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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1492
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
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I got this email from my stepdaughter. Please advise and help. Hi

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I got this email from my stepdaughter. Please advise and help.
Hi guys how are you? Were good. Daves still not working, but hopefully will be soon. The kids are good. Mia knows most names of her body parts. She is soooo smart. I havent figured out how to send video yet via the internet. So Gary, you have to help us resolve a dispute that Dave and I are having. We arent fighting right now about it so everythings okay. We were talking about an issue and Dave said to email you and get your opinion, and that will be the final answer. Its about dealing with Gordon, who is doing fine, just him being a teenager and all, sometimes he gets a little lippy and takes jokes too far. Not a big deal, so please dont be worried that were having some big blown out issue. When Dave reprimands Gordon, he tends to be very harsh in his wording and sometimes threatens physical punishment. The problem I am having is the things that he says to him tend to be very violent. i.e, ' if you do such and such again, I will beat your fu**kin ass, or kick your ass, or even last night he said something like 'if you come back in here, you'll go away limping' or something like that. Now I told him how I felt about it and his rebuttal goes something like this..' well, hes older now and if you think I am mean, you should see how mean the kids in high school will be next year, so he thinks he is preparing him. Now I couldnt believe it because I said that is ridiculous, he is his father figure and those are his peers. We both want your honest opinion on what you think. AND DONT CANDY COAT IT, regardless of what you think, we want honesty.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.
The father is outright being a bully to the child. Gordon won't have to worry about the kids in school because his father already does a great job of tearing him down, crushing his self-esteem, and increasing the odds that he will lash out and become depressed. The father better wake up and see that his way of approaching Gordon is totally inappropriate and is causing more harm then good. The mother needs to step in and put an end to this behavior. The dad may need to be reported to social services for child endangerment. This is how serious I see the problem. If things don't change quickly with the father then watch the problems grow. The mother can also be reported for endangerment for letting her children be subjected to that abuse. Both parents need some guidance in their parenting strategy to get things back on track. Have them read a book or go to counseling so that they can learn how to effectively parent and not be an intimidating bully.
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