The second phase of her rehabilitation involves a change in your behavior. Stop “suggesting” activities to her. Find something you would like to do with her and tell her, declaratively, “This is what I’ve decided you and I are doing today.”
If she objects, tell her she has no choice in the matter. The activities in question should not involve her siblings and should not be things they already excel at. That will prevent unfavorable comparisons.
I’m talking about mother-daughter things. Start slow. Take walks through parks or on nature trails, for example. Graduate from there to leisurely bike rides. The key is finding activities she can enjoy without having to compete.
By the way, there’s an “odd duck” child in nearly every family. The challenge, always, is helping the child find a pond she feels comfortable swimming in.
Family psychologist John Rosemond answers questions at johnrosemond.com and parentguru.com.
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