Thursday, May 05, 2011

I'm not ready for this kind of stuff

Last night one of the boys had a complete meltdown when I said they were taking a shower instead of a bath. He was so out of control that I put him in his room and told him he could come out when he was done crying. He was sobbing a little when he went to the shower, and then continued to cry and sob and fight over every little thing through the shower.

I put him to bed early with no story and he just could not stop crying. I put the other boy to bed and then I heard boy #1 cry, "No one likes me! Everyone makes fun of me. I don't have any friends! "

I rushed in to his room and asked him to talk to me. He said everyone makes fun of him all the time, people say they hate him, and no one likes him. A truly heartbreaking moment.

I asked him for more specifics. He said, "Well xxx always punches me in the face." I said, "They punched you in the face a long time ago, did they punch you again?" He said, "No, he is nice now. He used to be mean." Then he said, "Well yyy said they hate me." I said, "Did they say it today?" He said, "No they said it a long time ago."

As we talked through every single example of his hurt feelings, he realized all those things happened a long time ago and that almost everyone is nice to him now. I told him sometimes kids say mean things but if they play with you and are nice to you most of the time, they are your friend. He was calm and happy when I left, but I can't help but wonder how many more times we will have to have similar conversations.

Advice/similar stories welcome because this is new territory for us!


Joanna said...

"Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms,
Long, thin, slimy ones; Short, fat, juicy ones,
Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms."

My parents had two kids like this to deal with, and we sang about eating worms an awful lot. My dad had another one, but I'd have to do it in person for it to make any sense. Pretty much showing empathy is what they were trying to do.

I like you approach as well, and I expect that I'll end up using it more than a few times myself.

Irene said...

Wow nice parenting job there! There are some elements of that meltdown that remind me of my husband. Which is scary when I think about what I have in store from the actual children in the coming years.

windycityvegan said...

You handled that so well! I'm anxious about the first time I have to deal with this.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I love how you handled that - you weren't joking when you said you come more and more into your awesomeness :)

Stacey said...

Ahh breaks my heart....actually about a month ago....long after the boys are normally came out to the living room very sheepish looking. I asked him what the problem was and he said his friend said he won't invite him to his party. I told him sometimes people say mean things without realizing that it hurts someone's feelings. My heart melted though.

Joanna said...

You handled it just as I would have. Sometimes kids made broad generalizations or absolute statements that feel SO REAL to them and aren't entirely accurate. Talking them through it is important, not that you'll always be able to change their mind.
I see this all the time in the kids I work with. Intelligent children often have particular social and emotional needs. I will sent you a power point slide I use in my presentations that is related to this topic.
Here is also a reliable resource for me on this:
Props to you for working this out with your adorable son!

Karen said...

We are going through something very similar here. I agree that their perception of time can be a bit off. Michael didn't want to wear a red shirt to school today because he said 2 of his classmates called him a red critter. When I asked him about it again after school, he said that they were fine to him with his blue shirt.

JenFen said...

I think you need to give yourself a huge pat on the back for handling it so well. First of all, my kids regularly get upset because we don't have time for baths and they have to take showers. Jadyn regularly throws crying fits for no good reason and I generally make her go to her room to calm down. And yes, more so with Jake I have had him relay some things that have been said to him that were hurtful but they were mostly said in the heat of the moment and the friend saying them didn't really mean them. I used it as a way to teach Jake that saying hurtful things can be hurtful, whether they are meant at the time or not.

Now, if were a genuine concern of a particular child always making my child feel bad (as I have had friends experience), I don't know if I could handle it as well. I definitely sense that mamma bear might immediately come out.

Tanika Davis said...

This totally makes me sad! Why are kids so mean?? And why is it, again, that we can't put our children in bubbles?
Good job being there for him, though, LC! No matter what happens in the world, he'll always know that home is a safe place. Sooo many kids don't have even that, and that's why the world is so jacked up. (Well, that and Reaganomics...but I won't inject politics into this discussion. LOL!)

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates said...

I'm in no position to give you advise since we are in the same boat. My one daughter will also harp on and on about incidents at school that happened a long time ago. I think the best we can do for them is to be there to listen and let them know we care and help them become a little less oversensitive. I pretty much told my daughter the same you did. "Get over it!" LOL! Discuss it with the teacher so you know there is no "real" issue. My other daughter is of course the other extreme; does what suits her and then turn around and ask me "What?"

Julie said...

You did a great job with this one Laura!

Lana told me last week that XXX seemed like a nice girl, but she is really a bad person. I am like--WHAT?! So evidently a kindergarten girl shoved Lana into the bathroom stall and held the door closed so she wouldn't be able to come out! I remained calm and asked her how it made her feel and why do you think XXX would do that and was it a joke--was she laughing/playing around, etc. Then we talked about how sometimes kids do mean-spirited things, but that doesn't mean they are bad people and then Lana just said, oh mom, she is still my friend--we played together at recess! Okie dokie, I guess you have the whole thing figured out then.

It is truly heartbreaking though to even imagine kids being mean to your own child! Another emotion I never could have prepared for before I had kids.

Mommy, Esq. said...

I remember being in third grade and crying to my mom that I didn't have any friends of my own - that they were only friends with my sisters. Ah, college, such a great equalizer.

You did a great job. At the end of the day we as parents need to empathize and then give them coping tools but we can't "fight their battles" for them.