The cruelty of a child... (rant and vent, need suggestions) — The Bump
Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss

The cruelty of a child... (rant and vent, need suggestions)

A little backstory first: I live with my husband and our daughter. His brother, our niece, and his brother's girlfriend rent the upstairs of our home. We rent it out very cheap to them, let them use the downstairs kitchen and bathrooms freely, I even cook their dinner since I'm the only unemployed of the four adults in the home. The catch is that he has to go to school full time. He was a young single father who dropped out of highschool and got messed up in drugs, joined a band, and got a groupie pregnant. As long as he stays in college his family is welcome to stay here. My daughter (4) is respectful to all adults, does as she's told, and plays nice with her cousin. Her cousin (5), who I'll call "T", is another story. She is defiant, constantly in trouble, and downright mean.

Tomorrow will make 3 weeks since my son was born sleeping. He was born at 19 weeks and had severe spina bifida and hydrocephalus. We named him Link as that's what our daughter had nicknamed him months ago. Everyone knew we were expecting, including the kids here in our home, so the loss was devastating to the whole family... except "T". When I came home from the hospital, we explained to her that I was no longer pregnant and that her cousin was very sick and didn't survive. She giggled and skipped off. I am left babysitting her as, like I said, I'm the only one of the adults who is unemployed here. I know I'm not ready to keep her by myself because she's so hard on me, but I get left with her with very little notice so there's no way I could find someone else to keep her. Some of the things she says to me are horrible. She looked at me a few days ago and said, "Hey Ena (my nickname), I sure can't wait to have a baby! How about you? Can you wait to have a baby? Oh, that's right, yours DIED!!!". This morning she and my daughter were watching a video of a Mario game being played on youtube when she stood up, looked me straight in the eye and says, "Oh no!!! Mario's baby is dead! THE BABY IS DEAD!" and smiles. There was no baby in the video...

If I'm here alone with her, I can't send her to her room. While she's upstairs alone, she doesn't stay in her room. She will sneak into her father's room. She climbs dressers, destroys things, cuts her hair off and hurts herself. If she is upstairs alone in my care and gets seriously hurt, I have no way to get her to a hospital because my husband and I share a car, and I refuse to be responsible for her getting seriously hurt. I thought that maybe I was being overly sensitive, but her father's girlfriend also lost a son at 19 weeks a few years ago and has never heard "T" say anything like this to her. She doesn't say these things to anyone but me. She has been put in timeout, we've explained how these things hurt me, she's even had her butt busted. Nothing gets through to her. I'm at my wits end.   

Have any of you ever had to deal with a child like this? I really don't know what to do. If it weren't for the fact that she lives with me I wouldn't be around her at all. She only sees her mother every other weekend, and can't stay with her for longer than that legally, so her going somewhere else isn't an option. If we kick them out, he will have to leave school and work full time to afford an apartment. No form of punishment works on this child at all for anything. She's been seeing a child psychologist, but it's not doing her any good. I have no clue what to do...

 

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image

 
                                                             Big Sister Piper

Born at 37 weeks, strong NICU survivor

Friday, November 13th, 2009, 7:17 AM

Baby Brother Link

 Born sleeping at 19 weeks with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014, 7:27 PM

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Re: The cruelty of a child... (rant and vent, need suggestions)

  • The only thing I can possibly think here that is even somewhat defensible is that this is a child that has learned any attention is good attention and that the quickest way to get attention is to do or say something shocking.

    I would calmly put her in a time out for making a hurtful remark and otherwise not react to it.

    Unless you think it is possible she is doing this because she does not know what death is and maybe she thinks if she brings it up enough someone will snap and say "do you know death means xyz" in that case explain it to her when she isn't using attention seeking behavior.

    I am sorry you have to deal with this on top of everything else. hugs.




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  • Her father has been told about the things she says, she has slipped up once and said things like this in front of him to me before. She was starved for attention from a very young age, both of her parent's were very young and didn't exactly know how to care for a child, so yes she does occasionally do things just for any attention she can get at all. Since then though he's older and better at the whole parenting thing, he's cleaned up his life and is doing all he can to deal with her, too. Time out and calm reactions don't work, sadly. Not for this and not for anything. She just doesn't react the way a child should to any kind of timeout or punishments.

    And yes, she does understand death. Sadly this isn't the first loss our family has gone through that she knows about. My mother in law gave birth to a stillborn baby girl not too long ago. She understands that mine and her grandmother's situations are very similar, because we both had babies that we're born living and that they would never be able to drink milk or grow up or be a normal baby. She is very understanding to her loss and even comforting, but to mine she is downright evil and mean.

     

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    image

     
                                                                 Big Sister Piper

    Born at 37 weeks, strong NICU survivor

    Friday, November 13th, 2009, 7:17 AM

    Baby Brother Link

     Born sleeping at 19 weeks with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

    Sunday, March 2nd, 2014, 7:27 PM

    .......................................................................................................................................

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  • AggieBeth06AggieBeth06
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited March 2014
    Maybe post in parenting after a loss? You might get some additional ideas there.

    From the limited bit that I can decipher, I think you would not be overreacting to explain to her parents that it is unacceptable and hurtful. They shouldn't be dumping her on you without notice. That is not fair to you.

    Second, have the behaviors you noted been shared with the psychologist? It is a cry for attention, but what scares me for her is that she hurts herself. I mean - are you sure that they have been scared? I'm concerned that it sounds like her parents don't have a track record for taking ownership of mistakes (although not entirely true as their lives seem to be on a good track... I'm not trying to be judgmental. It's just that when custody gets involved, people can be less than honest to protect themselves).

    It's ok for you to have a voice.

    How much positive time does she get with you? If it's changed since the loss, perhaps she is resentful of the baby?

    The other approach is to realize that she is going to have this behavior and to ignore it. Try to let the words hit a callous place... Although I don't think that will result in a long term change.

    ETA: I am so sorry you are dealing with this on top of your loss. (((Hugs)))


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  • *ticker warning*

    One thing I was going to say that @AggieBeth06‌ touched on is jealousy. It sounds like she may be jealous of something - maybe you getting extra attention because of the loss, a loss of time with your or her dad, etc? Not that it's something you can change, perhaps, but something to maybe talk about. I had a bf who had a 7 yo sister and when her dad got a new girlfriend, she was a terror. She was especially mean to her and to me - hitting us, making up stories, locking herself in rooms. Just being bad or hurtful just to be hurtful. She came out of it, but I know it was a long road. I hope you can somehow communicate with her how much it hurts in a way that makes her better towards you. Hugs!

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  • I don't know why didn't think about jealousy. She did go through period before they moved in with us that, when she was visiting, she would break my daughters favorite toys. I caught her biting and stomping her things because she was jealous that my daughter had them. We started getting them equal things, but she just destroyed her own, so it stopped. I know she was jealous that my daughter has both her mommy and daddy all the time. She went through a period that her mother disappeared and didn't see her or even talk to her for over a year. You guys may be right. Maybe she was jealous that he would have had both a mommy and a daddy all the time.

     

    ....................................................................................................................................... 

      

    image

     
                                                                 Big Sister Piper

    Born at 37 weeks, strong NICU survivor

    Friday, November 13th, 2009, 7:17 AM

    Baby Brother Link

     Born sleeping at 19 weeks with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

    Sunday, March 2nd, 2014, 7:27 PM

    .......................................................................................................................................

  • AggieBeth06AggieBeth06
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited March 2014
    That, and it sounds like you have been a person she could rely on. Everyone grieves differently and I know I've not been the same lately... Is it possible that could be the case for you? If so she could even have resentment that the loss has affected the amount of attention she has gotten.

    Please don't be hard on yourself it that's the case, but perhaps thinking about it could give you another approach.

    I hope you realize too that her hurt is being projected onto you. It sounds like she has had many reasons to be a broken little one.

    (((Hugs))) to you both. I'm so sorry again. :-(


    image

    PG#1 - 3rd cycle BFP. Team Green. HELLP syndrome @ 34 weeks.
    Later diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, possible link to HELLP.

    PG#2 M/C 3/14 - Surprise BFP 2/13. Beta's doubled every 52 hours from 3w5d-5w5d
    Viable pregnancy scan at 5w5d; 2nd u/s showed 2 days of growth in 7 but a HB of 120
    3rd u/s on 3/10/14 had no HB and baby had only grown 7 days over 14
    D&C 3/17/14 - complications - DX Retroflexed uterus, multiple tears to cervix

    All Welcome

    Chart

    Cocoasushi
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