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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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Our 4 year old grandson's mother has borderline personality

Customer Question

Our 4 year old grandson's mother has borderline personality disorder. Our son and she are separated and have joint care of their son. 4 year is a delight but has just started showing similar signs of violent behaviour exhibited by his mother biting, scratching hitting etc. What is the best way for our son and us to deal with these behaviours?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 4 years ago.
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Dear concerned grandmother,

I am so sorry for the difficult problems facing your grandson and all of your family.

BPD tendencies can be passed on genetically. They can also learn to express themselves in a negative manner when the behaviour is modelled for them by a parent or caregiver who manifests these symptoms and rages.

Even if your grandson is vulnerable to the extreme emotions of BPD, it takes exposure to and interaction with an extreme environment to activate his out of control behaviour.

Your grandson probably is more sensitive than the average child to emotional stimuli, experiences his emotional responses more intensely, and takes longer to return to a calm state. Rather than being mildly frustrated, he may blow up in extreme reaction and is often in an emotionally aroused state of being.

The best course of action would be to shorten his stays with his mother or have them supervised, by order of the court if need be.

He is rather young to have any therapy but should be looked at by a child psychologists who deals with personality disorders and one who is familiar with and uses Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.

Of course it will may be difficult to reason with his mother about this, and may further push her into a rage or self-harm, so it would be best to proceed cautiously, because you are dealing with a very volatile person.

I wish you wisdom, patience, and courage so that you can achieve a positive outcome.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC