To feel like a shit mum

(26 Posts)
HairSlide Thu 31-Mar-16 01:40:33

Have just been to DS(6) parents' night. He was showing me some of his work and they have a book in which they write what they did at the weekend. DS' was just page after page of the same thing- "I played minecraft on my playstation".
According to his teacher lots of the class talk about Minecraft, but one week, in an attempt to make them think outside the box she "banned" news about Minecraft. In reaction to this DS burst into tears because that was all he did.
We do other things at the weekends; visit family, go for walks, the beach, shopping, playing with lego and occassionally do something like soft play or a run in the car to an adventure park or similar but I admit he is allowed on the playstation a fair bit.
Apparrently he has been unhappy and tearful/emotional at school for a few weeks but has either told us nothing is bothering him or that he doesn't want to tell.
Teacher says he is doing really well academically, is kind and well behaved. His report says that he is being a good friend to his peers at school, is very creative and progressing well. If im honest I was quite surprised to read how well he has come on as he struggled through nursery and has had to work hard on his focus/ concentration.

I was so proud after reading his report vut after meeting with the teacher tonight I feel like I must be failing him somewhere is he is so upset at school he is crying and sometimes just withdrawn/reluctant to work. Generally speaking he isn't much of a crier and has always been more prone to angry outburts than getting sad or upset like that.

I know that the obvious thing is to reduce the time on his playstation and encourage him to focus more on the other things we do but I just feel like I must be doing something fundamentally really wrong for him to be so sad that he cries at school.

His teachers are fantastic and have always been encouraging and positive about him but I just felt like they must think I plonk him in front of a screen permanently and ignore him.

He is so young he shouldn't have worries or burdens that make him this upset as an ongoing thing but he says that nothing is making him sad, no-one is being horrible to him etc. etc.

ChalkHearts Thu 31-Mar-16 01:54:48

Why does him being sad at school mean you're doing something wrong? That doesn't follow at all. Him being sad at school means somethings going wrong at school.

You do do other things at the weekend. He just likes mine craft the best. Even if you limit it I'm sure it'll still be the only thing he talks about because it's the highlight of his weekend. That's nothing to do with you or your parenting. That's him.

Sounds like he's doing really well at school.

Don't beat yourself up for him being him.

HairSlide Thu 31-Mar-16 02:00:09

I have some mental health issues, sometimes I feel like I'm "absent" because of that and i wonder if he has picked up on it.

He is doing well at school I just feel that he must be unhappy for a reason and maybe he isnt happy at home and im missing it.

HairSlide Thu 31-Mar-16 02:02:03

I think most of his outbursts at school have been out of the blue with no apparent trigger eg. Someone calling him names. He definitely isnt struggling with his work so it must be something underlying.

MattDillonsPants Thu 31-Mar-16 02:12:54

He's probably tired OP....6 is so little still and UK schools expect SO much of them at this tiny age.

Perhaps he would be just as happy to have a few cosy nights with you....cuddled up with a television programme he loves and an early night. Don't worry....I used to get stressed when my oldest was this age in school not realising that a lot of it is just them being tired and pushed a lot at school.

musicposy Thu 31-Mar-16 02:23:01

I always remember my mum going to my DBro's parents evening. In every single page of his book he had written. "I watched TV. We ate chips."
The teacher pointed out that she'd tried to get him to be more inventive but he'd just said "there is nothing else. That's all I do." My mum was mortified, not least because we had a roast dinner every weekend and did lots of fun things, so it was entirely fictitious. When she challenged him he just said "it's easy to write." grin

So it could well be that your DS, when told he couldn't write about minecraft, cried just because of the pressure of writing something unfamiliar, thinking it up, working out new spellings. These are big things at 6. In other words, the stress is with school and not home.

It sounds to me as though, despite doing well, he finds school stressful at times, as do many children at this age. Negotiating rules, name calling, work expectations, friendships, they all take time and maturity. I wouldn't beat yourself up over it because if he's happy at home I'd say it's not home. Let him relax at home and don't worry. Teachers have seen it all before and don't believe everything they read. But keep in touch over the crying at school and see if the teacher can get to the root of what is going on there. It may just be that it will settle as he gets older.

HairSlide Thu 31-Mar-16 02:27:11

He might be tired I suppose, he has afterschool clubs, childminder and swimming through the week but he honestly doesn't seem tired at all. He races round the park after school and doesn't seem lacking in energy, even in the evenings he doesn't come across as tired and he sleeps well and eats plenty.

We are in Scotland so school system isnt as pressurised as it is further South and I know that they have different strategies for children who learn at different paces- its a small village school and they are very good at supporting the children without pressurising them to "catch up" with other members of the class.

I really can't praise the school and his teachers enough which is why I think it must be me sad

ChalkHearts Thu 31-Mar-16 02:50:16

It doesn't sound like its you. Nothing you've said makes me think it's you at all.

BirthdayBetty Thu 31-Mar-16 03:13:22

sounds like he might be anxious, I have a dc like this, it always stems from something at school. It's difficult if he won't tell you who/what.
If it's any consolation my dc always says she's been playing with her toys when asked this question, even if we've done loads of other stuff! One of the reasons is because being at home with her toys is where she feels safest (she has said), perhaps your ds feels similar being at home playing minecraft? Please don't feel bad, you're not a shit mum flowers

MyFriendsCallMeOh Thu 31-Mar-16 03:59:03

Not all children are happy all the time. Parents are not responsible for ensuring that they are. Having children that are less than ecstatic are not a sign of parental failure. It's ok, it's even beneficial, for children to learn what sadness is and how to cope with it.

Now if you can accept that sadness is ok, you can try to get to the bottom of what's bothering him.

MattDillonsPants Thu 31-Mar-16 05:25:32

OP buy him a nice scrapbook. Help him to stick things in it and make little notes and drawings about stuff you both do together. It doesn't need to be anything really special...things like bus tickets, the wrapper off a nice easter egg...a flower he picked for you.

He can then see about recording your activities in a fun way....and he can show his teacher if he likes when there's a good bit of it completed.

Atenco Thu 31-Mar-16 06:02:49

Oh OP, I haven't a clue why your son is crying and withdrawn at school, but don't beat yourself up about it, please. Try to get to the root of the problem, but you cannot just automatically feel guilty everytime your child is going through a hard time. If you genuinely think you should change some of the activities you do with your child, change them, but to hell with feeling guilty.

Pickofthepops Thu 31-Mar-16 07:43:27

In an attempt to make you feel better my sister did a piece of primary school display work age about 6 which detailed how we'd been to the pub with my parents on the Saturday and on the Sunday we went to the pub again. This Was two summer garden pubs for family celebrations but that bit didn't get written in. My mum was mortified. Teachers see it all :-)

Summerblaze100 Thu 31-Mar-16 08:01:44

My DD (then 10) wrote in her journal at school that at New Year, she got drunk on Bucks Fizz. She'd had a splash of fizz in one huge glass of orange.

Her teachers never even mentioned it and as I work at the school, I thought I might have heard something but I never did.

Princesspeach1980 Thu 31-Mar-16 08:45:43

I suspect a lot of kids that age can't remember what they did at the weekend without some prompting. When I looked at my DS2s book, he had written "we went to Thomas land" for about 8 weeks in a row when we'd only been once. I'm sure the teacher doesn't think that's all he ever does.

My ds1 who is 8 now gets tearful very easily. He's just a very sensitive kid, he finds it really hard when he's under pressure. Something as simple as not knowing what to write to start a story, or feeling like he's doing something too slowly is enough to make him well up. We're working on it but it's nothing anyone has done wrong, he just keeps his emotions close to the surface

Pickofthepops Thu 31-Mar-16 09:32:05

Yes my 8 yr old is v sensitive too and has a tremendous feel for fairness or injustice, often as he perceives done to himself. On the other hand he lacks empathy ie if another classmate or friend has the same or similar issue to him, he can't seem to draw a comparison and feel for them. Don't get me wrong he is a nice boy with a wide circle of friends, he just spends a fair about if time complaining about perceived unfairness. He does keep emotions close to surface too . It's written all over his face. And lots of tears. He did have a battle with mild selective mutism so has done well but working on empathy as I think he needs to be aware of others more

Seeyounearertime Thu 31-Mar-16 09:38:38

I love Minecraft, its so open and free and you can allow your imagination to go wild.

This my sound stupid so please shoot me if it does but he may be using Minecraft as a coping mechanism of some sort.
If he's having difficulty at school with the work, or with the kids, or with teachers etc then he might find puzzle solving and creating in Minecraft a good distraction.

It might be an idea to play Minecraft with him, I know that sounds silly but what he distracted with Minecraft you might be able to steer talk to what issues he may have. Does that make sense?

Seeyounearertime Thu 31-Mar-16 09:43:01

what he distracted

Should say whilst he's distracted

HairSlide Thu 31-Mar-16 10:16:25

Thanks everyone, its good to know he isn't the only one that writes things like that in his schoolbooks. I just don't want his teachers to think that this is all he is allowed to do, and I don't want him to feel like I never do anything with him either.

It never crossed my mind to try playing along with him Seeyou, I admit that when he is playing it we are sort of switched off from each other, it might be good to turn that around.

MattDillons the scrapbook is a really nice idea, he is a creative wee thing and I think he would enjoy that. We have a few things planned over the holidays so that seems like a good way to go.

I know teachers probably take most things with a pinch of salt, I'm just so concerned about the crying. Generally speaking I'm not that protective and am a bit "dust yourself off and carry on", he is generally quite a resiliant child and isnt prone to crying about things so it worries me that something must be bothering him and he doesnt seem able to share it.

lazyleo Thu 31-Mar-16 10:38:00

Perhaps that is why he does the crying at school, if he realises deep down that he will get more sympathy / cuddles / attention rather than at home. Don't beat yourself up, you are obviously a good mum who cares, who is upset that something is bothering her child. That's not a 'bad mum' or a mum who doesn't care. I agree talking to him while he plays the minecraft may be a way of getting him to talk without him even realising it. I'm not sure whether a subtle or blunt approach would work best though. Is he still P1? This is a long long year for the wee ones. My DD is P2, but the summer term last year for us was hell. She was exhausted by then. There's a lot going on. It might also be worth asking yourself if there is anyting else going on he may have picked up on - job insecurity, deaths or marriages within the family, friends moving away etc. Sometimes the smallest things have the biggest impacts so it could be something so insignificant to you that it hasn't even flashed on your radar. Give yourself a break and remind yourself you ARE a good mum. You will help him get through this.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 31-Mar-16 11:19:06

Can you get him to keep a diary as well.
So at the weekend he can write in it what he did that day.
You can help him.
Then he will have more of a 'memory' of what he did.
I have to say your description of him sounds a lot like my DD at the same age.
She was checked for ADHD a few times.
She was on the cusp.
She was always fine at home it was school she had issues.
Until she hit 12 and then all hell broke lose but that's a whole other story!

Namechangeofshame193 Thu 31-Mar-16 12:04:06

I wouldn't stress about that (the mine craft) my school weekend diary had "went to the pub" every weekend ! They forget what they do he's only young.

Lweji Thu 31-Mar-16 12:10:08

I can imagine DS doing something similar regarding not remembering anything he did apart from the games that he really is interested in. smile

A diary is a good idea. But I think I'd make an effort to talk with him about the other things too, particularly at meals, or on the way to school. It gives more relevance to those things and they will be in his mind too.

I'd probably think that he is channeling his anger as crying, rather than being sad. As such, it's not so bad. If he was throwing tantrums at the teachers it would be worst.

Lweji Thu 31-Mar-16 12:10:24

or worse, even...

MrsJayy Thu 31-Mar-16 12:16:21

My friends son is 8 goes here there and everywhere all he talks about is mine craft it drives my friend nuts and I am sure primary teachers are well used to the latest thing when 1 of mine were in primary the teacher banned tamaghochi talk for a week in her class so they had to think of something else to write about in the weekly diaries. Your son is 6 he will get grumpy sometimes he maybe finds the class overwhelming sometimes it is upsetting but it is ok for children to be grumpy. Speak to his teacher again see if you can see whats going on in school

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