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Son just lost his grandad and his behaviour has changed dramatically - help

(17 Posts)
shatteredmumsrus Tue 09-Sep-08 21:40:55

8yo son lost his very close grandad suddenly from cancer that was very quick.He went to the funeral and cried alot but since then he has started junior school and after 2 days the teacher asked to see me. He is shouting out, very touchy and is obviously playing up. I explained to the teacher about our loss of grandad and she has given him a 'mentor' to give him a bit more attention and to talk about his day. I hopehis helps. I am finding it very hard disciplining him. I know that he has been affected massivly but his attitude is terrible. He is grumpy, lazy and doesnt do what he is told at all.Its wearing me down. I try to be positive but this lasts for about 10 minutes before I am screaming like a fishwife. Any previous experience or advice please...

cherrieberry Tue 09-Sep-08 21:54:43

only advic is talk to a heath visitor,they could put you in contact with a child berievement advisor.hope you both feel better soon

shatteredmumsrus Tue 09-Sep-08 22:03:49


drivinmecrazy Tue 09-Sep-08 22:13:35

I really feel for you as my DD1 (7 1/2) recently lost her grand father in exactly the same way. She was really close to him, but reacted totally differently. She didn't react at all for a few weeks, then turned into a blubbering wreck. Now 2 months on, she still has terrible moments of grief which break my heart. It is so hard to know what is 'normal' in a child.
I know my DD is very angry that he died, and has asked me why he had to die 'before he was ready'. Does he understand where his grandad has gone?
My DD had to turn off the TV today because a song came on which made her think of him, and she says she can't stand being sad any more.
I know our local hospice offers a child counselling service, and even though my Dad didn't go to the hospice, they have offered my DD the chance to talk it through with some one. Maybe you could contact your local hospice and see if they offer any bereavment counselling for young children. Am still in 2 minds as to whether my DD is reacting 'normally' or whether she should go for a session or two.
It is so young to loose some one who they are very close to. My DD also lost her other grandad in April, how she copes at all is beyond me.

shatteredmumsrus Wed 10-Sep-08 11:27:12

i know it is very hard.How can they cope when we find it so hard too. I dont know what is going on in his head. At football practice last night they put me in goal for a laugh and he kept screaming save it for Grandad, when i didnt he kicked a tree and went beserk!

bubblagirl Wed 10-Sep-08 11:36:38

could you sit him down and say his grandad wouldnt want him acting out etc

and maybe write a note on a baloon and send it off i know boys genuinly get embarrassed by talking but you cant keep exscusing bad behaviour he still needs the same boundries to keep him functioning

you really need to say you know his sad but you will not tolerate bad behaviour and maybe set up some bereavement councilling for him

whilst he knows you'll exscuse his bad behaviour he has the green light to keep doing so

its not being mean but its sticking to bounderies and even in grief if his disruptive at school and home something needs to be done he needs to know he cannot act that way and have another outlet such as having grief adviser to talk to or making grandad proud with his good behaviour

im sorry for your loss and really hope he can come to terms with it too and cope better

is there something him and grandad did that you could do and say goodbye etc or do in honour of grandad?

bubblagirl Wed 10-Sep-08 11:41:56

hope i didnt come across as mean but my brother was given this advise or shoul;d i say my mum was for my brother

counsillor was saying even in grief you need boundries for behaviour and another outlet needs to be found as he was disruptive at home school outside home and it was being exscused but they said he needs it he needs to be told as cannot control feelings of anger so needs to be told its wrong to set boundries other wise its a downward spiral it becomes the normal way to behave

so i hope even though you know why his sad bad behavior cannot be tolerated and sit him down ask if theres something he'd like to do in honour of his grandad

i think my breother went fishing and sat and reminised about fun they had etc and it really helped

blithedance Wed 10-Sep-08 12:00:04

It does take a while for grief to work through the system - from what I have observed the older the child generally the longer it takes. I have seen a 4 year old be very disruptive and angry for a few months, then get his equilibrium back, whereas teenagers may carry it for years but in a quieter way.

Agree it's worth look for some bereavement counselling, organisations like the Laura Centre are fantastic, can you find anything local?

there is also a book "Helping children cope with separation and Loss" by Claudia Jewett Jarrett that you may be able to find in the library.

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 10-Sep-08 12:08:59

sad shatteredmumsrus - we have talked before on the bereavement thread (my son's gf died 3 weeks ago)...I think children do vary in how they react and grieve - ds has been perfectly ok throughout the past 3 weeks - he has just started secondary school too which I thought might churn up all kinds of feelings. He is a quiet and sensitive boy but generally calm and sensible - thinks things through a lot - he was v quiet at the funeral,but there have been no tears or upsets at all. It's true we lived a fair distance apart and he saw his grandad maybe 3 times a year but they were extremely fond of one another and he absolutely loved being there with his grandparents, never wanting to come home.
Maybe the not seeing them often has helped him cope with the loss - I'm not sure how it all works.
I really hope your ds can get some kind of help in easing him through his grief - would Winston's Wish be helpful ?

WideWebWitch Wed 10-Sep-08 12:10:48

Hi, oh so he did go to the funeral? Poor boy.

I think you could try saying "are you sad about grandad, me too, would you like a cuddle?"

And ease off on him to an extent but with boundaries on the important things.

Sycamoretree Wed 10-Sep-08 12:11:51

Don't have experience with a child of similar age, but DD3 lost grandad to cancer in February and can't stop asking if nana is going to die too. We saw a dead caterpillar on holiday and she got really upset. I don't really know what to do either - her understanding of death is obviously pretty limited.

For an older child i would def seek advice of counsellor if behaviour has gone this far out of character. They know the stuff you don't to best access what is at the core of his behaviour shift, and how best to give him peace of mind and help him grieve in the most healing way. Good luck.

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 10-Sep-08 12:14:17

winston's wish

catweazle Wed 10-Sep-08 19:36:59

When my dad died my children were 10, 8, 6 and 4. The 8 year old took it really badly. We called Cruse and a lovely lady came out to see DS at home once a week for ages. They made a "memory book" together which ended with a photo of the gravestone (not as morbid as it sounds).

shatteredmumsrus Wed 10-Sep-08 20:13:24

Ah thanks so much for all the advice. I have taken it all on board and really appreciate it. He took some photos of him and gdad in to school today to show his new teacher. He said they looked at them and she said they were lovely and that her brother dies 3 years ago and she understands how he feels. Really kind of her i thought.When younger ds mentions it older ds says can we talk about something else and he cried in assembly as a sad song came on and remided him about gadad. They react so adversely that its hard toknow what to do. Think I may seek out a councillor - great advice. He has had a good day at school today and the teacher has made him a target chart and he gets a prize if he does well at it. Teacher gave me a thumbs up today so he must have improved.

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 10-Sep-08 21:11:07

oh bless him - he sounds a very sensitive boy,hope you can find a way to help him deal with this

shatteredmumsrus Thu 11-Sep-08 20:55:49

Had a bad day today. He only had 1 incident at school but has played up at home and footy practice, not majorly but it is compared to the nice lad that he was a month ago.He just doesnt listen and is driving me crazy

MaryAnnSingleton Thu 11-Sep-08 22:17:04

am sorry to hear that, it must be very hard for you sad

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