I have a 9-year old boy and he is on his way to 4th grade. I am worried with the sudden change in his behavior and preferences. Aside from having a new member in our family, his baby sister, are there any possible cause for this? He now prefers to stay in the house and play with his bike and his video games. At times, he also gets shy around people which was very opposite way back then. Is this change normal?
This sounds quite normal to me. A new addition to a family can make the older child feel confused and want to withdraw. It can be useful to involve the older child in helping with the baby or get your older child to help with bringing nappies/ clothing for the baby so that he feels included. You may also find it beneficial if you are able to spend some time alone with your older child each week if another family member is able to watch the baby during this time. He might be feeling unsure of the new family situation so want to stay around the home more (this could also make him seem shy).
Has he mentioned any other concerns, such as at school? Does he seem to be in good health? If these are ruled out then I think it is quite likely that he feels jealous or unsure of the new baby. It can take many months for these feelings to settle down as all the family adapts but I'm sure he will get there.
I hope this helps,
I agree with what LJ said. A new addition is a huge adjustment, especially to a boy who has been any only child for 9 years. It is just going to take some getting used to and including him in activites involving the baby and providing quality time with just you, may help him to feel more secure about himself and his place in the family.
Thank you ljmarsden.
Well, my son usually verbalizes his thoughts most especially when it comes to school. He informs me if he is encountering difficulties with his classmates, teachers, and his lessons. So far he does not have issues in school. However, I noticed that he became sickly lately. He complains of minor aches which is really hard for me to determine if he is just acting out or not. So I brought him to the doctor and he really is sick that time. But after that, it seems that he is already acting out. Maybe he felt that whenever he is sick, I give my full attention to him only. I think that at some point, he is jealous with his sister even if he is not telling me directly.
Hopefully he will be able to adjust with such changes in our family.
Yes I do that every now and then. I make sure that we do his favorite activities, just the two of us. To make him feel secure, and of course, loved.