I've posted this in child/mental health threads but was looking for some tips on how to cope with my other three (2, 4 and 6) when I'm dealing with one of my DS episodes.....they last a good 45 mins, longer if I just ignor him and they usually occur when DH is at work.
I wonder if some of this behaviour is related to being the oldest and not wanting to be - anyone had any problems with that?
Anyway, here my post...
My husband thinks I'm making something out of nothing but our oldest DS has episodes of feeling sad for no reason, gets very upset and tearful. This often happens at night time shortly after he goes to bed but before he falls asleep. He can't explain why he feels so upset he just does. The he gets upset about being so upset and it cycles til he's in a right state and finds it really very difficult to calm down.
He also has episodes (usually triggered by some sort of disagreement with me - often pretty trivial of itself but then escalates out of control, like the crying/sad thing) where he threatens to hurt himself/run away/kill himself/jump in front of cars/jump out of upstairs windows etc. Once he does start to calm down he gets very upset about saying these things. Says he doesn't understand why he says them and that it really scares him that he says them.
My husband thinks I should ignor him when he's like this and he's just trying to get my attention. I know he's more likely to do this when he's tiered, but that's not always the case. DS says he feels like he isn't wanted in the family and maybe we'd be happier if he wasn't there (which breaks my heart).
We have a happy, stable family life, he's at a lovely school (has great friends there and doing well) and I can think of nothing significant that would account for his sadness
Maybe this in the relms of normal growing up behaviour? Any ideas on how I can deal with these episodes and help him control his anger/deal with his sadness? Are words like this just words or could he actually mean it? Should I be getting him some help?
I'm mainly replying to bump this as don't have the right experience and hope someone else does.
I'm sorry you're dealing with this and think you're right to ask for advice. It doesn't sound right to me that your DS is saying these things and my first instinct is that you should spend time with him alone doing something special even if just for 5 mins. Maybe don't ask him anything specific but just make sure you chat together and that he knows how important he is.
I certainly wouldn't ignore it as your DH suggests as these feelings may feel very real to your DS and dealing with the issue would seem a better, happier way to help him.
Do you ever manage to prioritise him? I know this is difficult, our youngest is v demanding but our eldest absolutely needs time one- to- one with me. She then deals much better with the rest of the time when she's not put first and she still knows she's very loved and special which needs an effort when daily life is v demanding?
Thanks Looseleaf, I have been making a point of trying to find a bit of one-to-one but it's a real struggle - that sounds like a really lame excuse doesn't it ?! Even if we don'e manage to find some time I'm trying really hard to make him feel loved/special.
He can be a bit of a handful and (now that I'm really watching how we behave with him) I can see that my husband especially is very quick with the critical remark/comment on what he's doing and I think this might be having a much bigger imacpt on him than DH will accept. He just dismisses it out of hand when I have tried to get him to lay off and deal with him another way...'nothing wrong with what I'm doing, he just needs to grow up' and I just want to treat him like a two year old
Thankfully no more outbursts since I last posted...I'm keeping track of what's happening to see if there any pattern.
My 12 year old is very similar (so much that it made me wonder if you were discussing my dc!) and suffers from anxiety.
Now that I know it's anxiety, it helps me not to take his outbursts seriously and be calm and sympathetic about the situation. Once he's calmed down he admits not meaning to say stuff like how he wishes he was dead and that what he means is that he doesn't want to feel like this and it's not fair that he feels shit.