Sensitive 8 year old / coping skills? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 05-24-2011, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS is 8 and is very sensitive. He gets his feelings hurt very easily and gets upset and cries. It happens at home and it happens at school. At the last school conference with the teacher she mentioned it to us. She said it happens maybe 2 times a month. She said by this age he really should have other "coping skills." Anyone have a kid like this? Is he likely to grow out of it? Any suggestions for coping skills or a book or other resources on the topic?

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#2 of 6 Old 05-24-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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nola have you felt like this all along? that he is having trouble? or did the teachers comment make you sit up.

 

first let me ask has your son ALWAYS been like this - sensitive to this extent or is it something youve seen lately.

 

coz 7-8 is the conscience development stage and so its age appropriate to be esp. sensitive. 

 

i see it with the kids in dd's class. i see it with dd. the only difference is she loses it at home. not in public so others can see. 

 

i hope other mamas will help you with book recommendations.

 

hmm for me i am not giving this too much of my time worrying. i know its a phase that dd will grow out. she has been like this since 7 - so two years now and i can see this going down now. 

 

one of the things that has really, really worked for us is for me to talk about life experiences. and have my friends talk about theirs. 

 

my main philosophy is for her to see that this is life. that she is not alone. that this happens to everyone. and to help her understand that no one has the power to hurt her. she gives them that power. recently she wasnt ready to accept this from me. but another friend at school pointed that out to her - why do you let them hurt you. they have mouths. let them say what they want. you dont have to take them seriously. and boom changed my dd. what was a painful situation for her was no longer painful anymore. 

 

i am 'weird' and so is dd. i feel it is my duty to encourage her to stand up and speak for herself. i gently encourage her and lately she realised it isnt as scary as she thought it could be. 'mama that was soo easy'.

 

in a sense i would say its an honour that he is losing it at school. he must feel safe there to do it. 


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#3 of 6 Old 05-24-2011, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! You know I don't think he has always been this way but I think it started about the time he started school. His kindergarten teacher mentioned the "melt downs" but I thought it was the age. And I didn't realize it was still happening at school this much until the teacher mentioned it this Spring. She said when it happens the other kids are very concerned about him, but that may not be the case next year-- he'll start 3rd grade in the Fall.

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#4 of 6 Old 05-24-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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There's a great book called "The Highly Sensitive Child" by Elaine Aron.

 

I've got two highly sensitive kids (highly sensitive in very different ways). My younger child is in 1st grade and still regularly cries at school when she's upset or frustrated. I can see it diminishing next year, but not going away. My older child has always been very tightly controlled (this is the kid who at age 3 had a whispered tantrum because I told him, as I put him in his room, "If you wake up your baby sister with your tantrum, I'm going to be really mad!" So he had his tantrum, but whispered it all. Boy, did I feel bad. bag.gif) He's never cried more than once at school. But he does still cry at home, especially if he's tired. He was in tears last night because the Minnesota Twins had the lead going into the 9th inning and lost it in the 10th. He actually sat on my lap for a good 5-10 minutes.

 

If he's always been like this, I'd work on him on coping skills and putting things in perspective, but I wouldn't worry too much. My dd's teacher often has to ask her "Is it the end of the world?" Dd has a little trouble with perspective. It sounds like the kids at your son's school are pretty sweet, and I don't think they'll suddenly turn unsweet over the summer.

 

The other things to look at is whether he is getting enough sleep and enough to eat. My kids are much more emotionally fragile when they're tired and/or hungry. All of their sensitivities sky-rocket. And they are often tired at school, and as far as I can tell, they don't eat a very good lunch (even though we pack one).

 

 


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#5 of 6 Old 05-25-2011, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. I will check out that book.

 

Yes, my DS sounds similar to your sensitive kids. His b-day was a few weeks ago and we baked cookies to bring in for a b-day treat for the class. He got to hand the cookies out but one of his classmates started to eat her cookie right away rather than waiting for him as the b-day kid to take the first bite. And he got upset and cried at school, and then cried again as he was telling me about it. On Sunday we had some friends over and the kids were playing with squirt guns and having a fine time. Then he announced he was on a "time out" from the game and his friend squirted him anyway and DS got upset and cried and ran in the house and wouldn't come back out.

 

It's true that so far the kids at school seem sympathetic and don't pick on him about it. But I worry as the kids get older it may not always be the case.

 

Hadn't thought of the sleep issue. That may be contributing. He is often tired especially on school days.

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#6 of 6 Old 05-25-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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nola my dd is in 3rd grade. seh is one of the youngest because of CA previous cut off date. 

 

let me tell you yes they get mean in 3rd grade. they get catty and tease and some boys hit. not hard physically, but emotionally v. hard. they'll just reach out and touch you. 

 

however having watched dd go thru this this happened mostly with children who were new and she didnt know. 

 

my dd doesnt cry. seh gets mad. really mad. she makes a mad face and goes into her own  time out where no one is welcome. i have seen her do this in school where she wont even allow her friends to go talk to her. she mostly got upset because kids were teasing her friends and they wouldnt listen to her when she asked them to stop. eyesroll.gif mind u these are friends who dont care about being teased. most kids are lost when they see anger and wanting to be alone. they dont know how to support it. 

 

so what i am saying is - it doesnt really matter what your son does. it seems all the kids have to "walk on burning coal" as part of 3rd grade. dd going thru an intense emotional phase - struggled with it for quite a while (and YES YES YES lack of sleep, hunger AND lack of exercise can definitely exacerbate the situation, however since this is the intense phase - the emotions and situations will still happen - your child at times might not feel so intensely). i have supported my dd through talks, my friends have, the book and movie - bridge to terabithia and talks with her friends have certainly helped her. BUT not months ago - but months later. she has been suffering this year - but by jove with teh snap of the fingers - just like that - overnight she changed and is able to handle things much better. her bf same age as her is still not out of this phase - and he collapses into angry tears quite often. 

 

also here is one thing i worry about. one thing i believe in. there are two layers of communication. the concious - speach/gestures and the unconcious - body stance.  and i have discovered as a mother i have had to get out of the 'feeling sorry/afraid for dd'. dd can tell. others can tell. and my words are not effective. in fact i think it freaks her out too. while i support and do what my dd needs, i also have this - this is life, its not such a big deal feeling. for instance in the last few months instead of feeling sorry for dd i have actually been finding it funny. really my dd's extreme anger is sooo funny. of course i dont show that side. but i dont dwell in that after we have finished talking or sharing a silence together. i give her what she needs and then move on. and i have noticed that helps her deal with it better. 

 

many many times i've held a fuming or crying piteously child in my arms. and then she is done. and moves on. not a word spoken. no explanation given. so i almost feel that for your son - crying IS a coping mechanism. maybe not a socially acceptable one - but still one. i expect when he goes to 3rd grade some might tease him, yet some will be there supporting him. kids really help each other. 

 

oh and this is also the age of intense social skills learning. many times dd comes and complains about a situation. and after i have heard her and given her space to get it off her chest i then sit with her and point out her mistakes. this is hte time she needs this guidance - when she feels so deeply about it - esp. since she is an intense 'strong willed' child whose friends are all intense and strong willed too and therefore more clashes.  


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