10 year old ds is angry and tearful. How can I help?

(9 Posts)
CeliaFate Wed 13-Nov-13 09:12:56

He was sobbing this morning because he couldn't get his hair to go right! He's a sensitive soul and he really seems to be struggling with things at the moment.
He feels snubbed by his friends, his self-esteem is low but he seems to revel in these "woe is me" moments and for every positive we mention, he just says, "Yes, but.." and reels off more negatives.
How do we help?

Tuhlulah Wed 13-Nov-13 14:35:39

I feel so sorry for him. Poor little soul.

My 12 yr old DS is also struggling.

Re the friends, this can change as quickly as the wind; he may be totally fine when he comes home today.

As he is probably not seeing things realistically just now (like all those negatives he can reel off, his hair looks wrong , etc) so I don't see how you can rationalise with these perceptions. You can tell him all day long how his hair looks just the same as it did yesterday, or that he has misinterpreted his friends' comments, etc, but he's unlikely to take it seriously, is he?

So maybe if you could do things obliquely -I find a sideways approach often works, as my DS doesn't like the head-on approach.

So offer him praise (but not over the top) for something he does well, or for some part of his appearance that is especially nice. Lots of TLC, nice food, small treats. Just things to make him feel nice and valued. Boost his confidence but do it subtly, and maybe he will be a bit more resilient to the snubbing or bad hair day. Snuggle up with a TV programme you both like, with hot chocolate or whatever you have as a treat.

BTW, is he tired? Tiredness is dreadful for lowering mood. Also consider iron supplements or iron rich foods as anaemia is also implicated with low mood.

maybe a book on puberty to explain the hormonal stuff, so he can understand why he is feeling so down (if that is relevant?).

Then, after you have thought about the immediate stuff -why might he be feeling like this? Is it age related? Has someone said something? (if his friends are really snubbing him that will knock his confidence.)

Good luck, and I hope you get more and better suggestions from other posters. I send a cuddle to your DS.

CeliaFate Wed 13-Nov-13 14:39:00

Thank you, Tuhlulah that's a really kind and helpful post. smile
You could be right about the tiredness, I'll run him a bubble bath and we'll have a hot chocolate together tonight.

Tuhlulah Wed 13-Nov-13 14:49:42

That sounds lovely.

Most important -for us, anyway- is to keep talking. It's a good habit to get into anyway. You'll know what he thinks and he'll be able to get it off his chest. 10 is so very young, really.

Thingymajigs Wed 13-Nov-13 15:05:24

Hot chocolate and a snuggle on the sofa sounds lovely. I'm sure little things like that will help. It's something I am doing with my 10 yo son atm. He's very similar and is struggling with a change of school and all the insecurities that brings. I've found that dwelling on his issues only seems to validate his fears so I ask him what he's worried about then give him compliments about how well he's doing before reminding him of all the things he has to look forward to. I'm also spending more time just cuddling and having a laugh with him. It's such a tricky age for friendships and insecurities. Hope you find something to boost his positivity.

Brighteyes27 Tue 26-Nov-13 10:32:23

I'm in the same boat with my son. so I will be keeping a close eye on this post. He is 9 almost 10 and alternates between shouting/anger to crying/sadness (at times he has a real downer on himself, and his life and says he hates everyone in his family etc). Then he is ok and happy for a few days then flips out again. He is ok at the moment or he was this morning (touch wood) but sometimes.........!!! Talking seems to make it worse I thought maybe someone had been mean to him at school (as the class is predominantly boys and a lot of egos and competitiveness around-my son is more academic-but he does like a laugh but I don't think he is as sporty as he would like to be). The school don't help his self image as the naughty less academic boys are always picked for all sports teams (reinforcing bad behaviour and under achievement at school) they also get the best parts in the Christmas play etc.

Cuddles and watching a film are lovely and sometimes help if on his terms once he has calmed down (but the calmness never lasts long enough).

CeliaFate Tue 26-Nov-13 10:53:01

This really helped me, Brighteyes

Brighteyes27 Tue 26-Nov-13 16:51:29

Big virtual hugs Celiafate. Do you get the anger or just the sadness? I think it is possibly hormonal or too much pressure at school (to keep up with peers in terms of freedoms, latest gadgets, sporting prowess etc) in my DS's case (but I don't know). Our DS 's behaviour really puts a strain on our family life at times but then we love him to bits and he can be absolutely adorable (just hope he out grows it but I doubt it). He has an xbox but not the one where he can play on line but I restrict the amount of time he plays on it and he looses it completely if his behaviour is very bad. I think his behaviour would be even worse if he had the online membership so we have so far resisted this.

CeliaFate Tue 26-Nov-13 19:48:27

Mine has anger/frustrated rage and sadness! He has xbox live, but I use the settings to limit his time on there to 90 mins (which is still a lot) and like you, I ban him if his behaviour's unacceptable.
He's going through a positive phase at the moment, so I think the hormone surge has passed for now, until next time!

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