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Desperate.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello,  I am new here.  This post can be moved if not in the right Category.

 

Trying to find answers for my sons recent behavior.  To make a long story long......  My son is 10 yr old.  Straight A student, border line gifted, in accelerated program in school but didn't make gifted program.  He is a very well behaved, respectful young man.  We get complements all the time about how good both our kids are from teachers and other parents.  Recently (past 2 months maybe), he seems troubled.  Maybe even depressed. 

 

We are trying to figure out what has triggered his behavior.  He is a very deep thinker.  He puts unnecessary presser on himself to do things perfect, and to be a good person.   He says please and thank you waay too much. (You might think,  is that even possible?).   He started bringing up things he had done in the past, questioning if it was bad or not.  I did this or said that, was that bad?  One recent example, he didn't say Hello to a kid he knows from school that he saw at the grocery store.  He comes to me very emotional and asks me if it is bad or not.  He questions nearly every thing he does.  Like should I put this here, should I say that,  like he doesn't want to make a mistake.  On top of all the questions and wanting to do the right thing, he is very emotional about it.

 

When the emotional problems began, he had just started wrestling training (3 nights a week), which is new to him and difficult.  He has played baseball and football for a couple year, all with his same group of friends.  Wrestling is outside of this group, so originally when he would break down in tears at wrestling and we would talk about it he said it wasn't the wrestling and he didn't know what was wrong.  I believed it could be social anxiety, because this is the first time he was doing something without his group of friends.  He said he was actually fine when they actually would wrestle because he was kept busy, but when there was a lull he would have time to think and worry that he was going to cry and others might see him, which would then overwelm him, and if he had to talk (to answer a question) he would break down. 

 

My husband and I noticed that when the coaches would critic him on his moves, he thinks they are telling him he is bad, yelling at him.  They are not.  Now the coach is an Olympic Champion in Wrestling and told us that he has never seen someone this good after a few days of training in all of his years.  So we tell our son how impressed he is with him and that they critic him because they see his potential.  But he only focuses on where he places his foot and if this or that is perfect and doesn't understand that he is learning and doesn't have to be perfect. 

 

Another new thing is that he recently started going to Bible Release Program from school.  We aren't church goers, but we believe and talk about God at home and listen to Christian radio.  I don't know if that has had an impact on him possibly.  He asked me if it was bad if he didn't read the Bible cover to cover?  Would that keep him from going to Heaven?  Now was that a simple question, because they talked about it at Bible release or something more?

 

He has been and emotional mess, and don't know what is the true source.  There is soo much to fit into all this typing, I hope I made sense here.  I just feel helpless.  Why is he on this quest for perfection?  Why does the smallest decision make him emotional?

post #2 of 7

Can you seek counseling for him?  A lot of gifted kids start to think through things before they're emotionally ready to do so, creating a lot of the conflict you describe.

post #3 of 7

From what you've described, he sounds like a very sweet perfectionist who is realizing that he isn't perfect and is overwhelmed by that.  

 

I am a church-goer, and I can venture to guess they may be talking about sin and our need for a savior in his Bible program.  I haven't been a part of that particular program, I'm just guessing.  That could be his questions about the Bible and his questions about various past things being "bad" or not.

 

Do you get the opportunity to model imperfection to him much?  Do you try things you aren't good at and learn and get better?  Do you talk about the fact that you aren't that good at something but you are going to keep working at it or that sort of thing?  Modeling and verbally pointing out your own imperfect nature can help perfectionists re-frame a bit. 

 

Does your son hear all these people saying he's so great?  Might he be trying to live up to it?  That would be stressful too.  

 

I don't know your son, but it sounds to me like he would benefit from being made to cut loose a bit.  I don't know how that would look for your family or him in particular, but something that suits his interests...

 

HTH

 

Tjej

post #4 of 7
Quote:

Originally Posted by YoMomma44 View Post

 

Another new thing is that he recently started going to Bible Release Program from school.  We aren't church goers, but we believe and talk about God at home and listen to Christian radio.  I don't know if that has had an impact on him possibly.  He asked me if it was bad if he didn't read the Bible cover to cover?  Would that keep him from going to Heaven?  Now was that a simple question, because they talked about it at Bible release or something more?

 

 

I recommend pulling him from this program. You really don't know what they are teaching him. Some Christian groups teach children that they are sinners bound for hell, and that nothing they can do will be good enough. Ever.

 

They tell children they are bad. That they can't try hard enough. They are bad. They are bad. They are sinners.

 

I was raised like that, and my sister has emotional problems to this day. She is also a gifted kid who is a perfectionist -- it really is not a good personality type for this type of religious instruction. There's nothing you as a parent can do to counteract your child being consistently told that the the bible says that god says that he is bad.

 

(not meaning to start a war about religion -- there are some lovely christians and christain instruction, but there is also the really destructive and emotionally unhealthy kind)

post #5 of 7

It sounds like pretty classic anxiety to me. I would suggest looking into counseling. You might start with the school guidance counselor. He or she might be able to help or may be able to make some recommendations for a counselor or psychologist. There are many non-medication therapies for dealing with anxiety.

 

There are also many books. That's another great place to start. For a 10 yr old you might look at What To Do When You Worry Too Much.

 

I agree that unless you know exactly what is going on in the Bible program and that it is inline with your beliefs and not too much "fire and brimstone, sinners are bad and we're all sinners", I would consider taking him out of that program and continuing your religious instruction at home.

 

Really, though, I think it just sounds like anxiety. The tween years are a pretty typical time for anxiety to intensify. Do at least get the book. I think just knowing that there are other kids out there in the world that worry like he does will do a lot to help him settle down.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful opinions.  He has been better the past couple days, but keeping a watchful eye and getting that book! Thanks.

post #7 of 7

10 year old boys are very very emo.  My ds is the first child, extremely smart, a classic overachiever and wants to be the best and has trouble coping when he's not.  10 year old boys are going through a lot, they aren't big, they aren't little.  School expectations change a lot between 4th and 5th grade.  He's in middle school now and almost 12.  There's less crying, less emo drama, he's more comfortable in his own skin.  In talking with my friends who have kids the same age, or who have been through this stage, it's totally normal :D

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