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5 yr old crying at parties

(9 Posts)
layla2016 Mon 25-Jul-16 20:23:37

Until ds turned 5, I don't remember this happening but it started at his 5th party and seems to be getting worse.

He gets really excited about going to parties and really looks forward to them but every one we've been to lately ends up with him seeing all these perceived slights (he pushed me, he took my balloon, I didn't win, nobody likes me) and he just bursts into hysterical tears and starts screaming about how he hates the party and nobody likes him etc.

Apart from it being very sad to see, it's getting really embarrassing. The other parents and children just look at him like he's a 2 yr old having a tantrum and can't really work out why he's behaving so excessively (and neither do I!). I normally give him a cuddle and encourage him to calm down quickly by breathing or having a drink or counting to 10 and then telling me what's wrong so we can move on.

After he's calmed down, he's fine again....until the next thing happens and it sets him off all over again. It's really polar behaviour.

He's very sensitive but loud and quite boisterous. Wants to be in the middle of everything, the best, the winner, the one everyone plays with etc and when he isn't (which is most of the time and perfectly normal) it's like the world has ended and I've no idea what to do to help him with this.....

layla2016 Mon 25-Jul-16 22:21:21


Wooftweetwooftweet Mon 25-Jul-16 22:25:26

Is it because he has built it up in his mind that it's going to be better than the actual reality and then it's a combination of it not living up to expectations and the adrenaline wearing off?
Would a pep talk help beforehand about his expectations? Ie. You can't win everything, you might not get the best piece of cake, etc

layla2016 Mon 25-Jul-16 22:30:44

Thanks...I think expectation has something to do with it. We talk about it quite a bit before hand and he always says he won't cry and he knows it's silly etc and then a little thing goes wrong and he's screaming the house down saying he has no friends and everyone hates him....he's very indignant about things done wrong to him and other people are always worse than him or things done to him are far worse.

It's got to the point where I'm not sure I can let him go to anymore parties.....

leccybill Mon 25-Jul-16 22:38:12

We went through a spell of this with DD. Exactly as you describe. I helped out at a couple of infant discos- DD built them up into such a big deal and then there were tears and tantrums when the blue drinks ran out, her friends didn't dance to her favourite song, when it was the end, everything really.

So the next one- I didn't go. I left her to it, supervised by school staff and she behaved impeccably. She'd been playing up to me for attention.

Might be worth a try? Ask another mum to keep an eye on him while you nip out for half an hour?

layla2016 Mon 25-Jul-16 22:45:15

I thought that might be the case as well so after 2 breakdowns I hid in a crowd in the hope that if he couldn't come running at me in a big way he might calm down quicker and compose himself but instead he escalated to the point other parents were really concerned about him and he was wandering around screaming and ruining it for everyone. Not my finest hour.

I probably should leave him at a party but I'd be too worried about who would be left to pick up the pieces if he was inconsolable....

School says mostly he's fine but he goes through periods of being on the edge. He's very bright but not developing as well with his emotions and his target is to have better control of his reactions.

Haggisfish Mon 25-Jul-16 22:48:32

What about if you don't tell him in advance? Or it might just all be a bit much. Plenty of adults don't like parties and they are very stimulating. Wouldn't surprise me if some kids just find it all a bit much.

TanteJeanne Mon 25-Jul-16 22:49:09

Good advice leccybill. DC often reserve their worst behaviour for parents. Maybe if you are not present for a short while, he will learn to compose himself and control his emotions just a little bit more?
Try not to stay away from parties- the more he goes to, the more realistic his expectations will be... And parties will become more of familiar experience and easier to handle?

Ragusa Wed 27-Jul-16 23:24:45

Watching with interest, DS is exactly and I mean exactly the same.

For my DS I think it's something to do with coping with disappointment. Imagine, you're an adult who's been looking forward to a holiday for months and then you get a horrible stomach bug on day 2. Tricky to cope with the sheer disappointment. I think it's the same for kids, events like parties and days out are massive to them, and if they aren't quite as they expect then that leads to huge disappointment.

I don't think he's playing you up, I think he is finding it all a bit much. maybe turn down some invites for now - in a year he'll be in a completely different place I bet.

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