Worried about DS (6). Advice please.(5 Posts)
This is my first post so bear with me!
I'm struggling with my DS's reaction to being told off and would like your opinions on how I'm dealing with it (please be gentle!) and your advice on what I could do better.
There are generally 2 stages to his behaviour. Firstly he gets really upset and angry, and generally retaliates with shouting 'shut up' and 'you're an idiot' at whoever has told him off (including friends parents, after school club assistants). This can go on for half an hour. I'm less worried about this stage as I know that he is struggling to control himself and express himself, but how do I help him manage his feelings? I try to remain calm and explain to him that its OK to feel angry but it is not OK to shout and be rude to people.
He then moves on to a 'you don't like me', 'nobody likes me', 'my life is really bad', 'I don't want to be alive' stage. He has even said 'you never wanted me as a baby' which couldn't be further from the truth and I can't imagine where that thought has come from. Possibly something he has heard on television or in the playground? I always tell him that I do love him very much and always will no matter what happens, but that I don't like the way he is behaving. At this point I generally leave him alone to calm down and he's usually totally fine after that.
He's normally a happy little boy and has a nice group of friends at school. I think they have the odd fall out, but nothing that isn't normal for that age, so there's nothing (that I know of) to justify these comments.
My greatest worry is that the more he says these things, the more he reinforces them in his own mind and will end up believing them. This happens once or twice a week. I'm worried that this could lead to mental health problems in the future and am considering consulting a child psychologist. Am I being over the top?
As background, when he gets told off at home, I try to remain calm and not shout. I stay polite and explain why I'm cross about what he's done and try to make him realise how whatever he has done affects other people. He does usually say sorry to me after he's calmed down.
Sorry for long post!
My brother uses to say things like this along with the angry outbursts. 'You're never going to see me again', 'you all hate me' etc. Mostly learnt from TV and such. We never paid it too much attention. He was about 4/5 when it started but didn't last too long beyond 6/7. He's a bright, sweet young man now, and popular guy at his uni.
Don't think I've addressed the finer details of your post but to me this was normal for my brother so didn't want to read and run. He was a handful!
I'm no expert but I'd say it's probably nothing to worry about and normal but it wouldn't hurt to look up a book or two about building children's resilience/self esteem. I think you should also work with him on what he can do instead of losing his temper, esp at school.
Then I'd have a think about all the usual suspects -Is he getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising enough, not over scheduled, not too much screen time, getting enough one to one with parents.
<<Firstly he gets really upset and angry, and generally retaliates with shouting 'shut up' and 'you're an idiot' at whoever has told him off (including friends parents, after school club assistants). This can go on for half an hour.>>
Sorry, he does this every time he is told off, even to adults other than yourself? That sounds like a really big problem to me. Are there no consequences when he does this (other than not being invited to friend's houses etc)? What happens at school?
Thanks for all the responses. I feel a bit more reassured now! Was speaking to a few other parents at school today who have said their children are saying similar things in the heat of a meltdown. Whilst it doesn't make it any better, at least I'm not alone! Any tips on how I can help him find ways to cope with his temper?
Asuitablemum - as for the usual suspects I'd say the only one that could be a problem is screen time in that I'm guilty of letting him watch TV unmonitored when I'm making a meal etc. He only watches children's channels, but some are less wholesome than others so I should probably be a bit stricter about that.
BarbarianMum - he does't do it every time he's told off, but perhaps once or twice a week when it's a 'big' meltdown. My usual consequences are that I will confiscate a favourite toy or reduce screen time etc.and I do follow through. He hasn't done it at school as far as I'm aware, but he did at after school club.
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