I am terrified!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by cinders, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. cinders

    cinders New Member

    I am a concerned loving sister to a wonderful mother. We are both stay at home mothers, we talk daily.
    I am positive that there some thing so seriously wrong with her 6 yr old daughter that I am terrified they will find their other child either seriously injured or ( God forbid) dead. Can I please get some input here? She has come to me several times... sometimes scared of what she has witnessed. Each time I can only say...maybe you should get her evaluated. Partly because I am digesting what I just heard. Please give me some feedback!! Here are some things I have seen for myself (I know this child very well & love her) and what she has told me has happened:
    -She nearly killed the family puppy. Watched it yelping and struggling to breathe. When her mom found her , screaming to stop. she acted as if she didn't hear a thing. when she let go she acted as if it never happened. Absolutely no remorse, concern for the dog.
    - Horribly cruel to sibling. I have seen this myself. I will not get into it, but only to say that I have never before witnessed this kind of cruelty. When I confront 6 yr old (after tending to sibling) she denies, then blames, then lies, then gets this weird lovie dovie thing going on. Once she sees this all not working, she turns on the fucets. As if she is sorry but blamming sibling the whole time, what?? I retort with "I saw the whole thing".... this is met with tears gone, immediately, all cold like..."well, (sib) was in my way" ....LOOK AT WHAT YOU DID!!! again...cool as a cucumber..."(sib) was in my way I TOLD YOU!!" now she is annoyed with my questions. My mouth wide open, she skips away, humming.
    - Bully at school.
    - Controlling, only friends are children who are shy, sensitive,quite. That way she can boss them around with-o much resistance. If they say no...she has no more use for them. Is mean, says nasty things to them. Until she thinks of a way to get them to do what she wants. With a snap of a finger she is as nice as can be.
    - Pees in odd places with-o the least bit of embarressment. On furniture, floors. can sit in it. Just sit there. Is not secretive about it, honestly thinks there is nothing wrong.
    - Has trouble with school work (1ST grade) Yet smart, sharp as a whip!
    -Easily bored with most situations.
    - Won't listen to parents or other adults. If she is told what to do she gets this face.... anger/yet disconnected. She hears it.
    - My hub describes her has having no soul in her eyes.
    - Manipulates everyone around her.
    - Knows no empathy. NONE. I have known this child all her life.
    - Does not learn from her mistakes. Punishments have never worked either.
    - Gets pleasure from other's pain. Like a kid with candy. No joke. Especially if she caused it. It is a whole new level of joy. That is when she can not control her smile.
    - She got a present for her birthday. Didn't want it. Mom says you need to appreciate what you have. be grateful. NOTHING, no reaction. Mom says well, I will just throw it out then. " Go ahead". never asked about the toy again. In her mind, she won or something. There was no "wait, no mommy...I do want it"
    So any ideas??? On what this could be ??
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello Cinders--

    Welcome to the board.

    We are just parents, we cannot diagnose here....However, based upon your observations, this child needs to be evaluated by a neuropsychologist ASAP.

    Meanwhile....is this child's mother doing eveything in her power to protect her other children and the family pets from harm? If not--she needs to start NOW!!!

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes, she definitely needs to be evaluated by a neuropsychologist and then a multi-disciplinary team (MDE) that incluldes a child/adolescent certified psychiatrist, in my humble opinion. And it would be preferable to have this done at a children's hospital that has a strong mental health unit for young children. If you are comfortable enough to list the state your sister is in, or the region of the US, a member or two might be able to PM you with area hospitals.

    But, the first priority is everyone's safety. I woould caution you not to let your sympathy for your sister cloud your judgement in this regard. I'm sure your sister does want what is best for her entire family and you should help her find crisis/emergency places to call the next time things reach a dangerous point. This can be a crisis center, an ermegency room that has a pshychiatric hospital to take the difficult child to, the local mental heealth clinic, or 911. If your sister will not follow thru with taking action to prevent injury to anyone, including the difficult child daughter doing sommething that could harm herself, you will need to call CPS (child protection). I would hope that doesn't have to happen, but it is certaibnly preferable than the fears you have coming to fruitation. It can take months sometimes to get evaluations done so she needs to get that process started but still pursue immediate intervention when an emergency happens before the evaluation.

    And the puppy- either find it a good home somewhere else or call a rescue group. I had a cousin that hugged his kitten to death at 4yo after his father was sent to prison- and my cousin wasn't even being cruel or violent, he obviously did have strange issues though. It's not fair to make innocent animals live with that threat or cruelty, as I'm sure you know.

    Also, if she wants to come on board here it might help her to see that she isn't alone and shouldn't be ashamed to seek help- it's more of a harm to our families and the difficult child to prolong getting help. We know it isn't her fault.
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Is the child adopted?
  5. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Every single thing you posted has my radar going off loudly. This little girl certainly needs an evaluation, and her mom probably can use some help to see not "her little girl" but rather, see the danger signs written all over her behaviours. I have met many parents who struggle to see beyond their little angels, or if they do, they become so used to their childrens dysfunctional behaviours, that it is the "new norm" and is easily in their minds pawned off on "OH thats just how she's always been" etc. Its sad because they truly love their children, but it can blind them to how badly a child needs help.

    This is frightening behaviour from a 6 year old. And unaided, that 6 year old becomes, 12, 18, an adult. It gets harder to alter behaviours as children grow older. Sometimes parents wait so long that by the time they want to enforce therapy etc, the child will simply never respond or participate. And that happens earlier than most people think, not simply when they become adults at 18 and have control over medical help.

    I would suggest you have a heart to heart with your sister about all of your concerns. Supportive words can help perhaps a more responsive reaction that will benefit your sister and your niece. Maybe even make some calls about local specialists and agencies that can offer support. If this is her first child showing problems, she probably doesn't know about supports right within the school system. There are plenty if you know what to ask for and what the school is obligated by law to provide. This can include an IEP (individual education plan), counsellors at school, plans specific to addressing bullying or other behaviours at school that need working on, as well as access to certain testing processes that can give insight to what is going on with this little girl.

    All of the things you wrote, combined, paint a picture of a child who truly needs some evaluation and a family who needs help. My biggest concern is a 6 year old who can harm a pet. That is a red flag that goes beyond the worries of a child who picks on a sibling etc. It is a warning sign in many cases for more serious issues in children. Going undiagnosed and not dealt with, it can be a starting place for some major issues.

    I'm sorry your sister is going through this. I'm more sorry that your niece has something going on with her that is causing all of this. Kids strive to be good, to be praised. When children begin acting in extreme ways like this, especially without remorse, it should never be ignored. It goes against the very nature of children and is a sign something is going on. I am glad you are concerned and want to help your sister and your niece. perhaps your relationship with your sister will be the basis which she will be able to see clearly that her little girls behaviours are screaming out for some help.

    You've found a great place here. Welcome!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. The first thing your mom needs to do is rehome that dog. She probably doesn't know the half of what is going on.

    I also am wondering if she is adopted or a stepchild or had a separation in her life. I had a child who had an antisocial personality disorder...he was adopted at 11 and actually killed two of our dogs and sexually molested my younger two children who were adopted too, but at early ages. And we didn't know about what he was doing as he was good at hiding it. He held a knife to their throats and made them do things (I wont' go into detail...use the worst of your imagination). I'm not trying to just scare you. I want you to know this is VERY serious. There are three childhood symptoms that point to adult psychopathy and your sister has at least two of those symptoms. The three symptoms are cruelty to animals/peeing and pooping in unusual and inappropriate places and the third is firesetting or fascination with fire. All three are downright dangerous. Perhaps she has set tiny fires, like our adopted son did, and we didn't know it until we made social services remove him from our home (this was a few days after we found out he'd sexually abused our younger kids and a week after he hung our brand new puppy after he'd killed our long time precious dog). We thought others were doing it...people in the neighborhood. He denied everything and was quite good at it. But finally it hit us that it had to be him (long story and very sad for our entire family).

    I would definitely have this child evaluated and maybe you can talk to the younger child to see if she has experienced sexual harm, choking or attempted smothering by her sister. I'm talking about when Dad and Mom are sleeping. She may not tell you because she may be terrified of her. This child we had told the younger two "If you tell Dad or Mom or anyone I'll burn the house down and kill myself and all of you." They believed him and didn't tell us anything until after we left. It was a sharp observer who figured out what was going on with this child.

    This scary young lady needs to have an alarm on her door so she can't get out at night and harm her little sister. If she is cruel to her in front of you, I can only imagine what she is doing when nobody is around. If she child seriously harms either her sister or a neighborhood or school child, your other sister could be taken away from your parents...and your mom could even be held accountable for not doing enough to protect other kids from this child. She knows she is dangerous and does not have a conscience.

    I can't stress enough how dangerous this situation is. If Mom won't do anything, I suggest you call CPS and let them know about her so they can intervene and you can help the youngest child be safe. Because that child is not safe with her sister, even if she acts ok.

    (((Hugs))) and I'm so sorry.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  7. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    My apologies, I had a brain meltdown or something. I kept referring to your sister and your niece, when it is actually your sister and your mother. Sorry for the mistake!!!!!
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    MWM is correct. Your sister MUST have a safety plan that includes alarms, locks and eyes on the child every single waking moment. She CAN lose custody of her other children and be put in jail for not protecting them.

    I have been in a very similar situation. My difficult child, Wiz, did not harm animals. Just his sister and I. First it was his sister and me only during rages. I was the one to do the restraints, consequences, therapy, evaluations and other things. My husband just could not understand it and could not handle it.

    When Wiz was in 6th grade and Jessie was in 2nd, our cat woke me up one night. It was very out of character for her, but she lead me into my daughter's room. I found Wiz on top of her, choking the life out of her. I was terrified, beyond angry and so scared for both of them that I am surprised my hair didn't instantly turn white. I yenked him off of her by the hair, screaming at him. I do not spank so this was a shock to him. Jessie was so upset. It took weeks for us to learn the full extent of his behavior.

    Jessie spent that night, and many more sleeping in my room. I was very glad we had a king size bed. I spent most of the next two days either buying and installing locks and alarms, on the phone or keeping eyes on my son. If he was at home he had to be in the same room as a parent. Period.

    We had spent many years prior to that keeping the kids supervised. Supervised to the point that if husband went to the bathroom and I wasn't home he took Wiz into the bathroom with him. I did the same with Jessie. We started that when she started crawling. We noticed that while he was gentle and cute with her when we could see him, if we left the room for even 30 seconds we found bruises, scrapes or even cuts on Jess. (There are 3.5 years between them in age.)

    Jessie never hit back. Not even after tae kwon do lessons and a talk with the Sensei who told her that she must protect herself from this long term abuse. She said she didn't want to hurt him. Period.

    We made a written safety plan and posted it at every phone, laminated cards with it and all phone numbers to be carried with our cell phones.

    We put an alarm on Jessie's door. If she was in her room the alarm had to be set. We bought a personal alarm made for joggers and if she was home she had to have it on. If the kids were in the same room an adult had to be there with them.

    About 4 days after we found him choking Jess we took him to a psychiatric hospital. Not an acute care facility. He was there for 4 months.

    While he was in the psychiatric hospital we took Jess to the doctor for a referral to a psychiatrist. She already was working with a psychologist to handle the emotional aspects of the abuse. The pediatrician was required to report us to CPS. This is NOT something to fear. It can open up a whole world of help and resources for your entire family.

    Your sis needs to write up a safety plan including constant supervision of the dangerous child. She MUST get the evaluations MWM and others suggested.

    This is a life and death situation. The child could kill her sibling for fun. Or even her mother. in my opinion, with all you have seen it is time to call CPS. You love your niece, but you love your other nieces/nephews also. Tell your sis that she needs to do these things. The situation is so far from normal that it is crucial to intervene, for everyone's safety and health.

    I DO know the chaos and hard feelings and estrangement that can come from that call. I suggest talking through this with your sis before you call. It may save some of those hard feelings from happening. The call is a way to find resources.

    I will post more later as I need to take a rest now. I am so sorry for your pain.
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Everyone has given you great advice. I'd also be concerned that the child is being/has been sexually abused.

    Your sister needs professional help in order to help her children. This is WAY beyond parenting.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Cinders.
    I am so sorry you had to find us.
    I agree with-everyone here.
    One thing I would add is that you said you "suggested" that your sister get her daughter an evaluation.
    No more "suggestions." You've got to be assertive. Look up a ph #, make an appointment., go along with-your sister for support. Sooner, not later.

    What is the 6-yr-old's history? What was she like as a baby? Is she adopted? Any history in the family?
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome, Cinders.

    If you can, get your sister to join us here, or at the very least, read this thread. If she is able to accept the description you have given, then she hopefully will see people's responses here as intended to help, to support her (and you) and help the child also.

    Allowing this to continue is not helping the child. You said,
    I'm betting she is actually a very fast learner. The trouble is, the longer this continues, the more she learns that she can continue behaving this way and can't be stopped. The more she is watched constantly, supervised and thwarted, the more it will be come a game to her, to try and defeat those who watch. Very unhealthy.

    Given an early enough start and the right kind of help, this can improve. No promises, except that if nothing is done now, it WILL get worse.

    Intervention ASAP is the best chance for long-term success. So many individuals here need this little girl's behaviour to be stopped. The girl herself; the mother; you; her sibling; her teachers; her classmates; other people in the neighbourhood; the dog; other pets in the neighbourhood. People here now; people in the future. Animals here now and in the future.

    Kids learn, but not always the lessons we expect. It does sound like this little girl is learning what SHE can do. The usual social lessons use punishment, including shame and embarrassment, as incentive to learn. But if she feels no shame or embarrassment, then the lesson she learns will not be the one you want. She is also learning to punish and embarrass others because that is what is being tried on her. You have observed considerable control of her actions. The usual brakes (such as a conscience) don't seem to be in place. This is not your sister's fault, but if she doesn't take strong measures, then it could be. Something WILL go wrong, if nothing is done. THings are going wrong already.

    The really scary thing, as other parents on this site will tell you, is that there is likely to be a lot more happening than either you or your sister are fully aware of. With other here, the child doing harm had to be out of the way for some time (in treatment) before the other children in the home felt safe enough to finally tell the whole story about the things that had really been going on.

    She's not too young for treatment. The younger she is, the best chance she has.

    I hope this is enough for you to help your sister. It really is a difficult situation for you. As for your sister - what she must be going through seems unthinkable. There are others on this site who will know how she feels. And I don't say that lightly.

    Keep us posted on how this progresses.

  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Cinders, it is NOT hopeless. With intervention ASAP, your niece can be TAUGHT how to behave and react. There are quite a few conditions that can be seen as having no conscience. Various autistic disorders can look this way. IF you can get past that horror and shock at her actions you may be able to help in very real ways. Teaching her to want to not displease a single, important (to her) can have dramatic results.

    After 4 months in a psychiatric hospital my son came home. He did very very well for over a year. We had to have him skip a grade, which took a LOT of paperwork and having his docs each write letters. Our school district has a middle school for 6-7 and a jr high for 7-8. The middle school is a very unhealthy environment, which is sad because we generally have really good schools. By putting him straight into 8th grade he was able to escape the middle school and the tortures he had experienced there (the sp ed teacher was ignoring everything in his IEP and the things he was able to access using HER computer ID was terrifying to ME and to him.) We used his grandparents and his 5th grade sp ed teacher as his persons not to disappoint and it worked VERY well.

    He is now 18, lives near us with my parents, and is doing incredibly well. there CAN be hope, IF she gets help starting NOW.