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Dealing with a child who is very hard on himself?

(7 Posts)
schneebly Sat 08-Mar-14 13:25:12

I've not really been on here for years but would really appreciate some advice/reassurance or even just an "I'm in the same boat".

DS1 is Y6, summer-born and has always been an absolute dream. An 'easy child' from the start. Since he hit 10 last summer I've noticed he is going through a lot of changes which I completely expect in a hormonal pre-teen. He got a little lazier, a little stroppier, a little sweatier and a lot more opinionated wink All this is fine and we deal with it like we always being firm and fair and by talking about feelings openly. What does worry me though is how he suddenly seems to be putting a lot of pressure on himself.

He plays football (as a keeper) and if he lets a goal in he can get upset. I have asked him about what feelings make him cry and he says he is angry with himself and feels like he is letting the team down. I have explained that he does not need to shoulder that responsibility alone since football is a team sport and a conceded goal is down to more than one person. I have also tried to explain that it doesn't really matter if they don't win and that it's supposed to be about fun and teamwork etc. He listens and appears to understand but a couple of weeks down the road he gets upset again.

He's also started putting himself under some pressure to do well in his SATS...not enough pressure to be wanting to study rather than play Xbox wink but keeps saying things like "I really want to get a level 5 for my maths." He is probably on the brink of that being achievable but I really don't want him to put himself under pressure. He's 10 FGS. I've been very careful not to be a pushy parent...supportive and encouraging, yes but never pushy. I had a pushy Mum (who meant well) but it still affects how I see myself now and I really didn't want that for him. I just want him to be happy and try his best and to not be so angry with himself if he doesn't meet his own high expectations. sad I also don't want that anger he feels towards himself to manifest itself in something other than tears as he gets older.

Sorry for the essay!

Sparklingbrook Sat 08-Mar-14 13:36:13

Oh schneebly I have one of those sort of DSs, and he's a Keeper!

He is 14 now and things have got so much better so hang on in there, it's so hard though.

As far as the footy goes he moved on from tears when the goals went in and started shouting at the team and getting angry with them. It got to the point when he was about 10 that i couldn't even go and watch.

Not so much experience of the exam stuff. he doesn't like the exams but just gets on with it now, he does get down if he doesn't feel he's done his best though.

schneebly Sat 08-Mar-14 13:42:35

Thank you Sparklingbrook smile

I just wish he'd realise that he's more than good enough already, and see himself the way I see him. I guess we just need to keep reminding them that their best is good enough.

Sparklingbrook Sat 08-Mar-14 13:48:16

Oh yes schneebly I sometimes feel like a broken record with 'do your best' etc

I try and remember to praise too-even the little things that don't seem significant. Both DSs are Goalkeepers and they get a pound or a packet of Match Attax for a clean sheet.
If they let goals in now I say 'could you have done anything about it' and generally they say 'no' and I say 'what are you upset about then?'

schneebly Sat 08-Mar-14 14:10:45

Yes maybe a post-match talk about what could/couldn't have been done would be good. I'm always praising him for stuff but I think he just thinks I'm just being a mum rather than being sincere, ha!

Sparklingbrook Sat 08-Mar-14 14:15:55

Yes, a post match talk is always good. especially when you can say things like 'all the parents agreed that you couldn't have got to that first goal' or something like that.

And big up the saves he did do. If any of his team are moaning DS just says 'well you have a go then'. They are suddenly not keen.

LingDiLong Sat 08-Mar-14 19:56:23

I have a 7 year old like this - although he's never been an easy child!!

He is very bright and an absolute perfectionist, he never feels that what he does is good enough. The complete polar opposite of his elder sister who is so laid back about schoolwork/sport she is practically horizontal! When we do homework I have the eldest child zipping through doing the bare minimum and the younger child taking hours wanting it to be 'just so'.

He plays tag rugby in an under 8 team and gets very frustrated that the older children in the team are the ones who usually score the tries, I have to keep reminding him that they were in his position last year - the younger ones who didn't get the ball much. That by next year he will be the older one scoring the tries! I praise him loads when I can see him putting effort in and for listening to the coach and passing - something even the older boys struggle with. I tell him that in the long term this may well make him the better player. Doesn't always work though, he can only ever seem to see what he has done 'wrong'.

You sound very supportive OP, I guess that's all we can do? If it's part of the 'nature' to be like this there's only so much we can do to 'nurture' them out of it.

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