ZocdocAnswersWhat can my mom do with my 7 year old brother acting out?

Question

What can my mom do with my 7 year old brother acting out?

My little brother is 7 years old. I currently moved out a year ago and his dad left a couple months ago for a job in New York and hes been acting out. He's been hitting our little 4 year old sister and being mean to my mom. He won't listen to directions. He also gets bullied at school sometimes. We just don't know what to do.

Answer

So sorry to hear about this problem and I recommend speaking with his doctor. Most of us have some degree of personal experience with the situation that you are describing, on one level or another. First, it is important to recognize that your brother is going through some significant changes. He just lost two of the people that he had been (likely) quite close to, one of them being yourself and the other being his father. In that situation, it can be difficult for anyone to manage his or her feelings of loss, and this can lead to acting out. In short, he may just be looking for a way to demonstrate his feelings, and acting out is all that he has. While this does not justify his behavior, it does help to realize things from his point of view. While extra time and attention may be hard to give to someone who is acting out, they may be just the thing that he needs to come around. Feeling that he is important to those around him may make him less likely to seek attention in more negative manners. If you remain concerned, speaking with his doctor may be a great step as well. Please speak with his doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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