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Very quiet boy.

(43 Posts)
kircubbin2000 Wed 04-Mar-20 19:42:03

My 11yr old gs has been away for the weekend with all the family men, grandad,dad and uncles for football match. My other son told me the boy never spoke the whole weekend apart from yes and no when spoken to. He had told me nothing about the trip
but said just yes when I asked if it was good.
When I collect him twice a week he is the same and goes straight upstairs to play his x box.
Is this normal and how can we encourage him to engage more with family. Other gran says he is the same at her house.

Hetty58 Wed 04-Mar-20 19:50:33

Is he perhaps in front of a screen/phone most of the time (typical - as so many are). We have a strict rule of no screens at the dinner table.

I tend to ask questions that can't be answered with just a simple yes or no (as I'm a retired teacher) and I give rewards for good explanations, short written descriptions etc.

Still, it can be very hard work when they're that age. We've had the best conversations when out walking the dog!

Missfoodlove Wed 04-Mar-20 20:34:45

Computer games are anti social, addictive and often aggressive they should never be encouraged.
Very difficult to stop if his parents allow him to go up to his room to play these games.

HettyMaud Wed 04-Mar-20 20:44:47

My 13-yr-old GS is the same. He's on his phone the minute he gets home from school. It's very difficult to get a conversation going now. I struggle with it but am slightly resigned to it and can't be bothered trying to fight it which is sad I know. I find it upsetting as we used to do so much together. When I talk to him he doesn't seem to hear me. I don't encourage it at all. I wish the darned phones had never been invented. In the school holidays when he's with me I find places to take him but the phone still has to come along! I wish I knew what to do but I don't.

Hetty58 Wed 04-Mar-20 21:18:44

I restrict phone and iPad/computer time, not much at all really - yet still the grandchildren don't like it. They were rushing or leaving their meals until I made a half-hour rule.

They often argue about going out, eating out etc. as they know they'll be deprived of their 'addictions'. It's so sad!

Hetty58 Wed 04-Mar-20 21:24:46

A friend, a divorced dad of four with sole custody, used to take his kids camping for the entire summer holidays.

The remote campsite had a forest, playground, swimming pool, hot showers - but no clubhouse or electricity. They took books, no phones (except his, charged in the car) and shopped locally. They were a lovely, chatty, capable family.

BlueSky Wed 04-Mar-20 22:22:17

I used to be a quiet not very sociable youngster, then a quiet and not very sociable adult. I used to enjoy reading a book now I enjoy my computer. Family had and have trouble engaging in small talk with me. So it's not just to do with youngsters and computers.

BlueBelle Wed 04-Mar-20 22:50:54

Screen use is not all bad and also not all unsociable The young people conduct huge socialisation over the phone yes it’s different from how we did it but not all bad Likewise not all computer games are bad either many can help a lot with all sorts of skills not all are violent some are sports related or strategy related problem solving and many are linked to other friends talking and playing with them
Just like bluesky I was the kid with my nose always in a book when I was young I think I was 13/14 before I started socialising more
He will find his way in life some people are quieter some noisier don’t worry he s not unhappy and he will find his feet when the time is right I think if at 11 I d have been away with a group of family adults I wouldn’t have said a word either he was probably quite intimidated the only little one in a group of men

LullyDully Thu 05-Mar-20 08:01:59

My grandson is fairly quiet. He generally only talks if he needs to. He is very quiet in family groups with people he doesn't know. That is part of his personality, apparently he is more chatty at school. I wouldn't worry too much k2000

Missfoodlove Thu 05-Mar-20 09:08:30

When my three were younger we had a broadsheet paper delivered daily.
The children had to find something in he paper to discuss over dinner.
Sometimes it was the births, marriages and deaths (they thought the aristocratic double barrelled names were hilarious) more often though it was general news or sport.
It encouraged them to read and converse.

Patticake123 Thu 05-Mar-20 10:39:18

This reminded me of my son when he was around 13 years old. He was monosyllabic with everyone and the most amazing thing was to hear him on the telephone. All I’d hear ( and yes I was listening) were a couple of grunts and “yeh”. But whatever the grunts were he’d know exactly where he was going, with whom and when! He’s turned into a pretty normal man with two gorgeous children and he can hold a conversation - quite useful skill for a consultant!,, Don’t worry it’s called adolescent behaviour.

hereshoping Thu 05-Mar-20 10:43:07

Some of us are listeners and some of us are talkers. I don't talk much but my mother was a great talker and I always felt that that was a gift.

jaylucy Thu 05-Mar-20 10:46:23

My son always has been quiet - a lot caused by being an only child.
When I was growing up I was really shy and usually spent many visits to relatives sitting in a corner saying very little if anything at all - I think one of the reasons that my grandmother liked to take me with her visiting her friends!
I see nothing wrong with being quiet, some people are just that way inclined! My own son firstly got a job , working in the local Co op that brought him out a bit, followed by 2 years at college that expanded his horizons a fair bit.
Mind you, being quiet has its drawbacks - I went to my grammar school's reunion a few years ago and apart from the girls I had been particularly friendly with, no one else remembered me !!!

cali1 Thu 05-Mar-20 10:50:54

I was like that during growing up and was labelled anti social, slow etc. I knew I was different but only discovered I was high level autistic when in my 50s. My son is autistic too and we have always been close though we do not have normal chit chat and find it amazing that people can talk so much!

Tillybelle Thu 05-Mar-20 10:54:19

Has this been a life-long condition? Is his school concerned? What do his parents think? There are many questions to look into before wondering if this extreme quietness indicates anything more. However it does not hurt to start by the parents discussing it with his school.

Phloembundle Thu 05-Mar-20 11:01:23

My son is an only child and couldn't have been more outgoing. But as he grew older and used the computer more, he socialised less and less, and now at the age of 33, his life is more or less work and computer. I would urge all parents to restrict access for the good of the child. As has been said, some children are naturally quiet, but a little gentle probing might reveal any issues there might be.

polnan Thu 05-Mar-20 11:20:14

normal? what is normal? we are all different.

me? I am a chatterbox.. get on my own nerves at times. LOL

my youngest ds, now nearly 50 was , well he shut himself away in his bedroom with his action men, at that time, then whatever.. I had to get him out.. then he became more sociable, now though married, and gets out, his wife gets him out, he still prefers his own company..

I envy people who are good in their own company, never have lived on my own,, now on my own, it is hard..

so again,, what is normal! we are all different

maddyone Thu 05-Mar-20 11:23:25

Take the x box away.

Oldernewgranny Thu 05-Mar-20 11:42:47

I don’t wish to be melodramatic but have you considered that he might be being bullied or, even worse, abused in any way? Having experienced this myself as a child do you think you could coax him into a conversation. I do understand it may not be the case but as a concerned nanny perhaps you could delve a little deeper.

Chardy Thu 05-Mar-20 12:19:51

I'm with Hetty58. Try googling 'open ended questions' or look at

I'm another retired (secondary school teacher) and my concern is that such insular behaviour could lead to bullying. But I agree it could be a symptom of geing bullied.

Summerlove Thu 05-Mar-20 12:28:15

I was a shy child. Large groups overwhelmed me. I was always found with a book or two (still am).

Video games seem to be an extension of that now, The added bonus to that is that you can still be social while playing video games. Just not the way the older generation is used to.

I’d go with some open ended questions, but let the parents deal with as they see best.

My parents used to take my books away for an hour at a time, it was extremely painful to me and them.

BlueSky Thu 05-Mar-20 12:47:00

I feel for you Summerlove I know how I would feel if I had a controlling husband who limited my time on the computer!

Summerlove Thu 05-Mar-20 13:01:07

Thank you BlueSky.
Thankfully I married a very extroverted man who understands my introverted soul. He never minds if I retreat to go read.

CardiffJaguar Thu 05-Mar-20 13:11:15

I suggest you have him checked for autism, and particulary Asperger Syndrome. He may have been/be at a school where the teachers are not good at spotting that he needs attention and a diagnosis. This is not necessarily bad.

MarieEliza Thu 05-Mar-20 13:22:39

I recently visited Tasmania to see family. It struck me that outdoor activity was much enjoyed by the youngsters with not an x box in sight. Admittedly the weather helps but it’s not just the weather, children talk to the parents and spend time together without screens when they go out. Communication and knowing how to converse is a life skill that we need to have as we grow into adulthood