Help available for parents

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 23, 2007

THE ISSUE: Help for parents available to correct &8220;Uncaring Child Syndrome&8221;

As we acknowledge The Week of The Child, Oct. 26 through Nov. 3, let us acknowledge parents’ perpetual roles as providers. Parenting is not easy.

For some, it’s an ongoing struggle to improve the behavior of their children.

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Renown child therapist Dr. Norman Hoffman, who has authored several books offering help in that regard, is now offering advice on what many parents deal with on a daily basis, the seemingly unenthusiastic teens and pre-teens.

Hoffman offers a test for parents, which begins with five questions about their child. They are:

Does your child adopt any and all of other people’s attitudes, reactions, and behaviors that they feel are expected?

Is your child capable of being charming at one moment and conning (especially towards parents) for personal gain at the next?

Does your child take more risks than the average kid, taking unnecessary risks that could lead to a potentially harmful, yet avoidable, accident?

Has your child transformed from a well-behaved child to an uncaring and disobedient one, almost at the flip of a switch?

Does your child struggle with dominance and power, whether they are the leader or a follower?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Hoffman says there is a chance that your child has &8216;Uncaring Child Syndrome,’ a disorder that characterizes children who lack a bond with their caretakers and also lack a sense of guilt or remorse for their actions. Hoffman developed this mental inhibitor, author of Bad Children Can Happen to Good Parents: A Survival Manual for Parents of Difficult Children. He is also founder of the Hoffman Institute, a treatment center for families and children.

As scary as it sounds, Hoffman says you can help your child overcome their selfish, uncaring ways.

He says that from a therapeutic standpoint, he believes all children, regardless of their genetic makeup, can show positive advancements in their behaviors.

Their progress can be aided by their parents’ affection, perseverance, consistency, and use of an effective technique for the improvement of their children.

In This Week of The Child, while community organizers are creating activities for children, we ask parents to examine their relationships with their children. Even if parents feel they need help, we wanted to let them know help is available.