Grandmother

by Cara
(Phoenix, AZ )




I am raising my three and 1/2 year old grandson. His father just recently got out of prison and saw him a couple of days and has not seen him since. His mother lives with her boyfriend and has some mental issues. Both of his parents are drug addicts.

His mother comes over some days spends some time and then leaves. He is in daycare. When they try to move him to another activity or for some other reason he goes off on them. It is so bad that they call me to come and get him. He takes off his shoes and throws them, his pants and throws them. Whatever is in reach he will throw.



He will try to pinch, bite, scratch, kick the doors. I have had him since birth, he knows he is safe with me. We do the same things everyday and is he is on a schedule. He does not act like this at home. I am getting him evaluated soon. I need help.




Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Cara, and thanks for telling your story here. It is great that your grandson has you in his life. You are clearly a blessing to him.

You're already doing a lot of good things, and that's why you don't have problems with him when he's with you. It could be that his erratic behavior is a result of things that have happened to him elsewhere.

Either way, it will help you to follow some of the guidelines on this page: Child Anger Management.

Other than that, just keep up the good work, Cara. And tell him often what you like about him, in great detail.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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Angry 11 Year Old

by Cindy
(Florida)

I have an 11 year old that directs all her anger over the divorce of her dad and I at me. I filed but he is not responsible enough to work and maintain housing in the same town, and had to move in with his brother 6 hours away.

My daughter blames me. Her older sister sees the facts, and told me that if something happened to me before her sister turned 18, she would have to file for custody because her dad is too irresponsible.

How do I help her channel the anger in a constructive manner rather than taking it out on me or hating herself? She makes "I hate myself" comments often.




Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hi Cindy, and thanks for telling your story here. First, I want you to consider that there's nothing wrong with your 11 year old. Just consider the possibility that her anger is there for a reason, and it's your job as mom to find out, and address her needs.

I suggest you spend some high quality one-on-one time with her, and just listen. Do activities that she chooses. Don't ask questions, just make conversation by telling her what you like about the activity. In other words, connect with her in her chosen world.

Also read this page on child anger management:
child anger management

Follow all of the recommendations on that pages and I think you'll get some good results.

Believe in your daughter, Cindy. See the very best in her always. Her anger is a symptom, it does not define her. Her "hate myself" statements indicate that she is blaming herself for something--possibly the divorce. Spend some time telling her about the divorce without criticizing her father, and tell her repeatedly that it was not because of her, it was not her fault, and she is not to blame. Tell her the responsibility is entirely yours and her father's.

Above all, focus on the good in her. The positive journaling exercise on this page will help with that.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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