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Niece is becoming withdrawn.



long story as short as possible, my oldest niece isn't acting like the same kid anymore. It could be a lot of things, such as they lost a pet about a year ago and she got a new baby sister about 2 years ago.
My oldest niece was very much the center of everyone's world and still is, but now she shares the spotlight.

She's 7 and it may just be part of her growing up, but this has been going on for months now. She's always been close to me, and my husband was her hero. Now there's been times when she preferred to just watch her videos and barely spoke to either of us when we went over there.


Her parents may be telling her not to say certain things to us because my SIL has become upset in the past when she pulled me aside to talk about things. Things that happen that bother kids, like she got in trouble at dance practice or the like.
now when she sees me, she just looks sad and doesn't say anything. If I talk to her, she looks to her parents for approval before she'll answer. There were times when she asked them flat out, 'can I answer?'

I'm sure that her teacher couldn't disclose anything, but I've thought about going to her teacher to let her know what I'm seeing. I haven't seen any signs of abuse, but wonder if it would do any good to ask advice from her teacher if she has any, such as things that I can maybe do. It may be just that she's going through a rough time altogether.

any advice?

Answer Question
 
ItsMe89

Asked by ItsMe89 at 3:00 PM on Mar. 20, 2011 in Relationships

Level 25 (23,130 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Wait until you can get a min alone w/ your neice and ask her. Say it seems like you don't want to talk with me much anymore, is something wrong? Remind her that she can trust you. It definitely sounds like something isn't right.
    Kimedbs

    Answer by Kimedbs at 3:12 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Is something wrong with the parents relationship?
    pinkdragon36

    Answer by pinkdragon36 at 3:18 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • "Wait until you can get a min alone w/ your neice and ask her. Say it seems like you don't want to talk with me much anymore, is something wrong? Remind her that she can trust you. It definitely sounds like something isn't right. "
    I did, and she didn't really say anything. It seems that no matter what, she's afraid to say much of anything to me in front of her parents.
    She's never wanted to hug me or laugh with me in front of her mom. She's hug me and laugh and all when her mom isn't around. She in fact looks around to make sure mom isn't anywhere near before she would start to play with me.

    long story there, but she has definitely changed. First I thought it was just me, but then she's started acting like that with DH (her uncle) as well.
    DH is her hero, so for her to start to not talk to him much is really different. She's changed a lot.
    ItsMe89

    Comment by ItsMe89 (original poster) at 3:20 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • what do you think your niece is going through?
    Aries46845

    Answer by Aries46845 at 8:07 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • maybe her parents talked to her about sex?? do you think she has started her cycle. i went through puberty really early, and it is not uncommon for girls to start around 6 or 7. maybe abuse?? im not sure, but i hope you are able to get something figured out. i would talk to her teacher to see if she has noticed anything unusual. other than her parents, her teacher is the person she spends the most time around and a good teacher would notice a difference in her "kids"
    Arretsmomma5

    Answer by Arretsmomma5 at 12:21 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Something wrong. Just not enough info to know what. And it could be anything from sexual abuse to bullying in school to just plain ole depression. But I don't feel it's normal to have to look for permission to speak even for a child. That smacks me of emotional abuse. I don't know what I'd do if that was my niece. Can you bring up your concerns to her parents? How long has this been going on? Maybe talking to the teacher is a good idea. I don't know. My local school system won't talk with extended family unless they have custody so I have no idea how that will go.
    isabellalecour

    Answer by isabellalecour at 11:51 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Can you bring up your concerns to her parents? To her dad probably, since I know him better. How long has this been going on? it's been little by little, but it's been going on for several months.


    Maybe talking to the teacher is a good idea. I don't know. My local school system won't talk with extended family unless they have custody so I have no idea how that will go.


    I guess the worst they can really do is tell me to butt out. But I'm somewhat known at that school for helping and attending functions. I wouldn't expect them to give me any info, but I would hope that I can tell them what I've seen.


    It would be a lot of things, I was told for a while she was moody because she missed her dog that died, but no matter what the reason she's getting worse. I wondered about hormones too, but the problem seems to be pretty much ongoing.


    I'll see what I can do.

    ItsMe89

    Comment by ItsMe89 (original poster) at 5:01 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

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