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A 32-year-old member asked:

Can someone help me with my problem child please?

4 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Escobar
Dr. David Escobaranswered
Family Medicine 10 years experience
Services available: I'm sure we can help you find help for your child. We can't specifically help you in this forum for an extensive problem. However, if you are having problems with your child due to behavior, it may be worth seeking a mental health counselor or child & adolescent psychiatrist's opinion on the matter. If you have a more specific question, please feel free to ask.
Dr. David Rothwell
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Problem children: In my experience a "problem child" is the product if parenting issues that are not effective with that particular child. Recommend that you have a child psychologist meet with you and your child. Be prepared to hear things about your parenting approach that need to be altered. Otherwise, the problems will persist.
Dr. Vance Harris
Family Medicine 38 years experience
Family therapists : To help we need more details. Family therapists have a lot to offer when dealing with special children. Is it a behavior or a medical problem?
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental and Behavioral 51 years experience
I agree with all.: Dr. Rothwell gave you good advice on re-framing this as a parent-child interaction problem. Knowing (s)he's a "problem" diminishes self-esteem & makes a child think, "If I'm gonna wear the name, I'm gonna play the game." Catch'em being good; rewarding behaviors you want is 10 x more effective than ignoring behaviors you don't want. Ignoring a behavior is the only way to make it go away.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental and Behavioral 51 years experience
Provided original answer
Ignoring means giving the behavior no positive or negative attention. Work with a child psychologist to establish consequences that you can implement consistently without anger. Discipline = teaching, not punishment. It is not effective if laden with emotion. The more "time in" or positive attention (s)he has, the more meaningful "time-out" or "cost-response" will be. Best of luck!
Aug 19, 2014
Dr. Lois A Freisleben-Cook
Pediatrics 42 years experience
As you follow this great advice and learn to act, not react, be prepared for the bright child to keep raising the stakes in an effort to get you to react again. Hang in there, stay calm, stick to the facts and then go into another room and have a good scream where she cannot hear you.
Nov 27, 2014
Dr. Lois A Freisleben-Cook
Pediatrics 42 years experience
I remember when my oldest would respond to my cheery "good morning" with an expletive. Instead of taking offense, I learned to smile and say "well, good morning anyway" and walk away happy. Sometimes you have to "fake it till you make it". Don't despair, this too shall pass. Your child wants limits no matter how hard she fights to tear them down. Surround yourself with other parents support.
Nov 27, 2014

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