cliques, and malicious exclusion by the popular kids. Through thoughtful discussion and insightful suggestions, parents will discover

• The difference between real risk and normal social pain

• The appropriate time to intervene-and when to step back

• Tips on how to mediate between children-without appearing meddlesome

• The importance of teaching and encouraging leadership

• The redemptive power of friendship

Mom, Theyre Teasing Me answers key questions about the many manifestations of social cruelty, offers compelling descriptions of prime “teasing” scenarios, and illustrates how to counter them. It is an indispensable book for involved parents who want to make their childs formative years rich and rewarding.

"Synopsis" by , From the acclaimed authors of "Best Friends, Worst Enemies" comes the perfect companion volume: a practical, how-to guide for parents to help their children navigate the sometimes harsh terrain of social life.
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