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Old 07-26-2011, 05:27 AM   #1
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My nephew, 11 years old

My nephew is a great kid; smart, well behaved, in the gifted program at school, likes Boy Scouts and church. An overall nice kid. Going into 6th grade.

However, I am wondering if he has anxiety or something. He is a complete BABY! For example, he can't sleep over a friends house or his grandparent's house because he will cry and want to go home. My mother took him and his younger brother (8 years old) out of town to a resort/water park for the weekend last summer and he cried for most of the weekend. My 3 year old went with them and had a blast. Didn't miss us for a second. When he is kept busy, he is OK. However, when he is alone with his thoughts, he starts to break down. We also noticed he moves his lips like he is talking to himself when he gets upset. He is normally OK on day trips, it is just the overnight or extended trips that cause him distress.

His parents (my brother) had an anniversary party to attend one evening and both of my nephews went over to their nana's house (my mom) for 3 hours while my bro and his wife went to the party. Within seconds of them leaving the driveway, my nephew started crying....or should I say....sobbing. The kind of cry that takes your breath away. The 8 (his brother) year old does not act this way.

My nephew will not attend Boy Scout camp or sleep at a friend's house.

I am wondering how normal this is? He wasn't like this when he was younger, just when he got older.

I will say that my SIL (his mother) really babies my nephews and I feel my nephew has poor coping skills. Don't get me wrong, she is a wonderful mother. She is so wonderful that my own son is willed to her if something were to ever happen to my husband and I. However, I am wondering if my SIL's parenting adds to his anxiety. On the other hand, my brother is the complete opposite. He is impatient and tough on my nephew.

My nephew is introverted. He prefers playing games on the computer than going outside and playing sports. He could spend all day inside if he were allowed.

Any thoughts??
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:14 AM   #2
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Re: My nephew, 11 years old

Considering your statement that he "was not like this when he was younger," the first thing that came to my mind is the possibility of a traumatic event somewhere, somehow, sometime in the past -- probably right before he started being this way.

Were I his mother, I would definitely not force him to stay where he is not comfortable as I believe it is paramount that children can count on their parents to keep them safe -- including emotionally.

In addition to that, were I his mother, I would IMMEDIATELY make an appointment with a very skilled therapist who has extensive experience working with children exhibiting his behaviors.

Were I his aunt, I would try to spend some one-on-one time with him -- i.e. a DAYTIME walk, movies, out for ice cream, board game, visit to the dog park, etc. to get to know him better which would enable me to pick up clues that might help me to understand what might be going on with him.

My niece went through something a little similar at that age (11-12). For her, I believe she just needed time to get used to the idea of being away from her mama. It was disconcerting for sure, but I think it was just part of who she was. Now she just turned 14 and she loves going to sleepovers.

Have you ever talked gently and frankly with your brother and SIL about your concerns and observations? Are they concerned at all? Does your nephew have any medical conditions?

 
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:50 PM   #3
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Re: My nephew, 11 years old

Thanks so much for your response. No medical conditions, just allergies and asthma, which is under control.

Well, I have said some things to my SIL and suggested counseling. She hasn't done anything about it. My nephew can also be very moody. If my brother punishes him for something, my nephew will get grumpy at everyone for the rest of the day. Maybe some of this is hormones, as he is 11 and is very tall for his age.

I had my nephews at my house today for most of the day. I watched them while their parents worked. We swam for hours. They were extremely happy and my 11 year old nephew talked to me for an hour straight about the vacation he is taking with his parents next month. He loves the place they visit. However, when 3 p.m. hit (the time my brother gets home from work) he immediately wanted to stop swimming and go home.

He is a real homebody. I hope he grows out of it. I don't know if this is a phase for most kinds. When I was his age, I had a best friend whom I spent all my time with. He has friends, but not that super best friend that he is close with and wants to be with all the time. I blame some of this on his parents since they aren't real big into socializing outside of the family. My brother is not a social person (my SIL is very friendly) so they aren't big on getting together with friends and having outings and stuff.

My brother has no close friends. My SIL is close with her sisters. No close girlfriends outside of the family.

When thinking about him, he seems rather immature in some areas. He has lived a sheltered life. My SIL couldn't even talk to him about his body and those changed because she felt he wasn't ready. They were teaching some basic things in his health class, but my SIL kept thinking of him as her "baby" who isn't ready for that.

I think the problem is that he is emotionally immature.
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Last edited by Belly Kelly; 07-26-2011 at 12:54 PM.

 
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