My son is 11. He's always been pretty sensitive, and this past year has been even worse, especially lately.
For example: He plays baseball and he's really good at it. He usually has a very positive attitude about the game and about his own abilities, but lately he is really down on himself when he doesn't have a perfect game. He went through a hitting slump and was really frustrated. We have tried explaining that even major league players only get a hit every 3 or 4 times at bat, but that doesn't help. But he's mostly frustrated about his pitching. He's an okay pitcher and in previous years, he's been one of the best on the team. But this year he moved up an age group and now there are several other pitchers on the team better than him, so obviously those 3 or 4 kids get to start every game. The coach lets DS pitch at practices and he obviously needs a little work to be competitive at this age level. After practice, he kept saying, "I suck! I'll never be able to start a game!" etc.
I tried to explain to him that he's a heck of a 1st baseman so the coach plays him to his strengths. And just because there are other kids that pitch better than him, doesn't mean he sucks, but of course the coach is going to put in the best pitchers. But that he's still a really big asset to the team, he gets to start every single game at his primary position (1st) and he comes through with the bat most of the time and that he should focus on the positive, and we'll get him some more pitching lessons and that will develop in time. I also point out that the fact he's a younger kid on the team but he still gets to start in the infield every game. There's not a lot of kids who can say that!
So we went around and around with him being self-deprecating and me pointing out his strong areas until I was just tired of it and let it drop.
Later, he was back to his happy-go-lucky self and came to me and said, "I hate these mood swings. What can I do?"
He's read books and had a class in puberty so he knows what he's going through. I just wonder what I can do "in the moment" to help him through it. He just gets so upset and impossible to reason with and it's hard to watch and hard to listen to. I think it's less about a doubt in his abilities and more about just plain and simple mood swings. What can I do??