6yo constantly says he hates himself. Phase or trouble? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-17-2012, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 6yo son has recently started saying all the time that he hates himself, thinks he's "bad" or says things like who here hates me, raise your hand etc. The first few times I thought it was something to do with the word hate as we'd mentioned that it was a strong word and maybe dislike may be a better option in most situations. Lately though I've been more and more uncomfortable with this. I've asked him in moments of calm why he thinks he hates himself. "Because I do bad things."

 

Then yesterday I asked who said he does bad things? And he said YOU !! huh.gif what?! he says when we (me and dad) tell him not to do something like, say, yelling at his brother or jumping on the couch, then that means he's being "bad". I've tried saying in the past that sometimes we don't make good choices but that doesn't make us "bad" people. Just now, he came up to me saying "I'm on the naughty list, aren't I?" WHY?? We just spent 5 mins recounting how he's smart, kind, compassionate and 6 other qualities that he counted on his own hands!!!

 

Sometimes I yell. Although I'm not proud of that, it happens. Sometimes I apologize to him for that. He says because I always behave at school I like to be "bad" at home. One time that I do remember that may have been actively my fault was when about a week ago he woke me up in the morning by jumping on my head and my hair got so painfully pinched that I struggled to maintain composure and yelled at him for being so annoying. Have I scarred him for life by doing that??! with all these horrible events going on around us you just never know how early it all takes root!

 

Please, please tell me this is a phase and will pass. Or else, pointers on what I can do. help.gif

 

ETA: He has no lack of self confidence...in fact the opposite, if anything. he's a leader at school and other kids look up to him (acc to his teacher). He's a perfectionist in most things and has a fierce, explosive temper. Mostly, though, he's a rock as far as kids temperaments go.

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Old 12-17-2012, 11:42 PM
 
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first let me put your mind to rest. yes its a phase. makes sense doesnt it, when you think about them being more adn more aware of the world, and the world's expectation out of them. 

 

it could be followed by some period of down, kinda looking like depression or anger. 

 

and now my moment. AHA!!!! he is a born leader. AND a perfectionist. lots of pressure. he has to succeed. and therefore he is his harshest critic. 

 

i am honest with dd and i've told her that absolutely there are times when i dont want to be around her. doesnt mean i dont love her. just means i dont like her actions or we are not meant to do that together. i've given her that talk since she was 4 or 5. 


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Old 12-18-2012, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you! i did anticipate it being a phase but it's still painful for me. i guess we'll just keep having the conversations like you and one day he'll stop believing this.
 

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Old 12-18-2012, 09:15 AM
 
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oh i missed some stuff. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wookie View Post

Sometimes I yell. Although I'm not proud of that, it happens. Sometimes I apologize to him for that. He says because I always behave at school I like to be "bad" at home.

wow this is amazing. absolutely amazing. for him to understand this so young and say it. i am excited about it because it validates how i parented my dd and others questioned it. dd always had to be good at school and her dad's house so i let her be bad at my house. oh i am so glad your son said this. helps ME out a lot. 

 

One time that I do remember that may have been actively my fault was when about a week ago he woke me up in the morning by jumping on my head and my hair got so painfully pinched that I struggled to maintain composure and yelled at him for being so annoying. Have I scarred him for life by doing that??! with all these horrible events going on around us you just never know how early it all takes root!

 

mama take a deep breath. you need to get out of the head space you are in. no you havent scarred him for life. in fact its a good thing you did it - coz listen. you gotta be realistic. he hurt you. you have to react. the thing you have to watch yourself is not yelling something like 'stop it. gosh you are soo annoying.' instead say something like 'stop it. you just jumped on my head and pulled my hair. ouch it hurts so much. be careful next time ok?!!' and hug him. because his punishment is not that your yelling. his punishment is that he hurt his mom and he would be mortified and he'd feel terrible. 

 

also as a mom, dont get hurt so much. i know its hard to do, but dont go poor thing feeling sorry - because you get so involved in teh emotionality of things that you miss the answer that is dangling right in front of your face. i know this is a terrible thing to say to a mom, but really this will help you deeply during his teenage years. 

 

dd is a talker and thinker. and i'd analyse what she said. saying something like - yeah i can relate to you. sometimes i hate myself too - when i do stupid things. meh. <shrug> lets see what you mean by bad. i yelled at my brother. aaaah nice. i like that you notice that is not a nice thing to do. but was it really bad? lets see. why did you yell? what made you yell. so you talk and you find out lets say younger bro was irritating him. and you say something like - see you know yelling hurts. you dont like being yelled at. but i can understand why you yelled. you reacted. instead next time when you feel irritated why dont you just leave the room before you open your mouth. 

 

i used to tell my dd - we all do bad things. we all hate ourselves for the moment. but then things get ok. meh whatever (that is one of our oft used terms. more to say meh this too shall pass. its ok) and i'd ask her later if she still felt bad... and mostly she'd say no. 

 

i think when you say no dont hate yourself and tell him all the things you see in him - that's kinda not supportive of his feelings ya know. he isnt using the word hate in the sense of how you know it as. in reality most of us dont like ourselves at times. its better you support him with his feelings - acknowledge them - even if you disagree. the reality is he IS feeling them. by sharing your own moments you let him know he is not alone. you feel the same sometimes too. this is huge for them. they realise they are not alone. at that age i voiced my feelings a lot. so dd could understand. 

 

all this is a healthy way of expressing their emotion. dd also went thru a hate you phase. hard to hear too - but you need to get out of the head space. and i'd tell her. that is fine. its your opinion. you have every right to them. but know i dont hate you. much later she'd say mom you know i dont really hate you dont you. i was just mad at you because you said no to ... and i'd nod my head and say yeah i know.

 

this unspoken communication is what's the best thing of connecting with your child. it is the sweetest way of connection. at 10 as dd goes thru her prepreteens, she sometimes is a mess. the hormones make her do terrible things. and i have to understand and get out of my head space. sooo hard to do as my dd turns into an alien and is hugely shocking to me. the biggest thing is dd has been able to voice her words. mom i really dont like you right now. you are so irritating. and i've stayed silent with teh right body language which says - i am so sorry you are going thru such a hard time, i still love you. because they are VERY sharp and pick up on 'energies' and can tell how you really feel - no matter what words you use. 

 

sometimes dd will stop me at what i am doing and tell me to just down and she'd make me a cup of tea or read to me or scratch my back. why? because she'd see the expression on my face. she says it makes me look angry, (i so recall when she was younger she'd ask me why i was angry, and i'd tell her i wasnt) but she has learnt it means i am tired. so she tries to stop me at what i am doing - if i can - and then take a rest. gosh how sweet is that?!!!! makes me cry everytime i think about it. but see its unspoken communication. some kids like mine is v. v. v. v. sensitive to it. just a peek into what the future is for you.

 

ok i've written a tome (i didnt mean to). now i'll shut up. 


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Old 12-18-2012, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

oh i missed some stuff. 

mama take a deep breath. you need to get out of the head space you are in. no you havent scarred him for life. in fact its a good thing you did it - coz listen. you gotta be realistic. he hurt you. you have to react. the thing you have to watch yourself is not yelling something like 'stop it. gosh you are soo annoying.' instead say something like 'stop it. you just jumped on my head and pulled my hair. ouch it hurts so much. be careful next time ok?!!' and hug him. because his punishment is not that your yelling. his punishment is that he hurt his mom and he would be mortified and he'd feel terrible. I really have been working on this and I do realise that it's the words that are hurting him more than my yelling. It's so hard to remember this in the spur of the moment but I am trying.

 

also as a mom, dont get hurt so much. i know its hard to do, but dont go poor thing feeling sorry - because you get so involved in teh emotionality of things that you miss the answer that is dangling right in front of your face. i know this is a terrible thing to say to a mom, but really this will help you deeply during his teenage years. 

 

dd is a talker and thinker. and i'd analyse what she said. saying something like - yeah i can relate to you. sometimes i hate myself too - when i do stupid things. meh. <shrug> lets see what you mean by bad. i yelled at my brother. aaaah nice. i like that you notice that is not a nice thing to do. but was it really bad? lets see. why did you yell? what made you yell. so you talk and you find out lets say younger bro was irritating him. and you say something like - see you know yelling hurts. you dont like being yelled at. but i can understand why you yelled. you reacted. instead next time when you feel irritated why dont you just leave the room before you open your mouth. I know you're right, meemee, but I wish I could control my lashing out in the moment. I do. But he says things like I won't! You can't make me! And when it happens when I'm already trying to comfort a crying child, ity all quickly becomes too overwhelming for me. I see though that that's my issue not his.

 

i used to tell my dd - we all do bad things. we all hate ourselves for the moment. but then things get ok. meh whatever (that is one of our oft used terms. more to say meh this too shall pass. its ok) and i'd ask her later if she still felt bad... and mostly she'd say no. 

 

i think when you say no dont hate yourself and tell him all the things you see in him - that's kinda not supportive of his feelings ya know. he isnt using the word hate in the sense of how you know it as. in reality most of us dont like ourselves at times. its better you support him with his feelings - acknowledge them - even if you disagree. the reality is he IS feeling them. by sharing your own moments you let him know he is not alone. you feel the same sometimes too. this is huge for them. Yes. Yes x1000. I have in the last two days realised this and will totally implement it. It happened when he got a trifle bout of diarrhea the other night. He got so afraid as he'd never had it in his known memory and as soon as I said (without realising its huge significance for him), you'll be alright, I got this all the time when I was a kid, your body sometimes just doesn't digest food the right way and this happens, he breathed a huge sigh of relief. they realise they are not alone. at that age i voiced my feelings a lot. so dd could understand. 

 

all this is a healthy way of expressing their emotion. dd also went thru a hate you phase. hard to hear too - but you need to get out of the head space. and i'd tell her. that is fine. its your opinion. you have every right to them. but know i dont hate you. much later she'd say mom you know i dont really hate you dont you. i was just mad at you because you said no to ... and i'd nod my head and say yeah i know.

 

this unspoken communication is what's the best thing of connecting with your child. it is the sweetest way of connection. at 10 as dd goes thru her prepreteens, she sometimes is a mess. the hormones make her do terrible things. and i have to understand and get out of my head space. sooo hard to do as my dd turns into an alien and is hugely shocking to me. the biggest thing is dd has been able to voice her words. mom i really dont like you right now. you are so irritating. and i've stayed silent with teh right body language which says - i am so sorry you are going thru such a hard time, i still love you. because they are VERY sharp and pick up on 'energies' and can tell how you really feel - no matter what words you use. I think this is my biggest problem. I'm usually not rattled by stuff that sprouts out of my kids' mouth. I think it seems to me like he's suddenly grown up and I'm having a hard time reconciling my little boy with mainly physical needs to this almsot young adult who is challenging me mentally and emotionally. I'm having a hard tiem growing up as a parent, you might say :) I HAVE to start seeing him in the new light that he's compelling me to in not so subtle ways.

 

sometimes dd will stop me at what i am doing and tell me to just down and she'd make me a cup of tea or read to me or scratch my back. why? because she'd see the expression on my face. she says it makes me look angry, (i so recall when she was younger she'd ask me why i was angry, and i'd tell her i wasnt) but she has learnt it means i am tired. so she tries to stop me at what i am doing - if i can - and then take a rest. gosh how sweet is that?!!!! makes me cry everytime i think about it. but see its unspoken communication. some kids like mine is v. v. v. v. sensitive to it. just a peek into what the future is for you. aw. I can see mine in that action of your daughter. He really is sensitive. I come from a culture and a time (in terms of how our parents parented us) that places way less emphasis on emotion and believes that kids turn out fine any way you raise them.. It's hard letting go of that mentality.

 

ok i've written a tome (i didnt mean to). now i'll shut up. And I thank you for it :) You have eased my mind immeasurably and given me much to ponder. I think the tragedy on Friday hit most of us with little kids so hard that at least for me I'm seeing ghosts where there are none.

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:00 PM
 
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I just wanted to say thank you to you both! I am having the same issues with my 6.5 yo ds and it has been breaking my heart - having sensitive children is such a blessing, but it can be hard work and confronting in the heat of the moment! Cole's twin sister is much more of an extrovert than her brother, and it's sometimes I feel like her *cruisiness* at the moment almost further highlights his struggles...though lord knows, after 6 and a half years, I have figured out that girls and boys have their hormonal rushes at different times, so the tables will turn soon enough!

Anyway, I'm rambling, but I just wanted to thank you for sharing - there's so much helpful stuff in here I can use as well. Thanks, and I hope things are continuing to improve for you!

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