MY 12-YEAR-OLD SON’S BEHAVIOUR IS WORRYING
My first-born child stays at Sowa town with my aunt, but there are serious problems.
Every day he is reported for unbecoming behaviour such as breaking into neighbours’ houses, but he is only 12-years -old.
Last year he had an incident where he kissed his brother and also kissed a 7-year-old girl at church.
Today I’m told he called BTC insulting the receptionist but he says it was a friend of his who did that and used his name. I need help.
Part of the problem could be that the child is not living with you, and has little or no communication with you.
Talking to your child to establish the cause for his behavioural problems is the first stage towards changing the behaviour.
When a child displays a behaviour that teachers or parents don’t understand they quickly label him a problem child, but if they tried to understand the causes behind that behaviour, they won’t have called that child a problem child.
For example, many parents panic when they discover that their child is stealing from, which is natural, but when they find that the main cause behind this behaviour problem was the need for attention and not the ill morals of their child they feel better and even find it easy to help the child stop that behaviour.
Ask yourself what is your child trying to achieve through this behaviour? Is he looking for attention? Love? Trying to control you?
Once you find the real cause behind the behavioural problem in the child, dealing with it will become an easy task.
Being away from your child does however make the task more difficult. Your son could have serious psychological issues that need to be addressed promptly.
If you are unable to be with him, please ask your aunt to take the child to social workers for counselling, assessment and if necessary, referral for further help.
You could also call Childline Botswana and arrange to take your child to their centre sometime during the next school holidays.
They have counsellors and/or psychologists that can assess the child and decide what kind of assistance he needs. Please call Childline on 3900900 to make an appointment.
Your son probably doesn’t understand what church is or why he goes there.
Did you and your aunt not get the pastor/s to talk to your son after he kissed a 7-year-old girl at church?
They would know how to gently lead him back on track, so do not rule out the role of the church in assisting your child.
What about the school that he attends? Talk to his teacher or school head to find out if the school has a department that helps parents deal with troubled children.
As I have said before, understanding the problem is the key to dealing with it.