Learning To Trust A Difficult Child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Can you ever learn to trust a Difficult Child? My son has been better, but he still has his outbursts. When I am home alone with both of the kids (which is almost every day), and the kids are together in the same room, like the basement or one of their bedrooms, I am ALWAYS listening for the first hint of trouble. My husband thinks that I am ridiculous, even after he has seem me hear trouble coming that turned ugly that he admits he never would have thought would blossom into a violent outburst. He will admit that I was right, but he doesn't understand why I'm always listening.

    Do you ever get to a point where you can actually trust them? Where you don't feel like you always have to be in the "on" position at all times?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I didn't trust my Difficult Child who took drugs until two years after she was clean. A few days, even a month or two wasn't enough to make me trust her.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think it depends on the difficult child. I know with my son, I trust him with some things and still don't with others. I think it is part of that always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I ditto Wiped Out - some things yes, and others nope!
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I began trusting Miss KT when she demonstrated that she was trustworthy...medication compliant, grades where we required them to be, doing her share of the chores with minimal fuss, get home on time...and it took a long while.
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    I'm glad to hear that it's not just me. Difficult Child is medication compliant, for e most part he gets good grades, and I trust him to be left home alone.

    When he is with Easy Child, however, that is a completely different story. They can be hanging out together and be just fine, and all of a sudden - BAM!!! Something small happens to set Difficult Child off and he will go after Easy Child with a vengeance.

    I won't let the two kids stay home alone together. If I have to go out and my husband isn't home, Easy Child has to come with. Difficult Child keeps begging me to let Easy Child stay home with him, and I just won't do it. I'd be so afraid that something would happen while I was out and that Difficult Child would hurt Easy Child. Husband keeps telling me that Easy Child is going to be 11 and that I have to start trusting the two kids alone. I can't. I know how Difficult Child is and I just can't bring myself to leave the two of them home alone by themselves.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your mommy gut is working well. How can you just trust something you know? You know Difficult Child will hurt Easy Child. No matter how old Easy Child is, he deserves a safe home. Trust is earned. It is not given just because of age.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Trust is given on faith the first time around. When it's violated, it's 10 times harder to earn back. I told my difficult child that for years. It's true, but the good news is that it *can* be earned back.

    I agree with MWM - follow your mommy gut. Especially with an 11-year-old - I wouldn't risk putting easy child at further risk of a potential outburst from difficult child. Heaven knows siblings have enough to deal with, long term.

    I think if there's a significant span of time (months) where the kids are interacting appropriately while you're in the house, then you might start with short trips, leaving them alone. Go fill up your gas tank. Get that gallon of milk you're short on. Short 10- to 15-minute trips. But I'd also make sure you've got a good safety plan in place for easy child - going to neighbor's house, cell phone on his/her person at all times so you can be called, etc.

    Rebuilding trust is a bear, because we do tend to be expecting that shoe to come crashing down again.
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    And last night was a perfect example! Difficult Child had a fantastic day! The two kids played football outside after Easy Child finished his homework (and even that I supervise closely, watching out the window just in case something happens), and then they were playing a computer game. They went their separate ways before dinner, for no reason other than Difficult Child just wanted to do his own thing. We ate, and I got up from the table to start cleaning up, and when something happened while my back was turned. Something small, but whatever it was it set Difficult Child off, and he was screaming at Easy Child, slamming his glass down on the table. It all turned in a matter of seconds!!

    Fortunately, their dad was home, and he came upstairs (he's an accountant and had gone downstairs to do some work on tax returns) when he heard the commotion. I gave Difficult Child his medications, which he took willingly, and then he stormed upstairs. By then, Easy Child was crying because he didn't want to go upstairs to take his shower because he was afraid that Difficult Child would do something to him, so I made my husband go upstairs with him to make sure that nothing happened.

    I told H that this was a prime example of why I won't leave them alone together. Seconds was all it took to go from laughing to screaming. Seconds!!
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  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Trust starts while being observed. If this stuff never happened when you ARE watching, you might take a chance on a 5 minute errand. But... no. Not with things the way they are.
  11. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    I understand and am questioning this when my son gets older, will I ever be able to trust him alone for a few hours during the day, even by himself? Few months ago we were going to the store for about 30 minutes, son didnt want to go, and daughter was thinking of "babysitting" him. ( for money of course ) and she told him she will play games with him, they can watch tv etc, well he changed his mind and came with us. But, I think its for the best, I trust my daughter with him, but I dont trust my son, and hes still a lot to handle for us, too much for my daughter if he got mad.

    Keep going with your gut, and that him screaming in seconds, yes, hes still having his moments. Hang in there, as the others said, it takes time and trust has to be earned. Hugs
  12. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    This is an issue even with easy child's. My two youngest sons HATE each other and always have. They are both easy child's essentially but I would never leave them home alone until recently. They are now 16 and 18. Although the older one, who is the aggressor, is much larger physically than the younger one, he pretty much confines his abuse to verbal torrents. The last physical fight 18 was in was with Difficult Child, who is 20 and is smaller than my youngest. Difficult Child held his own. H has let 18 know that physical force will result in our calling the police and since he wants to be in the volunteer FD, he controls himself. 18 is extremely glib, witty and verbal and 16 is the kid who thinks of the hysterical retort 10 minutes later, so 16 is often upset. Difficult Child has taken 16's side and goes out of his way to be kind and inclusive to him; however, he's away at college much of the year.

    Your easy child is so young yet that I wouldn't leave them home alone together at this age.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Check out some stories on Parent Emeritus. Some of us can not trust our 25 year olds in our house...they will steal us blind, use drugs with other buddies, and vandalize our homes.

    It is less about age and more about character. There are some people you can never trust at home alone and some who have to leave the family home when they are of age. And sometimes we moms have to take out restraining orders on our own adult kids. Yes, some of them assault us too. Use common sense. It's the best way. Don't take chances that may result in regrets you can't take back.
  14. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    And after last night's episode, it will be a lot longer until I trust Difficult Child. Just isn't happening right now.
  15. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    It is not so much a matter of should or when should we trust them, but a matter of are they trustworthy?
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Trust is earned. It is a long process. One major set-back... is a MAJOR set-back.
  17. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    You're right, ICD. He earns some trust and the something happens, and whatever he's earned get washed away. I spend my days on pins and needles, because I know that no matter how well things are going, or for how long they are going well for, the next tantrum and meltdown is just around the corner. It always is.
  18. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Im so sorry Bunny, I know its frustrating. Just be in no rush!