Thu | Jun 24, 2021

No favours because of his complexion

Published:Tuesday | April 24, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Q. My son had a negative experience last week at school. He was told by classmates that because he is light skinned he should not expect any special favours. Do I go to the school to report this?

A. Speak with your son and let him know that many people think like his fellow students and he will meet them everywhere he goes. Teach him to ignore these behaviours and guide him to maximise his academic and social skills potential.

Q. My three children are reading well. They are 11, eight and six. I find that they are comparing themselves a lot. I tell them not to, but the eight-year-old thinks he is so smart and because of his good math skills, boasts that he is the smartest child in the house. How do I get him to stop?

A. Tell your children that they are all different individuals with different talents and skills. Let your eight-year-old know that he is blessed with a special talent, but that does not make him better than anyone else. Encourage your children to participate in social programmes or clubs where they will learn to be helpful to the less fortunate around them.

Q. What is due process to test a child? I went to a PTA meeting last week and they were talking about it?

A. Due process is when you are notified of an activity that is to take place. Due process ensures that things will be fair and that all persons involved will have a chance to have their voice heard. When a school is referring a child to be tested because of a suspected learning problem, the parents must be notified and be given the right to participate in the process. Parents or guardians should be given a copy of the report, which must be explained to them. All parents rights must be considered.

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!