This can be near the end of the withdrawal road.
This sign also may be seen in a child who never developed satisfying
relationships with people. These children have their most significant
relationships with things and may be known as book- worms or, these days,
computer geeks. Their only interest might be music, reading, television, or
anything else where they do not have to deal with people.
Being clear about your goal is the key to
helping your child. Your goal is not to get him to where he prefers people to
his books and computers but rather only to get him to be a little more socially
As with most signs of maladjustment, helping
starts with your relationship with your child. Show more interest in what he
has read, in what he has learned to make his computer do, or in what he is
watching on television. When he responds a little to your interest, feel good
about his progress. It will additionally help to encourage him to tell others
about his interests.
If you try increasing the time he spends with
other children, be sure you do not make what is a very common mistake. People
often try to match a withdrawn child with one who is unusually outgoing. A
better match is with another child who is almost as quiet and reserved as the
withdrawn youngster. No, they will not bore each other to death. They also will
not overwhelm each other.
There is another potential issue here.
Occasionally a young person becomes “addicted” to a particular vidio
game or to playing video games more generally. This is not an addiction as with
drugs but is a serious obsession with the activity. The youngster plays the
games to the exclusion of everything and everyone, if left to his (or her) own
choices. If this seems like a problem for your child, start by limiting the
time she can spend playing video games either on the computer or on handheld
devices. The key is not to stop the activity. Rather, it is to be sure there is
time for other activities and people. The same approach can be used with any
activity in which your child has become obsessively interested. Also, be sure
the adults at home do not themselves have similar obsessions of their own.