DEAR DEIDRE: OUR son of 12 has been so aggressive my husband says we shouldn’t give him any Christmas presents.

We are in our late thirties and have a daughter of nine too.

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I don’t like our son’s behaviour and it isn’t acceptable, but I’m not sure that is the right way to handle it as we still love and care about him.

He was being bullied at school and the spring lockdown came as a huge relief to him.

The struggle has been to get him back into school this term.

It’s got so bad he has hit me when I’m trying to get him up to go. He’s not normally an aggressive child.

We’ve taken all privileges away – phone, PlayStation etc. But what else do we do?

DEIDRE SAYS: He would feel so rejected and excluded if you withheld Christmas presents – to the point his behaviour might get worse.

Fear is probably driving his aggres­sion.

Talk to his school, which should be able to organise support.

You can also find guidance through Young Minds which offers a parents’ helpline and webchat (, 0808 802 5544).

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