I have an amazing 7-year-old daughter who is unbelievably empathetic. Which, allows her to be a good friend, wonderful daughter and just a loving soul all around. However, her emotions can also be very intense and along with the empathy a high level of sensitivity. Really she isn't unlike me to be honest.
To demonstrate her sympathy level, I'll reference reading The Hobbit together. As a family we read the story in the last few months. When Gollum loses his ring, Tolkien does a good job of making Gollum pathetic and sad and the reader is meant to feel for him a little, but he is also the bad guy. My daughter burst into tears. Why can't Golum and Bilbo both have the magic ring mom? I know Golum is creepy but that doesn't mean he should have to be so sad! A few minutes later she had taken a deep breath and was talking about how "every good story has to have its story bumps, I know and I know it isn't real, but it is still so sad."
I have always felt that just as every rose has its thorn and every cowboy sings a sad, sad song, (sorry, song reference - had to do it) but seriously, every gift brings its curse. Where the challenge lies for my little one, is helping her keep it all in balance.
She is an excellent reader, (A few months ago, she was tested again and has a 12th grade vocabulary, 8th grade comprehension, and spells like the second grade kid she is). So, choosing literature for her school lessons is a challenge because she isn't emotionally ready for most of the stuff written at a level that would challenge her.
She gets on really well with other kids of all ages including her own, but becomes sincerely hurt at the slightest hint another child doesn't like her. To make matters worse, this last summer, three of my daughter's best friends all moved away and for completely separate reasons we had already changed school programs before we knew this was going to happen (she is partially home-schooled, but we have a coop and she goes to regular classes once/week as well). She is needing to make an entirely new batch of friends at school, her best friend (and only girl her age) in Taekwondo classes is one of the three that moved, and she was moved into a higher belt class as well, and the theater (another social out-let for her) is not currently doing any plays that have parts available for her age. She still has one or two great friends from the former school program we have set play dates with and she is doing well with meeting and making new friends at the new school too, but every little slight by any of the kids at the school sends her to tears (sometimes I think they are only perceived slights too). I think the loss of her friends is making her even more sensitive than she already was.
How do I help her develp that thicker skin and just appreciate the friends she has made, move on and let it go?