What advice would YOU give to a child who is unpopular and disliked his/her classmates?
Scenario, this child is an excellent student and a teacher's pet. In fact, he/she is THE SMARTEST in the class and teachers love him/her. He/she is a nice child who is not a bully; however, the other children find this child to be particularly unlikeable even though this child is nice to everyone. Even this child's "best" friend dislikes him/her because of his/her good characteristics.The other children barely tolerate this child, many even hate him/her. In high school, I actually knew a young woman like that. She was brilliant;however, she had no friends and the other classmates hated her.
I don't think it would be about what I'd tell the child. It would be, instead, about what I'd try to teach the child. The child who has a mean rival or two could be any child who is unfortunate enough to run into such kids, but a child who isn't liked by most/all of the other kids often is doing something that makes the other kids not like him.
Although there will always be the occasional kid who doesn't like another one because of some good trait/characteristic, such envy/jealousy isn't the cause of being disliked as often as many disliked kids tend to assume it is. In general, children, particularly in primary school and even early middle school, don't usually dislike anyone who doesn't bother them, or else have some attitude or behavior that makes them unlikeable to so many other kids.
Children who lack social skills are often not liked very well because they're dealing with other children who, of course, don't know how to be understanding of another child who lacks social skills. Also, children who think too highly of themselves as human beings - in other words, who feel superior to others as a result of whatever "good characteristics" they have - tend to be disliked. So, too, though, do some children who think too little of themselves and who therefore do socially awkward/distancing things out of insecurity.
When my own children were very little, part of what I made sure to teach them was that having good friends came from being a good friend. I'd talk to them about the kinds of things that "good friends" do and don't say to other children. I made sure they knew that even though they were special and loved and worthy of being liked/loved, so, too, were all the other children they knew. Because I generally like most people, they learned to see others through a positive lens, at least most of the time; and that helped them see themselves and others through the same positive lens. If they told me about something negative or objectionable about another child, I'd put it in perspective and in a way that helped them understand that perfectly fine other children can have the occasional "issue" through not fault of their own.
In other words, I aimed to help my kids like not only who THEY were, but other people as well. It all goes back to aiming to teach them they're not better or less than anyone else, because if they truly feel they're equal to others it's easier to just relax and be their own, likable and authentic self.
There are some children who are disliked thru no fault of their own. There was a classmate in high school whom most of the kids didn't like. She was constantly made fun of. She was a nice girl-she was prodigious brilliant-this created jealousy/envy.
This is unfair and shouldn't be true, but kids with the social skills to "tone down" their "brilliance" and not make it their "whole identity" tend to do better socially.
Children shouldn't have to alter their personality or intelligence to fit in. If other children DON'T like them for who THEY are, too bad. Why please others, it is OTHERS' problem, not the child in question.
Agreed, but I don't say "alter personality" - more, just alter some of the things one says and does around/toward others that can alienate them enough to increase the chances of finding a close friend with whom the kid can relax and be himself more.
Unfortunately, there are always going to be jealous people. When you are the best at something some look up to you but many will feel threatened by your achievements.
Don't give up, continue to do the best you can because in doing so you are setting the tone for good grades as well as good behavior. Don't look down on those who aren't able to make good grades and over look the ones who are angry with you for your accomplishments.
If you are having issues with bullies tell an adult who can take care of the situation, don't take matters into your own hands.
Never lower your standards to appease others.
The saying goes better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. It is better to be disliked for who YOU ARE than to be liked for who YOU AREN'T. So many children try to lower their standards to appease other children with quite disastrous results.
I went through this with my older son who is now a sophomore in high school.
Kids would pick on him (boys and girls both) because he was so smart or because when he was young he played with toys instead of watching crap like Jerry Springer. I told him that as far as the girls were concerned not to worry. When he was older, girls would like him because he's handsome, tall, and very smart. In eighth grade he discovered meem (that's what he's always called me) is right. He was voted Tony Stark of his school. Girls were ALWAYS with him...because he's smart and knows how to treat them.
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