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My Child Needs Help

Question:

I am a 20 year old parent of a six year old girl. I am having a very hard time dealing with the behavior exibited by my daughter. She refuses to listen and will not accept any punishment or revocation of privelages. Every day its something new with her: she won’t shower, clean her room, eat dinner, etc. I don’t know what to do with her anymore and she screams at the top of her lungs yelling terribly. Please give me some advice on this situation. Thanks, Jacob

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Answer:

It is not only your child who needs help but you and her mother as well.

If you are twenty years old now and your daughter is six years old it means that you had a baby when you were fourteen years old? Oh, my. Your hands certainly are full. Also, you mention nothing about her mother and that may imply that you are raising her alone. Well, I have no way of knowing whether or not that is the case. Here are some thoughts and ideas I have for you but without knowing your full situation:

1. Because of your age my immediate thinking goes to taking some parenting classes. You could do an Internet search for where they are located in your geographical area. Assuming that you daughter has a pediatrician, and I certainly hope so, you can ask the Doctor for a recommendation for child parenting classes. Select one that is directed at very young parents or at single parent households. There, you could learn some healthy and practical techniques for child rearing. If you and her mother live together, you should both attend these classes.

2. In addition to this and not instead of, I recommend that you have her seen by a clinical child psychologist and evaluated for attention deficit disorder. In fact, her pediatrician is a good place to begin this process. You really need to speak to the Doctor and get a referral from him to the psychologist. As part of this you should certainly get reports on how she is behaving in school.

3. The same psychologist will work with you and the mother on how to handle this six year old even if she does not have ADHD. In fact, family therapy would be a very good idea for you, the child and the mother and with the same child psychologist.

In sum, you need professional help and support to get you through this. If this is a case of ADHD that support is essential for all of you. If it is not a case of ADHD the same type of support remains essential.

The reason I state that this help and support are essential is that you do not want you daughter to develop into a difficult teenager and adult with all types of self control and personality difficulties.

Good Luck

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