12 yo "friend" biting my 9 yo, advice? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 05-02-2014, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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9yo ds and I live in the same house as my bf and his two boys, 16 and 12. 

 

Our two families  live in the same building, but bf's kids are his and ds is mine, we often don't even eat meals together.  That may be beside the point, but I think it affects the relationships among the boys, and has prevented me, until now, from taking an active role in their upbringing.

 

The 12 year old looses control of himself kind of a lot, and one of the manifestations of that is that he hits, kicks, throws things at, and, recently, bites, my son.  Until the most recent episode of biting (it was hard, left a large abrasion through clothing and a nasty bruise) I had been leaving the choices and implementation of discipline lessons and consequences up to his parents.  Mom lives very nearby. 

 

They choose to talk with him: they let him know that certain acts will lead to people not liking him, and that they don't like it when he does them.  They listen to his story and his feelings and accept his apology and insist that he apologize to my ds and me.  The behaviors continue.

 

I have now asked for and been granted the right to send mr. 12yo to his room while his dad and I consult on what to do, should something like this happen again.  I have also, I think, convinced at least my bf that some change needs to happen, if we're to expect different results, and have his ear to suggest something.

 

It's obvious to me that we need to be making sure that this kid's needs for attention and empathy are met without his having to act out. 

 

What else do you think I should suggest as far as ensuring that my son's right to not be attacked in his home is protected?  Is there a combination of boundaries and consequences that you've set with siblings or step-siblings that have worked and I can learn from?  Only having one kid myself, this kid-on-kid violence is something I've never had to navigate before and I could use some wisdom from those of you who have.


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#2 of 11 Old 05-02-2014, 08:57 PM
 
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Is the 12 year old in counseling? I would think that a 12 year old who is out of control enough that he's biting people needs some serious help with anger management. 

 

When are these episodes happening? Have you seen it happen? Is there something that seems to trigger it?

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#3 of 11 Old 05-03-2014, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He has been in counseling on and off and is on Adderall.  These things tend to happen in the late afternoon after school is out, usually in the course of physical play like wrestling or "king of the hill."  Sometimes though he'll just initiate something like my ds is riding his bike and Mr. 12yo starts throwing things at him. 

 

I'd insist that he go back to counseling, but neither of his folks can afford it right now.  Interestingly, his mom is an Inner Empathy counselor; I wonder what the dynamic is around working with your own kids in that way.

 

OK Thanks.  I'm still mostly at a loss.  If anyone has ideas, I would love to hear them!

 

ETA, for fuller disclosure: 12yo also lies and steals things, seemingly compulsively, and without convincing displays of remorse.  He has plenty of reasons to be envious and jealous of ds and me and to feel resentful of what might seem to him to be my pushing his mom away from the family.    I feel compassion for him, and also think his actions are inappropriate and a threat to my and my ds's safety.   He's the youngest of three, the oldest of whom bullied him until he went off to college this year.  His mom is diagnosed and on and off medicated bipolar and frequently breaks dates with him.  Still, the behavior is unacceptable to me, besides being generally socially unacceptable, and I would like to help him learn to behave more appropriately, for his sake and mine, and what his parents have been doing has not helped.


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#4 of 11 Old 05-03-2014, 07:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokonutmama View Post
 

He has been in counseling on and off and is on Adderall.  These things tend to happen in the late afternoon after school is out, usually in the course of physical play like wrestling or "king of the hill."  Sometimes though he'll just initiate something like my ds is riding his bike and Mr. 12yo starts throwing things at him. 

 

I'd insist that he go back to counseling, but neither of his folks can afford it right now.  Interestingly, his mom is an Inner Empathy counselor; I wonder what the dynamic is around working with your own kids in that way.

 

OK Thanks.  I'm still mostly at a loss.  If anyone has ideas, I would love to hear them!

 

ETA, for fuller disclosure: 12yo also lies and steals things, seemingly compulsively, and without convincing displays of remorse.  He has plenty of reasons to be envious and jealous of ds and me and to feel resentful of what might seem to him to be my pushing his mom away from the family.    I feel compassion for him, and also think his actions are inappropriate and a threat to my and my ds's safety.   He's the youngest of three, the oldest of whom bullied him until he went off to college this year.  His mom is diagnosed and on and off medicated bipolar and frequently breaks dates with him.  Still, the behavior is unacceptable to me, besides being generally socially unacceptable, and I would like to help him learn to behave more appropriately, for his sake and mine, and what his parents have been doing has not helped.


Why are you still living there?  Your son deserves to feel, and BE, safe in his own home. 

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#5 of 11 Old 05-03-2014, 10:39 AM
 
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Bumping to offer moral support and to see if this can get the attention of someone with similar experience.
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#6 of 11 Old 05-03-2014, 10:50 AM
 
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"Why are you still living there?  Your son deserves to feel, and BE, safe in his own home. "

 

I think I have to agree with the above.  This does not seem to be a good situation for your son at all. If you want to be in relationship with the father - probably best if you and your son are not living there. It sounds like the 12 year old is hurting and he probably does not want you or your son around.  Your son deserves to have a safe home.

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#7 of 11 Old 05-03-2014, 01:41 PM
 
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It seems from your previous posts that thee boys exhibited violent tendencies before you moved in. I don't understand why you are living there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokonutmama View Post

9yo ds and I live in the same house as my bf and his two boys, 16 and 12. 

Our two families  live in the same building, but bf's kids are his and ds is mine, we often don't even eat meals together.  That may be beside the point, but I think it affects the relationships among the boys, and has prevented me, until now, from taking an active role in their upbringing.

The 12 year old looses control of himself kind of a lot, and one of the manifestations of that is that he hits, kicks, throws things at, and, recently, bites, my son.  Until the most recent episode of biting (it was hard, left a large abrasion through clothing and a nasty bruise) I had been leaving the choices and implementation of discipline lessons and consequences up to his parents.  Mom lives very nearby. 

They choose to talk with him: they let him know that certain acts will lead to people not liking him, and that they don't like it when he does them.  They listen to his story and his feelings and accept his apology and insist that he apologize to my ds and me.  The behaviors continue.

I have now asked for and been granted the right to send mr. 12yo to his room while his dad and I consult on what to do, should something like this happen again.  I have also, I think, convinced at least my bf that some change needs to happen, if we're to expect different results, and have his ear to suggest something.

It's obvious to me that we need to be making sure that this kid's needs for attention and empathy are met without his having to act out. 

What else do you think I should suggest as far as ensuring that my son's right to not be attacked in his home is protected?  Is there a combination of boundaries and consequences that you've set with siblings or step-siblings that have worked and I can learn from?  Only having one kid myself, this kid-on-kid violence is something I've never had to navigate before and I could use some wisdom from those of you who have.
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#8 of 11 Old 05-03-2014, 02:35 PM
 
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The boy needs therapy. If he needed insulin, his parents would find a way to pay for it. This is just as important.

But you have no control over whether the boy's parents meet his medical needs. What you do have control over is what you expose your own son to. IMO, home should be a safe place.
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#9 of 11 Old 05-03-2014, 07:50 PM
 
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The situation you have described in which your families have joined but not really joined, is somewhat odd. It does cause me to wonder if there is some other ambivalence in the whole matter--about the adult relationships. You are right to question the BF and mom's commitment to the 12 y.o. It sounds as though there has been ambivalence and half commitment to his treatment as well.

 

 I agree with others that a 12 y.o. with so little self regulation is going to need some pretty significant therapy and other interventions to get to a place of success. The fact that he is also lying and has been bullied will compound the problem. Family therapy for all of you while you live apart, with the goal of being able to get back together is another suggestion. 


 
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#10 of 11 Old 05-04-2014, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your perspectives and support.


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#11 of 11 Old 05-04-2014, 11:05 AM
 
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If they won't get him help I would call the police and press charges the next time he leaves a mark. Juvenile court is typically focused on rehabilitation through counseling and other means.
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