10 year old does not want to grow up

by Shenya

Question: My 10 year old acts like a baby. This bothers me so much. His teachers say he does that in school too. He asks friends for help with simple tasks and demands teachers call him by his nick name. Does anyone know the right path to go please help?

Answer: Try encouraging him by saying he is a big boy and can do things all by himself. Ignore him when he doesn't act appropriately, simply say you will talk to him when he is talking appropriately.

It may take time of consistently doing this, but if you keep telling him he is a big boy over and over he will eventually believe it himself. Make sure not to tell him he is acting like a baby, but that he is such a big boy and you are so proud of him.

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Baby type actions

by Jen
(Omaha, NE)

Question: My five year old has recently started acting much like an annoying baby. She has always been fairly mature, and a very easy going, fun and light hearted little girl with a very good little head on her shoulders.

About 6months ago, my husband and I separated, and now we have decided on divorce. I totally understand divorce has an effect on children, however I don't know how to react.

Typically, I'd address the action, request it stop or change, then enforce my request. At this juncture, I am already stressed and overly reactive, so I'm finding it very hard not to just reprimand her for things I find "un-called for" or "stupid." I am now scared that her actions are based off of circumstance instead of "normal" behavior."


Answer: Right now your daughter is probably feeling very insecure. She may be resorting to baby like actions because those are getting her the most attention right now when she really needs it.

Is it possible to make sure to spend one on one special quality time with her every day for at least 30 minutes? Let her know that you realize you have been stressed out lately and that you really want to set aside some special time with her each day.

It can be right before bed playing a game, reading books or doing a puzzle. Try to let her pick the activity within reason.

Another good idea would be to possibly still try and have some family time. I realize that you and your husband are getting a divorce, but I think the main reason children have a difficult time with this is because of the damaged relationship between the parents.

They start to fear that if mommy or daddy doesn't want to be with eachother, maybe they won't want to be with me either at some time. If you can sort out your differences in private and manage to be respectful to each other long enough to take her to a movie together, go to a playground together or a funland like Chuck e Cheese she may feel more secure.

She will also see that you will always care about eachother, but you just can't live together. This is a very good lesson for children to learn.

When she does act babylike, simply say, "Uh oh, I don't hear you when you talk that way." and walk away. You may also say, "Uh oh, I'll come back when you are acting sweet." and walk away.

Shower her with lots of affection and praise when she is being her sweet old self saying how much you love her and I bet she will be back in no time.

Other considerations are to go to family counseling that allow her to have one on one sessions and that have you and her father there to help learn how to communicate well and be on the same page when it comes to raising her, despite going through a divorce.

Good Luck!

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