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My 8 year old son said he wishes he was dead

(21 Posts)
KT1324 Mon 15-Nov-10 22:38:14

I have DS who is 8 and DD who is 5. DS is very bright and into everything. He tries really hard to please people but doesn't know when to stop. He is told off at school a lot for butting in, shouting out answers and doesn't have any real friends (although generally he is a good kid)

At home he is naughty a lot, fighting with DD, not doing as he told, rude sometimes and tells lies about who did what. He wets the bed once a week (unless we get him up before we go to bed)

Tonight he said to me... I'd be better of dead as that way I couldn't get in to trouble. I reassured him that we loved him etc but dont really know what to do now.. Any suggestions?

fandango75 Mon 15-Nov-10 22:40:04

really sorry no advice just offering thoughts and support thats really upsetting for you all hope he finds his feet (sure he will ereveyoone does eventually)

piscesmoon Mon 15-Nov-10 22:50:55

Have you tried things out of school? Cubs is a good way of being active and making friends.

KT1324 Mon 15-Nov-10 22:56:38

He goes to Beavers (starting cubs after christmas)and youth club and street dancing.. I think he tries too hard to get people to like him and finds it hard to do as he's told or keep quiet. Generally just thought he was a normal boy until he came out with this comment today

dearprudence Mon 15-Nov-10 23:02:11

How worrying for you. Just a suggestion, but try and find out everything that's making him unhappy. You can't fix everything but there may be some things that seem small to you that you can change for him. Might help him just to see that you've taken his problems seriously and are trying to help him.

Maybe you could take a 15 minute slot each day to talk about behaviour, any issues, his worries, etc. You could give your feedback on the day all at once, rather than repeatedly telling him off, perhaps? When he does something wrong you could say 'we'll discuss this at talk time'.

Does he respond to reward charts? Stickers to positively reinforce the behaviour you like, with a reward/pocket money when he's completed the chart.

PercyPigPie Mon 15-Nov-10 23:05:11

Poor little chap. Is it worth talking to the teachers about ways of managing him calling out?

bluejelly Mon 15-Nov-10 23:07:40

My dd said this to me once, around the same age . Felt terribly worried and sad. Luckily she's never said it again, and I've put it down to a phase (I think 8 is a time when they start to develop some concept of life and death, but obviously don't appreciate how it sounds to an adult ear. )
Having said that looking for ways to boost his self esteem and enjoy life are never a bad thing.
Cubs sounds a good idea - is there any activity he could do with you too ?

KT1324 Mon 15-Nov-10 23:07:57

Thanks dearprudence I like the idea of talk time will start that tomorrow. He has a reward chart linked to how he behaves in school and he is doing ok (with the teacher) but im concerned about how he interacts with his peers. Got parents evening soon so going to speak to teacher. Feel I am to blame as feel i treat DS & DD differently and perhaps this is half the problem

elliephant Mon 15-Nov-10 23:16:56

If it's any consolation my 8 yr old DS has said this a few times . Devasting for a parent. In my DS'S case he is an anxious child and sometimes finds school stressful as he is a dyslexic learner.

If he says anything like this now I try to deal with it in a matter of fact, reassuring way rather than showing my distress as I am think that my inital reaction ( great upset) made him realise how powerful these words were iukwim .

I would encourage talking about feelings with him as already mentioned - I get DS to write a story or more often draw a picture to explain how he's feeling. I found this book good for talking about anxiety 73144 and this good for dealing with anger ers/dp/0865713499

Also think this book is good for general read about relationships with others

KT1324 Mon 15-Nov-10 23:21:56

thanks for links on books elliephant will have a look at them.. its reasurring to know that he's not the only 1 to have said it and also thinking about it we have been talking about death/heaven etc a lot recently (he goes to catholic school and going to FHC classes) but hadn't thought about that until bluejelly mentioned it.

piscesmoon Tue 16-Nov-10 07:48:24

Maybe he is just the dramatic sort. My DS1 was a very up and down sort of DC and he said it-in fact he said I might as well shoot him in his bed he had such a miserable life! It is devastating as a parent but it was a phase and he has grown up quite normal and we can laugh about it now! He also doesn't have the wild mood swings. He was quite difficult around that age but then the teenage years were easier-it was is if he had got it out of his system. I hope this makes you feel better. I would have a good talk about it at parent's evening and get some advice about how to help.

pointissima Tue 16-Nov-10 07:57:47

My ds went through this too at 7/8. It was tied up with his being undiagnosed dyspraxic and miserable at school; but that wasn't the whole story. He was really depressed, in the same way as an adult might be.

He is now 9 and, although inherently a bit on the neurotic side, back to his old jolly, giggly self. It seems too that there are a couple of his friends who went through the same phase (something to do with the first flood of testosterone?).

It is just devastating to hear one's child say this; but I'm sure your boy will come through too. Talking is good and reassuring him that he is loved absolutely unconditionally

KT1324 Tue 16-Nov-10 23:23:15

Thanks everyone for your posts, its comforting to know he's not the only child to say it. We had a nice evening and played board games and i was very concious that DD didn't get more of my attention and DH read DS a long bed time story.

wannabeglam Wed 17-Nov-10 14:01:03

Could he be attention-seeking? Both his behaviour and his comment sound a bit like that.

Maybe he needs a bit more quiet one-to-one time, especially with Dad. Is Dad around? I might have missed it but I don't think he's been mentioned.

TheFeministParent Wed 17-Nov-10 14:06:06

I would probably devote some time to him, special time doing things he's good at. Stagger bed times and make him see that being oldest is special. Let him stay up at least half an hour after your dd.

Wishing he was dead is probably a dramatic thing to say, but you need to find out why he's looking so hgard for your attention.

You and your DH need to have 'be nice' days, I did this for one of mine who was noisy and silly all of the time and cried a lot, we decided not to tell him off but to ask and remind instead. He certainly stopped crying as much with only positive parenting, we do this every few months.

WE also have date days with Daddy and Mummy....we do envelopes that they blindly pick, with choices they've already made.

KT1324 Wed 17-Nov-10 22:05:15

Dad is around but is self employed and leaves the house most days at 6.30am and back at 7pm.. also works weekends (although this has slowed down now its cold)

I do think DS does crave 1-2-1 attention and we are trying to fit this in to our busy lives (i work 3 days a week and help at school for 1) his dad is going to take him bowling on friday.

Since he said this on monday I am trying to bite my tounge and not moan when he's doing what boys do (lie on floor in heap whooping or running around instead of putting his shoes on LOL)

I like the idea of dates with mum and dad and will defo try and introduce these. thanks everyone for your advice

TheFeministParent Fri 19-Nov-10 10:07:34

KT....WE also have a family journal which started out as something that DH and I wrote in with milestone and funny stories, sayings, things the dcs did. Now they get to write in it too and we have a bad feeling journal, so if they need to talk about it they can write anything in there and we can read it, resolve it and eitehr tear out the page or leave it. On my worst Mummy days I pick up the funny journal and remind myself why I do it all.

KerryMumbles Fri 19-Nov-10 10:10:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SusannahInYork Wed 24-Nov-10 00:35:12

As someone who spent a great deal of her childhood telling herself she wished she was dead because then she wouldn't be in trouble, it hurts to think of another child being in that place. There's a good chance he's not in the black hole that I was but just in case... what I most needed was hugs and being told that it was my behaviour not myself that was disliked. A lecture about what death was would just have felt like another "you don't really care about me you just want me to get everything correct" attack. Of course, I'm sure the OP's parenting is entirely different from that I had...

KT1324 Sun 28-Nov-10 18:32:20

Susannah - sorry to hear your childhood wasn't great .. i have started to sit in DS room on a night time for 10 mins before story/bed and we have a little chat (& cuddles) about his behaviour and I do try and remind him that I love him dearly just dont like the way he behaves.

Kerry - We are catholics so telling him dead is forever and his body will be eaten by worms prob not the best thing to do but it did make smile....

Although things with DS are not fantastic we are getting on better, thanks everyone!!

dikkertjedap Sun 28-Nov-10 20:47:38

Hi, I think the idea of scheduling daily one to one time (and sticking to it come what may) would be good. Hopefully you can build a good trusting relationship in which he feels he can tell you what is the matter. Also, maybe not just talking time but playing a game together and then talking whilst playing the game. Can you invite some class mates / children from his clubs over to your house to help him build friendships? Also, do give him a phone number of things like childline. I think these things should always be taken seriously, it may be a false alarm, but better safe than sorry. I used to work for childline for many years, and children can feel very depressed sometimes without parents/teachers realising, but there is help although you may need to fight to get it. You can also give him a diary to put things in. Good luck.

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