What do you tell your easy child's?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by HopeRemains, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Okay, a little bit of an update... easy child and I are leaving on the 17th for a "trip" to my brother's house. This is going to be hard on everybody, and when I come back, I will be finding alternate housing (not with difficult child, because it's not safe). I did, however, TELL husband that we are leaving last night. I'd been advised from so many NOT to tell him. I'd also told him before that I wanted to leave and he guilted me into staying, so I was a bit nervous to tell him. But it was eating me up inside to think of just taking off for a month or so and give him no chance to say goodbye to easy child. Whatever he's done, he doesn't deserve that. It went surprisingly well- I guess today will be worse when he gets home, but I'm not sure. At least I can live with myself now. He did suggest that I go by myself and leave easy child here with him... I told him he obviously underestimates when I say that I am fearful for easy child and myself because of difficult child. He didn't say a word after that and didn't mention easy child staying again.

    Now to my main question... How do you explain your difficult child's to your easy child's? I mean, you don't want them to think that is normal or acceptable behavior. I don't want easy child to just believe that since difficult child hits him/is mean to him, that he should accept that, and I don't want him to think that's an acceptable way to treat others (worried about when he gets around other children, he tends to be aggressive). easy child is almost 4, and he's been comparing difficult child to the "bad guys" on movies and such, and talking about the way difficult child acts sometimes much more lately. I'm not sure the best way to go about this, but it obviously needs to be addressed. I'd like to be able to have easy child know that he shouldn't be alone with difficult child, ever, so he can do some self protection, but how do you tell a 4 yr old that?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think he already knows it's not acceptable behavior. I also think that the topic will come up time and time again and you will have plenty of time to discuss it. He is very young and not sure one big discussion is necessary or helpful. When our adopted son who perped on our younger kids fianlly left, we sat the two kids down to tell them it was NOT THEIR FAULT and that R. was VERY SICK, but he was WRONG and had no right to do to them what he did and that is why he will not be coming back ever. The basic message was mostly that they were now safe from him. They also got into counseling early and often. I suggest counseling for your easy child. He is probably going to be quite relieved to feel safe. I wouldn't allow Dad to see easy child when difficult child is there. Is easy child your hub's bio. son? If so, you need a lawyer ASAP.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If easy child is husband's bioson, you need to be careful about promising that easy child won't be alone around difficult child again. Without legal proof, you are going to have a tough time getting a court order that enforces that and then you still are reliant on husband to follow through.
  4. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    MWM- Yes, easy child is husband's bio. He is being very supportive of us going away for a month or so, as much as a Dad can when half of his family is going away. I haven't made it clear to him yet that we will be needing to find alternate housing, but since I have said it before, he is probably expecting that, and he knows it is mainly because I am fearful of difficult child. (The other reason being the control issue I have with husband.) I do know that eventually we will need lawyers, sadly, he had a lawyer in his pocket. Not that that will stop me, I am pretty competent since I've researched custody things for the past 7 yrs for husband concerning difficult child.

    JJJ- I know from your last reply that you are somewhat skeptical that I might get supervised visits, etc... I really don't know if what I want to happen will play out like I think it should, but I will put my energy into it and do my best. I never promised easy child, and I know how hard it is to make a parent follow through if they are dead set on breaking the decree anyhow. But I will do what is in my power to do.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    You've gotten some great advice. Counseling was wonderful for both my boys when they were abused by someone. They were only 3 1/2 and it was play therapy but it helped them feel safe and helped me work with them on the resulting issues. Make sure it's someone that is experienced with abused kids.

    As for the lawyer, absolutely ASAP if easy child is husband's bioson. Do you have any documentation (psychiatrist reports, police reports, CPS reports, pictures, video, anything at all)?

    I still have talks with difficult child 2 about difficult child 1. In the beginning, he knew that difficult child 1 was "sick" and couldn't help what he was doing and that's why we went to the doctor all the time to find the right medication to help make difficult child 1 better. Now that they're older, it's to coach difficult child 2 on how to handle certain situations with difficult child 1 without giving in.

    You're priority is to explain that difficult child isn't a "bad guy" because bad guys choose to be bad. difficult child isn't choosing to be. He needs help and your job is to make sure that easy child is safe. That's what mommies do. They protect their kids from people that are not nice to them, no matter who those people are. He needs to know that he can trust YOU.

    {{{{HUGS}}}} to you. I'm glad you feel better and I really hope and pray that husband doesn't cause further problems and you are able to follow through with your plans.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    This may not be relevant, but are you at all concerned that if husband thinks this is all about difficult child, he will take it out on him?
    It may not be the time to discuss your issues with him now, but if say, husband decides to place difficult child somewhere, will he expect you to come back? Would you want to then?
    As far as easy child I agree that it's best not to reinforce the bad guy idea, more the sick, needs help idea. My nieces on their own would tell their friends that Q's brain was broken and he was getting help to fix it. As they've gotten older they understand it won't be fixed but that he changes and learns how to do better. Your difficult child may never be safe for easy child to be around as a child but they may be able to have a limited brother relationship as adults. They may not too....but at least by your being thoughtful at this point you leave the door open just in case.

    If husband gets visitation I admit I'd be tempted to move to make that difficult if he couldn't afford to fly him home etc...but I suppose the important thing will be helping easy child learn to play next to husband, to tell no matter what difficult child says etc. I can't even imagine how you'd do that. Maybe if it's ordered, you could offer to meet at a park or other family outing just so you can watch. I have no clue if thats realistic and pray your evidence and reports will be enough to ensure an order that keeps easy child safe. I wish the system would do the right thing but I don't have a lot of faith. He has you advocating for him though and I know you'll do all you can!
  7. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    TeDo- Thank you, that's great advice. When it comes up again, that is how I will approach it, though if husband gets wind of me saying difficult child is "sick" he will likely be ticked off. Oh well... can't keep everyone happy, right? I'll have to think about how to phrase it.

    I have videos of difficult child's rages, him saying he feels like killing himself, screaming hateful things, punching walls, banging his head into the wall, etc... I have the email I wrote to difficult child's therapist when I found out that he told easy child he was going to kill him when he's sleeping with a knife. I'm sure a police report exists from when I called them last summer when difficult child was hitting me. There was a CPS case against me (thanks biomom), that was unfounded, but I don't think that would really do anything- but difficult child has tried to inflict harm on himself and threatened to tell biomom that I did it recently (He caught on to the fact that he might be able to get me into trouble with that other CPS incident and I have no doubt that he would have eventually got me into some trouble in the future.)

    Buddy- It may be very naieve of me to think that we may be able to have a good parenting relationship forever, but I've seen it done. (Seen many more where it didn't work well, too.) So when I imagine us in the future, I see us both living in different houses, but still possibly going out to dinner with the kids, going to family birthday parties, etc.

    husband is a strange one... he knows that I've been unhappy out here for years and years. I told him not so long ago that I wasn't in love with him and that I wanted to move away. He acts as though I never said it- just like he always seems to forget every greivance I've ever brought up that doesn't fit in with how he thinks things should be. He ignores the bad stuff. There are multiple levels to why I am just done, but right now he is focusing on difficult child's behaviors so that he doesn't have to look in the mirror and say it's because he's controlling, etc. Not that he's being upset with difficult child that I've seen. When I get my head a little more together, we will have the talk about why I have to get my own place and I will not let him escape or use difficult child as the ONLY factor in this. Over the years I have had this talk with him SO many times and nothing has changed, but this time I have some resolve and family supporting me.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'd suggest that you contact an attorney, even though you don't want to file yet, it will help to know what to do to help your case. (eg. if you stay at your brother's house/area for 6 months, that becomes PCs "home" for you to file custody in that county/state; the longer you are away from husband, the more of a 'status quo' that you establish, all things to discuss with an attorney to see how they impact your situation). Note: I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV, this is not legal advice; I have just seen too many parents (moms and dads) burned because they did not understand how custody law works, because it doesn't work the way most people think it does).
  9. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    JJJ- Lol... I understand, and I will be getting ahold of an attorney this month, to see what happens when we get back to town. I only anticipate being gone for 1-2 months, no more than 2. So I will file here, when I get back. I was hoping that he would be reasonable and not go get a lawyer asap when I told him we were leaving and file for temp custody or something, but, thank goodness, he didn't. I know it could get ugly, but I'm hoping for the best. I'm not unreasonable by any means, I hope that he won't be vindictive. But a lawyer will be essential, I know. (If I can afford one?)
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Ideally, you and husband reach an agreement on how custody, visitation and child support will work. Then use the self-help center at your local court to write it all up and fill out all the forms. Pay for an hour of an attorney's time to review it. Then file it yourself. That will minimize your expenses and the conflict. There are free legal advice sites out there that can help alot -- they especially like to help parents that are working together for a peaceful, fair plan. Google "free advice legal forums"
  11. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    JJJ- that sounds like a wonderful way to go about it, thank you!
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    In addition... I don't know if you're in a university town or not... but if you are, and the uni has a law school... contact them. They often have senior students for hire ... and the profs like giving students real-life experience. You might still need a "real" lawyer for final review, but these students can help with wording, research other points of discussion, etc...
  13. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    IC- Yes, we do have a pretty good law school here, thanks for the tip.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great ideas here.

    I'm glad that it worked out, by telling husband ahead of time, and that it gives you some peace.

    Best of luck tomorrow. I'll be thinking about you. Please check in.
  15. I agree with others that the best approach to what to tell a easy child is the illness/sickness explanation and explain the difference between this and the "bad guy" idea. In my case, because my difficult child developed epilepsy at 2 years of age and most of his seizures were partial complex which would include strange behavior, not be able to talk, walking into walls, hospital stays, etc we told my easy child at that time that her brother had a problem with his brain. She even would help us by coming to get us if he couldn't talk etc. So as his behavior problems took over as his main illness she was already accustomed to difficult child having a brain problem, we just explained more as she got older. I always made sure that they both understood that there was no difference between a brain problem and a kidney problem like easy child was born with. They are just different parts of the body. Having a problem in one part of the body doesn't make you bad. I wanted from a young age to protect difficult child from the stigma at least in our own family. I point out to them that we all take medicine for different things (that works for us because we all do take daily medicine) and it doesn't make difficult child strange or bad.

    That all being said, it is quite hard when easy child is the victim of attacks and aggression. My easy child has at times been difficult child's main focus of aggression and irritation so I understand just how hard this can be. You are doing the right thing by protecting your much younger easy child.

    In regards to the other part of your post: Attorney, attorney, attorney. A good one. Find the money. Don't make the same mistake I made. I will leave it at that.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yes, say he is sick, but also reenforce that he is not safe. It would be a bad idea in my opinion for easy child not to know he shouldn't be alone with him because his sickness makes him do dangerous things.
    Keep those tapes of the rages for court. Take them with you.
    Hugs and I wish you the best of luck. Keep us updated!