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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1760
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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Dr Keane (if available) Jason and his best friend James are

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Dr Keane (if available) Jason and his best friend James are in Kinder together. When James comes to our Home he is a model, likable kid. NEVER a problem. In school James has pushed, kicked, spit on and choked kids and called the teacher crazy. I'm sure you would need a calculatorf to add up his time outs over the past 2 years. 11 days ago James punched Jason in the eye. After 6 days of not playing with each other we agreed to start playing together .Both boys were miserable without each other. The very next day James punched Jason in the eye again in school for the very same reason. "He didn't move when i asked him to." Should I take him out of this school? I'm worried about permenent eye damage.

I believe having James evaluated by the school psychologist is a good first step. He is only five and aggressive in school. If he was aggressive at your home, school and everywhere else then I would say the child has a serious problem brewing. I would question what it is about school that has him so angry. It could be because when he is at your home there is no competition for Jason's attention, while at school there are other children around who may seem like a threat to him. What is your relationship like with his mother? If you are her friend I would hope you could talk to her and suggest that she take him to a private child psychologist who would be better able to get a handle on what is going on. A school psychologist does not have the time to spend with each child to be thorough.
In the meantime, instead of keeping him away from Jason I would suggest someone make up a "contract" with James that tells him that every time he stops himself from hitting he gets more time at your house playing with Jason. Tell him to count before that hand strikes, may give him time to react differently rather than impulsively. If he hits Jason again then that time is subtracted from his playtime (I like to keep it on a positive rather than negative, you can't play type consequence) He may not be able to resist the impulse BUT if that only happens in school I would be curious as to why there. If his behavior is impulsive, and he gets a lot of time outs then I'd say first, time outs aren't working, change the plan and secondly, he has poor impulse control and/or does not have the ability to use words instead of hands. Of course without seeing him I can't diagnose but I would try and find a solution to his behavior issues while he is young enough to correct them. You are a good friend to be concerned for your son's friend even when he has hurt your child and to try and remedy the situation. Don't pull your son and don't let their friendship end. I know it's awful to see your child get hurt so make the rules, and stick with them. If James has elder siblings he may be their punching bag or someone else's.
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Edited by Dr.Keane on 2/1/2010 at 4:38 PM EST
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