My son is going going to be turning 12 in a couple of weeks and I have noticed he is into unusual things and I find it disturbing. He enjoys movies like The Godfather, and A Clockwork Orange. He really enjoys reading, but reads unusual stuff like Paradise Lost, Nineteen Eighty Four,and the Art of War and has perfect knowledge and understanding about their topics. He also keeps this diary of "ideas." One of the ideas he came and talked to me about was about how afterlife is really a dream and how we die every night. His music is also strange. He listens to what I call noise and he says he "hears" colors from it. I don't know -- he is just so young to have a mind like this. How to get him to be more normal?

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    Hopefully your son makes a movie one day, sounds like it could be pretty good. Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 10:51
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    The works you cite are world renowned masterpieces of film and literature. Your child isn't weird, he's just a thinker.
    – Erik
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 11:01
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    What are you hoping to accomplish by making him "more normal"? Does he seem unhappy in some way?
    – Erik
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 11:11
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    You say your son is unusual, but then list some of the most popular or critically acclaimed works of all time, which he happens to enjoy. What is your actual, specific question?
    – user11394
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 17:44
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    As for the "hearing colors" part, your son may be experiencing synesthesia, see en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia -- which is basically when simulation of one sense causes you to experience another. It's not a disability or a sign that something deeper is wrong. You could try asking your doctor about synesthesia and researching it, but if your son has it, it's not really something to worry about; mostly it's just different.
    – user14172
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 23:17

2 Answers 2


Read this books for yourself and talk with him about it - what he likes about them, how he thinks about it and how he sees our world. As a parent, you should be understanding about things he likes. If you call his taste in books and music "not normal" or in general negative, he will never be able to have confidence in your support. One of the first things he would do is to have secrets from you, not tell you about his problems and search for other friends he can trust. Do you want that?

Try to find out if he knows that things like the content of the Godfather or Nineteen eighty four are only fictitious and not the real world. He should know that they were made to amuse the audience and maybe guide them in a metaphorical sense. Your task as a parent is to help your child to understand the world and be safe.

Maybe you can influence him to make some things you think are "normal", but never urge or even force him to do that.

  • Orwell's book(s) at least are not exactly made to amuse the audience and convey quite a strong political message, which may also be a good start to learn some history though.
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 18:06

I would be far more concerned about his access to mature media, especially when you have a problem with it, than his reaction to it. I doubt he is mature enough to understand/handle/normalize much/most of it at 11, and he shouldn't have free access to these things without your consent/knowledge. In fact, I would expect a strange reaction from someone who can't properly digest, contextualize, and extract values from, a novel like 1984. It is not light reading.

I don't know he is just so young to have a mind like this how to get him to be more normal

I would banish the thought of comparing specific behaviors and thoughts to any idea of "normal". Rather, typical is a term I would use to compare milestones or general behaviors/attitudes. There is no normal when it comes to thoughts, fantasies, dreams, or imagination. There is really only appropriate and inappropriate. A Clock Work Orange is not appropriate for any 11-year-old, under any circumstances.

Expecting "normal", and communicating to your son that you don't think he is normal, (it's not clear whether you have or not), can be extremely damaging to his self-image, and to your relationship with him. I think it sometimes about my own, but it should never be expressed to him or be made shared with him.

In any case, I agree that you should discuss with your son, as in-depth as you can, all of these movies and books and what about them intrigues your son, and keep as open a dialogue as you can about the material he is consuming - how he feels about it, what he thinks it means, how it relates to his life (not all at once by the way). It is unlikely that he has a perfect understanding of the material, whether or not he can recite passages or present a synopsis of the story or plot.

If he is going to continue to have access to these materials, then he is really going to benefit from some guidance and discussion of what he is viewing and reading. And the more you participate in this, the more influence you will have in guiding his development.

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    Hmm. I would agree, tentatively, that A Clockwork Orange might not be appropriate for 11 (though it would depend on the child). I on the other hand read 1984 at about 11 and had no trouble understanding it, including at least a reasonable level of understanding of the "deep meaning". But either way +1 for the last part, discussion is the way to go for sure
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 20:09

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