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Old 01-14-2019, 03:52 PM
 
2 posts, read 651 times
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Hello everyone, for a little over a year now my sister in-law and her three kids have been living with us. Things happened within my sister in law and her husband that caused them to get a divorce, and they all came to live with us. All three of them have different personalities good and bad, but the middle one he can be a handful. He rarely listens and he is always demanding things from his mom. He can be a sweetheart one moment and then the next he can be a real demon. I try having talks with him to let him know that we love him but we need him to understand why he gets in trouble from not only his mom but from us, but it doesn't last for more than a day. When we take him anywhere he asks for things like sodas, candy, etc and if he doesn't get it then he wants to go home. I think he has ADHD, and we told his mom about that and she thinks the same, but so far she has not gotten him checked, he has been seeing a therapist, but with no little sign of change. I suggest to his mom that maybe he should see a specialist for this and she agrees but she hasn't taken him, I believe she feels that it's an age thing that will eventually go away. He doesn't talk to his mom like a child to a parent instead he talks to her like she is the child and he is the parent. If we even confront her about certain issues that we feel need to be addressed (damages to the house, him being disrespectful to my mother in law, him lying) she gets mad at us and doesn't want to hear bad things about him, when his teacher tells her he needs to start doing better in school or if he needs to go to Saturday school she in return gets mad at the school and makes it seem like it is their fault, and I think when she gets mad at us or the school it makes him feel he can get away with it.

I was a kid from divorced parents and I know how it can be, but his personality and attitude started way before this, and I don't think I have the magic words to make him feel happy and to make him know he can be whatever he wants to be, he is a good kid, but i don't know what to say or do to make him know his behavior isn't accepted.

His sister in law gives me full control of what to say or do when it comes to her kids. So I feel i have a duty to help these kids, I just need help with the right path to take.

Thank you
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:24 PM
 
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A couple of questions first: how old is he, and are you an uncle or an aunt?
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:16 PM
 
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Thanks for the reply, I am their uncle and is a 10 year old boy.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:26 PM
 
13,008 posts, read 20,166,717 times
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I can't imagine taking in an entire family for over a year, so kudos to you. It's possible your nephew is grieving the loss of his own home life, and the absence of his father. While understandable, that doesn't give him a pass to misbehave in your home, or school.

The adults should get together and agree on house rules, and the penalties for breaking them, then present the list to all the children, as a united front. It isn't fair of his mother to expect you to provide discipline without backing your effort to do so. if she continues to thwart your attempts to help your nephew, it may be time to suggest she make other living arrangements.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
14,630 posts, read 20,991,962 times
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What does his therapist say?
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:08 PM
 
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I know an immigrant family where the son who owned the house that the entire family then moved into, a family in each bedroom, he eventually just sold the house and moved into a small apartment just big enough for only him and his wife and his own children, just to get away from stuff like this.

The boy is a behavior problem. He lacks impulse control, and his mother is overwhelmed with him. It is likely to get worse, not better. Any minute now testosterone poisoning could hit, and if you think it was bad before this, you have no conception of how much worse it's gonna get. If you have a girl younger than him, or even a boy younger than him, you could soon have a family tragedy on your hands. "Oh no, that could NEVER happen to us, because we are (insert religion or culture here), we watch them all the the time, he is really a good boy", etc, etc, etc. I have lived, and I have seen. It happens. More than people will admit. FAR more than people will admit. At the very least, he's making you guys miserable now, and it's likely to get worse soon. You don't have to live this way. You can have a happy household.

If his mother gets child support and works, tell her to move out to a nearby apartment. If she doesn't have the means, and can't get any support from the father and cannot work, and if you have the means, or her parents have the means, PAY for her to move to a nearby apartment with her children. She only needs a two bedroom - one room for the mom and daughters, one room for the sons. But get her out of your home, so that you and your family can have a peaceful home life.

From what you describe, the boy needs therapy, medication, and utterly consistent behavioral management from all the adults in the house, especially his mother. But his mother has not gotten any of this for him, and it's really not your place to do it. Move them out.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Michigan
150 posts, read 81,368 times
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I think that if the boy is ADHD then giving him candy, sodas, and sugar filled foods is the worst thing you can do. Sugar should not be in anyone's diet but that is a whole other subject. Beyond that, a 10 year old should not be the one making demands and expecting to get his own way. He may need attention due to the divorce and showing him a lot of love is not letting him get away with what he wants.

Mom has some issues here and is part of the problem. If teachers are saying he needs improvement then she should be listening, not rejecting what they are saying. The boy will take this as far as he can get away with it. If he is allowed to get away with this at age 10 think about what he will be like at 15. It is astounding how so many parents are unwilling or seemingly incapable of raising their children in this day of age. You are in a position to help the boy. Your benevolence to allow them to stay in your house should come with gratitude. You would think she would be grateful for your help. If not, maybe she needs to find other living arrangements.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
194 posts, read 71,108 times
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You say the boy is going to a therapist? Does the whole family; especially in times of divorce while individual therapy is helpful divorce is usually a indication of a breakdown of communication between family members. What good is therapy if you still don't know how to safely and effectively express your needs to those who interact with you on a personal and daily level.

The mother and son need to learn how to communicate, respect, and build a proper relationship together in their new life circumstances otherwise I imagine the current run of things will forever be the norm. I've been around broken homes and this story is pretty much identical to several young men I know. Remember that kids are sponges to their environment; they notice and pick up every little conversation, emotion, and method of interaction in an attempt to copy the behavior when they find themselves in a seemingly similar situation. So I don't know exactly why your ralitive broke up, but I'm sure if the son was exposed to open discussions about it then he picked up interactions to copy when he also feels frustrated in relationships.

You mention ADHD but I imagine the therapist would have made some mention about his behavior during his therapy time (I have ADHD and it's not something you turn off, especially for a therapist) so have the mother double check with them. It sounds more so that the divorce caused sudden anxiety (the child lost a parent and their home) and there's no telling how long things were bad between the parents that would more likely be the initial cause for all this "change" and problems between the relationship of son and mother. Anxiety is hard to deal with as a child, but it's better to teach children how to recognize and manage their anxiety on their own so that they can avoid having uncontrollable anxiety when they're older and will have to rely on medication use.

The boy needs a stable life and help re-establishing his relationship with his entire family because I imagine he feels incredibly volatile and a portion of that is connected in his mind to his parents/mothers marriage and living situation. A individual therapist is fine, but he needs to talk to his family about his feeling and start rebuilding his trust in the people in his life because in his world they've failed him. The good news is he has at least one adult male working to help him so as long as you keep trying to show him love and express that he can share his feeling without any consequence then he'll be on the right track for healing.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:47 AM
 
7,275 posts, read 12,870,754 times
Reputation: 8615
Quote:
Originally Posted by bttlehja View Post
I was a kid from divorced parents and I know how it can be, but his personality and attitude started way before this, and I don't think I have the magic words to make him feel happy and to make him know he can be whatever he wants to be, he is a good kid, but i don't know what to say or do to make him know his behavior isn't accepted.

His sister in law gives me full control of what to say or do when it comes to her kids. So I feel i have a duty to help these kids, I just need help with the right path to take.

Thank you
It is good that you care and are empathetic to the nephew's situation. But let's be real here... You'll never have full control. It would help if you accept that as the reality here. It would help if the mother was on board and working hard with you. You already see that all she has to do is get mad and root herself in complete denial... All that does is reinforce the situation you're in.

I have to ask... Is the mother actively working on getting her own place or is your home going to be the permanent abode?

I think it might be better and effective if the mother isn't such a looming presence in your home. I say this because my sister is pretty inconsistent and overly permissive that my nephew acts up a lot. My mother and I honestly prefer him around without my sister because he's better behaved and is able to follow the rules and is a little more respectful, calmer even. But when my sister is around, the atmosphere reverts back into a very tensed state and he acts up. Have you noticed something like that?
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:48 AM
 
1,251 posts, read 459,592 times
Reputation: 2634
Why are ALL 3 kids living with you and her?Why can't the father who is divorced from her...can't he take the other 2 kids why you guys help this one?Does he know what is going on with the child?It's not fair that you 2 are dealing with this..haven't heard you mention anything that the father is doing to help out.
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