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DrRussMD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 65671
Experience:  Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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I hope that there is someone who can help me help my partners

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I hope that there is someone who can help me help my partner's 10 year old grand daughter. Her parents are separated and her and her sister spend 3 days with their father and the rest of the time with their mother.
A, the eldest child is an 'angry' child who has only one friend at school which is so sad. She had a day off school the other day because she was/is sad, sad about her grandmother's death 2 years ago, sad her parents are separated, sad about her grand-dad getting ill.
It has been suggested that she see a counsellor via the school, but I expect lists are long. I have suggested that she write her worries down and I will keep them safe and hidden until she wants to read them.
Her father produced a large board and told her to write all her woes down, showed the mother and left the board in view of the child which strikes me as bordering on the cruel.
Please help me to help her as i hate to see her so troubled and angry. Thank you for reading this, Caz
I am not sure what your exact medical question is here.

I understand the situation and have advised many on this....

But what is it you are asking?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How do I help this little girl who is troubled and angry?

Your desire to help is commendable.
The fact is, be her adult friend, grandmother whatever, and do not try to play psychologist.
As you can see from what was tried, this backfired.

Telling a child to write down their woes can simply focus an guilt or other feelings on the child, giving them a work task, and making them feel responsible.

If a child naturally is the type of child that writes things down, and this gives relief, that is a different story, that can be encouraged, but not assigned.

In fact, the best advice in your situation, is to be available, pay attention, be supportive, and don't have conclusions or judgement.

If you listen carefully and the child is expressing hurt, then offer a normal assurance or support based on the congruency of your position.

For example, you seem to be very upset, can I help. That is the general attitude.

There is no methodology that you should be attempting.

Another thing someone can do is to make sure that, if possible, the visit with the counselor is expedited.

The three helpful qualities to help anyone psychologically are as follows:
Unconditional positive regard.

Use reply to let me know if you have further questions [click reply to expert].
Please do not forget a positive rating [hopefully you will click an excellent; or come back to ask me more as needed].
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