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Question
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-05-01

Am I too strict?

Yesterday my younger brother was hitting our toddler sister and calling her bad names. I calmly asked him to stop and he didn' t, I repeated many times and he didn' t listen, so I said in that case I wouldn' t allow him to ride his bike to school (he hates to walk, so he usually rides his bike). So he took hold of a heavy wooden toy and threatened to hit me on the head, but it was more likely that he hits our sister by mistake, so I got very nervous and took the toy from his hand. I was shaking and he was nervous too. Then he started to cry and said he' s was going to ride his bike and I said no, then he said he didn' t want to go to school and I said he had to. In the end he tried to take his bike from the garage but I put it back and we walked to school. He cried half the way. The he became very calm and tried to be lovely, so he started to tell lies about everything he saw. For example, we say a wooden animal and I said: oh look at that dog. And he said, that' s not a dog, that' s a camel. You know here these are never dogs, they are camels and they are symbols for our nationality. So I said " really? are you sure? Lets knock on the door and ask the people just to make sure."  I really went there but then he refused to get close to the door and said he was only kidding and that was a dog.
I wonder if I' m doing the right thing. I feel I am, but I' m so afraid.
He' s 5. I' m 23.

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Our expert says:
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Sounds like one incident in what must be a long series of behaviour and discipline problems with this kid. Its not clear from your message, but apparently you, his older sister, are raising him, and not a mom and dad ? As for discipline, that's a very complex issue to discuss here. But it's best not to have to make ad hoc rules and punishments, but to work out a simple and reasomnable set of rules and consequences dealing with major and significant issues ( like NO VIOLENCE towards anyone else, especially not you and baby sister ). And consequences he should know ahead of time, like losing the privilege of riding his bike to school for 1 or more days ). Then it becomes clearer what you expect from him, and what he can expect if he breaks important rules, bringing those consequences on to himself, but alo being easily able to avoid them.
Some of this naughtiness and especially the tale-telling, sounds like he wants to get your attention, somehow feeling a bit neglected unless he is naughty or telling tall stories, which grab your attention. I don't know if the dog/camel example you quote is a real one, but if so, he would know that you know that no real camels were involved, so that would not be a typical lie, but more of an attempt at a game ( though when you called his bluff, he had to abandon the game ).

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-05-01

I' m like this because I wish so much he would stop inventing stories all the time. He never says the truth, ever.

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