Sun | Jun 20, 2021

Less talk, more action with child abuse

Published:Tuesday | May 8, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Q. I heard a lot of talk about child abuse on the radio this week. I think that instead of marching and chatting on the radio we should be in schools, churches and rum bars telling people about all types of child abuse and how it really hurts people. We can also tell them what the punishment will be if child abuse is not reported.

Answer

You have a great suggestion. Marching can be positive as it raises awareness about a topic and many times persons who will not go to a meeting to learn more about a topic will learn about it right there on the street. Your suggestion about going into places like bars is a good one. Streetside and other public community meetings are also good ideas when trying to share information with the public.

My 15-y-o is ashamed of his family

Q. My son who is 15 years old refuses to be with his family in public. At church, he sits with his friends and when we are shopping on weekends, he does not walk with the family. He says we are not trendy enough for him. He uses his money and buys close-fitting clothes. He is doing well in school, so I don't really bother him. I just need to know if his behaviour is normal.

Answer

Many teenage boys are impressed with particular clothing styles and gadgets at this stage of their lives. I am concerned that he does not want to associate with you in public. I think you need to see a counsellor to talk about this some more.

My teen son likes an older woman

Q. My 17-year-old son is currently speaking with a 22-year-old final year college student. He is so smitten with this woman that he is not paying attention to his schoolwork. My husband and I have spoken with him and he does his work for a couple of days and then it is back to square one. Should I speak with the woman and ask her to get out of my son's life?

Answer

You have to be very careful. You do not want to push him further into her arms. Keep working with him and encouraging him to do his schoolwork. Gently remind him that in order to meet his personal goals he has to do his schoolwork.

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 helpline@gleanerjm.com 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!