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John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC)
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  25+ years helping people find solutions...
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Problems with 9 year old

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My granddaughter Mignon of 9y 10 months is a diabetic (since 4 years old), is an ADD child, is on Concerta and Citalopram. She is in gr 4, but she is not making good progress, her Mom needs to sit with her and absolutly force her to do any work.Her languages are  okay but she seems to have a total blockage when it comes to Maths. My daugther is becoming despondent, she is divorced, and refuses to see more psychiatrist as she says she is not getting anywhere and she does not have the money for it anymore. Her father is married again and they have a baby which Mignon adores, but she point blankly refuses to stay over with them although she loves her stepmother too.

JohnMichaels,MS,LPC :

Hello. That does sound very frustating for you. I hope I can help you. Frustration with math is very common for a child your grand daughter's age. Has this math probelen been an ongoing problem or has this developed recently? I know you said your daughter is opposoed to seeking help for her daughter, but how about for herself? How long has she been diveorced and how do you think Mignon was affected by the divroce? I want to help you, but just need these questions answered to give me a better grip on what is going on. Also, please tell me any other stresses that might be in their lives.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

My daughter's divorce doesn't have an influence on her anymore, the proof of that is that she has a son who excells at school ( my daughter has a BA Ed (honours) degree and knows not to compare her children.)


Could it be that Mignon still suffers from the efects of the divorce and why has the numerous psychiatrists/ psychologists that she has been to not been able to give her the proper advice, therefore her shying away from further treatment?

I honestly don't blame her for her apprehension to further counseling. It does get expensive. Honestly, it sounds to me Mignon might just have a legitimate issue with math. As I said, many children her age do. I am personally more curious as to why she refuses to spend time with her father. I am not saying that is the source of her math problems, but it does possibly add to the stress. As dealing with the math issue, I often advise people that if what they are doing is not working, consider doing something else. I known that sounds cliché but it is extremely effective at times. It is not to say that what has been attempted so far is wrong, but a change of pace is often good. If she has been challenging her hard to succeed at math, it might be good to take a more subtle approach. I am not saying don't encourage her at all, but maybe use positive reinforcement as much as possible, taking one small step at a time. Another idea is securing a tutor, somebody she trusts or enjoys being around if possible. This could feasibly take the stress off the mom and their relationship and maybe inspire Mignon to excel. I too struggled with my studies as a child. I was ADHD when they did not know what ADHD was. My parents became very frustrated at times. I remember the greatest advice they ever received concerning me was from my elementary principal when I was about Mignon's age. They were at their wit's end and he advised them to basically relax a little, that when I was ready, I would likely apply myself. Admittedly, I struggled for years after that, but since have graduated with an MS, been licensed as an LPC, and have been very successful in life. I say all that to say this, don't become too discouraged over Mignon's academic issues. I honestly feel your grand daughter will do just fine. She just needs some encouragement, patience, and proper guidance. That said, there is so much help available now that wasn't available for me. If there is not a family member or friend available to tutor, you might talk to the school or a local university. I know your daughter is capable, but this would relieve her the stress. you might also check on line for some fun educational tools for kids. I still would probably pursue the issue between Mignon and her dad/step mom. That too may just be a matter of giving her time, but might need to be addressed. I hope i have been of help to you. I am here for you if you have further questions. Just let me know...

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A couple websites to check out are and I am sure you could find more if you google it.
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Hi! I appreciate you allowing me to help you maybe arrive at a solution the other day. I hope I was helpful. Let me know if I can help you in any other way.

John Michaels, MS, LPC