I worry this little boy has been abused.

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My boyfriend has a eight year old son, for the past year and a half things have been building up. My boyfriend has custody of him and his ex-wife has custody of his 2 youngest sons. His oldest has adhd and he is medicated, but he is still acting out. He recently had the cops called on him for popping his friends dads tires and just yesterday got expelled from school. He decide to pull his pants and show his friends his privites. I have caught him and his younger brother spanking each other with their pants down, their dad caught them last week showng each other their privites. Their mom has been abusive towards him(not sexually as far as i know)and at the moment she is not allowed any kind of contact with him. She is being charged with a felony three child abuse. She has a history of mental and drugs. Has he been sexually abused or just acting out because of all the stuff he has been through with his mother?

A: I wish I could put your mind at ease. This behavior is certainly worrisome. But without talking with him, it’s impossible to say what exactly is going on with him. What we both know is that this is a little boy who is going through a very difficult time. He has been abused. He has “lost” his mother and his two younger sibs and the home he is used to. In addition, he has adhd which probably means he doesn’t have the inner resources to cope with the situation. All this is reason enough for you to contact someone who specializes in working with families to evaluate him and to give you and your boyfriend some guidance for how best to handle him. Search AAMFT (American Assn of Marriage and Family Therapy) and your city and you will get a list of names of licensed counselors who can help. You could also ask the child protective worker who is on the case to give you some suggestions. Please do this soon. The boy is asking for help in the only way he can without being disloyal to him mom.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Mar 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). I worry this little boy has been abused.. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/03/17/i-worry-this-little-boy-has-been-abused/

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