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2 Bumps

My 5 year old wont admit to liking anything and tells me he wants to die

I am having a really hard time right now. I am trying to get a psychiatrist for my son, but it is taking longer than I would like.

About a month and a half ago my son started on this thing where he doesn't like anything. Doesn't matter if he liked it the day before - he doesn't like it now. There is absolutely nothing he will admit to liking. This includes his friends, teachers, favorite foods, people, shows ect. He will not admit to liking any of it. He hasn't changed his behavior at all and it still a happy-go-lucky kid who enjoys doing things. But even when he is playing and having fun and asking me to watch him as he does something new and/or cool if I ask him if he likes it he will go quit and say he really doesn't or he forgets if he likes it or just say no but he is just doing it even though he doesn't like it.

an example of this would be us watching Night at the Museum - he is laughing at all the funny parts calls me over to watch the monkey being silly. He is clearly enjoying himself, when the movie is over I asked him if he liked it, he tells me "no I don't think I did" I tell him that that's ok and I will take it back to the store and I wont buy him anymore movies if he doesn't like any of them - I didn't say this in a mean way, just conversationally relaying a fact. He tells me that's ok because he doesn't like movies.

It has gotten to the point that I have told him that santa wont know what to bring him for christmas because he doesn't like anything. He said that it's ok, because he doesn't like anything and he doesn't know if he wants to do christmas this year.

I have pretty much stopped asking if he likes anything because he always answers this way.

He has recently escalated it though. Now if I forget and ask him if he likes something he will still tell me he doesn't like anything but is now saying things like he wants to like things and he doesn't know what will happen to him if he doesn't like anything. He started out asking me if he would die if he doesn't like anything, then it turned into 'I want to be someone else, I don't want to be me anymore' and now it is 'I want to die' and telling me about how he has dreams that he is in heaven and watching over everyone.

a few weeks ago I pushed back a bit because he asked me to sing him a song before bed I asked him if he wanted me to sing it because he likes it? he just kept repeating that he doesn't want to talk about things like that. So I told him that if he doesn't like me singing I am not going to sing for him. He then asked me to cuddle him to sleep, I asked again if he wants me to do it because he likes it and again he became very frustrated. I demanded that he just admits that he likes to be sung to and that he likes cuddles. He replied that he doesn't want to be a bad boy anymore and that I should slap him in the face as hard as he can, he screamed that he wanted to die.
I haven't heard him tell me that he wants me to slap him again, but he has been telling me he wants to die more and more.

I am feeling scared about all this.

Has anyone had an similar experiences?


Asked by Anonymous at 3:30 PM on Oct. 12, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • You have created a power struggle with making him admit that he likes something. Leave the poor kid alone. He is in your words "happy go lucky". So why make him admit to liking something. He obviously does like things. But the constant nagging to admit it is making him say he doesn't. STOP asking if he likes everything.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 4:13 PM on Oct. 12, 2013

  • I agree with the PP's and would say to stop the under-toned "you aren't giving me the right answer, so you will lose something" comments, such as when you said that you wouldn't get him anymore movies because he "doesn't like them" or you will stop singing to him. To him, he may see that it's better for him not to hope for anything because he probably won't get it anyway. See if the "dying" comments stop when you forbid yourself another time to ask him if he likes something. Wouldn't you think that he DOES like to cuddle because he ASKED you to do it? I think you have inadvertently made this harder because you are truly worried and are looking for some validation or direction. I am not bashing you for this, I'd be worried, too, but please STOP ASKING HIM and just LISTEN to what he says on his own without you bringing it up. I hope you can some help soon. Hugs!

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 4:52 PM on Oct. 12, 2013

  • Stop pushing , do you like things all the time. It might be confusing him. Does he really know what dieting is?

    Answer by louise2 at 3:47 PM on Oct. 12, 2013

  • I have pretty much stopped asking if he likes anything because he always answers this way.

    Stick with this, except really stop. Don't ask sometime "just to check" if it's over or not.

    Take the cue that your child has gotten sensitized to this issue, that he is hyper-aware of it, and step back from the struggle over it. It's up to the parent to take responsibility for shifting things.
    I have had to do this before (take responsibility for shifting something rather than becoming more entrenched.)

    If he wants to do something enjoyable, or wants YOU to do something (like sing to him), respond without asking if that's because he "likes it" or if that means he "likes" the song, your singing, the closeness. Don't go there!

    Observe what you observe (that he's happy-go-lucky, that he enjoys things, that he is engaged in his activity & wants to be seen) and let that observation be enough. Don't ask "that" question.

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:18 PM on Oct. 12, 2013

  • If someone continuously asked me if I liked something, I'd say no as well! Geeze, leave the poor boy alone!

    Answer by KTElite at 4:23 PM on Oct. 12, 2013

  • IDK but there is such a thing as too much attention. Especially when it gets repetitive. I would just stop asking him if he likes things. He may just be getting wacked out from you asking so much. For lack of a better way of explaining it. How about a little ignoring for a change. Buy him what you think he'll like for Christmas without asking. Then if he says that I wanted this or that say well I did not tell Santa what you wanted because you didn't tell me. As far as the whole dying thing, he may just be a little bit of a drama king. I have one of those too. How is he in school? Do they have a School Psychologist in his School? That would be my first call. He may just be a quirky kid. Kids are also mirrors of our excessive behavior so maybe take a look & think if you are a bit dramatic & depressed looking or your DH.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 5:06 PM on Oct. 12, 2013

  • I'm a little concerned about this "I don't want to be a babd boy anymore" thing, and asking you to slap him. Did he get in trouble lately, and maybe internalize someone's comments that he was bad? Do you think maybe he feels he doesn't deserve things he likes? I'd quit asking the question about whether he likes things, but also consider trying to sniff out where this "I'm bad" stuff is coming from.

    Answer by Ballad at 7:20 PM on Oct. 12, 2013

  • If this is true. Best to get him some help.

    Answer by louise2 at 3:46 PM on Oct. 12, 2013

  • You should be scared. In some way he has gotten scared that if he likes some thing it will be taken away or destroyed, at least this is my guess. That would be a terrible burden. Think about the threat of someone destroying anything that you like (If you don't say it, it isn't so).
    This issue will only get larger. He needs help as soon as you can get it for him. Good luck.

    Answer by Dardenella at 9:59 PM on Oct. 12, 2013