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I have been looking after my grandson for the past 5 years…

I have been looking after...
I have been looking after my grandson for the past 5 years while my son works week on week off. He is now 8 years old and spends some weekends with his mother. Lately he has been very subdued after coming back and all he wants to do is play my iPad and isn't communicating I'm tempted to turn off the wifi so he can't use but I feel sorry for him as he doesn't see his mum much (her choice). I do take him to soccer and am happy to take him to skate park. He just says it's boring here. I'm working at a toy shop and am pretty tired this time of year but I do try to play with him. Just got a new puppy and a budgie but doesn't show much interest. His mother has a drug habit and is very nasty when doesn't get her way I'm worried his going to grow up indifferent to everybody else but himself he has certainly had a rough start but seemed happy until lately do you think it's his age or what can I do to make him happy. I find he never gets invited to birthday parties which is strange at that age and I know there are parties from his class but he doesn't get invited.
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/15/2016
CounselorJules
CounselorJules, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 828
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor
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Hi,I'm Jules, a LPC,I am reviewing your question now, and will post back with your thorough reply briefly :)

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I am hopeful that I will be able to help you. I am a mother of an 8 year old son and I completely understand the battle that you are experiencing. I first think that it is important to understand the developmental stage that he is in, but also I do think that it is important that you acknowledge the systemic influence (such as mom's lack of participation or her drug habit) that also affect his mood. He is in the stage called "middle childhood." This is actually a very interesting stage. According to the CDC, of child development center, these are the following attributes:

Here is some information on how children develop during middle childhood:(ages 6-8)

Emotional/Social Changes

Children in this age group might:

  • Show more independence from parents and family.
  • Start to think about the future.
  • Understand more about his or her place in the world.
  • Pay more attention to friendships and teamwork.
  • Want to be liked and accepted by friends.

Thinking and Learning

Children in this age group might:

  • Show rapid development of mental skills.
  • Learn better ways to describe experiences and talk about thoughts and feelings.
  • Have less focus on one’s self and more concern for others.

And he is moving into later middle childhood which is ages 9-12

Emotional/Social Changes

Children in this age group might:

  • Start to form stronger, more complex friendships and peer relationships. It becomes more emotionally important to have friends, especially of the same sex.
  • Experience more peer pressure.
  • Become more aware of his or her body as puberty approaches. Body image and eating problems sometimes start around this age.

Thinking and Learning

Children in this age group might:

  • Face more academic challenges at school.
  • Become more independent from the family.
  • Begin to see the point of view of others more clearly.
  • Have an increased attention span.

So, he is becoming more independent but at the same time you see that he is actually a bit withdrawn. It seems that he may also be a bit introverted. He may draw energy from personal time and his own ideas. He may have a lot going on in his head as well. He may be starting to notice the absence of his mother and question what her role is, or what her feelings are toward him. At this time, he needs affection and security-- which is what you are providing. Another resource that I really like is related to the "5 love languages of children." I really enjoy Gary Chapman's work in recognizing 5 ways that we emotionally connect to others-- physical touch, quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, and gifts. I want to explain what these are, but also send you a link for him to take the quiz with you. It is short, but it provides insight and also may give you an idea of what it is that he prefers to feel secure and loved. I completed with all 3 of my children and I was really glad! It was very insightful! Click on profile and then submit "my child" and then you can choose the age group :) I have bought 3 of the books- love languages for couples, children, and teenagers. Im also sending a free resource for you that you can download after you complete the quiz. I hope that this all helps you.

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/resource/the-five-love-languages-of-children/

http://fivelovelanguages-m0.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2016/06/5LLForChildren_StudyGuide_2016.pdf

CounselorJules
CounselorJules, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 828
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor
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CounselorJules and 87 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
very thank you it is sad to see him come back confused I don't understand how she treats her children she has two older children to a different dad and they live with their dad. He did say to me before he went to her that he wishes they had same dad as in his dad it's difficult to explain what you don't understand. She doesn't contact him and it's in interim orders she should ring him twice a week but doesn't bother. It's like out of out of mind. I will go through the links and see how we go. I know they did a question at school who were the most important people in his life and dad came first then grandma very sad mum has missed his childhood. Thank you kindly.
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