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KaterB1270
KaterB1270, Teacher
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  BS Family Consumer Sciences Ed. and Masters of Art in Teaching
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My 12 year old grandson - a nueroblastoma survivor, hearing

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My 12 year old grandson - a nueroblastoma survivor, hearing impaired due to treatment - seems to be at odds with the world at the moment.
Is seemingly disinterested in school, does not seem to phase him if he is constantly 'benched' for not presenting his homework and generally seems bent on not conforming, or forgetting and in general just not behaving with the maturity of a 12 year old approaching 13yrs.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  KaterB1270 replied 2 years ago.
This is a very interesting question and I appreciate you posting it. The first thing that jumps out at me is the age of your grandson. In the early teen years ( sometimes as young as 11/12) children start to experience changes in their body's which can wreak havoc on ones attitude and desire to do things. When children enter into puberty they are experiencing things they never have before for example growing rapidly as well as hormonal changes. This time for children can be a time of rebellion as they react to the changes within their bodies that they can not explain. The best thing to do during this time of change is to remain supportive, make sure nothing is going to risk his safety, and encourage the child making the right choices. For example if he is refusing to do homework then remove a "luxury" item such as a cell phone or video game. Once the child realizes that in order to get the fun stuff he has to do the not so fun stuff he will makes changes to behavior as well as attitude. The hardest part about the pre-teen and teenage years is that the teens can be hurtful to their caregivers. It is imperative that anyone who is caring for him remain strong and enforce consequences appropriately and without giving into repeated demands. In most cases a child will learn who is boss and over time will do the right thing. Now as far as him being a cancer survivor I wonder if this might be compounding the situation a bit. When your grandson was sick it was probably very easy to give him everything he wanted without question due to his illness. Usually to compensate for the pain of the illness the caregivers will purchase items or give more privileges. The only way to shift the control is to be strong and hold the ground with things you need him to complete. It may take an extended period for him to get the idea of how life needs to be. I hope this information is helpful to you as your try to help your grandson see the path he needs to follow. I know this can be very stressful and recommend you have someone to discuss this with on a regular basis as remaining strong is often something that needs to be a team offset so to speak.

If i can be of any other assistance please don't hesitate to ask anything. I appreciate your situation and would ask you to hit the accept button as this is the only way I am compensated for my answer.

Best of luck,

KateB
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

 

Whilst I appreciate all that you have said we are all very much aware of all of the points you have raised as in withholding privileges, his body changes and the traumas he underwent with his illness. As indicated he does not appear to be upset if privileges are withheld and the only thing he really cares about is his leggo - at which he is brilliant. As for his long battle with cancer of which only 1 in four survive, my daughter is a very strong person and one of her strongest points was not giving in to him and giving him everything - we actually credited her along with the medical proffessionals for getting him through.

 

He will be having another baseline hearing test to see if his hearing has deteriorated further and whether this is contibuting to the problem.

 

I guess I'm just enquiring as to whether children that have gone through terrible illnesses are more prone to psychological issues.

 

Kind regards

 

Ros

Expert:  KaterB1270 replied 2 years ago.
Sorry that my first answer was not exactly what you were looking for. I am never quite sure where to start in answering questions. My next question to you would be how is your grandson socially with other children and adults? The reason I ask this is to rule out any other conditions that may have manifested recently.

Most children who go through lengthy illnesses are effected psychologically. The issue comes in when their lives are suffering as in your grandsons case. I would certainly connect with a mental health professional in your area. At times being a cancer survivor can be very difficult as you feel you are so different than most children which can show through a general distaste for life at times. I am concerned he is in a dark place (depressed) and recommend an evaluation at this time. If possible try to find a professional who has worked with children who have been I'll in the past. You may check with the oncologist for recommendations as your grandson for sure is not the first person to need assistance in the way. If they don't have any suggestions you could also check with the local children's hospital for referrals.

I hope this helps and please let me know about his social intersection This could possibly be a clue into what is going on.

KayeB
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. Yes you seem to be on the mark with the depressive/ dark place that he appears to be at the moment. This is our concern. He is a gorgeous kid but, loves to have friends but from our perspective has only really one genuine friend with whom he has had differences with towards the end of the last school year. I think he believes he has a lot of friends - but we don't really believe this to be the case. There were many who were wanting to be his friend when he had a bald head etc but once he returned to the normal realm of life the attraction wasn't there anymore. He is not really an overly social child but loves to be involved in things and has a great zest for life. Not a great conversationalist unless you get him one on one and its a topic that really excites him.

 

Ros

Expert:  KaterB1270 replied 2 years ago.
I would for certain find someone for him to talk to. At this young age he is probably filled with concerns about the future. I can only imagine the questions he has about what could happen. I a,soothing he is very lucky to have a mom and grandma who love and care for him so much. One other thought is to contact the counselor at school if one is available. That might be a good place to start to find a referral to someone outside of school. I hope this is helpful and I appreciate your hard work as he will too at some point.

KateB
KaterB1270, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 142
Experience: BS Family Consumer Sciences Ed. and Masters of Art in Teaching
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