5 Year Old has Tantrums During Sports Games

Dr. Laura,
I have a 5 year old boy. He gets very emotional and cries very easily. This happens in numerous different situations. He just started playing soccer and had his first game on Saturday. He had crying meltdowns on at least six occasions during his playing times whenever something he tried didn't work out: missing a kick, kicking the ball out of bounds, missing the goal, etc. When this happens, he stops completely & stands there crying instead of trying again. It seems I've tried everything I know, deep breaths, encouraging statements. I need a new strategy for helping him learn some coping skills so that he can enjoy activities. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

It sounds like you have a sensitive boy with big feelings. It also sounds like he may need a chance to cry and let some of those feelings out at other times, so they don't swamp him every time he gets disappointed or frustrated. You can do that by setting kind, reasonable limits and supporting him while he cries (at home). Laughter would also be really helpful to him, and if you can roughhouse with him every day to get him laughing, you will also build his physical confidence. I would also recommend Playful Parenting by Larry Cohen. He describes how to play with kids therapeutically to help them work through issues like this, and build their inner resources. Good luck!
Dr. Laura


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