Posted by: Racoon | 2013/01/29

Difficult time with 7 yo son

Dear Prof

Our 7 yo son (eldest) has been quite difficult the past few months. He is very cheeky, doesn''''t listen to instruction, back-chats, is rude, bullies his younger brothers etc.This is only at home - at school he is much more mild-mannered. But, this became especially bad end of last year where his teacher called me in because he started being disobedient at school as well (he was always very obedient and a quiet child who is bit of a dreamer). We had long talks with him to find out if something specific had happened or was bothering him, but to no avail - he denied anything was wrong. By now we are almost constantly bumping heads, and are at our wits end how to discipline him at home. Since he''''s been back at school he has been complaining about a tummy ache every sinlge day and doesn''''t want to go to school. Yet he says he loves his teacher and his class? he is not constipated, but is quite aggro about everything, and he still has nocturnal enuresis (never been dry longer that 3 weeks ever). Further he is taking Deselex daily, and Avamys for dust mite allergy although his tonsils and adenoids are fine according to our ENT. Could it be something that is bothering him? or could it be organic? I don''''t know where to start.

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Our expert says:
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If possible, see a child psychologist or child psychiatrist for a full assessment of the child and to work out a comprehensive discipline plan to put these behaviour problems to rest. It does sound as though there may be more bothering him than he can openly admit to, and so a full assessment might be very helpful
Purple's wise advice is also most useful here. Any steroid like this spray can affect people's mood, and could add a degree of anxiety or depression to the mix.

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Our users say:
Posted by: PUrple | 2013/01/30

I didn''t mention the night wetting, as its not something I know about. I do have a friend whose child is still battling with this. Her child has properly diagnosed ADHD (they were referred to a neurologist) and they''re also seeing a psychologist as a family. She doesn''t talk about it much anymore except when she gives the odd moan about having to strip the bed in the middle of the night. Sorry, that''s not very helpful for you I know.

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Posted by: Purple | 2013/01/30

We went through the same with our son at 7, and so did many of our friends.

I think they start growing up, using their vocabulary more, trying out new ways of saying things, trying to stamp a mark of themselves in the family and find their place in the family, challenging our rules more and just checking where all those boundaries are, as we tend to give them a bit more freedom than when younger as they''re more trustworthy.

What helped me was re-reading " How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk" . Of course it wasn''t a cure all, but it helped us navigate through a bit.

we also gave him a few more responsibilities, such as when he gets home from school he needs to check the dogs water bowl is full and fill it up if necessary, unpack his school bag, get his homework things ready for when I get home, put school clothes in the laundry basket and get changed into something appropriate for the weather, get his things ready for that day''s extramural activity. He would of course belligerently refuse to do some of these things sometimes, but then he had to live wiht the consequences - homework book not getting signed, not being allowed to play tennis as he was not wearing his takkies and so on.

I know that correlation isn''t causation - but we were using Avamys daily as well - which is a cortisone spray, and cortisone does make some people very grumpy as a side effect. However, the spray dose is so very tiny. I''ve not found any literature on it, but everyone I know with a 7 year old boy complains of exactly this, so I''ve started to think its fairly normal for the age - which doesn''t mean we just have to pander to it though - which i can very much see you aren''t doing.

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