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8 year old DS strange behaviour - does this ring any bells?

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bottleit Fri 05-Apr-19 22:31:28

I have a lovely 8 year old DS who is bright, interested and forthright young lad. Very happy go lucky, he has a v. exuberant younger brother and loves nature, animals and making comics. Very energetic and wiry young boy. Over the past month he has developed some odd new behaviours...so seeking any advice from other parents...!

It began with whining and seeming 'down', feeling like, in his words 'something was wrong' but he didn't know what or 'like something bad was going to happen'. When questioned when he was in a really rotten mood, he finally agreed to tell me a specific concern. He couldn't speak it out loud but wrote down on a piece of paper that he felt there was 'fat on his legs'. I was flabbergasted, as he is really skinny and very healthy young lad - not an ounce of fat on him, but eats loads and runs around all the time so I feel that is totally normal. A committed vegetarian since he was about 4. I have no idea where this came from. He has sworn blind it wasn't a comment from someone else that promoted this.

We have done the usual body confidence talk and discussed changing bodies and how his body is growing and changing and he is strong and healthy, and there is nothing to worry about, but also listened and let him know we understand and are supportive of his worries. But now most days he says his 'legs are bothering him' and even suggested he could have an operation (?) but wouldn't say more than that. He seems very emotional when he gets in these moods, and I am wondering if this is a developmental stage, just he is going through some new feelings and trying to articulate them? It's really out of character, and most of the day he'll be fine and dandy, but he'll be struck with a 'down' mood and these strange accompanying issues once / twice per day. Anyone been through anything similar? Any advice?

OP’s posts: |
susan82 Fri 05-Apr-19 23:50:09

Hello,
Bless him. I am having similar with my DS of 6. Moods change like the flick of a switch and says some things such as "I'm stupid, people hate me!". He suffers low self esteem, poor emotional regulation but is receiving 1:1 at school to help him
How is he getting on at school? Maybe a word with his teacher to see if he is like this at school.

Donhill Sun 07-Apr-19 06:14:24

Hi op, I haven’t experienced this with my dc but when I was a child I went through a difficult time which started when I was around that age. I think firstly just remember that regardless of anything else, a good outcome would be for him to keep talking to you about it. It sets down healthy habits that will hopefully last if he has other problems in the future. The fact that he can talk about this and you are strong enough to understand and listen and be supportive tells him that strong emotions and bad emotions are things that he can share and his parents will understand.
I also wonder whether this could be a sort of intrusive thought like you get with ocd? Probably not, but worth considering.
And also there is a really good series of books for kids focusing on different emotional issues that I have used with my dc. “What to do when.....” and maybe the “what to do when you worry too much” one might be good to read with him. Or one of the other ones. They have exercises to try and stuff and might help him to open up so you can find out more.

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