This problem is not as simple as it may first
seem. It looks like your child is just too thin-skinned and unable to handle
the give-and-take of being ten or thirteen. It is a rough time and getting his
feelings hurt happens easily if he lets it. This is just a fact of life for
children, and for adults too, for that matter. Your encouraging him to be a
little tougher is normally good advice; but the sign may be a symptom of other
Children with learning problems are more likely
to get their feelings hurt by teachers and by other children. It hurts when
people call attention to your youngster’s not doing well, especially if he has
tried to do well. Children whose self-esteem is already low feel even worse
when things happen other youngsters do not think much about one way or the
other. Children who have high stress in their lives are much more vulnerable
than those who do not. Handicapped youngsters, children with other physical or
emotional problems, and those who are already self-conscious for some reason
get their feelings hurt easily; and just being a child brings its own
vulnerabilities. It really can be complicated for children.
It is not enough to simply encourage your child
to be more thick-skinned. He needs help with his feelings and with how he
thinks about himself. You can help here better than anyone since you are likely
to be present when his feelings are hurting.
At first, take your child’s side. You can start
by getting a little angry for him about what happened and with whomever did it
to him. He matters; and his feelings matter to you. He needs you on his side
right now. Your advice and guidance can come later.