Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Emotional Histrionics

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: I'm concerned about my seven-year-old. He always bothers both of his siblings -- my eight-year-old son and two-year-old daughter -- to the point where they start crying. He also makes weird annoying noises. He's very emotional -- he always cries and hollers before he talks. He also is very disruptive in school. His teacher says he does very well academically, but he's always talking to everyone around him. I find myself always irritated with him and I don't want to have a bad relationship with my son. I want to re-establish the bond we once had. What can I do?

A: You don't indicate when you began to see these behaviors. Did they start when your daughter was born? It sounds like this is more than simple attention-seeking, but it's a good idea to rule that out first. Try giving your younger son some extra positive attention on his own, but be sure to do it when he is showing appropriate behavior.

You would also be wise to rule out any physical cause for the behaviors you're seeing. Talk with your pediatrician about what's going on and ask her if there could be some physical problem causing this. Talk with your son's teacher and set up a positive reward system for good behavior. Also talk with the school counselor. He may be able to give your son some individual time or include him in a small group on good behavior. Ask the counselor to observe your son in the classroom so that you can get an objective opinion of what may be causing the problem behaviors there.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks