Strategies for negative 7 year old please

(8 Posts)
crunchernumber Sun 18-Nov-12 11:20:02

DS1 (7) is driving me insane with his negativity and general whininess and I'm getting increasingly frustrated & cross.

Everything he wants to do starts with a whine about why he can't do it. For example this weekend ...

1. Swimming distance badge. Insisted he could only do it once his friend turned up, even though friend is a much stronger swimmer. Moped for half an hour in changing rooms refusing to go it. I said we could go home but he didn't want to. Did his award, swam 50m (previously only done 10m) but then cried for an hour because friend had done 200m

2. Homework. Sat for an hour at the table with DH saying he didn't know what to write, even though he clearly did.

3. Asked him to help DS2 with Jigsaw but he refused. 3 times. Kept whining and coming up with reasons why he couldn't

4. Now drawing friend's birthday card (even though he has pre-bought ones he could write) but is getting frustrated because he's chosen something far too complicated to draw, which he actually can't draw, and is now crying and refusing to do a card.

He is like this about EVERYTHING and I can't cope. I'm trying desperately to remember he's just a little boy but I feel myself getting angrier and angrier.

He won't do anything we ask of him willingly or without complaint.

Help!

crunchernumber Sun 18-Nov-12 16:09:16

Bump (subtlety)

TalesOfStepford Tue 20-Nov-12 08:50:58

My 7 year old ds is just like this, it's extremely wearing. All I can say is that I'm hoping he grows out of it. He has a 'can't do' attitude and it takes hours to get him to sit and do his homework because he often flat out refuses. We tend to try & boost him with praise as his self esteem seems low. We also promise him he can do something fun like a bike ride after he's done his homework / tidied his room / helped his sister with something. It's hard because it often puts a dampner on everything we suggest doing. Sorry I don't have any brilliant advice! Lets just hope it's a phase.

LLDoubleYou Tue 20-Nov-12 08:59:16

Hmmm, this rings a little bell for me. At parents evening my 5yo's teacher said she thought he was a perfectionist, as if he didn't do something perfectly, it actually stopped him from carrying on with the rest of his work.

I hadn't thought of it that way, but doing his spellings with him, he made a mistake and as it was done in pen, he couldn't rub it out and it could never be perfect. Well, he was devastated, crying and couldn't just move on to finish the rest of the words.

When he's reading to me, I notice he won't even try tricky words, like he's afraid of failure?

So, I know this isn't any brilliant advice for you, but maybe it gives another perspective in his reasons for being negative. Maybe he thinks he has to be perfect?

Bonsoir Tue 20-Nov-12 09:04:17

Is he tired? I find my DD (just 8) gets on with things a lot more easily when she is well rested. Everything can seem a huge effort when you are tired.

legalalien Tue 20-Nov-12 09:18:25

My seven year old went through a phase of this, it lasted about six months and has now mostly stopped. I think there is a perfectionist element to it and I found that expressly acknowledging that helped a lot. Eg "I know you want it to be a perfect sentence, but tbh there is no perfect sentence, it just needs to fit the instructions".

crunchernumber Tue 20-Nov-12 10:23:23

That's helpful, thank you.

I think the perfectionist element might be the key. I'm quite like that and don't like to do things that I can't do well.

I've never thought its something I had passed on but maybe I have without noticing. blush

A lot of it seems to be belligerence though.

Maybe a bit of reverse psychology is required all round.

Tiredness definitely an issue but difficult to find exact time when he's not. I would get him to do it in the morning but he drags it out so much we would never make to school.

legalalien Tue 20-Nov-12 11:34:00

"I've never thought its something I had passed on but maybe I have without noticing. "

Ditto.

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