7 year old's negative attitude - FamilyEducation
7 year old's negative attitude
03/22/2009 at 21:05 PM

Our 7 year old son is very negative. It breaks my heart and I find myself getting very frustrated with it (which makes me feel like a horrible parent). He comes home and talks about how everybody has done him wrong...claims nothing is his fault....wines and berates his 5 year old brother. He is a great student, teachers love him and he makes friends easily. I have a relative who lives blaming the world for her lack of good fortune and never takes ownership of her own life/destiny. I am terrified that my son is going to turn out with the same attitude. Any ideas? I try to encourage him to find something positive or good in every situation...he quickly rolls back to the negative. Help!

It's good that you noticed your son's attitude problems. A couple of things might help. One is to back off on the talk about finding good. If he's bright, he'll just take the opportunity to argue with you, which ends up with him finding more things to complain about. Another thing you might do is to increase the amount of silliness and fun in your household, or alternatively, get involved in a service organization which deals with serious issues: homelessness, hunger, abuse. Since he's seven, you might want to get involved with Cub Scouts. They have a Tiger Cubs program which is for seven year olds. Also, check out or buy some age-appropriate joke books. Once in a great while, you might want to join him in a horribilizing session. When he says something negative, you take it one step further. Then, especially if he keeps on about it, you take it one step further. Don't let it get ridiculous too quickly, but keep going until you can wring your hands and moan " Oh, NO! We're all going to die!" Then have a great big belly laugh.

The above is great advice, just skip the word "die", instead say somthing silly and impossible like: shrink or turn into trees. A child who is already negative could become focused on death which would open up a whole new set of negative issues.

Hello! Sometimes kids say things to get your attention. You want to give attention to the positive things he does and says. I would try either ignoring or just ok or nod of the head when he starts on negative tangents. If he realizes that he isn't getting alot of your attention, and that is what he wants, then negative comments should diminish and stop. If you truly think that he is saying these things because he is feeling very poorly about himself, then you may want to see a psychologist to rule out other problems. Also watch how you are responding to things. We can be the best models for our kids, so make sure you are positive. Good luck to you and your son. Only

I love the "horribleizing" remark! I have a boy who says, "Well fin, I guess I won't wear a shirt today" if he can't find one. Mumbles and backtalks, its' soooo frustrating. My bf thinks there something wrong with him, and I"m lost. I don't know what to do.