Any disappointment and 6 year old DS says things like . . . - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 04-15-2009, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to kill myself . .
I want to rip off my arm . . .
I want to rip my skin off . . .
I am so mad, I want to die . . .

Any disappointment at all. 5 minutes ago he did one of these when he found out his siblings got a treat on an outing with me early today while he was in school (DS goes on many more outings and gets far more treats).

Last weekend it was at Disney land with his grandfather when he found out Space Mountain was closed . . .

I've heard it for as little as not getting to watch the show he wanted to watch
or when the computer is freezing up on something he wants to do . . . . or when he loses at a game we are playing together . . .

Big or Small - he seems to be completely unable to process any disappointment no matter what?

WHAT TO DO WITH A KID LIKE THIS? Is this normal? Is this age appropriate? How do I help him as a mother learn to deal with disappointment. Tonight did not go so well. I sent him packing to his room and instructed him to do all his homework for the entire week. That is clearly not helping him learn to cope?

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#2 of 19 Old 04-15-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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That must sound intense to hear, but I'd try to just respond to his intent rather than his actual words. So I'd respond as though he had said, "I'm very angry."

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#3 of 19 Old 04-16-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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I agree. He most (very) likely doesn't know the full scope of what those things mean.

When my DS says anything like that I say, "Do you mean that you're angry/upset?" He'll usually say yes and then I'll tell him that instead of saying "I wish I were dead" that he can just tell me he's angry/upset and we'll work on whatever the reall issue is.

It takes time and repeating, but it has started to work.

Sometimes I ask him if he knows what dead means and we have a long talk about how permanent that really is. I know he doesn't get the full scope of what I'm saying, but it opens up the communication lines a little better.

Lol. Now when he make some comment he's heard somewhere else, he'll say it and then ask me what it really means. Then we have a discussion about the meaning behind it...I try to keep it on his level as much as possible.

Sorry that was so long...

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#4 of 19 Old 04-16-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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I'd give him a list of acceptable things to say. You know, ones that won't get the stranger at the park to call CPS on you.


You these or make your own:

That bites.

Rats.

How horrible.
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#5 of 19 Old 04-16-2009, 01:02 PM
 
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thanks for this thread. Lately whenever dd1 age 4 is mad at one of us, she says, if you do x,y or z I'm going to hit you (or mom, or little sister or whatever). Drives us crazy as we of course never hit and rarely threaten at all. It really pushes both my & dw's buttons and we usually respond with "we don't talk about hitting!". But I think offering suggestions for rephrasing would be more helpful...
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#6 of 19 Old 04-16-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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i would say age appropriate.

perhaps not v. common, but still some 6 year olds do say it, some dont.

its one thing if they are saying it because they are angry or disappointed, its quite another thing if they are down and saying it.

the more imaginative child you have the more imaginative the words get.

this is a hard age emotionally for the kids. they realise the world does not revolve around them. my dd says she wished she was dead - out of disgust with things not going her way. the next moment she is happily playing iwth something else.

not being able to process disappointment, blowing little things waaaaaaaaay out of proportion - all pretty common in 6 year olds. i see that with the kids at school too.

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#7 of 19 Old 04-16-2009, 08:41 PM
 
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I don't want to dump too much on you, but you may want to start planting seeds for him to not only express frustration more appropriately, but also to manage it. For some kids, expressing it is enough, but my kids turn out to need more.

So now we are working on turning negatives into positives and using talk that is not just angry. For example, he could say, "Rats!," but it might be better for him to get in a habit of "Oh well, I can handle it."

Good luck!
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#8 of 19 Old 04-16-2009, 11:59 PM
 
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DD1 is now 7 and seems to be moving out of this phase. I use to react to the "I wish I were dead" statements with empathy and/or distraction,and so on. That seemed to encourage it so I settled on just responding with something like, "well, sorry to hear it." She's since moved on to a "that's not fair" stage, lol!

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#9 of 19 Old 04-17-2009, 08:00 AM
 
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About a year ago ds went through a phase of saying things like "I should be thrown off a building" and the one he knew really got to me "I should be spanked". I freakin' hated hearing both of those things - esp since I'm so anti spanking and he has never had a hand laid on him in his life. I realized he wanted the reaction out of me, so I just started saying "Oh, really? instead of explaining how we would never spank, etc. Worked pretty well.

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#10 of 19 Old 04-17-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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I don't know if it's been said yet, but kids will say as intense things as they themselves hear. We were pretty much no TV, kids aren't in school, etc, so mine were sheltered a bit until DS hit about 4.5. Now he says things that I know he hasn't heard on TV or home here, but just being out and hearing others talk.

I think it sounds worse to us because we understand the severity, but it's just like with cursing. Kids who hear it a lot don't think it means much, but if my kids heard the F-word they would probably almost cry
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#11 of 19 Old 04-17-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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Oh yeah, my 6yo went through the whole "I wish I were dead" thing, too. Freaked me right out. But he'd figured out that it would do just that and he kept it up. I tried to be all, "Oh, really?" and keep it at that. He's 9 now and I can't even remember the last time I heard him say it.
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#12 of 19 Old 04-17-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
the more imaginative child you have the more imaginative the words get.

...not being able to process disappointment, blowing little things waaaaaaaaay out of proportion - all pretty common in 6 year olds.
:

My 6-yo is very creative. The other day he wrote me a letter. I told him he could not put on makeup to go to Walmart (that's another thread entirely). So his letter was something along the lines of, "Dear Mom - I have a broken heart and I am going to run away 9,650 miles and be alone and dead until you can put makeup on me."

Instead of making a huge deal out of it, I told him I really wouldn't want him to be dead, but thank you for writing me a letter and he did an excellent job with the spelling. A few minutes later we settled on clear strawberry lip gloss and everything was peachy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by savannah smiles View Post
DD1 is now 7 and seems to be moving out of this phase. I use to react to the "I wish I were dead" statements with empathy and/or distraction,and so on. That seemed to encourage it so I settled on just responding with something like, "well, sorry to hear it." She's since moved on to a "that's not fair" stage, lol!
I've done the "I'm sorry to hear that" response, and it seems to convey the message accurately to DS. He's gone through a "not-fair" stage already, and my response to that was usually the same one my mom used to give me: "Life's not fair, darling."

His biggest thing lately has been the "I have a broken heart," but he has used the "I'm going to die" or "This is going to make me killed" response too. I do think it's the age. He doesn't like this I can't control every aspect of my world realization. We had a big discussion this morning about why he couldn't open the front door whenever he wanted (I was in the bathroom and didn't even know he had the door open - ). He stomped and cried and told me his feelings were hurt and I was being mean, but after we discussed it and he got big hugs, he proceeded to write me a letter about how he would keep the door locked so strangers would stay out of our house and his little sister would stay inside and not get lost.

That's my boy! (Or girl, if you ask him.)

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#13 of 19 Old 04-17-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SeekingSerenity View Post
He's gone through a "not-fair" stage already, and my response to that was usually the same one my mom used to give me: "Life's not fair, darling."
Oh, yes. We went through this too and I heard the same thing.

Sometimes life is just not fair.

He used too say back to me, "Stop saying that to me." and then I woould say, "Then please stop complaining that everything isn't fair."

I dunno if that helped, but at least the "THAT'S NOT FAIR" stopped.

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#14 of 19 Old 04-17-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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Very age-appropriate. Not fun to deal with though.

My 5 yr old just today told me at lunch that if he had to have lasagne for lunch every day, he'd run out in the street and get hit by a car and die.

He said his heart was turned to stone when I asked him to leave the table if he wasn't going to eat anything, because his complaining was making everyone unhappy with their food (I run a home daycare, he was the oldest of 6 at my table today.)

I waited until we were both calmer and then we discussed the issues around him not eating his lunch and me feeling unhappy because I worked hard to make it and because his complaining influences his little brother and friends to turn their noses up at lasagne too.

I *think* the communication worked. We had a cuddle, he ate something (not lasagne) and we talked about what we're having for dinner.

Ask me in a decade or two if this parenting strategy REALLY worked and I'll tell you.
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#15 of 19 Old 04-17-2009, 07:29 PM
 
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My dd recently went through three weeks of saying things like
"You don't love me"
"I want a new family"
"I hate you"
"You aren't my mom anymore you have to move out"
She did this whenever I asked her to do something that she didn't like and that list included eating dinner, eating snack, washing her hands, finishing some of her dinner before having a bunch of ice cream for dessert, moving her things so we could put her bed down, taking a shower, reading books before bed time, etc... These are all things she normally loves to do and she said it in the same tone the neighbor child who attends her school uses. At first I thought I was being to unreasonable and I started giving her even more time and warning about when an event we needed to do, like eating, would come up, but that didn't help it just seemed to encourage her to do this more. I stopped even responding and within a few days she stopped doing it. It has been two wonderful weeks without any of these phrases and I am really happy about it.
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#16 of 19 Old 04-17-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SeekingSerenity View Post
He's gone through a "not-fair" stage already, and my response to that was usually the same one my mom used to give me: "Life's not fair, darling."
Oh, I used to hate when my mom would say that to me. It's one of the phrases I've vowed to never use with my kids -- it felt so dismissive.

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#17 of 19 Old 04-17-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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Oh, I used to hate when my mom would say that to me. It's one of the phrases I've vowed to never use with my kids -- it felt so dismissive.
OH man i hear ya! That statement carries so much with it. I really believe that words have power and even joking ones can really have a lasting impact.
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#18 of 19 Old 04-18-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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Oh, I used to hate when my mom would say that to me. It's one of the phrases I've vowed to never use with my kids -- it felt so dismissive.
Well, for what it's worth, I didn't start off saying that to him. I would try to explain why whatever he had a problem with couldn't be the way he wanted it, fair or not. But day after day, having him scream "It's NOT FAIR!!" and stomp away in a tizzy just gets old. He did not, at that stage, want to hear why it had to be that way and what we could do to fix it. After he calmed down, we talk about it and work through it, but for that moment, that was my reply.

Being dismissive of the tantrum does not, I think, have a lasting impression of "I don't care what you think, nothing's fair so get used to it," as long as you make sure to clear it up with the child after his little emotional fit has passed. At this age, it usually only takes a few minutes, but he has to work through it first because he won't listen otherwise.

Just my thoughts...

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#19 of 19 Old 04-20-2009, 08:59 PM
 
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Its rough, i know DS5 is in it right now. although i have to admit it makes me feel better that other people are experiencing it too. i almost started feeling like i needed to take him to a counselor or someone.

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