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8 year old boys: is there something I should know?

(18 Posts)
Lonelymum Mon 10-Jan-05 18:41:50

My 8 year old son is being very challenging of late. He is uncharacteristically aggressive towards his siblings and a bit back-chatty towards dh and myself. Sometimes he seems to spend the whole time in his bedroom (because he has been sent there). Yesterday, dh spent ages with him making an Airfix model plane yet he was still moody and obstreperous later. Then he began crying because "Everyone was having fun when I was in the bath and I felt left out". I pointed out to him that I was actually hearing his brother and sister read their school reading books and he said he wanted to read to me too (he is an independent reader and the school don't expect me to hear him read anymore). It was like he just wanted to be a baby again. I said I would hear him read today but, TBH, he is being so rude again tonight, I haven't got round to it yet.

I read once that 8 year old boys get their first rush of hormones at this age, and they can be alternately stroppy and then needy and babyish. This seems to fit ds1, but have you experienced this with your 8 year old? What did you do to get through the phase? How long does it last? Please don't say until they leave home!

AuntyQuated Mon 10-Jan-05 18:44:20

don't know about boys of 8 but my dd is 8 and likes to read to us and vice versa...thinks she enjoys the closeness of it.

weightwatchingwaterwitch Mon 10-Jan-05 18:46:44

My ds is 7 and I still read him a story every night and give him a huge cuddle in bed, I'm enjoying it while it lasts as I'm sure it won't lsat much longer. It sounds like he wants attention to me. I think it's prob a tough age, they're not grown up but they're not babies any more and they're not sure how to handle it.

Lonelymum Mon 10-Jan-05 19:57:26

Goodness he gets SO much attention! It isn't really the reading thing I am worried about. I just mentioned that because it is an example of how changeable his moods are, one minute he is stroppy and defiant and the next he is crying and envious of the "baby" attention his siblings are getting (in this case, reading). It is like he can't decide whether to be grown up or still a dependent little boy. It is hard to explain, but his behaviour has changed really quite a lot lately. For instance, he may sound as though he is jealous of the attention his siblings are receiving, but that is not usually like him at all. Firstly, he often seems to take more than his fair share of attention anyway because he is the oldest, and secondly, he has always been an excellent older brother: very attentive to his younger siblings, playing with them, even sort of looking after them when he forgets himself! Theere has never been any nastiness between him and the younger ones until recently.
In some ways, he is almost behaving as I would expect a teenager to behave but he is only eight!

tentunturq Mon 10-Jan-05 20:04:34

We had some terrible times with my ds when he was 8 - he was like a brick wall. Very determined to be independent, wouldn't be told what to do, but still a baby for cuddles and so on. I got through it by standing dead firm on the main things, but letting him have a bit more choice and freedom over smaller issues. The worst was over in about three months. He's 10 now and still v cuddly

Lonelymum Mon 10-Jan-05 20:11:39

What sort of things did you let him choose between?

tentunturq Tue 11-Jan-05 00:31:34

Just letting him be a bit more grown up really - us being more flexible, him being more responsible. For example, they always used to have to have a bath every night, at a certain time - he started to miss that on the condition that he would get himself up early for a shower. Letting him pack his own school lunch, on the condition he put in plenty of fruit and veg with the biscuits and doorstep sarnies (and trusting him enough to not always check). Probably stuff that would have begun to happen naturally anyway - but I kind of used it as a bargaining tool against the endless "You can't always tell me what to do" "You're not the boss of me" (Er yes I can and I am!)

tentunturq Tue 11-Jan-05 00:37:07

Thinking back over that time though - he was really horrendous: threats to run away, to kill himself, to kill me - unbelievable excessive boilings over that left him shaky and sobbing. You have my sympathies!

fostermum Tue 11-Jan-05 08:36:27

sounds hormonal to me alright,giving him choices is good,special big boy things to make him feel a bit special coz hes older,is anything worrying him at school or with his mates,may be profect upset on you because hes getting stress else where

Freckle Tue 11-Jan-05 09:28:29

It might have more to do with the fact that he is the eldest than the fact that he is 8. Although, I suspect that hormones play a role in this and they do hit between the ages of 7-9. DS1 is very much like this (he is now almost 11). He wants the status of being the eldest, but doesn't like the additional responsibility and often complains that we treat the other 2 (both boys) better than him. I seem to recall my elder sister complaining of the same thing.......

So perhaps it's more his place in the family which is causing the problems (coupled with hormones), rather than his specific age.

Lonelymum Tue 11-Jan-05 18:56:28

I do think being the eldest puts a strain on him although the next one down is 7 and I consciously try to ask him to do some of the things I have previously asked the 8 y/o to do, and to ask him in front of the 8 y/o so he (the 8 y/o) sees he is not always picked for jobs.

As for whether he is worried about something at school: probably, but that is constant with him and not something new. He doesn't make firends easily and is a bit different from the majority in the class. I think the class accept his differences somewhat, but the other class in the year group are less forgiving. Ds will never tell me about these things, I have to weedle tiny bits of info out of him. Today he was complaining he gotr into some mild trouble at school (unheard of for him) so maybe his character change is not just at home.
Tentunturq: my problems seems little compared to what you describe! I hope my son sticks with the level of stroppiness I am getting now, at least until he is a bit older!

lowcalCOD Sat 15-Jan-05 08:08:57

whats the latest?

Toolshed Mon 22-Aug-11 10:11:02

I sympathise Lonelymum - my 8 year old boy is going through a similar thin and it's putting a starin on us all. He is moody and almost teenage-like. It's good to hear we're not the only ones. Feel like a crap parent at the moment.

Scarlett86 Fri 23-Jan-15 21:41:45

Oh wow! Just knowing I'm not the only one helps.
My son ( 1 of twins) has gone bonkers! His lost interest at school, is rude to me, lost all of his normal appetite and is so emotional sad where's my baby gone?!
So what do I do during a melt down? Xx

sharpsworld Tue 03-Feb-15 12:13:42

just wanted to say thank you to all the mums who've posted on here - it helps a lot to know i'm not the only one!

PrincessTheresaofLiechtenstein Wed 04-Feb-15 11:46:12

Similar stuff with my 8 year old ds going on just now. He is expresses himself well and has been talking to me about how he feels: lots of worries about friends, not being interested in the same things as others, his size (v small for his age) etc. it is coming out in aggression towards his sister, which we come down hard on, and he then feels hard done by etc etc - bit of a nightmare at the moment. I hate to see him sad, he gets lots of positive attention, we listen to him a lot, but the next moment he will be pushing his sister out of the way to get up the stairs first or whatever and the negative cycle starts again. He is often heard muttering about how we don't care about him.

cedricsneer Wed 04-Feb-15 11:54:41

Just adding my agreement. I have a moody faux teenage 8 year old ds. He is very needy sometimes - wanting to sit on my knee and talking in a baby voice - and then obstreperous and withdrawn at other times. His interests have changed hugely and he definitely isn't as compliant and eager to please at school either.

It seems very young sad. Lots of his contemporaries are still v much little boys. I guess there is a big spectrum of maturity. Me and dh were just saying yesterday that we would like to see some of the compensations of this maturity, like being more responsible - not seeing them yet.

Smokedsalmonbagel Wed 04-Feb-15 12:08:00

Gosh I've got a very grumpy nearly 8 year old too!
He has been having some serious strops recently about stuff that doesn't really matter. He is also rude to us and doesn't seem to know when to shut up!
He also finds it hard to make friends. He seems happy at school but I really worry about him. Again he has always been a bit different!
We are trying to come down hard on him but I really feel for him.

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