April 24, 2008,
S.B. asks from Orlando, FL on April 20, 2008
10 Year Old Son, Still Cries a LOT
My 10 year old cries EVERY time we have a discussion and he's on the "hot seat". My son plays basketball, football and soccer and is quite the jock. I have seen him get hit in the face with a basketball, eat dirt on the field and get punched in the face by another kid during a game and he didn't even blink. The problem is anytime he get in trouble he cries, he cries when I question him about cleaning his room, talking is class (he get really good grades but he like to talk...a lot) not completing his chores, or making poor choices. I get extreemly frustrated by this behavior. I can never finish the conversation because I've lost him to tears and I'm about to lose my temper (I haven't yet...but I feel it). I've tried talking calmly but it does not work. If I try to give him corrective criticism on the field...he totally looses his drive and he pouted for the rest of the game(it happened on Saturday).
He is my son, I just can't not say anything. Am I expecting too much? Are my expectations of him too great at this age? What do I do if anything?
So What Happened?™
I know that it has been many months but, I wanted to make sure that it was working!! I sat my son down and basically told him that I was over all of the crying and we needed a better way of communicating. We now spend more time one on one. We walk the dog together every morning...just me and him...our time. Also...FOOTBALL...FOOTBALL...FOOTBALL... tackle football. My husband is now coaching his team and they both loves it. He is no longer lost between his 2 sisters. We decided to focus on only 2 sports...football and basketball (he has way too much energy and he needs a competitive outlet). I could not tell you the last time he has cried (because he got in trouble or had to do something he didn't want to do). He is still doing AWESOME in school and I could not be prouder of the young man he has becoming.
Thank you MOM's for all of your help and best wishes!!
V.W. answers from Jacksonville on April 21, 2008
I am no pschyologist, but it occurs to me that your son is feeling a lot of pressure to perform. He cries when you correct him.. you... not the coach, not the teacher, not when his face hits the dirt. When you correct him. Is it possible that he is overburdened with high expectations? My son is a perfectionist, and if he receives "suggestions" from me it doesn't help him at all.. what he gets from that is that he isn't good enough.... I have to be VERY VERY careful how I help him with things. You mentioned basketball, baseball, football and soccer. Come on Mom... he's 10. High school kids have a difficult time juggling the pressures of back to back sports and school. He's 10. Maybe he should cut back on some of these scheduled organized sports? He can just as easily get good exercise and learn the game/some skills playing in the backyard (or the local rec field) with Dad and/or a few friends on the weekend or after school.. when it is just FUN and no pressure. Have him pick one or two that HE really really enjoys (not one that DAD wants him to play)... and then relax! He probably just needs down time... It may be correct (the poster who said he has learned to "play" you) that he is using the crying to manipulate you, but it might also be that you are the only one he can "let it all go" with... Remember when he was in K4 or K5 and you'd pick him up from school? My son would fall to pieces (or get really angry and short-tempered) about nothing... but he didn't feel like he could do that while at school... it was SAFE to do it with me. He is under pressure/stress and is letting it out when he cries (don't you and I still do that sometimes??) Just remember, he is 10. Sometimes 10 seems so grown up, (my son turns 10 in 2 months, so I know), but sometimes he still has moments of being a LITTLE kid... he gets scared, he has scary dreams, he wants Mom & Dad to sit with him and just BE there... (he'd never SAY that though)... So, talk with your husband about it, then ask your son what one or two sports he REALLY REALLY likes and wants to keep doing, and the rest are out... at least for this season... you're going to let him have some "down time" this year so he isn't ALWAYS on the go... You can always switch sports the next year if he really misses one.. And in a couple of years, if he feels up to it, he can try more than those one or two... But give him some FREE time...
My son only does one sport at this time, but it is year round (karate). And sometimes he really, really just wants to stay home and play in the yard... to walk around and waste time... to not have to pack up his gear and GO somewhere again. Kids need that sometimes too...
1 mom found this helpful
C.B. answers from Orlando on April 21, 2008
Have you ever read the Five love languages for kids? or personality plus? this may help big time...i have five kids and each one are different as to how to correct or discipline..one of mine is WORDS of Affirmation...so I have to make sure I am careful BIG TIME with my words...or it hurts deeper than anything! I'd grab these two reads and get a better understanding of his love language and then utilize it for correction...you'll see a huge change....as to how to realate to him and what he needs. fill his love tank with what he needs and discipline him based on his love language..how he receives it..and you'll do much better. i had to make several changes for all of them...but still get the point across!
hope that helps...it did for me..and i have four boys.
B.H. answers from Los Angeles on April 21, 2008
My 12 year old cries too. I acknowledge her need to be heard and then I continue on.
She is very sensitive to feelings, pain she handles very well. I was the exact same way.
You will know if he is doing it to manipulate you or if it is for real. Let him have his feelings. A real man can cry. Most woman will appreciate that when he is older.
Allow hime to grow and be safe in knowing that you are his safe zone. You will love him and honour him, AND you will keep him in line, because that is what good parents do.
P.G. answers from Orlando on April 21, 2008
It seems that your son doesn't like to disappoint you. When he does, he becomes upset and cries. This does not mean you stop correcting him, but I would correct him very succinctly: no lectures or rubbing it in his face. Just tell him what he did wrong and tell him what you expect next time and leave it at that.
I suggest you validate his feelings because it's obvious that he is having a difficult time managing his disappointment, but he needs to learn to do it. I also suggest that you speak to him about his feelings when he's not emotionally distraught and help him process what's going on. You can say something like: "honey, I know it makes you feel bad when you diappoint me (or make a mistake--whatever it is), but I want you to know that I don't expect you to be perfect. I still love you". Nobody likes to feel criticized, but it's important to be able to accept feedback from the people we love. It seems that you need to help your son learn to do this better.
B.L. answers from Jacksonville on April 21, 2008
I completely agree with Pam G. Your son probably cries when it comes to you bc you are the most important thing in his life, and he doesn't want to disappoint you. Also, maybe that is just his personality. I cry at EVERYthing...and I hate it! I cry when I'm mad, when I'm sad, when I am disappointed, when I am embarrassed, etc. And it made it worse when everyone would tease me about it...now at 26, I am finally used to it! And now that I have my own child, who is 2, he does the same exact thing, and I am always telling people not to tease him about it. So I would just try to get used to it, and try to use gentler (spelling?!?) words with him...don't get me wrong, I am in no way saying let things slide for him, or let him get away with being bad or anything like that. I would just try to take a different approach with him...hope this makes sense. good luck! :)
S.D. answers from Orlando on April 24, 2008
It sounds like he may be manipulating you with the tears. He is knows that you will not pursue a topic if he starts to cry. Sometime tough love helps in this situation. My son used to do the same thing. A little peer pressure sometimes helps. My husband and I advised our son that the other kids will think he is a baby and will pick on him if they see him crying. You don't want to allow the behavior to continue or other kids may target him as someone that is easy to tease and bully. Give it a try. :)
P.E. answers from Panama City on April 21, 2008
So let him cry. He has you trained (if mom is mad, start crying she'll shut up) Keep talking even if he's crying wait til his friends find out about his crying.