self-demeaning behavior in 6 yr old - Mothering Forums
The Childhood Years > self-demeaning behavior in 6 yr old
mom at home's Avatar mom at home 03:25 AM 11-27-2001
My 6 yr old dd has recently started berating herself intensely if she doesn't like the way she has done something. Common phrases: "I'm so stupid, everything I do is ugly, etc". This is usually when she is writing or creating something. Her writing is beautiful, which really isn't the point anyway, as what she seems to see is ugly. She's always seemed very confident so I'm wondering where this is coming from. She's not really a perfectionist and often if something doesn't work right she'll patiently keep trying, until lately. She just never seems very satisfied with her work. Any suggestions on how to approach this?

Thanks, Alison

BathrobeGoddess's Avatar BathrobeGoddess 02:22 PM 11-27-2001
My dd is also a perfectionist and does the same thing. I just correct her with something very nice or ask her why she feels that way. With my dd I think it can be just looking for if we are doing different things in the same room. I hope this helps!
papabliss's Avatar papabliss 03:36 PM 11-27-2001
Hi Mom at Home,

Could there be any big life-changing events occurring or about to occur in her world? Sometimes anger is expressed inward when there is no easy target for it.

When the pressures build, kids get stressed just like adults, except that they often do not have the means to ask for help. Rather, they do other things instead that we, as adults, often need our wisdom and insight to interpret as their response to stress and a plea for help and comfort.

My suggestion: be very patient and help her express herself in other ways without suggesting that her current expressions are wrong (even if you know they are). Also, give her more positive attention than usual because (I think anyway) she is asking for it by criticizing herself (something we all do).

mom at home's Avatar mom at home 02:57 AM 11-28-2001

Well said. Now that you open my eyes to it, I'm sure you are right about her stress and anger being directed inward.

As a matter of fact, we are experiencing a major life-changing event, but I hadn't correlated it to this particular behavior. And, you are right about the lack of positive attention. I have been so busy that she is definitely not getting as much attention as she would like.

Thanks for helping me see the light.

Thanks to you also, Bathrobe Goddess.