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Forum -> Parenting our children -> School age children
When a child’s personality changes
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amother
NeonGreen


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 12:46 pm
amother OP wrote:
I know… I just can’t figure out if anything specific happened or maybe it’s just too much pressure from all over crashing down on him.


it could be regular adolescence - or someone abusing him (or something else). Do you know where he is at all times? Does he spend time with a "special someone" who may not be worthy of your trust, even though they are very good at getting your trust?
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mummiedearest




 
 
    
 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 12:56 pm
Op, if you have not had a detailed conversation about personal safety and puberty, do it now. This is a classic sign of abuse, and if your child hasn’t been educated about personal safety, he may not have the vocabulary to express it or the knowledge that you care to know. That’s priority a. Next, keep him home from school for at least a week and see his behavior. If he goes back to being a happy kid, something is up at school. In that case, formally pull him out or insist on a class change. Since he has mentioned siblings, consider sending them away for Shabbos and having a weekend with just him.

Therapy is not always a solution. Spend some time with him asking what he wants to do, if he has any fears (has anyone threatened to harm his family if he talks?) and reassuring him. Maintain a schedule while he’s home, he needs that to feel secure. Hopefully nothing has happened to him.
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amother
NeonGreen


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 1:29 pm
mummiedearest wrote:
Op, if you have not had a detailed conversation about personal safety and puberty, do it now. This is a classic sign of abuse, and if your child hasn’t been educated about personal safety, he may not have the vocabulary to express it or the knowledge that you care to know. That’s priority a. Next, keep him home from school for at least a week and see his behavior. If he goes back to being a happy kid, something is up at school. In that case, formally pull him out or insist on a class change. Since he has mentioned siblings, consider sending them away for Shabbos and having a weekend with just him.

Therapy is not always a solution. Spend some time with him asking what he wants to do, if he has any fears (has anyone threatened to harm his family if he talks?) and reassuring him. Maintain a schedule while he’s home, he needs that to feel secure. Hopefully nothing has happened to him.


I don't think keeping him home is a good idea.
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 1:47 pm
I do know where he is at all times. Someone suggested that I might not know where he goes. He doesn’t have any school friends in our neighborhood so he’s not even going over to friends houses. He used to play with neighbors outside on the block but they are from very different types of homes so it’s not natural. It took him a while to become comfortable playing with them when everyone was outside but the last few weeks he won’t even go out to join them unless someone knocks on the door but that doesn’t happen often.
His big problem when he’s home is that he’s bored. He needs friends so badly. I wish he would just run outside and play like he used to. I let him stay home from school one day this week but it was a mistake. He was incredibly bored. Boredom leads depression. I saw it happening. He needs people.
His siblings are a lot older and mostly girls so he doesn’t have the automatic entertainment at home. A typical interaction with a sibling that he calls bothering is- he’ll have a chocolate bar and announce that no one is allowed to take- and then a sister will jokingly say that she’s just taking one piece and he’ll go absolutely crazy. Screaming and crying and telling me that everyone is bothering him. He’s been overreacting like this for a while and he was always so calm and pleasant.
We’re having a problem with a much older sibling and that could be bothering him especially since he’s sensitive.
But I think it’s also a big problem that he doesn’t have any classmates nearby. He’s had friends over and he’s gone to friends houses too but that’s really just a few times a year since he gets home late and has school on Sunday.
His Rebbi this year is wonderful but I’m worried that he might be pressuring the boys too much in ruchniyus. It’s coming from a good place but it might be too much for this age.
He was complaining about his shirts a few months ago. It was very strange. He never cared much about what he wore. Suddenly he was carrying on every morning that his shirt would lift up when he picked up his arms and he kept showing me that he could see the top of his underwear when his arms were raised. I have a feeling someone must have said something to him in school when he was playing basketball or something. I asked him and he denied it but it still might have happened. I kept in mind that he is very sensitive in general. I bought him new shirts but whatever I bought him wasn’t good. He would check in the mirror and either complain about the way the collar laid or that it was too shlumpy looking. This was making him late for school for weeks. It was so ridiculous but for him this was something so important. That’s the beginning of him displaying anxiety and being self conscious.
(He has a few good shirts that he agrees to wear now but it’s still a sore topic)
After that, everything became an issue. Literally everything. He often spends time in his room alone but after a while I encourage him to come out because I think he just needs to run outside and play and talk to friends and laugh…, but something is holding him back and he just can’t be light and happy anymore.
Our kids do not have access to technology aside for our highly filtered desktop that they can’t use unless I unlock it with a password so I’m not worried about that right now.
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amother
Heather


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 3:19 pm
He sounds similar to me at that age, I was such a warm bubbly kid who suddenly became antisocial, super anxious, sad and hyper sensitive to a lot of things

I was being s-xually abused by a relative. It was happening literally under my parents noses, so them “knowing where I was at all times” wouldn’t have mattered

I’m not saying this is what’s going on, but it is very possible and I would try to get him in therapy asap
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amother
OP


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 5:06 pm
amother Heather wrote:
He sounds similar to me at that age, I was such a warm bubbly kid who suddenly became antisocial, super anxious, sad and hyper sensitive to a lot of things

I was being s-xually abused by a relative. It was happening literally under my parents noses, so them “knowing where I was at all times” wouldn’t have mattered

I’m not saying this is what’s going on, but it is very possible and I would try to get him in therapy asap


I don’t think this is the case for him because we have a small family so I know what’s going on. We also rarely have guests these days. Even if what you are saying is true for him (I hope not!), why would he tell a therapist if he won’t tell me?
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amother
Royalblue


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 5:09 pm
amother RosePink wrote:
Hormones. The beginning of puberty does this to some kids
This. I went through it myself. Puberty hormones can trigger anxiety depression etc
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amother
Royalblue


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 5:10 pm
amother OP wrote:
I don’t think this is the case for him because we have a small family so I know what’s going on. We also rarely have guests these days. Even if what you are saying is true for him (I hope not!), why would he tell a therapist if he won’t tell me?
There are lots of possible reasons but he ought to be in therapy regardless of what the root cause is.
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amother
NeonOrange


 

Post Wed, May 22 2024, 5:22 pm
amother OP wrote:
I don’t think this is the case for him because we have a small family so I know what’s going on. We also rarely have guests these days. Even if what you are saying is true for him (I hope not!), why would he tell a therapist if he won’t tell me?

There are many reasons why a kid will be able to tell a therapist what's going on but not his parents.
One of them is, that they want to protect their parents.
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disneyland




 
 
    
 

Post Thu, May 23 2024, 7:01 pm
Daven, ask Hashem for help.
You need His help.
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amother
Impatiens


 

Post Thu, May 23 2024, 7:55 pm
Is there a history of anxiety/depression in your extended family? My son was also a happy go lucky kid and around 12 he started feeling down and stopped having Shabbos plans with his friends like he used to. He was diagnosed later with depression and another mental health condition which I don’t want to go into here. Unfortunately therapy did not help him in the beginning. Take him to a psychiatrist to rule out depression.
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amother
Heather


 

Post Thu, May 23 2024, 8:00 pm
amother OP wrote:
I don’t think this is the case for him because we have a small family so I know what’s going on. We also rarely have guests these days. Even if what you are saying is true for him (I hope not!), why would he tell a therapist if he won’t tell me?


I’m also from a small family..

I probably would have told a therapist. I wasn’t scared of telling anyone, just my parents. I was scared of disappointing them, scared of hurting them, and scared they wouldn’t believe me.

At the very least the therapy can help work on his anxiety and obsessions. I started therapy as a late teen, and I’m not cured by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m functional. And that took close to a decade to get there.
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