My 9 year old grandson has killed his hamster (at the age of 5) by squeezing it to death. Recently I've come to learn he is putting the family cat in the the deep freeze and the refrigerator "just to see how long she will live". I've known for some time that this boy has 'issues' but I'm beginning to fear he is a psychopath in the making. How can I help my grandson? He also has a 7 year old brother and a 5 year old sister that I fear for. He is very dominant over them and they follow him in his actions for fear of HIS reprisals. He is a very ANGRY child with no apparent reason. He has very good parents, a loving home, and loving grandparents. I am very close to the family and spend a lot of time with him. If there is anything I can do as the Nana I want to help my grandchild.
Is he doing those things out of completely callous curiosity, or does he seem to clearly enjoy watching something suffer?
Those are two kinds of kids.
There are kids with asperger's like symptoms who can't read facial expressions, and have little empathy for others and say things like "your face looks weird when you cry". They have trouble feeling other's emotions and don't feel strong attachments themselves.
Then there are other people who take true pleasure in inflicting and watching others in pain.
Hi there. Well, first his family needs to find safe homes for their pets. They need to leave the house if the parents aren't going to stop this action.
Which brings me to his parents. What exactly do they say about this? I do think 5 year olds could accidentally squeeze a hamster to death. Putting the cat in the deep freeze----- harder to explain. That is something I'd start by having firm rules over him and keep a watchful eye on him. does he hurt his younger siblings? If there is any fear for them then his parents need to act to get him some help. This would involve a starting place of talking to his pediatrician. good luck
Well, the hamster he claims bit him, so he killed it.
He told his brother He KNEW the cat wouldn't be able to breathe in the freezer, but wanted to see how long she would be able to live in there. If not for the 7 year old.........
I don't believe it is aspergers as he interacts well with others in "normal" situations. This boy has grandious ideas about himself and his role in the family dynamic. Believes he is second in charge when either parent is absent fo any amount of time (even moments while the kids are in the playroom) and feels HE should have ALL the same rights as the adults in the home. He scares me. He also suffers from an EXTREME case of A.D.D.
I have suggested to my daughter that she get him in to see a therapist. She is not convinced he needs this. I am afraid that something awful is going to happen before she realizes just how severe this behavior really is.
I spoke privately about the "cat incident" with my 7 year old yesterday and told him he should NOT be afraid to wake his parents when his brother is doing wrong like this (his mother was at work & father was asleep - it was around 9pm) and he can always fight back with MY permission. I told his mother I told him this. Last night I got a phone call from the 9 year old basically threatening me that he doesn't like it when "people talk about him behind his back" and that I should stop. I explained to him that I didn't like HIS behavior and when HE stopped, I would not have to discuss him with his siblings, that I loved him very much and I ended the conversation quite shaken by what had transpired. I then called his mother and relayed this conversation.
I'm not sure where to go with all of this. I love my grandson, but he is scaring the hell out of me. I can't FORCE my daughter to get him help, but I really think he needs it.
Hi John and sorry your experiencing this. Please please, he has to be taught that all living things want life and are here to share our would and bring harmony and love to us. The boy needs to develop the gift of empathy, which is understanding the being of another. Without this deep set awareness, i believe he will not develop properly in society. When i read this, especially about the cat i became sick to my stomach. He has to be taught that the power of life and death is not to be used out of courosity but only used to defend and protect oneself and the lives of others. I would add some spirituality to him also. Some God awareness, (any God), he must be taught that God created all living things and all living things are not here for us to kill out of blindness.
John, please have the boy talk to someone who can bring out his love awareness. He has to be aware that he is the same in the eyes of God as is the cat and hampster.
I actually think he sounds untethered and unsupervised. His mom is at work and his dad is sleeping at 9 pm while the kids are up? If this is normal for that household, that is really not a good situation. If I laid on the couch sleeping while my kids ran around, who knows what 'they' would get into as well.
I think he is crying out for attention from the adults in his life. I'd investigate this.
Then you have parents that are being told of problems but don't want to address it. In general, rarely do I say that the parents are to blame but this parenting situation does really make me wonder.
I'm still trying to get past kids running around while dad is sleeping. Not good.
I agree with Specialmom. Let me also add that if as you say he, also suffers from an EXTREME case of A.D.D." - that will/could cause part of the problem. If so when he is off medication, he will do things without thinking too much about it - impulsive in other words.
I do wonder how he is doing in a school setting with the boundaries they set? In other words are most of his problems at home?
I feel like I need to clarify something. My daughter has autism and I am surrounded by people who fall on the spectrum on a daily basis. It's just how my life is. People with autism are HIGHLY capable of feeling STRONG attachments to other people. Yes, it is often difficult for them to read facial expressions and discern what someone else is feeling or thinking, but they can learn how to do it. Just because this aspect of interpersonal relationships is difficult for people on the spectrum, does not mean that it is impossible. It also does not mean that autistic people are violent. If a person who has autism is violent it is usually during a tantrum. It is generally not something that is well thought out or calculated. I have found quite the opposite to be true, people on the spectrum are INCREDIBLY affectionate, loving, and kind. It is a myth that they are not. It sounds like something else is wrong with this young boy. I bring up autism because Asperger's has been taken out of the DSM, it is no longer a diagnosis. It's just autism now.
When he acts out around his siblings, whether he is domineering or violent, he needs to be separated from them immediately. He should also be made to apologize to them and make amends, even if he doesn't want to. Until his parents will do something and acknowledge his problems it's going to be difficult to help him. It would scare me if a 9 year old called me and told me what to say too. Wow.
Get the child to a shrink asap. Let a professional make this call. Because it seems to me like he may be acting out because of xyz. That doesnt help. Or he could be a sociopath, that also wont help unless you hear it from a professional. Take him, regardless of what the parents say, something isnt right.
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