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DS1 is a miserable moany umotivated child.

(53 Posts)
BaronessBarbaraKingstanding Fri 23-Oct-09 12:43:34

I know I've said it, and it's horrible.

He's 9. He has just never been a jolly enthusiatic sort of child. He moans about doing everything and doesn't want to do anything except go on Club penguin or play football.

He hates school, is bright but does minimal work possisble and is falling behind at school.

He is very negative about himself, says he's useless at everything, won't try hard wth anything and avoids any activity which may require effort (guitar, swimming, school council etc).

He feels the whole world is against him and everything is unfair.

He has never been an affectionate child, has always felt akward giving hugs even as young child and finds it very hard to talk about how he feels (beyond the moaning.)

I don't know what to do.

I don't know why he's like this. He was a very much wnated loved baby, dh and I try to be as posotive as possible with him, but he's always been, well miserable.

Has anyone else had a child like this?

I worry for his future as his motivation to achieve at anything is nil. Exams etc are going to be a nightmare.

BaronessBarbaraKingstanding Fri 23-Oct-09 13:01:05

Please someone answer this!!

I love him dearly, and don't know what to do or how awful or unusual all this really is.

genuine help needed.

womblingalong Fri 23-Oct-09 13:06:23

Oh, this sounds very hard, I am not sure what to suggest, my children are much younger, but I didn't want your posts to go unanswered.

The only thought I had was to maybe get him more enthusiastic about football in a more focused way - i.e. joining a team etc, and if it works, hope this helps his negativity.

I do feel for you.

Miggsie Fri 23-Oct-09 13:06:31

Baroness, didn't want you to be unanswered...there is a girl in DD's class who is like this, and her mum is similarly at her wits end.

for instance the girl "couldn't be bothered" to open her own birthday presents! DD did it for her.

Unfortunately I don't have any answers but possibly if all the positive stuff is not working he may need some adversity that he overcomes? Like one of those outdoor adventure centres where they do abseiling etc???

I hope someone comes along who has tried a strategy and got results.

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 23-Oct-09 13:07:26


wrt to negative stuff, have a think about what tasks or activities he can work at and complete - puzzles/cake making/painting by numbers/lego buliding/a bit of woodworking, so that he can experience a sense of achievement.

He sounds low in self esteem, so anything that can turn around his negative view of himself will help.

Do you have other children? perhaps he would benefit from 1 to 1 with you or DH, or GPs.

PatienceRequired Fri 23-Oct-09 13:12:16

I have a child just like this, and was just about to post a thread to see if anyone could pinpoint why, when i came across your thread.

My ds was four in june but he has always just been miserable. All he wants to do is sit in front of a screen, whether it is pc, tv or ds. Apart form that he mainly just whinges...

He rarely shows positivity about anything. If i didn't know better i'd say he came out of the womb depressed. I question all the time if there is something wrong with him or if its just because of all the change we went through when he was younger. (Marriage break down, moving twice etc.) But life has been consistent now for two years and he's still negative...

Good as gold at school but miserable for me. I can't teach him anything as he has no interest in being receptive, and i worry that he is in fact bright but stubborness is going to make him delayed. He learnt alphabet sone in 24hrs once i found it online, after trying to teach it to him for 18mths!

On a good day i think he just needs more attention, but with three i struggle to get all that has to be done, done.(like homework etc) And if i do make that effort he will reject any attempts to sit and read, draw, story, kick football etc. He's just not like a normal little boy! I don't know what to do with him. Some days its hard to like him, let alone love him. Apart from that, if it is "something" that needs attention from an educational point of view, i dont want to leave it too late so that the delay is irrevocable.

On a positive note he can be very affectionate and tells me at least half a dozen times a day that he loves me with a big hug. (Obviously i respond positively.)

I cant wait for his parent teacher meeting to see what his teacher thinks.

Sorry for the hijack, i just thought they sound too similar to start another thread, and also wanted you to know that someone else can relate to how you feel.

BaronessBarbaraKingstanding Fri 23-Oct-09 13:13:15

Thank you for responding!!

He's not so bad he wouldn't opene presents!

It's more just anything that involves any effort he does not wnat to do,and he seems t hard to express emtion even happiness, almost like he's embarrassed to be excited IYSWIM? He is very self conscious.

Dh's family have a history of very negative thinking, they're all doom mongers, and emotion, apart from misery, is not expressed.

I didn't think we were like that though, I'm certainly not, i'm a bit more the other way, outgoing and bouncy. which DS seems to find diffiuclt to take or respoind to.

Oh I don't know. I feel like I'm having a 'what did I do wrong' type day and feel very sad.

alwayslookingforanswers Fri 23-Oct-09 13:15:33

I thought you were posting about my DS1 there OP! - he's also 9 and fits much of the descriptions that your DS does.

fruitspooksbatsintheeaves Fri 23-Oct-09 13:16:45

My DS is 8 and is very similar. He no longer does any out of school clubs / activities as it was just too stressful to drag him along to them!
He is also quite far behind at school but is so negative about reading and writing its almost impossible to practice with him.
I just hope he will find something to spark his interest as it is very frustrating and I can sympathise with you.

PatienceRequired Fri 23-Oct-09 13:20:04

Alfa and fruit spook,
has school not mentioned this or tried to step in esp if they get behind?
What do you envisage for your childs future? For ds i just imagine an eventual diagnosis of something or else a lifetime in a mental health institution or prison...sad

BaronessBarbaraKingstanding Fri 23-Oct-09 13:21:52

I do try to give him one to oe time and he does enjoy this.

I took hikm out of school for a day last week and we went hiking together, just the 2 of us and had a brilliant day, we both loved it.

but once we're in the usual routine, his miserable attitude returns, and its wearing.

He is generally cheerier on holiday, so i think just the constant pressure of school gets to him, but he has no desire to do well at all. At school or anything else.

He wold be happy if allowed to spend all day on club penguin.

Dh and I have talked about banning the computer and TV to make himmintersted in other things, but I don't want this to seem like a punishment or to make him more unhappy.

football, he likes to play in garden with Dh but in team situations just hangs back and doesn't get involved.

I know it's all linked to self esteem, but boosting self esteem is harder to do than you'd imagine.

Dumbledoresgirl Fri 23-Oct-09 13:23:29

Gosh this does sound like a depressing situation for you to be in as much as your son. One of the joys of parenthood is seeing a child's enthusiasm for the things in life that maybe we now take for granted.

Have you tried asking him what he would enjoy doing? Don't look for excitement as you say it almost seems to embarrass him, just look for enjoyment. It could well be that he is simply not old enough to have found the thing that inspires him in life. Secondary school will make a big difference to the number and range of people and experiences he will encounter, and it could be the making of him. But of course it is still 1 or 2 years away.

Is it halfterm where you are next week? I would try asking him what he wants to do. Try to get him to find enjoyment in one off things like going swimming as a family, etc, rather than expecting him to enjoy things that take more commitment (eg guitar lessons).

Sorry not to be more help.

posieparksherbroom Fri 23-Oct-09 13:24:25

I moved my ds from one school to another, not realising he was deeply he's lovely.

Dumbledoresgirl Fri 23-Oct-09 13:26:10

How about friends? Does he have many at school? Does he see them after school? What does his teacher say about his relationships in the classroom?

BaronessBarbaraKingstanding Fri 23-Oct-09 13:29:47

He does enjoy family activities. We were talking this morning about going cycling and to the cinema next week and he does want to do those sort of things.

I guess DH and I, want him to just try more at school, with guitar, with a sport, but he almost seems to self sabotage and has no motivation to want to do things as well as he can.

maybe we should totally back off on these things? but that seems a scary thing to do, if we backed off he's do nothing!

BaronessBarbaraKingstanding Fri 23-Oct-09 13:33:52

He does have friends at school, he is a popular boy and he does like having friends to play.

As I write this I'm bebiing to think 'is this not as bad as I'm making out?' is he in fact just a 9yr old boy who'd rather not do school work or practise his guitar? which is fairly normal?'

I don't know.

I guess, maybe if I'm honest he just doesn't meet out hopes and expectations for a motivated child who seizes on all the opportunities we provide. But maye realising that we and not hi are the problem would help anyway?

I don't know, I'm sad and confused.

dittany Fri 23-Oct-09 13:34:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nellie12 Fri 23-Oct-09 13:35:53

At least he enjoys hiking though envy. He also seems to enjoy time with you and dh so thats something to be pleased about because he wont in 10 yearswink

I can relate to him not liking team involvement - I hated it when I was younger and always felt self conscious. I think my ds(5) is a bit like this so I dont push it at all. I cant help but think it would just be misery all round.

Does he like school? You say he feels pressured. Is there anything that can be done by school to help him if he doesn't like it or aspects of it?

If he's cheerier on holiday is it possible to arrange days out regularly, like hiking, so he has something to look forward to? hiking also gives you the opportunity to teach him orienteering which is not something his class mates may be able to do.

He may be one of those people who likes different things to what people expect him to like based on age and sex. (I come from a very awkward family who do not like things just because everyone else does)

choccyp1g Fri 23-Oct-09 13:36:05

Could you try banning the computer etc.? The trouble with this is that it might transform moany into downright arsy, but I recognise that can't be bothered attitude in myself, if I spend too much time on mumsnet computer. I think your brain gets used to having something coming at it, rather than acting for yourself.

BaronessBarbaraKingstanding Fri 23-Oct-09 13:38:09

I love to read and would like him to love this too, which he doesn't.

Dh is sport mad. He and DS1 go to watch football together once a month. they enjoy watching lots of sport together, but when in team situation ds gets melts into the background.

He has started golf, at his request, and we think as this is an 'individual' sport wher you can't just 'disapper' this may help him?

How ca you show a child who won't even try at something that they can be good in order to build thier self esteem?

LynetteScavo Fri 23-Oct-09 13:38:48

Sounds to me like he's scared to try in case he fails.

Build up his self esteem by telling him how proud you are of him, and give lots of priase for even the smallest things.

Some people are just born miserable. (like me, for example!)

dittany Fri 23-Oct-09 13:38:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Fri 23-Oct-09 13:41:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hellsbelles Fri 23-Oct-09 13:44:12

umm - I think that as a child my mother may have described me like this. And it became like a vicious circle as I felt I became demonised by my parents (not suggesting you are doing this) as they tried desperately to deal with me. I have no idea why I felt so unmotivated and unloved. There was no reason and with hindsight it was completely illogical.

Bizzarely I would say I'm pretty much the opposite now - there was no magic bullet. I'm just better at being a grown up than a child. Working and being judged by my successes that way and also becoming a parent were also a huge factor.

This probably isn't very comforting is it - but just to reassure you that sometimes things do change though it can take a very long while.

BaronessBarbaraKingstanding Fri 23-Oct-09 13:45:01

i absolutely think he is scared to try incase he fails.

Ditany i think the job interview comment is relevent as I do worry already about exams, qualifications and job prospects with this low level of motivation. I know I 'should' just let him be a child and enjoy childish things, but there is also a reality about life soon becoming a competeition.

We are very postive with him, we look for things to priase all the time (although he fibds it hard to accept praise) but life just seems like a hard slog for him and he feels constantly hard done and that life is 'unfair' to him.

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