Protecting siblings?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by slsh, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I probably already know the answer to this, but how far do you go to protect sibs from difficult children junk? How do you prepare sibs for the probability that they are going to be dealing with this dishonest manipulative garbage all their lives? And how do you do it without stoking sibs' anger that has been there before (and probably will be there again) over difficult child's totally abhorent behaviors?

    Heaven help me, but I think we're headed back to 24/7 eyes on supervision of thank you when he's home. I'm so incredibly unbelievably *angry* about it - he's 16.5 years old!! How much longer does this BS go on? Manipulation, lies, theft... and really, the only way I see to protect Diva and Wee is to limit their exposure to him, both to keep them from getting put in an uncomfortable position of having to "tattle" plus to just keep them emotionally safe.

    I am also stopping all phone conversations with- sibs. I already have email passwords to all (I think) accounts, including thank you's, and I check at least a couple of times a week.

    It's been years (probably since the last time he had to leave home for Residential Treatment Center (RTC)) since we've really talked with- sibs about thank you and how he's really got a significant problem. They need to start building up the armor now. I do not want them to get sucked into the vortex of his bad choices, now or in 10 years. They need to understand they cannot save him, they are not responsible for him, and that his choices are all his own.

    But they also need to understand that thank you is thank you and that he has as much control at the end of the day over his faulty reasoning and messed up thought processes as Boo has over his faulty neurological wiring.

    Are we done yet??? :wink:
  2. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    ant's only sib is Nick, age 29 now. nick is so sick of ant he told me last night that it is over. not to mention his name again.
    during their teen yrs ant stole from nick constantly and lied to me, hurting nick.
    for a long time I would not let nick know what was up with ant other than where ant was. now that ant is in jail, I will not mention his name to Nick.
    nick cannot help, is not responsible, it is not nick's fault and nick hates to see me hurt.
    let them have life minus thank you if that is what it takes.
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    PCson and PCdaughter have limited relationships with difficult child because of his actions over the years. It's sad really that there is no sibling bond---but that was broken by difficult child. PCson and daughter do have a relationship. They email and call. Lately daughter has been more "open" with difficult child and given rides and such. Before, we couldn't trust him to ride. He still lies and manipulates and expects much more from them then he does from himself. I feel bad that they will one day be left behind to have to deal with him!
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I never did a whole lot of referring with the kids. This meant that they had to work it out amongst themselves. Usually I just tried to keep the violence/disrespect out of the equation.

    Travis has major issues with personal boundries. Yes, he's improved with age, but those issues have never gone away completely. If he really wants something and it's in the house, it doesn't matter who it belongs to, he'll help himself. Drives all of us nuts.

    Used to be a major hang up between him and his sisters. Then Nichole and easy child put their heads together and started snitching his things. Not because they wanted it, but to give him a dose of his own medicine. I stayed out of it. It made a huge difference. But still didn't get the message completely thru.

    So his sibs know that if you want to keep something special, lock it up or keep it elsewhere. Now that they're older they FINALLY understand he doesn't do it to be mean or anything. He sees it as just "using" the item and can't seem to get what all the fuss is about. This is just part of who Travis is. Period.

    Of course there are alot of other issues too. But I think it's also just shrugged off now as just the way that person is. easy child and I were talking about this sort of thing as far as Nichole is concerned too.

    I just remember doing alot of the everyone has both good things and bad things about them. Everyone. It is who makes us who we are.

    But honestly.....I think my kids worked it out for themselves, and found their own acceptance.
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Slsh, this is a hard question...

    Little easy child is too young to recognize difficult child's lies, manipulation and bullying, so for now it's my job to protect him from it, just as I would protect him from bullying and bad treatment from someone else's child.

    Right now, easy child is staying with relatives until difficult child moves into the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in about a week. He's been away from home for weeks and weeks now, and I miss him with all my being and want him home, but it's just not the best place for him while difficult child is still here.

    difficult child doesn't have a lot of control over his behaviour, but I don't want easy child to be damaged by it. I don't know...if they were closer in age I might let them work it out more, but my little one is too young to stand up for himself so he needs me to do it.

    I guess how far you go depends on what kind of junk your difficult child is dishing out.

    Just my $0.02.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I tried to balance the need for easy child to understand difficult child's difficult child-ness while at the same time protecting her from emotional and physical abuse from difficult child. It wasn't easy and I know that on some level I failed...but I did the best I could.

    I think that I taught them each empathy and that one day that empathy will come into play and they will be okay with one another. I always tried to avoid estrangement, you know?

    They were such cute little girls and best buddies for so long and then one day a switch was flipped and they weren't buddies anymore. easy child lost the ability to break difficult child's raging spells by making her laugh and difficult child felt completely misunderstood by easy child. Well, easy child did not understand, so she wasn't completely off.
  7. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I wish I had protected difficult child 2 better from difficult child 1--she was abused physically and emotionally and I didn't know it. But at the very least I did know that difficult child 1 could be nasty and was manipulative. difficult child 2 acted like everything was fine--she was truly the perfect child--and I felt like I needed her to be that perfect kid too since difficult child 1 took up all my time and energy. I wish now that I could have protected her and also helped her set her boundaries with difficult child 1. Well, we both have paid for it--she began acting out at age 13 and then I found out what big emotional problems she was having and they were due to our home environment with difficult child 1. She is doing better now but still is not within the realm of "normal" as to what she can deal with. She attends school part time but gets overwhelmed easily.

    Anyway, Sue, sounds like you know what needs to be done and are doing it--my hat is off to you!