Ah, Nyssa

Being young and having a heart that fills to bursting such that feelings come pouring out, at high speed and without editing, can make things interesting for my girl. The other day she bemused me by managing to be both completely un-racist and un-PC simultaneously. She and I were waiting for her dance class to start and waiting along with us was a little classmate and presumably her dad and brother. Nyssa has a tendency to gush, particularly when she wants to be friends with a new acquaintance, and her strategy is the excessive use of compliments. The little girl in question is black and has gorgeous microbraids that have been dyed red at the bottom. Nyssa naturally started saying how much she looooves her hair. Continuing on, she says, ‘I love your skin! I have two black-skinned cousins! I think black skin makes you specialler!!’ I looked at the girl for her reaction and she was a study in the completely neutral expression. I glanced up at her father to see if I should grin sheepishly on Nyssa’s behalf, but he either hadn’t noticed or was likewise not-bothered. I’ll be curious to see how Nyssa ends up getting on with this girl.

I really feel for Nyssa. She wants so desperately to have close friends and to open her heart to peers. The trouble is that many times either the kids don’t respond to her, are sort of frightened off by the aforementioned Nyssa-gushing, or are eventually discovered to be the sorts of kids that would get her into trouble. She can’t deal with being dishonest, and it’s just unfortunate that there are kids about who can’t be bothered with a girl who will feel compelled to run and confess all her sins to Mummy. I really hope she doesn’t harden herself to her personal sense of ethics in order to have more friends. What makes it particularly hard is that gregarious as Nyssa comes across, she’s much more of an appeaser than a leader. She doesn’t have the balls to stand up and just say no to ideas she thinks are rubbish, but neither can she paticipate in them because she does have a strong sense of self. What she also doesn’t see is that things are rarely either/or. Other kids can be flexible, and just because another kid is upset it doesn’t mean that they suddenly hate her. She sees what they are saying now and what they are doing now as being representative that all that shall continue to be. I just hope I can help her learn to relax and have faith in her ability to win and keep friends. Any advice is most welcome because as I recall, I seem to have been completely and neurotically rubbish at the friends thing as a kid!

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One Response to “Ah, Nyssa”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    No advice, just a hug. I’m no good at helping my own child be social. He too, would like to be, but just seems to have a hard time with the nuances. Hopefully he’ll figure it out? And Nyssa too. I take comfort in the fact that M does great in conversing with adults. So, he’s all set when he’s an adult, right??
    You’re doing great, mama.

    RasJane

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