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 Brad The Therapist Your Own Question
Brad The Therapist
Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience:  10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Brad The Therapist is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My son just turned 5. He has a great family and very

Customer Question

Hi, my son just turned 5. He has a great family and very positive people around him at all times, and has never experienced any hardships at home. He has had a very upbeat, funny and happy personality his whole life.
But recently he has been saying things that have caused me to be very worried. A few months ago, he started saying, "boys are bad". And then when I asked him why he would say "I don't know, I just think they are". My husband and I would always try to encourage him and tell him how wonderful they are, but it never seemed to help his mood about this. He also has said a few times that he wished he could die. When I ask him why, his answer is that he wants to see what heaven is like. I never know what to make of this.
Then the other night when he was getting ready for bed, said, "I'm bad Mommy." I told him that of course he's not bad and his mood and demeanor just got really sad. This shocked me because nobody in our family ever says "bad boy" or "you're being bad", or anything like that to him, and frankly, he is a wonderfully behaved boy. I asked my 8 year old daughter who was sitting there too why he might say that and she said, "I don't know, he says that alot" and then to him she said sweetly, "you're not bad". I asked him over and over why he thinks he's bad and his only answer would be "I don't know why, I just think so". Since he said this, I have asked him about it a few times and every time I mention it, his smile disappears and he immediately goes into a very dismal mood with a sad face. I try asking him if anyone told him he's bad or has encouraged him to do something that he thinks is bad, and his answer is always no.
He says that he doesn't like school, and when I ask him why, his answer is always the same: that he misses me and he doesn't like that he has to take naps there. But he doesn't cry when I drop him off to school, and he always seems happy to see his friends. When I pick him up, he's usually in a great silly mood. One day his teacher told me he had a very sad day and that he would barely leave her side that day. But he had a normal morning, so I didn't understand why he would have a bad day because it's unlike his personality. All of this worries me that something may be going on at school to cause these worries he is having. Please, what are your thoughts or suggestions?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 5 years ago.
Brad The Therapist :

Thank you for your question. Before providing suggestions, I have a few questions. First, how is his sleep since you noticed these behaviors? Second, is his school work being affected since being on his teacher's side? How long has it been since he had difficulty with being away from you? Has anything stressful occurred in his life recently? After your response, I would be able to provide some recommendations.

Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience: 10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
Brad The Therapist and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ask Eleanor replied 5 years ago.

Hello, I am here for you and am happy to respond. I certainly understand and share your concerns. Children do not abruptly change their behavior, moods for no apparent reason. Saying he is bad and wants to die indicates that he may have experienced some trauma, abuse. Since you say things are the same, normal, at home, then I agree with your suspicions that something must have happened or be happening at school. I advise you to do several things. First, make an appt asap with your son's pediatrician, talk with him/her about what is going on and have him given a thorough examination for any signs of physical, sexual trauma. Next make an appt with the head of the school and his teacher(s) and discuss what is happening. Lastly, I would take your son to see a Play Therapist, not a child psychologist. Children that young express themselves easier. through play, rather that verbally. A skilled Play Therapist can work with your son and get to the bottom of this. ....continuing.....

Here is a link to the Association for Play Therapists where you may search for therapist where you live. I don't mean to alarm you, but I believe you need to take this very seriously. Let me know if I can answer any further questions for you. If not, I wish you and your son all the best, ***** ***** Eleanor


Please remember to CLICK ON THE GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON. You may return to this answer for reference at any time after you accept. I would welcome any future questions from you; simply put "Ask Eleanor" at the beginning and it will be directed to me.