6 Year Old Boys--HELP!! Explain their emotions to me... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-02-2007, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,
I don't know if I have an overly emotional 6 year old boy or if this is just par for the course.
Lately it seems like if he doesn't get his way, such as if a friend can't come over, if he has a disagreement with a playmate, etc, he runs home crying and sobbing and angry.
He also has the tendency to be a bit agressive, wanting to throw one or two things or kick/hit something before even considering calming down.
I'm having a difficult time explaining life to him because, as a kid who's 6, who wants to hear that someone has to do homework? Or that someone just doesn't feel like playing?
On the other hand, if he's observing another child do this, he can very easily explain things to them and be reasonable.
The grass is always greener right?
This is kind of an overview of what I've been experiencing without getting into too much detail.
What drives me crazy is that I know I was similar and what I hate most is that he'll reason more with his teacher than he will me. I'm the same way. I'm more apt to listen to a colleague or a role model than my own parents or my husband. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
I recall being a child thinking I knew I"d get to experience what *I* was like as soon as I had kids.
Welcome to motherhood lol!!
Karen
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#2 of 8 Old 01-02-2007, 09:34 PM
 
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I would not describe my 7 year old as overly emotional, BUT when he is tired, he is for sure. So, have you considered that maybe your ds needs more sleep? Since you used the word "lately" this makes me think that your ds is not typically overly emotional, so maybe an earlier bedtime would help.
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#3 of 8 Old 01-02-2007, 10:00 PM
 
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I just finished reading a book called, "Your Five Year old" by Louise Bates Ames. It's a bit dated (er, I no longer have a phonograph and I would NOT allow my 5 year old to cross the street alone to do a solo errand at the store). But if you can ignore that sort of stuff, the developmental stuff is spot on IMO.

She talks about periods of imbalance and balance in the child's behavior. Usually half-years are periods of imbalance, so 3 1/2 is much harder than 3, 4 1/2 is harder than 4 or 5, etc. It's been eerily accurate with my own kids.

At any rate, the imbalance period around 5 1/2 is unusually long, starting as early as 5 and going as late as 6 1/2. She describes the child in this period as being very emotional, getting angry over little things and being inward focused (being a bit of a homebody and attached to the parents for comfort). My 5 1/2 year old is like this right now. He can cry at the drop of a hat. He gets angry over petty things. And he's very combative and argumentative. He's also very attached to me right now (he was more adventurous at 4) and he can be very sweet about it. But living with him right now is a bit of an emotional roller-coaster for everyone. According to this book, it would be normal for this behavior to continue to 6 1/2.

She also has "Your Six Year Old" but I haven't read it yet. Maybe these books would reassure you. You just have ignore some very dated references.

HTH!
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#4 of 8 Old 01-03-2007, 12:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LeftField View Post
At any rate, the imbalance period around 5 1/2 is unusually long, starting as early as 5 and going as late as 6 1/2. She describes the child in this period as being very emotional, getting angry over little things and being inward focused (being a bit of a homebody and attached to the parents for comfort). My 5 1/2 year old is like this right now. He can cry at the drop of a hat. He gets angry over petty things. And he's very combative and argumentative. He's also very attached to me right now (he was more adventurous at 4) and he can be very sweet about it. But living with him right now is a bit of an emotional roller-coaster for everyone. According to this book, it would be normal for this behavior to continue to 6 1/2.
Holy moly! Glad I opened this thread! I'll have to get this book because I've been at odds trying to figure out what's been going on with my ds since this past summer - right after his 5th birthday. He's a kid that LOVED his own bed and NEVER (and I mean NEVER) had a problem with going to bed at night. That all changed this summer along with all the other emotional stuff you listed above. To boot, almost every night now he gets up in the middle of the night and crawls into bed with me. I don't mind comforting him if he needs it, but it's a dramatic difference in the way he used to be. I've been attributing the emotional issues to lack of sleep or disrupted sleep and some probable school mis-match issues, so I'll have to consider what's going on with him in a different and more complex way.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#5 of 8 Old 01-03-2007, 12:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LeftField View Post
I just finished reading a book called, "Your Five Year old" by Louise Bates Ames. It's a bit dated (er, I no longer have a phonograph and I would NOT allow my 5 year old to cross the street alone to do a solo errand at the store). But if you can ignore that sort of stuff, the developmental stuff is spot on IMO.

She talks about periods of imbalance and balance in the child's behavior. Usually half-years are periods of imbalance, so 3 1/2 is much harder than 3, 4 1/2 is harder than 4 or 5, etc. It's been eerily accurate with my own kids.
!
Leftfield, I read Ames "your three year old" and totally know what you mean about being dated--there was this part about it being okay for your child to be left handed and they won't go blind, or something weird like that (both my dh and I are left-handed, so this kind of stuff totally amuses us)... and then there was this really weird part about a child not liking this clown doll, so the parent wanted to know if she should---burn the doll in front of the child--- so totally weird, eh?

But I found interesting the same part that you mention above, the 1/2 cycles and have found this to be true of my oldest boy--he is now 4 months shy of 6 and has been an interesting kid lately--

Everything is an extreme, like he'll say ,"I NEVER want to eat lunch," or he "HATES cheese" (he doesn't just dislike it, but HATES it!)

He gets real upset sometimes over seemingly silly things--even more so than his 2.5 almost 3 year old brother... He is GREAT at school and with other children, he just seems to be real emotional and dramatic with me and Papa...

 hh2.gif  ~~~~~~~~~~hh2.gif
 

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#6 of 8 Old 01-03-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LauraLoo View Post
Holy moly! Glad I opened this thread! I'll have to get this book because I've been at odds trying to figure out what's been going on with my ds since this past summer - right after his 5th birthday. He's a kid that LOVED his own bed and NEVER (and I mean NEVER) had a problem with going to bed at night. That all changed this summer along with all the other emotional stuff you listed above. To boot, almost every night now he gets up in the middle of the night and crawls into bed with me. I don't mind comforting him if he needs it, but it's a dramatic difference in the way he used to be. I've been attributing the emotional issues to lack of sleep or disrupted sleep and some probable school mis-match issues, so I'll have to consider what's going on with him in a different and more complex way.
She basically says that 5 might be the nicest age that we encounter, because 5 year olds are sunny and hopeful little people. And it's the height of parent adoration. BUT, there's a big change around 5 1/2 (can be earlier for some kids; just an estimate):

page 6:
"Not yet a full-fledged Six, nevertheless the child of Five-and-a-half shows an all-too-great readiness to disobey, to go against what is asked or expected of him. And he doesn't always do this gently. 'Brash' and 'combative' are adjectives that mothers use in describing this child and all with good reason. Five-and-a-half is characteristically hesitant, dawdling, indecisive, or, at the opposite extreme, overdemanding and explosive."

She says that nightmares are very common for Fives.

Page 12: "Fives, in spite of all their apparent confidence, do need quite a bit of reassurance from mother....And, admittedly, as they move on toward Five-and-a-half, if things go wrong, children will sometimes take things out on mother."

Now, I really want to read "Your Six Year Old". We'll be there in May.
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#7 of 8 Old 01-03-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post
Leftfield, I read Ames "your three year old" and totally know what you mean about being dated--there was this part about it being okay for your child to be left handed and they won't go blind, or something weird like that (both my dh and I are left-handed, so this kind of stuff totally amuses us)... and then there was this really weird part about a child not liking this clown doll, so the parent wanted to know if she should---burn the doll in front of the child--- so totally weird, eh?
I recently read it too, to remind myself of what 3 was like. But I skipped the chapter on "Real Life Stories". I'll be that's where that stuff was. That's too funny and weird. I have to back and read that section now.

I was totally impressed that she gave a shout-out to the Feingold diet and highlighted the impact that diet has on behavior (at least she did in the Five year old book).

I really need to get the 6 year old book now.
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#8 of 8 Old 01-03-2007, 12:46 AM
 
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She basically says that 5 might be the nicest age that we encounter, because 5 year olds are sunny and hopeful little people. And it's the height of parent adoration. BUT, there's a big change around 5 1/2 (can be earlier for some kids; just an estimate):

page 6:
"Not yet a full-fledged Six, nevertheless the child of Five-and-a-half shows an all-too-great readiness to disobey, to go against what is asked or expected of him. And he doesn't always do this gently. 'Brash' and 'combative' are adjectives that mothers use in describing this child and all with good reason. Five-and-a-half is characteristically hesitant, dawdling, indecisive, or, at the opposite extreme, overdemanding and explosive."

She says that nightmares are very common for Fives.

Page 12: "Fives, in spite of all their apparent confidence, do need quite a bit of reassurance from mother....And, admittedly, as they move on toward Five-and-a-half, if things go wrong, children will sometimes take things out on mother."

Now, I really want to read "Your Six Year Old". We'll be there in May.
Okay - I basically just copied your entire response If 5 is the "nicest age" I think I'm in for big trouble! Seriously, we never had issues at 2 or 3. People always commented on how sweet and well behaved he was. Roughly at 4 1/2, things started getting a little wacky, but nothing like they've been for the last 6 months. Now it makes complete sense that when I would pick him up from school (major school issues - really doesn't like going, doesn't learn anything), he would throw a fit when I would get him in the car and tell me that he HATED me. I was completely stunned by this because I would have guessed that he would have been glad to have seen me since he didn't like going to school. Obviously he was taking his frustration out on me. He isn't ALWAYS like this -- and actually the last couple of months have been much better. I feel like he's very moody and I'm not always sure what is going to tick him off -- is this a precursor for teenage years???? How many books has this author written? Will she be able to get me through 18?

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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