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Issues with my 9 year old son. Again.

(7 Posts)
QuintessentialShadow Thu 11-Aug-11 11:29:18

I dont know if I am expecting too much of him, or if the kind of troubles he gets into is usual for his age, and if other parents have similar types of problems, but never say.

On the balance, he is a nice, kind and considerate boy. He is doing well in all the school subjects. He is excelling in maths, he is reading and writing very well. He is top of his class. When he is with us, aside from sillyness and banter with his brother, the usual sibling stuff, he is showing great maturity. He is calm and reflected, and thinks things through. Most of the time.

With other children he is fooling around a lot. He is making silly faces, silly gestures, funny noises, belches, he is loud, laughing a lot. He often ends up in trouble. Sometimes doing stupid stuff such as spitting, etc. He comes across as really "all over the place", thoughtless, the opposite of streetsmart and immature. The kids in the street has slowly pulled away from him, and nobody rings his doorbell any more.

He is sad about this. But nothing we say sink in. He will again do stupid stuff next time he has a chance to play with others. The school is ringing me a few times a month. Likewise the afterschool club.

Yesterday the holiday scheme rang, and complained that he had instigated a spitting game with some of the children two years younger than him. A year one child had them walked up to him and spat a really big dollop on him, he got mad and hit the child in his back. He did not seem to realize that this was a bad idea for a game. He did not seem to realize that if you start a game with spitting, you can get spat at. He did not seem to realize that he should not have hit a boy 3 years younger than him, just for trying to join in the game, however stupid the game was.

He does not seem to be able to understand cause and effect. And I dont know if he should be able to at 9 years of age.

I feel that I am spending so much time talking to him, and explaining to him, what to do and what not to do, how to behave. But he just blanks up and I dont get through to him.

I am seriously worried about what it will be like in London. I know there is much lower tolerance for this kind of behaviour.

I also know that in school he has been bullied quite a bit, and been made a culprit. It is a chicken or egg situation. I would hope the zero tolerance at his new school means that other children will not behave to him in the same way as they have here, so he will not be so wound up that he starts any sillyness.

But, as it is, I feel really torn. Maybe he is not as good a boy as I think. Maybe I am expecting too much, and maybe I am too hard on him and overthinking all this stuff rather than shrugging it off saying "boys are boys", or some other platitude.

I am lost.

ZZZenAgain Thu 11-Aug-11 11:34:02

oh you poor thing. It is so hard when they are struggling with things like this. I don't know what you can do that you have not already tried. I suppose it is a kind of stress too with him, you had the move to Norway, the settling in there and you have not been happy there, have you? So all this may be exacerbating things.

I don't know how they learn the right behaviour to get along with other children. Do some dc observe more closely before they decide who to speak to/play with? Has he had a best friend at all?

QuintessentialShadow Thu 11-Aug-11 11:38:07

He has had a best friend. The best friend started being really manipulative. Started hitting him and wrestling him to the ground, my son would shout at his friend to stop, the friend started crying for his mum, who instantly would tell my son to fuck off out of her house. After a few such experiences we got the picture. This boy is a year above, is Class Rep, and has instructed all his mates to NOT play with my son. The listen to him. His parents think the sun shines out of his arse, and say my son is a little devil, and they wont entertain the idea that their son has started anything.

Marymaryalittlecontrary Thu 11-Aug-11 14:07:57

I think there is a bit of a back story that I have missed. If I understand correctly you are moving soon, and he will be going to a new school?

To me it sounds like he has been desperately trying to fit in, and get a bit of attention from other kids, even if it's negative. You say he is clever and top of the class - not all children think that's a good thing. When I was at school I worked hard and occasionally got called names such as swot and boffin. It didn't really bother me, but clever boys were much more affected. There was a clever boy in my class for the last two years of primary school, and because it was a good school with good teachers who expected the children to work, he did. As soon as he went to secondary school he stopped trying completely as it wasn't 'cool' to work hard and do your homework etc. With some boys (and girls too but mainly boys) the lack of effort starts much earlier if they don't have teachers who can encourage a hard working atmosphere in the classroom.

So it could be that your son doesn't want to be known as clever and hard working and has been adjusting his behaviour to try and get 'respect' from the other children. If it hasn't won him friends then he may just be subconsciously thinking 'well at least I am getting attention from them.'

Also, a certain amount of silliness is normal at this age, though highly irritating! My teacher complained to my mum (also a teacher at the school) about the boys being daft when we were about 10. "I don't know what's happened to them. They've all started talking like babies." My mum explained that the favourite TV programme at the time was called something like 'dinosaurs' and that a main character was a baby dinosaur who had such catchphrases as "I'm hungry. Feed my mouth!" and "Not the mama!" which the boys in the class found hilariously funny to repeat throughout the day in stupid baby voices!

I think that really the only thing you can do is wait and see how he gets on at his new school, and hope that it has more of a culture of working hard and being respected for doing well at school. Hopefully there will be some hardworking children there that your son will make friends with, and his behaviour will be totally different. In the meantime just try and talk to him about the type of impression of himself he wants to give at this school, and how this is a good time for a fresh start. When it's time for him to start at the school make sure he is in the right frame of mind to be positive about it with things such as a new pencil case full of equipment to help him with all the hard work he's going to do!

QuintessentialShadow Thu 11-Aug-11 22:16:49

Mary, so many things about your post is ringing true. I need to ponder this a little. Thanks for your post. It makes so much sense, I remember doing the same thing in school when I was in year 5.

QuintessentialShadow Fri 12-Aug-11 11:31:52

A bit better today. To my big surprise our doorbell rang and there were two boys outside, brothers, year 3 and year 5 (the year 5 boy is a classmate of the boy who has told the other boys not to play with him). So my son went with them, and had gone to their home. He came back for tea, and a few hours later the older boy returned, and came in to play with my son a few hours. It went really well, no sillyness and no idiocy. My son was really happy.
Maybe he felt so good about being called in on, that he did not feel that he had to be silly to get attention?

Marymaryalittlecontrary Fri 12-Aug-11 12:27:51

I'm glad he had someone to play with today. Like you say he could have felt secure enough to not have to be silly. Also, at home with lots of toys to distract them there might have been no need, whereas at school he might think he needs to be silly to 'amuse' the others and interrupt the boredom of schoolwork. Anyway, perhaps he is starting to realise that the silliness is doing him no favours and this is the start of more normal behaviour again. Good luck!

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