Tuesday 19 February 2019

(Stock photo)

Dear David Coleman: How can I help my seven-year-old daughter, who doesn't even realise she is doing it, to stop masturbating in school? 

Question: I have a seven-year-old daughter who masturbates often. She has almost completely stopped at home (she usually does it in her car seat) but it is now a big issue at school. Her teacher has told me she does it everyday, as soon as she gets onto her seat. We have talked to our daughter and she doesn't even know she's doing it most times and cannot stop. Have you any advice?

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David Coleman

David Coleman: 'Why you need to be conscious of your own growth and development as a parent alongside your children' 

As parents, we focus closely on our children's growth and development. Especially in their early years, we can see rapid change and we are very conscious of things like the development of their speech, their physical growth, when they learn to walk and so on. In the primary school years we may notice their skills development in sports or their greater academic ability. By the time they...

Dear David Coleman: 'My daughter is struggling to make friends in school - says her classmates don't want to play with her' 

Question: My five-year-old daughter is in a large primary school with three Junior Infants classes. Her best friend from pre-school is in a different class and no longer plays with her. My daughter says her own classmates are all in their own little groups and don't want to play with her. She has no problem with friends outside of school. How can I help her make friends in school?

Offering your presence at night might be an okay short-term strategy but you need to wean him off

Dear David Coleman: Our son won't sleep alone. Any ideas? 

Question: In the last few months my 12-year- old son has developed anxiety trying to go to sleep. He says that he gets worried that we will all be asleep and he will be left the only one awake on his own and that he can feel the worry in his stomach. He sleeps fine if me or my husband sleep with him (which we do to make sure we all get a night's sleep). In general he would be a bit of a worrier and likes to have routine in the mornings and the evenings. Any advice?

Stock image Photo: Deposit

Dear David Coleman: My six-year-old son is stressed about school, but I don't know how to talk to his teacher about dealing with the situation 

Question: My six-year-old son is wetting the bed and having out-of-character tantrums - hitting, shouting, banging doors - since starting first class. His teacher complained to me about his focus in class and his slow writing speed. My son feels singled out and it's really affecting him. I don't feel equipped to deal with his teacher and wonder how best we can handle the situation?

Learning meditation and getting into the habit of just going to bed when you are ready to sleep is vital

Dear David Coleman: My teenage son has difficulty sleeping. Any tips? 

Question: My son is 17 and has just started fifth year. For the past year, he has had difficulty sleeping. It's either taking him ages to go to sleep or he wakes several times during the night. There seems to be nothing stressing him that would stand out to me. He turns off his phone/electronics by 10pm, but most evenings he's so tired coming in from school he goes up to bed straight away after dinner. I'm afraid it's gone on so long it won't be easy to reverse. Do you think this is the case or are there other things I can try?

Children like having parents nearby at bedtime

What I'm Really Thinking ...about bedtime 

I hate bedtime. I'm only six so I'm expected to go to bed at 7.30 every night. That isn't the problem. I don't mind the time. I just hate being in bed on my own. I say this to Mam and Dad every night, and every night they ignore me. But I try to make sure they can't ignore me. This is how it goes… Mam sends me off to get into my pyjamas and brush my teeth, which I do plan to do, but then I could get distracted by stuff in my room. D'you know what I mean?

Photo posed

Dear David Coleman: My daughter has been isolated at school since January and now it is continuing again. She is dreadfully upset. 

Question: My 11-year-old daughter was a happy, bubbly child, until January of this year. She and her classmates all changed a lot in their attitudes and her 'friends' were isolating her at school on a daily basis. Since she started back after the summer she has cried at night saying she is lonely and has no friends. The school is aware of the problem and are supportive but she's still upset!

David Coleman

David Coleman: 'I thought I was coping well with the demands of working and the demands of parenting. Now I'm not so sure' 

I have been having a very different summer this year. Back in the spring, I made the decision to suspend my therapy practice for a while, and run adventure therapy camps instead. This break from my core working life has given me some interesting insights into my previous work-life balance. While I may have thought I was coping okay with the demands of parenting and the demands of...