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How to raise an aggressive child as a single parent?

Q: I am a 34 year old widow. I am working in an MNC in the finance sector. I have an 11 year old daughter. I have lost my husband when my daughter was 5 years old. At that time I was a complete housewife. But I had started my job 4 years before. We are staying with my parents. My daughter is an aggressive child. Day by day she has lost her interest in studies. So her teachers are also worried for her education. You must have realised my situation for the same. So I have decided to send her to a residential school. Because she does not care about my parents word. They are also always getting irritated by her behaviour. So I am thinking if she will get a different environment, that will change her behaviour and she will have an interest in studies. Kindly suggest if my decision is correct or not. If not, please suggest me about how to tackle the situation.

A:When a child is raised by a single parent and grand-parents, such problems are usually seen. Part of it is due to a sympathy element as we want to make up for the loss in her life by extra attention and indulgence. Added to it is the fact that she is entering pre-adolescence which is a period of rebellion and identity crisis in most children. Another complicating factor could be that she is basically feeling insecure and rejected since you have started working after the fathers death. She may be seeing it as desertion! Try and introspect whether you yourself have been prone to impulsive, inconsistent mood swings or aggressive episodes when stressed and your daughter could have modelled you! Inconsistency between elders also leads to discipline problems. My suggestion to you is to consult her and take decisions only after discussing with her. This is a tender age and one would not like her to feel rejected or disapproved. Hostel should not be seen as punishment by her. It would affect her self-esteem if she felt it was punishing her or getting rid of her. If she herself is keen on a change maybe you could consider it.


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