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At my wits' end with this issue.


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My younger son has an absolute meltdown when he hears any curse word, even darn or freakin. He gets upset when he hears other kids use the words, or if he hears it on a show, but he gets EXTREMELY upset when I use bad language, which is NOT often. Today was our first day of official school and it was a rough start--older was working on bucky balls before school and wouldn't stop, then burst into tears when his construction fell apart. By then it was 9:30. DH was in the school room getting the table level raised, and when I went to help him, coffee spilled all over the books and floor and new cushions. I lost my temper and used a bad word. Younger began crying, and it's been almost 45 minutes of sadness. Not screaming at me, just guilt-inducing, tears-rolling-down-the-face, silent crying. I don't think this is normal, to be honest. DH dislikes cursing, and has subtly sent the signal to younger that his feelings about cursing are not wrong, but I think this extreme sadness and judging by my younger is over the top. I have apologized, and told him that I do my best, but that sometimes I lose my temper and bad words come out. He knows I am trying my best. But he is very sensitive, and has this idea of the "perfect mother" (he has told me this) who is all smiles and lightness and sugar cookies and encourgement, with never a frown or flash of anger.

 

I have told him that even X (a mom he really likes and thinks is this perfect angel of kindness) loses her temper with her daughter. He just kept crying.

 

I feel such guilt over this, but over the last week, I am beginning to think he needs to understand better that nobody is perfect. He does tend to judge other people and kids who make mistakes, or who get angry at him (even when they say sorry afterwards). I have talked endlessly with him about the importance of forgiveness, about recognizing that everyone, including me, has flaws and makes mistakes.

 

So far it hasn't helped, and today was the worst :(

 

Please don't judge me here; my son is making me feel badly enough. Also, I will probably delete this.

 

What would you do in this situation with a highly sensitive, gifted 7 year old?

 

ETA: He just told me that when I get mad, he feels "weird" and like my anger is directed at him even when it's not. There ARE going to be times I lose my temper (and at him, too)--I will never be a completely placid, laid-back mom.

Edited by Halcyon
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Halcyon, I could SO see Zee doing this. Thankfully he hasn't, as I'm not a pefect mom, either. :001_smile: I don't curse, but I can raise my voice or lose my temper. I try not to, of course, but I slip sometimes.

 

He sounds like he might be either struggling with OCD or anxiety; I know Zee does struggle with both. Perhaps read some books?

 

:grouphug: to you, mama. I would totally feel awful if I were you, too. My boys have a way of making me feel guilty like no one else.

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:grouphug: No suggestions, but that's a tough situation. I wonder if it's a mother thing or just too high expectations.

 

 

Too high on his part? If that's what you mean, I concur. He has this image of the perfect mother, don't ask me where he got it, and I can't live up to it. I admit, I get angry sometimes, maybe once a week, and before I had kids I had a potty mouth. But I have curbed my potty mouth A LOT. But not enough for him. Even if it's an inadvertent "da*n" when someone cuts me off in traffic, he will give me the cold shoulder or "the look" for at least 15 minutes.

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Honestly, I'd talk to my dh and ask him to cool his rhetoric about the language.

 

My dh freaked ds out when he was little about tornado warnings. We were eating at the table and a tornado warning siren went off. Dh responded in his manner, which was very abrupt. It totally freaked out ds, who cried (I think he was about 5). Then ds would get upset about every siren.

 

We live in the midst of tornado alley. I'm sorry, you're not getting through the spring without a siren or two or five.

 

I was spitting mad at dh for instilling this fear in ds. It took him a few years and lots of discussion for him to get over it.

 

We are all fallible people. Even if you believe cursing is wrong, we all have our moments. It may be that he is realizing mom isn't superwoman and there is a fear of something else underlying it.

 

It could be something dh told him that makes him so upset.

 

 

 

I think apologizing is appropriate, to your son, but the crying isn't. I'm an overly sensitive person and at that age, any anger would upset me.

 

:grouphug: I'm sorry, no judgment here.

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Halcyon, I could SO see Zee doing this. Thankfully he hasn't, as I'm not a pefect mom, either. :001_smile: I don't curse, but I can raise my voice or lose my temper. I try not to, of course, but I slip sometimes.

 

He sounds like he might be either struggling with OCD or anxiety; I know Zee does struggle with both. Perhaps read some books?

 

:grouphug: to you, mama. I would totally feel awful if I were you, too. My boys have a way of making me feel guilty like no one else.

 

 

I do think he has anxiety. I have a panic disorder myself, and I can see similar signs in him. I will look for some books. Thank you.

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Too high on his part? If that's what you mean, I concur. He has this image of the perfect mother, don't ask me where he got it, and I can't live up to it. I admit, I get angry sometimes, maybe once a week, and before I had kids I had a potty mouth. But I have curbed my potty mouth A LOT. But not enough for him. Even if it's an inadvertent "da*n" when someone cuts me off in traffic, he will give me the cold shoulder or "the look" for at least 15 minutes.

 

Yes, I reread it and I didn't mean for it to sound like that! He has high expectations. I wonder if it's just you that he has high expectations of (that's what I meant to say).

 

I have a potty mouth (thanks to the military), I've definitely had to learn to curb it when my son started repeating me. But the occasional one will sneak out in frustration.

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We are all fallible people. Even if you believe cursing is wrong, we all have our moments. It may be that he is realizing mom isn't superwoman and there is a fear of something else underlying it.

 

:iagree: I think the son's behavior is way over the top and something else must be going on. If he has such high expectations of people, he's going to be a miserable person. No one will ever live up to very high expectations. Maybe Dad needs to step in and help with this problem as well.

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Honestly, I'd talk to my dh and ask him to cool his rhetoric about the language.

 

My dh freaked ds out when he was little about tornado warnings. We were eating at the table and a tornado warning siren went off. Dh responded in his manner, which was very abrupt. It totally freaked out ds, who cried (I think he was about 5). Then ds would get upset about every siren.

 

We live in the midst of tornado alley. I'm sorry, you're not getting through the spring without a siren or two or five.

 

I was spitting mad at dh for instilling this fear in ds. It took him a few years and lots of discussion for him to get over it.

 

We are all fallible people. Even if you believe cursing is wrong, we all have our moments. It may be that he is realizing mom isn't superwoman and there is a fear of something else underlying it.

 

It could be something dh told him that makes him so upset.

 

 

 

I think apologizing is appropriate, to your son, but the crying isn't. I'm an overly sensitive person and at that age, any anger would upset me.

 

:grouphug: I'm sorry, no judgment here.

 

 

Thank you. I have talked to DH but will talk again to him. He really has "approved" of DS's disapproval of cursing, by saying things like "Well, he's right!" when I protest that younger is too sensitive about it. He himself hates foul language. Look, I totally get it, but I am not in perfect control of myself and try as I might, the bad word slips out. And yes, sometimes does MORE than slip out. My older accepts that I get mad sometimes and doesn't take it personally. I apologize and he says "no biggie mom, we all get upset". Younger is just not like that at all.

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:grouphug: I think I am a bit like your son. If there is anger in the room, I feel it very strongly. I also get upset when someone uses bad language in the house and I feel it is directed at me. We don't curse so by bad language I mean a "shut up" or something along those lines. It might be anxiety issues. For me confrontation of any kind produces some level of anxiety. The other person might not even be aware that I felt the interaction as confrontational. All I can offer is :grouphug: to you and your son.

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:iagree: I think the son's behavior is way over the top and something else must be going on. If he has such high expectations of people, he's going to be a miserable person. No one will ever live up to very high expectations. Maybe Dad needs to step in and help with this problem as well.

 

 

This is my concern, 100%. I mean, crying silently, tears running down face, for an HOUR? Because I got upset about spilled coffee and used a bad word? This just seems ridiculous to me, and I am usually VERY understanding of his sensitive nature. He has VERY high expectations of people, you are right. And I continue to reiterate to him that nobody is perfect, everyone has flaws. We have talked about how Jesus loved all people, regardless of their flaws, he accepted them and didn't judge them, and this resonates with him.

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:grouphug: I think I am a bit like your son. If there is anger in the room, I feel it very strongly. I also get upset when someone uses bad language in the house and I feel it is directed at me. We don't curse so by bad language I mean a "shut up" or something along those lines. It might be anxiety issues. For me confrontation of any kind produces some level of anxiety. The other person might not even be aware that I felt the interaction as confrontational. All I can offer is :grouphug: to you and your son.

 

 

Do you think we should talk to a therapist about this? I think he's acting like you do--feeling the anger in the room very personally. What do you personally do about this? How do you control your sadness, worry and anxiety?

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Here's one book, the Highly Sensitive Child. I have the adult book. I've read most of it, don't agree with all of it, but it does discuss the highly sensitive nature of some people.

 

I also think at 7 the world is very black and white and they are just starting to see those shades of grey. It can be a tad scary. That may be part of how I'd address the situation with dh. He's an adult and can reason through the reactions of another person, at 7 that's not as easy.

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:iagree: I think the son's behavior is way over the top and something else must be going on. If he has such high expectations of people, he's going to be a miserable person. No one will ever live up to very high expectations. Maybe Dad needs to step in and help with this problem as well.

 

:iagree: I don't know about what to do but I think I would certainly talk to dh. Does your dh think reacting in such way to everything that bothers him is helpful in the least? I have a tendency to get upset too easily and am a sensitive person and it makes it difficult. I am no where near that degree though and I see it as something in myself that I need to work on because it makes life much more difficult to take things so personally.

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I agree with the suggestion to look at anxiety a bit. I would suggest checking your library for the book Freeing Your Child from Anxiety by Tamar Chansky as a good starting place.

 

Also, I'm wondering if you might try a little role play maybe with dolls or toys. Making up some ridiculous curses together might offer some amusement and take a little of the serious energy out of it for him. Just having the opportunity to practice being the Mom character perhaps uttering made up curses (Flaming Chickens! Bozzlegoobldey! or whatever nonsense you make up) might give him a feeling of a little more control. Also, I would talk seriously out side of the time when he's upset about his plan if he starts to feel stuck in being upset. He might make a list of things he can do to let a bad feeling go - maybe leave the room, 10 jumping jacks, get a drink of water, etc.

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Do you think we should talk to a therapist about this? I think he's acting like you do--feeling the anger in the room very personally. What do you personally do about this? How do you control your sadness, worry and anxiety?

 

I'm somewhat like this. Dh calls it overly dramatic. Last night dh was in a wicked bad mood. He was mad about life, not at anyone in particular. It has taken me years to not want to just avoid him completely at those times. Now I can be in a horrid mood and not be mad at any one person then get upset when they don't want to be around me. I'm working on that myself. But last night I let him be mad, but it was hard, I could feel it in the air (so to say). I made myself stay in the room and be nice.

 

I think part of it is like anxiety, we feel like WE did something wrong when someone is angry.

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I would ignore younger son when he acts that way. Pretend that you don't see or notice him acting that way. If he's notgetting the attention he will most likely stop, although it may take a few times. Of course you still apologize and talk about forgiveness and mistakes...

 

As a sensitive person myself I don't see that working, at all. For me to be totally ignored only makes it worse. I don't like being upset about things and it is not something I do for attention. I wish I could turn it off. As I said in my pp, I am not that sensitive but I certainly on the more sensitive side. I can reason with myself now and be logical and that helps but a 7 yo doesn't generally have that ability. I think it is important to address, although I don't know how. I wish my parents would have helped me with that in some way. It is a heavy burden.

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Here's one book, the Highly Sensitive Child. I have the adult book. I've read most of it, don't agree with all of it, but it does discuss the highly sensitive nature of some people.

 

I also think at 7 the world is very black and white and they are just starting to see those shades of grey. It can be a tad scary. That may be part of how I'd address the situation with dh. He's an adult and can reason through the reactions of another person, at 7 that's not as easy.

 

 

Thanks. I will take a look. The interesting thing is that my son is not shy. He's picky about his friends, prefers talkers, and definitely prefers girls over boys. He likes to be the center of attention, and has taken acting and dancing lessons.

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I'm somewhat like this. Dh calls it overly dramatic. Last night dh was in a wicked bad mood. He was mad about life, not at anyone in particular. It has taken me years to not want to just avoid him completely at those times. Now I can be in a horrid mood and not be mad at any one person then get upset when they don't want to be around me. I'm working on that myself. But last night I let him be mad, but it was hard, I could feel it in the air (so to say). I made myself stay in the room and be nice.

 

I think part of it is like anxiety, we feel like WE did something wrong when someone is angry.

I have a hard time ignoring it when dh is upset as well. Even when I know it is not at me. I feel it is personal and I always want to talk it out with him, while he needs solitude, I have to make myself be quiet!

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:grouphug:

 

My ds feels it personally when people don't live up to his expectations. He has a very strong moral core. In many ways, it's a good thing; he's honest and kind. It makes him a terrible liar. But it also has its drawbacks.

 

He's cut off friendships and fell to crying when others disappoint him. Multiple times a year we have conversations about accepting that people are flawed. We also talk about empathy: how would it feel if I reacted with tears everytime he did something wrong. What if I gave him the cold shoulder when he misbehaved? I think "walking in another's shoes" has helped him moderate his response; time and maturity has helped as well.

 

My dh also talks with ds. I agree that getting your dh on board might help your son's response.

 

:grouphug:

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Thanks. I will take a look. The interesting thing is that my son is not shy. He's picky about his friends, prefers talkers, and definitely prefers girls over boys. He likes to be the center of attention, and has taken acting and dancing lessons.

 

I'm not shy either and I can put myself out there in the middle way too much. Of course then I feel vulnerable. I am a talker myself and prefer other talkers as well and brutal honesty. I absolutely LOATHE trying to figure out what is going on with someone and playing games, so I don't pursue close friendships with people that cannot be out with how they're feeling and thinking etc. Emotionally it is too hard on me to be guessing and wondering and worrying all the time. I like people that are very real and out there.

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Do you think we should talk to a therapist about this? I think he's acting like you do--feeling the anger in the room very personally. What do you personally do about this? How do you control your sadness, worry and anxiety?

 

 

A therapist might help. I have struggled with anxiety over the years. Had to go on medication after working in an environment that was EXTREMELY confrontational and angry. Physically that environment put me over the edge. For the most part I am an avoider. I just try and find ways to avoid situations that make me uncomfortable. As an adult I am better at trying to directly deal with those situations but it is still hard and uncomfortable. I don't like anyone to be upset and definitely don't like them to be upset with me! Living in India I have had to grow a much thicker skin and I have had moments I am very proud of. Be patient with him. Help him address his anxiety issues. Good luck.

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Sorry to quote so much, I just feel like I REALLY know what you and your son are going through, because both Zee and my dh are like this.

 

My older accepts that I get mad sometimes and doesn't take it personally. I apologize and he says "no biggie mom, we all get upset". Younger is just not like that at all.

 

This sounds like classic anxiety to me. Honestly, sometimes when you have a close family member with anxiety, it can feel a bit controlling, you know?

 

This is my concern, 100%. I mean, crying silently, tears running down face, for an HOUR? Because I got upset about spilled coffee and used a bad word? This just seems ridiculous to me, and I am usually VERY understanding of his sensitive nature. He has VERY high expectations of people, you are right. And I continue to reiterate to him that nobody is perfect, everyone has flaws. We have talked about how Jesus loved all people, regardless of their flaws, he accepted them and didn't judge them, and this resonates with him.

 

Do you think we should talk to a therapist about this? I think he's acting like you do--feeling the anger in the room very personally. What do you personally do about this? How do you control your sadness, worry and anxiety?

 

Zee's anxiety got so bad last year that we did actually take him in for an initial consult with a therpist. It was just so bad at the time that I felt like I was at a loss of what else to do to help my poor boy with his burden. Turns out, all the talking through things that we were doing was basically what we'd be paying the therapist to do. And in fact, we never took him back after that first appointment, because some of the 'talking through' seemed to click for him, and the anxiety eased up quite a bit. Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't see a therapist; only you and your dh can decide that. I'm just saying that with reading books and talking things through with him, you might see a decrease in the anxiety eventually. But of course if it just becomes 'too much' (and our mama hearts do tell us when that is, don't they), a therapist could give you some new good ideas on how to help him.

 

 

I agree with the suggestion to look at anxiety a bit. I would suggest checking your library for the book Freeing Your Child from Anxiety by Tamar Chansky as a good starting place.

 

Tamar Chansky is who I read, too. Highly recommend those books; She (she, right?) also has an OCD book for kids if you think that'd be helpful.

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I have no idea what to say. This sounds really hard.

 

I do know that being able to separate one's self from the anger, reactions, behavior of others is an extremely valuable skill for a healthy life. I would feel worried for my child if s/he could not separate themselves from me or anyone else in that way. It isn't my kid's job to be responsible for my behavior or anyone else's. They can't fix me or solve the problem because it isn't theirs. And sometimes, we do things we have to do that we know will upset someone, and that thing is the best thing we could do in the situation.

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I have a couple of highly sensitive kids. They tend to internalize any anger as directed towards them even when it has nothing to do with them. My youngest would run off crying when her father even corrected her about something. I think it has a lot to do with perfection. My kids who are like this are perfectionists and have this idea that they need to be perfect. I really hammer in our religious viewpoint that no one is perfect and no one can be perfect and that the only way we can be perfect is to receive the gift of Christ's perfection. When I make mistakes I comment about how I am not perfect. When they make mistakes I comment that they are not perfect and I don't expect them to be perfect. I make sure my kids know that I love them the same whether they mess up or not.

 

Hugging and talking helps in those situations. Ignoring this situation just means it continues for a long time.

 

 

I'm a bit like this as well. I think time and maturity helps children see these situations differently. As parents I think we can help the process by talking through these situations. In other words, it can be seen as a good thing that your son was highly sensitive here. It gives you another chance to communicate about perfection and help change how your son responds to future incidents. It is a time for lots of love, lots of hugs, and lots of talking.

 

:grouphug:

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This is my concern, 100%. I mean, crying silently, tears running down face, for an HOUR? Because I got upset about spilled coffee and used a bad word? This just seems ridiculous to me, and I am usually VERY understanding of his sensitive nature. He has VERY high expectations of people, you are right. And I continue to reiterate to him that nobody is perfect, everyone has flaws. We have talked about how Jesus loved all people, regardless of their flaws, he accepted them and didn't judge them, and this resonates with him.

 

I agree with discussing this with your dh. My first instinct is to not give this emotional display any attention. Your ds is in effect putting you on a guilt-trip. I would have a real problem with that. I'd apologize for your error, but if he's not able to move on rather quickly, I'd ask him to cry in his room and to only return to the family when he can forgive.

 

Possibly as he get's older you should be LESS understanding of this type of sensitivity. That's not to say you need to be harsh, but quietly and with humor NOT focusing on or accomodating these things might be the way to go.

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Do you think we should talk to a therapist about this? I think he's acting like you do--feeling the anger in the room very personally. What do you personally do about this? How do you control your sadness, worry and anxiety?

I'd talk to a therapist. I'd be concerned about what happens when he realizes that no one can live up to his expectations. Anger? Depression? It can't be good. He needs someone to help him work through this.

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The excessive crying probably has something to do with the age. DD can cry for quite a while. DS is very sensitive, and very intense. He can sense the slightest mood change from me and start getting stressed. I have always had an ongoing reminder talk with him about how if I am upset with him in any way I will tell him, otherwise it is probably just mom having some stress and I can't find my happy face. He is MUCH slower to tears now at 8 than he was say1-2 years ago. If I am less than happy and he's around I can tell with his "look" that he wonders what is up. I will tell him it has nothing to do with him, and most of the time he ends up saying something silly and it helps LOL. Yesterday I was REALLY mad because I spent 2 hours assembling my new desk and ended up with two legs swapped. I was totally irritable and told him it wasn't his fault, etc etc. He asked "want me to call the garbage company and have them haul it away?" I think he has learned how to distract me :tongue_smilie:He does have some anxiety. We have never talked to a therapist. It is an option but I just don't feel it necessary here (for us). If you think it would help, then maybe it's worth a try.

 

If DH is around he will make sure to remind him mommy loves you and this has nothing to do with you, etc.

 

It's probably a good idea to have DH on your side rather than agreeing with your son.

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The hard thing for the perfectionism is not just your expectations of others but of yourself, which imo a much harder thing to deal with. I watch now that I try to limit time with people that are legalistic, perfectionist, etc. I think that is something to look at helping him with as well. I don't need much encouragement and I'm sensitive to that I do get as I often see it as proof I'm not doing it right or doing enough. There are pluses to being more sensitive to a point and I would say as well that I see the problems and limitations but part is just my personality and that isn't right or wrong. I would be careful in phrasing things in a way implying that he should be more like someone else or that the way he is as wrong. I think it more helpful to frame things in a way to help him navigate our world the best he can.

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:grouphug:

I don't have a child this age, but DH and I definitely can identify with these issues, having been pretty sensitive gifted kids ourselves.

 

Your DS might be too young or anxious for this to be helpful yet, but here's an idea to maybe curb the excessive tears. This was very helpful to a sensitive 11-year-old girl I taught:

 

Think of something that he would like to do/eat that he doesn't get to do often. Maybe Disneyland, eating Christmas dinner, birthday cake, pizza for a meal, etc. Discuss whether it would lose its fun/importance/specialness if he got to do/eat it every day. Maybe talk about something he was really excited about as a toddler that is now no big deal to him because he gets to do it a lot, like a later bedtime, riding a bike, etc. Point out that doing something a lot often makes it less valuable to you and cheapens its importance.

 

Very gently discuss important things in the world that it's worth getting upset/crying about. Maybe have him list things, so you're not drawing his attention to something depressing he hadn't already thought of. If he's gifted/sensitive, he's probably aware of plenty of actual bad things in the world. Talk about how the tears of a child/adult (not a baby crying for needs) are a special thing--they show a depth of emotion, care, concern, etc. that makes us uniquely human, made in God's image. Talk about how if you use up a lot of tears on little stuff like cursing, etc. you're giving your tears away so cheaply that you can miss the importance of the big stuff. If you cry over every issue, you are cheapening the value of your tears, like eating pizza for every meal or living at Disneyland--they're no longer special, just routine. Exhort him to save his tears for something important.

 

I was a major perfectionist like your son, but my frustration/tears were self-focused. I would not have cried over my mom messing up because I didn't have such high standards for her, but I sure shed a lot of tears over my own minor mistakes (mostly in private). I wonder if part of the continued tears is that he realizes he's being silly, but then cries more because he's upset at himself for being so silly? This definitely happened to me! My 2 major memories of it are at age 9 (a VBS project that didn't go my way) and 18 (a calculus test!) For me, ignoring the crying would have been worse because I knew that everyone could see the tears and that made me feel stupid and I couldn't' snap out of it quickly because of the shame snowballing. Maybe you could try giving him a quick hug and whispering, "Hey sweetie, why don't you go splash some water on your face and come back when you're ready to go on." Don't draw extra attention to the fact that he's crying or get frustrated, just give him an "out" to compose himself in private. "Go to your room until you can stop crying!" is a lot less helpful for a sensitive kid. I made myself feel like enough of an idiot that I really didn't need anyone else to point it out.

 

My DH, on the other hand, is a perfectionist both for himself and on behalf of others. I didn't know him as a child, but from various accounts I suspect he was pretty sensitive until it was basically "knocked out" of him by his strict/fairly harsh parents and bullying classmates. The sensitivity didn't really go away, however, it just manifests itself differently. By 17 (when I met him), he was very jaded and sarcastic. He doesn't form very many close attachments because he writes people off pretty easily when they disappoint him. In a group, he can be the joke-telling life of the party if he wants to be, or he can sit off in a corner staring into space if the group is made up of people he has already discounted.

 

I can't say I've found the solution to this, but after 12 years I have found some ways to help him with this. For instance, when I can see that his standards are impossibly high for someone, I try to use humor and say, "Oh, you were expecting the robot version of X to be there tonight!" I say, "It's a good thing I love X in spite of that--otherwise I'd have no friends and not even like myself!" My DH needs a lot of hugs and verbal praise. Because though he's an awesome guy who gets a super-human amount of stuff accomplished according to practically everyone we know, he doubts himself. He sets impossibly high standards for himself, feels like a failure, then takes that anxiousness out on others by overreacting to their failures. He doesn't see this as unreasonable, because he has unreasonable expectations for himself, so in his mind he's being perfectly fair, IYKWIM?

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Oh, you have one of those intense kids. I say a few mild swear words when something spills or I stub my toes. My kids hate it. I grew up with parents that routinely dropped the F-bomb and more so while I don't like swearing it seems to be ingrained in me somehow over too much exposure. :)

 

My youngest gets upset when I say bladder, breast, penis and more. Sigh. She's my intense, sensitive one. All I can do is talk and listen and try to explain to her how to act more appropriately. She used to have a lot of meltdowns when she was younger. She cried when we would get rid of old broken appliances. Sigh.

 

I think they do outgrow it, but they are the kids you really have to watch for as they are more prone to depression and anxiety. Don't hesitate to talk to your dr or a counselor. Some kids are just more challenging.

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Sometimes words aren't the answer.

Sometimes, a long, firm hug, and a quiet moment, can go a very long way.

 

It says -

I see you are upset.

I know I can't fix it.

But I do care about you.

I will be there with you along the way.

I love you.

I accept you just the way you are.

You're not perfect, and that's OK.

I love you.

 

Sometimes, that's really all you've got.

Sometimes, it's really all you need.

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Sometimes words aren't the answer.

Sometimes, a long, firm hug, and a quiet moment, can go a very long way.

 

It says -

I see you are upset.

I know I can't fix it.

But I do care about you.

I will be there with you along the way.

I love you.

I accept you just the way you are.

You're not perfect, and that's OK.

I love you.

 

Sometimes, that's really all you've got.

Sometimes, it's really all you need.

 

Very true.

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I think it is highly likely that the extreme sensitivity is wrapped up with giftedness. I would personally hold off on therapy for now and read, read, read. If you end up seeing a therapist, you need to find someone who specializes in gifted kids so that a diagnosis doesn't become his identity.

 

I have mentioned this book on the boards too many times to count, but I do think reading Strong-Willed Child or Dreamer? would benefit you. Also look at Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students and Living with Intensity. Misdiagnosis and Dual Diganoses of Gifted Children and Adults would be another helpful read.

 

:grouphug: I think I am a bit like your son. If there is anger in the room, I feel it very strongly. I also get upset when someone uses bad language in the house and I feel it is directed at me.

 

This is very much how my DD feels about conflict and anger. She internalizes a lot that has nothing to do with her. The Dreamer book above helped me recognize this about her. She does not have anxiety but she does "suffer" from extreme empathy and she does have very high expectations of other people. She also has very high expectations of herself...perfectionism didn't fall far from the tree.

 

Honestly, I'd talk to my dh and ask him to cool his rhetoric about the language.

 

:iagree: I get his opinion of cursing, really. But. You are also an adult and parent in that house. You are an equal. You have your weaknesses just as I am sure he has his. If I'm being completely honest, I think there is a benefit to kids seeing parents lose their temper and then regain composure. Abusive, incessant, over-the-top losing it? No. Occasional rises in temper and slipping out of curse words when coffee spills all over a brand new cushions and books in a brand new, highly anticipated schoolroom? Sure. Give yourself a little grace here and ask for the same grace from your DH. Is it OK for your DH to disapprove of cursing and talk to your boys about how he doesn't care for it? Sure. But it needs to be wrapped up in a larger conversation about the fact that people are human beings who are (every single one of us!) flawed and that we all have different flaws. Where one is perfect, another is lacking and vice versa.

 

In fact, I wonder if the biggest thing that needs to change about the cursing is your DH's reaction to it. Your DS might need to see your DH extending you grace and empathy in order to help him get past it. Your DS might benefit the most from seeing your DH validate your feelings. He could commiserate with you about the feelings that caused the cursing and help to deal with the cause of your frustration rather than judge the cursing itself. Maybe your DS's feelings aren't so much about the actual cursing as they are about the tension that surrounds the act? DD and I have had many, many talks about uncomfortable feelings. We've also talked about periodic vents and how they help prevent major eruptions. ;)

 

I agree with the suggestion to look at anxiety a bit. I would suggest checking your library for the book Freeing Your Child from Anxiety by Tamar Chansky as a good starting place.

 

Also, I'm wondering if you might try a little role play maybe with dolls or toys. Making up some ridiculous curses together might offer some amusement and take a little of the serious energy out of it for him. Just having the opportunity to practice being the Mom character perhaps uttering made up curses (Flaming Chickens! Bozzlegoobldey! or whatever nonsense you make up) might give him a feeling of a little more control. Also, I would talk seriously out side of the time when he's upset about his plan if he starts to feel stuck in being upset. He might make a list of things he can do to let a bad feeling go - maybe leave the room, 10 jumping jacks, get a drink of water, etc.

 

I really like this idea.

 

Thanks. I will take a look. The interesting thing is that my son is not shy. He's picky about his friends, prefers talkers, and definitely prefers girls over boys. He likes to be the center of attention, and has taken acting and dancing lessons.

 

My DD is very social as well. Very (very, very, very...) emotionally intelligent. I've said many times before that I believe my kids' greatest strengths are also their greatest weaknesses. I try to focus on balance without eradication. :tongue_smilie:

 

If you need someone to make you feel better, imagine being a fly on the wall of my home a while back when I told DS9 three, maybe four times to turn off the hose only for him to tell me that he did and then a few minutes later spray said hose through an open window onto the dining room table that was covered with new books, curricula, my laptop, etc. :angry::banghead::willy_nilly: It was not a pretty sight and virgin ears lost their innocence that day. :leaving:

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I am glad you got so many great suggestions about intense kids and esp gifted, intense kids.

 

My only comment is that you have to stop feeling guilty! Its OK if you swear once in a while! You can tell your son you are sorry, but then its not about the swearing any more. its about his sadness which he is having trouble controlling or shrugging off. Your guilt makes it harder for you to be really present with him, loving him even when he's sad. kids dont sit and cry like that on purpose, he is just not able to handle his big feelings. i think the focus needs to be on supporting him to find his way out of his big feelings! Some kids really do mature later, emotionally, and there is no fault in that. Just as they learn to walk and read at different ages. Make sure its not a right/wrong mom is bad or crying is bad . . . just work on positive ways to move forward.

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That does sounds pretty extreme, I agree.

 

How does he behave when he makes a mistake? Is it worse, or better, than when someone else makes a mistake? Is he like this about all vaguely antisocial conduct, or is it mostly cursing that sends him over the edge?

Edited by JennyD
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I am glad you got so many great suggestions about intense kids and esp gifted, intense kids.

 

My only comment is that you have to stop feeling guilty! Its OK if you swear once in a while! You can tell your son you are sorry, but then its not about the swearing any more. its about his sadness which he is having trouble controlling or shrugging off. Your guilt makes it harder for you to be really present with him, loving him even when he's sad. kids dont sit and cry like that on purpose, he is just not able to handle his big feelings. i think the focus needs to be on supporting him to find his way out of his big feelings! Some kids really do mature later, emotionally, and there is no fault in that. Just as they learn to walk and read at different ages. Make sure its not a right/wrong mom is bad or crying is bad . . . just work on positive ways to move forward.

 

 

Thank you for ssaying this. I feel terribly guilty about this, as I do about my tendency towards anxiety/depression. And I do think he is emotionally immature--very mature in other ways, but emotionally he wants his world to be "just so". Thank you.

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That does sounds pretty extreme, I agree.

 

How does he behave when he makes a mistake? Is it worse, or better, than when someone else makes a mistake? Is he like this about all vaguely antisocial conduct, or is it mostly cursing that sends him over the edge?

 

 

He is okay when he makes a mistake. He doesn't like it, but doesn't get overly upset. He dislikes other anti-social behavior as well. He talks a lot about a boy in afterschool who misbehaves, how terrible his behavior is. He thinks a lot about bullying, who is doing it to whom, comign to the rescue of the bullied child (he's done this a couple of times). If a child says something rude to him, or if a teacher is "harsh" to him (and I don't mean really harsh, but says something curt or short) he says "that woman is so mean. She's the meanest person who works here. I really think they need to fire her." :confused:

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He is okay when he makes a mistake. He doesn't like it, but doesn't get overly upset. He dislikes other anti-social behavior as well. He talks a lot about a boy in afterschool who misbehaves, how terrible his behavior is. He thinks a lot about bullying, who is doing it to whom, comign to the rescue of the bullied child (he's done this a couple of times). If a child says something rude to him, or if a teacher is "harsh" to him (and I don't mean really harsh, but says something curt or short) he says "that woman is so mean. She's the meanest person who works here. I really think they need to fire her." :confused:

 

Is he all about fairness and justice? Kindness and sensitivity to other people and their needs? Propriety? If so, you really might have a dreamer on your hands...

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He is okay when he makes a mistake. He doesn't like it, but doesn't get overly upset. He dislikes other anti-social behavior as well. He talks a lot about a boy in afterschool who misbehaves, how terrible his behavior is. He thinks a lot about bullying, who is doing it to whom, comign to the rescue of the bullied child (he's done this a couple of times). If a child says something rude to him, or if a teacher is "harsh" to him (and I don't mean really harsh, but says something curt or short) he says "that woman is so mean. She's the meanest person who works here. I really think they need to fire her." :confused:

 

This sounds very like DS11, who still bears passionate grudges against people he remembers being mean to him or others when he was at school three years ago. He complains of one teacher in particular most bitterly, a teacher who actually often asks about him and tells me how special he is and how much she enjoyed teaching him :confused:. I'm hoping he'll grow out of it, and just tell him that it's not good for his health or peace of mind to hold on so intensely to these perceived wrongs. He's otherwise a fairly happy, well-balanced child, even tough at times.

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My middle son can feel my bad mood a mile away-and it's annoying as hell, because he, too, feels like it's all directed at him.

 

Guess who he gets it from? Moi. I am insanely sensitive to people's moods. IF my Dh's eye twitches the wrong way...the poor man. No bad moods allowed in our house! Joy and happiness is the rule!

 

All that to say, :grouphug: I don't know what to tell you.

 

I DO tell him I'm not mad at him and constantly reassure him.

Edited by justamouse
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Is he all about fairness and justice? Kindness and sensitivity to other people and their needs? Propriety? If so, you really might have a dreamer on your hands...

 

Oh yes. He cried when we went to the 4h fair and he learned the true fate of the pigs. He was very upset when he studied MLK and slavery. When a young relative hurt herself at the skate park yesterday, he sat next to her, hugging and holding her hand, stroking her hair and trying to cheer her up. Concepts pf wrong and right are extremely mportant to him, although i think that is fairly normal in this age group.

 

When you say a "dreamer" what do you mean, exactly?

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This sounds very like DS11, who still bears passionate grudges against people he remembers being mean to him or others when he was at school three years ago. He complains of one teacher in particular most bitterly, a teacher who actually often asks about him and tells me how special he is and how much she enjoyed teaching him :confused:. I'm hoping he'll grow out of it, and just tell him that it's not good for his health or peace of mind to hold on so intensely to these perceived wrongs. He's otherwise a fairly happy, well-balanced child, even tough at times.

 

Interesting, my little guy is "tough " too, in some ways. He stood up to a much older bully who was picking on an overweight girl, and he wore pink and girly stuff for a long time despite negative comments from other kids. He would say "there's nothing wrong with pink, and this is what i like." i too hope he outgrows this; he is really a kind, wonderful, gentle soul.

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Oh yes. He cried when we went to the 4h fair and he learned the true fate of the pigs. He was very upset when he studied MLK and slavery. When a young relative hurt herself at the skate park yesterday, he sat next to her, hugging and holding her hand, stroking her hair and trying to cheer her up. Concepts pf wrong and right are extremely mportant to him, although i think that is fairly normal in this age group.

 

When you say a "dreamer" what do you mean, exactly?

 

Sounds just like DD. She is the one DH and I were so worried would be an ethical vegetarian when she found out where chicken and steak came from. :tongue_smilie: I would be proud of her (really, I would), but it would sure be inconvenient. She is the child who will stand up for her friends with all kinds of spunkiness and then cry in misery over an injured butterfly.

 

I pretty much use the term dreamer as it is written about in Strong-Willed Child or Dreamer? (I quoted my earlier link below). You can get the first chapter for free for Kindle to see if you think it would be a good read. It's one of the best book purchases I've made for understanding DD, who sounds very much like your son (idealistic, sensitive, empathetic, loyal, defends the weak, stands up to bullies, etc.). The very first scenario in the book (the dancers) wasn't an exact match and left me scratching my head a little but the rest was mostly spot on. This definition is DD in a nutshell: "She is a paradox of a child. Stubborn, yet sensitive. Wanting to please, yet not a pleaser." So, so not a pleaser... :lol:

 

I think it is highly likely that the extreme sensitivity is wrapped up with giftedness. I would personally hold off on therapy for now and read, read, read. If you end up seeing a therapist, you need to find someone who specializes in gifted kids so that a diagnosis doesn't become his identity.

 

I have mentioned this book on the boards too many times to count, but I do think reading Strong-Willed Child or Dreamer? would benefit you. Also look at Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students and Living with Intensity. Misdiagnosis and Dual Diganoses of Gifted Children and Adults would be another helpful read.

 

Interesting, my little guy is "tough " too, in some ways. He stood up to a much older bully who was picking on an overweight girl, and he wore pink and girly stuff for a long time despite negative comments from other kids. He would say "there's nothing wrong with pink, and this is what i like." i too hope he outgrows this; he is really a kind, wonderful, gentle soul.

 

Yes, I think a sensitive but tough kid is likely to be a dreamer. DD is tough as nails, even as she is crying over injustice. A paradox is definitely what she is! She is all about feelings and sometimes seems to wear them on her sleeve but then it can simultaneously feel like I can't make sense of those feelings at all. Many times the feelings seem unreasonable or out of proportion to the issue...or just plain coming out of nowhere. Her "life of the mind" is intense and what you see on the outside just barely skims the surface of her thought processes.

 

Wish I could loan you the book since I have it on Kindle. Sadly, it's not loanable.

 

ETA: Don't know what's going on with that quote. I tried to fix it and it won't fix. And I hit some keys while I was typing and totally changed the font, which irritates me too... Oh well...

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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