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How do you deal with a complainer/grumbler?

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I have tried to get excited, cheer him on, have fun with the stuff myself...etc. He is just so.. uh... ho-hum about his life.

He's actually my easier kid usually, but what I'm noticing is he'll only do what he HAS to do and nothing more. I'm actually not talking so much about school work. He moans and groans about that sometimes, but I'm more concerned he just hangs back and doesn't DO other stuff.

Like, he wants so much to be on a baseball team and gets pumped and excited. Then at practice he kicks the dirt and stares at the coach like he just sprouted three heads. I suggested a short baseball camp this year and he got upset and started crying because he didn't want to. However, next year the boys are more competitive, and he will not be happy with himself if he falls behind. It was a daycamp for 3 hrs a day... he wouldn't tell me why he didn't want to.. he just grumbled and complained.

Then I let him play with his new legos most of the day (bought with his own money) and when he wanted to switch tasks, I told him he had to practice choir and instrument first and he threw another cry-baby whining session again.

This goes on for EVERYTHING. He is ho-hum about everything in his life. He stands and watches life go by, really.

He can hit a ball pretty good, and now he swings the bat REALLY slowly making very little effort. However, when I suggested maybe he just didn't want to be in baseball he fell to pieces in tears again. He won't really talk to me about it either... he just nods his head and say, "ok, yes maam, ok..." in that generic, quick way that means he's not really listening. oh, he's almost 9.

by on May. 10, 2013 at 7:02 PM
Replies (11-20):
celticdragon77
by on May. 10, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Why? 

Quoting KrissyKC:

LOL!!!   DH is getting tired of his not practicing for the things he's involved in and giving me lip over it and whining...   He mentioned not letting him participate in anything first semester next year and let him watch his sisters involved in stuff.   Then, if he wants to be involved after that, he can come to us and discuss the expectations.



Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... - Emerson  

Warning: This iPad enjoys auto correcting into jibberish. I have three kids 17, 10.5 and 9 yrs old. This mama works, homeschools, and explores life + varied interests. 

mem82
by Platinum Member on May. 10, 2013 at 8:50 PM

I don't know about their son, but sometimes my son has to appreciate what he HAD before he appreciates what he HAS.

Quoting celticdragon77:

Why? 

Quoting KrissyKC:

LOL!!!   DH is getting tired of his not practicing for the things he's involved in and giving me lip over it and whining...   He mentioned not letting him participate in anything first semester next year and let him watch his sisters involved in stuff.   Then, if he wants to be involved after that, he can come to us and discuss the expectations.




celticdragon77
by on May. 10, 2013 at 9:02 PM

But this child is at least trying. He goes, he does it. Yes, he might grumble about it - he'll, I grumble about things sometimes - like doing the dishes. But, I STILL do it. Which is much more important. I would rather focus on the negative lazy energy he seems to be displaying. Also, as for to talking to you - I would start having one on one time with him. Maybe it will be awkward and he won't talk much at first. Maybe you will have to start by sharing your thoughts and feelings. Don't lecture. Just talk. I'm a dork tho, and joke around and talk with my kids a lot. I would probably tell my kid they don't seem excited about baseball and so the entire family was going to start showing up super excited and rooting for him. All wear red or something (my sons favorite color) to show support for him. I would have our family get together every Saturday and play some baseball and have fun with it. I would be showing the positive energy as an example. I would be trying to pump things up. If it still fell flat, I would then question his interest in that particular area - and try to find something else. But I wouldn't make him feel punished. I would fear that it would push him further within himself.

Quoting mem82:

I don't know about their son, but sometimes my son has to appreciate what he HAD before he appreciates what he HAS.

Quoting celticdragon77:

Why? 

Quoting KrissyKC:

LOL!!!   DH is getting tired of his not practicing for the things he's involved in and giving me lip over it and whining...   He mentioned not letting him participate in anything first semester next year and let him watch his sisters involved in stuff.   Then, if he wants to be involved after that, he can come to us and discuss the expectations.





mem82
by Platinum Member on May. 10, 2013 at 9:15 PM

*shrug* I don't know. That doesn't work for my son. Honestly, it probably wouldn't work on me, either. lol If my family had decided to show support like that, I would have refused to get out of the car. XD Different strokes for different temperaments  folks.  Going isn't really trying. Half heartedly swinging isn't really trying and not trying your hardest when you are part of a team is wrong. You are letting down other people. He has to understand that.

Quoting celticdragon77:

But this child is at least trying. He goes, he does it. Yes, he might grumble about it - he'll, I grumble about things sometimes - like doing the dishes. But, I STILL do it. Which is much more important. I would rather focus on the negative lazy energy he seems to be displaying. Also, as for to talking to you - I would start having one on one time with him. Maybe it will be awkward and he won't talk much at first. Maybe you will have to start by sharing your thoughts and feelings. Don't lecture. Just talk. I'm a dork tho, and joke around and talk with my kids a lot. I would probably tell my kid they don't seem excited about baseball and so the entire family was going to start showing up super excited and rooting for him. All wear red or something (my sons favorite color) to show support for him. I would have our family get together every Saturday and play some baseball and have fun with it. I would be showing the positive energy as an example. I would be trying to pump things up. If it still fell flat, I would then question his interest in that particular area - and try to find something else. But I wouldn't make him feel punished. I would fear that it would push him further within himself.

Quoting mem82:

I don't know about their son, but sometimes my son has to appreciate what he HAD before he appreciates what he HAS.

Quoting celticdragon77:

Why? 

Quoting KrissyKC:

LOL!!!   DH is getting tired of his not practicing for the things he's involved in and giving me lip over it and whining...   He mentioned not letting him participate in anything first semester next year and let him watch his sisters involved in stuff.   Then, if he wants to be involved after that, he can come to us and discuss the expectations.






Joann.HS
by on May. 10, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Not intended to ruffle feathers, but maybe relax a little on him. Maybe he feels like he has zero control on anything in his life and he is acting out-in his own little unique ho hum way.
Go outside as a family and practice baseball. Encourage him. Kids pick up on the quit whining thing, swing this way, do this do that. It would make me not want to do anything either.
celticdragon77
by on May. 11, 2013 at 6:16 AM

Somehow while reading through a long list of research reports regarding reading, I came across this link regarding "planned ignoring".

http://cecp.air.org/familybriefs/docs/PlannedIgnoring.pdf

On page three, it has an example of a similar situation you are dealing with. The child has a task they need to do and were asked to complete. The child does it, but with a negative attitude. The suggest that the parent ignore the negative trait and point out the positive one. Praise the child for being responsible in completing the task despite not having the desire to do so. 

celticdragon77
by on May. 11, 2013 at 6:22 AM

My 9yr old daughter was snuggled up with me last night as I read this post and without me knowing it she read it too. She blurted out that she knew the problem with the boy because you had already mentioned what it was - your child is doing what "he HAS to do and nothing more". 

I sincerely understand the importance of developing good habits and character skills. However, I also know that children need the freedoms to explore and figure out who they are, what they love... 

Every child is different and you know the complexity of your child better than anyone else. However, if what you have been doing isn't working, then it seems only wise to sit back down with the problem and try to resolve it from another angle. 

jen2150
by Silver Member on May. 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM

I think for some kids this problem is quite common.  I would look for ways to help him.  Teach him to communicate over complaining.  Help him to learn to communicate his feelings.  I keep reminding my kids not to complain and just communicate.  If something is wrong then just tell me and maybe I can help.  Every month we also work on a new lifeskill.  This month is courage.  Karate class that we take together has really helped a heap loads.  Maybe give him some vitamins and see if that helps.  Spend some quality one on one time together if you can.  

Joann.HS
by on May. 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM
2 moms liked this
This isn't necessarily just for KrissyKC, but all parents who have children in sports. I'm sharing because it was a lightbulb moment for me....I wish I were able to locate the article. But the main idea was that kids really want to hear I loved watching you play today. They don't want to go into details of their performance and the technicalities, but just a simple I loved watching you play, now what should we have for dinner. I have two in organized sports, and I make it a point to say this each and every time. Even when I want to say oh man why did you miss that ground ball or your swing wasn't what it could have been etc...I bite my tongue. I also make it a point to take them outside and "show" them the fun of a sport and how we can become better with practice!
Hopefully I can find the article to post.
KickButtMama
by Shannon on May. 12, 2013 at 9:13 AM
2 moms liked this

I completely agree with this! It took me a long while, but I realized my son had a ho-hum attitude as a defense mechanism. Like, he didn't want to act excited or push himself if he thought the result would always be criticism of what every one thought he should have done to be better. Like he had fun, but once we were in the car dad would say, "u know if you had done this then you would have gotten to first base" so he wouldn't push himself. It was all a part his perfectionism. He wants to be awesome at everything. So he'll hide his excitement and sometimes seem like he isn't trying. 

This is why he would react with tears when he was criticized. To him it was the same as us saying, "see, you sucked." 

So we made a conscious decision to do positive reinforcement. 

Quoting Joann.HS:

This isn't necessarily just for KrissyKC, but all parents who have children in sports. I'm sharing because it was a lightbulb moment for me....I wish I were able to locate the article. But the main idea was that kids really want to hear I loved watching you play today. They don't want to go into details of their performance and the technicalities, but just a simple I loved watching you play, now what should we have for dinner. I have two in organized sports, and I make it a point to say this each and every time. Even when I want to say oh man why did you miss that ground ball or your swing wasn't what it could have been etc...I bite my tongue. I also make it a point to take them outside and "show" them the fun of a sport and how we can become better with practice!
Hopefully I can find the article to post.


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