Daddy’s left us

April 20, 2008 – 3:10 pm

Max is eight years old and was referred to us by his Mum after the recent separation of his parents. He has an elder brother and a younger sister who seemed unaffected by the split, but Max was having temper tantrums, was very clingy to Mum and refused to see his Dad. He was bed-wetting and refusing to go to school.

Problems with diet

Checks on his diet showed that Mum had relaxed her normal routines and Max was being able to eat and drink more or less what he wanted. This was mostly fizzy drinks, crisps and chocolate.

Mum was very upset about her husband leaving. She had rows with him on the phone and often cried during the day when Max was at home.

Re-establish normal routine

We recommended that Mum re-establish the normal family routine as soon as possible, including regular meal and bed times. Max was to be weaned off the fizzy drinks by diluting fruit juice with carbonated water. He was given a portion of chips with his dinner as long as he ate some fish and peas as well. Sweet fruit was substituted for the chocolate but he was given a milky malt drink at night. Mum put him to bed at his normal time and read him a story about a boy who enjoyed having two homes, one with Mum in it and one with Dad in it.

Expressing Feelings

Max was encouraged to express his anger with Daddy through drawings and talk time. He was re-assured that although Daddy had gone, he still loved Max and Mummy was not going to leave in the same way.

Within two weeks Max agreed to meet his Dad at his grandparents’ house. Within a month he had visited Dad at his new house and was ready to choose items for his new, second bedroom.

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