My daughter came home hysterical last spring because another girl said this to her while they sat on the bus mulling over Santa's existence. I didn't understand why she was so upset and had trouble getting into the mind of an 8-year-old so I could make her feel better. I still can't figure it out. Somehow she lost all faith in herself by just this one statement.
Positive self-esteem isn't innate, but a trait that has to be nourished. Her breakdown taught me that I have more work to do. She needs to toughen up and stifle those tears. But she's emotional like me. Who knows, maybe she'll have a career in Hollywood?
I tend to be more of an observer than referee when children quarrel. Too often parents have a knee-jerk reaction. They intervene when children are learning to hold their own, discovering themselves, and building their character. I'm not referring to bullying where I'd intervene without hesitating, but normal interactions with peers and siblings that are a part of growing up. And some disagreements just might end in tears. But that's okay. Nobody said growing up was easy.