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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience:  Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
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I have an 10-year old, that is out of control ...we live as

Resolved Question:

I have an 10-year old, that is out of control ...we live as a close family ..(with no father)....He constantly wants to make the rules for his satisfaction..but I remind him all the time who's the boss..in a second or so he can get enraged and he pinches or bites me really hard or even kicks me really hard. .I am divorced from my husband and live with the two kids... I have my mother as support and now my sister and her husband..when it gets quite bad as NOW..I need my exhusband's support as a father...he's a betwetter as well ..and this divorce is affecting him very much
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Dr Levang :

Hello,

Dr Levang :

I would like to help you with your question.

Customer:

hello..yes please

Dr Levang :

From what you describe, you are feeling quite frustrated by your son's behavior. It sounds like he is trying to be the "man" of the house.

Customer:

yes u're right

Dr Levang :

You are right in saying you are the boss and attempting to keep him in his proper role as a child.

Customer:

he constantly puts me in the child position and he calls me baby and so on

Dr Levang :

His biting, hitting, and kicking is totally unacceptable behavior. What do you do when he hurts you? Do you talk to him about his poor behavior? Do you punish him in some way?

Dr Levang :

Did this begin to happen during the divorce? Or has he always treated you like this?

Customer:

I try is I take his bike away he still takes it by force

Dr Levang :

So he is unwilling to keep to any rules that you set.

Customer:

yes

Dr Levang :

You wrote that you have gone to therapy with him...how did that go? Can you tell me a bit about that.

Customer:

just one session tomorrow she's gonna have a go in talking with him and find out why he's constantly angry

Dr Levang :

okay...I would agree that therapy would be an important step in helping to understand his behavior and helping him to see what his proper role is in the family.

Customer:

it's a difficult situation isn't it

Dr Levang :

could you tell me when he began to mistreat you.

Dr Levang :

Well...yes it is difficult but not uncommon.

Customer:

ohh...not uncommon ...!! ok

Customer:

he began when he was about 3 or 4 and once he had a fight with his father about who's gonna be boss in the house

Dr Levang :

Children take this "parental" role for many reasons.

Customer:

yes can u state a few

Customer:

plz

Customer:

I want to be near my son and try to understand him

Customer:

but he constantly pushes me away

Dr Levang :

Sometimes children want to feel powerful. They want what they want and they want it now. So if the parent gives in, and isn't strong in the face of such a challenge, then the child gets control of the family.

Customer:

yes yes exactly and sometimes I get into that situation

Dr Levang :

It is likely that he pushes you away as a strategy to stay in power. If he were to get close to you the that would mean that he's a child. And...he doesn't want to be a child ... he wants to be the boss.

Customer:

the other day his tooth was wobbly ASAP

Customer:

yes exactly we're always having arguments because of that very reason

Dr Levang :

And because he has been having power in the family, he is going to fight like a mad dog to keep that power.

Dr Levang :

His constant anger is likely because he does not want anyone else to be in charge. Any threat to his power is going to be met by him fighting to keep that power.

Dr Levang :

I would like to suggest you buy the book Parenting With Love and Logic. This is a very wonderful parenting program that is highly succesful. You get the book at your local bookstore or online at www.loveandlogic.com.

Dr Levang :

The website has lots of wonderful tips for parents.

Customer:

but this morning I had both children up (not as early as I had in mind).....and I promised them they can go somewhere if they follow what I say and earn five buttons he can go to that place

Dr Levang :

This program is easy to understand and to use. It's main purpose is to put parents in charge and help children see their proper role in the family.

Dr Levang :

Did he follow what you say?

Customer:

thanks very much

Dr Levang :

Another book you might find helpful is:

Dr Levang :

The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel

Dr Levang :

This book provides many strategies for helping children learn how to express themselves in healthy ways.

Customer:

yes he followed I didn't remember very much to say for encouragment

Customer:

but I think he liked that

Dr Levang :

Why do you think he obeyed?

Dr Levang :

So he liked the reward?

Customer:

yes I think

Customer:

yes

Customer:

and he asked for a button

Customer:

for doing something correctly

Customer:

I got that idea from someone

Dr Levang :

Okay...so that may be a strategy you use more often. The button was a reward for positive behavior.

Customer:

yes

Customer:

if I take him ice - skating will that be rewarding him

Customer:

he has an ice skating lesson today

Dr Levang :

I would encourage you to use this method and to also think about other rewards that he will want. Yes, ice-skating might be good - if that is something he finds special and really likes to do.

Dr Levang :

That would be the key - finding things that he really wants and is willing to put in effort to get.

Dr Levang :

Have you had the bedwetting checked by a physician in order to determine if there is a physical problem...like a small bladder..or bladder infections?

Customer:

yes he likes ice skating very much and so does his sister

Customer:

there is nothing

Dr Levang :

Good...then this is a wonderful reward.

Customer:

I have checked everything

Dr Levang :

Okay...so it is likely a psychological problem or stress related.

Customer:

maybe ...how do I find that out

Customer:

???

Dr Levang :

I would make sure the therapist knows about this and see what her thoughts are about addressing this.

Customer:

ok sure I will

Dr Levang :

Sometimes children outgrow this. But the best way to approach this is to talk to the therapist.

Customer:

thanks Dr Levang

Dr Levang :

You are very welcome!

Dr Levang :

Please do consider getting the two books I suggested. They will give you more information and new strategies for parenting your son.

Customer:

yes ofcourse, I'm going to get them for sure

Dr Levang :

Very good! I wish you the best.

Customer:

thank u

Dr Levang :

If you would like to chat in the future, please put my name at the beginning of a new question and it will come directly to me.

Customer:

thanx a lot

Customer:

bye

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience: Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
Dr. L and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

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