You are here

SS creepier and quieter this summer visitation

pixielady's picture

So I told myself I would stay off of Steptalk during my pregnancy to keep positive, but ahhhh, SS9 is doing my head in! He's been here for a week already (he's here for a month during summer) and is acting creepier and quieter than before. He barely says anything. He does say hi and bye to me, but nothing else. He says a few words more to his dad like "I found the ball" "What's for dinner?" "Where are we going?" but that's it. He sneaks around and makes sure to be as quiet as possible. He used to talk about BM on previous visits, but not anymore. He talks about nothing, really. He has a flat expression on his face 99% of the time. The other 1% he's either pulling faces because he doesn't like lunch/dinner or he breaks out the rare smile if he sees something he likes on TV. Attempts to engage with him result in 1 or 2 word answers. It's like pulling teeth and I'm tired of trying to act "normal" with him. He ignores DS18mo.

His last visit around Christmas he was a bit more talkative, but acted super dopey and uncomfortable. Last summer he was super loud, bossy and annoying but that was because the inlaws were here at the same time.

Not sure if this is just his personality or his age development. Is this normal for 9 year old boys? I mean, I guess I should be grateful he doesn't talk back or misbehave, but it's so weird having a wet blanket personality around when DH and I are very animated, affectionate and laugh a lot.

justmakingthebest's picture

Has he ever been evaluated? That is very, very not normal. 9 yr old boys should be about bouncing off the walls....

pixielady's picture

No, he hasn't been evaluated. What should he be evaluated for? Autism? ADHD?

He was tested and is supposedly gifted.

ldvilen's picture

Gifted, may explain it even more so.  Every parent seems to want this for their child, but in reality it can cause social issues, and esp. when you throw in other recent family trauma, such as a divorce.  "Giftedness is wonderful in many ways, but gifted children may also have characteristics that can affect their social and emotional development. . .  Advanced intellectual skills are not always accompanied by advanced social and emotional skills. When skills develop at different speeds, gifted children can run into problems when their intellectual power is not matched by their other abilities."  Perfectionism and sensitivity may put your child at risk.

Here is a link to a site with more info.:


justmakingthebest's picture

Gifted kids can have a hard time. My BS12 is gifted and the top of the scales there as well. Making friends is hard for him, kids just don't talk, think, or act like he does. He is like a 50 yr old man trapped in a 12yr old body (been like that his whole life). 

Genuine conversations asking how he is, finding something he is interested in, etc may be a start. A counselor might be nice to talk to see what/ if anything is going on that he is closing off about. He might be on the spectrum he might not... But a 9 yr old who doesn't talk to anyone all day is not normal. 

pixielady's picture

OMG a 50-year-old trapped in boy's body is the perfect description of SS. I will gently suggest to DH that maybe it would be good for SS to talk to someone. I agree with you that it's not normal for a 9 year old to not talk to anyone!

fairyo's picture

9 years isn't too early to start with depression- and it sounds as if he may be depressed. I would try some sensitive questioning about how he's feeling, but not overload him with attention. Maybe you could seek some advice/ opinion from a child psychologist?

pixielady's picture

I wouldn't feel comfortable asking him such questions since we are not close at all. I can suggest it to DH, though. I did mention to DH that SS was pretty quiet. He said, yeah, he's a quiet kid. I said, but this quiet? It kind of dawned on him that SS was more quiet than usual. Even quiet kids smile and engage from time to time.

Dovina's picture

the pregnancy, and DS 18 months has made SS feel even less like family and has become depressed?  Not saying you arent trying to make him feel at home. Does DH spend alone time with him? Maybe he feels like he has lost his footing in the family.

pixielady's picture

He doesn't know about the pregnancy since I'm not in the "safe zone" yet. DH spends TONS of alone time with him (I encourage him a lot) and also is taking a fair amount of time off work during SSs month here. SS is the only child at his mother's (who is also an only child, so he has no cousins there) all of the adults in his life buy into the whole "poor COD" so he is showered with gifts and is the center of attention everywhere except here. We have been long distance for almost two years now, so I'm sure that has something to do with it. DHs job is flexible and he flies out there 4-5x a year and SS comes here 2-3x a year. Facetimes several times a week. 

It is possible that his "dethroning" is making him feel this way. DH and I run a very normal, non-child-centric household, which he may not be used to.

Dovina's picture

SS9 has to spend time in a non child  centric household. To be dethroned, and actually have a hierarchy is hard for these "I run the show" kids, if that is the case at BM's.

Good luck with everything

pixielady's picture

It's like he's a different person at BMs - he runs the show, is bossy and rude to his mother and to other adults there. This is very Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde behavior.

Harry's picture

what he is interested in. Maybe you can have a adult type talk about the subject he likes.  Get books or internet information and then try to do something in that line.

pixielady's picture

He's not interested in much besides comic books. The times he used to talk more than a few words at a time, he would not be able to keep a normal conversation going - would go off on weird tangents and not able to tell a cohesive story. Very strange. DH tries to get him involved in sports but he's not very interested or particularly good at it.

MollyBrown's picture

Sounds like a kid who isn’t comfortable with where he is.  Not saying it’s your fault at all. 

pixielady's picture

I think that part of the reason why he doesn't feel comfortable is because he isn't allowed to "run the show" and isn't getting constant attention and constantly being catered to the way he is when he's with BM and inlaws. He is treated like a normal kid, not like the Second Coming, so that may be upsetting him.

thinkthrice's picture

He likes being the focus of attention and realizes he's not at your house--thus the sullen crap.  Children are by default selfish; parents are supposed to train them out of it.  Obviously he is not being trained out of it at the BM's house so it is a shock to his system.

pixielady's picture

Yep! It happened tonight at dinner. We ran out of parmesan for the pasta during dinner and SS wanted us to go to the store to get more right then and there so he could have some more. I shut him down. I said parmesan is extra and a nice thing that your dad and I provide. It's not necessary in order to eat dinner.

His mom uses him as an emotional crutch and lets him do whatever he wants, no discipline, no chores. 

Can't wait for this visitation to be over!