Originally posted on The World of Neil:
Daniel has been acting a bit strangely lately. He’s always been a sensitive wee soul, and it has never taken much to affect his spiritual well being. This week has seen something relatively new. Last weekend, he angrily announced “I am rubbish. I am rubbish at everything.” No amount of soothing and comforting would dissuade him from that view. Naturally, he’s anything but “rubbish” He’s a clever lad who is easily mastering literacy and numeracy. His reading skills are excellent. Yes, he’s reluctant to show his teachers what he’s really capable of, but he makes up for that at home, and will happily read another couple of books after doing his school reading book. He seems wise beyond his years, and can use complex words in context. He has deep thoughts – definitely too deep for a six year old. He’s a smart cookie. Where did his assertion that he was no good at anything come from?
He seemed to snap out of it the following day, but this evening, he got very upset at bedtime. He had had a meltdown in the afternoon too. Jane had attributed the meltdown to him being tense about parents consultations at school today. I went up to the school at 4pm to meet with his teacher, then Matthew’s teacher and the SEN teachers. Daniel had nothing to worry about, and was given a glowing report. His teacher had noticed him tensing up – like a coiled spring – when it got noisy. That in itself is interesting, given the lengths he goes to, to hold it together during the school day. But it was in the bedtime meltdown that had us worried again. He told Jane how he was a bad person, and had a bad heart. This is completely out of character for Daniel. Despite his meltdowns, he is such a kind-hearted, loving boy. He will share everything he has. He has said in the past how he is a good person, because he likes to help people. While we were on holiday, he would take winnings from the 2p slot machines and give it to random strangers walking past. He’s such a kind little lad. So what has happened?
Well, as some will know, one of the boys’ grannies lives with us. She has helped out with the boys over the years, particularly when they were babies up to toddler age. Trouble is, she has become lazy in many ways. She doesn’t move from the sofa during the day, hardly goes out. Often she will just sit staring into space for hours. She was always playing with Daniel before he went to school, but did little else. Back then we saw how she would be bored beyond belief when D went to school full time. So it has proven. Daniel now has other interests, and has a small circle of friends now. He just doesn’t want to play the games he used to play with Gaga. The result? She is bitterly jealous of Daniel’s other interests, so resorts to her favourite game – bating Daniel. She will be nice as you like (more-or-less) while Jane and/or I are in the room. But as soon as we leave the room, she will bully him. Mercilessly.