Should I teach?
Q. I am very interested in pursuing a degree in another field of study. I am an engineer and would love to go into education. My friends all tell me that I am asking to be poor. I think we need to expand the sciences in the school and make science more practical, and I think I could help in this way.
A. It is great that you wish to share knowledge with others. Remember, you can always operate a private practice in the field of engineering and provide consultation for engineering projects, locally and internationally. The important thing is that you market yourself wisely. I hope you enjoy teaching others and that you will enhance the sciences in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
Q. My 10-year-old son has decided to be the class clown. Last school year he was very good in class. He did give some trouble, like getting out of his seat - but now he is pulling pranks and makes cute remarks. His teacher called to speak with me but the truth is I am very busy with a special project right now. Dad is overseas for a few months and there is no one else to represent me at the school. What can I do?
A . You need to have a meeting with the teacher, and guidance counsellor, to plan ways in which all three of you can help your son. He may be seeking attention because you are so busy and his father is away. When you go to the parent meeting find out how well he is doing with his school work. If his schoolwork is below average he may not be understanding a lot, and so he is finding something else to do. Let his father know what is happening and have him speak with him. Encourage Dad not to shout at him or threaten him. Please remember to let his evening caregiver know what plans you have to help change his behaviour so he will not outsmart the caregiver. Plan some special times for your son. No project is worth you losing your son.
What do your recommend for stress that is caused by my son being disrespectful to his uncle? My son is 15 years old and lives with his uncle as I work at a hotel another parish. I go home every Saturday morning and leave Sunday night. My sister and her husband agreed to have him stay at their house during the week but now I am feeling ashamed. He tells them that they are not his parents and that he knows that they are not helping from their hearts as I give them money and he knows it. He is into the bad dancehall music, and even though he goes to classes he is just doing average work. My sister and her husband have no children but they are caring people.
A. You need to let your son know that you will not tolerate his behaviour. Sit him down and let him understand that the plan you have with your family members to provide care for him is what is best for him right now. You also need to ensure that he apologises to his uncle and aunt. If this does not work, you may have transfer him to a school near your place of work so you can monitor him.
Orlean Brown Earle, PhD, is a child psychologist and family therapist. Dr Brown Earle works with children with learning and behaviour problems throughout the island and in the Caribbean. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to Ask the Doc, c/o The Gleaner Company, 7 North Street, Kingston.