Saturday 16 December 2017

Amanda Brunker: 'If your child's mood has changed, become an investigator'

Friday 02 October 2015. Amanda Brunker with her sons R to L: Setanta (8) and Edward (9) McLaughlin
Friday 02 October 2015. Amanda Brunker with her sons R to L: Setanta (8) and Edward (9) McLaughlin

Amanda Brunker

Why is it in 2016, we aren't zipping around town on hovercrafts and ordering our kids from menus at fancy clinics? How great would that be? We could be the owners of perfect little humans blended from our own choice of characteristics.

'I'll have two boys with high intelligence, leadership skills, kindness and a fun sense of humour please.' If only!

Sadly, we can't pick and choose our children's personalities. We have to accept what we're given and battle with whatever they throw at us on a daily basis. Now, while I'm very grateful I was gifted with two smart and, most importantly, healthy children, I can't help but stress about normal worries with regards to them. It's a mothers prerogative, right?

In the last week, I've come increasingly aware of moodiness in one of my sons. That's a big worry. Firstly, neither of them are near their teenage years. So, I shouldn't have to deal with hormones yet? Should I?

I think we're all agreed that our children are miracles. One of the best things about kids is their ability to absorb information... and much quicker than us!

Among their many talents, kids can learn facts and songs off the radio in minutes, and how to order ice creams in foreign languages perfectly. They're a marvel. They're also sponges and when they're mimicking their father being unreasonable, they're hilarious!

Anyhoo, because they're so adept at soaking up everything, they can easily pick up on negative stuff too. If mommy and daddy are fighting, that will have a knock-on effect on your smallies. If there's sibling rivalry, sickness, money worries, whatever, it'll play out in your kids in some way.

But what if things are good at home (I didn't say perfect - there's no such thing as perfect), and your child is still acting out of character? Well that is when you need to put on your Jessica Fletcher hat. I'm not saying you need to get all overly inquisitive if your child is a bit off colour for a few days, but if it's prolonged, then yes, you should.

I'm currently doing a bit of investigative work on mine. I'm looking at his current best friend. I'm looking at his school work for tell-tale signs, I'm looking in his 'special drawer' in his room, but most of all, I'm looking at the computer games he's playing.

From what I can tell from this new 'mood', the problem rests with his new love for a certain wrestling game on the Xbox. Over the last couple of weeks since he's been playing it, he's morphed from a sweet kid into a grump! And he shows no signs of changing.

Having experienced problems with another video game, 'Clash of Clans', and witnessed bullying online through it, I removed that and it seems I will have to remove this wrestling game too.

It might sound harsh, but it'll be worth it to have a happy child again. And like a good magician, I can make things disappear with deception.

If you need to do the same, I suggest you figure out a distraction of your own too.

Herald

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