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Is it normal for a child to show no love or affection?

(15 Posts)
Darragh16 Tue 26-May-20 23:53:04

I'm a bit worried about my relationship with my eldest son. He's 10, since he was a baby he's never been big into cuddles or showing affection. But as he's getting older its non existent! I tell him I love him everyday he answers with "umm". I go into his room at night before I go to bed to give him a kiss on the cheek goodnight, he let's me but I know he just does it for my sake. He'd rather just be left alone. He's kind in other ways. He has a soft nature and would be very sensitive. But I just feel like I really have to work at it to build a relationship with him. He likes to be in his room playing xbox. He'll go out with his dad or friends to play football but I just cant seem to find any common ground with him. I have a 4 year old daughter too who is the complete opposite! She is joined at the hip with me. She has such a lovable nature she says the sweetest little things. My son has no time for her either. If she so much as enters his room he tells her to get out in a really hateful tone of voice. This is really bothering me I'm trying my best not to make a difference with him and my daughter. If I tell my daughter I love her I make sure I say it to him too. I love both my children more than anything but as much as I try I cant build a close relationship with my son. I also just want him to start being a bit nicer to his little sister. He knows what buttons to press with me too he'll say very hateful things hes left me in tears many times. I've tried getting my husband to talk with him. He'll change for a few days then go back to being the same. Maybe hes just not the affectionate type, if that's the case how can i show him I love him in other ways without making him feel uncomfortable?

OP’s posts: |
OwlPop Wed 27-May-20 00:20:37

There's a few things going on here. First of all, the 'saying hateful things that make you cry.' You tell him this stops immediately and you give consequences for it - and don't cry in front of him.

The also sounds like you pussy foot around him a little. Keep up the affection etc but mentally try and loosen the reins a little.. he clearly senses your 'desperation' here and I'm not sure that's helping

I'd be dealing with him appropriately for being 'hateful.' I'd be doing likewise for every time he is nasty to his sister. I'd offer a cuddle each night etc as usual and maybe try and carve out time alone together. Doesn't have to be common ground as such - watch films, go for a walk,

GrumpyHoonMain Wed 27-May-20 00:23:07

What are the things he says you find hateful?

Plumpi Wed 27-May-20 00:25:44

I think it is normal for a 10 year old boy, actually. They are not gushy, but they're still learning to be polite and respectful to people.

Darragh16 Wed 27-May-20 00:33:02

When they were at school before lockdown he was a total nightmare in the mornings. I had to call him for nearly 20 mins to get him out of bed. An odd day he would refuse point blank to go to school for me. I'd literally have to drag him out of bed. One day I even phoned his teacher on him. My husband is at work from 7am so I'm dealing with him on my own. Hed say things like "if you kept the house cleaner I'd be able to find my school bag" hes so lazy he expects me to do everything for him. the house is in no way untidy. He just knows what buttons to press. He refuses to eat healthy food for me then he blames me for not making him way it. He just makes me feel like the worst parent ever sometimes and I really am trying my best with him.

OP’s posts: |
Plumpi Wed 27-May-20 00:43:53

Sounds like my son tbh. They are ratbags. You have to find what they love. So difficult in lock down because what they love is sport and going places. I'm learning to code roblox games with mine though. That's good if he likes that kind of thing. You can team code.

Darragh16 Wed 27-May-20 00:52:13

Hes more into fortnite which I have no idea about! I've tried to get him walking with me in the mornings that was a nightmare too! He wouldnt speak a word to me the whole way around the roads. He was upset cos I made him leave the house. During lockdown he complains if he has to leave the house at all. He just wants things his way if everything's going his way hes happy. I take full responsibility for all this. I know hes spoilt rotten. It's just so hard trying to change things with him. He turns the tears on then I feel like the worst person ever. My husband doesn't help matters either. He always gives in to his demands then I'm left looking like the bad guy as always! The Joy's of parenthood! My daughter is so different, I worry sometimes too was it my fault I suffered post natal depression after him. I often wonder did he somehow pick up on that

OP’s posts: |
Plumpi Wed 27-May-20 00:52:42

Should have added, then you can take away the thing he loves and so you have the power. Sorry, its so manipulative but otherwise they do get out of control.

Plumpi Wed 27-May-20 00:55:25

Yeah, my son is just like this! Full on tantrums when he doesn't get his way. It does make you question yourself even when he is being ridiculous! I think of it this way though, he has to learn to be reasonable and respectful if he's going to get on in life. You have to be strict. I wish it were otherwise because I don't like being strict, but it's just like that I think.

Plumpi Wed 27-May-20 00:56:51

Don't let him get under your skin with this bad parent shit. Bad parent or not, he still has to go for walks and get ready for school!

Darragh16 Wed 27-May-20 01:04:21

I completely agree, it's just so different with my daughter. She is so caring and thoughtful. If I tell her no she just accepts it. I dont have to be strict with her she just accepts things as they are. With my son it a constant battle! Dont even get me started with home schooling. I'm ready for the mental with him. But thank you for your replys it makes me feel a bit better to know I'm not alone with this. I guess this is the Joy's of having little boys and I shouldn't be comparing him to his sister. I really need to toughen up with him too I know I do.

OP’s posts: |
rose69 Wed 27-May-20 07:57:03

A united front with your husband will hopefully help. Agree responses for bad behaviour with him and he implements it when it happens.

Use parental controls to limit time on games. Fortnite is very addictive.

When school begins again you and your husband check that everything is ready for school the night before before he has any time on IT.

Talk to his school about your concerns too. Teachers can still be contacted although schools are closed.

OtterBe4 Wed 27-May-20 12:43:29

I find it a bit odd that you say *
he won't go to school for me*
he won't eat healthy for me
For you? it's for his benefit.
You sound scared of him, there seems to be not rules or consequences.
Your DH and you need to be a united front, have a talk with him and agree to set rules in place and stick to them.

SqidgeBum Wed 27-May-20 12:57:15

I am a teacher and have seen this time and time and again. It's really hard on parents but is also very common. The advice we give to parents is to be quite tough to be honest. He is saying these things because he knows it hurts, he is on his x box because he knows he can, he is mean to his sister because there are no serious consequences. He sounds like he is bullying you to be honest. You sound like you dont want to upset him. As a parent, part of your job is to upset him, as he needs rules and boundaries, and if he breaks those rules he needs serious consequences and those consequences need to come without any emotion from you, and they need to be followed through on.

Have you watched any super nanny? I know it's strange to suggest but she has brilliant strategies for kids who just keep pushing the boundaries. I use her methods with my 18 month old and in my lessons with kids the same age as your son. It's a simple idea of staying 'this is not acceptable', making the consequence clear, and being tough as nails. I dong envy you. It's so hard! Good luck.

Skyla2005 Wed 27-May-20 13:08:59

Totally agree with squidgebum !
You said yourself he is spoilt rotten
What do you expect ? Sorry but kids need boundaries and they need discipline too. You let him speak to his sister horribly with no consequences and has no respect for you. Put your foot down and stop molly coddling him. If he can’t be nice take the Xbox away till he is. Step up and show him the way. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind

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