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Unread 09-23-2017, 02:13 PM   #21
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Hearing the rude and ill-informed comments looking to blame this child's behavior on the mother-- just because she used artificial insinuation to conceive her children-- is extremely disheartening. Children raised by single parents and gay parents can be just as well-adjusted as children raised by a mother and father. Leave the prejudice out of this thread, which is about how to help the OP who is deciding whether or not she wants to continue working for this family. Calling artificial insemination and single mothers amoral is extremely offensive. Are you next going to call widows raising children amoral?
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Unread 09-23-2017, 04:13 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Rayne Selene View Post
The moment I walked in today, their mom said, "Please don't quit on me!" Hello, guilt within five minutes of her leaving, I had been punched in the mouth again. So....yeah. I'm definitely done.
I think their mother does understand her child needs help, she may not know how to go about it, or feel that getting him help would be admitting she failed in some way. I see her saying "don't quit on me" as a compliment to you. She respects you, Rayne, and she us terrified of having to deal with him alone.

I think she knows that other nannies wouldn't stay for nearly as long as you have. You developed a connection with these boys and her, and that is why it's so hard for you to leave, I believe. But I also think you quitting might be what it takes for her to get him the help he needs. The last straw, so to speak.

Losing such a caring and competent nanny can be heartbreaking for any family... maybe try telling her that you just cannot put up with his behavior and the risk to your bodily safety anymore. She needs to try to help her son, for herself and for the other boy.

But as much as you care for all three of them, you do need to take care of yourself first and foremost.
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Unread 09-23-2017, 04:28 PM   #23
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. . . This kid clearly has behavioral problems that I didn't sign up for. Is it wrong that I want to leave? . . .
Can you think of a rationale whereby an argument could be made that it is wrong for you to want to leave?

Suppose a poster replies, "Yes, Rayne, it is wrong for you to leave?" Are you earnestly willing to entertain that?

If you knew someone who was in your situation, could you think of some good reasons to encourage them to stay on?

We live in an era of changing ideas about right and wrong. Some things that were once considered wrong are no longer considered wrong. I applaud a good many of those changes. I'm glad that most parents no longer feel they have to be ashamed of a daughter who gets pregnant out of wedlock, or a son who falls in love with someone else's son. The judgementalism that those scenarios used to evoke didn't do anyone any good. So we are living at a time when we are seeing life for everyone improved by people letting go of some old notions about what need or needn't be condemned. In attempting to be on board the spirit of that new zeitgeist, people are sometimes losing confidence that they have any right to think anything is wrong? Like, shouldn't everyone's choices be respected? I think that can be taken too far.

We find a woman saying, "I'm thinking of leaving my husband because he beats me black and blue and broke my jaw last month. Am I wrong to feel that way?" (We've got threads like that.) It's like we have come to attach some virtue in going around open to everythng and accepting of anything. In contrast to being a society where we used to be quick to criticize, the new ideal seems to be that no one's choices should be critiqued. This woman you work for made a choice she had a legal right to make. There's no law against a woman having children via the services of a sperm bank. It's not particularly my business how anyone's child came into being, and I'm not looking to try and make it so. However, I do believe there is a price for everything in life. For a woman to decide to have children without enlisting the services of a loving and devoted father is, in my opinion, risky business. She thought it would work out okay, and it hasn't. I'm sorry for her . . . and for the kid.

Sometimes it does work out. Shouldn't anyone who wants children have a right to them? I'm not sure there is such a right, morally. It's become politically correct to defend that as a right, though we've never really had a national discussion and debate about the morality of it. It might not matter if we did because people are going to do what they're going to do. We've pretty much decided that controlling people's reproductive choices is not consistent with our ideals of personal freedom . . . and I agree with that. In any case, this is not the place for me to introduce that topic.

However, if you're going to more or less rebuke my post as being close-minded, intolerant and inappropriately insulting of this mother, then I have a question: What did you want this thread to be about? I don't think a five year old chooses to be a little monster. Even if this kid literally killed someone, he would not be charged with murder because the law does not hold five year olds responsible. So is it appropriate for us to just chime in with: "Wow, what a right little devil this kid is?" You seem to not mind that. Is this thread about you needing help to work your way through a quandary? Are you confused about whether or not you you should object to being chewed and punched and having your blouse ripped away?

I guess I'm confused. Something needs to be done. I don't hold the kid responsible for solving this mess. And it is a mess of a situation. I'm not saying the mother isn't earnestly doing the best she knows how to do. I strongly suspect she is. I suspect that you've done a job as nanny that's as good as that mother is going to get from anyone she hires. So does that mean that the mom and you should just carry on doing as you've been doing? The mom seems to think so. She's implored you not to "quit." Where do you think that's going to lead to?

It is because I think the mom has done the best she knows how that I say she is in over her head. She got into the business of child rearing thinking that a heart full of love is basically enough. It's not. She was brave and she took a risk. A dad in the home correlates with better outcomes for kids, especially male children. As you say, it's not a guarantee. And some wonderful men have been raised by women without partners. All of that is moot, now, because the kids are here, and their father agreed to provide sperm and nothing more. Too late to get him involved.

I've lived long enough to be able to read between lines. This kid didn't wake up this way the other morning. This is just the latest escalation. The mother needs to come up with a better game plan than asking you to please not give up on her and Junior, inducing your guilt, summoning up your pity for her plight - which is pitiable. She needs to face reality and not even want to put you at risk. She needs help . . . way beyond what you can provide.

Yes, this kid "set out to hurt, intentionally." This behavior was not a product of autism. This kid is failing to develop the rudimentary moral compass that even five year olds who are developmentally delayed typically do manage to have in place. This is an issue of transmitting moral values to a developing child. Even nice people can fail at that. An argument can be made that the kid is just a bad seed . . . that he'ld be a little monster no matter what kind of a home he were born into. I don't believe that - which is simply my opinion and anyone can reject it.
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Unread 09-23-2017, 04:44 PM   #24
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This has been going on since Cain and Abel. Look who their parents were. Their Grandparents!!
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Unread 09-23-2017, 06:03 PM   #25
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Good point, luna. That's why I don't believe in being mad at parents for everything that goes wrong in the lives of their children. If that were true, then everyone's problems could be traced back to Adam and Eve. (Wait a minute . . . isn't that what they told us in Sunday school? You know - original sin and all?)

Evolution used to mainly be about experimenting with different gene combinations. That's no longer true for humans. We no longer evolve to adapt to our environment. Instead, we control our environment and change it to suit how we are. Now, evolution is about experimenting with different ideas. Good people can have bad ideas . . . ideas that just don't work out. Adam Lanza's mother thought that immersing herself and her son in the gun culture would be a good outlet for the both of them. Going to the shooting range together has been a positive bonding experience for some parents and their children. It wasn't for the Lanza family of Newtown, CT. I suspect Adam's mother was a decent person who meant well. She knew her son was pretty disturbed. She cared deeply and worried greatly. (She told one sitter not to leave young Adam alone for even the time it takes to use the bathroom.) Maybe, in a world without violent video games, Adam might not have felt inspired to shoot up the local grammar school. Parents aren't the only source of the ideas that kids pick up. Kids pick up ideas, and their brains generate some ideas spontaneously. A brain left to itself can generate lots of bad ideas, which is why minds need to be fed a consistent diet of good ideas, especially when they are young and developing. Giving kids hugs isn't enough.

Most adults don't relish being alone without someone to love and be loved by. This mother was a woman who had not found her soul mate. That's a lonely way to live. So she brings a couple of kids into that scenario. She may naively have believed that her life would then feel less lonely. I don't know anyone raising a kid who thinks doing it alone is the way to go. Hardest job in the world and good to have a partner in doing it. I have no reason to doubt that impression that this woman is a good person. But I think she's got an approach to life that isn't working for her.
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Unread 09-23-2017, 08:09 PM   #26
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Good point, luna. That's why I don't believe in being mad at parents for everything that goes wrong in the lives of their children. If that were true, then everyone's problems could be traced back to Adam and Eve. (Wait a minute . . . isn't that what they told us in Sunday school? You know - original sin and all?)

Evolution used to mainly be about experimenting with different gene combinations. That's no longer true for humans. We no longer evolve to adapt to our environment. Instead, we control our environment and change it to suit how we are. Now, evolution is about experimenting with different ideas. Good people can have bad ideas . . . ideas that just don't work out. Adam Lanza's mother thought that immersing herself and her son in the gun culture would be a good outlet for the both of them. Going to the shooting range together has been a positive bonding experience for some parents and their children. It wasn't for the Lanza family of Newtown, CT. I suspect Adam's mother was a decent person who meant well. She knew her son was pretty disturbed. She cared deeply and worried greatly. (She told one sitter not to leave young Adam alone for even the time it takes to use the bathroom.) Maybe, in a world without violent video games, Adam might not have felt inspired to shoot up the local grammar school. Parents aren't the only source of the ideas that kids pick up. Kids pick up ideas, and their brains generate some ideas spontaneously. A brain left to itself can generate lots of bad ideas, which is why minds need to be fed a consistent diet of good ideas, especially when they are young and developing. Giving kids hugs isn't enough.

Most adults don't relish being alone without someone to love and be loved by. This mother was a woman who had not found her soul mate. That's a lonely way to live. So she brings a couple of kids into that scenario. She may naively have believed that her life would then feel less lonely. I don't know anyone raising a kid who thinks doing it alone is the way to go. Hardest job in the world and good to have a partner in doing it. I have no reason to doubt that impression that this woman is a good person. But I think she's got an approach to life that isn't working for her.
This is really, really becoming unproductive and irrelevant to the original discussion. I came here for perspective on whether this behavior is normal, whether there's something I can do to help, and whether it's time to leave. I also needed to discuss my own emotions and mental health regarding the situation. I think all of these points have been addressed and I've seen some really great advice. But again--again!!--this IS NOT ABOUT THEIR MOTHER. I'm really disappointed in the turn this conversation has taken, and I would really appreciate it if future comments and posts could stay on track.
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Unread 09-23-2017, 09:04 PM   #27
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This is really, really becoming unproductive and irrelevant to the original discussion. I came here for perspective on whether this behavior is normal, whether there's something I can do to help, and whether it's time to leave. I also needed to discuss my own emotions and mental health regarding the situation. I think all of these points have been addressed and I've seen some really great advice. But again--again!!--this IS NOT ABOUT THEIR MOTHER. I'm really disappointed in the turn this conversation has taken, and I would really appreciate it if future comments and posts could stay on track.
I hope my last comment wasn't upsetting... I think the best thing for both boys would be to get into therapy or treatment of some sort. Even tho Toby is the one showing problems, I think his brother needs some support as well. I worry that he seemed to just sit and let his brother attack him in the car, and that may mean that he believes Toby's behavior is normal and just how brothers are. They are both still so young, and getting therapy for them both could really help and prevent any problems from getting worse or new ones showing up later on.

I still think, tho, that your safety and emotional well being is most important. I know you care about both boys, and their mother, so much. I don't think you would even be asking this question if you didn't. But no one deserves to go to work every day with the fear of getting hurt...

I wonder, have you ever done DBT? One of the things they teach is a pros and cons list, but it's a little different than normal. Basically, they make a square, and then split it into 4 squares. So, two columns and two rows. On the columns would be "stay" and "quit" for this. One the rows are "pros" and "cons." Then you fill in each square with the combination of the two, so the pros of staying and the pros of quitting, and then the cons for each. (Sorry if the explanation is too much, I have a habit of explaining things to death.) It helps to get an idea of all sides, and for me, it also helps to look at which square has more items but also some things may be more important to me than others.

It seems like this is a hard decision for you. Is there anything you can do, for you? Go to a movie, take a bath and just soak and relax, sit and read at a coffee shop? Maybe taking some time to care for yourself may help clear you mind and help with looking at what you feel is right, for you, in this situation.
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Unread 09-23-2017, 10:07 PM   #28
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I hope my last comment wasn't upsetting... I think the best thing for both boys would be to get into therapy or treatment of some sort. Even tho Toby is the one showing problems, I think his brother needs some support as well. I worry that he seemed to just sit and let his brother attack him in the car, and that may mean that he believes Toby's behavior is normal and just how brothers are. They are both still so young, and getting therapy for them both could really help and prevent any problems from getting worse or new ones showing up later on.

I still think, tho, that your safety and emotional well being is most important. I know you care about both boys, and their mother, so much. I don't think you would even be asking this question if you didn't. But no one deserves to go to work every day with the fear of getting hurt...

I wonder, have you ever done DBT? One of the things they teach is a pros and cons list, but it's a little different than normal. Basically, they make a square, and then split it into 4 squares. So, two columns and two rows. On the columns would be "stay" and "quit" for this. One the rows are "pros" and "cons." Then you fill in each square with the combination of the two, so the pros of staying and the pros of quitting, and then the cons for each. (Sorry if the explanation is too much, I have a habit of explaining things to death.) It helps to get an idea of all sides, and for me, it also helps to look at which square has more items but also some things may be more important to me than others.

It seems like this is a hard decision for you. Is there anything you can do, for you? Go to a movie, take a bath and just soak and relax, sit and read at a coffee shop? Maybe taking some time to care for yourself may help clear you mind and help with looking at what you feel is right, for you, in this situation.
Not at all, you've been great.

Some updates: their mother is getting Toby into behavioral therapy. It takes time, but she has immediately moved to take that action. I agree, it might be good for his brother to get in as well (though he most definitely didn't just sit there. He kicked and clawed and screamed, but he was held stationary by his seatbelt before I could pull Toby off. It all happened very fast.) Unfortunately, I don't know whether it's my place to advise that, and ultimately everything will be up to their mom moving forward.

I've definitely made my decision, and I've applied for several jobs. I will give notice when I have solid prospects (a girl's gotta eat..). Meanwhile, I don't plan to just walk out. I want to give her notice and time to find a replacement. I told her very clearly, though, that I will not tolerate the hitting and biting in the future, and will immediately call her or the boys' grandmother to come and help if the situation escalates again.

At this point, I just feel sad and guilty and terrible. I am the type who always has to help, and feel awful when I can't. I've grown very attached to this family, and I will miss the boys very, very much. This isn't a normal job, and the separation is going to be really hard. Toby's twin, who is very bright and very sensitive, reads situations very quickly and accurately...I haven't said anything yet to them about leaving, but yesterday, he suddenly pulled me into a fierce hug and whispered, "Please don't leave me a'cuz of Toby. I love you too much." I nearly broke down. I know what I need to do and why I need to do it, but it hurts a lot. Families always say they'll stay in touch, but they never do. Goodbye will probably be forever.
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Unread 09-23-2017, 10:54 PM   #29
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I'm glad his brother tried to fight back. I can just imagine how difficult that hug from him was... I would have started crying right there... He's gonna miss you and you are gonna miss all of them. Please, be gentle with yourself thru all of this.
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Unread 09-24-2017, 04:57 PM   #30
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, but this is way out of my depth. I'm worried about my ability to handle it as well; I was SO angry with him after yesterday, I worry that in the future, I won't be able to remain calm, and might end up spanking/slapping out of anger, which I have never done to any child. That anger scares me. You're all right, time to move on
Do not continue with this job and find a more suitable career. You have a degree and have choices and there is no need for you to stay in a job that makes you feel like this.
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