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No point in having conversations

(6 Posts)
Methenyouplus4 Mon 30-Jan-17 21:20:42

Our 12 year old DC is very quiet around pretty much everyone other than closest friends (about 5 of them). Even around DH and I, conversation is 95% functional (e.g. "What are we doing at the weekend/ can I go to the park?" etc.

They weren't always like this and is does come across as introverted/rude. Also, I feel sad that there is no casual chat and many car journeys etc are in silence and we get shortest possible answer with mo effort to engage back.

We have tried to talk about it but they said they just don't see the point -almost as though they don't understand how important conversation/ chit chat etc is to building relationships /allowing conversations to lead to something more meaningful? This makes me really sad and I worry that we'very failed him in sone way?

HobbitTankard Tue 31-Jan-17 12:13:30

This is the age my son pulled away from us and it is saddening.

No I don't think it's a failure of parenting unless you haven't given him a chance to speak these past years!

If he is chatting to friends that has to be a good sign. If he engages with functional conversation that is better than nothing. And better to extend that rathet than anything that can be felt as interrogation.

Mine did start up wide ranging conversations in later years and often at late hours but I was so relieved I would find myself crawling to bed at 1am just to have been able to listen! Good luck.

corythatwas Tue 31-Jan-17 13:54:16

There is every point in hanging in there and not showing your distress. Accept that conversations have changed, let them see that you still value having them around, be as positive as you can, don't let them feel that if they can't be what you want there is no point in trying. Once they feel confident that you will accept any new adult person they may morph into, they may well start opening up again.

Remember, this is a scary time for them: they know they are going to change, you may not even like the new person they change into, you may secretly be wishing that they could stay cute and small forever and they know they won't be able to do that, they also know they have to break away and become independent from you and they may worry that you will not be able to handle that or that they may not be able to do that in the right way.

It's a big scary time. Companionable silences can do a lot to get you through. Just knowing that you can be happy in their company, even if they don't say things or do things, just being with them.

I have never accepted rude language or unkind remarks, but silence doesn't have to be hurtful. My youngest has now got through the silent phase, and will probably be moving out within the next 2 or 3 years anyway. But when that day comes I am sure I will remember with fondness the hours of listening to his music in the car or watching Match of the Day with him in the evenings. It may not have looked like much, but it built a bond.

Methenyouplus4 Tue 31-Jan-17 23:03:10

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.

He isn't rude in what he says, it's more that his curt responses and failure to ask questions back/show an interest comes across as rude. It also makes me worry it seems like a depressive tendency (to not see the point in engaging in any conversation).

That said, you have both reassured me somewhat. Just tonight he asked me to read to him in bed and we often watch TV, play board games etc.

There have been a lot of changes to our life over the past few years (house/school /work/new siblings-all big stuff) -I worry how all of this has affected hin and it's hard to work out how much is that versus normal hormones/creating distance or whether it's the sign of an early mental health issue?

swingofthings Wed 01-Feb-17 10:31:15

Yep, totally normal! It gets better as they get to 16ish. What really surprised me is how 'fluent' my DS CAN be! Was totally taken by surprised last time I took him to get his hair cut and he had a perfectly mature conversation, using eloquent speech, with the hairdresser.

He is starting to get better with me too, not yet what I would call deep conversation, and any attempt at anything remotely serious usually has a time frame of about 5 minutes before it would seem that I 'go on and on', still some serious progress required with grand-parents though!

corythatwas Wed 01-Feb-17 10:58:22

I have had pre-teens of both kinds, OP: one ordinarily grunting and one medically depressed.

Signs of depression include:

completely inability to rise to everyday tasks- doesn't get out of bed, lets selfcare go completely, unable to concentrate on school work

lack of interest in any social life- (doesn't always happen, this one, though I would feel very reassured by my child having 5 close friends)

self-harm and/or an aggressive attitude towards others

extreme lethargy

deep and sustained despondency about own ability to control life

Remember introverted is not the same as depressed: an introverted person can be quietly happy, an extrovert can be medically depressed. Dd is an extrovert and can talk the hind leg off a donkey but has been on medication for depression/anxiety for the last 5 years, I was an introvert as a teen but was quite happy snuggled up in my room with my books.

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