DS 12 cries easily how can I help him?

(20 Posts)
Wenefryde1 Mon 03-Dec-12 15:15:27

DS appears generally happy boy and things apparently going well at school friends work sport etc etc. BUT he can very upset at little things (like on football pitch he gets knocked over but not seriously injured it can bring on sobbing but a recent nose injury with blood everywhere and he wanted to get back on and no sign of tears). Telling off by teachers can bring on floods of tears and at other times none at all and takes it in his stride. Have spoken to his class teacher who has said he has no idea when DS will start crying. I fear this kind of reaction can only end in teasing/bullying at some point. How can help him deal with emotions? Any ideas?

lljkk Mon 03-Dec-12 18:53:02

I suppose you could try to get him to learn to distance himself from things. To detach a little. Maybe a visualisation exercise would help (brainstorming). Where he seems himself as stepping outside the immediate situation.

Wenefryde1 Mon 03-Dec-12 21:43:23

grinThanks for your response. Have to be honest I'm not sure how to do this! Any ideas where I can get more help on this? Sorry to be a bit needy on this but keen to get it sorted and think this is not going to a quick fix thing!!

Valdeeves Tue 04-Dec-12 07:26:17

Ask him to imagine building a little wall around himself? Brick by brick and to add things to the wall that he finds comforting. I'd try and build up his self esteem and confidence as much as possible to help him take things in his stride.

Valdeeves Tue 04-Dec-12 07:28:33

I'd also reinforce that's ok to cry but sometimes you have to try and save your tears for when you are in the right place - at home or with very good friends.

lljkk Tue 04-Dec-12 07:36:53

I'm just worried when we talk about these tactics they they lead to suppressing emotion, which is very bad. He needs to find the space to put the overwhelming emotions in a pot and revisit them later in a safer environment. Feeling are always important, but most of us feel more secure if we think we can control how we show them.

It could be that he's overwhelmed precisely because of other aspects of the situation, perhaps panicking that he can't ever fix what's upsetting him. So if he had better coping skills over all he might find it easier to keep his composure.

Wiki has an answer for everything. But I would google wide & far for something that feels like a fit for him.

merlottits Tue 04-Dec-12 07:39:26

Oh bless! It's still common for boys to do this at this age. In the next 12 months I bet he stops completely.

Pre-puberty boys can be very emotional. Boys football under 12's is very different to under 14's with the level of maturity!

My DS was a big crier. He stopped at 12/13 and is fine now. I remember worrying about what I would do if he didn't stop.

Yama Tue 04-Dec-12 07:40:48

Boys crying easily at 12 is really not that unusual. Please don't make him think it it wrong to cry.

My 13 year old DS still cries when he is upset.
There's nothing wrong with crying.
Trying to stop someone from expressing their emotions is quite worrying.

I'm sure he will get to a point as a teenager where he doesn't cry in front of his friends. But I remember growing up, my dad shouting at my brother from the age of 6, stop crying. Only little girls cry. Are you a girl? Do you want me to call you nancy?
It was horrible tbh, my brother is 28 now and he never cries.

Just let him be, I understand you don't want him to be picked on but all the same, it's his emotions. You can't really tell him it's not ok to feel that way.

Visualarts Tue 04-Dec-12 07:54:32

I have read that if you pinch between your thumb and finger it stops you crying, but I haven't tried it and I'm not sure why it would work! I think I also read somewhere that if you smile, frown, or look up that can make it physically impossible to cry - but again have not tried it. What about thinking of something funny - a scene from a film, for instance?

I realise I'm suggesting very mechanistic things rather than a philosophical 'approach' - because as others have said it's fine to cry. But it can be less embarrassing (shouldn't be, but it is!) if you are not in public but wait until you're in a safe place. But, especially when you're young, that sometimes just isn't possible! I always wondered how other children managed - we really need tips from those who did want to cry but prevented themselves until later - not a blubber like me!

EugenesAxeChoppedDownANiceTree Tue 04-Dec-12 08:22:15

I agree a lot with what's been said; lljkk and Tantrums especially.

Valdeeves - being a huge Pink Floyd fan, your suggestion has rather freaked me out! I'm being lighthearted - have a read of the lyrics and you'll understand smile

Shit, OP - I have nothing useful to add. Just that I second the idea of suppression feels wrong. Crying relieves a lot of stress and that will help your DS when he's older.

MrsMallett Tue 04-Dec-12 08:31:57

Have you tried talking to your ds about how he feels in these situations OP?

Just wondered if the crying is a result of frustration or embarassment/hurt feelings rather than physical pain... if so, maybe you could discuss suitable strategies with him (not entirely sure what they may be but eg take a few deep breaths and calm down and then speak to someone about things)

purrpurr Tue 04-Dec-12 08:45:49

Just wondering if this would be a concern if your DS was actually a DD?

Virtuallyarts Sat 08-Dec-12 08:39:36

Leaving aside the emotional question (and i agree that it's very good for you to cry and noone should be discouraged from it generally, though it can be less self-conscious making to wait for the right 'time and place'), does anyone have any practical tips for postponing it/preventing it that really work?

I've mentioned below the finger and thumb pinching- i also read somewhere that puffing your cheeks out can work.

Op is your ds yr 7 in a new school? I think for some dcs starting new school is much more stressful than for others - and that does feed into bursting into tears more quickly. So it may gradually wear off as he becomes more at home.

cloudhands Sat 08-Dec-12 11:37:18

lljk, you are absouletly right to be sceptical of techiques to try and 'stop' him from crying, as they would be supressing his emotions.

I would say, that your son, feels very comfortable and safe to express his feelings, which is why he cries often, it's not a bad sign, just a sign that he feels loved, and safe to do this. And that you are right, he's a very happy boy, nothing wrong with expressing feelings to the contrary from time to time.

It's a shame that we live in society where crying is not seen as socially acceptable, where people don't understand the healing mechanism of crying, and how it helps children to restore their emotional equilibrium

Did you know that tears have stress hormones in like cortisol and adrenalin, that help to relieve stress, so crying is a great way to release emotional tension. If he cries when he falls over, he may be expressing some emotions too, as like you've noticed he may not be physically hurt. The emotions maybe to do with something happening in the present, or just a build up of bagagge, that we all get from the day to day things that upset and stress us out.

I totatlly understand the need to protect him from kids that might bully or tease him for this. What I'd suggest is that if he cries about something that happens at home, to give him your full attention, stay close to him, and offer love and support. It can be our tendency to try and distract children from crying, to try and cheer them up, but if you just stay and listen, he might cry for longer but this means he can get all of his feelings out. Getting feelings out at home might mean that he cries less in public because he's feeling less emotionally burdened.

I would say that you've done a great job of parenting to have a son at age 12 who still isn't ashamed to express himself. I remember when i was at school there was only one boy in my class who could do this.

the hand in hand website, has lots of ideas, about how to help children have a healthy relationship with their emotions.

daytoday Sat 08-Dec-12 12:05:53

Two things going on here I think.

1 - crying and feeling upset - I think we are all agreed that's its great to express how you feel.

2 - getting very upset over minor things. This is a different issue as I can see how this might affect his friendships. I wouldn't be worried about bullying as those that bully aren't worth thinking about at all. But could you perhaps introduce a diary or something - so he knows he can write out how he feels and help him figure out for himself why he might be feeling upset.

cloudhands Sun 09-Dec-12 06:16:24

I think crying over minor things is fine. often in children (and adults too!) A small thing may trigger, upset which we actually realise is about something bigger.
a diary might serve some purpose in figuring out why he's crying, but this is not really necessary, ,
the vital thing is having a supportive listener, while he's crying, not talking much which is often a kind of thinking, but simply crying and expressing will help him feel better. Maybe at the end of the crying, he might think or say, ''oh I"m upset because a friend was nasty'' or something like that, but the whys aren't actually necessary to heal and feel better, for that getting through the crying ( and supporting him to do this at home as much as possible to save embarrassment) is the best way through.

WandaDoff Sun 09-Dec-12 06:27:51

EugenesAxe right there with you on the floyd references. Just goes to show there is nothing new in the world eh? smile

My 12 yr old boy still cries regularly, as does my 15 yr old if he's particularly upset. It's normal, always will be. Hormones & high emotion, affect the boys just as much as the girls, they just don't show it as easily because they've been told that it isn't what men do.

He's hormonal & he's disappointed / upset /tired / hungry etc.

Go with the flow, & be as reassuring as you can, it'll pass.

Virtuallyarts Sun 09-Dec-12 07:32:49

I agree with all these posts! - cloudhands about the supporting ds to cry at home rather than at school to avoid embarrassment, how do you do that support? (it shouldnt be embarrassing to cry at school i know, but it sadly sometimes is!)

How can we help them to hold back and put on a brave face until they get home - it is really difficult not to cry 'on the spot' once you're at that point, as i know!

cloudhands Sun 09-Dec-12 12:48:41

I know it is sadly embarrassing for kids at school/

how old is your child, and what do you normally do when they cry?

Hand in Hand the website I linked above has some great techniques to help get your children to feel safe to open up their feelings, so they might be more likely to cry over something at home, then if you can just listen and give them lots of love (a few words but not too many -- has this sets off the cognitive thinking part of the brain rather than the feeling part) stay close, and hold them if they'll let you but if not just stay close, and just give them your unconditional support

and don't do things to distract your child from their feelings, like suggesting nice things they could do, or telling them to cheer up etc. Just be patient as they let out their feelings.

If they do cry in public, then if you can both handle it, don't try to stop them crying, if they can get all their feelings out in one go, then it can help prevent the need for further public outbursts, !!

I'm trying to learn to feel comfortable with my child's crying in public, I figure if I can be relaxed and at ease with it, and try not to care what other people think, then maybe some people might change their attitudes, about how crying is somehow 'bad'

hope this helps!

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