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After spending time with a bipolar child, my grandson acts like him
Q: My 4½-year-old grandson mimics other people’s gestures, like crossing his knees, which is fine. However, he recently was exposed to a bipolar child who misbehaves and has a weird personality. Now he’s doing strange things and becoming wild. He starts school in September. Help!
Catherine New York
A: Children are influenced by their peers. If you feel your grandson’s friend is modeling behaviour that is not good for your grandson, don’t expose him to this child. However, if this boy is also 4, I doubt very much that he’s bipolar. A diagnosis of bipolar disorder can’t be made at that age.

As your grandson is exposed to more and more children, you will need to let him know that while some kids do the wrong things—like swearing, talking back and being mean—in your family that’s not acceptable behaviour.

Kenneth N. Condrell Ph.D Child Psychologist