Thu | Feb 20, 2020

Help! My aunt is abusing my father!

Published:Wednesday | April 22, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Q: My father refuses to leave my abusive aunt's home. We have lived here for 10 years since my mother died and she speaks to him as if he is a boy. He is a calm person. My sisters and I are now 17 and 15. We cannot take it anymore. What can we do?

A: You need to sit with your father and make a plan to see where else you can live. Remember, his financial situation and your school and living-related costs will have to be considered. Ask your father to go with you to a counsellor, who will help him cope with the problems you are having.

Q: My daughter is very unique, but it is driving me crazy. She will do an assignment, but wants to colour and design the edges of each page. She is eight years old. How can I stop her?

A: Your daughter already sounds like a budding artist. Do not intimidate her. Encourage her to use her artistic skills for other activities and as she completes her assignments. Remind her that there are rules that guide how each assignment should look.

Q: I am very happy when things are going well. I find that I will get sad at times and then, for about two weeks, I will cry a lot and want to stay home. Is this okay for a 17-year-old?

A: I think you should see a psychologist right away. You seem to be presenting with symptoms of depression. Please make an appointment right away.

- 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!