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.
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.