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Newsflash:
Marcia Levine Shbiro, M.A.

Marcia Levine Shbiro, M.A.

Marcia Levine, MA, is a child and adult psychotherapist.

Our six-year-old son, who is a middle child, has a very hard time taking criticism. When we scold him for hurting someone accidentally or for bad behavior he gets extremely angry and embarrassed and usually runs off to his room yelling and crying and doesn't want to see us. A short while later, his rage seems to abate, but we're wondering if there is something we can do to help him accept criticism and understand that he needn't be so angry when such things happen. A Guest Expert Marcia Levine, MA, answers: Many children have rather colorful reactions at this age to correction and to blows to their self-esteem. Your son is at the age when he has internalized your standards; they have become his own.

Parents sometimes are concerned about possible sexual interaction between their children of different ages. This concern was illustrated in a question I received from a mother of three. She asked: "I found my three-year-old daughter in a room with my seven-year-old son and five-year-old daughter. It was very quiet in the room, and that's very unlike them. I don't know what they were doing, but I sensed a lot of curiosity. It seemed to be secret. My caregiver also says there seem to be a lot of physical games going on. They want to hug and kiss and after watching The Lion King, they lick each other. My sense is these activities are different from plain affection.

My seven and eight-year-old sons always fight when the older one has friends over. The younger one always wants to be included and the older one doesn't always want him around. How can I help them resolve this conflict?

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