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Linda D.
Linda D., Psychotherapist, LMSW, CASAC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 501
Experience:  LMSW, CASAC
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We just bought a new house and my 8 year old son goes to a

Customer Question

We just bought a new house and my 8 year old son goes to a new school and is really unhappy and we caught him with a neighborhood kid and they spray painted a bunch of stuff all over our things and all over our garage. Just looking for some advice about this situation, he's usually a pretty good kid and has adhd Any advice on discipline or anything? ??
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Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Linda D. replied 6 months ago.
hello and thank you for using Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed psychotherapist/family therapist in New York State. I work with many adult males who when they were young instead of externalizing and expressing their frustration, anger, sadness....they internalized their feelings. So although we don't want him to believe in anyway that destroying property is an acceptable way to express yourself it is in some ways healthier than stuffing his feelings. He may not even realize that this is an act of aggression and implies some negative feelings he is feeling. he is lucky to have a dad like you who is involved and committed to parenting him in the best way possible. first, it is important for his own character development that your son take responsibility for his action, (you should encourage him to express why this was a poor choice instead of telling him) and then secondly to help him with healthier decision making in the future explore with him what he got out of doing this (felt like his new friend would like him more, etc.) and what it cost him (felt guilty, scared, has consequences, you are upset, etc.). help him to see that for every decision he makes now and in the future there is something that he will gain but also a cost. Frame everything as making a decision (this is a really good opportunity to teach him about what his role in what happened and will help him in the future to slow down and think of the gains/cost for decisions he will make). lastly help him to brainstorm with you an appropriate consequence. Of course he and his friend should clean up or repair whatever damage they can. Help him to see that this is just a natural consequence of his decision not a punishment. His ADHD did not cause him to make the decision to do this with his friend. And oh yes, when all of this settles down start having some conversations with him about how he is feeling with all of the changes. Ask open ended questions, not yes, no questions and explore with him some things he can do to express his frustrations, etc. Get him an African drum to play, ride a bike around the house, listen to music, etc. I truly wish you and your son all the best. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with and thank you for letting me into this part of your life in this small way. Sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for your advice, he is still denying it , and switching his storied around, first he says they didn't do it, when we have a
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for your advice, he is still denying everything and switchin his stories around, first he says they didn't do it then he says his friend did most of it, then he took blame for some of it and then retracted that saying he only said because we made him since we were asking for the truth and have some proof on the surveillance camera which unfortunately was set to the setting of just taking pics. We want to talk to the other kids parents but feel like we should hold off until we have a better idea of who did what.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 6 months ago.
Yes, this is the first step, to help him to feel safe enough to be honest with you. When I work with kids I ask them why they feel they can not be honest with their parents in the same way they are with me and here are the reasons they give: I don't want my parents to disapprove of me; I don't want to be given any consequences; I don't want to be judged; they think I am perfect and they don't want to know the truth of what I am doing, etc. Our children lie to us for reasons, and it may be a good idea to explore why your son feels he needs to lie to you. What is he scared of if he tells you the truth?? Everyone makes mistakes, he is allowed to make mistakes, it is how we handle it that matters. There is a good book you can order online that helps with parenting, it is like a workbook and reads really well. It is called Parent Effectiveness Training (PET). Please let me know if I can help any further. Linda D., LMSW, CASAC
Expert:  Linda D. replied 6 months ago.
Please take a moment to rate my service to you as this is the only way we are compensated for our service. I would truly appreciate it. Thank you for letting me into your life in this small way, I hope it has been helpful. I wish you and your son all the best and I am here if I can be of any help to you now or in the future. Sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC

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