Here are a few examples:
I teach her Sunday School class. On Sunday we had large group where we watched a skit about David. Afterwards all the kids were to stand up and sing the song "If you're Happy and you know it"....with actions. I did it along with the kids as I'm one of the teachers and I usually participate in these things. She didn't do much of the actions and at one point told me that I was embarrassing her by my doing the actions.
Today at the pediatrician's office we were waiting in the lobby for them to call on us. There was a little baby sitting with his mom and dad. My daughter loves babies so I pointed the baby out. The mom and dad smiled at us as we looked at the baby from about 6 feet away. When we went and sat back down she said to me "great mom, now you've embarrassed me."
Even at home if we laugh at her or she thinks we are laughing at her she gets very upset. She does not want to look foolish.
I get that teens go through being embarrassed but at age 5? I'm wanting to help her so she doesn't grow up not trying things out of fear of embarrassment.
Did you have any of your kids struggle with this? Any ideas for me?
Here are a few of my thoughts....first off this is not a quick fix. You will most likely be working with this child on this struggle as long as she is in your home. You must keep in mind that you are helping her and not give up.
There are two things that I would say are character traits that need to be addressed. One is respect and the other is selfishness. The way she is talking to you sounds disrespectful to me, but that may be just via email. Still it will help her if you do not allow her to blame you for her uncomfortable feelings. "Great Mom, now you have...." is not honoring and God very clearly says children must honor their parents.
Secondly, a shy child or an overly sensitive child is really a selfish child. They are so keen on their own comfort that they cannot see the needs of others around them. We are shooting to raise selfless children and these type of children need extra help.
We have one child that struggles with being easily hurt or embarrassed. This morning I chatted with this child a little and she said she thought overcoming this weakness comes with maturity. She said that when she feels hurt she has learned to tell herself "they didn't mean it that way". We started practicing this with this child with her sisters. We told her we all loved her and did not want to purposefully hurt her. Even when they would say they didn't mean something unkind, she would hold onto her hurt feeling and not believe them. So the first step was getting her to believe others when they apologized and let go of the negative feelings. No one can control others, so this child needed to learn to control her feelings.
Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves."
This is a key verse we have wanted to get into our children's hearts. Seeing the preciousness of others, seeing others needs, desiring to bring others joy, NOT focusing on self.
One of our daughters really likes her friends. So she can be very aware of others watching and not want to look silly in front of them. This is so scary to me. We have talked through several situations and while she says she understands, her actions show her heart. We will continue to guide her through conversations, but really prayer is my greatest weapon. God has to get a hold of her heart in order for her to see she is not living completely before Him. We will speak and try to show her yet, God has to make it all clear to her, so I pray, pray, pray.
My encouragement for you would be to step up training in all areas of disrespect and selfishness that you see. Tell her not to be concerned what others think, rather to care what God and her family thinks. Limit exposure to anything that might be feeding her desire for other’s acceptance. Think of the shows she is watching, friends she has, computer games, ....start reading more biographies and missionary stories. Turn her heart toward others by talking about ways she can serve and pray for others. Replace any secular music with worship. And Pray!
Hope this helps, Kim