This patient support community is for discussions relating to the challenges of parenting children (age 6-12), including physical development, handling school & classes, emotional development, cognitive development, and games and activities.
We have a 6 year old boy living with us PT. His mom and dad divorced and they have 50/50 custody every other week.
Background: This boys parents believe in corporal punishment. I have known these people since this boy was born and starting at about one his Mother mainly would punish him with spankings. I'm not saying a hit on the bottom, I'm talking about pulling the pants down and beating him. We stopping socializing with them because of this. I just don't believe in treating anyone this way. Well the father is now living with us and the boy is here every other week and I do daycare.
My problem: I will list the problems I am having with this boy since there are so many. If anyone wants me to give further explanation let me know.
1. He soils his pants atleast once to twice a day and doesn't care. He will continue to play until an adult notices.
2. He hits constantly without a reson or remorse for hurting the other person. Very aggressive towards other kids.
3. He pulls his pants down and shows my daughter his penis and he tries to get her to show hers. He has in the past touched my daughter inappropriatly.
4. He is extremely hyperactive. He can't sit still for more than a few seconds.
5. Has no care about breaking the house rules or the rules at school. I will tell him not to do something and a few minutes later he is doing it again.
6. He will not make eye contact with you when speaking to him.
7. Every time I ask him why he has done something he says, "I don't know."
8. He doesn't seem to have any common sense. He will ride his bike into the neighbors fence and not seem to care if he gets hurt or hurts someone else.
9. He has no care about other peoples' or his own property. He will break things on purpose.
10. He lies all of the time. I will ask him if he did something and he will flat out lie.
11. He has peed on my bathroom floor on purpose. He was standing in the doorway going on the floor and then lied about it, even knowing I saw him.
I just don't know what to do. I'm at my wits end. Time-outs don't seem to work, he just doesn't care. Taking things away doen't matter to him either. He does go to counseling although it's only once every 3 weeks, I have told his Dad this is not good enough he needs to go more often, but I get excuses. His parents don't seem to think there is much wrong, or they have the attitude of, "boys will be boys". I have told his dad that if he shows his penis just once more I will not watch him anymore.
It's going to be hard to address this behaviour - because he lives in two places and there are obviously different views and discipline going on. That definately adds difficulty. The no care for injuring himself or someone else or their property worries me a bit.
Is there any way to get him to a child psychologist? Those behaviours - along with the hyper activity could be early development of anti-social disorder and/or ADD/ADHD which if the case and addressed now could probably curb some of that behaviour.
He could also just be defiant due to the other household - corporal punishment as used as you say it is/was has really become ineffective and made him hard shelled. He could just be acting out because of that.
I would suggest seeking professional help, if not for the child directly for you on how to start handling it. A behaviourist or pyshcologist could even come in and evaluate the situation and possibly give you tools to use.
He is going to counseling, however it's only once a month or so. I can't seem to instill in either parent that this child need help. They just brush it off as no big deal. His other babysitter is having the same problems and is at her wits end with this child too. She just told me that he and the dad came over last night and for no reason the 6 year old his her 4 year old daughter in the mouth and gave her a fat lip. The dad just said now you know that's not nice, don't do it again. Yeah, like that made an impression on the kid. I just don't know what to do.
Hm unfortunately if the parents are willing to recognize the problem you are limited in what you can do. I would suggest briging forth the idea of increasing how much counselling he recieves - what have those doctors said?
If it come down to it you may just need to have it out with the dad since he lives with you, if you feel you can talk to him. I think you're a bit stuck not being the parent and having parents who seem to not think there is a problem.
you could stop babysitting him - I bet they'd see something change if you two quit, as I 'm sure any other babysitter would end up doing as well. But if that's not an option - I mean, if you and the other sitter come together maybe there will be some strength in numbers.
The one question I have for you is, knowing beforehand the problems this other family has, why on earth would you even consider bringing the child and one of his abusers into your home? Why haven't you involved the proper authorities (i.e., family services, doctor, counselor, etc.) to handle this situation instead of trying to handle this difficult and complex situation by yourself? At least, call a hotline or gather guidance and support from an outside source yourself. You appear to be an "enabler", under the guise of being a "helper" (witness: Babysitter situation and you knowing the Father's inappropriate response - "The Dad just said now you know that's not nice, don't do it again. Yeah, like that made an impression on the kid."). Immediate intervention is warranted and required in dealing with this particular matter.
I understand that people find themselves in strange predicaments all of the time. You may be the childs only hope. If you are going to continue to allow this child in your home and are going to be responsible for him it is important to establish rules and at 6 years old he is certainly old enough to understand. I work with student with special needs on a severe and profound level his behavior is inappropriate and needs to be dealt with. Even if he does have ADD or ADHD his behavior is unacceptable and some may be attention oriented behavior especially with the break up of mom and dad. Not to mention why isn't he in school. A school will be able to better identify this situation and will seek documentation and counselors to deal with it. However, in the meantime I would set up rules with realistic consequences even try having the boy help you come up with the consequences. There has to be something that he likes that you can take away. Can't play with the other kids for 6 minutes, didn't earn the treat the other kids earned. Sometimes time outs don't work.
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