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Negative approach to life

(5 Posts)
WineOhWhy Tue 25-Oct-11 18:50:41

I spent the weekend with extended family (I do not live near them and they all live near each other). My DN is 7 and is really a very negative child. She did not have a good word to say about anything or anyone. We suggested various outings but she did not want to do anything. I tried to engage her in conversation about school, holidays, hobbies etc, but her answer to everything was no/I don't like it. My mum (who looks after her a lot) says she is always like this and isn't sure how to deal with it. She organises various nice activitives but either DN grumbles the whole time, or appears to enjoy at the time and then complains afterwards.

Any tips on dealing with children like this (for my mum - I'm not particularly close to my sister and certainly would not offer unprompted parenting advice)

531800000008 Tue 25-Oct-11 19:05:21

my first thoughts are that DN has found that being 'negative' garners her a lot of attention so from that POV she has no incentive to change.

My advice would be to ignore the negative comments, don't offer opportunities for her to be negative (say ''I had a great time'' rather than ''did you enjoy it?'') and recount amongst yourselves the Best Bit (the Best Bit for me (granma) was when the monkeys went ooh oooh ooh/the Best Bit for me (grandad) was the lovely cakes in the cafe/the Best Bit for me (Aunty Wine) was the axolotl etc) and welcome her contribution if she choses to volunteer one.

Age 7 is still quite young for the responsibility of chosing outing destinations (the fear of getting it ''wrong'') so I would go back to saying ''we are going to the Zoo tomorrow'' (we're going to stay all day).

From a self-esteem PoV she could be given tasks with responsibilities, to get used to doing stuff, helpful stuff, that are appreciated. Activities - start small, ought to be achievable: so puzzles, fairy cake baking, simple knitting, frisbee, card games. This offers the adults opportunities to praise without engineering too obviously

Sorry for the ramble !

WineOhWhy Tue 25-Oct-11 22:34:43

Thanks, very helpful. I will show to my mum. I think you are right that the negative behaviour gets her attention

matana Wed 26-Oct-11 10:31:07

Are her parents negative? Behaviour tends to beget behaviour i'm afraid, although it doesn't always follow. The best thing to do is to just be positive with all interactions with her to hopefully counteract any other negativity in her life. Show her that positive things happen to positive people and that negativity gets ignored and won't win her attention.

lingle Wed 26-Oct-11 10:41:03

brilliant post 531800000008, cannot better it, OP you should definitely show it to your mum. FWIW, there is a professional nanny on our street and she tends to use a similar approach.

also by 7 she'll be old enough to sense that there is only one right answer to "did you have a nice time" and something is obviously making her squirm and want to register a protest. another reason to back off and give her room to find her own way to be positive on her terms.

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