12yr old has accused DH of hitting him.Not True!

(44 Posts)
PanicStrickenWife Tue 15-Jan-13 22:28:32

I have namechanged here for obvious reasons.
My son has told school that the bruise on his hip was due to my DH hitting him on Sunday, and that DH hurts him all the time! The bruise was from him hitting his hip on the leg of the dining room table after he had sneaked down at 10pm to play the Xbox and DH had found him, DH tried to get him out by shaking the chairs and then attempting to pull him out by his arm, but he never hit him. Also said DH had injured him last week, when DH had grabbed his arm to stop him hitting his brother with a metal loft pole! Now, of course, SS have been called and it is being investigated. DH is mortified, DS is now upset, and has said he just wanted to get DH into trouble as he's always telling him off, and hadnt realised it would become this serious. His brother iambic also extremely upset, thinking DH is going to get taken away.
I know DH is having a real problem controlling his temper with DH as he is really pushing the boundaries at the moment, shouting, swearing, throwing things, slamming doors, and going all out to deliberately upset and hurt his brother who is a year younger. I know this will go down on record, even if he admits tomorrow it was all made up and exaggerated, and, of course, there is also the possibility of them thinking the original accusation was the correct version, and we had pushed him into changing his story. What should we do, any advice at al'll?

ripsishere Wed 16-Jan-13 01:06:57

No experience of SS I'm afraid. In your situation, I would advise your DS to tell the truth.
Re your DH, no idea I'm afraid. Mine is the personification of placid, although he did tell DD to fuck off at the weekend. Totally out of character and it really stopped her in her tracks.

Thumbwitch Wed 16-Jan-13 01:10:30

I don't have any experience, sorry, but I would agree that you should get your DS to tell the truth and apologise for having lied about it!

SS might be able to offer some constructive advice about dealing with unruly tweens; I don't know, some seem to be more useful than others but it's worth asking, especially as the flags have been raised.

Perhaps you could install a nanny-cam without telling DS, and maybe record some of his worse excesses - but of course that could go against you if your DH flips out as well.

I hope that someone with experience comes along to help you out.

flow4 Wed 16-Jan-13 07:42:37

Oh dear Panic, what a stressful situation for you. sad

What do you mean when you say "I know DH is having a real problem controlling his temper with DS"? Is there in fact some violence or other behaviour from your DH that does concern you, and that you think might be of concern to SS?

If not, then you don't need to worry too much. SS's job is to protect children from harm. The threshold for removing children from their parents - or more often the other way round, if there is one abusive parent and one who can provide safe care - is pretty high: they have to believe that the parents are harming the DC and/or will be unable to keep them safe.

SS get many, many reports each week, and act to remove an abusive parent or a child in only a fraction of these cases. The most likely outcome, unless they have serious cause for concern, is that nothing will happen, but that your children's names will remain on record in case there are any further concerns.

I would also advise you to encourage your DS to tell the truth. But be careful not to give him the impression he is going to be in trouble. He needs to feel able to say "I was angry with dad and I wanted to get him into trouble", if that is what happened, and he may not feel he can do that if you are too angry with him for 'lying'.

Last year my 13 year old daughter, amongst other things, told her teacher that DH was hitting her. This was quite rightly reported to SS.
SS did a home visit, my dd did eventually admit this was not true and we received a letter 2 weeks later saying they had closed the case.
It's a scary thing, having SS involved, although in my DDs case, it was probably a good thing tbh.

I'm sure if they do take it further, it will be nothing to worry about.
I would have a chat with your DS about answering any questions honestly and try and get him to talk about why he said it, what is bothering him.

PanicStrickenWife Wed 16-Jan-13 11:32:23

Hi flow4 when I say this I mean he has got really angry, shouting at DS and has in the past had to walk away, knowing if he stays near DS he would want to smack him, so he is sensible and takes himself off to a different room or even out of the house to calm down. DS takes this victory, and crows even more, but DH knows that walking away is the best thing he can do.
About 2 weeks before Christmas, DS was having an extreme tantrum as I had confiscated his phone, xbox and TV because of his behaviour, each of which I hd given him due warning about. DS then came in and stamped deliberatly on my ankle that had had a caste removed from it only a week before after I had fractured it in October. This deliberate act of trying to re-injure me because I was trying to discipline him earned him a smack on the leg,from
DH but that is the only time DH has actually hit him in any way!

Thumbwitch Wed 16-Jan-13 21:55:11

OMG, Panicstricken - if your DS is assaulting you (and that does count) then you should consider calling the police yourself to give him a proper scare! I know he's "only 12" but that's an outrageous thing to do! shock

flow4 Wed 16-Jan-13 23:09:22

Then I think your experience will be very like Tantrums... Stressful, but soon over.
Why not take this opportunity to ask SS about parenting support? It has been cut back, but still exists in most areas... Maybe you can turn this situation around and actually get some help? smile

PanicStrickenWife Fri 18-Jan-13 13:21:44

We have had word from SS, they are sending someone round to interview us next week, They had interviewed both boys separately at school, and DS1 has backed down on his initial accusation, but still says DH has "anger problems". DS2 said his brother was lying about everything just to get attention. DHABI and I have talked it through, and we have said we will say Yes, we need help, but it is with DS, not DH. At the moment we are walking on eggshells around DS1, he played up again last night, and DH stayed completely out of the way, and I didnt get angry, i just said to him, "do what you think is right, make your own decision and then live with the consequences" then walked away. He very quickly realised that he wasn't going to get a reaction, and stopped. Maybe this ix how to cope with him in the future, don't react at all, just remove ourselves and DS2 from any immediate danger, and leave him to it.

flow4 Fri 18-Jan-13 15:22:09

That's sounding much more positive, Panic, and you sound like you're pretty well in control of the situation, under the circumstances. Hope it goes well next week. smile

Thumbwitch Fri 18-Jan-13 23:40:46

Good for DS2! I really hope you do get some help to deal with DS1 and that SS are able to offer you something beneficial. smile
And that your Keep Calm and Walk Away response continues to work!

PanicStrickenWife Sat 19-Jan-13 22:39:30

A (rather long) update here
I had DS1 cuddled up on my la this afternoon, swaddled like a baby in a blanket, hand we had a long quiet and tearful talk. He said that when he started High School he found himself worried that all his friends from primary would make new friends, and he would be left on his own, so he told a few lies about himself and his life to make things look more "exciting" and to gain the attention of the other kids in his class, he never had to do this at primary, as it was a small school, and every knew everyone, and most of his class had been together since nursery. These lies had to be backed up with other lies, embellished and expanded as he got caught out. He is an average student, and wanted to stand out more. These lies had come back to bite him on the bum as he has been gradually been found out, and it came to a head the lunchtime of the day of the accusations. He was told by his new classmates that they didn't believe him about a lot of his life anymore, and they were not going to have anything to do with him anymore. This accusation seems to have been a last ditch attempt to bring attention back to himself, and gain the sympathy of his classmates. This is a very sad tale, and I'm sure it's the truth. He didn't even think how seriously it was going to be taken, and the consequences of this one last big lie.
I have told him he must tell the truth now, and also that he must make an apology to his classmates and that gaining everyone's trust back was going to be very difficult and take a very long time(if it happens at all). He is written out, with my help, a statement to read to his class, and he is going to ask his form tutor if he can read it on Monday. He has also said he will tell his tutor about how he lied about his dad. I know we will still see the SW next week, but I have asked DS if he would accept help managing his anger and about the lying if we ask do it, and he said yes he would.
I hope that this is the turning point for DS, and he sticks with what we spoke about before. I have said that DH and I will do everything we can to help, but it is down to him in the long run. We have also said we will no longer be telling him what to do, just advising him on what we think is best, and, if he chooses to ignore that advice, he must face the consequences, as we no longer feel we can be a source of him getting attention all be it negative. We will, however, continue to recognise and praise positive behaviour.
Thank you if you have stuck with this until this point, and thank you if you ave left comments. Hopefully I can also give a positive update after our meeting with SW on Thursday.

ElectricSheep Sat 19-Jan-13 23:28:27

I understand that you want to reinforce the fact that lying is immature, and immoral - particularly in this case when it has had such serious consequences - but I think reading a statement to the class is absolute social suicide.

It won't earn him any respect from the average 12 year old boy - they will just think he's strange and take the piss.

As far as his 'friends' go much better to just let it all blow over. I know this isn't an option in every other part of his life (and if I were you I'd go into school and have a meeting with DS present part of the time, to get everything out in the open and straight). But with his friends I'd just let them sort themselves out in their own daft boy way.

Thumbwitch Sun 20-Jan-13 01:02:28

I guess this explains where a lot of his anger etc. has been coming from too then.

I'm also slightly dubious about the benefit of him reading a statement out to the class on Monday - if I were you, I'd speak to the teacher and possibly the school counsellor (if there is one) FIRST and ask their advice as to the best way to proceed - because I think Electricsheep has a good point. Unless you're prepared to move him to a different school afterwards, that is - which might become necessary.

Poor boy - I hope he has learnt that lies can and do spiral out of control, and that they can have totally unexpected consequences - but self-abasement isn't going to win him any friends, I don't think. 12yo boys aren't mature enough to respond appropriately to something like that.

Selks Sun 20-Jan-13 01:40:09

Bloody hell! Do not let him read out a statement to the class....social suicide and an open invite to massive bullying!!

Your DS has probably learnt his lesson about lying now. Let him handle his friends and classmates in his own way.

flow4 Sun 20-Jan-13 01:59:33

Definitely, definitely do not make him read out a statement to his class. I'll come back in the morning and say more about why - I'm too tired now - tho' Selks, Thumb and Electric have already said some of it...

MuchBrighterNow Sun 20-Jan-13 09:46:43

I'm with the others on this. Don't make him read something out loud in class. Maybe he could have a word privately with a few of his friends if he wants. These things blow over at that age. It sounds like he's learn't his lesson.

It all stemmed from him wanting to fit in. Reading out a statement would be social suicide. He needs his self confidence boosting so that he feels good about himself as he is. It's good that he's opened up about it. Now he needs lots of love and self esteem building so that he can face the world as he is without the embellishments !

soulresolution Sun 20-Jan-13 15:57:28

Oh god, please don't advise him to read that statement out in front of the other kids - it made my blood go cold reading that and you are risking a massive backlash. I'm sure his form tutor will think it's a terrible idea and the SW will be horrified.

It's great that he is contrite now and wants to get help - hopefully the sw can suggest a good counsellor and get to the root of his rages and aggression.

Once he feels more confident about himself and more in control he will make friends and perhaps they can discuss the lying amongst themselves but that's going to be impossible if he has humiliated himself in front of them.

No no no no, please please dont make a 12 year old do that (hopefully a teacher wouldnt let that happen), he needs your support, not to be thrown to the wolves.

flow4 Sun 20-Jan-13 16:56:34

Hi again Panic. I'm glad your DS has 'come clean'.

Like Electric, I understand that you want your DS to understand what a wrong, serious thing he has done. But like everyone else, I think it would be a really bad idea to get him to make a public apology. It would be 'social suicide', as people say.

The reasons for this are complex. Firstly, very many children lie to their friends from time to time, and many go through a stage that lasts several months or years. I can think of countless children who falsely say they have relatives who are inventors of great things, fathers who are astronauts and famous explorers, relatives who are on the telly, have been to exotic countries, etc. My own DS1 told people he had a sibling that had died, when two classmates,sadly, had that happen to them within the same term. A friend of DS2's, who actually lives in a little bungalow with his mum and severely disabled sibling, tells people his family is rich and has a mansion.

Some of these are out-and-out lies. Some are embellishments. Some are wishful thinking. Some are attempts at attention seeking. Some are misunderstandings...

Anyway, the point is, kids are very used to it. They learn to take certain 'facts', and certain people, with a pinch of salt... They seem to understand better than adults that Truth can be a slippery thing, especially when you're a child who is trying to make sense of the world and doesn't have full access to the facts, or an understanding of what their words can sometimes do.

If you let this fizzle out, then almost certainly, your DS's classmates will have forgotten about it within a term - it will simply fade and vanish amid all the other lies and stories.

On the other hand, if you make him read out a statement, then you will draw huge attention to his lies. Many of his classmate's won't even have heard the rumours in the first place, but they'll all hear the 'retraction'. Many will go home and tell their parents, and some of them will get their facts wrong, and tell their parents that your DS apologised to his class because his dad hit him. You will cement his reputation as a liar in every classmate's head - and quite likely spread the rumours that you would want to stop. sad

IMO, it is a good idea to get your DS to think carefully about what he has done, but if you want him to write a letter, make it a letter to you, your DH and his brother, not to his classmates. After all, you are the ones who really most deserve an apology.

PanicStrickenWife Sun 20-Jan-13 18:49:00

Hi All. We have taken on board all your comments and we have torn up the statement, much to DS relief! Thanks for your input.
DS1 is trying hard at the moment, but, as DS2 says, he will have to prove himself to have changed before we trust him again.

Selks Sun 20-Jan-13 19:19:51

Good to hear your update.

Try not to worry too much - children make mistakes and it's all part of the learning process of growing up. What your DS needs now to move on and grow successfully from this event and not to be stigmatised by it. Best wishes.

Selks Sun 20-Jan-13 19:22:10

"Now he needs lots of love and self esteem building so that he can face the world as he is without the embellishments!"

^ This.

flow4 Sun 20-Jan-13 19:36:58

^ ^ What Selks said smile

soulresolution Sun 20-Jan-13 19:55:28

Thanks so much for posting that update panicstricken - the thought of him reading out that statement has actually been preying on my mind!
Obviously he will still need you to arrange some sort of help for him in controlling his anger and aggression but this sounds like the start of him turning the corner. Good luck. x

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