March 23, 2018 Ask Dr. Misty...A 7 Year-Old Handful

I Hate My Boyfriend's Best Friend.

Q: I love my boyfriend, but I hate his best friend. I don’t think he’s a very good person and he treats me like dirt. I’ve tried to talk to my boyfriend about it, but he doesn’t like to address it, and just wants peace without getting involved. If he’s where we are, I want to leave. If he’ll be where we’ll be, I don’t want to go. How do I deal with his friend, and the strain he puts on our relationship?

A: Get a NEW boyfriend!!! Relationships are about respect, and he obviously doesn’t respect least not enough to “have your back.” If he’s not going to defend you or “get involved” on this issue, what other times will you need him where he doesn’t support or defend you? I would say he lacks maturity and a least that is how it sounds. This type of behavior is a fast track to a divorce, once married. Besides, isn’t the whole point of dating to determine long-term/marriage viability?

I hate to be blunt, but it would seem he doesn’t see past today with you. If he saw a future, he would be more willing to address the issue because you and his best friend are the two people he would be with most. The two of you would most likely be the most prominent and influential people in his life. Do you think neglecting the feelings of one’s girlfriend and the bad behavior of one’s best friend is a positive characteristic of a future mate?a mother and daughter.

Q: My 7 year-old son has become a handful. He’s way too violent in the sports he plays with other boys, and he’s gone as far as to hit a girl in the stomach and thrown another girl into the bushes. (He does not see this kind of behavior at home, or anywhere else.) My wife and I don’t want to cripple his spirit, but even as a 7 year-old, he’s way too rough, and it’s time for him to calm down. How do we control his temper?

Crippling a child’s spirit is bad, but not being able to control behavior and stop “physical abuse” towards others is a sign of serious trouble. I am not a medication-pusher, but I would probably start with having him seen by a professional who can diagnose childhood impulse-control disorders. Sometimes medication is the quickest way, and other times it is the ONLY way! I’ve seen parents try, literally, everything before settling on medication, and then wish they had done so much earlier. Controlling impulses is something most children desire to do. Some just can’t. Children don’t usually aspire to get into trouble, be yelled at, get grounded, lose privileges, receive corporal punishments, etc. They just don’t have the support, or they don’t have the self-control (ability to calm themselves).

There are centers around Birmingham, or any major city, who offer social skills groups and behavior skills groups. Children do not always respond as well to parents trying to “teach” them new skills. This often leads to additional struggles between parent and child. A mental health professional might be able to assist in individual and family sessions focused on “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” and Meditation.

We often think children have it so easy, but we don’t always know what’s going on in their young minds, bodies, or hearts. If there is a change at home, such as a move, divorce, new baby, or death, they can react negatively. If they are struggling in school with friends, grades, teachers, or are being bullied, they are likely to respond with anger. Unfortunately, one of the most common reactions for a child is anger...add in that he is a 7 year old boy, and you have the potential for some violent outbursts with limited self control.

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Writer, Speaker, Radio & Television Contributor, Dr. Misty Smith is the Founder and Managing Director of the Birmingham, Alabama based Mind, Body & Heart Wellness Clinic. She is an ASSECT Nationally recognized Certified Sex Therapist (CST), as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) of more than 15 years, who focuses on assisting individuals and couples to achieve their optimal emotional, relational, and sexual health through a results-oriented counseling process tailored to the needs of the individual or couple. In addition to being ASSECT Certified, Dr. Misty has a PhD in Counselor Education from Mississippi State University and her EdS in Counseling from the University of Alabama. She can be reached by email at or