October 26, 2010

Pity Parties

Lately Andrew has been throwing himself daily pity parties.  The activities at his parties include: yelling some accusation at the family, glaring, storming out of the room, slamming or throwing something, pouting, and then simmering in nasty, negative thoughts (until we figure out how to distract him or make him laugh).

I told him that the pity parties had to end.  I talked to him about playing the glad game like Pollyanna instead.

I asked him to help me list all the good things in his life, but he claimed he couldn't think of anything.  I said, "Really?  Are you sick all the time, beaten every day, starved, over-worked, and miserable?"

I reminded him that his dad has a job and makes money, his mom gets to stay home with him, he has a warm, dry house to live in, plenty of food to eat, a nice family, and great friends.  Plus he's intelligent, kind, and handsome.  So there!

I said that we are going to have a new rule (The Six "P" Plan):  He has to adopt a Pollyanna policy instead of throwing pity parties, or he will have problems with his parents!

I love the alliteration of it.  And I think it worked too, because right after I told him the rule, he said, "But I have the worst life, and everyone just keeps ruining it!!!"

Here are some pictures of a recent pity party for your viewing pleasure.
(P.S.  I highly recommend running the video camera or taking pictures during a meltdown.  It can do one of two things: either it gives the kid stage fright and ends the session sooner, or it gives you some good footage to enjoy for years to come.)


  1. oh, sad. sometimes my kids get really depressed because they think they are the only kids in the world who don't get a pet. usually when they whine about that i tell them that in africa, kids have to eat their pets. that helps.

  2. I had a child who had pity parties everyday all year long last year. I thought it would never end. There was nothing I could say or do that would change anything. I can't explain it, but she is a completely different person this year. I guess it was just a stage? I'm crossing my fingers that it was. I'm loving my new child. I hope Andrew's pity parties will end soon. In the meantime....Practice Patience :)

  3. that is so funny! i am going to take pictures of jase next time he throws a fit.

  4. You forgot the third reaction, which is that when you film your child he becomes dangerously violent. But then, our son is different than yours. So, no pity for you. Hah!
    Kate, Casey quoted your comment to me because he thought it was so funny.

  5. When my older sister was misbehaving and just needed to grow up, my mom threw her a birthday party, not anywhere around her birthday. She declared that my sister was 9 now (instead of 8) and my sister started behaving better.

  6. It is comforting to know that Andrew is not always perfect. A six-year-old's life is a complex and difficult one. I'm sad that Andrew's is wrecked.

  7. Disney films featuring Haley Mills usually work very well in my house.

  8. Kate, I laughed out loud for a long time at your comment.

  9. I really like the 6 P Program. The person who came up with that must be an english teacher or something. And yeah, it sounds like it's working awesome. i'm totally going to try taking pictures during a meltdown. i always forget because i'm usually in the middle of my own internal meltdown.
    so (warning: serious note) kids really do have strong emotions and it's hard for them to understand why they feel things and how to cope. i thought a lot about that after i watched where the wild things are. but lucky for andrew - his mom is the most compassionate, listening, analyzing, best therapist i know. so even though most kids probably figure out how to cope with emotion in college or older - he'll probably get it by 7. also, he's emotionally mature - so he might be going through a stage early.