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My child seems to be falling behind her peers

Published:Tuesday | April 3, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Q. My daughter is 2 1/2 years old. She is not making sentences, not potty-trained and she cries and throws tantrums for everything. I took her to see a speech pathologist and I was told that she is OK, but I am not convinced.

It is frustrating to see other children her age and younger communicating with others and my child just says 'hi' and 'bye'. I have tried to potty-train her and she is not getting it. The crying is getting to me; it is making me angry. Do I need to take her to get a psychiatric evaluation?

A. You need to be a little more patient with your child. Some children take a little longer to speak or be potty-trained. Visit your paediatrician and share your concerns with him or her.

Q. My children - 12 and 14 - like to go to visit their only aunt during the holidays. My husband all of a sudden after 10 years does not want them to visit anymore and he has no explanation. The children are crying and I am secretly taking them for short visits. My aunt says she does not understand why he is behaving like this.

A. Let your husband know that you want to speak with him privately. Ensure that the children and no one else is around and that you have time to listen to what he has to say. Let him know that the children are hurting and how important it is for you to maintain a relationship with your ageing aunt.

Q. My children - 12 and 8 - and I are chubby. I have them and myself on a weight-loss plan. We are eating healthy foods. My brother is saying that it is too harsh for the children to be dieting. What do I tell him?

A. Let your brother know that you are practising a healthy lifestyle with your children. Remember to plan your meals so that they are nutritious and delicious. Remember to exercise with your children. Simply walking with them for half an hour each day will be a good start. You could get a medical check-up for you and the children and ask your medical practitioner for guidance.

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!