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Thread: "Everything is too hard"...9yo

  1. #1
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    Default "Everything is too hard"...9yo

    We switched our 9yo son to SC2 a few months ago and there's no question that it is the perfect place for him; but he keeps saying that everything is too hard. This isn't just with school. EVERYTHING is too hard -- even getting dressed in the morning if his clothes aren't laid out for him. He said that it's because everything takes too long (he has ADHD) and because things are "just too hard".

    I've told him for months that he is capable of doing things that are hard, yesterday I got tough and asked him "What if God calls you to start an [religious] order? (a dream of his) Are you going to say it's too hard and never do it?" "What if God calls you to have a family? Will you say it's too hard and not do it?", etc. Today, I reminded him of his namesakes (Caleb in the Bible and St. Joseph) and talked about the hard things that they did and how courageous they were. It doesn't seem to have helped.

    I know this is fairly common among kids with challenges but it's getting really bad and has become a default mindset for him...any other ideas for how to help him?
    Jennifer

    2017-2018
    DS-13 & DS-14 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M),
    DS-9 (SC2)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC1)
    DD-3 (Preschool)

    2018-2019
    DS-14 & DS-15 (Novare Intro to Physics; MP9 Literature; Light to the Nations I for Medieval History; MPOA - Latin, Algebra I, Ref/Con)
    DS-12 (6M)
    DS-10 (SC3)
    DD-8 (MP2)
    DD-6 (SC2)
    DD-3 (Preschool Round 2)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1,778

    Default Re: "Everything is too hard"...9yo

    We had this issue too. It became his default "self-talk." Finally I realized I spent too much time trying to convince him it was not hard. Instead, we modified it to the much more acceptable statement, "This is hard, but I'm going to try."

  3. #3
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    Dec 2007
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    337

    Default Re: "Everything is too hard"...9yo

    Quote Originally Posted by cherylswope View Post
    We had this issue too. It became his default "self-talk." Finally I realized I spent too much time trying to convince him it was not hard. Instead, we modified it to the much more acceptable statement, "This is hard, but I'm going to try."
    I love this.
    Cindy Davis
    Science and Math teacher at Highlands Latin School - Indianapolis
    ds-23 college graduate: working, reading, writing
    ds-22 college senior: Biology/German double-major, applying to med school
    dd-20 college sophomore: Nursing

  4. #4
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    Sep 2014
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    Richmond, VA
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    Default Re: "Everything is too hard"...9yo

    Quote Originally Posted by jen1134 View Post
    We switched our 9yo son to SC2 a few months ago and there's no question that it is the perfect place for him; but he keeps saying that everything is too hard. This isn't just with school. EVERYTHING is too hard -- even getting dressed in the morning if his clothes aren't laid out for him. He said that it's because everything takes too long (he has ADHD) and because things are "just too hard".

    I've told him for months that he is capable of doing things that are hard, yesterday I got tough and asked him "What if God calls you to start an [religious] order? (a dream of his) Are you going to say it's too hard and never do it?" "What if God calls you to have a family? Will you say it's too hard and not do it?", etc. Today, I reminded him of his namesakes (Caleb in the Bible and St. Joseph) and talked about the hard things that they did and how courageous they were. It doesn't seem to have helped.

    I know this is fairly common among kids with challenges but it's getting really bad and has become a default mindset for him...any other ideas for how to help him?
    My Speech and Language Pathologist told me once (when my oldest was four and had to be dragged, literally kicking and screaming into anything new... like walking up a hill...) to get down on his level and whisper, very sweetly, “This is hard. You can do hard things.” It’s validating AND empowering at the same time.

    I think it may have helped me more than it did my son.
    "Do not let the past disturb you; leave everything in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and begin again with joy."
    ~ St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    "Pray, hope, and don't worry."
    ~ St Padre Pio

    Boy Wonder: 9, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Girl Friday: 7, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Silly Cowboy: 5, breathing down the neck of MPK
    Pink Baby Bunting: 18 months, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: "Everything is too hard"...9yo

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita View Post
    My Speech and Language Pathologist told me once (when my oldest was four and had to be dragged, literally kicking and screaming into anything new... like walking up a hill...) to get down on his level and whisper, very sweetly, “This is hard. You can do hard things.” It’s validating AND empowering at the same time.

    I think it may have helped me more than it did my son.

    I've used the second half of that phrase on/off for months and it just makes him whine/shut down more Maybe he does need the explicit validation of the first part for it to work. I'm going to try Cheryl's version and yours and see which seems to resonate best with him.
    Jennifer

    2017-2018
    DS-13 & DS-14 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M),
    DS-9 (SC2)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC1)
    DD-3 (Preschool)

    2018-2019
    DS-14 & DS-15 (Novare Intro to Physics; MP9 Literature; Light to the Nations I for Medieval History; MPOA - Latin, Algebra I, Ref/Con)
    DS-12 (6M)
    DS-10 (SC3)
    DD-8 (MP2)
    DD-6 (SC2)
    DD-3 (Preschool Round 2)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Canada
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    334

    Default Re: "Everything is too hard"...9yo

    Quote Originally Posted by jen1134 View Post
    I've used the second half of that phrase on/off for months and it just makes him whine/shut down more Maybe he does need the explicit validation of the first part for it to work. I'm going to try Cheryl's version and yours and see which seems to resonate best with him.
    Hi Jennifer! I don't know if this will help or not, so take it or leave it according to your child/situation/beliefs. My ds is very similar, and we struggle with this, off and on, all the time. Especially the negativity being his default, like those little neurons have just worn down a smooth little path they just LOVE to go traipsing down every day... .

    I had an inspiration one day that came from a priest friend of mine. The negative self-talk was always going to be his personal "demon." Whether it is really from the evil one or something interior is beside the point. It's his temptation in life, one he is always going to have to fight and do battle with.

    So I sat down and explained it to him, in no uncertain terms. I told him "you know those Bugs Bunny cartoons, where there is the little angel on one shoulder, and the little devil on the other? Well, that actually isn't really too far from the truth. You have a good spirit cheering you on and telling you "You can do hard things that will grow you, and you will get stronger and better and happier if you do them!" and a bad spirit, telling you "c'mon. Just give up. It is too hard for you, you can't, and you also shouldn't have to- it is not fair that it's harder for you, just give up, etc." The bad spirit wants you to fail, and feel like a victim, and get weaker, but the good spirit wants you to fight those thoughts and not give in to them, become stronger in the process, and grow smarter and bigger than the bad spirit. Which one are you going to feed?"

    I went into more detail than this, I was able to do it without scaring him or freaking him out, using humour- but the idea is that framing it as a temptation and that this "bad spirit" wants him to fail,and so is trying to convince him to do so, actually made him strangely relieved and happy. I used the little internet thing that people say about nasty comments- "Don't feed the troll." Now, all I have to do when this comes up, is say "Remember- don't feed the troll, or it will get bigger. Feed the good spirit by saying a quick prayer and "I can, or I will try."

    I think this helped because before, he took it as a personal character failing, which just brought him even lower and somehow "fed the troll" even more.. Framing it as a temptation from the outside that he is called to do battle with, to grapple with, to grow stronger than that voice saying "you can't , it's too hard" somehow changed the game in some way.

    I hope this can help somewhat. It is a bit hard to explain over email, but I hope you can use some of it maybe, along with the other great suggestions.

    Maria
    DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
    DS 10, using 5M core

  7. #7
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    Sep 2014
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    Richmond, VA
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    Default Re: "Everything is too hard"...9yo

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria2 View Post
    Hi Jennifer! I don't know if this will help or not, so take it or leave it according to your child/situation/beliefs. My ds is very similar, and we struggle with this, off and on, all the time. Especially the negativity being his default, like those little neurons have just worn down a smooth little path they just LOVE to go traipsing down every day... .

    I had an inspiration one day that came from a priest friend of mine. The negative self-talk was always going to be his personal "demon." Whether it is really from the evil one or something interior is beside the point. It's his temptation in life, one he is always going to have to fight and do battle with.

    So I sat down and explained it to him, in no uncertain terms. I told him "you know those Bugs Bunny cartoons, where there is the little angel on one shoulder, and the little devil on the other? Well, that actually isn't really too far from the truth. You have a good spirit cheering you on and telling you "You can do hard things that will grow you, and you will get stronger and better and happier if you do them!" and a bad spirit, telling you "c'mon. Just give up. It is too hard for you, you can't, and you also shouldn't have to- it is not fair that it's harder for you, just give up, etc." The bad spirit wants you to fail, and feel like a victim, and get weaker, but the good spirit wants you to fight those thoughts and not give in to them, become stronger in the process, and grow smarter and bigger than the bad spirit. Which one are you going to feed?"

    I went into more detail than this, I was able to do it without scaring him or freaking him out, using humour- but the idea is that framing it as a temptation and that this "bad spirit" wants him to fail,and so is trying to convince him to do so, actually made him strangely relieved and happy. I used the little internet thing that people say about nasty comments- "Don't feed the troll." Now, all I have to do when this comes up, is say "Remember- don't feed the troll, or it will get bigger. Feed the good spirit by saying a quick prayer and "I can, or I will try."

    I think this helped because before, he took it as a personal character failing, which just brought him even lower and somehow "fed the troll" even more.. Framing it as a temptation from the outside that he is called to do battle with, to grapple with, to grow stronger than that voice saying "you can't , it's too hard" somehow changed the game in some way.

    I hope this can help somewhat. It is a bit hard to explain over email, but I hope you can use some of it maybe, along with the other great suggestions.

    Maria
    Adults need this reminder, just as much!
    "Do not let the past disturb you; leave everything in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and begin again with joy."
    ~ St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    "Pray, hope, and don't worry."
    ~ St Padre Pio

    Boy Wonder: 9, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Girl Friday: 7, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Silly Cowboy: 5, breathing down the neck of MPK
    Pink Baby Bunting: 18 months, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    895

    Default Re: "Everything is too hard"...9yo

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria2 View Post
    Hi Jennifer! I don't know if this will help or not, so take it or leave it according to your child/situation/beliefs. My ds is very similar, and we struggle with this, off and on, all the time. Especially the negativity being his default, like those little neurons have just worn down a smooth little path they just LOVE to go traipsing down every day... .

    I had an inspiration one day that came from a priest friend of mine. The negative self-talk was always going to be his personal "demon." Whether it is really from the evil one or something interior is beside the point. It's his temptation in life, one he is always going to have to fight and do battle with.

    So I sat down and explained it to him, in no uncertain terms. I told him "you know those Bugs Bunny cartoons, where there is the little angel on one shoulder, and the little devil on the other? Well, that actually isn't really too far from the truth. You have a good spirit cheering you on and telling you "You can do hard things that will grow you, and you will get stronger and better and happier if you do them!" and a bad spirit, telling you "c'mon. Just give up. It is too hard for you, you can't, and you also shouldn't have to- it is not fair that it's harder for you, just give up, etc." The bad spirit wants you to fail, and feel like a victim, and get weaker, but the good spirit wants you to fight those thoughts and not give in to them, become stronger in the process, and grow smarter and bigger than the bad spirit. Which one are you going to feed?"

    I went into more detail than this, I was able to do it without scaring him or freaking him out, using humour- but the idea is that framing it as a temptation and that this "bad spirit" wants him to fail,and so is trying to convince him to do so, actually made him strangely relieved and happy. I used the little internet thing that people say about nasty comments- "Don't feed the troll." Now, all I have to do when this comes up, is say "Remember- don't feed the troll, or it will get bigger. Feed the good spirit by saying a quick prayer and "I can, or I will try."

    I think this helped because before, he took it as a personal character failing, which just brought him even lower and somehow "fed the troll" even more.. Framing it as a temptation from the outside that he is called to do battle with, to grapple with, to grow stronger than that voice saying "you can't , it's too hard" somehow changed the game in some way.

    I hope this can help somewhat. It is a bit hard to explain over email, but I hope you can use some of it maybe, along with the other great suggestions.

    Maria

    I really like this! It would help my older melancholic son too!
    Jennifer

    2017-2018
    DS-13 & DS-14 (mix of 6M & 8M)
    DS-11 (5M),
    DS-9 (SC2)
    DD-7 (MP1)
    DD-5 (SC1)
    DD-3 (Preschool)

    2018-2019
    DS-14 & DS-15 (Novare Intro to Physics; MP9 Literature; Light to the Nations I for Medieval History; MPOA - Latin, Algebra I, Ref/Con)
    DS-12 (6M)
    DS-10 (SC3)
    DD-8 (MP2)
    DD-6 (SC2)
    DD-3 (Preschool Round 2)

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