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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My son, 11, is relatively small for his age. He doesn't like

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My son, 11, is relatively small for his age. He doesn't like to take part in any for of extracurricular exercise and keeps getting into trouble in the school yard, for allegedly policing situations, conflicts, in which he shouldn't get involved in (according to teachers). He is quite sensitive and intelligent (fully bilingual) and cannot stand unfairness. He always takes instant revenge when attacked either verbally or physically, which doesn't go down very well in a school environment. He is very loving and affectionate. What troubles me most is a remark that he make recently, when he heard of a young man in our village who committed suicide. He asked me why someone would do such a thing, and when I explained that people sometimes get depressed and don't enjoy living very much anymore, he told me, that that is how he very often feels. Please help me to find the right approach to help my son. Thanks and kind regards. P. Barnes

P.S. My son has a 9 year old sister of whom he has been very jealous since her birth. They fight a lot, though during the summer things have calmed down a bit. he also suffered from croup since he was 3 months old and might have been affected by the trauma of not being able to breathe properly during acute attacks.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear Mrs. Barnes,

I am so sorry for your difficult situation. In some ways your son seems like a very noble idealist who champions the underdog. and stands up for what is right. His idealism is in contrast with a world, which in many ways, does not care, and does not appreciate well-meaning intervention, seeing it as vigilantism.

He needs to learn not to start any battles that he cannot win, and find other ways of of dealing with perceived injustices. I'm sure that some of his depression comes from his realisation that life isn't always fair, and that sometimes justice is a rare commodity.

He sounds like a son to be very proud of, but he has to learn the limits of his personal space and the value of the personal space of others.

I urge you to find a very caring and intelligent counsellor or child psychologist who can help him readjust his thinking (cognitive behavioural therapy - CBT).

Since he is so intelligent, he can be helped through exposure to books that will help guide his thinking (bibliotherapy). I have several recommendations for you. These are available at Amazon UK and other booksellers, are not expensive, and you can have them within days.

  • Sometimes I Get Angry (A Read-Together Book for Parents and Children) by Jane Werner *****, ***** Switzer and J. Cotter Hirschberg

  • The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross W. Greene

  • Angry Children, Worried Parents: Seven Steps to Help Families Manage Anger (Seven Steps Family Guides) by Sam Goldstein, Robert B. Brooks and Sharon Weiss

  • Lonely, Sad, and Angry: A Parent's Guide to Depression in Children by Barbara D Ingersoll

  • Strong-Willed Child or Dreamer? by Dana Spears

Your son will grow out of this. He needs a little bit of guidance but he sounds very exceptional and wonderful, and in many ways the world needs more children like him, as long as he can learn to control his emotional reaction.

I wish you great success in raising this exceptional child.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
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