Can a child have anger issues from birth? Born bad?(76 Posts)
My sister has a two half yr old girl who from the day she was born screamed and shouted, didn't want to be cuddled, is demanding and manipulative. I see them around once a week and the toddler is always the same, my mum and brother see it too and it's getting to the point were it's becoming stressful to bring my child (20 months) to my sisters house for fear that she will be hit, bitten and screamed at.
My sister doesn't seem to want discipline the toddler and panders to her every wimper. She has a five yr old sister who acts up a lot as she sees the younger one getting her way. My sis doesn't have a problem disciplining the 5 yr old which completely confuses her.
The toddler speaks with a really croaky voice as she's always screaming. She never makes eye contact. She always look bedraggled, pale sick and tired.
She can squeal like a banshee all day long if she doesnt get her way. However she's a smart little lady, quite Tom boyish, fearless and what most would call a 'character'.
This isn't the terrible twos going on, she has always been like this and my sister is a very intelligent school teacher who seems to know a lot about child behaviour but just won't open he eyes to her own children.
My relationship with my sister has its ups and downs and I've come to realise that it's best I say nothing with regards to how she parents or lives her life but I do worry about this child. Could this child have a hormonal imbalance or something that a child physiatrist could work on or is she just too young? During the pregnancy my sister had major issues with her husband and I know it was a difficult time for them. Has the child picked up on this in utero?
Before I left her house (in a rush) I suggested she give the child some rescue remedy, that's as much as I could say without having the door slammed in my face. I'd really like some advice on this as I am going to have a conversation about it if I think it will help the child and if my sister can't take it then I'll totally back off and leave her too it.
Thanks for reading x
No child is born bad, what a spiteful thing to say about a 2 year old.
It's possible she does have some additional needs or behavioural difficulties though.
First step would probably be to see the HV/GP or local children's centre and asking for a referral for the child to be assessed.
She was manipulative from birth? Really?
Maybe she had a condition like reflux? Having that undiagnosed would make you very miserable and can cause damage to the voice box.
What do you want to happen? What would you do if she was your daughter?
Really I don't believe a child is born bad but it is getting to the point where my whole family are thinking this child has major anger issues and I don't understand how that happens at such an early stage and I worry about her. I don't mean to be spiteful about the child.
Passmethecrisps Would reflux still make her behave like this now?
If she was my daughter I would be taking her to see a professional to ask for help. I would also try to set some boundaries and not let her have her own way all the time. I would also put her in a crèche where she would have to engage with other children and adults. I suppose what I would like to see happen is for the child to have this weight lifted from her, see a smile and be able to continue to visit my sister and her family without feeling anxious about my child being attacked.
From my understanding, yes it could. This is not medical but based purely on chats with my own wee one's dietician. My brother behaves (still at almost 40) like you describe . Something as basic as eating being very painful could really mess with your ability to bond and develop positive social behaviour.
Did she have odd behaviour when eating? Was feeding her a challenge? Is she a fussy eater?
My mum was massively protective of my brother and he would get away with ridiculous things that my sister and I would never get away with in a million years. Chatting to her now it is clear (to me as the mum of a similar baby - not medical!) that he suffered with gastrointestinal issues for some years.
What about sleeping?
Look, all of what I say might be shit but the croaky voice thing jumped out.
I agree, could be an undiagnosed condition. Unfortunately, being treated as though she was 'bad' since birth may well have resulted on behavioral issues too as a child will have picked up on any feelings of animosity from others.
I would ask to see a pediatrician.
Thanks passmethecrisps it's really interesting what you say. Yes she is a fussy eater. Today my sister gave her; to try to stop her screaming and being aggressive - Cucumber, juice, raisins, crisps, and a choc cookie, she threw nearly everything back at her mum, but ate some of the cookie. I think she'd be happy eating chocolate all day. She doesn't sleep well as my sister is always excusing her behaviour as 'she's just tired' and her voice is very gruff, almost bloke like at times!
Oh FFS. I suppose the "gruff" voice is supposed to be indicative of something sinister in your eyes, op. demonic possession perhaps?
Poor child. Clearly has SN.
It sounds like it could be the terrible twos to me! Most 2.5 year olds are fairly appalling and evil because they're developmentally designed to be tantrumming whiney self-centred wee things. It may be nothing more than that and a lack of firm discipline when you're around. Sounds like you and your sister have a strained relationship so the little girl may be picking up on the stress your sister feels about having you in the house and behaving extra badly. Why don't you see less of them for a while? If there are developmental problems your sister will not want to hear about them from you.
Yes roadtotuapeka we all get that the child could pick up on these feelings from others and we make a conscious effort not to allow that to happen. None of us have ever treated her like she was 'bad' from birth. I'm just trying to make sense of whether this is nature or nurture or medical. If I thought the child was a sociopath or couldn't and shouldn't be helped I wouldn't be posting on here for advice.
Some 'wider' family members thought this of my DN but he just had ADHD & my DS is a lovely parent but had to put up with a lot of flack. Another relative was offered by her HV to explore having her child placed (if she couldn't 'cope') until it was diagnosed as a milk allergy that was making him unwell (and therefore so inconsolable)
Maybe exploring a few of those options are best before thinking of 'innate badness'
Even a child I knew only from friends who was 'difficult' as a 4-5yo was only reacting to a very difficult family situation. I know you are struggling for answers - some might lie with parenting of course - but worth a look at other reasons first.
I admit knowing nothing about withdrawal or foetal alcohol syndrome but, the tiny amount I have read would suggest they too can be part of a child's behaviour.
I think that it is all to do with the way your sister deals with them. Obviously her first child was easy going and she can discipline her because she takes it. It is quite common for parents to think they have it all sorted and then comes along number 2 and they are quite different and all the methods with the first don't work.I dare say she gets worn down with all the screaming etc and she tries to avoid it by giving in. It won't work because DCs need the security if the parent being in charge.
I'm not sure that your sister will want to hear your views.
Often children like that fit in well at school where there are boundaries and rules.
She may well have some SNs but it is very early to say.
In answer to your question- they can't be born bad IMO. She may well be angry if her needs are not being met. They may not be met if she does have un diagnosed SNs.
You've mentioned the gruff voice, and maybe it could be significant. Reflux and now eating is painful?
I know nothing, btw, just an idea.
I think you could start, op, by having a completely non-judgemental chat with your sister. She is obviously fearful and defensive of her child. It sounds sappy but how often do any of you compliment the wee girl? I know it might be hard to find anything but something which you could start a conversation with your sister about which doesn't make her feel like you age judging either her parenting or her child.
Maybe ask about infant feeding and so on. I might be totally and utterly wrong but intolerances and reflux are often put down to babies being bad, wilful, just sickly and so on. Your sister is likely to have deep seated anxieties bout wanting her child to be happy but can currently only hear criticism.
Thanks helpyourself, this is def something we could look into a bit more and I could certainly approach my sister with this idea.
Exotic fruits yes my sis is worn down and I'm aware that this is why she gives in and at times nobody could blame her for doing so as its just so relentless. Acrylicplexi I appreciate your comment but I don't agree that it's the terrible twos, this has been going on much longer nor do I believe I shouldn't see my sister, things have been and down with her but I love her and avoidance isnt what I want to do.
Has she has her hearing tested? Glue ear can make children very frustrated and it can affect only certain frequencies of hearing - ie children can hear some quiet noises very well, but not all speech. My DS aged 2 is a handful and we've now found out he has significant hearing loss
No, children cannot be born bad.
These things can definitely be related to diet - on my phone but will try to link to article I immediately thought of when I read your post [http://m.anchoragepress.com/news/the-gluten-made-her-do-it-how-going-gluten-free/article_39e2478e-4585-11e2-a80c-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=jqm]
Passmethecrisps I have never subjected my sister to criticism, I have spoken to my mother, husband and brother about it and we all agree that it's best to say nothing. My mum did question my sister about discipline and how the older child was starting to feel very confused and my sister threw a wobbly and didn't speak to mum for a fortnight!
However it's getting to the point were I'm having to make my excuses and leave and I am starting not to want to go round there as its getting harder and harder not to say something. I'd love to have a non-judgmental chat with my sister but I'd like to back it up with a little knowledge of what she could try to do about her daughters behaviour
My ds had a lot of the traits that you describe about this child from birth until he was about four.
What happened at four was he emotionally matured. It was nothing to do with our skills parents.
Oh no! I wasn't suggesting you did. Cripes! I am not having a go. I was just trying to get into your sister's head a bit. I know my mum and dad now find it quite hard to reflect upon my brother's childhood as they can see so much of his behaviour in my own DD before she was medicated or on a bad day. My poor mum gets quite watery eyed.
No. I was just thinking aloud so to speak about ways you could get an inroad to your sister.
The child is only two years old after all. Yes, some children are a lot more difficult than other children. And yes some parents do not seem to manage to treat their children the way we would think it was in the child's best interest. But there is really not very much you can do about this. Manipulative from birth. Hmm. Don't think I'd agree with that one.
Apileofballyhoo just read that article, this is really similar to my niece and this is something I could send my sisters way without offence. Thanks so much, it's worth a look at.
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