The Family & Parenting ForumsFamily dynamics can be exactly that - dynamic! Post here about family related issues such as parenting, blended families, step-families, new relationships with children involved, family of origin issues, in-laws or sibling issues.
The only thing I can think of is something I recently brought up to my mom in a conversation about our household and it's occupants.
I explained to her that, every time she "vents" or goes off at one of us (her kids) about her boyfriend, his kids, any of that her using them to get her frustration out, her directing that negative energy to them fuels a fire that then transfers to everyone in the house. i.e. if she's mad at her boyfriend for xyz, which ever of my brothers she vented to now holds xyz against him, and it comes out in how they suddenly treat him. I can take her words and frustrations and be the sounding wall, and NOT turn it into anything but they can't, and it has just fueled a war between sides in our house that's unbearable at times.
I've always been the child that can do that for mom, some can, some can't. My brothers can't, they go into defense mode.
my point is, if your ex is spending that much time talking negatively about you, it's probably directly influencing your son's behavior. Your daughter might be able to shrug it off more, or take it as it is and leave it alone, where as your son can't. He could be holding her words against you and holding some sort of blame against you for whatever it is she has said, and he's not going to tell you that.
Frankly, if that is the case, just make sure you speak nothing harshly about his mother to him, and she needs to handle herself more responsibly. but that's just my 2 cents.
I know she talks ill of me because both my son and daughter have told me, without solicitation.
I think the hardest part is that I want to help him, but he won't open up to me or my new partner(of 2 years), we just keep getting a brick wall or "I dunno". We have tried everything. How can we get him to open up, or do we just leave it and reassure him that we are here for him?
BTW this hasn't been an issue for about 6 months, it's almost like something happened from the last time he was at our house to when he returned.
I have thought about calling his mum to discuss it and try to resolve it together, however based on the last 2.5 years, I really don't think that she can have an adult rational conversation with me.
Well for starters I would investigate whether he has got into any chemicals. Kids that age tend to start snuffing things like household chemicals or taking pills that aren't meant for them.
Another issue is whether he has been playing or watching any kind of new violent media.
And finally, since it's summer, has he been cut off from his usual social contacts/friends/hobbies/venues and does he have the opportunity to play sports especially if he usually does this during the school year.
I'd also just sit down and ask him, what can you do to make his life easier, because it seems like he is frustrated about something, and give him the chance to tell you exactly what it is he needs.
No he doesn't want to hurt people or animals but just enjoys drawing people dieing, lots of blood etc. Perhaps they are kinda like a battle scene some of them.
That's too funny. When my son was that age he used to draw the battle scenes.. usually space ship battles with huge ugly space creatures. And yes all the blood....
He was in Catholic school for first grade. One day they had an assignment (in class) to draw a nativity scene. Well when I picked up my son that day a very perplexed teacher showed me my son's drawing... he drew the vampire holy family in the stable.
I would say something is going on at school/day care.
Maybe he's being bullied and has no outlet and no one is helping. Maybe he hasn't asked for help.
in my classroom (5th grade), these sudden changes were either peer related, or home related. usually the child feels out of control of the situation so acts out.
Mom has a bf? Could be struggles with him. Kids are intuitive and catch on to things about people before us adults see it.
The pictures of people dying and being killed...does he see graphic material at your house or his mom's? Is he angry at someone-- peer or family? This is his outlet because he obviously can't control the situation that is bothering him.
Have a deep talk with him. He's 9...9 year olds are smart and know a ton. Ask him about any situations with friends/kids.
The way a child internalizes something is completely different from how adults do it. Also, what we adults may not think of as a big deal, can really effect a child.
Good luck and be calm. have a man to man talk. Treat him like a little man...He's close to puberty...My 10 year old boys and 11 year old boys are FULL of rage and it's typically regarding hormones and situations they cannot control.