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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1705
Experience:  Parenting Workshops, Teacher, PHD Clinical Psychology, 30 yrs. Exp. 4 Children
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My bf has an 11yr old boy who is, putting it nicely, a handful.

Resolved Question:

My bf has an 11yr old boy who is, putting it nicely, a handful. He is doing poorly in school, curses like a sailor, has an attitude problem, and is very disrespectful. He has flat out told my bf to "f#@$" himself on a number of occasions, in front of other people without any provocation. My bf and his wife split up 2+ years ago and my bf has a very guilty conscience although he has done nothing but be a great dad and a stand up guy. His ex has since had another baby with another man and their 11 year old's issues have gotten worse since then, but i'm told he has always been a difficult kid. Im trying to be as supportive as I can but I'm feeling like he kind of lets the kid walk all over him. I have told him he needs to be a little tougher. My bf agrees but then back-pedals saying that he doesnt want to "push the kid over the edge." I want to help but i also dont want to push too hard and have him resent me. Not sure what to do...
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Keane :

Hi I can help you today.

Dr. Keane :

It seems that this child is really hurting inside, could be a result of his parents divorcing but it needs to be addressed. If his Dad wants to help him he needs to be a dad and not afraid to discipline him. I would suggest that he find a good therapist for his son to see so that he can work out his anger and any other issues he has in therapy. If not alone then in family therapy. He may be feeling abandoned, his dad left, his mom has replaced him with another child.

Dr. Keane :

If he was difficult to begin with it will only get worse unless someone helps him

Customer :

His dad is there for him every day although he does live with the mother and her new bf.

Customer :

i try to be nice but he is so difficult. He is kind of mean. Even to other kids, he has no friends.

Customer :

he has defaced his fathers property, stolen from his brother, punched a 6yr old in the face...

Dr. Keane :

being there is great but he has to set boundaries and rules, if he doesn't this young man is going to have severe issues as a teen. If he is mean you need to find out why, and therapy is really the best place for him to explore his anger.

Dr. Keane :

Hasn't anyone ever suggested he see someone?

Dr. Keane :

Does he ever feel remorse?

Customer :

thats w2hat i have been suggesting but they are having a very hard time with money. i said that maybe there was counseling thru his school? they are claiming thewre isnt...

Customer :

he lies. about everything. he will deny it all even if caught red handed. he shows remorse only when caught but i think its an act. he will roll on the floor and throw a tantrum then if he thinks no one is looking he will laugh or throw something at someoone...

Dr. Keane :

Has he ever been evaluated by the school for learning issues? There are counselors in every school district, I would suggest that Dad write a request to the school for a full evaluation and counseling. Who is "they" who say there is no counseling there.

Customer :

the parents. both of them. i thought all schools had something but what do i know... he is a very smart kid and a good manipulator...

Dr. Keane :

He sounds as though he can manipulate everyone, this is a dangerous situation and if it's his personality you are all in for a rough time.

Customer :

i love kids but this one seems to have an "evil" streak ... he absolutely plays his dad and it frustrates me.

Dr. Keane :

I am sure it does frustrate you but you really can't do much about it. You can go online and look up information on kids who behave this way (oppositional defiant disorder to start) .

Customer :

my bf is afraid of being too tough and pushing him over the edge so to speak.

Dr. Keane :

I have to go offline so when you are satisfied with my response please click accept, or leave a comment I can pick up when I return.

Customer : Sorry I lost my Internet connection
Dr. Keane, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1705
Experience: Parenting Workshops, Teacher, PHD Clinical Psychology, 30 yrs. Exp. 4 Children
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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane
Parenting Counselor
1705 Satisfied Customers
Parenting Workshops, Teacher, PHD Clinical Psychology, 30 yrs. Exp. 4 Children