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Discussion Starter #1
My DS is 7years old & is driving me nuts! Nothing we do is good enough for him. It seems the more 1 on 1 time we spend w/ him the crankier he gets. I just don't get it! He is so negative about every thing. He gets down on himself a lot. He is a good student, haa friends, is very social. Buttttt<br><br>
We ask him, "are you interested in learning karate?" He says he can't, its too hard. Yet he had an interest in it when is older brother goes.<br><br>
"Would you like to learn soccer?" Same answer. Then he just mopes & sulks.<br><br>
If he is not winning, whether its at a game, or running or a tickle fight he just gives up. He is not a nice loser (boy that sounds bad, but ya know what I mean!)<br><br>
DH spends an evening doing what DS wants to do, but DS ends up moping & saying "thats stupid, thats dumb." What the HECK?! He begs his Dad to do things & then complains the whole time.<br><br>
I noticed that when we just go about or day, nothing special...he's fine. The moment we hang out w/ him or try to interest him in something just for him... he freaks. He complains to us all the time that we do nothing w/ him..............I'm ready to blow<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
We try talking to him when he gets upset but it does NOT help. Talk throught the feelings Yada Yada, The conversation goes round & round. he ends up stomping away.<br><br>
Any insights would be great. Any books? Any thing! I'm ready to never spend any alone time w/ him. Nothing I do is good enough!<br>
Thanks!!!!
 

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My first impression is that there is some other dynamic that isn't specified here. It would be easier to understand with more examples or specifics. What does make him happy? Is he depressed? Do you have too many expectations of him? Is he getting too much attention?<br><br>
If he asks to do X and you do it, and then he complains that doing X is dumb, do you stop or do you keep trying to do something he's changed his mind about?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for responding oregongirlie,<br>
well I will admit my DH is awesome at working w/ him. I take everything way too personally. I will admit I'm not good at working w/ him. I am very impatient. I know that doesn't help in this situation, so I do tend to back off & let my DH talk w/ him.<br><br>
He is really great at asking us "hey do you need help?" we usually say "yea, here clean the toliet or help w/ dishes." He really is happy doing things for us. So I know he enjoys helping people, friends, teachers. He is known as a charmer. He'll charm the pants off anyone. Always striking conversations w/ anyone. He's always asking us if he can help the neighboor cut the grass or whatever project he has!<br><br>
As for being depressed, I'm not sure. He only gets sad or angry (other then when his siblings bug him!) when we give him attention. When he says "let's play ball" DH plays ball with him. If ds doesn't hit the ball well or the sun is in his eyes or the moon is out of alinment, he gets down on himself or will just give up & say this is dumb. DH is great at asking the questions to get him to talk & then says "well lets work on hitting the ball. It takes practice so lets practice. Your doing a great job, yes sometimes its hard, (sometime I feel he talks too much. I feel talked to death when I hear them go round & round!)<br><br>
Or he'll ask to tag along to go to the hardware store. He'll go w/ dad & bam!!! Complain time. Things like "I don't want to go (but you just beg to ride to the store) Lets go home. Why did I have to come.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
Soooo..... yeah.....I'm at a loss<br><br><br>
As far as getting too much attention, I don't think so. He is one of 4 kiddos. Actually he is the only one that has 1 on 1 time w/ dad on tuesday nights as I take the kids off to older brothers' Cub Scout meeting to play. But yet all we hear is "you never spend time w/ me." We do spend time w/ him.<br><br>
help!
 

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Well, those examples sound pretty normal to me. If he complains after wanting to tag along, I'd say that you don't go home and he has to stay until you're done. I'd listen to his complaints and say, "Yeah, I know you're bored now but I have to finish the shopping. Next time you might want to stay home and (color, or whatever he likes to do)." Soon he will be able to make the choice to NOT go to the store if that's something he doesn't like. How nice to have a 7 year old who will clean for you. That's pretty cool. It does sound like he needs to find "his thing" that he will do for himself because he likes to without worry of performance. Listening to music, art, skating, legos, etc. Sometimes helping out is an approval seeking activity. I don't know, really. It's all probably normal.
 

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Is he getting enough sleep? I'm in the middle of "Sleepless in America" and those behaviors sound a LOT like the ones listed for children who are chronically sleep deprived. He still needs 10+ hours a day.<br><br>
Is he an introvert? How does he recharge? You might want to read "The Hidden Gifts of the Introvert Child" and see if that resonates with you. He may not have the vocabulary or the emotional insight for "I'm feeling overwhelmed right now and need to go do something by myself."<br><br>
He may also have performance anxiety. Are there things he likes to do that aren't competetive (i.e. soccer) OR where other people can see him (i.e. karate)? What about bike riding? Individual sports like rock climbing?<br><br>
Since he likes to help, I would set up some stuff where he gets to help you and make some real contributions -- like cooking dinner. At 7, he's old enough to learn to chop, saute, etc. Do these things together maybe twice a week. There's no performance involved there, just getting things done. And you can chat while you do it. Nothing major, just chat. I don't know a man alive who really relishes sitting down to talk about feelings. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> (Heck, I don't either!) It works much better to work side by side with them. And then over time, little things come out. In the heat of the moment? Never!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great points LynnS6. I like the idea of individual sports. He would ride his bike for hours if he could.<br><br>
I was helping him clean out his dresser today & out of no where he told me a kid told him he sucked at kick ball<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I asked him if that happened a lot & he said yeah. It happens a lot in gym class where there is orginized sports. Yikes! He told me he likes playing the game but a kid will tease him (& others).<br><br>
I can understand why he would have performance anxiety! Poor thing. I think youre right about him not being able to express his feelings. When he gets stressed or talking to fast he studders a little. I'm so use to it that I forgot how that could be frustrating to him not being able to say things. Well crud, now I feel bad! It seems so clear now. Duh!<br><br>
What are you thoughts about helping him w/ his self esteem? We give him positive words but he really fights that.<br><br>
Thanks for helping me ladies!
 

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I would also read Unconditional Parenting. Funny, I was thinking of rock climbing too! Maybe he needs an interesting special sport that pretty much only he does -- an individual one where he competes with himself. I wouldn't praise him (if that's what you're doing) in order to raise his self-esteem. Kids pretty much know how good they are. He just needs to experience how good he is for himself. Sounds like gym isn't doing that for him. I hated kickball -- was always picked last and everyone always gave me the glum, "good try." That phrase should be illegal in kid sports!
 

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ZorroZ,<br>
As I read your posts, it seems it seems most of these issues revolve around sports - you've mentioned conversations about karate, soccer, kickball, and baseball. I'm thinking he may be trying to tell you he is not interested in competative sports. How is he when you play with him with action figures, puzzles, games, cooking, and other low-key activities?
 

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Your son sounds EXACTLY like mine. I am at my witts ends and nothing is seeming to work. he complains constantly about everything. no matter how hard i try to work with him, it quickly becomes a disaster. for example he has been complaining i don't spend enough time with him so i called him at school to tell him i missed him and loved to him and he asks me to pick him up early so we can spend some time together. So i arrange to leave work early and i call him on the way to let him know i am coming and he says "can't you pick me up after play time" and i told him "well no becuase i took off work early so we could spend some alone time together becuase you asked me to and i want to see you" and he says " i just asked you that to get out of nap time." ok so hurt feelings aside i go pick him up and he is sulking and rude to me from the start as i laod him into the car. i tell him i am going to take him to a special ice cream place and he can get whatever he wants - fun right? nope complains all the way there. i try talking to him about his day and why he is feeling sad and angry and what's going on with our relationship becuase we haven't been getting along lately...tough going but he says a few words to me mostly i don't knows but atleast he is talking and responding to my questions. we get there and he seems excited and we go sit in the car and share ice cream and he is smiling and we're joking.....then BAM he tells me my ice creams sucks and sticks his tongue out at me and becomes his typical rude self. i ask him why he is reacting this way with little response and he clams up and stops eating. so by then we have to go get my daughter at dc and he gets more upset about going to get her and asks "why can't we just leave her there". i ask him to stop being rude, we have to go get her...blah blah. so then after we get into our seats and on our way i ask him why he got so upset and he said "i was having such a good time with you and didn't want to go"....WHAT? um he was having the WORST time...he looked like he would rather be pegged in the face with a baseball than to be there with me. I can't win. I am trying so ahrd to get through this and try to find the hidden feelings underneath all this but i feel as if i just can't continue to be his "doormat". I am his parent and i know i have to/want to work through this with him and i won't give up on him but sometimes.....i just want to walk away and say "whatever".<br>
It's just never enough....nothing is. why don't i kiss him enough and play enough and do this or that enough. My only responce is i try to but you push me away. i try to kiss you and you cringe and wipe it off, i try to hug and sometimes he'll let me and other times he'll tell me he's "too busy", we try sports and he backtalks the coach and then sulks around the field disrupting the entire class (it's embarassing), i ask for help around the house and he flat out refuses, it's a struggle every moring to him up and ready - i mean a REAL struggle........i want to cry most days...i am so stressed out and miserable. what happened to my fun boy, who told jokes and laughed alot. now he just want sto be this smug, rude, "cool" guy. i HATE it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
A lot of it involves sports, but also things like reading & math work. He goes really good w/ legos & puzzles...if he does it alone. Games are ok if it just him & a parent, but add anyone else to the mix, it gets ugly fast!<br><br>
I guess I'm puzzled because he is such a social guy. We are not pushing sports on him at all. He just is always angry that his brother does stuff & he doesn't. (Funny thing is, we rarely sign are kids up for stuff. If we do its been librey activities) But I really think after reading everyones responce that he needs more solitary activity. Something that he can excel at by himself.<br><br>
As for praise, I don't feel we go overboard. I made that mistake years ago w/ my first DC<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> It drained me!<br>
We don't lie, like "Oh you did good or nice try" When he didn't do good or didn't try. (& yes, I don't like "nice try" either!) I guess he is like me...who hates to recieve compliments. Although I'm much better now because i'm all grown up<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> My DH said last night, that DS SAYS loud what he thinks about himself after a compliment. Compared to me, who THINKS the same thing about myself after I get a compliment. Ouch!
 

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Maybe it's a 7 year old boy developmental thing? I'm having similar issues with my oldest 7 y.o. ds. I get so frustrated with his rude meaness toward others particularly me and his sister. Although our guy is not very social, prefers computer games and lego type toys to sports.<br><br>
He's actually fairly obnoxious during soccer practice, getting in the other kid's faces, yelling, goofing off and not paying attention. My DH is worried he's turning into "one of those kids who tries so hard to get other to like/pay attention to him that he actually turns the other kids off."<br><br>
It breaks my heart...I had a hard time socially as a kid...nerdy and awkward. So I don't really know what to do to help him out.
 

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Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Health of Boys would be a good book for anyone with a boy to read. It addresses how boys communicate differently than girls (less willing to talk about feelings) and the subtle (and not so subtle) pressure of society to be macho.<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FRaising-Cain-Protecting-Emotional-Life%2Fdp%2F0345434854%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%2F103-1270203-3364606%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1177164327%26sr%3D8-1" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Cain-P...7164327&sr=8-1</a>
 

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Discussion Starter #14
momofayden I can hear your pain in your post! I too battle w/ screaming out "whatever! AARRRGGGGGG"
 
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