15 answers

11 Yr Old Boys Feelings Easily Hurt

I have an 11 yr old son whose feelings are very easily hurt. He is very hard on himself in that he wants to do everything right. I have always tried to teach him that he can't win at everything and that it is perfectly OK. I have pointed out my own mistakes to try to teach him that it is ok to make mistakes. I would like to know how to teach him to have tougher skin. His feelings are very easily hurt when a teacher critiques his homework, another child calls him a name, if I show him how to do something differently, etc. I have also talked with his karate instructor about this too. Does anyone have any ideas how to toughen him up? I know a lot of it stems from the fact that I am divorced and he doesn't have a real close relationship with his dad. Of course, he was babied way too much because of the divorce...but hindsight is 20/20. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My 3 year old is like that and I recently found a book called "The Highly Sensitive Child" that has been very insightful. Might be helpful to you, too.
Good luck!
M. Conran
www.nomommybrain.com

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

This is a great article that I just read in Reader's Digest. 7 Things Not To Say To Your Kids http://www.rd.com/living-healthy/words-to-inspire/article...

I never thought that saying something like "you're the best' could be translated in his mind as 'you're job in life is to make me happy' instead of saying 'you should be proud of how hard you worked". This is a good article and one that I think parents, teachers, older siblings, etc should read in order to not send the wrong message to our kids.

I also have a sensitive 10yods that no matter how I may say something, it comes out sound ing wrong to him. I am working on changing how I say things as well, but also seeking some counseling for him as I think there is more to it than just a sensitive child, but that's another post.

Read that article & see if it doesn't give you some help.

2 moms found this helpful

The article that Debi suggested was good and this part seemed to apply in particular.

4. What you say: "Don't worry -- it'll be okay."
What they hear: "You're such a drama queen!"
A better way to say it: "I totally understand what you must have gone through. Tell me about it."

When a child comes home upset about being teased by classmates or not winning a medal at the swim meet, it's only natural for parents to downplay his disappointment and offer consolation. Adults know that such setbacks are minor.

"But kids need to learn how to express feelings, work through them and move on, as opposed to trying to make them go away without expression," says Panaccione. If children feel that they shouldn't have feelings or that their feelings are bad, they'll start to lock them inside and fail to adopt healthy coping strategies, she says.

On the other hand, kids shouldn't wallow in bad feelings. A question like "Why do you think this happened?" or "Do you have any ideas about what you can do to make it better?" may give them the nudge they need to deal with situations on their own. Says Mel Levine, MD, a professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: "A parent gives more comfort by listening than by talking. If you simply resonate with your child's mood, then you'll have a child who's always willing to come to you and bare her soul."
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Maybe he needs a counselor, priest, or adult friend to talk to. A good counselor can teach coping techniques and how to deal with the perfectionism tendency.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

You might check out John Rosemond. He is full of ideas that he has used himself. The book John Rosemond's Six Point Plan for Raising Happy Healthy Children is excellent. He has a weekly column as well, in newspapers and on www.rosemond.com. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My 3 year old is like that and I recently found a book called "The Highly Sensitive Child" that has been very insightful. Might be helpful to you, too.
Good luck!
M. Conran
www.nomommybrain.com

1 mom found this helpful

Oh Honey, Sounds just like my little girl. She's 10 and when I try to help her do something, she gets mad. Her feeling get hurt easily when she doesn't do everything right, and when I try to tell her she is not perfect and neither am I she starts to cry. She also thinks everything she does is right(like homework). I love that she wants to do it herself but when you try to help her and tell her the way she is doing it is not correct, she gets upset and cries. I talk to her a lot and she is just now understanding that you don't have to be right all the time. She was also very babied by me during the divorce and I know I have a lot to do with this. I've learned to just talk it through with her and guide her on the things. She has learned a lot in the past year and I see a change a little bit. I also catch her when she is about to cry and talk to her about it. Telling her that there is no need to cry about it, instead let's talk about it and see what we can do to make it better. We try to spend time together on things that she did make mistakes on and look at them. It's hard to change the mind frame of a child but working with her to show her what went wrong and telling her that no one is perfect has made a diffrence. As for the children calling her names, we are working on that too. Children at school call her a TomBoy becasue she doesn't like to wear short skirts like the other girls. I've told her that the chilren that make fun of you may have something bothering them and the only way they know how to express their hurts and feeling inside are to pick fun of someone else. We are still working on a lot and whatever I find that works, I will let you know.

1 mom found this helpful

Time will do a lot. In the meantime don't baby him. Set down rules and consequences, then stick to them. I also always let my sons know that life is not fair and it is a lesson that everyone must learn. I also taught my sons that God has a plan for thier lives and everything that they go through will help to prepare them for Gods plan for thier lives. In our family we always have ribbed each other. I think that has helped then to have tougher skins as well. We usually don't allow to much meaness but there is a certain amount of mean that goes along with the ribbing. The ribbing comes from aunts, uncles,cousins, grandparents along with parents and siblings. Something else that might help is if you can find a friend or mentor from your neighborhood, church or social circle that is willing to be a positive role model for him. Make sure that it is someone that you both are comfortable with. God Bless and Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello L., It broke my heart to read your advice request. I have two boys. Their ages are 16 and 18. Boys that have a sensative nature have a difficult time of it. My oldest has always had this type of personality. Helping him to develope thicker skin was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I really exsposed him to a variety of experiences and let the chips fall where they may. I've always kept an open wave of conversation with him about his feelings and how to deal with them. I have always encouraged him to re-evaluate any situation that causes him to feel hurt, or upset. Be careful, not to always take his side, yet always provide him with a safe place to rest. Enjoy him, he will be great in a few years!!

1 mom found this helpful

First, don't be so hard on yourself! My son is very similar and I am still married! First borns (mine) and only children are often this way... very hard on themselves. It will actually serve them well in the future as they tend to be very successful!

Keep on what you are doing and try to laugh at your own mistakes. Let him know it's okay to feel the way he does, but remind him of some previous issues he's had in the past and let him realize it isn't so bad anymore. Same will happen with what is going on today. No matter, it won't help! Type-A personalities (I'm one of them) will always hate to fail or not be perfect!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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