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GSAT prayer vigils scaring my child

Published:Tuesday | March 20, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Q. Grade Six Achievement Test is this week. Some schools are having prayer vigils for the children. I think that this is only making them more nervous. Is it okay to take my child to school late when the principal plans these prayer sessions?

A. If your child shares with you that the prayer sessions are making him or her nervous, you should make a choice. In our Jamaican culture, the use of prayer is quite common and is usually only used to encourage and motivate. I think the school has the best interest of your child at heart. Let your child know that you are there to support him or her.

Duppy preventing boy from learning?

My gardener has a son with a learning problem and is trying to convince me that his son has a duppy. Is there a psychologist who would be willing to counsel him about this myth? I cannot convince him and I am willing to pay.

Most psychologists will be willing to guide your gardener and explain to him the reason why his child is not learning well. Call our office at 382-7034 so that we can guide you to the psychologist closest to you.

My boss' stepsister is driving us up the wall

My boss has a stepsister who is mentally ill. He has employed her to do some training at our facility even though she is not really qualified. She is very haphazard in her planning and can be loud at the workplace. She tells anyone who will listen about her medications. Is it professional for me to speak with him about her behaviour?

It is quite okay for you to speak with your boss confidentially about your concerns. As an employee, you can share with him your concerns about how his sister's mannerisms are affecting others at the workplace. It would be good if you went to the meeting with some documented instances when sharing your concerns.

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 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!