Mon | Sep 27, 2021

Ask the Doc | 'My son won't take responsibility for his actions'

Published:Monday | September 12, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Q: My son at 15 years old continues to blame friends for his errors at school. It can be an assignment or a simple task. How can I get him to stop?

A: Make your son take responsibility for his actions. If it is academic, put a plan in place that he will have to complete additional activities to be able to show that he can complete the activity without making the mistakes. If that does not work, please make an appointment with a counselling psychologist who will guide you.

Q: I get more and more frustrated with parents who think that their children are unique, especially the 'only' children. As an educator at a private school, I am meeting especially older parents who seem to worship their children. How can my team cope with this issue?

A: It will be very important to have a lot of patience with persons who have children in their older child-bearing years. Encourage them to be active in their children's lives, but not to be overactive. Guide them to help their children to be independent individuals. You may invite a psychologist to address a group of parents that you have a special concern for on this topic.

Q: My husband and I have a great difference in style of punishment. He believes in the belt and I believe in denying privileges. For example, if a child is very rude, I think that even though I paid $2,000 for the school trip, the child should not go. My husband says beat the child and send him. I can't manage anymore.

A: I think that the child may benefit from losing out on the trip, depending on the circumstances. When a child is continuously rude and the parents cannot manage, then the child should be evaluated and counselling or some form of therapy should be administered.

- Orlean Brown-Earle, PhD, is a child psychologist and family therapist. Dr Brown-Earle works with children with learning and behavioural problems throughout the island and in the Caribbean. Email questions to or send to 'Ask the Doc', c/o The Gleaner Company, 7 North Street, Kingston. Responses to concerns are to be considered as general, as cases shared with psychologists privately would be queried more deeply. Pray always!