I worked with a family of a very active 8yo with ADHD. Whenever this boy would do something impulsively, say mean things, etc.. the parents would make him sit down and discuss the issue at length. This approach often set him off more. It was too much talk, too much rehashing events, too much processing feelings.
Because boys brains are wired differently than girls, they don’t use language as much. Boys don’t need to express feelings through articulating “feeling words”. Often, boys need 12-24 before they can process something in the past. Boys can’t process and articulate feelings on demand like girls do.
Here’s what is more effective:
-Change your expectations. Admitting wrongdoing, expressing empathy, labeling feelings are not necessary for him to understand the “bigger picture”.. This is a female-brain based approach that doesn’t work for boys.
-Go for a walk with your son or do something active in order to have a conversation. Instead of talking about feelings ask “what do you think about what happened yesterday?”
-Help him understand others’ thoughts/feelings based on his words/behavior. Don’t harp on this, just explain that his words/behavior has an effect on others and how others treat him based on how they feel about his words/behaviors.
Lets talk about how we can help you communicate more effectively with your son: www.ridethewavecounseling.com