Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

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Career Doctor Archives

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Career Doctor: Teachers Needed!

Dear Career Doctor:

My 10-year-old will not behave at all. Everything I ask him to do he says no to. He will not go to school. Please help.


Dear Terri:

Your question isn’t really appropriate for this career advice column, but since parents like you who have difficult children often don’t get the help they need, I want to point you in the right direction AND suggest that readers who are skilled in helping parents handle behavior problems take an active role in sharing their expertise.

Go to the school psychologist in your son’s school and ask for help. The psychologist knows your son (or can find out about him through his teachers) so can recommend the best course of treatment/support for you and him. This may be individual or family therapy, but I suggest that you also ask the psychologist for the name of someone who can come into your home and show you how to deal with your son when he is being difficult.

Anyone who has ever seen the TV shows Nanny 911 or Super Nanny has seen that a little direct intervention and parent training can sometimes be better than years of individual therapy. I hope that readers who are teachers, social workers or psychologists will offer this kind of direct, in-home training for parents. It is sorely needed.

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2 comments to Career Doctor: Teachers Needed!

  • lucy

    Dear Terri:
    There is a terrific agency in White Plains which provides in home parenting services. It is called the Child Abuse Prevention Center and is part of the national Exchange Club. Despite it’s title – no one is alleging abuse here – the center helps families struggling w/ parenting issues and is a wonderful, caring, resource. We all need help with life’s challenges. Don’t give up – reach out!

  • Been there done that

    Speaking from first hand experience, 10 is a very difficult age for many kids. Some mature faster physically, emotionally and others physiologically which is a whole other Pandora’s box from the teen years. During the pre-teen years, there are so many physiological changes going on in a child’s body that are “behind the scenes” so to speak. Not visible in any way other than biochemically, these hormonal changes are taking place. Regardless if the child behaves like a youngster, looks like a youngster, he/she is undergoing significant changes. I cannot emphasize enough to parents that there is a real need to be as patient, and supportive of your child as possible. For example, what they say is not necessarily what they mean…necessarily is the key word. The feelings and emotions are so mixed up at this age, convoluted, and difficult for them to not only sort out (impossible in most cases!) but to even begin to articulate. Giving lots of space, w/ an superabundance of patience and support is critical at this age. If your child does not want to go to school – it’s for a reason. While he/she may be very bright and maybe they are doing well academically when they apply themselves too – but something is going on that is making it uncomfortable for them there – and it can be a very scary down right mean place for many kids (not this school district per se, but school in general, from a psycho/social standpoint. Perhaps there are girls who are “teasing” your child, but he doesn’t want to say anything even though it really bothers him, because he may look like a “sissy”. Or perhaps he has said something and the others have poked ‘fun’ at him for doing so – keep one thing in mind, little boys are just as sensitive as little girls are – especially at this tender age.

    I speak not from observing these experiences as much as from first hand experience. I found grades 5 – 8 the most difficult and transformational years of my childhood growth. There is so much angst and turmoil in a kid’s life during these years, they are beginning to think on adult terms on some levels and still very childish on others. It’s an extremely difficult time. But before dragging your kicking and screaming child off to a traumatizing experience with a shrink (believe me, it’s very traumatizing for most kids especially if the school psychologist is the one to be involved. There is little privacy if you are walking in and out of the school psychologist’s office during the school day when all the other kids are upstairs working away at their assignments).

    I think that parents and teachers are the key to the child’s success. To understand that they have a huge amount of accountability for these children, all children under their care at such a critical crossroads during a child’s life is key.

    I hope this parent can take the time to truly listen to their child. As difficult as it is, this time shall pass. But something is going on in this child’s life that is associated w/ school and that is very uncomfortable for him; most likely it falls into one of these categories: Social, Academic, or Athletics. If any one of them is not working, it can be psychologically traumatizing. And remember, don’t compare your kid to all the others out there, like snowflakes, every individual is unique.

    I hope this helps. Your child is your most precious asset in life; so give him time and space to get help, grow and heal. In the end, you will both be really happy if you let him know you are his biggest fan, and friend in life. It makes all the difference btwn who succeeds and who fails at nurturing their kids.

    Please write back to let us know how he is doing – I can completely empathize – just remember, this too shall pass!