Being TOO Nice


I wrote a poem a while ago about my mom not teaching me to be mean. So, a lot of times I just say yes or agree to do things because I just don't want to be rude and say no.

I'm getting way way better at it but on Sunday, I saw Natalia playing with these two little girls and they were trying to draw and Natalia had a pen. She was the only one that had a pen. The little girl said "I don't have anything to write with" and Natalia handed her the pen she was using in a heart beat. She said, "Here you go" and just looked back at her notebook and didn't seem bothered at all by the fact that now she didn't have anything to write with. 

I didn't say anything. I didn't know what to say I just looked over at my sister and she shook her head and mouthed, "Ay, too nice." She doesn't have much room to speak either, she is literally the "nicest" person I know. I never hear her bad mouthing people and she is always giving everything, her time, her talents and her love. 

This isn't the first time something like this happens. My daughter's things go missing all the time and when I ask her where they went she always ends up telling me, "I gave it to my friend because her mom doesn't buy her any" or "my friend didn't have one and I felt bad for her." 

A couple months ago, was the worst of these episodes. She had a friend over. Natalia loves Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, so far I haven't noticed anything degrading about their music etc so I think it's okay. For her 6th birthday one of my friends gave her a Justin Bieber poster, she hung it up in her room. Her friend doesn't like Justin Bieber. So, when she was over she drew all over Natalia's poster, words like idiot, dummy, etc. 

As she was walking out I noticed she had a bag with some stuff in it. Her dad was at the door picking her up. She didn't have a bag when she was dropped off. I asked her about the bag (which was really hard for me to do.) She said "oh Natalia gave it to me." I said "oh." Her dad didn't say anything. He just opened the door they said bye and left. 

I went to Natalia's room and asked her what was in the bag, it was a pair of sandals and a doll. I asked her why she gave it to her and she said because she didn't want her to be mean to her at school and cause she told her didn't have sandals. I saw the poster and I was really surprised because I know that Natalia doesn't know how to spell the words on the poster. I am aware she can learn things outside the home but I asked her curiosly what does this say on your poster, and she didn't know. I asked her who wrote it and what did she think that it meant. She didn't know, she said she was sorry messing up the poster but her friend told her she hated Justin Bieber because he was an idiot. She told me she didn't want to tell her friend to stop because she would think she was mean. 

AHHHHHH! I didn't call the parents, I didn't do anything. I got upset I told my mom and one of my professors that I look up to and asked them for advice. They both told me to just avoid those situations, so monitor play dates more closely and censure who she hangs out with. This was great advice, but what about the times it happens even with the censuring and watching? I can't be there always. How can I teach her to be assertive and not have to explain other things or take away her child-like point of view?

I'm debating where the niceness line needs to be drawn, when is too much. Is it when you become affected negatively or when others take advantage of your niceness. Today I'm not writing about something learned but I guess I'm asking for advice. 

When is nice, too nice?  and when I define it, how do I teach this concept to my kids? 

What do you guys think? 

Comments

thepascuas said…
I think she gets it from someone i know... a few ladies i know actually.....not pointing fingers lol.

I think that its best to explain to her what things are acceptable . Or if she is in a difficult situation to ask you before she make a decision.

You guys are wayyy to sweet! :) and im blessed to have you.
Flor, I learned to be assertive the hard way – after I allowed so many to step over me so that they could feel good, so they could feel comfortable. Later, in my early 30’s, that’s when I found this precious skill: assertiveness. I will never let go of this priceless and newly acquired skill. I have been polishing my ability to be assertive over these past six years. I feels really, really good to be assertive, in fact it feels better than been nice ever felt – and when you can manage to combine both: assertiveness and niceness, oh boy, that feels so good! The first person you need to kind to is yourself and this may be one of the most valuable things you can teach your children. Children who are taught niceness over assertiveness are prone to abusive relationships, depression, low self-esteem and all sorts of other complex issues. There’s always a way to tell people your point of view and your feelings without being mean. The way I started doing this is: I don’t rebut right away, I look at the person, I take three long breaths and them I release my verbs: “I really don’t want to make you feel bad in any way whatsoever, but I cannot let you have my pen because then, I would be feeling sad and would no longer be good company . . .”, you know, something like this. Practice makes perfect in terms of respectful/considerate assertiveness. Put it into practice and please teach Natalia to do the same.
Di Filizola-Abalos
Shahny said…
I would agree with Giss. It will be good to teach her when things are acceptable and appropriate. Also i would Find out how she feels when something happens and tell her to stand up for herself the next time something tht made her feel bad or sad happens.
Mar Fonseca
Flor, ser "nice" es muy diferente a "speak up for yourself". Mi mama siempre fue como tu cuando yo era nina, aun lo es! Y por la misma razon la gente tomaba ventaja de nosotros (mis hnas y yo). Pero ahora veo que defenderte no significa "no ser nice".....
Eso es lo que yo estoy ensenando a mis hijos. Y Chiara a tenido amigas asi :( y me rompe el corazon verla triste, pero aprovecho ese momento para mostrarle que una persona que te trata asi no es tu amiga. Y creo que esta entendiendo poco a poco. Nati no se merece que la traten asi!! Y de los padres que no dicen nada...... Mija! Ese es otro tema en el que tengo mucha opinion!! Hehe love ya!!


Linz Anaya Cardenas
That's a tough situation and I think (coming from someone who doesn't have kids... Lol) to tell Nati that she can't give everything everytime someone asks for it. But then would she know when to say no or not. Idk!!


Myra Cipriano
I had the same issue with Lily and I explained to her that sometimes it ok to say 'no'. I explained that some kids will try to bully her in school. So when she is being bullied or kids are rude to her, I showed Lily how to come back with assertive statements to show she's not vulnerable, but Lily is gonna be Lily..she has good days & then she has bad days at school.. its ok for her to learn on her own


Di Filizola-Abalos
I posted my advice into your blog. I hope it is useful to you :)


Shahnaz Miranda Short
Poor Nati. And u Olivos needa stop being so nice ;)
aww I love your comments guys.

Gisselle, I admitted it's my fault! He He but I just don't know how to change it and not turn her into a mean girl!! I never want her to make other feel bad either you know? :-) Love ya my friend.

Your right Mar... being nice and speaking up for yourself are different and it took me tooooo long to learn that. It's just hard teaching Nati to share and be nice to others when other parents aren't doing the same with their kids. Love ya too :-)

Linz even if you don't have kids I know that you have hung out with lots of bebes and you remember when you were a kid. Thanks for the advice :-) I need to tell her that more often. I usually just don't get mad cause I know she is just doing what I've taught her you know?

Myra you need to tell me some of the assertive statements you give Lily so I can teach them to Nati :-)

Thanks Di. Your right sometimes it takes us women too long to learn but when we do it feels good now I just need to learn to teach it to my baby girl!

Thanks Shahny. I know I was so annoyed by that little girl :-( but she goes to our church and she's in her class and her mom is always trying to get them to hang out and I always have to make up excuses so it doesn't cause problems. Oh well guess I need to toughen up.
aww I love your comments guys.

Gisselle, I admitted it's my fault! He He but I just don't know how to change it and not turn her into a mean girl!! I never want her to make other feel bad either you know? :-) Love ya my friend.

Your right Mar... being nice and speaking up for yourself are different and it took me tooooo long to learn that. It's just hard teaching Nati to share and be nice to others when other parents aren't doing the same with their kids. Love ya too :-)

Linz even if you don't have kids I know that you have hung out with lots of bebes and you remember when you were a kid. Thanks for the advice :-) I need to tell her that more often. I usually just don't get mad cause I know she is just doing what I've taught her you know?

Myra you need to tell me some of the assertive statements you give Lily so I can teach them to Nati :-)

Thanks Di. Your right sometimes it takes us women too long to learn but when we do it feels good now I just need to learn to teach it to my baby girl!

Thanks Shahny. I know I was so annoyed by that little girl :-( but she goes to our church and she's in her class and her mom is always trying to get them to hang out and I always have to make up excuses so it doesn't cause problems. Oh well guess I need to toughen up.

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