20 answers

How Do I Get My Six Year Old to Stop Complaining?

My youngest son complains about everything! The poor kid will have an ulcer before he turns 7 if he keeps this up. Both my boys are in the care of a wonderful sitter and they have a great time with their friends. If I ask my oldest how his day was, he will typically tell me truthfully but if you ask the little one how his day was, he will tell you it was awful even though everyone knows he had fun. If we are going to a restaurant he does not like, he complains. If we are going grocery shopping, he complains. He complains when we go to church or to the mall. He would rather spend his time playing video games and I'm sorry but that is not going to happen! We take him places he likes and do things he wants to do but he still finds something wrong with it. Any ideas on how to get him to relax and go with the flow???

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone who responded! So many great ideas on how to get him to loosen up so thank you. I am really trying to watch what I say when I am talking around him, to make sure he is not picking up this complainer habit from me but I am happy go lucky to the point of annoying so that wasn't it! Now that I am finished with grad school, I can spend more time with him which seems to be helping. Actually, since I have stopped school, he has made quite the turn around so it is possible that me being in school was the reason for his sourpuss attitude. He still does not like going to church or grocery shopping but that does not bother me as much as him having fun, seeing him have fun and then hearing him say he did not have a good time. So we are getting somewhere! Thank you everyone!!

Featured Answers

I would read the book "the Optimistic Child" by seligman. He clearly has learnt a pessimistic explanatory style and this can predispose a child to depression. This book can teach you some tools within cognitive behavioral therapy to help him develop a more positive explanatory style. This will serve him well in the long run. Oak Park library has the book. Good Luck.

2 moms found this helpful

It's just a phase. My 7 yr old is the same way, except he's now incorportated crying about everything into the mix. I talked to some other moms of boys his age and they all said their son's were doing the same thing. Just ignore it and it shall pass.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

take the toy away,a.s.a.p. It's already done enough damage to your child. GOD gave us too much to be joyful about; the sun, water, sky, picnics, swing sets, chalk, bubbles, bicycles, roller skates, etc. Tell him that until he learns the beauty of church, giving, sharing etc, the toy never comes back. Be firm, you don't want the little guy turning into a braindead machine of a man that never learned how to really care about the important things in life.

2 moms found this helpful

It is a phase. He could just be seeking your attention - the conversation has to be longer if he had a "really bad time!" To a point - I would just ignore it - and there's a point that I turn to my kids and say "You need to be done!" I learned to change how I asked the question, and if they REALLY had a bad day, I do listen. When the kids go someplace, I generally ask "what were the three best things that happened today?" Typically when I have both my kids in a store, I give them tasks so that the store shopping isn't so boring for them - while still instilling in them that it is necessary to do for the family. Do you or your husband complain a lot? Take a look at that too. I never realized it but, both mom and mother-in-law had a tendency to ask questions in a negative way (like..."Did that mean girl come to the party?"...."That must have been so boring going to a party where you only know a few people!"..."So, I guess your not coming over today, right") and I fight my attitude so I don't do that - I don't want to be that person for my kids. Good luck to you and hopefully his attitude is short-lived!

2 moms found this helpful

I would read the book "the Optimistic Child" by seligman. He clearly has learnt a pessimistic explanatory style and this can predispose a child to depression. This book can teach you some tools within cognitive behavioral therapy to help him develop a more positive explanatory style. This will serve him well in the long run. Oak Park library has the book. Good Luck.

2 moms found this helpful

It's just a phase. My 7 yr old is the same way, except he's now incorportated crying about everything into the mix. I talked to some other moms of boys his age and they all said their son's were doing the same thing. Just ignore it and it shall pass.

1 mom found this helpful

Find the proverb in the Bible about complaining and read it to him. He may not understand now, but it won't hurt. Try doing the same yourself and notice if he reacts to you or does he chime in. "I hate this restaurant too, it's so boring!" If he reacts, that's a pretty good sign that he is using his complaining to manipulate you and to prove the point "All I want to do is play video games". If he doesn't, then he truly has a meloncholy temperament. Do some reading on temperament. Today's baby culture does not talk it up that much, but ancient wisdom knew that there were different personality types or temperaments and anybody who has cared for more than one child knows that babies are born with a temperament. Either way, in a calm, non-judgmental adult manner respond to his complaints by saying, "Yes, to some this restaurant is boring, but others notice the bright colors, or soft seats, or pictures." Don't compare him to his brother. Expose him to many things like in the library until you find one in which he shows interest and then take him to a place like that where he can see it in person, or get more books about it , or sign him up for a class in it, all depending upon what it is. Is he discouraged about being a younger brother? Does his older brother pick on him? Boys love to fantasize about being big and strong and here is this older brother in his face the proof that he's not big and strong. Whatever you do, do something different than you have been, because that is not working.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm so glad that you asked this question and to hear that I am not alone. My 5-year old has been doing this for a long time now and I have tried everything...that is, except to ask my Mamasource friends. Go you!

I will be waiting to see the responses.
N.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,
My dear, welcome to the world of "it's all about me"! Video games rob our children of the social skills needed to cope with everyday life! It's like being in another world, where you only focus on the excitement of the moment. There is nothing else like it, in the everchanging world of real life! IN real life, we have to talk, communicate, learn, love, and respond with our hearts. None of this is required from the "game world". This is where parental advisory comes in. As the parents, there needs to be a limit, no it's not too late,but it will be difficult b/c he has already developed the anti-social attitude. If both parents stand together, you can help your child go back to being a normal person. Ask God, and others in your church to pray for what you about to encounter. It will be ugly, at first, b/c he sounds like a strong-willed kid! This is a good character trait, if directed in a positive way. You will literally,be saving your son's life from a world of selfishness, self centeredness, and ultimately loneliness, with no real-life deep friendships! God has equipped parents(with His help) to instruct our children in the best way (Biblical way), for living a life to it's fullest capacity. He has prepared us us for angle, life throws at us. I've raised 4 kids,2 without God's direction(young age), and 2 with God's direction(mature age), and there was a distinct difference in their struggles with life's encounters, as 2 were equipped and 2 were not equipped!(makes for a hard life) I know you want the best for your children, so the writing is on the wall, it's time to fight for your son's life, he is worth it!
God bless you as you mature with him! Your'e in my prayers....J. F.
P.S. By the way, the complaining comes from having a negative spirit and being ungrateful.Pray with him, and let him hear you being thankful for him and others!

1 mom found this helpful

It must be something about that age. We have a lot of "this is the worst day ever" from my six year old. We are working on helping her focus on her blessings. Usually I will bring up a few fun things she got to do that day. It's taken a while, but she does seem to be catching on.

We have family prayer in the evening and recently I've noticed her thanking God for a few more of the things she got to do.

It's not a complete recovery, she still complains, but it's better and we're still working on it.

1 mom found this helpful

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