Friday, June 17, 2011

treading water...

Do you ever feel as a parent you are in way over your head?  I do.  Our big boy is only 9 and I know I've talked about the trials and tribulations of raising this gorgeous boy several times over the last few months, but boy oh boy, I really am worried about what the teenage years hold...

He's always been shy.  We were the ones you'd see at gymbaroo or music & movement sitting in the background not participating, just watching everyone else have a wonderful time.  I was always a shy kid so I understand it & I haven't forced him into being someone he is not or making him uncomfortable in a social environment.  He's always needed time to 'warm up' no matter where we might be...
Though now at 9yrs old, his shyness comes across as just plain rudeness.  When people say hello, he'll mutter a hello back that is barely audible and not make eye contact, and sometimes even pretend he hasn't seen someone he knows across the street yelling out to him.  It's not only the shyness, he  mopes about, never sharing much of what he did in a day, he gets angry at his brothers and his tone can actually be quite scathing.  He challenged me at school recently, we eyeballed each other,I couldn't believe he didn't break his gaze.  We've addressed all of these incidents when they occur, thank goodness for my level headed rational husband, man he's one amazing dad, my hero!  We've talked things through & made sure the boundaries are very clear, respect for others and all those important things...
Mostly I worry that maybe something really is wrong.  He talks about things when he's ready, so that's good.  But I fear that as he gets older he'll withdraw more & more.  I know it's probably being dramatic but it does cross my mind, and you know, you hear all those horrible stories...what if he is struggling, what if these are signs I should be reading into & doing something about...

I have brothers who love & adore my boys.  According to every book you read, and my own gut instinct, all boys need good role models & a mentor, someone other than dad as they get older, so we are very lucky.  All of them are willing & able so I think maybe now is the time to call on them.  Make time for them to hang out, it can only be good I'm sure of that...


  1. Gosh parenting is sooo hard at times. You can question yourself often and never be sure you are doing the right thing at times.

    Reading through your post though, it sounds like you are doing everything you can to make sure he is in a loving and supportive environment with lots of good peers helping him through the quagmire of pre-teenage years!

    I have a 7 year old nipping at your 9 year olds heels so be sure to keep sharing what you do to get him through to the other side!!!


  2. That gut instinct of yours is there for good reason. But I am also only too aware what a difficult age nine can be. You can get all hippy and read about the Steiner philosophy about how it is to be nine, or you can take it from me that there are a heck of a lot of nine year olds in my kids class (boys included) who are having a tricky time of things. There's nothing wrong with keeping your antennae on alert, but it sounds to me that you instinctively know how to tick all the right boxes. x

  3. Whatever happens he will realise he grew up with two parents who love him very much..and love conquers all. Expect good things to happen too. We can all get very afraid with what is happening in the world but it takes courage to believe that good things will happen and to take advantage of the great opportunities that occur and to teach our children how to do that. I have known some very shy people to grow up to be strong, motivated individuals.

  4. Mel your boy sounds exactly like how our oldest son used to the extend that I worried about him continually but in his teen years (he is now 18) he came into his own and is so much more open with me now than he ever was. I don't know what changed for him but as he got older he became more confident in himself which reflected in how he was towards others.

  5. Wow Mel I read that article with great interest. Our boys are the same age all but a few months. I have an extremely outgoing son who also brings worries. My 7 year old boy though has always been a huge concern, we've seen all sorts of doctors yet nothing really wrong with him. It sounds like you're doing a fab job - you're aware of his difficulties, you've got a supportive family, maybe just helping him come out of his shell slowly. What's his passion? Can you develop that more? I'm praying you won't say computer games as that obviously won't help the shyness. One of the best bits of advice I was given by an older lady who'd had 4 children was 'never give boys any spare time'! I guess that's when it can start to go wrong when they're teenagers & start 'hanging out' on street corners with their other bored mates. I'm hoping my boys will always have a rugby match to play or attend, be off to the coast surfing, anything but 'hanging out' on street corners. I'd certainly rather play taxi for them.

  6. Parenting can be the pits I agree....Let me help ease your mind He is alot like our oldest, his father is the shy one. I use to feel the same way because our younger 2 kids are more loving quicker to be polite, much more affectionate. He never got into trouble but I felt like I had to push him to show love, say to his grandparents and what not.
    I was just reading this amazing book helping me....and It said never push a child to show love let them show it when they feel it and not when you want them to. It was like a lightbulb, I always made them kiss there grandparents when he clearly did not want to!

    anyway 12 to 14 is the worst but right now he's starting the hormone rage next 2 years he will start crying over nothing, you will feel like you want to pull your hair out, then from the 12-15 they start smelling something awful......Jeremy turns 16 this month and he's a joy now....he's starting to be nicer to his brother and sister. He's sweet I can't explain he's talking to me about girls and he constantly keeps telling me not to be a hippie. I'm not sure what thats all about but it makes me smile I could be called worse things. One piece of advise a teacher gave me that I loved was never let out the freedom reigns out to far because you can't ever pull them back in again!
    Our middle son is 11 and he's on the tail end of the crying phase...but
    someone better help me with girls because I'm at a loss......
    You are such a wonderful Mom and a fab Hubby....Just remember its hormones!

  7. Oh good Lord I wrote a can delete it!


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