I am new here and need some feedback!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Pjw, May 8, 2015.

  1. allusedup

    allusedup Member

    My son is engaged and living with a girl who has a 3y/o son. She has him every other week and she is starting a new job and I will be keeping him. I am a 53y/o retired RN of 25 years and I have NEVER seen a child so badly behaved. This week he actually bit his mother hard enough to brake the skin and leave a bruise. The last 2 days he has deliberately gagged himself with his fingers and vomited everywhere....several times. He has not been diagnosed but has all the signs I have read about and I am also concerned about autism. He often screams at his mother. His mom and I get along well but I don't know how to approach her or even if I should. We all know how medling m-i-l's are viewed. This kid is one you don't even want to be around and I adore kids and am a really patient person. I need some input from you guys please!
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well... you are right, in that as the "mother in law", you have to walk a very fine line. This isn't even your grandchild...

    How much do you know about his first three years? What are the patterns to the behavior, what things tend to "trigger" those behaviors... do you have any clue as to what is going on that way?

    If you don't know the background, it's really hard to say if it's something on the autism spectrum, or something else entirely. If he IS on the spectrum, then even the transition to you as a caregiver will be a challenge... Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids tend to be resistant to change.

    The more background you can give us, the more we can toss out ideas that might help make your dealings with this kid more productive and less stressful.
  3. allusedup

    allusedup Member

    member: 18958"]Hi PJW

    I just want to say Hi and let you know that others will come around tomorrow morning. Traffic really drops off around this time, particularly on a weekend.

    I wanted to ask you, for how long are you committed to keeping the child?

    I fear it could be a minefield for you....

    My first thought is this: you need to be upfront with your concerns. As you say, these behaviors are serious. You don't know what is going on with the child.

    What if something happens while the child is in your care? What will be the response of your son and his fiancee towards you? More important, is the child.

    Is it not better to confront the situation up front? The elephant is in the room. Everybody knows it is there.

    Speak up. Protect yourself and this child. Start a conversation. Ask questions. Put the responsibility on the parent.

    The only way I would consider caring for a child with those kinds of behaviors was if I was sure that the parent had sought expert intervention, and the child and parent were receiving treatment/intervention'/follow-up. If you are not comfortable with the situation after you have talked it over, I would ask the mother to make another arrangement for care.

    If they get mad, oh well. It's better than the alternatives. That is my thinking.

    Others will chime in as well. I will check in tomorrow after others have posted.

    *You do not mention what would be foremost on my mind. My son. Might a conversation between you three be important to him (you have the perfect opportunity here, after all, you are a party to this care arrangement)?

    After all, he may be taking on a responsibility that he may not fully understand.
    To initiate a conversation might benefit everybody.

    Take care.[/QUOTE]
  4. allusedup

    allusedup Member

    I am having a hard time adding to this thread but first would like to say thanks for the replies thus far.....Finally I am hearing the voices of reason. This has been keeping me up at night.
    The background that I know is really not good. First his mother was only 17 when she had him. She was married to the father for only 6 months after the child was born. Each parent has him every other week. She was living with her mother in a stable environment but then moved in with her father and his wife where he was allowed and even encouraged to misbehave. His grandfather thought it was funny to teach him foul language. The childs father is married again and they have a 1y/o whom they favor. With no schedule or routine, no consistancy and being treated like a red headed step child, it is no wonder that the poor child acts out. The mothers parenting skills are terrible and I have tried to encourage and suggest about a routine and consistancy.
    And yes, I know my son has no clue as to the severity of the situation. I have talked to him about ODD but I haven't mentioned my worries about autism. I was so relieved to find this site. I guess I feel I need some back up. I don't feel that I am overrracting but she/they may. Another red flag here is that the child is developmentally delayed by I would guess about a year. Again thanks in advance to everyone.
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Try to encourage idea of somekind of well child check. Maybe picking up some 'non threatening' or less emotional charged thing and press that. "I think your kid may be autistic", is a lot to take but " Have you noticed X is maybe little late in this fine motor skill" or "I have been thinking if X's behaviour in 'issue a' could be due some sensory issue, maybe it would be worthwhile to discuss with his paediatrician", could be taken more constructive way.
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  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I guess I've been burned too much being upfront. I don't know this woman or how she'd react to anything u said about her child. It is probable that she is well aware of it already and will not want to hear it again. If she gets angry is ur son the type to get angry at u? Are unable to deal with him maybe turning his frustration onto u rather than this women?

    I used to just say what I felt I should say. I have found that this old approach is in my opinion unwise. People that u don't know very well (and some that u do) tend to get hostile when u are very honest about ur feelings.My ex daughter in law blew a gasket when I mentioned autism and my son backed her up. She is a difficult woman...what is this woman like?
    My advice is to go to your doctor and tell him all the stress u r under and maybe he will tell u that for ur sake he doesn't want u baby sitting. This is not something u are required to do. I know I could not babysit that child. Has she gotten him interventions?
    As ice said this is touchy. U can't save this child. Legally only bio. Dad and mother can. I would talk to ur son, if u feel u should tell ur point of view. Let him handle it. He may get mad too but in the end he will have e to live with that child and u are free to stop babysitting.
    This is touchy. I have learned late in life not to be so forward.it can cause really hard feelings. Are u prepared for that?
    You have gotten many points of view. This is complicated. And touchy. U know the personalities of those involved and if they are willing to listen or explode.
    Suzirs approach is diplomatic
    Also decide if it is healthy for u to keep sitting. Ur son is an adult getting married and daycare should be up to him and her.
    Don't be a doormat those shoes really stink!!!
    Think hard.
    Good luck! We are on ur side
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    With his chaotic childhood this kid could have attachment disorder. Love and consistency don't work for that. It is a long sometimes useless road.
    Did this girl drink or use drugs during pregnancy?
  8. allusedup

    allusedup Member

    The childs mother did not drink or do drugs while she was pregnant. Her mom was very strict and the first boy she went out with is the kids father.
    We get along well but we all know how people can get when they think you are being critical of their kids. My son and I are very close and is normally respectful of my opinion but I think his reaction may depend on her reaction. If that makes any sense. He at least knows me well enough to know I am not just trying to pick on the child.
    Say I don't need this stress is a huge understatement. I have PTSD and was on klonopin, mood stabilizers and anti-depressants for 20 years. I have been off all of these for a year now and have been doing better now than I have for many, many years. I am worried that this situation will cause me some serious problems. I have a hard time being around him now much less keeping him by myself on a regular basis. I fear he will quite literally make me crazy.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Right there, you just told yourself the answer: you can't take this on.

    Which is a good thing. This kid needs to be around "neutral" care-givers, who are going to flag the problems - or at least, will refuse to deal with the kid and keep pushing back at the parents. They may go through caregivers really fast for a while until the parents get the point that this kid needs help.

    As SWOT said, there is a chance that there may be some attachment issues. But there is more. That developmental delay? HUGE red flag. And it means he really needs intensive intervention NOW, not when he starts school.

    Many parents take poor behavior as a personal slap - and don't want to deal with it because they will just be told to change their parenting. Which is partly true. However, that does NOT mean that the behavior is the result of "bad" parenting. Differently wired kids need a different style of parenting. And many differently wired kids can't handle the standard split between two households - it's too much transition.
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  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Agree with IC. You need to take care of yourself. You raised your kids. Your son made a rather iffy decision to marry somebody with a dysfunctional background and poor choices. As an adult it is his responsibly to take care of his chosen family. I'm sure nobody raised ur family except u.
    This is a child who was a mess before ur son met him and this could be a disaster, but it is his disaster that he made, not yours.
    Talk to ur therapist. Do not let son or his honey bully u into taking this child on. I'm sure all they want is free childcare. Your son knows what you've gone through and should never even approached u with babysitting this child.
    Not your circus. Not your monkey
    Hugs and take care of you. You r worth it.
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  11. allusedup

    allusedup Member

    You guys are all wonderful. Thanks so much for all the support. I talked to my son at length today about this kid and his mother. I told him about the advice all of you gave. We are going to talk to the childs mother together and he said he would back me up. We won't be able to talk with her until next weekend because my son is working out of town until then. I will let you all know how it goes. You all have really helped to take alot of stress out of this situation for me. Thank you. Happy Mothers day to all of you amazing women!
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  12. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    There seem to be two different issues here.

    The child misbehaves and needs intervention. Only the parents can do that. You've spoken to your son and done what you could

    The other issue is you babysitting the child. You say you are worried it will cause you serious problems and make you crazy. So don't do it. Don't get pushed into doing something unhealthy for you. You say you worked 25 yrs as an RN so you've already given and given and are probably a naturally caring person. But you need to take care of yourself first. You can't do anything for anybody if you let this situation stress you out.

    The first issue is the child and you've done what you can there

    The second issue is taking care of yourself. You already know this babysitting is not going to be healthy for you. Just tell them the truth - that it's not something you can take on. That's the bottom line - I can't do it. What other arrangements they have to make are not your problem. Your boundary is - I can't do it.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Excellent post, Mr. Done Dad.
  14. allusedup

    allusedup Member

    Thanks again to everyone. I am learning to say no and that its ....ok....to say no. I grew up in a household where I learned co-dependent behavior by the time I was 12. Of course it bled over into adulthood. I suffered through an abusive 20 year marrige before I got the courage to leave and stay gone. And I have been recovering from the abuse and the co-dependency ever since. I think its like being a recovering addict....it is easy to get sucked back in if I am not careful.