Teacher says son has behavior problem

HI, Dr Laura
I have a 5 year old son, Ruben. Per teacher at school, he has behavior problem, not respect people etc. The teacher suggests me to seek for some special help from professionals. Would you mind to give me some idea, what should I do?

Dear Wendy,
Not knowing more about your situation, I can't give you much advice on how to help Ruben. What I can say is that his teacher sees a lot of kids, so if she is suggesting that Ruben needs help, he almost certainly does. Now is the time to intervene, before Ruben begins to think of himself as a child who can't get along well at school.

It would be best for you to take him to a child psychologist in your area. A psychologist could assess Ruben, help you understand why he is misbehaving, and help you develop a plan to change his behavior.

While I could advise you by telephone on your parenting, my rates are no less than someone you would see in person, and I would not be able to adequately assess and treat Ruben by phone.

How do you find a psychologist who specializes in treating children? The first option is to ask your son's school. Usually schools have a psychologist on staff, or one they refer parents to.

The second option is to call The Child Development Center of your local University Medical Center. They have specialists on staff and can do a thorough assessment.

A third option is to call the Mental Health Association of your local County. If you explain the situation to them, they can usually refer you to a local clinic that specializes in treating children.

You should be able to find a psychologist you like and trust, who Ruben also likes, and who will help Ruben to do well in school. Let me know how it works out!

Good luck,
Dr. Laura

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