My 8-year-old boy seems to enjoy breaking the rules and getting in trouble. I am constantly getting complaints from his teacher that he is very disruptive in class and that he is bullying other children. Sometimes he refuses to go to school. I have to force him to go to bed. He leaves the house to play outside with his friends when he hasn’t completed his homework. We try to teach him right from wrong and we do not expose him to violence on TV or the household. How can we help Robby behave?
Hello and thank you for contacting us about your son, Robby.
First I would like to share with you two very important links that explain very well the two most common forms of disruptive behavior disorders: oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder. Please read these fully. While the services offered are probably not in your region and all features of these disorders may not exactly match, I think you will learn a great deal and this will give you some ideas for your next step.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from this is that if you can seek out guidance during the early stages – where your son is, and you may avoid possible worsening leading to more anti-social behaviors and can quite reasonably expect to be able to help your son overcome this difficult period.
Please also pay attention to the possible coexisting conditions listed and be sure to rule out any endocrine / other physical causes by consulting with your physician.
I expect you will be able to overcome this challenge because you are seeking solutions.