kindergartener talks bad about himself - FamilyEducation
kindergartener talks bad about himself
10/08/2012 at 22:13 PM

My 5 year old son is very bright and sweet. He's also energetic and silly. We tell him constantly that he's smart, that we love him, etc. But when he gets mad at himself he says bad things like "I'm stupid" or "you think I'm stupid" or "you hate me". I don't know what to do when he says these things. There are times I wonder if he says them to distract me if he's in trouble and other times I think he really feels this way. We don't name call in the house and we definitely don't call him stupid or an idiot or tell him we hate him. This really worries me. Any advice or similar situations would be greatly appreciated!

i would recomend counceling, no harm can come from a professional opinion.

It must be difficult to hear your son say those things. You are right, it may be that he talks this way to distract you when he is in trouble. It’s important to pay attention to that because it can be a form of manipulation that you don’t want to be pulled into. Children can at times act like victims to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. When he says, “You hate me,” you can say to him something like, “I love you but I don’t like your behavior right now” and then walk away to avoid getting pulled into a power struggle. After things calm down you can discuss what happened and give appropriate consequences as necessary.

When your son uses negative self-talk, like saying “I’m stupid,” you can help him figure out what’s causing his lack of self-worth. Find out what happened today to make him feel that way. From there you can talk to him about what he needs to do to address the problem. Helping your son to problem solve will help build his self-esteem. It’s important to set limits even when he is having self-esteem issues. So you can say, “I’m sorry if you’re sad or frustrated, or don’t feel good about yourself right now, but we’re not going to lose sight of the fact that you have to (fill in the blank).” Give your child appropriate consequences, but work with him to learn how to solve the problem that’s blocking him. I hope this helps!

I've taught Kindergarten for several years and that isn't a quality I normally see in the classroom. I do however see children deflect a lot when they are in trouble. I think it's best to follow through always with consequences even when they say it. Then address their feelings. If they are trying to get out of trouble they should do it less often because it doesnt work any longer to get them out of trouble or get more attention from mommy to deflect the negative. I would also talk to your child's teacher and school councilor. You never know some other child might be telling your child these things. Kinders can be harsh to each other. The councilor should also have great resources to coach with self esteem. They will also be a better tool at figuring out the root of the problem. I hope this helps and good luck.

Thank you everyone for the advice. It has brought some new perspective to me.