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appropriate behavior for 11-year-old boy
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appropriate behavior for 11-year-old boy

I have an 11-year-old boy who by most accounts is a great kid.  He is intelligent and does well in school.  He has social issues that I'm perplexed about.  Whenever he is in a situation where he is bored, he will behave in a very goofy way.  He tries to get laughs from everyone and his behavior is very hyper.  Even when he is being told that his behavior is annoying (by an adult or another child) he seems unwilling to stop it.  He is also very affectionate with people.  He will hug, touch, rub the arms of family members.  He does not do this with other children or casual acquaintances , but the family thinks it's unusual for a boy his age to be so "touchy feely".  One more issue that we are having trouble with is his tendency to pout when he isn't happy about a situation.  He generally does this when we are in a social setting with friends.  For example, we were out to dinner with my parents and my sisters' families.  We were all enjoying our meals and he suddenly started to pout because he didn't like the food he had chosen.  Obviously, this is a behavior seen in much younger children.  My husband and I are at a loss for how to handle these odd behaviors.  His behavior can be very embarrassing for us and for his 14-year-old brother.  His behavior at home seems pretty normal.  He generally doesn't have trouble focusing on a task and can sit for hours working on homework or a project that he is interested in.  His impulsive goofiness is a problem outside the home.  
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His impulsive goofiness is a problem outside the home.  

This is a behaviour common to children suffering from anxiety.  That is not to say your son suffers from an anxiety disorder but that he is feeling "stress" and is uncomfortable at that point in time.  So, he reacts to the stress (whether real or perceived) by acting silly. We see this all the time is school and often the teacher misinterprets the behaviour as trying to "get attention" when, in fact, the opposite is true.  I really think the best thing to do is to "acknowledge the stress" and then "ignore the behaviour".  Hope this helps....
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