Changes in my 7 Year Old Son?

Shaahida - posted on 08/30/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )




I want to start this post by sharing a dream I had two nights ago. A nightmare as such. My husband had to wake me as I was screaming and crying. I dreamed that I was standing next to my sister and cleaning my 7 year old son's grave. On top of his grave was a box, in the box were two books (I can't recall the names of the books but from what I recall it was self help) and in there was a car, a truck. I recall turning to my sister and saying to her "REMEMBER HOW EXCITED HE WAS ABOUT EVERYTHING" and then I just started crying and screaming and it took a while for me to calm down after my husband woke me up.

I was a divorced Mom and got married again in May this year. It hasn't been easy but my Son and I managed and in fact he was such a grounded little boy. He was excited and passionate about anything and everything.

I pick fear in him these days and he is so down and not in the mood and tired allot. I watch at all times, even though anyone thinks I am not watching I take note of his behavior, mood, etc. Because I see the change.

My husband, my Mom and my Son, we live in a two bedroom place so my Son also had to give up his "sanctuary", I know how important this is. He seems afraid these days to speak his mind, etc. I've always told him that he could speak to me about anything but I see him retreating more and more and I think that I am failing him.

Instead of 1 person caring and reprimanding, etc He is now cared for and reprimanded, etc by three people and I don't always agree with how it is done and when I make my concerns heard about it creates the perception that I am protecting him too much, and baby-ing him too much. He is a gentle gentle soul my dearest boy and it seems that this is not always appreciated and also it is said that he needs to toughen up. I am caught between trying to soften blows sometimes (words but I know the damage this can do) and not trying to seem that I can't take advice in terms of raising him.

Mom is also getting old and isn't as patient anymore and needs more quietness sometimes then a little 7 year old can comprehend.

But I prayed and prayed for God to bring someone worthy in our lives’ again, to love and protect. We need to fine tune our steps and our moves and basically synchronize. I've had a discussion with my husband a few times, our parenting styles, etc. Hubby is tough and sometimes harsh. How do we get the best out of these qualities that will positively affect and impact our Son.

Where do I start? What do I do? How do we build up instead of break down? Everything is in his best interest but how do we go about it in the right way?

My husband is fond of him, loves him yes and Granny too and me of course, but right now he is not getting what he needs from his family at home. How do we fix this?

At the same time and it must be because of this, he is retaliating, back chatting, etc. I am strict on reprimanding, and I don't allow him to get away with something if he should be reprimanded, etc. In addition there is the phase of back chatting, white lies, shrugging of shoulders, etc. that one needs to deal with.

But at the end of the day, he is my loving Boy and the dream symbolizes everything that I fear, that his flame, his passion, excitement, everything that is him is dying.

He recently went to visit dad over the school holidays and I know he needed that, it was good for him and he smothered with love, etc at his aunts place where Dad lives currently. It's 500km's away though. It's always fun to have the house you can go and visit where you're spoilt rotten, I'm glad he has this.

How do I restore the balance that used to be our home? He is not in physical danger but I think he is at danger of something else and I think even this change at home, from 2 to 4 needs fine tuning. I think we are struggling to adjust to the increase in family in family size, being heard and hearing each other's opinion.

There's love, support, respect. I've come to now my husband and changes won't be made willingly or even without feeling like I am attacking and nor am I blaming him completely for what I've mentioned, in fact I have added to this as well.

Don't know where to start, is there a start, how to start.


Tracie - posted on 08/30/2012




It seems to me that your dream was in response to what you see happening in your son's life. His gentle spirit is being "killed" by a harsh step father, impatient grandmother and bullying at school. You are right to be concerned about him. He is still just a little boy.

You and your husband need to sit down and get on the same page about how you are going to be/act/teach/behave with your son. He needs loving consistency, above all else. You might want to take him to a counselor as well, just to make sure there isn't anything else going on that you might not know about.

Best of luck to you and your precious son!

Michelle - posted on 08/30/2012




I would start by taking your little boy to counseling sometimes talking to some one who is not mom or dad helps to get out feelings they have without being afraid of hurting someone else. He sounds to me like he might be suffering from childhood depression which hits right about this age, is he being bullied at school, talk to his teachers find out what he is like there as well. Maybe he is not bonding with your significant other maybe try and find an activity they can do together without you this will help them do guy stuff and maybe that is what your son is missing and craving. Children who are quiet and shy unfortunately get picked on and bullied and if they don't grow a thick skin can be prone to depression so please seek out professional help and talk to your husband and your childs bio father about spending more guy time with him sounds like he is not sure of where his place is anymore especially if he lost his room to other people. If it were me I would be looking to find a way to give him his own space even if it is hanging a curtain up and giving him something back that is just his.


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Nicola - posted on 09/05/2012




Hi lovely,

I just want to start by saying that your an amazing woman, with such grace and finely tuned mothering instincts. 

From what you have written it sounds like a lot has changed over the last 4 months for you and your son, with remarrying, going from just yourself and your son in your unit... to including your husband and your mother, aswel as your son going away to visit his father and aunty, not wanting to cause conflict with new parenting expectations, adjusting to a new marriage, taking care of your aging mother, aswel as the bullying your son feels from his peers at school. 

It's great that you've reached out for support. It sounds like this is the time that you need it. And when so many concerns are unsettling you, it's hard to know where to start.

It sounds like your son is having a rough time. My son who is now 12 went through very similar emotions to what you have expressed. If I could offer advice on what helped us... I'll have to go into depth ...

My son was becoming introverted too, he was being bullied, he was falling behind and had issues with school, his father had unrealistic expectations of him and he also acted with the shoulder shrug so he didn't communicate anymore and he expressed himself with an "don't care" attitude.

One morning he was just miserable, so i asked him if he'd like a special date with mum. He shrugged, but he got dressed. 

He knows we don't have money, but that morning I got out the credit card. 

His little angel face lit up as we walked into the lobby of a pretty fancy hotel for an all you can eat buffet breakfast.

We spent a few hours there and our table was full of every selection of foods and drinks that he liked, aswel  as foods that he's never had before. 

He ordered from the chef, made pancakes, made himself a hot chocolate from the machine and sped around the buffets in excitement. 

He felt special and his stooped shoulders straightened as we happily chatted away. 

We did talk about his feeling, so I got out a pen and paper and wrote on it "what would make Jackson feel happy at home" it was things like having privacy, having responsibilities, having a later bed time than his younger siblings, and other similar things. 

They wernt big things, but we stuck the paper on the fridge. 

Every now and again, I'll take him back there for a special mummy and Jackson date.  The most recent was a dinner seafood buffet.. :) he was in heaven. 

But that initial breakfast changed a lot for him. I think he felt special and validated that I'd made a list of things that he wanted and that id followed through with them for him.

He's a fairly non demanding child, sometimes he feels forgotten because of my other 2 children who require a lot of extra attention, plus I'm a single working mum.

Sure Counselling could be a good option, I'm all for it, but sometimes I think kids may think that they're being sent there because something is "wrong with them". Which may need to be addressed aswel. 

My kids father has also recently re-partnered. My kids sometimes say that they feel that he's changed. But I think it leans towards them feeling that they don't have "special time" with him anymore, or they're space has been given to who they perceive is "the new special person" and maybe it's a territorial or resentment issue.

 I think it's helpful to understand why our little ones are acting out or showing issues outside normal age specific behaviors and that way it's also easier to discuss the issues with your partner because it's not that your saying that it's his fault, it's the nature of children who go through any adjustments. 

Sorry I know I'm writing a lot, but Just in relation to what many men refer to as "toughen up",

Kids don't know what that means, but it sounds like a cop out because the issue at hand is frustrating for a lot of people to patiently handle. 

But kids see that as another form of "I'm not good enough" or "you don't like me" 

At the end of the day, our little ones need to be secure, then empowered to become resilient. Only then will they understand what "toughen up" most likely means. 

I'm not sure if this has helped, I don't like giving advice, but the situation my son was in and the way I handled it, seemed to help him.

Wishing you much love


Dina - posted on 09/02/2012




I think your son may be acting out from all the changes.

We all can forget how the changes we make in our lives can greatly impact our children...If you've raised him one way for 7 years and a new father figure is trying something different, I don't blame you son for withdrawing...and in a sense he may blame you for bringing this man into what he thought was a stable, comfortable life.

I think you son would benifit from childrens counselling, and on top of that I would recommend you all go to some family counselling courses/classes for blended families. My fiancee isn't my son's biological dad either and we went through the different parenting techniques, you need to find balance and talk to eachother because you both can't be on different pages.

My son is the opposite of yours he is very outgoing, talkitive and active, loves sports, but he also has an anxiety disorder (most people would never guess this on meeting him) but as a mother I saw the signs in him when things started changing at age 5 and got him to see a childrens counsellor and it has help not only him but all of us alot in helping him deal with his anxiety. He is now 7 and we can all cope alot better with his emotions.

A child doesn't need to be shy and quiet to have an anxiety or emotional issue, but moms know when there are changes in there children. We know are kids best and you will know if you need to seek outside help.

All the best :)

Roxanna - posted on 09/02/2012




Great replies from everyone! Your boy has gone through many changes in the past year and he is trying to adjust, so he is shutting down. Is moving to a three bedroom an option? He needs his own space as does your Mom. And you do need to be firmer with both your Mother and your husband about how your son is disciplined. Try a parenting class for you both, it make make YOU rethink your parenting methods too! Good luck

Ashley - posted on 08/31/2012




Sounds like the other two have given you the best advice. I went through that too. Everyone thought I was too easy on my daughter but I have always been strict when needed. My daughter is very sensitive too. Counseling really helped her open up about her fears and we luckily only needed a few visits to get me and my husband on the same page and to implement the changes so that she stopped acting out. I wish you the best of luck.

Shaahida - posted on 08/31/2012




Thanks Tracie. It's harsh when you put down the facts only hey: " harsh step father, impatient grandmother and bullying at school".....but more importantly there has to be consistency and the good consistency. We all love him no doubt, so I will do what;'s best for him. And this isn't about blaming someone but rather about helping him and helping everyone to help him.

"You and your husband need to sit down and get on the same page about how you are going to be/act/teach/behave with your son."

The above is what it's all about. I think it's the elephant in the room.

Thank you.

Shaahida - posted on 08/30/2012




I wil take him to a counselor, thank you for the suggestion. He is bulied allot-n fact he reports on being bullied allot. Hubby has gone to the school 3 times or so and even brought up the issue once before.

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