Cruel 6yo DS(3 Posts)
I'm really struggling with my 6.5yo DS1 at the moment. He's in Y2, so one of the youngest in his year and I think he's quite emotionally immature for his age too. He is also very small for his age, so much smaller than most of his classmates. Academically he is doing well, his reading is fantastic and he is in top group for maths, but his writing is very poor and he is towards the bottom of the class for that. We don't try to push him too far about school work as he is still so young, just try to encourage him.
He is constantly mean and cruel to people- he can't handle not winning things and has floods of tears when he loses, yet taunts and teases people if they lose. If anyone is struggling with something he laughs at them cruelly and he's always laughing at the things that his younger brother (nearly 4) likes and laughing that he's a baby. Even asking him to be quiet for a second so I could concentrate on parking this morning had him laughing at me that I had to park and he didn't .
We know that he's low on self esteem and we've tried doing things to build it up, spending time with him, doing physical activity with less of a competitive edge than team sports, getting him involved in games and showing him that we don't mind losing at all. It doesn't make any difference though as he still turns it all into a big competition and has to win at it all! He is always trying to compete against younger and smaller children so he knows he'll win and then taunts them when he does. If we put him in activities with children around his own age and size he just gets really despondent and gets in a tantrum that he can't do it.
His teacher is doing a lot of work with the class on growth mindset at school, and about trying your best being more important that how well you do, and this is something we've always tried to talk about at home too. But he has such a defeatist attitude about everything. He won't try because he's scared of failure, he won't write as he hates how it looks and any suggestions of doing things he doesn't like result in endless whining.
We try not to be too hard on him, as we can see a lot of this is due to low self esteem issues, but equally we won't stand by whilst he is cruel and mean to people. We talk a lot about treating people as you'd like to be treated, and endlessly try to model sharing and kindness. However, a couple of minutes after we talk about something like this he's off bing mean again. He gets so upset about being told off when we pull him up on his behaviour (and we do talk, not shout, in the main) but he just can't seem to stop himself. We always talk about his behaviour and his words being mean and hurting people, we never say he is bad or naughty.
So, apologies for the essay, but does anyone have any ideas how we can help him? It has such a big impact on the whole family. He has always been an anxious personality but we do try and give him as much positive attention as possible. I'm a SAHM so he doesn't have to go to any after school or breakfast clubs and I drop him off/pick him up every day. He has swimming and Beavers after school in the week, and a couple of clubs on the weekend. We did used to regularly have friends round after school but his behaviour during these times was not good and we've had a run of illnesses so we've got out of the habit. He hates that his younger brother gets to spend more time with me than he does (we reassure him that he had that before he started school), but when he gets one on one time hie doesn't want to do anything.
It is a immaturity on his part and he will mature.
You just have to be consistent with explaining why his behaviour is wrong and be consistent in disciplining poor behaviour. When we went through this with DS1, we would would explain why his behaviour was wrong, get him to explain what good behaviour would look like. We would do time out with him and then get him to explain to us why he was on time out and wait for him to apologise to whomever he was mean to.
DH is an expert at making DS1 feel so guilty to the point of crying - and when he was younger that was what he would do. I did not approve, but it seemed to have the right effect.
DS is now 11 and although he still hates losing, he can manage his emotions better.
Yes, we often have lots of crying. He's such a thoughtful, fragile thing underneath but he can be so cruel sometimes.
We were talking about how people might think you're funny at first if you say mean things but in the end you'll end up with no friends. I think he just wants to stand out and get noticed sometimes. There's been an issue in his class with mean behaviour (not him) so I'd imagine it's that coming out too.
We'll just keep plugging away!
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