Dear Dr. Joan,
Sean, my 8 year old son, has all of a sudden started acting out. He is getting into trouble at school and at home. He has been a quiet child and I have not had an ounce of trouble from him prior to this. He has mentioned a couple of times of being teased on the bus and at school. It is difficult for me to take him anywhere because he has become so unpredictable with his behavior. What could be going on?
At Wits End in Duluth
Dear At Wits End,
There is no doubt that Sean is misbehaving and there are a number of things for you to consider. What programs does he watch on TV? What type of videogames does he play? Is the home environment peaceful? Who does he hang out with at school and at home? His being teased may play a big role in why he behaves the way he does – have you talked to his school authority? Is he overweight? If so, this can be addressed by his pediatrician. Play therapy, which is a type of counseling, is also a good option and can be wonderful. These are a few ways to get at what is really bothering him.