I had DYFS called on me. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 05-19-2010, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
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And I'm not sure what to do, I already spoke with the intake person and I'm a little freaked out, but he said that he wasn't concerned and it didn't seem like there was a threat.

This comes at the tail end of many issues we've been having with my DS9, who has been behaving in ways, and saying things, to get attention from as many people as possible (along with many other issues). The worst thing he's come up with lately is that he wants to kill himself. I know he doesn't understand the magnitude of what he's saying, when we discussed it he wasn't even aware that it was permanent. I spoke with his psychologist who said that his gut feeling was that it was a bid for attention, and that DS9 has us at a catch 22, because we can't ignore it but we can't give him the kind of attention he wants.

In the end, what actually led to the call was the 20 minutes my son was left home alone on Sunday night. Doors were locked, he had strict instructions, a cellphone and my landlady came home early to watch him which is why he was left alone for 20 minutes, she was en route and we had to leave. Come Monday he told someone at his school who reported me for neglect.

I feel like sh** over this whole situation. My son has been having so many problems at home, and at school. He has been causing just as many problems both places, and all of this reflects back on me. I have tried to be as cooperative and open as possible to help my son and to help his school and therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist help my son. I feel like they were just looking for a reason to report me.

I'm just so burnt out, and scared. Do you guys have any sage advice? I'm going to go bonkers over here.
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#2 of 8 Old 05-19-2010, 12:26 AM
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I don't have much advice, except that I would probably be cooperative if they do further investigate. That's just me, though, and I know others are more hesitant to give any info w/o a lawyer or let anyone inside w/o a warrant - so hopefully you'll get some suggestions as to how to proceed.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this, and I'm sorry your DS is having such a hard time. I wish you weren't in the position where you felt you had to leave him home, even temporarily, b/c even though there are some 9 yo's who are okay without an adult, I can see why the school worried enough to intervene. Maybe it wasn't the only reason they called, but they likely thought they were dong the right thing to keep your son safe.

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#3 of 8 Old 05-19-2010, 12:33 AM
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WOW I don't even think that would be reported here...unless of course he made it sound like it was a lot longer than 20 mins.

the only upside I can *possibly* see to it is maybe you will get some new ideas on help for DS? Could only hope...

other than that *hugs* what a bunch of stress!

lovin DH since 1/04, best mom for my 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), one 13 wk (10/13) and 5/15 just your average multigenerational living family!!
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#4 of 8 Old 05-19-2010, 01:24 AM
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talk to them about your situation at home. sometimes, if you get the right worker, they can be very helpful. they might have advice on where to go for respite care or groups to go to, anything like that.

i have been here, hon, and i feel for you. did they say anything about a home visit?

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#5 of 8 Old 05-19-2010, 01:36 AM
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I think that I'm a pretty safety-concious parent and a stickler for "better safe than sorry" and maybe verge ever-so-slightly into helicopter parenting. But I fail to see how leaving a 9 year old alone for 20 minutes is a big deal.

Child Services must follow up with every call that they receive. And while it sounds like you have your hands full, it also sounds like you are handling your situation perfectly well.

My guess is that this will be an open and shut case. Obviously, there are no certainties in life so I can't promise it, and you might get a psycho social worker. But hopefully they will come to your house, see that you don't lock him in the basement for hours a day, and either say "sorry to waste your time" or give you a little verbal slap on the wrist and say "weeeell, everything else is fine so just don't do it again and we'll call it a day." I would cooperate and make sure that your house is reasonably clean, but don't lose sleep over it. You might want to contact the psychologist. I can pretty much guarantee you that he's had some other parents who have been reported, rightly or wrongly, and he might be able to offer some advice. At the very least you can give a heads up that you'll be passing along his name and number as a reference if needed.

Good luck!

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#6 of 8 Old 05-19-2010, 10:01 AM
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I'm sorry your DS is having so many issues and that DYFS was called on you. I don't mean this to sound mean but if your son is having as many problems as you say, it wasn't a good idea to leave him alone even for 20 minutes. Can the therapist speak to DYFS on your behalf and let them know they are treating your son? Good luck with everything.
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#7 of 8 Old 05-19-2010, 02:25 PM
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Slightly OT but I'd find a different psychologist.
I'd try to find the root of your DS's issues before passing it off as a bid for attention.

My DS, was 6 when he started saying that he wanted to kill himself, that he'd be better off dead, etc.
Turns out a bully at school and on the bus was calling him names (stupid, silly stuff) but when DS threatened to tell the boy said that then everyone would hate him (DS) and he might as well just kill himself and make everyone happy. This went on for almost two months.
Once it all came out he stopped saying it and gradually regained some confidence and security. (with much work on all our parts and an awesome Tae Kwon Do instructor/class)
However he's still a child who struggles in school, with self esteem and has few friends, so is a target for some kids.

Just thought I'd share that and hopefully didn't offend you as that isn't my intention at all.

As for DYFS, I wouldn't worry too much, there are always going to be people who hear things from children and take them out of context.
This person probably over heard "I got to stay home by myself Sunday night" and promptly stopped listening, only focusing on his/her beliefs or fears, and called.

What about calling them back and explaining what's going on with your DS. They might just know of some programs/workshops/activities in the community that might boost his confidence, help him cope with his emotions, etc ?
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#8 of 8 Old 05-20-2010, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by childsplay View Post
Slightly OT but I'd find a different psychologist.
I'd try to find the root of your DS's issues before passing it off as a bid for attention.
This is what I was going to say as well. Nine-year-olds can be suicidal and *do* kill themselves. In fact, it's happening with greater frequency now than in the past. Please don't ignore suicidal talk as "a cry for attention," especially if your son is having all sorts of other problems. Even if he's not truly suicidal, something is going on. Maybe he does need more attention or a specific type of attention he's not getting and doesn't have the words to tell you. I hate to see people dismiss talk of suicide as "just" attention-seeking behavior. That would worry me much more than the 20 minutes alone.

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