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Two behavior questions regarding my boys.


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Ok, each of my little boys does something that I'd like feedback on.

 

Zee, who is almost 10, cries when he loses a game of chess to his dad. They usually play two games of chess most evenings. Being that he's only 10, he has only beat dh twice. He's usually fine after losing the first game, and wants to play again. But then after losing the second game, there are usually tears. Not a tantrum or sobbing, but he tears up and pouts a bit. He *is* a sensitive boy. He claims he enjoys playing chess, and is always begging to play dh. I've asked him about the crying, and he can't articulate why he cries. My questions: Is this "normal"? Should we discourage the crying somehow, and if so, how?

 

Now Moose, who is 7. The boy is driving me INSANE with being gross. He thinks grossness is *hilarious*. He likes to tell "jokes" about, um, bodily functions. He made a mask out of construction paper this morning, and drew vomit by the guy's mouth. The words "po0p" and "fart" are the funniest ones in the English language, apparently.Stuff like that. And I *get* that that is very normal for boys. I get it. But it is way, WAY too much; it's gotten out of hand. He does it too often, and it's gotten really old. Dh and I have explained, over and over, about how there is a time and place for 'gross' jokes. We started sending him to the bathroom everytime he did it (I got that idea here, in fact. Bathroom words belong in the bathroom.) That hasn't worked. You're going to have to trust me that this has gone past "normal boy behavior" to "a socially unacceptable thing that must be reigned in". Please, I'm begging for suggestions on how to break him of this habit. Today, he's already been sent to the bathroom once, and I warned him that anymore grossness that I hear will mean a ten minute break in his bed. He's allowed to "be gross" when he's just around his brothers/dad, but not around Mommy ("because girls don't like to hear gross stuff"). I realize not everyone will agree with the gender stereotype there, but we're trying to teach him that things have a time and a place, you know?

 

I'm open to advice, even suggestions that we're handling it wrong right now. Which I'm pretty sure we are, since we're not getting the desired results. :D

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I have two boys too, though both are a year younger than each of your ds. My oldest ds is very sensitive.

 

No, I would not discourage the crying. He's expressing a real emotion and doing so would minimize his feelings. He likely feels safe to express that emotion after losing to your Dh twice each evening. I would continue playing as it's good practice for him. Also want to add that my ds will exhibit similar behavior with Dh only and not out in the world. So, I don't think it's a case of having to train anything out of him. He likely feels deeply and is safe with your Dh to express that. I doubt he does the same thing or would do the same if he lost to a friend or another adult.

 

As for your second ds doing gross things- I tell my ds (6yrs) that talking about bodily functions is not appropriate. If he's talking to his brother and they are playing in a different room, I'm fine with that. But I don't allow him to talk like that to me or around company or other children. He loves that stuff too, but I do think there's a time and place for it. Maybe let him read Walter the Farting Dog? My ds gets it out that way. He went through a phase of only wanting to draw blood and battle. All. Of. The. Time. It drove me crazy, and I couldn't figure it out- he never watched TV or movies, and certainly none that are violent. But he was obsessed. So I started reading him books about battle and knights and castles, bravery, etc. it met that need and it has passed.

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I'd tell the first boy crying over a chess game means he isn't old enough to play, but that's just me. Frankly, I wouldn't put up with that type of behavior from a little girl.

 

Boys love body function jokes. Get used to it. I'm not sure if they ever outgrow that. About the best you can do is ban it from the dinner table and in public.

 

ETA- I think I've got sensitive boys, but to me sensitive is being considerate of others, kind to animals etc. Crying at that age is drama. We don't do drama.

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Losing two games in a row would cause a child to cry. Some are able to hold the tears at an earlier age, some don't. Even some adults would cry when they lose an important game (competition). I would only be worried about crying if your son is in school where he might get teased or bullied for crying over losing a game.

As for being gross, we just remind our kids that it is not good public manners and that there is a time and place for gross jokes. They are catching on with reminders now and than.

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The crying is totally normal. It will pass on it's own. I'd not make a big deal of it. It is good sign he wants to keep playing dh even though he gets upset after losing. He isn't having a tantrum or being a poor sport.

 

The gross stuff is totally normal too. I laugh because my boys still go through that at 10 and 13 on occasion. We've worked on limiting when it is appropriate, I don't want to hear it. It is not acceptable out in public. If they want to be gross when playing alone I don't care. They will learn to moderate it in time.

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No idea about the crying. When my ds is upset and cries i actually encourage it!

 

Boys and bodily functions are incredibly gross!

 

What if you try paying it absolutely no attention?

 

My ds used to take every possible opportunity to fart on dd or myself. So we ignored it and he stopped. Now, my father is a different story. Ds will try and fart on him or lick him and is hysterical about the reaction.

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Crying - normal and within range; I would not intervene.

 

Gross - normal. You get what you focus on. The "over and over" comment leads me to suggest you simply not say another word about it. It will likely dissipate in intensity more quickly.

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For the chess player: http://www.amazon.co...ur dad at chess

 

Mine could beat his dad at 7 with that book.

 

 

Oh my word, thank you SO much for the link. This couldn't be a more perfect book! His birthday is in a few weeks, and we're getting him a nice wood chess board. And this book to go with it. :D He has checked out quite a few chess books from the library, which is why he's been able to beat dh twice now.

 

If Zee only cries after the second game, can you just institute a 1-game-only policy and then DH and Zee can do something else non-competitive or something that Zee is good at? Limit the frustration and end on a good note, I'm thinking.

 

 

Heh. Great minds link alike. This is the rule *I* suggested. "One game a night". But nooooo, dh and Zee *always* want to play more than one. What do *I* know, right? :glare: :D

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I think it's possible for an almost-10yo to be aware that his outward behavior is as important as his inward emotions. Most of us are disappointed when we don't win, but we are not allowed to pout. He can begin to learn that.

 

And I think a 7yo child who has been instructed and corrected multiple times for a specific behavior should be subject to more serious consequences for behavior that he perfectly capable of controlling. Although I have daughters, I have three younger brothers and two older boy cousins, so I am not totally oblivious as to how boys behave, lol, but I know that if any of those boys had done those things in front of adults, there would have been heck to pay.

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I was real big on letting my oldest son cry. NO ONE was to tell him anything different and anyone who did would be asked to leave my home period that included his father. No one was gong to call him cry baby or make hime feel bad for emotions. Looking back....I wish to GOD I would have listened to other people he is almost 15 and is a cry baby to be truthful. He cries over everything and it is not cool at all. You can't tell him no or disagree then you arebeing mean I can't stand to be arpound him most of the time. I created the monster so now I have a rule if you are hurt physically you can cry. If you are sad due to death or something along those lines you can cry anything else you are sent to your room because I cannot handle it. My 8 year old is the youngest and very much the baby of the family and I don't tolerate it from her either.

 

If he cries over a game he can't play for a few days etc. There are ways to teach socially acceptable crying and I really messed up with the oldest. I was young and wanted everything to be perfect but that is one of my biggest mistakes. As far as the gross factor my youngest boy was like tat and I had to be mean to make it stop. You will not talk that way it is disgusting. You said what at my dinner table? Go to your room I won't eat my meals with nastiness. I did not just deal. He got out of control. Afetr a bit of hime being treated this way he stopped now it happens rarely.

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Good, sound advice. Just chiming in that I have 2 boys also. My oldest will be 13 in a month or so (how in the heck did that happen?!) and is my very sensitive kid. He finally got control over the tears about a year ago. He still does tear up when very frustrated. We've taught him that tears are fine, but there are times and places for them. In other words, not in public.

 

I'm the only female in a sea of males. I've given up on trying to cull the potty humor. I just say, "Guys, your mother is right here!" Ugh. I lose. On the plus side, the master potty is all mine. I have a no-little-boys rule. :) I succeeded with that one. I do let dh use it though; only because the room *is* half his. :)

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Crying boy at 10-perfectly normal. I wouldn't discourage it but would discuss socially acceptable behavior and good sportsmanship so he can start learning how to get it under control.

 

The gross stuff-also perfectly normal. You can place time and place rules on it and have consequences if rules are ignored..

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The crying, I don't really know--I tend to look at that as poor sportsmanship, and deal with it as understandable, but still something they must learn to cope with in public. Of course, being sad isn't wrong in other contexts, and I'd make that clear.

 

As for the crude humor, because I believe the Bible speaks clearly about that, we do not allow it. At all. At some point, after being corrected, it becomes disobedience, and I dealt with it as such. If they are still doing it, at least they are not doing it in my presence, lol!

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As for the crude humor, because I believe the Bible speaks clearly about that, we do not allow it. At all. At some point, after being corrected, it becomes disobedience, and I dealt with it as such. If they are still doing it, at least they are not doing it in my presence, lol!

 

 

I'm gonna have to hit Bible Gateway. Got any references for me?

 

ETA: Ah. Ephesians 5:4 covers it nicely.

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Interesting, I would handle the crying differently from most who have posted so far. While I think disappointment at losing and even crying is a normal reaction, I think as the child grows, s/he should learn self-control over how to express it. Some express it with anger, others with tears. I've had both reactions among my dc. I teach my dc (and I'm working with my 8-yr-old on this now) how to compete with grace. I don't want them to be a sore winner (lording it over the loser) OR a sore loser. So, how would I handle it? I would start with expectations and have Dad tell the child, "Ok, time for chess! One of my favorite times of the day! Now listen, child's name, I want you to know that we are playing to enjoy the game and to learn. Win or lose, we need to shake hands after the game without taunts or tears. Do you agree?" After the first game, give true praise on what the child did well and what they can do next time. Then, "you handled the (win/loss) so well! That's part of being a true competitor." Play the second game. After the game, go straight to a hearty handshake. If there is the start of tears, remind the child about how to be a graceful winner and graceful loser.

 

If laying down the expectations and coaching the child on a right response isn't working, I would lay down a consequence: no chess tomorrow night if it dissolves into crying.

 

FWIW, I *still* deal with this with my competitive teen boys. I can see when they have become angry at refs or the outcome. It's OK and expected to be disappointed. It's okay to be really disappointed. But we all (me included) need to learn how to process that disappointment without anger, resentments or pity parties.

 

Gotta go back and school so can't address the second issue. I think you're right to see a need for correcting and discipling here.

Lisa

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I thought about this more. I'm not saying your DH should let him win, but he should explain that it's not a fair pairing. Because it's likely not. Perhaps your DH could consider alternating with a game of luck so your son has a chance to win something once in awhile.

 

When I played Scrabble as a kid it wasn't a fair pairing. And my dad would try his hardest to win. I guess he thought he was challenging me. Actually I think he was being kind of unfair. Well except now I can mop up the floor with him in a game of Scrabble at least as often as he does to me. :laugh:

 

All good points Wendy. Dh has explained it to him. He's a very bright boy, he understands that he *shouldn't* be able to beat daddy very often in chess. Dh also compliments ds in his chess playing.

 

Zee and I have "our" game, too. Uno. More chance involved there. He beats me sometimes, and never cries when he loses. Perhaps it's just more painful to lose to daddy than to me.

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I'd tell the first boy crying over a chess game means he isn't old enough to play, but that's just me. Frankly, I wouldn't put up with that type of behavior from a little girl.

 

Boys love body function jokes. Get used to it. I'm not sure if they ever outgrow that. About the best you can do is ban it from the dinner table and in public.

 

ETA- I think I've got sensitive boys, but to me sensitive is being considerate of others, kind to animals etc. Crying at that age is drama. We don't do drama.

 

There isn't a dislike button, so I will just quote you and say that I totally disagree with you on both counts.

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Maybe the second chess game could be more about teaching your DS strategy. Pointing out what's going to happen to his piece that he just moved and let him move it back and try something else. This isn't letting him win, it's showing him how to win.

my dh's dad would do this. They'd complete the game, and then Dad would go back and say,

"Here's where the mistake came in. Try something else!" Then rather than just packing up the game with "I lost. Again. " in his head, he is learning from his mistakes.

 

We don't do crying over losing games here. It just isn't done. Part of playing games is winning and losing with a good attitude. Which means not going too far to celebrate when you win or losing without poutingm crying anger or whining. And I have 3 girls (15, 11, and almost 8) and a 5 yo boy. It's been the same with all of them, boy or girl.

 

As far as gross humor, could you give you son say 5 gross jokes per day, maybe keeping a tally on the board, and then that is it for a whole day?

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I loooo... I just had another thought on the gross humor...

get him some good clean joke books and introduce him to hilarious shows from years past where the humor was always clean, Andd Griffith, I love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, Abbot and Costello... encourage his sense of humor but try to redirect it to appropriate venues.

 

Additionally, many kids' programs feature crude humor. If he's watching any of these, I would nix that right away.

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I loooo... I just had another thought on the gross humor...

get him some good clean joke books and introduce him to hilarious shows from years past where the humor was always clean, Andd Griffith, I love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke, Abbot and Costello... encourage his sense of humor but try to redirect it to appropriate venues.

 

Additionally, many kids' programs feature crude humor. If he's watching any of these, I would nix that right away.

 

 

We don't watch tv or movies. Interesting, hunh?

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We don't watch tv or movies. Interesting, hunh?

 

yeah...my 5 yo ds thinks that diapers are hilarious. He talks about them all the time, calls people diaper face.. I'm like WHATTTT????? Since he's the youngest, I guess he doesn't really remember having them around, so I guess they are funny???

 

Kids are weird.

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There isn't a dislike button, so I will just quote you and say that I totally disagree with you on both counts.

 

 

 

Good. Then it's mutual.

 

I think homeschooling moms are notorious for babying their children especially their boys. I also think boys can be sensitive and thoughtful without being crybabies. Mine are, and mostly due to their dad 1) not letting me ruin the boys by hovering and 2) by modeling the correct behavior.

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I thought about this more. I'm not saying your DH should let him win, but he should explain that it's not a fair pairing. Because it's likely not. Perhaps your DH could consider alternating with a game of luck so your son has a chance to win something once in awhile.

 

When I played Scrabble as a kid it wasn't a fair pairing. And my dad would try his hardest to win. I guess he thought he was challenging me. Actually I think he was being kind of unfair. Well except now I can mop up the floor with him in a game of Scrabble at least as often as he does to me. :laugh:

 

We don't let kids win around here. However, when my husband and son play chess, my husband still "thinks out loud" at whatever level he thinks is appropriate given that particular game. So, he'll keep up a stream of conversation while they play, in the midst of which he muses about what his next move or next few moves might be. He does this because, even at almost 15, my son is still learning the game. And, as Wendy says, it's not a fair pairing.

 

Could your husband give your son some kind of handicap? Start with fewer pieces on the board or restrict his own moves or something? Because, honestly, I don't see how it's not entirely reasonable for a 10-year-old kid to be frustrated and sad at knowing he's likely to lose almost every game.

 

With that said, I think I'd try to have a talk with him about the crying. I always tell my kids that it's perfectly fine and healthy, as well as beyond our control, to feel whatever emotions we feel. However, the way in which we react to those emotions is up to us. This means, I would tell my kid, that it's fine to feel sad at losing, but it may not be socially acceptable (or polite or whatever words seem right) to make other people feel sad about having to watch him cry. So, if he feels like he needs to cry, maybe he needs to excuse himself politely and take a few minutes quietly in his room to get himself under control before coming back into the common area to re-join the family?

 

About the gross stuff? If my kid had been told not to do or say something and he or she kept doing or saying it, that would be handled as would any other behavioral problem. My kid would get sent to his or her room or have a privelege taken away ("If you cannot behave in a socially acceptable way, I can't have you out in the world with other people.") or whatever. Every time. Until it stopped.

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Interesting, I would handle the crying differently from most who has posted so far. While I think disappointment at losing and even crying is a normal reaction, I think as the child grow s/he should learn self-control over how to express it. Some express it with anger, others with tears. I've had both reactions among my dc. I teach my dc (and I'm working with my 8-yr-old on this now) how to compete with grace. I don't want them to be a sore winner (lording it over the loser) OR a sore loser. So, how would I handle it? I would start with expectations and have Dad tell the child, "Ok, time for chess! One of my favorite times of the day! Now listen, child's name, I want you to know that we are playing to enjoy the game and to learn. Win or lose, we need to shake hands after the game without taunts or tears. Do you agree?" After the first game, give true praise on what the child did well and what they can do next time. Then, "you handled the (win/loss) so well! That's part of being a true competitor." Play the second game. After the game, go straight to a hearty handshake. If there are the start of tears, remind the child about how to be a graceful winner and graceful loser.

 

If laying down the expectations and coaching the child on a right response isn't working, I would lay down a consequence: no chess tomorrow night if it dissolves into crying.

 

FWIW, I *still* deal with this with my competitive teen boys. I can see when they have become angry at refs or the outcome. It's OK and expected to be disappointed. It's okay to be really disappointed. But we all (me included) need to learn how to process that disappointment without anger, resentments or pity parties.

 

Gotta go back and school so can't address the second issue. I think you're right to see a need for correcting and discipling here.

Lisa

 

I think this is great advice. This is similar to how we'd handle it.

 

As far as the 2nd issue goes, I've got 5 sons who don't really enjoy bathroom humor. I mean, every now and again, sure something is funny (even to me). But it's not their general choice for humor. When I think about why, I think it's probably because dh has actively discouraged it along with me. We've analyzed jokes, explaining why some things are funny and some aren't. We've talked about double meanings, timing, etc. I know it sounds kind of boring, but it's just been an extension of any other conversation here. We laugh a lot--my boys love to make me laugh and they're very good at it. If one of our sons continued with out of control bathroom humor, we would (in addition to talking about what makes something funny) institute a consistent consequence for disobedience because that is what is has become. He's old enough to learn self-control in this area, and he's disobeying you every time he makes a rude joke.

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Good. Then it's mutual.

 

I think homeschooling moms are notorious for babying their children especially their boys. I also think boys can be sensitive and thoughtful without being crybabies. Mine are, and mostly due to their dad 1) not letting me ruin the boys by hovering and 2) by modeling the correct behavior.

 

I totally hear you, Remudamom. I want to avoid this .Which is why I let my dh take the lead on stuff like this.

 

In fact, I have real life examples of some men who were homeschooled, are now married, some with children of their own, who still have lots of "teenager" attributes. I don't want to baby my boys like that. It's what I'm trying to avoid.

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For the chess game. Do you have a video camera? Could you video the game and then have Dad go back and show him, where he could have made a better move? So, instead of a second game they could rehash the first game and learn from it?

 

Potty talk in this house gives you the blessing of being able to help and bless this family.

 

Any Potty words or sounds or actions (the only drawback to teaching your kids ASL) - you get to clean the toilets - all 4 of them!

Saying anything sucks - you get to vacuum all the rugs in the house.

Slamming doors - you get to wash the inside and outside of every. single. door in the house and this includes closets and kitchen cabinets.

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Well see I'm a crier. And I don't care what anyone thinks about that. And I'll cry anywhere I darn well please. Better to cry than punch someone's lights out or break stuff or act out in some other crazy way. I don't personally have a problem with boys and men crying either. But I do recognize plenty of people have a hang up about it. I suspect it'll take one instance of him being made fun of for it and that'll be the end of that. He should feel safe to cry at home though. I doubt he will cry over games forever. I get that it might be about "drama". Maybe it's a bit over the top of a reaction, but it is a release of build up frustration. It's not the worst release ever either. My younger boy used to throw himself on the floor and scream when he lost. Crying has been an improvement. LOL

 

I'm also a cryer. :-)

 

There's a difference between crying and pouting. Pouting is an attitude that needs to be corrected.

 

My younger dd was a pouter. Ok, she was also a cryer when she was younger. A long, droning, annoying cryer. I finally realized that she needed to cry sometimes, but I required her to go to her room to do it. Pouting..never ok. I told her that I was not unsympathetic to her feelings, but that if she were going to be a member of a community, she needed not to let her whole face and body indicate that she was annoyed/disappointed/whatever. She was allowed to use her words to tell me what she was thinking, but pouting...no, not ok.

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The crying is normal for sensitive children. As long as he knows its not socially acceptable in that circumstance, attempts to curb it, and is in no way whiny I would consider it a normal part of learning to control how you show your feelings. He feels disappointed. That's okay. He's working on not showing it. If he's not working on holding it back, gentle discussion should be enough to steer him in the right direction. If the emotion is severe, take him to a private place and let him know this is a good place to release that emotion.

 

As for the gross stuff...normal. Oh, believe me, even if its crossed the line its normal. The best you can do is continue enforcing that certain behavior is not appropriate to all places and people...and do not give it attention. The only attention is pointing out that its inappropriate and asking him to fulfill the consequence. Do not talk about how gross it is. Do not explain your feelings. Minimize it in every way. Its a stage certain kids get in and they will grow out of it, especially if it lacks drama. One of the best things about gross comments is the audience.

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I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone who was a poor loser well into adult-hood: we don't cry over games in this house. Period. I wouldn't be mean about it, but if this were a problem we would address it before the game started to give plenty of time to think about appropriate responses. If crying after a game continued we'd be playing easier games to practice just having fun again. A computer version or kids of similar ability might also be brought in if playing with dad is just too intense.

 

If this were a state championship, with a big build up and everything on the line, then yeah, a few tears might be appropriate, but a nightly game with dad should just be fun practice.

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Could your husband give your son some kind of handicap? Start with fewer pieces on the board or restrict his own moves or something?

 

 

This is what I do. I strongly dislike both throwing games AND winning all(most) of the time - I like a good competitive game. OTH I don't mind losing all the time BUT only if it was close enough that I had a decent chance at winning - I strongly dislike playing something where I am getting creamed every time. So I find some way to handicap myself (or myself and DH if he is playing). Just like a golf handicap, I raise or lower the amount of handicap as needed.

 

Another possible chess handicap for your DH might be that he has a limited time (or a more limited time if they are already limiting time) to make his moves.

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Re: the grossness factor. I used the same technique of sending them to the bathroom . . . I have had some success with escalating consequences. Could you make it sending him to the bathroom for 5 min the first (second) gross infraction, then 10 min the next time, then 20 min the next time, then 40 min the next time (you could even allow him to take a book), then . . . and at some point escalate to bed-for-the-night . . . I can't guarantee success, but that general approach did help me with some resistant behaviors.

 

I agree that boys are gross in general, and they think it is funny. :confused1: I am OK with that not being EVIL or WRONG per se, but I am also OK with insisting on time/place and respect for OTHERS who don't think it's funny. I also think it is OK to restrict the behavior around Mom (but not so much around Dad) since MOM is offended by it, but Dad, being a similarly gross boy, isn't as offended (although he has long-since learned to voluntarily restrain his innate grossness since he likes the company of Mom). Learning to adjust your behavior for your audience is a vital skill!

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My oldest was one of the sorest losers ever. I dreaded playing any game with her because if she lost she would be teary and upset. We talked a lot about being a gracious winner and loser and about how she should try to find the fun in the game instead of focusing so much on the competition. We never refused to play but sometimes games ended early if she was losing and started getting upset. She would also be sent to her room if she was crying and angry until she calmed down and was free of tears.

 

She just came in 3rd out of 3 groups at her OM competition. The other groups from her school all came in 1st and are moving on to state. I watched my sore loser tell those in her group that were angry and upset that they needed to stop and be happy for their friends. She never lost her smile and congratulated the other teams and was genuinely happy for them. She told me she was ok because she had a lot of fun. I was gobsmacked. So, it doesn't mean he will always be like this.

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I think it is normal to want to win at chess and to hate losing. I am not sure about the crying though - I can't imagine any of my boys crying after a chess game, but I can imagine them really wanting to win and feeling frustrated when they can't. I probably wouldn't make too big a deal over it. You want him to keep playing with Dad because they enjoy it (I assume). Hopefully he won't let how he feels abut loosing turn this into something unpleasant. I would just continue to be kind and encouraging but wouldn't say anything about tears as long as he's not being dramatic and trying to guilt trip your DH.

 

We have three boys. I know I am against the flow of the river on this, but we never tolerated a lot of grossness. My husband didn't like it and neither did I, so we would probably have cracked down earlier and harder on this then you have. While I agree in general that a boy should be taught that girls don't appreciate that kind of humor, the reality is that many men don't either, and DH wouldn't really put up with that, and it's just not the way we have raised our boys to behave in our home. The play ground is another matter, lol, and I am sure that on their own, they have gross jokes. But not with adults.

 

But the bigger issue is not that he likes gross humor, though. The bigger issue is that he doesn't curb his behavior to suit your well communicated expectations. Every one is different. Some moms can take shouting in the house, some can't. Some are fine with indoor wrestling, some prohibit it. Some care about taking shoes off, others think that is a silly rule. But whatever rules you set for your family, if you son won't follow them, than he is basically letting you know that he doesn't accept your authority or your right to make decisions about what is OK in your home. I would probably figure out a more stinging consequence that will make more of an impression on him. But I also would think about whether this kind of "doing it my own way" attitude is limited to just gross jokes and behaviors, or if t there is a general unwillingness to accept your authority. And for the record, I like to give my children a lot of independence and choices. I am not a strict "first time obedience" kind of Mom. But I do expect that I have some ultimate ability to make decisions about what kind of home I want to live in.

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Interesting, I would handle the crying differently from most who have posted so far. While I think disappointment at losing and even crying is a normal reaction, I think as the child grows, s/he should learn self-control over how to express it. Some express it with anger, others with tears. I've had both reactions among my dc. I teach my dc (and I'm working with my 8-yr-old on this now) how to compete with grace. I don't want them to be a sore winner (lording it over the loser) OR a sore loser. So, how would I handle it? I would start with expectations and have Dad tell the child, "Ok, time for chess! One of my favorite times of the day! Now listen, child's name, I want you to know that we are playing to enjoy the game and to learn. Win or lose, we need to shake hands after the game without taunts or tears. Do you agree?" After the first game, give true praise on what the child did well and what they can do next time. Then, "you handled the (win/loss) so well! That's part of being a true competitor." Play the second game. After the game, go straight to a hearty handshake. If there is the start of tears, remind the child about how to be a graceful winner and graceful loser.

 

If laying down the expectations and coaching the child on a right response isn't working, I would lay down a consequence: no chess tomorrow night if it dissolves into crying.

 

FWIW, I *still* deal with this with my competitive teen boys. I can see when they have become angry at refs or the outcome. It's OK and expected to be disappointed. It's okay to be really disappointed. But we all (me included) need to learn how to process that disappointment without anger, resentments or pity parties.

 

Gotta go back and school so can't address the second issue. I think you're right to see a need for correcting and discipling here.

Lisa

I live this. My husband is extremely competitive and wishes his parents had helped him with this. They practically encourage(d) him and his sister to be very intense about things. It has been something he constantly monitors as an adult. He's convinced it would have been better had they taught him when he was younger.

 

Thanks for a great summary- this is very love & logic-y, which we like.

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Good. Then it's mutual.

 

I think homeschooling moms are notorious for babying their children especially their boys. I also think boys can be sensitive and thoughtful without being crybabies. Mine are, and mostly due to their dad 1) not letting me ruin the boys by hovering and 2) by modeling the correct behavior.

 

Well, You might be right about some homeschooling moms. But I don't get the idea that crying isn't acceptable. I cry & I'm not immature or a baby or a bad sport or ... any of those things. No, I wouldn't cry over a chess game but I'm sure there are things that make me cry that wouldn't make someone else cry. Just the act of crying isn't a problem. It shouldn't ever be. Tantrum, pouting, saying mean things, bad sportsmanship - those are things I would have a problem with. Why can't you just acknowledge the feeling that the crying is showing (disappointment, etc) and still teach him how to handle it differently or using it as a chess strategy lesson, without making crying the issue. There is no reason that a person should be made to feel that crying is inappropriate simply because its crying. Its not.

 

And yes, I have at times told my boys that the crying needs to stop. They aren't big criers but have all gone through a phase of intense drama where I felt the crying was for attention. This situation doesn't sound like it.

 

OP, give him a hug (or dad, rather), tell him you know that its disappointing to lose & that you understand. Tell him about a time you were disappointed. Ask him if he'd like you to teach him some better moves. Respect his feeling just like you want people to respect yours.

 

Boys & gross jokes are normal. I would try ignoring it for a few weeks & seeing if it lessens. From our experience it will. Then you might be able to curb the rest with some reminders.

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Well, You might be right about some homeschooling moms. But I don't get the idea that crying isn't acceptable. I cry & I'm not immature or a baby or a bad sport or ... any of those things. No, I wouldn't cry over a chess game but I'm sure there are things that make me cry that wouldn't make someone else cry. Just the act of crying isn't a problem. It shouldn't ever be. Tantrum, pouting, saying mean things, bad sportsmanship - those are things I would have a problem with. Why can't you just acknowledge the feeling that the crying is showing (disappointment, etc) and still teach him how to handle it differently or using it as a chess strategy lesson, without making crying the issue. There is no reason that a person should be made to feel that crying is inappropriate simply because its crying. Its not.

 

And yes, I have at times told my boys that the crying needs to stop. They aren't big criers but have all gone through a phase of intense drama where I felt the crying was for attention. This situation doesn't sound like it.

 

OP, give him a hug (or dad, rather), tell him you know that its disappointing to lose & that you understand. Tell him about a time you were disappointed. Ask him if he'd like you to teach him some better moves. Respect his feeling just like you want people to respect yours.

 

Boys & gross jokes are normal. I would try ignoring it for a few weeks & seeing if it lessens. From our experience it will. Then you might be able to curb the rest with some reminders.

 

 

Crying isn't unacceptable. Crying in that situation is. Crying in that situation is a problem. Crying when a pet dies is not a problem.

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Crying isn't unacceptable. Crying in that situation is. Crying in that situation is a problem. Crying when a pet dies is not a problem.

 

 

Yeah, I just disagree. Crying isn't something that you can even control most of the time, especially at 10. It takes practice & even then it isn't just a switch. I think the focus should be on his emotion, his disappointment in the moment & handling that - not the crying. I think the crying would be much less "necessary" for him to express himself if he already feels understood. YMMV.

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Yeah, I just disagree. Crying isn't something that you can even control most of the time, especially at 10. It takes practice & even then it isn't just a switch. I think the focus should be on his emotion, his disappointment in the moment & handling that - not the crying. I think the crying would be much less "necessary" for him to express himself if he already feels understood. YMMV.

 

Ten years old. Time to start practicing.

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The book linked above is fantastic - Mr6 wins most of the time now <sigh>

 

I agree with Remudamom - I don't think it's ok to cry over the game. I like the suggestions above about some coaching tips and a hearty handshake win or lose. We told DS that if he needed to cry about losing at chess he wasn't ready to play it. He needs to find something nice to say to the winner and thank them for the game. He was desperate to join chess club and we would not let him until he could be gracious in both victory and defeat. He got to go this year and has been a gentleman.

 

I do understand crying over big things - including over a hard fought, close miss, important game - although even then you need to hold it back and be gracious to your worthy opponent. But over casual games with dad, nuh, not ok in our house, that's being a poor sport.

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We don't let kids win around here. However, when my husband and son play chess, my husband still "thinks out loud" at whatever level he thinks is appropriate given that particular game. So, he'll keep up a stream of conversation while they play, in the midst of which he muses about what his next move or next few moves might be.

 

This is what my DH does when he plays higher level games with the kids. He and (almost) 10yo DS like to play Settlers of Catan.

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