difficult child too critical of himself--a plan

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I've noticed several people here who have said their kids are extremely self critical, to the point of hitting themselves. We visited the child psychiatric today and everything went well as long as we talked about the progress we had made with-difficult child since our last visit. But then I brought up the topic of how rude he has been to me in the past cpl days, incl the time when we wake him up and he shouts, "Shut up!" in a mean voice.
    difficult child suddenly stopped talking, had a hurt, angry look on his face, and all but curled up in the chair.
    The child psychiatric noticed it and told difficult child a time that he had made a mistake and how he didn't like it when someone pointed it out, but he corrected it. husband did the same thing, and so did I. Still, no response.
    Child psychiatric then told us about a pt of his who hated to have anyting at all staining his clothes, not a dot of ketchup, etc. This kid literally smacked himself in the head and arms and caused himself pain, and repeated how stupid he was.
    So the child psychiatric set up a Mistake Training session, which is basically desensitization. The dad and son wore dirty, old shirts, cooked burgers on the grill, and piled way too much ketchup on the burgers. Then they ate them slouched in the chairs so the ketchup would go all over the place, inevitably staining difficult child's shirt. It was fun and funny and helped a lot. Sometimes you have to repeat this procedure to make sure difficult child "gets it." And you may have to repeat it in diff situations, since G'sfg can be so literal.
    I'm not sure how to desensitize our difficult child to criticism, per se, since he's definitely going to get it, but we will work on it. One example I can work on is that he hates art, because he knows I'm an artist and he feels like nothing he ever does will be good enough. I don't know where he got the idea he had to be a perfect artist, but you know how g'sfg are!
    I will set up a time for us to scribble on paper, and even rip it if necessary.

    Just thought I'd share that in case you found it helpful.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Wow, Terry that's really good.

    My easy child is the one who is extremely critical of herself. Over the years I've used humor as a way of defusing a situation.

    When she was in Jr. High she brought home her very first B grade on a paper. She was so devistated I thought she was going to have a break down over it. So as dramatically as I could, I moaned and carried on over the B, and then I rolled my eyes and hugged her and said," Silly ol' B." We both cracked up. And she felt tons better. Although she never got another til college.

    To this day she remembers that. And many others.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We fought many boughts of self loathing with our son. He would cut, hit, jab himself with sticks, etc... wehn he felt bad about something.

    We did notice a very very strange pattern. If nice things were said TO him about things he had done he could not believe them. Just couldn't. Felt we were lying (We didn't, we were/are painfully honest with him, somply because he handles that better) or making it up or exaggerating.

    BUT if we told someone else something nice he had done, or some good thing about him, he did believe more of this. It was as though he thought we would lie to HIM, but not to total strangers or grandparents or whomever.

    After I brought it up the tdox watched him/us. Including "running into us" at the fair, etc... (Did I mention I adore her, she is fabulous and wonderful!!) She saw it after we talked about it. It was confusing to her, because that typically is NOT the way kids/people react.

    We made a point to have phone conversations with people and to talk to others about good things about our difficult child. It did help.

    I love the messy burger idea. now if somehow I could get mine to think CLEAN was a good idea!!

    Having been the Room Mom nuts enough to go in and do art projects with the kids during parties or to give stressed teachers a break, I have a "Position Statement" on art and having to do it a "right way".

    Are ya ready???

    There are NO mistakes. There is only CUSTOMIZATION!

    Lots of the times we had kids stressing about making things perfect. With this, I found we avoided the stress, the meltdowns, and all the other stuff.

    Of course, it does not apply to laundry. But laundry is a chore, not an art.


  4. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    This is interesting and something to think on.

  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Terry, thank you for posting this!

    Tink will be doing her homework with me, either trying to read or tell me how many nickels are in 5 dimes, and if she does not get the answer with the first time, she punches herself in the head or grabs at handfuls of hair as though she is going to pull them out.

    Time for the Bad Kitty to get creative...
  6. I'm going crazy!!!

    I'm going crazy!!! New Member

    when my son was in prek and they were starting to write their names, letters, & numbers he would act like he didn't know how to hold a pencil and would always say he couldn't do it or he would ball up his paper

    the teacher and myself worked on this for months if he refused to do something at school she would send it home and i would try to get him to do it

    FINALLY one day we were sitting there and he was telling me how he couldn't do it and i was telling him he could atleast try he got so mad that he finally did it but he did it really sloppy and i just praised him and told him how i thought that was just perfect and that was exactly what we wanted him to do when we asked him to do classwork from then on, most days, he would be the first one finished

    but we go through this everytime he has to master a new skill isn't school gonna be fun

    my point is always emphasize and make it clear to the teacher that perfection is not needed if they try then to start that's enough i believe eventually they will improve on their on and maybe even be the best one out of the class
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    This a.m. difficult child was the best he's ever been in his life. He got out of bed with-one "good morning," got dressed, fed the dogs, took the dogs out, ate, and played video games. (He's only allowed 1 hr a day, if he's on a level 3, no video of TV on a level 1.)
    He was pleasant and speedy.
    I know I've read notes from all of you b4, saying you're wondering whose child this is, but I am really wondering! Actually, I'm wondering what he wants from me ...
  8. I'm going crazy!!!

    I'm going crazy!!! New Member

    when difficult child is having a good moment my husband is famous for saying "and then i went back to double check it was the right kid" lol