My beautiful two year old grandson is being emotionally abused by his parents. I feel bad writing this but I am so afraid for him. I don't want anything terrible to happen to this family but this child is suffering so badly and no one can see it. His parents think I'm too soft and that he is manipulative. Please listen to a few details: His home is very unstable and unstructured (two families live together in a small apartment, no regular bedtime and a lot of comotion). His parents do not get along and they are so wrapped up in their own troubles that they just want him to be quiet. He is yelled at and talked to very meanly most of the time, and then other times (when his parents are inclined) they are very sweet to him. He never wants to go home. Below is a list of symptoms I have recently observed:
1) He cries a lot when he is with his parents (not as much when he is with others). He is very afraid of his father (so am I).
2) He has no appetite - eats mostly junk food. His mother gives him a daily vitamin and dismisses the problem.
3) He has a hard time getting and staying asleep. He wakes up in the middle of the night in a rage, wailing and hitting himself and throwing himself around, and this happens during the day also.
He is very intelligent and loving now but I know he is being emotionally damaged and I don't know what to do. I comfort him as much as I can. Please advise me. I have begged his parents to get help and they have promised to, but is there anything I can do now to help this child? Many thanks. Anxiously awaiting your response.
It's clear that you love your grandson very much. There's little that you can do directly to help him, because you are not the source of his distress.
However, if you believe he is being subjected to inadequate, abusive parenting, you can lodge a report with the social services department that has jurisdiction in your area. They will then investigate the situation and, hopefully, this can be a route to help for your grandson. If you wish, prior to taking such a step, you can discuss it with his parents and tell them that they need to seek help for him and that if they do not you intend to pursue the course I mentioned.
This is an unpleasant task to face, but it may be necessary to get him the help he needs.
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