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After Dad loses his job, this boy loses his cool
Q: Ever since my husband lost his full-time job last month, my 6-year-old has been getting in trouble at school. In the evenings he's quick to cry about missing his dad because my husband took a temporary job at night. My husband and I were separated for a year when the kids were younger, and we still argue a lot with the stress of the job loss. What should I do?
Sheri St. Louis
A: I think your son is responding to the fighting and his father's absence. He's worried that his parents are going to separate, as they did when he was younger. In essence, your son is responding to the unhappiness in the home.

You must remember that a child's home is his whole world. When things go badly there, it has a big impact on a child. It's common for worried and unhappy kids to feel angry. And then they stop cooperating at home and at school.

I think you need to recognize that your son's poor behavior at school is a symptom of problems at home. I strongly urge you and your husband to go for marital counseling. The last thing you want is to have your marriage end in divorce. If your husband refuses, go by yourself. A good marital counselor will help you get your husband involved.

You're wise not to ignore your child's behavior, but you must take action as soon as possible. Good luck!

Kenneth N. Condrell Ph.D Child Psychologist