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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Is your child hard on themself?

Posted by on Mar. 7, 2014 at 9:12 PM
  • 26 Replies

 My 7 year old is a fantastic artist, IMO.  Both of his grandmothers were art majors so he has a good gene for it.  The creative/artistic qualities totally skipped me so I'm always even more impressed when I see my baby drawing 10 times better than I ever will, LOL!!!

The problem is that he will come down really hard on himself if something doesn't turn out as he expected.  I remember when he was like 5-5 1/2 and was sitting down and drawing one of his police trucks freehand while referencing the truck in front of him.  He was 90% done and it was INCREDIBLE!  He drew one of the windows the wrong shape (meaning he made a straight line where there should be a diagonal line or vice versa) and he just cried and cried at how he screwed it up.  It was heartbreaking because this thing was really amazing but all he could focus on was the 1 small mistake.

Apparently today in class they did a directive draw of The Cat in the Hat and his teacher found that he had written "this sucks a lot!  this is my worst project ever" on the back of the paper.  1) the language was inappropriate but 2) she says the drawing is actually quite cute and the point was for each drawing to be unique, etc.  She stressed the points we always do "all that matters is you try your best" and "some things just take more practice.  this is your first time _____ so appreciate how well you did this first time!" 

Academically, we have never had any frustration issues.  These occurrences are rare but only happen around art projects and it just makes me sad that he's so hard on himself.

Is your child hard on themself in some area?  How do you react to their frustration?  Is there anything you have found to give them some perspective?  If they were hard on themselves at a younger age, has it gotten better with age? 

Any advice is welcome!

by on Mar. 7, 2014 at 9:12 PM
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Replies (1-10):
steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 9:18 PM

 My oldest child is very, VERY critical of himself.  In fact, he tries to be absolutely perfect in everything that he does.  It stems from his anxiety and luckily he has found ways to cope through therapy.  He used to have major melt downs if he got just one question wrong on a test.  A "B" on something would have been the end of him. 

He didn't walk until over 18 months and he never fell once.  He walked and ran unassisted within a span of two minutes.  Same with riding a bike, he didn't do it until he could do it perfectly. 

He still gets frustrated when he isn't perfect, but he will now try new things and not have a melt down if he doesn't succeed at first.

thatgirl70
by Bronze Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Yes, but right now I'm having trouble putting thoughts together, so I'll have to explain later. Bumping for you for now.

Edit: Sorry, my son was being rather noisy earlier and it was distracting. 

He can be very hard on himself, sometimes with him wanting things to be right. For example if he tries to draw something and it doesn't come out the way he meant it, he gets upset. And I'm there reassuring him that it's ok and that he's doing fine. I mean, a few months ago all he could do is scribble--at the age of 6! Now he can actually color in lines (not perfectly, but alot better than he could), he draws pictures (again, not perfectly, but he gives them such detail).

If he gets in trouble at school, he is his own worst enemy in a way, because he knows he did wrong, but he's frustrated because he has a hard time controlling himself (he has ADHD/dyspraxia). He wants to do better, he tries to do better.

And then there are situations where something happens that is completely beyond his control and he blames himself. One time, DH promised to play the Wii with him but ended up blowing him off. It wasn't really intentional, DH picked a bad time (for him) to make a promise, but that ate our boy up so much. He cried his heart out, slapped his head repeatedly and blamed himself because daddy couldn't play with him like he said he would. He kept saying to himself "It's my fault! It's my fault! I'm so stupid!" I was furious with DH, because there was no way our son should have blamed himself for that, it wasn't his fault. Don't get me wrong, DH is a great dad and he spends a lot of time playing with him, but this was during a time when he was away working a lot and he was only home once or twice a week or every other week, so it was like, this was really not a good time to be screwing off. His boy missed him and he wanted the companionship. Just broke my heart. Thankfully, that is about the only time DH has screwed up like that, because he always makes time for him, especially now.

That's about it in a nutshell, or what I can think of.

Andrewsmom70
by Gold Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 9:51 PM

I'm not sure about your child, but my son is 8 and gets frustrated very easily. Part of his stems from being gifted/talented. It's one if the characteristics of g/t kids. I always remind him that things don't have to be perfect. Mess ups are ok and we can learn from our mistakes. He's getting better but he's still very hard on himself and it hurts my heart that he gets so frustrated. Just keep praising the good things and remind him that failure is a great teacher.

mommy053008
by Maria on Mar. 7, 2014 at 10:03 PM
Sounds normal for that age. My daughter is 5 and gets so angry with herself sometimes
Luvmy2babies22
by Bronze Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:14 PM
He has not officially been tested as gifted but he is very bright. He's extremely well rounded and has never tried anything that he hasn't been pretty darn good at. He picks things up very quickly and, in general, things just come very easily to him. He has been known to hide a skill until he's figured it out (reading was one) but this is the only area where I see this level of frustration. I just wish I knew what to say to get him to take these things less seriously.

Quoting Andrewsmom70:

I'm not sure about your child, but my son is 8 and gets frustrated very easily. Part of his stems from being gifted/talented. It's one if the characteristics of g/t kids. I always remind him that things don't have to be perfect. Mess ups are ok and we can learn from our mistakes. He's getting better but he's still very hard on himself and it hurts my heart that he gets so frustrated. Just keep praising the good things and remind him that failure is a great teacher.

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Andrewsmom70
by Gold Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 11:16 PM

Unfortunately, I don't think there is anything you can really do. Some kids are just that way. Over time it will probably mellow out but possibly not. 

Quoting Luvmy2babies22: He has not officially been tested as gifted but he is very bright. He's extremely well rounded and has never tried anything that he hasn't been pretty darn good at. He picks things up very quickly and, in general, things just come very easily to him. He has been known to hide a skill until he's figured it out (reading was one) but this is the only area where I see this level of frustration. I just wish I knew what to say to get him to take these things less seriously.
Quoting Andrewsmom70:

I'm not sure about your child, but my son is 8 and gets frustrated very easily. Part of his stems from being gifted/talented. It's one if the characteristics of g/t kids. I always remind him that things don't have to be perfect. Mess ups are ok and we can learn from our mistakes. He's getting better but he's still very hard on himself and it hurts my heart that he gets so frustrated. Just keep praising the good things and remind him that failure is a great teacher.


Luvmy2babies22
by Bronze Member on Mar. 8, 2014 at 11:31 AM
Thanks for the feature!
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Barabell
by Barbara on Mar. 8, 2014 at 11:56 AM
1 mom liked this

My son can be really hard on himself. I just try to point out that no one gets things right the first time. We all make mistakes, but mistakes are all things we can learn from. We all need to practice things to improve.

When I make mistakes, sometimes I will point them out to him so that he knows it's normal for everyone to make them.

wakymom
by Ruby Member on Mar. 8, 2014 at 12:06 PM

 Dd is the one who is hardest on herself out of my 3 kids. All 3 of them have been hard on themselves at times, but she does it more often. She's also in the high ability class, so I'm not surprised. I reminder that things don't have to be perfect, that she'll get better w/ practice, tell her I had to practice a lot if she says "I'll never be as good as you" about something, and point out when I make a mistake so she sees it's ok.

 

 

 

Barabell
by Barbara on Mar. 8, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Sometimes I think it's the high ability that drives the want for perfection. I think a lot of things normally come easy to my son, so when he struggles he doesn't handle it as well. Do you see that with your daughter as well?

Quoting wakymom:

 Dd is the one who is hardest on herself out of my 3 kids. All 3 of them have been hard on themselves at times, but she does it more often. She's also in the high ability class, so I'm not surprised. I reminder that things don't have to be perfect, that she'll get better w/ practice, tell her I had to practice a lot if she says "I'll never be as good as you" about something, and point out when I make a mistake so she sees it's ok.


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