Seeking Attention

Q

Our 11-year-old son has suddenly taken to telling fanciful, exaggerated stories about himself, usually highlighting his athletic prowess. The stories seem to come out of nowhere, and he tells them only to me — never to his father. Could this be a sign that he’s looking for more attention from Mom?

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Stage Fright

Q

My 2½-year-old recently heard a new song that he insisted we dance to over and over again. A few days later, I tried to show my parents how much he loves it, but when I turned it on, he burst into tears and insisted I turn the song off. What happened?

Answer

Temper Tantrums

Q

When she doesn’t get what she wants, my 11-month-old daughter has little temper tantrums. While I understand this is normal, I’m concerned she will scratch herself while pulling at her hair or clothes.

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Constant Crushing

Q

I babysit a seven-year-old girl who is obsessed with boys, crushes, love and dating. Her parents got divorced last year and both of them are now dating, which is affecting her. She’s big for her age and has been teased at school. I tell her that she’s beautiful and that she doesn’t need to worry about boys yet. Is there anything else I can do or say to help her through this troubled time?

Answer

When Kids Hurt Themselves

Q

My 3½-year-old has recently begun pinching herself hard enough to raise angry welts on her face and the backs of her hands. She’s just started junior kindergarten and I believe she may be feeling stressed.

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Aggressive Behaviour

Q

From a very young age, my four-year-old son has had aggression issues. When he was a toddler, his doctor assured me that his biting was normal, but my son started school this year and I’m afraid he’s turning into the class bully. He also seems to enjoy pulling my hair and pinching me, and will usually lash out verbally when I tell him to stop. His behaviour worries me and I’m considering having him psychologically evaluated. Do you have any advice?

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Acting Like a Dog

Q

Our three-year-old son thinks he’s a dog. He barks, howls, eats off the floor and likes to wear a dog leash on his pants to make a tail. He’ll eat dog food and dog treats, if he can get them. We always ask him to stop and even put him in time out, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

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Imaginary Play

Q

My three-year-old has changed her name to Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and will not answer to anything else. This is not just at home, but at preschool and with other family members. She can get very upset and aggressive if you insist she is not Alice.

Answer

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