Excessively sensitive and overly competitive child. Advice PLEASE(11 Posts)
This isn't my child, but my sisters DS. He is 9 years old. He's a really lovely child, kind, well behaved (well, you know, within reason) and highly intelligent. But he is massively sensitive and especially if he looses a game or quiz or something. If he ever looses he either decends into full-blown rage or floods of tears.
It's so bad that he was asked to leave the chess club at school. They were very nice about it but the other kids literally could not cope with his reactions and no one wanted to play with him.
My DSis also worries because other kids at school are beginning to pick up on this perceived weakness and are using it as a weapon with which to tease him and wind him up till he cries.
He knows he has a problem, they have tried all the usual incentives and bribery and talking.
Has anyone had a similar issue with a child? Any tips or advice how to handle this?
I suggest drama classes so he can learn to disguise his feelings by acting.
Ok that’s an interesting suggestion Mosaic, thanks.
it's common behaviour for a 4-5yo, but by 9yo they should be a bit more resilient. Is he better than he used to be? Is he immature in other ways?
Does he ever get to take risks & experience failure in a safe environment?
Hi lljkk, yes he’s not immature in other ways. He’s bright and sociable (if a bit screen-obsessed). He’s very clever, he was reading before he started school and if he’s interested in something he goes for it massively. For instance he’s learned all the flags and maps of the world.
If anything he is getting worse rather than better. On his Dads side he has lots of uncles and cousins who are very sporty and competitive, but I thought our side would balance it out being very chill and unsporty.
I’m not sure about the risk-taking thing. Both parents are pretty risk-averse and are worriers about illness/ injury, but I don’t think they bubble-wrap him too much. They are quite outdoorsy and he’s always been to soft play etc. are you thinking Cub Scouts or something?
Scouts is good activity.
Judo/marital arts, paintball, all sports, really. Stuff completely outside of comfort zone possibly (could be dance, for instance).
Risk taking is good because it teaches persistence.
Good opportunities to learn how to fail (emotionally) and still have self-esteem afterwards.
DD benefited from computer programming, tap-dancing & being captain of terrible sports teams (so the whole team had to deal with getting thrashed but could be glad they turned up & gave it a try). Learned to laugh at stuff she just plain had no natural talent for and to see benefits other than winning.
The problem is that all the sports and team games he does brings out the absolute worst in him. He loves sport but can’t seem to control the meltdowns. Also the other kids can’t cope with his reactions and neither can the teacher/ coach. There must be an explanation for his behaviour, and a way of helping him..
My husband and his brother were like this. They were being abused by their father, and that even though it wasn't related to the competitions they were in, they somehow thought winning would win his affection and that losing would make things worse. Make sure everything's ok at home, OP.
Play games like Jenga or Pop-Up Pirate where you do a number of iterations and it is quite fun when you 'lose'.
Parents and other close adults to massively model an 'oh no never mind' attitude when things go wrong or they lose.
Some talking through emotions, how he feels when he wins/loses may help his emotional literacy too.
Music lessons. You compete only with yourself and you learn how to work to develop and improve a skill. Worked for my sensitive, competive yet under-confident dd (now 10).
Thank you everyone, sorry I thought the thread had dried up so I haven’t looked for a while. I’m sorry to hear about your dh Womb, but I know my sis and her husband very well and I’m about as sure as one can ever be that abuse is not a factor. My brother in law comes from a family of lots of brothers who are very sporty and competitive. By his own admission his family are competitive but dnephew takes it all to a whole new level.
We spent time with them over the summer and we did play some family games. Even after a good chat with him before hand he still cheated during the games and started to melt-down when it looked like he wouldn’t win.
He knows it’s a problem but he can’t seem to help himself. Music lessons may be an idea, I can see how that may help..
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