My 8 Yr. old suddenly changed! What to do?

Jessica - posted on 03/15/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son has recently gotten into the habit of not wanting to do anything but video games. His mood has gotten worst...like he has the worst mood swings I would have ever expected from him lately and he all of a sudden has become a very picky eater. Doesn't seem to like anything that I cook since I cook with lots of veggies. With his mood swings I have taken the games away, the t.v away, sat him down and spoken with him on several occasions and even tried getting him to go silently into his room or the bathroom to count to 10. Any suggestions on what else could work???

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Jessica - posted on 03/16/2010

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Rebekah: I am definately going to take you up on all of your suggestions. I just spoke to him about getting into afterschool or weekend activities and he says that he wants to get into boxing lessons and dance/hip hop. So I am def. going to look into them A.S.A.P. and will keep you informed on the progress. Thank you very much for shedding some insight on the matter.
Charity: You have no clue how much you put my heart at ease to know that I am not the only mom to now know what other options there are once we have worn out our own options and remedies...after going so many years with who "We" would swear is "The Most Perfect Child" we were givin. I do hope that things start to look up for you and soon. An abundance thanks to you for replying and for helping some of my fears at being a horrible mother at ease. Please let me know about your progress as well.

Rebekah - posted on 03/16/2010

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Do whatever you can to keep the lines of communication open with your child. Is there anything else in his life that might explain his reaction? Trouble with peers at school, family conflicts that he may be picking up on? A loss of some kind? Talk with the teachers at school and find out what they are seeing. If there is a school counselor, they could also be a great resource for you. Try to spend 1:1 time with him at the park or something just to reinforce that you are there for him. Kids often just need more time from us. He may not be able to help the mood swings, so continue to offer him tools he can use to try to cope with his emotions. Maybe when he's in a calmer mood, he could partner with you to formulate a plan of what to do when he's getting in a bad mood. Feelings are natural and are not "bad" in and of themselves, but rather how they are handled which makes it a good or a bad situation. If there is anger or sadness, its ok--it means something is up; they need to pinpoint what it is and go from there. It isn't ok to be unkind or disrespectful (consequences will follow), but it is ok to give yourself a time out to cool down, go for a walk, turn on some music, talk to mom, draw a picture, etc. When they are calm, they can tackle the problem and see if there are ways to resolve it.

Spring is coming (thank God!), so its a great time to get him outside more with friends and get him away from the video games. I know kids love them, but they can be addicting and are isolating. Definitely limit his screen time, and you could even use it as an incentive for good behavior. For the food...I know kids go through stages...hopefully it will pass. Again, maybe enlisting his help might get more cooperation and less complaining! Would he help with the cooking?

I'm sure it must be hard to deal with...best of luck and let us know how things work out!

Charity - posted on 03/15/2010

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I also am loooking for suggestions. My 7 year old daughter has recently become very unruly at school, ignoring directions at home. She was such a great infant and toddler, and even the last few years have been very enjoyable. All of a sudden she has become a horrible child and I am out of answers. To top it all off, we are now expecting again (7 years later). Her behaviors started before I became pregnant again, so I know it isn't related. That doesn't make it any easier though.

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