Author Topic: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?  (Read 3807 times)

Aleko

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2020, 02:47:49 am »
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you are inciting your otherwise sweet child, to talk about someone and bully someone when they aren't there is to me, frankly a bit horrifying. It is reinforcing to your daughter that she is all important, only her emotions matter,  and not the emotions of the people you make fun of. You are treating the performers like objects and not as human beings with thoughts feelings and emotions.

I agree with everything Nikko-chan said there, and in addition -

It's not only a horrid ploy: it's also flatly self-defeating. By talking in this way you are 100% validating your daughter's belief that her own special princessness entitles her to be the recipient of any attention or applause that may be available anywhere she goes even if she doesn't do a thing to earn it - and actually making things worse, by suggesting that any other children who do get attention and applause by showcasing a difficult skill are in effect stealing her rightful acclaim from her, and deserve to be punished in imagination by fantasising them fouling up their performance and suffering public humiliation: "Snigger, snigger! That'll teach that nasty kid not to practise her music for hours every day for years so she can steal Brielle's thunder!" It really makes no difference whether she knows the other girl or not: that's no way to teach her to think about other people.

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in the midst of a meltdown, we can't have that "lets practice being a good audience for violin girl" talk as the talent would be over when we would be back at our seats.

Nobody is suggesting that you have to do that on the spot; it's quite OK to keep that for later*. As PVZFan said, you need to establish a get-a-grip-on-myself formula that she and you know, so that when she starts going off on one you routinely whisk her into the restroom, splash water on her and make her do her counting to 50 / reciting the rhyme / whatever, and stand over her till she does and is calm again. Then ask if she's prepared to go back into the auditorium now and listen to the rest of the event or if you're going to have to take her straight home.

(The mother of one of my friends at primary school regularly carried a brown paper bag around with her, and if any child in her charge burst into tears she would make them put their face into it. It always worked like a charm: even the most hysterical sobs rapidly faded sheepishly into nothingness. Years later I read this comment on that ploy by Joan Didion: "As it happens, there is a sound physiological reason, something to do with oxygen, for doing exactly that, but the psychological effect alone is incalculable: it is difficult in the extreme to continue fancying oneself Cathy in Wuthering Heights with one’s head in a Food Fair bag.” Very true.)

*Edited to add: But be aware that no amount of uplifting moral talk about 'let's be nice to people, accept that they too are entitled to their chance to shine, let's learn to be happy for them when they do well instead of being jealous' is going to have any effect if what you are teaching her in practice is 'when I want to cry because people are clapping another kid and not me, what makes me feel better is imagining her fouling up embarrassingly in front of everyone so I can laugh about that'.  It isn't easy to make words stick, but the learned skill of actually using aggression to adjust her brain chemicals to make her feel better is not something she will easily forget.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 05:20:30 am by Aleko »
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VorFemme

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #46 on: August 03, 2020, 10:16:21 am »
Brielle danced?  Remind her that dance goes so well with music - dancers need violinists, pianists, and the like to add to their performance (although the same can't be said for the musicians).  Music and song go together as well - although only in musicals do you usually add dance to the mix...  But everyone deserves their chance to be in the spotlight and their turn to be the lead (dancer, soloist instrument, singer, or whatever) - but someone has to be the audience.  Point out that a good audience is the best reward to all the musicians, singers, dancers, actors, and such who are performing and help Brielle become an excellent member of that audience...

She may end up a doctor, lawyer, pilot, nurse, CEO, teacher, or a career that hasn't quite been invented yet - but help her become a woman who can do *that* job with grace under pressure as well!

No rhinestone crown for the suit at the wedding, please...although you could playfully tell her that she showed real grace and was so grown up later (if she goes) and that you appreciate how much she's growing up into such a wonderful young lady (not a princess) who can go places and do things with her parents and other family members. 
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Hmmm

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #47 on: August 03, 2020, 05:35:00 pm »
I hope we've not scared you away. What I love about this group is the ability to ask a question and get blunt and honest feedback. Often friends or family will soften their input based on what they think you want to hear. Or if it's an aunt or grandparent giving input about your child, of course the child is an angel at all times.

When my daughter was in Pre-K, she attended a school where the administrator really, really disliked the idea of referring to young girls as princesses.  The school's main perspective was that a "princess" lives a different life and is considered "above" the rest of her social circle let alone those that "serve" her. So either all students at the school are princesses and princes or none are because they are all social equals. Their opinions have stuck with me for the last 20 years. The only person who was allowed to refer to our daughter as a princess was her grandfather and the joke was that she had a kingdom of 1, him.

"I been telling her how her suit is going to make her look sophisticated and classy, and she will have to act the part. Crying and sulking isn't either of those. If she still wants to keep up her "princess" thing, I said we can get a crown or a star shaped shaped brooch and we can pin it on her jacket lapel! Not obvious, but just enough to make her feel special. She can get a new little purse and kitten heels to go with the outfit too. I really want to make this a "grown up" ordeal for her.

So while it is not my place to tell you how to raise your daughter, your comment about perpetuating the princess thing surfaced the memories. I wish I still had some of the info they passed on, but I did a quick search and found a couple of articles that may give you a different perspective. No one's feelings will be hurt if you ignore this post.

https://www.npr.org/2011/02/05/133471639/saving-our-daughters-from-an-army-of-princesses
Item 4 here https://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2012/06/28/7-ways-youre-hurting-your-daughters-future/#1e4e8a2b4462
https://www.yourtango.com/2015278551/moms-for-the-love-of-god-stop-calling-your-kid-a-princess

Raising a daughter in the 90's & 00's was hard enough with the just beginning stages of social media and the "look at me" culture. I don't envy you.

modified to correct formatting.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 09:31:21 am by Hmmm »
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katiekat2009

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #48 on: August 03, 2020, 07:02:22 pm »
A lot of good advice here. (Where were y'all when I was raising my daughter?!) Perhaps she would enjoy a pretend wedding using her dolls where she gets to be their flower girl? You could even film it for her.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 07:17:42 pm by katiekat2009 »
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Gellchom

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #49 on: August 04, 2020, 11:20:08 pm »
I hope we havenít overwhelmed you!

Do consider encouraging Brielleís interests in dance and whatever else she likes in a non-competitive situation.  E.g., not a dance team that competes, but a good dance class, which will probably still have recitals and applause, but not winners and losers.  (Probably better training, too.)  If she likes fashion, let her learn to sew or design, not compete in pageants. 

The idea is to focus on the skill or activity, not winning a prize for it and not competing with others.  If sheís always in competition with others, it will be much harder for her to see them not as obstacles to her own success but as people with feelings, and to cheerfully let them have their turn and even root for them.
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Aleko

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2020, 01:48:32 pm »
One thing that does seem clear from your various posts is how richly and reliably her family actually reward her for her meltdowns. Unless that changes, it seems downright unreasonable to expect her to stop having them!

Let’s take the wedding business. She sulked at a wedding last year and you’ve been so worried that she'd do the same this year that you actually were thinking of dressing her as a flower girl/princess: so clearly her last year's tantrum worked for her very powerfully. If you had actually done that - though I can hardly believe that in the end you really would have done such a thing - that would’ve been a 100% grand slam win for her: in effect you would have been conceding that "The power of Brielle’s need to shine, and the threat of a tantrum if she can’t, trumps everything - including propriety and ordinary guest good manners"!

Your next suggestion, of buying her the lovely pink sparkly suit of her choice to wear with a brooch and a bow instead of 'a plain nice church/Easter dress' as last time, so that she could look really special at the wedding, is not quite such a resounding victory but is still a pretty good result for her - especially as she has not actually promised not to have a tantrum! In the light of all the subsequent information I’m no longer worried by her statement that she’s 'still scared of a flower girl (or a few) being there': on the contrary, I’m truly awed at her instinctive strategic nous. She has characterised her tantrums as something that she has no control over but just happen to her as an epileptic fit or asthmatic attack might do, and it appears that you accept this is so - though it certainly isn't. *  Thus she has both accepted your bribe to behave properly and still reserved the right to misbehave anyway. That's masterful!

Your fallback option was to leave her behind with her aunt. That would be still a modest win for her, because weddings can be pretty boring for young children anyway. They go on for a long time, their parents spend ages making dull adult chat with a lot of grownups she doesn’t know (so she's not merely not the star of the show, she doesn't even have your full attention). Spending the day with her adored aunt and being the centre of her attention is probably far more fun than attending a wedding in a 'plain nice dress', so her threat of tantrums has still gained her something. (I also suspect darkly that having promised her that lovely pink suit to wear to the wedding you wouldn’t have the heart to say 'oh well, you’re not going to need that then' and not buy it for her! So she might well score the sparkly outfit without even having to go to the tiresome old wedding.)

And perhaps most of all, she’s made this wedding all about herself.  Made herself the centre of all your attention instead of you thinking about your friend, to the extent that you admitted you almost came to wish it wasn’t going to take place at all.

And then there are all those tantrums at concerts. Yes, some other child is getting all the attention of everyone there: she can’t do anything about that. But by having a meltdown she can stop her own parents, who ought only to care about her, from paying attention to and admiring this other child. And then you and your husband, it appears, reliably abandon this child's performance and rush out with her, comfort her, denigrate the other child - or at least her skills and hard work - to make her feel as good if not better as her. It sounds as though you don’t let yourselves show the slightest disappointment at missing that child’s performance, or let her know that her behaviour has embarrassed you in public. Rather, it sounds like a perfect love-fest: her parents, pulled firmly away from any other children and focusing on re-stressing their love for their princess, their only kid, which as you and she both know is what she wants most.

I don't mean to suggest at all that she is consciously manipulating you and your husband; she has just learned subconsciously from you to need your loving admiration and exclusive attention, and how to go about getting it. She may even subconsciously believe that it's what you too really want, since you seem to participate so lovingly and animatedly in her meltdowns.


 * Which are almost certainly not uncontrollable. Does she ever have them, whatever the provocation, in front of an audience whose sympathy she can't count on? For instance, a teacher who might say 'Really, Brielle! Pull yourself together and behave!' Or the rest of her dance troupe, who might stand around and giggle 'Look at Brielle crying like a baby!" I doubt it. Which means that she has them because they work for her; and she's not likely to stop having them (why should she?) unless they stop working for her.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 04:34:30 pm by Aleko »
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jpcher

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2020, 06:22:55 am »
I'd like to give this thread a rest for a while until Newbie-OP comes back to reply.

I think we're all pretty much in agreement and OP has stated that she is reading with interest.

I don't like the term, but dog-piling seems to fit.

Sorry to all that invested their time and advice. Just my thoughts.
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oogyda

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2020, 08:18:53 am »
I'd like to give this thread a rest for a while until Newbie-OP comes back to reply.

I think we're all pretty much in agreement and OP has stated that she is reading with interest.

I don't like the term, but dog-piling seems to fit.

Sorry to all that invested their time and advice. Just my thoughts.

I was hoping OP would come back, but I doubt that's likely after Aleko's post.  It was rather harsh and would discourage most people.

Hopefully, she took some of it to heart and ignored the rest.
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SparklingIce

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #53 on: August 08, 2020, 11:06:25 pm »
Life happens, friends. Again, sorry for not being very active. These message boards are not my thing but I am reading it all. It's not very pleasant at times, but it's alot to think about.

I'll confess that the "it's not so fun" thought process is my own game I made up when I had my own annoyances with those with good fortune. Now this wasn't with everyone who had good things, just the ones that nagged me me in the wrong way. - "The Victoria's Secret model probably has an eating disorder anyway!" - "Ugh, I hate giant spiders and monster lizards, I can easily live without a vacation in Autralia." (But honestly, I DO want to go there) Basically, I come up with reasons to make that thing/place/situation less attractive and not worth being jealous of.

That's all I want for Bri to understand, it's not worth being jealous of!

But I guess that's not the best route to go and will be readjusted to the next time she get testy with another child. Thank goodness this hasn't happened as of late.
I really do want her to enjoy the talents of other children, the same way she would want other kids to watch her when she performs.

That being said, I still haven't been able to bring myself to contact the family about any children in the wedding party. The more I think on it, it is not my place to poke my nose in. This is only the second wedding she's been to and I truly want it to be fun for her if she is willing. We did attempt to make her come out and dance on the dance floor the last time, but she just didn't budge. Simply just LOOKING at the flower girls distressed her, she spent all her time hiding under the table. We left after cake and first dance, she hid her face in her daddy's shoulder as her carried her out. It was not the best experience for her, much less us. I'm hoping roughly a year's gap will have made her change a bit and really been playing up being a 7 year old little lady and not a cry baby 6 year old like last time. We still been on hold with ordering her her little suit and are looking at other dress up options, just in case of a growth spurt between now and the wedding. The idea of dressing up is making her excited since I started letting her play an active part in putting together her outfit for it. Maybe that was all we needed to do in the first place.

Sadly no dance comps or pagents are happening at the moment for our reigion, and we don't really feel all that safe doing them right now. But we DO love doing these very much and she has amazing confidence putting on makeup and fancy costumes. She really shines and enjoys being a part of such an activity. She's never even won a major title in either but she is thrilled none the less just to be a part of it.
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Jem

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2020, 03:59:40 am »
I donít know that it is healthy to diminish or taint someone elseís accomplishments or attributes in an attempt to quell jealousy. Iím sure Brielle wouldnít want other people to do that to her. Shouldnít she be taught to be confident in herself and that she doesnít have to dim someone elseís shine in order to shine herself?

The descriptions of how Brielle has acted in various situations and was allowed to act at the last wedding make me cringe. She truly needs to work on her social skills, although I donít know that a wedding is the place to practice. I wouldnít want such behavior at my event.

She needs to learn to be happy for other people without rationalizing that they somehow donít deserve it or that they really are ďworseĒ than she is. The technique described by the OP to deal with jealousy comes across as really quite destructive to a child (and to an adult)!
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Rose Red

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2020, 07:52:31 am »
When she refuse to dance and have fun at the wedding, she was only punishing herself. Yet you let her ruin it for you too. Same thing with the concert and the tv talent show. Your daughter needs to learn that she can't be a part of everything. And you and your husband need to learn how to how not to let her control you. You could have just let her pout and hide (as long as she wasn't making a loud scene) while you enjoy the wedding.

It seems you're afraid of your daughter's meltdowns and are willing to give up your lifestyle and sacrifice others so that she's never unhappy. What will happen when she grows up? People are less willing to understand and brush off a sulking teenager/adult like they are children.

Nobody is perfect and we all have moments of jealousy and sour grapes, but learning to be disappointed in public is an important part of life. Sometimes we can't manage to hide our disappointment but we still need to try to be polite when it happens.
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Gellchom

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #56 on: August 09, 2020, 08:19:26 am »
Look, sheís just a little kid. I donít know many kids her age who are empathetic cheerleaders for others.  Itís just something she needs to work on, with your help.  Thereís always something!  Some kids are violent or steal or lie, and that's worse, And their parents have to deal with that.  And they do, and so can you. 

I do agree with others that negativity about others, even secretly, isnít a good strategy, though.  In one of your posts, you indicated that it was a strategy you have used yourself.  Maybe this will be good for both of you.

Success and blessings arenít a zero sum game, and itís an unhealthy trap to fall into thinking that way.  Another personís talents and triumphs do not reduce our own one bit.  I love the candle analogy.

Brielle has many advantages and strengths that others do not.  She didnít get them at their expense.  And they donít have theirs at her expense, either. 

I think sheís old enough to understand that. 

This is why I suggest strongly that you steer her away from competitive situations.  Dance classes, not competitive teams.  Music and art lessons, not pageants.  Exercise and play, not trophies.  Focus on the skill and the joy of creation and improving, not WINNING.  Because thatís the zero-sum mind set she needs to let go of ó where only one person or team can be The Winner or The Star or The Only Child.  You are in control of that, and she needs you to do it for her. 

Improvement will be gradual and unsteady, so donít be too hard on yourselves.  Sheís going to be fine. 

Hugs to you both!
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Rose Red

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2020, 09:10:49 am »
The OP said her daughter doesn't care about winning. She just want to be part of the group that's in the center of attention. She need to learn that's not possible all the time and how to handle it without putting down others. She's a child, which makes it easier to slowly teach empathy now rather than later. Children will hit out or pout or throw tantrums, but those are teachable moments as they happen (or when they calm down).

I'm glad the OP is at least recognizing it does more harm than good in the long run to put down other children to make her daughter feel better and hopefully stop.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2020, 09:12:44 am by Rose Red »
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SparklingIce

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #58 on: August 10, 2020, 06:55:18 pm »
I feel like I have to defend myself here with things being so judgy.

It's difficult to say without looking like a pushy mom, but I WANT good things for Brielle. We all want wonderful things for our children that will give them a leg up in life.

I want you all to think of all the social media child superstars who have their own youtube channels and instagrams - think MiuMiu the guitar girl, Lane and all her handmade custom Disney costumes, Ryan and his toys, Claire and her professionally made music videos - if you don't known them I encourage you to look them up. Would you look down on them the same way you look down on dance competitions or pagentry? The parents of those those children also want what I want for Brielle. I'm sure you all want success for your children too! True that I don't give her her own channel or social media site, but I encourage and nurture talents and self confidence in her when she does her dance competitions. The pagents are not even a big blip on our radar, once a year since she was five, and they were natural look. No heavy makeup, no blingy dresses, no over the top glitz of the big circuit pagents. She gets to play dress up, show off, and take home a sash and crown (all participants do).

As for the princess thing, I KNOW we will have to cut down on that. And for the most part, we have. Without extracurriculars, social activities, etc. She's just a plain old little girl doing online lessons, playing in her wading pool, dressing up for pretend play, and doing crafts. Sometimes we take her nature trail biking and follows children's dance instruction videos via youtube. They are a bit lower level for her, but she likes them and it keeps her dance knowledge in check.

I tell you, she is a plain child who just has a few hiccups now and then with her envy. Please PLEASE don't consider her bad or spoiled.
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oogyda

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Re: Honorary Flower Girl - Sorta?
« Reply #59 on: August 11, 2020, 06:53:42 am »
I feel like I have to defend myself here with things being so judgy.

It's difficult to say without looking like a pushy mom, but I WANT good things for Brielle. We all want wonderful things for our children that will give them a leg up in life.

I want you all to think of all the social media child superstars who have their own youtube channels and instagrams - think MiuMiu the guitar girl, Lane and all her handmade custom Disney costumes, Ryan and his toys, Claire and her professionally made music videos - if you don't known them I encourage you to look them up. Would you look down on them the same way you look down on dance competitions or pagentry? The parents of those those children also want what I want for Brielle. I'm sure you all want success for your children too! True that I don't give her her own channel or social media site, but I encourage and nurture talents and self confidence in her when she does her dance competitions. The pagents are not even a big blip on our radar, once a year since she was five, and they were natural look. No heavy makeup, no blingy dresses, no over the top glitz of the big circuit pagents. She gets to play dress up, show off, and take home a sash and crown (all participants do).

As for the princess thing, I KNOW we will have to cut down on that. And for the most part, we have. Without extracurriculars, social activities, etc. She's just a plain old little girl doing online lessons, playing in her wading pool, dressing up for pretend play, and doing crafts. Sometimes we take her nature trail biking and follows children's dance instruction videos via youtube. They are a bit lower level for her, but she likes them and it keeps her dance knowledge in check.

I tell you, she is a plain child who just has a few hiccups now and then with her envy. Please PLEASE don't consider her bad or spoiled.

While I haven't seen the youtube and instagram channels you've mentioned, I have seen some of that type and others that showcase individual children and even whole families.......I have grandkids.  The problem is that those are FAKE!  They are putting on a show just as much as if it were a television show and they are giving your daughter (and you) very unrealistic expectations of how most people....to use your terminology,  plain people....live their lives.  And how they should be treated.  They are the "star" of their channel and are treated as such.  But, I think it's a mistake to make Brielle the "star" of your family.  Immediate and extended.   

I'm not suggesting or assuming you let her spend hours a day watching these things, but put away the tablet!!!  Give up the youtube and instagram and go live YOUR life not influenced by how others try to make you believe they live theirs.