i think my 6yo is depressed - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 04-08-2014, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's such a long story, but here's the picture today:
He is in kindergarten and has lived it since day one. However, lately he's been asking to be home schooled because he is having trouble getting along with one of his classmates. A few times when I've been visiting him at school something hasn't gone his way (someone did something out of turn, someone else didn't save him a seat, etc) and he walks away sulking. When i ask him what's wrong he says no one likes him. He is becoming a fussier eater. He is less affectionate and protective of his little brother, in fact, he now picks on the 15 month old and tries to make him cry. He's been very sassy. He doesn't want to come home.

This is just the short list of signs. We have depression in our family (me), the baby is very demanding of my attention (nurses, cosleeps, gets carried etc) and my husband and i are both have pretty high expectations when out comes to behavior. We recognize that we need to cut him some slack, but it's hard because he can be so disrespectful and difficult.

Has anyone else noticed depression in their kids? I'm so sad about this. It's really affecting his friendships at school, and just school itself. We're going to talk with the principal this afternoon and then get him in with a therapist. Any thoughts? Words of encouragement?

Humbly parenting Abraham (1/08), learning to be gentle and creative.  At least I got a good man to hold my hand.  Married to Ben (8/06). 

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#2 of 5 Old 04-08-2014, 07:15 PM
 
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Can't say he is depressed (in the clinical sense); you will need a professional for that but it is good to keep in mind that he is young and kids moods and emotions are more susceptible to changes (sometimes dramatic swings).  He does seem unhappy at school though and feels things are not going well for him. This is probably what he is reacting to.  

 

It helps to remember that any one (including adults, let alone a 6 year old) will be down if they have to spend hours a day at a place where they are experiencing problems. That is probably why he is asking to be home schooled.  Give it time; talk him through his emotions about school and the kid he is having trouble with. Go through situations that bother him and role play with him about what to do if those situations arise again. Most importantly, listen and validate his feelings and maybe tell him about times you have had to deal with things like that in your life and how you handled it.  This seems to help some when my kids are having trouble.

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#3 of 5 Old 04-08-2014, 09:35 PM
 
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www.ahaparenting.com has some good articles on connecting with kids and addressing behaviour. Starting school is huge, IMO, and I think most parents can expect to see some stress-related behavioural responses as kids adjust. Hopefully it will give some ideas to start with until you can get a precessional assessment.

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#4 of 5 Old 04-16-2014, 08:07 AM
 
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6-8 is a big age of transition, from little kid to big kid, more expectations on them for behavior and responsibility, more complex thought processes and emotions going on, etc. I find a mix of doing things together one on one (that also gives time to talk about anything he wants to) and encouraging independent projects helps. Also noticing the great things about what they do and their talents, not over praising little stuff just paying attention and mentioning it to him and to others, helps your own attitude and that of others about them too. Don't back down about correcting bad behavior though, high expectations are a good thing in my opinion.

 

Is he being bullied or excluded? Or maybe like mine he's got a passionate personality and the kids stay clear sometimes due to that? Friends a couple years younger or older seem to help mine, the older ones (especially girls) can roll with it and the younger ones look up to him and appreciate his attention. But neither are too far from his age to not share some common interests. Of course the chance to spend time more with a variety of ages is a homeschool perk for us, he isn't put in a room full of same age kids every day.

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#5 of 5 Old 04-16-2014, 10:57 AM
 
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I suggest talking to him in about what he can do in each of these situations instead of walking away sulking.  My dd was certain she was being bullied in kindergarten whenever she didn't get her way and role playing and talking about how the other child felt and what the other child wanted helped her gain the perspective she needed to be happy in school and get along better with friends.  There were times she was truly bullied but for the most part teaching her how to handle bullies assertively and how to advocate for herself effectively with her teachers helped her stay happy in school.

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