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25 Jul 2006

Step-Son Depressed
Hi CS. I have an 8 year old step-son who lives 400km away from us. Lately he has become very depressed, he phones his dad everyday just to say hello, and has given up on everything else (school work). He has told his mom he wants to live with us but she won't hear any of it, but then again he doesn't want to leave his mom and his friends.

We are financially stronger now and I think that because he sees that his half-sister is getting everything he feels left out. We pay his mother R2000 a month and the school is only R300 so she has the rest to spend on him, but don't know where the rest of the money goes to. When he comes to us we buy him new cloths and toys etc but don't want it to be material for him. We work on rewards when it comes to buying toys etc. (like if his or her report was good then they get a reward.)

How do we sort out this situation with out confusing him even more, should we send him to a psychologist if he doesn't want to go what do we say to him. Does he come stay with us for a while to see if he can adjust being away from his mom. What can we do???
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

I hope some other readers will have good advice for you here, especially techncally. I think it's important where you are paying something like maintenance to his ex, that this be done through the courts, as the court can then ask and get answers as to whether she spends the money properly. R 2000 a month sounds like a lot for an 8-year-old. Maybe it would help for him to spend, say, a long holiday with you both, and to see a child psychologist during that time, to assess the situation
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