How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Rossi Your Own Question

Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
19260254
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
Dr. Rossi is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 9 year old behaves very well in public but at home is a

Resolved Question:

My 9 year old behaves very well in public but at home is a real challenge to deal with. If he is alone he is good and very intelligent, great company and easy. However, when we are together as a family he is a nightmare! BAck chat, rudeness, mild swearing as if looking for attention and horrid to his younger brother (mainly name calling)

His last year at school was difficult as he was being picked on by a peer and this has resulted in a tick developing. He has low self esteem (heightened by this bullying) and thinks he is rubbish at everything - glass always half empty. Despite the fact he is academically achieving very high results and is ok at sports too.

We have tried all sorts of things, positive reinforcement, spending lots more time with him, being firm about the boundaries but all of it seems to no evail.

He is negative and angry a great deal of the time when he is at home and we are finding it terribly upsetting - highlighted even more by the fact his younger brother is the complete opposite. I am worried he may need more help than we can offer as it is affecting our family life terribly and I don't want his brother to think this is the right way to behave as we give him more attention.

Any advice?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

When a child is displaying more problematic behavior in the home versus in another setting, it is somewhat of a red flag. You've indicated that he's angry and is also mean to his younger brother.

This sounds like attention seeking and volitional behavior. Even if it leads to negative attention, to him it is still attention. You've used the positive reinforcement and not he is still not improving as much. In addition, he is dealing with the tics. These can be anxiety triggered and his anger may be one way of him to deal with his frustration- displacing it onto family members at home where he feels safer than let's say at school. He may not want to draw even more attention to himself at school and is therefore displacing this at home. He may be also perceiving his younger brother as competition.

 

In this case, it may be helpful to entrust him with some responsibilities that would strengthen his sense of self esteem and belonging in the family. Anything tasks that you allocate to him you'd want to let him know that you believe in his abilities and that is why you've chosen him to do them. If there is a possibility for him to be involved in some activities where he can interact with others even in a competitive yet positive manner (as in sports or art/music depending on his interests) it would be a good idea to explore that option. At this time, he is still developing his sense of self esteem and deriving a sense of belonging by his interaction with peers and adults. You are also correct that he may need more than what you are offering at home such as professional counseling. It may be helpful if you look into that option to find someone who provides family counseling versus only individual therapy. You are making sure that he does not feel singled out or getting a sense that he's flawed and you only focus on his positive traits and praise them throughout the day. Even compliment him for something such as how he's dressed himself etc. Anything that draws positive attention to him and his abilities.

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We have let him recently go to the local shop alone and walk ahead of us to a local pool, as well as gving him the opportunity to earn pocket money for chores.

 

He plays a lot of sports and did play the cornet but has given up saying he is rubbish.

 

I am exhausted at trying to find positive things to praise, I continual try to . . .

 

Perhaps family counselling is the answer but I fear he will feel labelled and feel he is getting more attention from the situation?

Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 3 years ago.

In family counseling, the family dynamics and how they affect each member of the family unit (including him) will be explored. He needs to feel a sense of belonging and equality at home. You can think of many things to entrust him in the home to help with. If he is acting mostly at home, it is indicative that the triggers for his negative/unhealthy behavior are to large extent found in his home environment. IT does not necessarily mean that you're causing it but how he's interpreting it. Adlerian psychology focuses on each family member in relation to the behavior of the rest. You may talk to him to gather what is going on. Not in accusatory way but simply saying- I notice sometimes you do not seem happy and am wondering what may make it better for you. That way you keep an open ended question and prompt him to give you his version. You don't even have to agree or disagree with his version just listen so he feels accepted and listened to. The book below is based on Adlerian psychology and it teaches an effective module to deal with difficult behaviors. If you're to make an appointment for counseling, you let him know it is for every one to learn to be happier and get along. You don't' say its so you can get better and he won't feel labeled. It's all in how you present this to him.

 

The Parent's Handbook: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting by Don Dinkmeyer and Gary D. McKay

Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience: Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
Dr. Rossi and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jhollo77/2010-2-6_651_Avatar.jpg Jennifer's Avatar

    Jennifer

    School Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VO/vodkas25/2012-1-29_16528_P1010831.64x64.JPG professional_Alison's Avatar

    professional_Alison

    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    40
    Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg NormanM's Avatar

    NormanM

    Author, lecturer and psychotherapist.

    Satisfied Customers:

    19
    ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/KaterB1270/2012-5-2_17226_016.64x64.jpg KaterB1270's Avatar

    KaterB1270

    Teacher

    Satisfied Customers:

    18
    BS Family Consumer Sciences Ed. and Masters of Art in Teaching
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kansastherapist/2012-6-13_171911_4upon20120220at14.64x64.jpg KansasTherapist's Avatar

    KansasTherapist

    LSCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    17
    17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
 
 
 

Related Parenting Questions

Chat Now With A Parenting Counselor
Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi
107 Satisfied Customers
Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.