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DD (age 10) negative about most everything. Please tell me it is a phase that will pass!

(13 Posts)
Earlybird Mon 22-Aug-11 04:23:25

My formerly happy dd is increasingly negative, and it is driving me mad. I genuinely want to listen to any real concerns she has but her moaning/whinging/complaining about everything (much of it very minor in the overall scheme of things) causes me to get grumpy with her because really, for the most part, her life is pretty good.

For instance - if asked how a playdate was, she relates the one disagreement in an otherwise pleasant afternoon; if asked about her day at school, she tells me about the boy who made a funny face at her; her comment when asked about a birthday party was all about how someone accidentally stepped on her finger and hurt her; when asked about her new t-shirt from the school theatre production, she says that it fits big and someone laughed at her; an acquaintance wouldn't share a huge bag of popcorn; a family gathering with cousins was 'awful' because the smaller children wouldn't let her have a go on the scooter or bicycle, etc etc etc.

Every story has a 'poor me' angle to it, and I am rapidly losing patience. If i pull her up on any of it, she then plays the victim and says i am making her feel unhappy by being critical. Argh!

Please tell me it is a phase that will pass, and please tell me how to respond/handle it in the meantime! I want my sunny girl back - or at least, want to help her find a way through this without both of us being miserable!

Poshbaggirl Mon 22-Aug-11 04:33:44

Mine is the same! I sometimes wonder if she is really paranoid. When i say you're being silly she says i never understand or stick up for her, but shes over reacting. I cant say there, there you're right because shes not. How do you support them without pandering to the paranoia?
I think its hormones.

Wabbit Mon 22-Aug-11 04:34:17

My area of expertise is Early Years so this may not be relevant, in young children being negative, over vigilant about other's behaviour especially towards self is a sign that they are anxious.

Try to simplify DD's life as much as possible as you would a younger child, sometimes the world can loom large and children can feel as though they have little control over what, when and how their world turns IYKWIM.

Continue to be an assertive, supportive and caring mum and keep listening, perhaps your DD is unhappy for a very specific reason and can't find the words to tell you.

Do thing just the two of you together and always emphasise the lovely bits that you've enjoyed. Children repeat what they hear, and it may well rub off on her...

Sorry if this is a bit garbled - It's very, very late/night early/morning here!

cory Mon 22-Aug-11 07:54:44

My ds was the same at 10, though his negativity seemed to be more cosmic iyswim ("where's the point of trying, it still won't make a difference", "where's the point in learning to swim, I don't like the sea anyway", "where's the point in giving to charity or trying to change things, you're not Nelson Mandela"). Terribly wearing to have around the house, but got much better towards the end of Yr 6. He now actually seems to look forward to starting secondary. With him it was mainly a question of extremely low self-esteem.

exoticfruits Mon 22-Aug-11 08:04:20

Try saying that you will listen to the negative only if they give a positive e.g.when she starts-hold your hand up and say 'hang on-I will listen but I want something good first'. It forces them to think of the positive-something easily overlooked when you get onto 'poor me'.

Earlybird Mon 22-Aug-11 12:39:34

Hmm - anxious, low self esteem, hormones causing paranoia.....I hadn't thought of those things as possible causes. The issue is though - if those reasons are the source - what can I do to help her through this phase? Or is it simply a phase that will run its' course (please God, it's just a phase....)?

Seems to me that people who manage a genuine 'glass half full' outlook tend (ime) to be generally happier people. While I don't want her to pretend to be falsely happy, I also know a miserable outlook can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

glasscompletelybroken Mon 22-Aug-11 14:14:51

agree with exoticfruits - say you will only listen to a negative once you have heard the positive. Give a lot of feedback on the positive and not on the negative (unless it is really something serious of course!).

Earlybird Mon 22-Aug-11 14:44:11

I think some of this could be due to the fact that she is an only child - so has more time to 'air' her grievances at length (and be listened to) than if she was part of a bigger brood.

I think the 'only child' thing also matters as they tend to be less able to 'get over' things quickly and move on. They can dwell and stew...

huffythethreadslayer Mon 22-Aug-11 15:01:04

Cobblers Earlybird. Worst whiner I know in the 'it isn't fair' category in my daughters class is the oldest of 3. A few of the others I know come from big families two...one girl is middle of 4. Over genrealisation about only kids, as always.

My only child is perfectly happy and doesn't whine (much!). Just about as much as most 10 year olds I guess.

OP, I suspect it's part phase, part insecurity. Nothing to do with being an 'only', everything to do with growing up.

huffythethreadslayer Mon 22-Aug-11 15:04:45

I meant too...blush trying to play mariokart and MN at the same time !

huffythethreadslayer Mon 22-Aug-11 15:05:36

Just realised OP is Earlybird. Try not to be too sensitive about dd being an only.

BleughCowWonders Mon 22-Aug-11 15:09:37

Sounds completely normal for this age! Hormones are all over the place (ask any year 5/6 teacher). Apart fromthe advice on this thread, op could get over to the 'pre-teens' topic for lots more reassurance and ideas.

Earlybird Mon 22-Aug-11 18:44:13

Thanks for your thoughts, suggestions and reassurance. Glad to know the behaviour is not strictly down to lousy parenting wink!

And tbh, don't think I knew about the pre-teen topic - will make my way there to commiserate with others in the same situation.

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