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Nanamommy
Nanamommy asks:
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how to handle my 7 yr. old after father has been in Irag for total 4 1/2 yrs? Help?

My husband and I have had full custody of my 7yr.old,1st grader since two yrs. ago. he was born with his sprem providere not wanting to be a part of his life and then soon after he was born ( 6 mths.) his Mother starting partying and soon was a drug addict, and not consistent in his life. I quite my job when he was 1 yr. old to be a stay at home Mom,Nana. My husband left to be a contractor in Iraq when A. was 1 1/2 yrs. old. He caame home every four months for two weeks and we would go on vacation out of country for a week and have a great time. A. lovs his Papaw. Two months ago my husband game home from Iraq for good. I was preparing A. for the changes in a positive way. My husband loves A. and has never denied him anything he needed and more. With him coming home cam new rules, sharing of me,the start of 1st grade, and A. had to start sleeping in his bed.He loves his bed. My husband was soon offered another job in Afganistan, which he accepted and is leaving before Christmas. At first our little polite sweet boy became very sad that he was leaving, it has been a month of paperwork getting ready to depart, although, we have included A. in everything we do. He has become a tarrent to both of us. Saying "I'll kill you" using foul language, if we ntell him to do something he just looks us in the eye definealy. He is not this kind of little boy, he talks to other people politely and with manners, people like for their kids to play with him because he is not a problem or loud.
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Dec 22, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

It sounds like he is very hurt by what has happened and is having trouble coping with his father leaving.  He may have some very strong problems with abandonment due to his past.  It may be worthwhile to visit a child psychologist who can help you figure out how best to deal with this change.  Please take solace in knowing you have done many right things in this situation and the fact that your child is still behaving with others is a good sign.  Also make sure you continue to have consequences for bad behavior and don't let him get away with things even though the circumstances are difficult.  Always recognize the difficult circumstances, but practice other ways to handle the emotions that he feels with these situations.  Have him identify his feelings, then ask him how he can responsibly handle these feelings.  If he doesn't know how to, practice things that are healthy and positive coping skills.  

Please feel free to call our hotline.  We would be happy tohelp you process this situation and deal with parenting problems such as this all the time.  You can also email us at the web address below!  Please take care!

Counselor, Dominic
Boys Town National Hotline-A Resource for Parents and Teens
1-800-448-3000
www.parenting.org

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Additional Answers (2)

Dr.Monika
Dr.Monika , Child Professional writes:
Coping with changes, especially a loss of a parental figure, even if only temporary, can be difficult for anybody.  However, it is especially hard for a 7-year-old child who does not have the coping mechanisms to deal with challenging life situtations.

Sounds that A is taking his Papa's departure very hard.  He is sad and angry because the predictability of his everyday life has been disturbed.

Talk with a pediatric psychologist as soon as possible to help A deal with the situation.  A's regular health care provider should be able to refer to you one in your community.

Best regards.
> 60 days ago

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surkaikandace
surkaikandace , Parent writes:
Seems like he is lashing out because he is angry that your husband is leaving, and maybe because he had to share you also.  You have to let him know that you will not tolerate this behavior, and be consistent with disciplining him.  Also ask him why he feels this way when he says these things.  Reassure him that you both love him, and that he still can be involved with your husband, by writing him a letter, or picture.  Let him be involved in keeping this relationship going.  Get more involved with him in activities that he enjoys, so that he will open up more by expressing his feelings.  Ask if you can join in with playtime or different activities.  If he says no, just keep asking until he says yes.  I would just say "Ok, maybe next time, but I would love to share some time together and learn something from you, let me know when I can join in."  Something to the effect.  Any way, don't let him get the best of you, because you are the parent.  Let him know he needs to make good choices, and that behavior like that is not exceptable.
> 60 days ago

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