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How do help your 4 year old ds to not cry so much, as he is loosing friends [sad]

(28 Posts)
Overrun Tue 18-Sep-07 16:04:32

He is a very sensitive boy, and does cry a lot, but surely lots of 4 year olds do?
We have talked a bit about this before, as I suppose I was always a little worried about how his peers would react (knowing what children can be like).
I just said that there is nothing wrong with crying, but you shouldn't cry unless you have hurt yourself or you feel really sad, not just if you feel a bit sad.
Its so hard to quantify these things. To a 4 year old falling over and scraping your knee is a big thing.
He was so looking forward to starting school to see all his friends and now two of his closest friends have said they don't want to be his friend because he cries too much.
Ds said to me "I only cry when I hurt myself Mummy,like you said, but I hurt myself a lot"
He is a bit clumsy, and I can imagine in trying to keep up with his friends in the playground he would fall over a lot.

I am probably over reacting, I know these things are so said, but he looked so crestfallen. Any advice any one?

dustystar Tue 18-Sep-07 16:07:24

How about teaching him some techniques to help keep the tears at bay. Things like taking a deep breath and counting to 10.

Joash Tue 18-Sep-07 16:10:02

Let him carry on being himself - nothing wrong with boys crying (at whatever age). I know that doesn't help in the frineds department - but my DS was just the same. He's now a fabulous 17 year old (18 nxt mth) who is extremely popular (with both sexes - lol) and will still kiss his fat old mother and tell her how much he loves her in front of all his mates.

Joash Tue 18-Sep-07 16:10:24

frineds???
- friends

Overrun Tue 18-Sep-07 16:10:36

Thanks dustystar, I did talk about that with him this afternoon, but he whailed "I can't do that", but I guess if I demonstrate like you suggest it might help

Overrun Tue 18-Sep-07 16:12:43

Joash - thanks for your input, I am so torn over this, as I feel he should be his self, but do feel that males should be able to cry.
I guess a lot of my reaction is coloured by the fact that my brother was quite similar and he was very badly bullied at school due in some part to being seen as a cry baby, and this has really had a terrible affect on him.
I know I can't protect my ds from every thing, but I am particularly sensitive about this issue

Mercy Tue 18-Sep-07 16:14:13

Oh poor little thing sad

Haven't got any experience of this really (so I may be speaking out of turn) but I think he should feel free to cry if he feels sad for any reason.

Can you give examples of the kind of situations that makes him feel sad enough to cry?

(and many 4 yr olds change allegiances - week in week out)

Mercy Tue 18-Sep-07 16:15:28

sorry, have just seen your post re your brother sad

dustystar Tue 18-Sep-07 16:15:48

I think its important that he knows its alright to cry but as you say it can cause friendship issues so its important he has tools he can use that can help him choose not to cry sometimes.

I'll see if i can find some info from my Mum (shes a SENCO).

Overrun Tue 18-Sep-07 16:18:02

Mercy, he often trips over his feet or walks into things so he always cries when he hurts himself. He cries if some one tells him off, or raises their voice to him.
He just cries a lot, but we are an emotional family, and I do believe it is better to express emotions in general. So I suppose he has that example, not that I cry a lot, but we are not reserved iyswim
I guess some people cry more easily than others. Probably these boys who told him he cries too much, cry often too.
They are only 4, but the peer pressure is already under way sad

Overrun Tue 18-Sep-07 16:19:39

dustystar that would be great.
I thought I might try and help him improve his physical co ordination by teaching him how to pedal his bike.

Mercy Tue 18-Sep-07 16:22:53

I know what you mean re peer pressure starting so young. It was quite an eye opener when dd started school.

Sounds like Dustystar (and her mum!) will be able to give you good advice.

Hope thing work out well for ds smile

Overrun Tue 18-Sep-07 16:26:49

Its scarey isn't it? They say once they are 5, peer pressure counts for more than what you do as a family sad
god I remember school, its all about fitting in, and then as an adult you can allow yourself to be an individual again.

curiouscat Tue 18-Sep-07 16:27:47

There's a really nice small book you can share with him called 'I can handle it'. It has 2/3 page short stories about how a child overcomes stressful situations. eg mum's angry because I didn't tidy my room; I broke my favourite toy etc. You could talk it through and say - look that child didn't cry, they did xyz.

This could maybe offer him a different way of expressing himself. Maybe offer him vocabulary like I'm angry, I'm frustrated, I'm impatient, I'm whatever so it's not tears for every option things don't go his way.

Overrun Tue 18-Sep-07 16:31:15

Curious cat that sounds great, i will look for it on Amazon, do you happen to know who is is by?

curiouscat Tue 18-Sep-07 16:47:17

Hi Overrun

http://www.amazon.com/I-Can-Handle-Susan-Jeffers/dp/0091857473/ref=sr13/103-9365749-609 9814?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1190130269&sr=1-3

Here's the link, it's by Susan Jeffers. I've got the older version I think. Also for vocab improvements etc I found 'How to talk so your kids will listen and listen so your kids will talk' really helpful. Good luck in bringing up an articulate sensitive boy, we all need these abilities in our menfolk

Fizzylemonade Tue 18-Sep-07 19:28:20

Overrun -he sounds like my son who is also 4 and is just like me when I was a child. I have just bought a book called "the highly sensitive child" which was recommended on here.

I have only just started reading it but my son cries if - someone tells him off quite harshly, when he falls, if situations scare him or overwhelm him. He is not good with change, tends to over-think things so his imagination works over-time and then when he actually does what he has been worrying about it is all fine but the build up is horrendous. He also tends to watch the other children playing before joining in and this can take 30 minutes!!! Does this sound like your son?

I have taught him to try to hold his breath to help him calm down, he has just started school and we have had a few tears.

The book is good and seems to understand that all children are different so it doesn't pigeon hole them.

Overrun Wed 19-Sep-07 10:26:23

Thnaks Fizzylemonade, they do sound very similar. I bought another book about how to instil self confidence in a sensitive child, so maybe it was that one.
Its a dilemma isn't it. All the mums and adults in general rave about him because he is articulate and thoughtful, but of course these are not always aspects that have a lot of currency in a playground with boys playing power rangers and thunderbirds hmm

MrsMarvel Wed 19-Sep-07 10:40:01

Thanks for that recommendation curiouscat - sounds like a great book. I have placed an order!

curiouscat Wed 19-Sep-07 13:08:06

Hi MrsM, hope the book's useful to you.

scattyspice Wed 19-Sep-07 15:44:42

Just a thought Overrun, does he watch, play Power rangers, Spiderman etc at home.
My DS gets alot of confidence from pretending to be Spiderman. hmm

margoandjerry Wed 19-Sep-07 15:51:02

I think he's too young to have to be controlling his crying. I know you don't want him to be bullied and I understand that but perhaps these aren't the right friends for him?

My five year old nephew cries a lot more than his three year old brother. He's actually probably more of a thoughtful child and is processing more emotion.

Overrun Wed 19-Sep-07 17:12:12

good point margoandjerry, but I can't choose his friends can I? There are nice boys, but have older brothers which I think makes them more mature than my ds1 and a bit tougher as well I guess.
Scattyspice - he does sometimes play spiderman and power rangers, and he certainly plays it in the playground with them. I think he does it because they do, rather than really liking it.
He did watch power rangers one time, but really prefers Thomas the tank, Dora, In the night garden etc smile

law3 Wed 19-Sep-07 18:45:12

Hi overrun - its horrible to have to sit back and watch, when you wana jump in and help them out. my ds has just started nursery he has delayed speech and is not fitting in as well, because the other kids cant understand him, its heartbreaking.

Dont know if this will help, but how about telling him how you would handle situations. ie if i fell over in the playground and hurt myself, i would..................

law3 Wed 19-Sep-07 18:54:08

Hi Overrun - i just found another thread about another sensitive child having trouble settling in school, this is the advice that someone gave, dont know if it would help you.

My advice would be:
1) Don't stress about it in any way that she will pick up on, because you can make more of a problem than it is.
2) Ask her teachers and other parents for their honest opinions about where your daughter is socially in her class.
3) Don't quiz your daughter about what happened today in the playground. I have learnt that if I don't ask how playtime went, my daughter maybe complains once a fortnight about a bad playtime, rather than most days if I ask her how it went. (This goes for school days too - she can come bouncing out of school in a perfectly sunny mood, and then I ask her how school was today, and she'll say "Fine!"...pause..."but Matilda was bossy to me and Joanne wouldn't let me play with her and..." I don't ask too much now, and rely on her telling me when it is really a problem (which she does. SHe knows I'm alwYs ready to listen)
4) We did a bit of role play too, and that helped a lot. And also some planning for tactics - eg she had targets for friends to move on to if a certain group of friends excluded her.
5) Invite friends, especially the 'difficult' ones round for a play date. This helps a lot!
6) Relax. It will pass. If your child was having real trouble socialising, the school would have commente to you by now.

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