Moms of challenging children need emotional support and expert guidance
We have all been raised and educated to be happy and healthy children. Almost all the mothers, from the many with whom I have already spoken to, confessed to me that they had made the same request: that their son was healthy, happy, had a good wife and a good job in life. After all, having a beautiful, perfect and good life is the desire of the great majority of mothers. It happens that along the walk of life the child does not always develop as he or she wishes. This is the case with challenging, rebellious and aggressive children. From early life, many families suffer from this problem and the parents are desperate and without ground, not knowing what to do and who to turn to.
Marina * and her husband took their nine-year-old son Pablo * to my more than a year. Visibly stressed, each one sat at one end of the sofa, looking forward. Pablo sat in the chair and behaved as if the appointment had nothing to do with him. He whistled and hummed softly. Marina started to cry. The husband became angry with her and was the first to speak. He blamed his wife for not knowing how to raise her son, which was why Pablo was like that, with no respect to anyone. Marina blamed her husband for being an absent father and giving bad examples inside the house as the source of all his son's problems. Marina next handed me the boy's bulletin, with red notes on all matters. And a warning letter from the school, saying that if he got late again, he would be suspended from school for ten days. And then another letter, more recent, requesting an evaluation of Pablo's emotional state. As I read the letter, the parents argued and accused each other. When I finished reading the letter from the school, I watched the parents. I waited for them to stop talking. After a long seven to eight minutes, there was silence. It is incredible how despair and hostility take hold of the environment.
I asked the parents to calm down, to take a deep breath and to try to be more neutral and with less resentments and guilts, so that I could understand what was happening with the family and with Pablo. After all, after an hour of consultation, I could see how those parents were unprepared to deal with their child's misbehavior and school failure. Several goals were set for Pablo's treatment, which included much more than just the use of medication. Parents needed to understand, be in tune, speak the same language.
"In these situations, there are no guilty but people suffering and in search of better solutions"
In these situations, there are no culprits but people suffering and seeking solutions best. Problem-solving techniques and coping strategies were taught to Pablo's parents, who needed to change some things in the way they were educating the child and in the very workings of family dynamics. Strengthening ties with the school was also necessary since a positive partnership with teachers would be key to Pablo's improvement in schooling and behavior.
Daily activity registration helped the couple in raising awareness of goal setting more motivating for the change of both parents and Pablo. Everyone would have to collaborate. Everyone would need to change. Everyone would be responsible and nobody would be guilty of anything. A time was set for the family to talk, each making their criticisms or giving their suggestions and opinions. The couple was invited to participate in support groups for parents of children with behavior problems, which was an economic and very effective measure for the whole family. Several studies, such as that by Michael Donnelly et al. (2012), demonstrate the importance of behavioral and cognitive-behavioral interventions made with groups of parents, because they are effective and inexpensive in addition to improving children's parental skills in the short term. The deleterious consequences for untreated families are visible in long-term family health, social, educational, and legal costs associated with behavioral problems in childhood.Dennis JÁ et al., 2011 Coren E. et al., 2004
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