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Worried about my grandson

(39 Posts)
Whiteanemone Mon 18-Mar-19 20:18:39

Hi everyone. I would really appreciate some advice about my 9year old grandson. He’s a lovely lad (of course I’m biased!) doing well at school. He’s particularly good at Maths and reads well. He has atrocious handwriting. He has lots of friends and does lots out of school activities . His parents are happily married and he has a five year old brother. The problem is he has developed a real fear of anything unpleasant or anything he might find frightening. It’s really quite hard to explain. It affects his choice of reading. He will choose theory books over fiction for example. He will read the same book several times because it is safe.He hates anything with monsters in. He avoids any fiction where something unpleasant happens. It includes tv. He will go out of the room if anything remotely bad happens. This includes cartoon films! His parents are concerned and don’t know how to help him. His mum asked his teacher who suggested a fiction book he might like but didn’t have any other suggestions. It won’t be too long before he leaves his primary school and other children can be so cruel.
Should they seek professional advice? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Bridgeit Mon 18-Mar-19 20:24:35

He sounds lovely, I wouldn’t worry too much about this. He may well change when he gets older OR he may only enjoy just reading up on factual pratical material.
Some children don’t like stories at all .
If he likes facts there are lots of suitable books for children, he will enjoy them as much as another person enjoys fiction. best wishes

Ohmother Mon 18-Mar-19 20:32:43

This is more ‘normal’ than you would believe. Anxiety happens a lot around this age. He should grow out of it. Tell him about how you get anxious about things to ‘normalise’ it. Then tell him how you cope with it when you’re anxious. Teach him about life. What a lovely granny. ❤️

Jane10 Mon 18-Mar-19 20:43:15

It's intelligent to be anxious. He's growing up and seeing that the world isn't the fluffy lovely one of his early childhood. However, don't minimise it. It's very real to him. Poor boy.
My DGS is a mixture of bravado and intense fears of what seem like daft things! We acknowledge the fears and move on. He usually does too but we keep a wary eye on him. Worrying - It's a Gran thing!

Whiteanemone Mon 18-Mar-19 20:45:41

Thank you both so much for your speedy replies. I feel better already.

Urmstongran Mon 18-Mar-19 20:49:31

He sounds a lovely boy who is just a tad anxious at present. It’s quite common at this age. I agree with others who say it’s a phase. Love, support and reassurance and I’m sure it’ll pass. All best wishes. x

crazyH Mon 18-Mar-19 20:52:49

My older boy used to hide behind the chair when Dr Who came on. He would cry for everything. If I raised my voice he would cry. Much to my utter regret and shame, I once said "don't be a sissy " or something to that effect. He is now a strong minded young man and father of 2 little darling girls. I wouldn't worry too much...your grandson is just going through a phase, as they say 😘

Luckygirl Mon 18-Mar-19 20:54:14

One of my GSs went through something similar at the same age. He actually went to counselling - there happened to be a good one nearby. He too is a brainy boy and they sometimes know and understand more than their experience can deal with. He got over it gradually. We all talked openly about it and tried to make him feel it was OK to feel this.

One friend actually sent him a note which said "It is OK to feel what you feel." I thought that was delightful from a boy of that age.

Jomarie Mon 18-Mar-19 22:33:36

Luckygirl - what a lovely thing to say "It is OK to feel what you feel" - and how kind of his friend, I will remember this phrase. sunshine

SisterAct Mon 18-Mar-19 22:35:54

As a teacher I have dealt with this several times. As has been said he will gradually learn how to cope with this. I would ask if he shows this behaviour in school ? Sharing stories about your own experiences may help. Reading carefully chosen stories to him and his brother is a lovely way of making him feel secure. If it continues and you are still worried contact the school again who can involve the school nurse, or behaviour support. It could be addressed in circle time or in an intervention group, as I run in my school. Children’s well-being is high on the agenda in schools so give it time but ask for more help if you need to. Take care 💐

Luckygirl Mon 18-Mar-19 22:51:13

It is such a challenging on this - the reality is that some of their fears are so real. Yes - a parent could die - yes, a car could crash - yes there are terrorists in the world etc. etc. The challenge is to acknowledge these realities whilst also trying to get them in proportion.

When something bad happened and it was on the TV my DGS got quite anxious about it - I remember having the conversation with him that it is on the news because it is rare; and that they would not put it on the news that he had had weetabix for breakfast this morning! It made him laugh and I hope helped him to get some perspective on it.

Jalima1108 Mon 18-Mar-19 23:09:16

Does he use the internet and are his parents aware of exactly what he is looking at online? Is he watching the news on tv - much of it is so worrying at the moment and they may be taking in more than you realise.
Bullying doesn't just happen at secondary school - primary school children can be very unkind too, especially if they sense that someone is rather sensitive.

The school should be more aware of anything that may be happening - just suggesting different reading matter is not good enough.
in an intervention group, as I run in my school.
The DGC's primary school is quite pro-active too and something like that sounds like a positive way forward SisterAct

optimist Tue 19-Mar-19 09:22:27

Checkout Phillipa Perry's new book on parenting, she has some good suggestions and talks so much sense

B9exchange Tue 19-Mar-19 09:31:56

Perhaps I have got a bit stuck in that stage too, I can't bear books or films with any form of violence in them, am I the only one?

schnackie Tue 19-Mar-19 09:47:46

I was like that, to a lesser degree, as a child. I would hide behind a chair when the bad witch came on in the Wizard of Oz, if they started talking about medieval torture in school I would put my fingers in my ears and quietly say 'la la la' until it finished. I got over it mostly as I grew up and now realise it was the horror of the person being tortured that affects me most. I would not watch the wonderful Shawshank Redemption film for years, until I finally was able to record it and fast forward through the unpleasant parts. Just last week, I was watching Baptiste with a friend and had to leave the room when the bad guy brought out a chainsaw! I have been helped enormously by watching documentaries about how they make films, and special effects etc, but I am just a tender hearted person and have found ways to cope.

sandelf Tue 19-Mar-19 09:53:53

B9exchange no, you're not. I've always found it weird that people watch murders etc on tv FOR pleasure. First noticed it years ago watching Tom and Jerry would you believe. Anyway re this little chap - so long as the avoidance does not stop him leading a pretty normal life - no worries. If it does start to really stop him doing things he needs to do - then it is time to work out better ways of coping. When I have a problem it is because the avoidance of these 'inputs' pile up or coincide with busy time of the year (Christmas). Then it is time to 'edit' so one can cope. Bit of confidence boosting goes a long way.

Annaram1 Tue 19-Mar-19 10:13:55

My son used to hide behind the sofa when Dr Who was on.
Now he is a doctor and has to deal with very ill people and death every day. Yet he remains a happy positive person and has 3 lovely children .
I don't like violence on TV but last night I watched a German film called "Downfall" about the last days of Hitler. Absolutely full of violence but so interesting to see Hitler gradually getting worse and worse, madder and madder.... First German film I have ever seen. .

magwis Tue 19-Mar-19 10:19:04

I am with you B9exchange. Why expose yourself willingly to unpleasant books/films. I guess we have to acknowledge though that life cannot possibly always be a bed of roses but you can choose how you react/behave.

Saggi Tue 19-Mar-19 10:26:43

My daughter is a schools counsellor and comes across this quite often.... she tries to help these children ...and surprisingly it’s usually boys ... threats whatever you feel about something is a genuine feeling and should be acknowledged. She also tells them that she and her younger brother would hide behind the sofa when the childcather from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang came on the screen..... even now at 42 she shuts her eyes when she sees him. It makes them feel at ease to k ow that adults still ha e fears that have followed them through to adulthood. Even psychologists. We’re all freaked out by something. Your darling little grandson will eventually. grow out of his fears and toughen up a little.

Granmary18 Tue 19-Mar-19 10:35:47

nipinthebud.org/child-mental-health-conditions/recognising-anxiety

You might find this link helpful

Speldnan Tue 19-Mar-19 10:51:30

I think it must be normal and related to their heightened imagination at that age. My GS is 7 and is petrified of suits of armour and stuffed animals and doesn’t like going into museums or NT properties in case they have them. I’m confident he’ll grow out if it though as will your GS.

Aepgirl Tue 19-Mar-19 11:04:07

What a lovely lad. Why should he read books that are unpleasant to him?

One day he may decide to face his fears, but let him work it through himself, with lots of encouragement from you.

ReadyMeals Tue 19-Mar-19 11:13:49

I wouldn't worry about it at this age. He will most likely find his own ways to face up to things. If he's still struggling in a year's time, then someone could ask him if he'd like some help. You might have to pay privately - I think child counselling has a long waiting list. But I reckon he'll come to terms with life before long - not all kids are streetwise thugs by 6 years old lol.

GrannyBeek Tue 19-Mar-19 11:39:37

My DD was like this at around the same age. She got particularly upset about things on the news. Also whether her dad and I would die or divorce (we did neither!). She came through the phase and is now a very caring nurse. Lots of good advice here. Best wishes and flowers

Riggie Tue 19-Mar-19 12:15:17

It's very common for boys to prefer theory books and I guess as information books they can stand being read over and over.