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Question
Posted by: Concerned Parents | 2011/11/24

Awkward Behavour

We are parents of twin boys aged 7 who are healthy and happy. From the onset, the other one (lets call him Boy 1) was jollier, active and first to respond to everything. Just over a year ago if not early last year, when the active one got a bit sick (not really sick) but just a bit under the weather. We only got medication over the counter since it was nothing serious. When he got back to normality, things changed altogether. He became the opposite of what he used to be, very reserved, quite, not good with anything, forgetful, always seems afraid, cannot speak out loud (as if he''s scared to say something wrong).

The other one (Boy 2)who was not always the clever and active, took over the ropes after that incident. He''s now the active one, although when he was not active, his state was not the same as the this one who has changed for the worse.

Our boy 1, now does not know much about his school work compared to boy 2. When it comes to TV programmes boy 1 knows more than anybody but school work???? He even used to sneak back to the TV room after all of us went to bed, and we thought he''s addicted to TV. We''ve since cut down on his TV viewing time to see if he cannot be better but still no change.

what could be wrong with our boy?

Please help

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Interesting that, as you describe it, the twins seem to have switched roles.
As Purple says ( and she's experienced in such matters ) a personality or major behaviour change after a minor illness isn't usual. Maybe an asessment by a child psychologist would be useful, just to check that there's not more going on that is obvious.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2011/11/25

Age 7 is such a difficult time. Children seem to suddenly start being a lot more defiant (sneaking back tot hte TV room etc).
They start to question us more.

I''ve found a really good book called How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk. A friend recommended it and after I saw the changes in her child''s behaviour, I bought it. Our home is significantly more peaceful now (not that it was wild before, but we have a pretty normal 7 year old).

As you have seen, children develop at their own pace. Over the counter medicine is not completely harmless (nothing, not even " natural"  medicines are, homeopathy is as its just water). However, a complete personality change after something for runny tummy or cold or headache or cough and so on (which is pretty much all you can buy over the counter) is not usual.

Perhaps you should visit your peadiatrician or doctor or ask the school if there is an educational psychologist you could take your son to.

My 7 year old is quite clever, but even he is not that interested in school work - he told me it interferes with the science experiements that we do at home after school, and with his play time and sports activities. I hear what he says but I sure as hell am not home schooling - I''d probably eat him by the third day. Yes, he probably needs to go at a faster pace than school does, but he is learning lessons from that, and the school gives him enrichment reading and maths which we have fun doing (I am so hopeless at maths that suddenly things are starting to make sense to me as I get through grade 1 maths, looking forward to grade 2 maths now), and we do fun things after school and on weekends where we cna go at our own pace.

The flip side is that some children find the pace a bit too fast at school. Not because there is any learning problem, but just becuase they need a slower pace. Can you find a high school student who wants some extra money who could perhaps spend time wtih him each afternoon doing an extra 15 minutes of recapping work? Could you find time to do this?

If my son won''t sit down and do his homework (it doesn''t happen often, but it does happen), I don''t sign his homework book. He then has to face the consequences at school the next day. I only had to do this once, now, even if he moans, he does still do his homework with me.
I also try to add some fun to homework. As he does each sum he can have a smartie. When he has finished a book he can run around the garden three times (gets rid of some energy), when he has to do spelling, he writes the words on my back with his finger, or in foam on the side of the bath, or in flour on a baking tray - just something to break the monotony.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/11/25

Interesting that, as you describe it, the twins seem to have switched roles.
As Purple says ( and she's experienced in such matters ) a personality or major behaviour change after a minor illness isn't usual. Maybe an asessment by a child psychologist would be useful, just to check that there's not more going on that is obvious.

Reply to cybershrink

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