Edited by BrascosPrincess - 5/22/12 at 11:05am
Everything sounds normal but of course knowing that doesnt make it easier to deal with!
my four yr old often says he hates me, thats just part of his personality. You can just consistently say something like "i know you are feeling angry/sad/disappointed right now. Its not ok to tell me you hate me but you can say "i feel MAD"" or something like that....
its great he stays dry at night. My two dont :( They also wake up at night so at least thats something. I suspect the rivalry will calm down a bit, but that many small kids can be hard even if there werent all the other issues. I would just keep modelling good behavior "we dont scream in other kids faces but you can say "i would like to play with that please" or however the situation is going. When my daughter came at age 8 she was CONSTANTLY getting in my two yr olds face, grabbing toys, teasing, being mean. I couldnt go to the bathroom w/o her getting in his face, and he started biting in retaliation...it was hard for me to blame him! Thankfully she doesnt often do that stuff anymore (she is 10.)
I think with time he'll settle down...he just has to learn what is acceptable in your family. Might be worth talking to his teacher to see how his behavior is there (is it a school he's been going to or a new school?) Plus, my kids go to head start and i've found they LOVE when parents touch base, are involved, are on the same side and they dont feel like you're going to be pissed if they tell you about behavior issues or whatever. If he's had behavior problems all along then maybe he needs a little more intervention, maybe play therapy or something...your worker might have some ideas about that..oh and head start is usually great about referring you to community resources that can be helpful.
Family guy...sigh....my daughter would try to sneak and watch that, and while i am super laid back, i just didnt think it was acceptable. She did ALOT of unacceptable things (just things she'd say mostly, or telling lies, whatever) that really calmed down once she'd been here for a bit. I think you'll see a big change in him after six months and then a year.
So glad to hear from you and to know the good is outweighing the bad! It all sounds pretty normal for a hard transition. Giving the kids some space is a great idea right now. Also, it is very common for kids who have been through trauma to misplace their anger. I hope the other mom's here have some advice.
when you say he is putting toys on top of each other and squishing down the bottom parts, are you saying that he is mimicking sexual behavior with dolls? didn't you mention that there are sexual abuse allegations somewhere along the line with his mom or one of her previous partners or something? I might be mis-remembering what you have said, but this raises a bit of a red flag with me, and I'd definitely mention it to a counselor when you find one, and the caseworker too... sooner than later.... it would be horrible if it came out later and you or your husband were blamed... it may turn out to be nothing, but he should have the opportunity to talk with a counselor...
all the rest of it will mellow out in time, as he adjusts to your family, learns to trust, learns how to communicate, etc.... it's a hard transition, hang in there!! hugs!!
Well... this is all to common. I know my mom had similar feelings towards me... that all sounds sort of like relatively normal behaviour- I suggest you all go to family counseling and you read some books on adoption. Raising a child who has had trauma and is not your biological child is different then raising your own kids.... with time you can love him and things will get better... but right now is a transition for all of you and you owe it to him and to your other kids to deal with these feelings you are having towards him.
Brascos - I feel that way towards my son all the time (he's been mind since I found out I was preggers). It's the age (I hope!) partly, and partly he's adjusting.
I think family counseling could be useful to your family, but not because of the things you described above - thats normal. He's being annoying, and thats age appropriate unfortunately. The bossiness too - my ds talks like that sometimes. I just ignore it, and I'm pretty sure they grow out of it.
if i didnt love him just as much as i love my children that are biologically mine i would not have encouraged and supported my husband every step of the way of getting custody of him and i would not have taken it on when i already have alot on my plate with three children under 3. and yes i know it is a transition for all of us, and it's not feelings toward him it's feelings of frustration in general. frustations that my husband and i both share and have been talking about. if i didn't care about him and love him i wouldn't be on here discussing it or be his primary caregiver 24/7
Of course you're frustrated!! And thats OK. It actually sounds like you're doing a great job of being really patient with him - I'm not nearly as patient as you seem to be with my own ds - I yell far too often (although with 3 kids already you must have much more patience than I do)
I did not mean to say you did not love him! I just think you need to research about raising kids who have had trauma- I yell at my kids to ( :( ) Tho I read what I wrote and can see that I did say that. I think I meant you will be more used to him and he won't bother you so much.
I think its normal in transition and eventually he will know how things work at your house- and some of it is probably just what he is accustomed to with his life before- it will take time for him to assimilate.
This is my life! My kid who has survived trauma is constantly assuming she will get less than other kids.
For the record I agree that it sounds like you are doing an AMAZING job. Feel free to vent, we understand how frustrating it can be.