Guys, I don’t know what the deal is with Riley, but he is one seriously negative dude lately. I mean he has always been prone to focusing his attention on what could go wrong, but it’s getting so much worse.
Riley has had his fair share of challenges, and he’s handled them all like a champion but I do worry that he’s had to grow up too quickly and it’s jaded him. Lately he’s been very argumentative and negative about everything.
I mean everything and it’s breaking my heart.
I think it reached its boiling point this morning when we asked him (again) to find out about cricket at school. He wants to play cricket and we know the school offers it as an extra mural activity. We are so happy to help him play the sport he wants to and encourage that he does. I want him to play a sport because I’m a firm believer in active children being healthy children and it is a really great way to form friendships that go beyond the classroom.
Instead of being amped on being part of a team, Riley is constantly telling me why he can’t play and it is always riddled with negativity.
A few years ago we discovered that Riley has the worst reaction to sugar. It’s the same reaction that PC has when he has too much sugar and it’s one that most children and adults deal with. Riley gets incredibly emotional and depressed when he has too much sugar, so naturally we curb his sugar intake. The trouble with this is that he is just a kid who also just wants treats. We can’t control what he eats when he gets his tuck on a Friday. So, could this be what is making his negative behaviour worse? Are the early stages of hormonal changes in his body creating these unstable emotions?
Is my kid just starting puberty or do I have something more to worry about? When I think of the possibility of Riley being medicated for depression and the tender age of 10, I die a little inside. As a parent, isn’t it my job to make sure that my child has the kind of childhood he deserves? One with happiness and fond memories? One where he isn’t seeing the worst in every aspect of his life? Was there a parenting course that I missed on how to keep your kids positive and happy?
We’ve decided to start a new approach to parenting with Riley. We’ve challenged him to find one positive thing and concentrate on that. Much like his XBox games that he loves so much, he has to complete tasks during the week now to highlight the good that happens in his day. These range from writing in a journal about a fun thing he did at school, to finding one positive thing to come out of doing any activity that he would typically be negative about.
So far, it is a work in progress but I’m persistent and hate to see Riley so negative. Have any other moms experienced this with their pre-teens? What did you do to change their attitude? Should I start looking at boarding school?