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#31 of 77 Old 05-12-2012, 10:17 AM
 
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my heart goes out to you, you have so much on your plate right now!  are you guys able to hire a young teenager to come in and be a mother's helper?  there are often kids in the homeschooling community would are available (cheap!) to come over and play with your kids and/or do a little light housework to help you out... or someone could come over after school for that always crazy 3 pm - dinner time period -- kids are often REALLY needy when coming in to a new family, and the more positive attention you can give him, the better... it doesn't mean you need to ignore your other kids, but you and your dh have a lot of lost time to make up for with your son, and while discipline and respect are important, fun and love and bonding and sympathy are going to go a lot further at this point... a great adoption related book that I'd highly recommend is 'the connected child' -- attachment based, which you're already doing with your first kids, but helpful strategies and most importantly, it has a lot of great insight into what your son is feeling, and better ways to view his behavior... hang in there, it will get better!!!!

I wrote this reply before I saw the 2nd page of this conversation, so I'll post it anyway..


it's the little, constant, all day long things that can drive you the craziest! ;-)  my two adopted kiddos also always feel they have to ask me a million times  to get them things that I am clearly in the process of getting them, lol... kids who have experienced neglect, trauma, abuse will always feel more insecure, and it takes a long time to get over that feeling.  I try to be patient, but I lose it occasionally too, or just take on a snappier tone than I need to.  I make up for it with extra hugs and love, and I try to be as patient as I can with their wounded little souls... it's hard though.  the more you read about it, the more you talk to other moms about it, the better it is, so keep doing that!  I also have learned not to worry too much about "things getting worse if we don't nip them in the bud" because children get MORE mature as they grow, not less mature, and their behavior will, in the absence of continued abuse, mental health issues, etc, get better, not worse.  I don't ever ignore problem behaviors (and I'm a bit more "strict" with my two youngest/adopted kids) and I agree with calm, rational discipline as soon as the offense occurs, every single time.  I don't always DO that, of course, lol... 

 

kids are also really naturally curious about each other's bodies, and I would let him watch diaper changes, but talk about not touching each other's genitals -- if he's curious, it's a good time to talk about appropriate behavior, etc....  when we adopted our kids, they were 3.5 years and 17 months old, and I knew that kids from orphanages often do a lot of genital play with each other, so I watched them like a hawk for many months -- not because I think my son is a sexual predator, but it's important to watch for signs, and monitor them so they don't have the opportunity... so I'd keep an eye on him, if you suspect possible abuse, but don't assume he's going to grow up sexually deviant, and allow for his normal curiosity -- help him feel good about his body, being respectful of other people's bodies, etc.... and counseling can never hurt.

hugs!


We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#32 of 77 Old 05-12-2012, 10:23 AM
 
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also, the peeing thing... try NOT to react to that, as hard as it is.  It sounds like the first time he was too sleepy to understand your directions to go to the bathroom, and maybe he now uses that tool, because he knows it bothers you, to bother you when he's feeling vulnerable, like after visits with his foster family... you might just have to get him up and carry him to the toilet (or have your husband do it if he's home at the time, even if it's when he's normally sleeping -- he can get up for 5 minutes to take his son to the bathroom that's part of parenting ;-)) -- even if you think he SHOULD be able to go to the bathroom by himself, regression is normal, and kids often want us to do things for them that they are capable of doing themselves, and it's all part of bonding.  don't make too big a deal of "accidents" just clean him up and move on.  I know it's hard, but the more he feels he can use it as a weapon against you, the worse it will be.... parenting traumatized children is entirely different than parenting other children, and you have to take a different approach... I'm glad you posted this in the adoption forum, as it's pretty much the same as adopting, even though he is your husband's biological son...

HUGS!!!!  


We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#33 of 77 Old 05-12-2012, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#34 of 77 Old 05-13-2012, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This was a vent, back off people.

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#35 of 77 Old 05-13-2012, 05:56 PM
 
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What is wrong with him undoing his pants?  maybe they were tight on his belly?

 

Have you made any phone calls for counseling?
 


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#36 of 77 Old 05-13-2012, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#37 of 77 Old 05-14-2012, 05:39 AM
 
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the problem with him undoing his pants, is that I have 2 little girls that were running around Sorry but I feel that is inappropriate and they don't need to see that also and I don't feel that they need to be exposed to him dropping his pants, like he was getting ready to do, . and no they were not tight on his belly I made sure of that when I put them on him this morning, and I have to wait until tomorrow morning to make calls for counceling, as today is sunday nowhere is open. He leaves the room when I change my daughter's diapers, and when it comes time for his bath my daughters stay out in our living room with my husband, he gets dried off and dressed in the bathroom and so do they. I can't be right on top of them every second of the day and him trying to drop his pants in front of six people at my mother in laws, how am i supposed to know he's not doing that kind of things in front of my girl's when I have my dog out? sorry if it sounds way overprotective but you better believe I am going to do whatever it takes to prevent anything happening to my kids. Not saying he would, but I don't know if anything like that has happened to him or if he would try to mimic it on someone else. Not taking the chance. Taking the chance isn't worth it. And believe me I can't wait for the counceling stuff to start only problem is I don't know if I can start him in it without medical insurance because his mom still hasn't given us his birth certificate and social security card to get him insurance. So as of right now until I can give the insurance company those things he doesn't have any.

 

Do you know what types of abuse he experienced? It is very possible that this was innocent, but you do need to know if he experienced sexual abuse. (FWIW my ds loves being naked, and really does not like getting dressed when we are at home. If we have guests, he's pretty likely to run around naked - and if he uses the bathroom at a friends house, he's pretty likely to stay naked as long as he can get away with it). I do think counseling is a good idea, but I also think that this is not a reason to panic - maybe he was hot and thought taking his clothes off would help him cool down?

 

As for the medical insurance, does he still have a social worker? Talk to her about that if he does. Also, your DH should be able to get his Birth Certificate from the state records if he is listed or has proof of paternity, and he should also be able to get his SS# from the SS Office.

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#38 of 77 Old 05-14-2012, 10:56 AM
 
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my son at 4 and my daughter at 2 took baths together.  I don't think I am alone here on this.  I don't know why he was unbuttoning his pants.  Did you ask him nicely what he was doing?  He is 4 years old I would think he could talk about this or maybe with his father?  You can explain to him that in your house you keep your clothes on at all times unless you are bathing and changing and that takes place in the bedroom if those are the rules at your house.

 

It seems very much to me that you perceive him as an intruder in your home and that he is a threat to your biological daughters safety in some way.  At this point you have not shared anything that really shows him being anything other then a little boy going through a transition into another family that he does not know the people or the rules and ways of the home which most likely differ from what he has been in up to this point.

 

I strongly encourage you to contact the social worker on his case and explain to her what you are seeing and your fears and maybe she can help point you in the right direction of who to contact.  I do not see anything you have described as being predatory at all.  Not one thing.  He is a little boy and I highly doubt he is looking at your daughters or at the diaper changes as anything other then normal curiousity- or wanting to be with you.

 

Please think of the ramifications on this child of you putting these labels on him- that you have no proof of... and really not any evidence of abnormal behavior.


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#39 of 77 Old 05-14-2012, 11:02 AM
 
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. sorry if it sounds way overprotective but you better believe I am going to do whatever it takes to prevent anything happening to my kids. Not saying he would, but I don't know if anything like that has happened to him or if he would try to mimic it on someone else. Not taking the chance. Taking the chance isn't worth it.

 

I thought when you took him into your home based upon your desire to adopt him potentially you were going to be treating him as one of your kids?  He is a boy- he is not a predator and nothing you have posted leads me to believe he is acting abnormally. 

 

If you are serious that you are going to do whatever it takes to prevent anything happening to one your kids- should he not be included in this and you would be taking steps to make sure you were not damaging him emotionally and mentally by treating him as a predator in his own home .....

 

The behaviors you are describing are normal little boy behavior.  And there is not a need to watch him like a hawk at this point I don't think.

 

What is your husband saying about this?

 

Just because his mom was abusive or neglectful or on drugs does not mean he was sexually abused and even if he was sexually abused does not mean he will be acting out with your daughters.

 

I was hoping once he was in your care he would have found a safe place where he could be loved.  It seems more to me like you are treating him as a threat to your nuclear family.  These are issues you need to face or admit to yourself this is not a good situation for you or for the little boy.


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#40 of 77 Old 05-14-2012, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#41 of 77 Old 05-14-2012, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#42 of 77 Old 05-14-2012, 03:01 PM
 
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I am just pointing out how this could be perceived based on what you are posting?  I think these feelings are normal and I hear them spoken about quite a bit on adoptive mom blogs- which I believe I have directed you.  My last comment is a little harsh and I apologize. 

Please reread what you have written though and see how it sounds to an outsider looking in. 
 


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#43 of 77 Old 05-14-2012, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#44 of 77 Old 05-14-2012, 07:02 PM
 
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BP you are safe here. You can vent about it. There are just lots of opinions and it is hard to weigh them all. It is so good to hear he is settling down some at Head Start. That is really awesome news.

 

One thing many of us know is that kids will often give their 'worst' to their primary caregivers--the parents taking care of them 24/7. This is because they do feel safe enough to show everything.  And you don't know for sure: his behavior could be normal, or it could be from being a traumatized child with inconsistent parenting. You did say, I think, on the other thread, that he was removed from his mom for abuse/neglect, so we can't completely ignore that some challenging things have happened to him. And when challenging things happen to kids, they try to make sense of it in many, many ways, including challenging behavior, even when they are safe and loved. So the behavior does have a "function"-- it is to try to adjust to the new home, the new family, by testing everything that seems firm and kind and safe.

 

The first thing I thought of when you said he was taking his button off was that maybe he was going to pee in her living room, since he has done that at home. But it is not out of line to be at least on the alert for sexualized behavior, depending on the circumstances of his placement into foster care. If his mom had many partners that were not well known,  or did not supervise him even in the neighborhood, he could have had some premature sexual experiences that were confusing to him.

 

Whatever is going on for him, all of you definitely deserve professional support to help guide you through it. I suspect there are many tough days ahead and then hopefully everyone will reach a place of equilibrium.
 

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#45 of 77 Old 05-15-2012, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#46 of 77 Old 05-17-2012, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#47 of 77 Old 05-17-2012, 05:11 PM
 
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Hugs. I'm sorry this has been so hard. It will get better - at least I hope so. I do think that the family could benefit from family counseling, these things are hard to deal with, and getting professional help might lessen the strain on you. Please don't take that as me saying you aren't strong enough - you are doing an amazing job and having some help will just make it easier I hope.
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#48 of 77 Old 05-17-2012, 05:51 PM
 
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You're in a hyper-intense period right now.  While I never added in an older child to the mix, the year of having 3 kids under 2 was very very difficult in my marriage.  I was sure we were going to be over;  but I'm glad I listened to another friend who said to not make any permanent declaration or decision until things had evened out with the kids.  Even the best relationships (DH and I had an almost fairy tale romance and marriage as far as nauseatingly wonderful and perfect--and we're pretty much sickening now!) can have some offroad moments and big speed bumps!  I second bringing in marriage counseling if you can swing it--NOT because there's something "wrong" with you, but to help you negotiate this time so that you minimize the damage when you've got two frazzled folks in a really intense time!
 

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#49 of 77 Old 05-18-2012, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#50 of 77 Old 05-18-2012, 10:12 AM
 
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I think counseling will help you guys so much... I hope you can get that ball rolling this week... 

please also be very gentle with your little guy when he pisses you off -- I KNOW how hard it is, believe me, but you have to remember how hard this is for him too, and how he is struggling to fit into your family.  getting angry and putting him in time-out won't solve the problems, you need to make sure you are calmly explaining the rules to him, and being loving and having fun with him too.   I'm sure you are, just wanted to offer a reminder, I know how much I needed them when our kids first came into our family.  

Have you read 'the connected child'?  it's a great book, I highly recommend it...

 

hang in there!

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We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#51 of 77 Old 05-20-2012, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#52 of 77 Old 05-20-2012, 12:22 PM
 
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Child Trauma Assistance
Your adopted child may have experienced
trauma. This can make it difficult for your child
to develop healthy attachments, relationships,
and behaviors. Despite your love, your lifelong
commitment to your child, and your safe,
nurturing home, your child may continue to
suffer from the effects of previous traumas. These
behaviors may include uncontrollable crying,
repetitive tantrums, withdrawn or aggressive
behavior, excessive clinginess, difficulty sleeping,
lack of concentration, anxiety, loss of hope, and
constant conflicts with others at home, school
and in the community.

 

 

 

I found this blurp on an adoption website.  The behavior your step son is exhibiting seem similar to what is described here.  Please get him help.  He is not a naughty boy-  he is a victim of his circumstance and is in need of counseling, unconditional love and a safe nurturing home.   He has been through a lot it seems.  Please try to be patient with him and seek out the support he needs. 
 


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#53 of 77 Old 05-20-2012, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#54 of 77 Old 05-20-2012, 01:29 PM
 
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Of course it is hard!  I am sorry they are not offering you more resources.  there are some books I think have been mentioned here you could order or try to get from the library and read while you are waiting.

 

I can try to get a list together for you, if you would like.

 

You don't have to go it alone- I am just trying to offer you a gentle suggestion as to what is really going on here and his behavior is just an outlet for his feelings that are most likely badly damaged.

 

SO ... what I am suggesting is to not concentrate so much on the behavior, concentrate on his heart and soul and figure out a way to find the good in him and build on that.


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#55 of 77 Old 05-20-2012, 01:33 PM
 
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. I don't get it.

 

 

I am just trying to help you get it is all.

 

This is going to take empathy and understanding and love.  Children are very perceptive of our feelings .... I hope you can reach down and find some good in this child and build on that. 

 

For an exercise-

Think of 3 things you like about this boy- your step son.


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#56 of 77 Old 05-20-2012, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#57 of 77 Old 05-20-2012, 02:57 PM
 
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Huge hugs Brascos. I think what is going on is very much like taking one step forward and then 2 steps back. Progress is slow, and uneven. And, of course he's mad that you won't let him do whatever he wants!! That doesn't mean you let him though - I tell my ds 'it is my job to keep you safe. When I say no it is because doing my job'

When he has these meltdowns, rather than your DH having a heart to heart can he do an activity with dss? Reading a favorite book, baking something, playing chase at the park? Doesn't matter what it is - just something to help build the connection.

Also - do not be worried about the social worker. She will not remove a child from a home based on a few words from a 4yo. Especially if he is well fed, dressed, and in a loving environment - which he is.
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#58 of 77 Old 05-20-2012, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#59 of 77 Old 05-20-2012, 04:55 PM
 
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our adopted son tells us he hates us all the time.  he says "I'll kill you" or "I'm going to punch you in the face!" but he doesn't mean it.  kids are good at figuring out which phrases piss you off the most, and they use those ones when they are feeling insecure -- it takes a LONG time to build trust, to build attachment, etc, and until you have a good foundation with your son, he really has no reason to want to please you... it just takes time, and an otherworldly amount of patience. and love. and it takes time to build those things, especially when a kid, who is essentially a stranger to you, is living in your home, treating your kids like crap.  It's ok, it's natural to want to protect YOUR kids, and it will take a bit of time to start seeing him as YOUR kid -- it's ok to feel that, it's ok to admit that you don't quite feel the same way about him YET that you do about your bio kids -- that's normal, and it's ok, and it will come in time. Try not to be defensive, everyone here is trying to help you, and most of us have been exactly where you are now.  Your social worker will understand that at age 4, just about all a kid has in his arsenal, when he's feeling vulnerable and needs to build that wall back up, is to lash out at you guys, even the baby, lol.... especially that dang baby, who everyone loves and forgives so easily!!  this is all really normal stuff, and it's actually a good thing that he is willing to lash out at you guys, it means he trusts you enough to try to irritate you, but he hasn't settled in enough to realize that he doesn't have to try to push you away.  when you punish him for his behavior, by taking away privileges or putting him in time-out, you're not building the relationship -- you can't really parent traumatized kids the same way you would parent other kids -- yes, you need to be consistent in helping him learn the rules, but that often involves more creative discipline strategies -- time-ins (where you sit holding him), or time-outs where they stay near you, rather than excluding them from the family are better... taking things away from him as punishment will probably backfire, unless it's something he's using to hurt people... it's not easy, you need a lot of creative strategies... have you read 'Playful Parenting'?  It's not an adoption focused discipline book, but it's a great way to get past punitive measures for "bad" behavior.

 

as for birth certificate and social security card, is your husband on your son's birth certificate yet?  look up 'vital statistics' in your state, and it should tell you what you need to get a new birth certificate.  go into the social security office and ask what you need to do to get a new card for your son.  It seems like a difficult process, but it really isn't if you just take small bites out of it -- your social worker will not likely have a lot of time for walking you through the forms, etc -- go straight to the source, they will let you know what you need to do, and it's not complicated, unless your husband's paternity hasn't been recognized yet.  These might be things he has to do, since he is the dad -- set aside a morning this week to work on this together, so you can get counseling going asap -- have you asked your social worker if there are free counseling services for him through the state?  Don't pretend for the social worker -- be honest and ask her/his help getting the help your son needs -- social workers are well aware that kids have a hard time settling into new homes, especially after such a traumatic beginning in life.

 

hang in there!!
 


We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#60 of 77 Old 05-20-2012, 07:55 PM
 
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um excuse me I do have empathy and understanding and love. And I don't have to reach deep down to find some good things in him because I know there is a lot more than three things that I like about him. To even say that to me is extremely offensive and pisses me off.

 

 

Quote:
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I am just trying to help you get it is all.

 

This is going to take empathy and understanding and love.  Children are very perceptive of our feelings .... I hope you can reach down and find some good in this child and build on that. 

 

For an exercise-

Think of 3 things you like about this boy- your step son.


I know you are venting here but you are not conveying any of those things not that you have to... vent away. 


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