Report for Year 1 boy - he's very sensitive - any advice(19 Posts)
Just had report for DS1 who has just finished Yr1. It is all very positive apart from mentioning that he can be overly sensitive and cries when things don't go well. He used to do a lot of this when he was younger, but I thought we'd managed to overcome it all. I helped at a school trip last week and was really surprised to notice that DS cried a bit when he wasn't happy with a sketch he was doing. School haven't mentioned this at all, just in the report. Has any one got any advice or ideas on how I can improve his resilience? He is also thumb and finger sucking, which he has done for years - but was my plan to tackle this summer. Thank you
I think this sorts itself out as they mature, to some extent. Just keep being encouraging and positive, and keep him talking. He is still very young.
I worried so much about my sensitive ds1, but he has matured a lot in confidence as he went through primary.
Thank you Spring - I will def try and do this as it's partly what helped when he went through a bashing stage when he was very little. We don't see much of this at home and I wonder what goes on at school - he doesn't tell me much at all.
Sunny - that' s very reassuring, thank you. I think I need to work on getting him talking about things and his emotions too. Really pleased your DS is more confident.
Any other advice?
I come at this from a slightly different angle, as my Y1 DS has asperger's-type autism. So it's harder than average for him to express his emotions, and I would not be doing anything to discourage him from doing that.
If he is upset, then crying is one possible way of expressing this. Acknowledging that he is feeling upset and asking if he can tell you why in words could help him to explore other ways of expressing his feelings.
Lots of the Y1 kids cry sometimes. It's not that unusual ime - they have strong feelings and limited skills in expressing them.
So, focus on the range of ways of expressing his feelings, rather than trying to make him behave as if he doesn't have them.
I'd leave the thumb and finger sucking until you're happier that he's more resilient - it's a self-soothing thing, and it sounds like now is not the right time to reduce his soothing options.
And, of course, it's the end of the school year and they are all very tired, so everything is harder than it was a few weeks ago. So it will probably get better when he's had a bit of down time to recover.
My y1 ds1 is also sensitive and tends to cry or get upset and refuse to do something if he thinks it's 'not good enough' or if he may have got something 'wrong'.
His teacher suggested modelling to him how to react if you get something wrong or are not able to do something as well as you think you should be able to and talking about it. So for example if I throw a ball and don't manage to throw it in the right direction (common problem for me ) I say something like 'oh dear Mummy didn't get that quite right, let me try again' and then on hopefully improving 'oh that's better I'm glad I kept trying'.
Something along those lines to basically show that everyone gets things wrong/can't do things/could do better etc and that it's normal and accepted and for him to see that I don't get upset and stressed about getting things wrong. I think it's helping a bit as when I didn't do very well in the parents race at sports day he looked at me and said 'well at least you tried your best mummy' and told me how he had tried his best.
We tell DS about things like how many times Edison failed to make a light bulb before he figured out the way that became a commercial success. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."
If it's art he's interested in, you could talk to him about how artists experiment lots to get the result they want.
So many thoughts and ideas, thank you.
IsitMeOr - thanks for telling me about your DS. How do you encourage him to express his upset. We want him to feel and express it, but in a more positive way. Agree about the thumb sucking, as it does soothe him - he is being teased a bit about it by his friends. I feel badly that I wasn't aware of this upset at all until the school trip and his report... I love the Edison story and will chat to him about that as we've been reading a book about him.
Waterandtea - great idea about the modelling - I am going to try this. The bad ball throwing will work perfectly here too Do you do this when he gets upset too? How do you get over / around the 'something wrong'. Do you know if he gets upset at school? Does he tell you about it?
We talk about it when he gets upset and I try and get him to explain why he's upset which he sometimes finds difficult - eg he got oddly v upset after I'd read his report with him and given him loads of praise for how good it was and said I'd share it with his DGM etc - he eventually said he felt embarrassed so I don't know whether for him praise is not helping as he then feels worse if he feels like he hasn't done what he thinks he should have done. So I tried to ask him specific things to find out what he felt proud of so we could focus on that.
The 'something wrong' is tricky - when we're doing something together and he gets upset then I try and distract/explore what he is struggling with/explain that it's ok to get things wrong and that's how we learn. Again I model it with him if I get 'something wrong'.
I see him getting upset sometimes and his teacher tells me if he's got upset about something and we've talked about strategies for dealing with it as she says that he clearly knows how to do things but sometimes doesn't for fear of getting it wrong. Although he tells me about most things at school he generally doesn't tell me about getting upset/getting something wrong and when I try and talk about it (eg if his teacher has given me an example) he can get quite cross and denies it (I think because he is embarrassed about it)
Tbh it's something I struggle with how to help him which is why I'm following his teacher's suggestions as she has far more experience with this than me.
Thanks so much for all your replies. They've been really helpful - it's good to get some pointers on where to start! I've been modelling away today and he has been very responsive to it. He doesn't really do this at home (only occassionally), so there have been lots of hypotheticals and just trying to talk more. I'm also thinking of ways in which I can boost his self confidence, sense of fun and just how we express ourselves. I really appreciate the advice - someone upthread said it can be difficult - it sounds as if you are doing a great job to me.
Hi Ruggles, we do the sort of things you are trying, to be honest.
There are also some nice books to read together. This is more for children who get anxious, but we liked The Huge Bag of Worries.
There's also one called The Disappointment Dragon, which is written to be accessible to children with asperger's, but fine for all children.
My Ds yr3 is still really sensitive. Either cries or gets angry and punches and kicks. Luckily tears mainly at school but as he's now getting teased about crying the angry is starting. Hoping the school might start helping us to deal with his otions.
Will try and use the talking technique though.
In yr1 my eldest was very sensitive, and displayed some worrying (or so I thought) traits-he was scared of hills/stairs, wouldn't join in in PE, and school plays were excruciating to watch, as he stood terrified, copying the teacher's every action. At one point, as his reading seemed such hard work aswell, I voiced concern about dyslexia/dyspraxia.
Fast forward to just finishing yr3 and he's a different child in many ways. He does cross-country & football, runs everywhere instead of walking, and today he's the narrator in the school play.
I'm not trying to minimise, and I know there's nothing worse than people saying it will sort itself out, but I honestly believe that if the school is a happy, nurturing and supportive environment, as the child moves through school confidence improves greatly. They're going through so many new experiences, I think over time they get to understand that it's not always the end of the world, even if something doesn't go well, and they develop their own coping strategies (with your support).
I feel for you, it's a real worry. You just want to scoop them up and protect them forever!
Despite seeming on the surface to be a stereotypical cheeky boy into football, my ds can be very sensitive to failure and used to be easily crushed. He's nine now and much better at handling failure. I've always tried to imprint on him that we can't all be good at everything, we all have different strengths and weaknesses and must always try our best. A bit of perspective helps and the ability to move on and not dwell on the bad stuff. Talk to him about these topics and model that behaviour yourself, talk about your own failures and how you get through them.
Just one final thought - I'm now fairly certain that many of my son's traits/quirks are sensory issues.
I you google sensory processing disorder, or read The Highly Sensitive Child, it may ring a bell.
As I mentioned upthread, ds has learned how to manage abd is now a very confident, but still sensitive, boy.
So sorry to disappear, but had a hectic week and wanted to sit down and reply properly. I am so grateful for all the advice - it's incredibly helpful, so thank you.
I've ordered the books which both look fantastic and we've been talking a lot this week - it's been a really good prompt to talk more, and realistically about life and about not dwelling on things. Also tyring to listen more... Not so easy in this household. It's funny how it all takes you back to your own childhood - I can almost hear my granny and mother... I had a quick look at the games, but need to read it all properly as there are tons of materials on there.
DS had quite a lot of sensory/balance issues when he was quite young and we did the Tinsley House programme which really helped to sort it out.
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