We have three kids - our middle child is a 6 yo boy. Our other kids are 8 and 2. We feel like our 6yo really has a hard time just getting along through the day. He's very negative, and easily frustrated when things aren't going his way.
He's very verbal and expressive, so the problem is that when he gets "down" he brings everyone else down as well. We recently went out as a family to a church function, and he complained so loudly the entire time that he ruined it.
We are struggling to deal with it - we have tried discipline (e.g., "If you do a good job tonight you can have dessert!" or "If you do that again, you are going to time out!"), but that doesn't seem to work with him. These techniques worked well with our 8 yo girl, but not with this one... We've also tried doing more positive things with him like playing games together, etc, but he always ends up frustrated if he's not winning or if he's not doing as well as his older sister.
Based on conversations I've had with other parents, a lot of the things that are going on seem to be normal, but we are really getting worn down by the negativity that comes up. What I am wondering is this: Has anyone else figured out ways to overcome a similar situation? I need something for him that he can do on his own that will satisfy him and help to give him some confidence and self esteem.
The way I feel is that he's got a 10 yo brain in a 6 yo body. He started talking early, and has been reading since he was 4 (maybe even earlier). So, it is a challenge for him to find things that are engaging for him that he can actually do... He's capable of doing fairly complicated things with one of us, and he enjoys it, but it is very difficult to find something that a 6 yo can do that will satisfy him. He loves to do complicated science projects, he likes to play with snap circuits, the perplexus balls, etc. It's just that he needs help doing any of those things because they are a little more complicated to get going.
Thanks in advance - any help is appreciated!