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

Thumbwitch Sun 20-Jan-13 22:27:47

Very glad to hear that you've torn up the statement, Panic - but I think it probably did him good to have written it out in the first place. He also now knows he can trust you not to add to his school woes, so hopefully he'll be more open with you about them from now on.

I would still have a chat with his teacher though.

PanicStrickenWife Wed 23-Jan-13 22:13:56

It all kicked off again tonight, I wouldn't let DS1 go over to his friends tonight, as he hadn't done his homework or finished his chores. It was also 7pm, and dark!
He started shouting, screaming and yelling how he was going to tell SW who is coming here on a home visit tomorrow how we abuse him and deny him basic human rights!
He was deliberately taunting his dad, throwing things, poured hand cream on the carpet, and then hit me. I was desperately trying to keep DH away, as I didn't want him provoked into any adverse reaction that could possibily be used as ammunition. DH was losing it in the other room, and DS2 was crying uncontrollably. This went on for 2hrs, until I finally had enough, and went and packed a bag for DS1, and said, OK, you want to pull this family apart, telling loads of lies and threatening us whenever you don't get your own way, if you think your life with us is so bad, I have packed for you, ancient you tell the school that you want to be removed to a place of safety!
He finally calmed down at 9.30 and went to bed, but we cannot live our lives like this, treading on eggshells iand be scared to discipline our children in any way in case he reports us to SS!

Thumbwitch Wed 23-Jan-13 23:07:13

If he hits you, you call the police.

Thumbwitch Wed 23-Jan-13 23:11:56

Sorry, pressed post too soon! blush

He is using wild threats to try and get his own way and deliberately provoking you (obvious) - but when he assaults you, he goes way too far and you must consider calling the police so he understands that he has gone way over the line.
Packing his bag - good idea; is there anyone you know who has been "taken into care" or gone for temporary fostering? It's not all Byker Grove and Tracy Beaker - he could do with a wake-up call, I'm sure. [showing my age with Byker Grove there! Doubt that's still on...] Although I think Tracy Beaker shows a bit more of the downside as well, doesn't it?

EmmaNess Wed 23-Jan-13 23:21:19

Can you film him as he's kicking off, then play it back to him later so he can see what he looks like/how he's coming across? It may jolt him into behaving better.

You could either quietly hit record on your phone and leave it on the side so he doesn't know or do it completely overtly, which is likely to piss him off even more but at least you'll have a record of it to show SS if you get him making threats to report you to them.

The aim of it should be to play back to him at a quieter time to get him to realise what he's doing.

PanicStrickenWife Wed 23-Jan-13 23:47:05

emma - I did this today, he saw and this made things worse! He spent a good 20 minutes trying to wrestle my phone off me.
thumb - no, we haven't any example of anyone to give him an example of how it would be in a temp foster home, I think he feels that it would be free of any parental rules!
Things have been so much better over the last week, he has talked with his friends at school, and they are being mature and giving him a chance, he had buckled down at school and been helpful around the house, but the first time he wants to break the rules and we don't comply, it all kicks off again. My poor DH was almost in tears tonight as I shouted at him not to interfere as I am so scared he would mark DS whilst trying to control him as he was becoming so aggressive, and this will be show.
I just hope the SW who comes tomorrow will understand the problems we are having with DS, and how hard we are trying to cope with him, I can't see how our relationship will survive with this hanging over our heads on a constant basis, and a son we have no control oversad, we have been fretting over this for 10 days now, and DH is near the end of his tether, and I am struggling to eat, sleep or concentrate on anything.

constantnamechanger Wed 23-Jan-13 23:54:49

is he being abused? sorry to be so blunt but massive and sudden behaviour changes can be a symptom

flow4 Thu 24-Jan-13 00:20:40

I know it's easier said than done panic, but try not to worry too much about SS. They will be very used to young people behaving just like your DS, and they are very experienced at distinguishing between abused kids and 'difficult' ones.
They will, like constant, ask questions to check out the possibility that your DS might be being abused. Constant is right that sudden behaviour changes can be a symptom... But they're also a symptom of turning into a teenager hmm... SS know that.

PanicStrickenWife Thu 24-Jan-13 00:27:53

No - defiantly not! I work 2 days a week, but mostly school hours, they have an hour after school on those 2 days where they go to my neighbour, who has 4 kids herself, and is totally trustworthy. I am home with them both more than DH, and we have no one else who stays here with them. DH was abused as a child, and he has a horror of anything like that happening to his boys, and so, if anything, in the past we have given in too easily on minor behaviour issues and they have both been a bit spoiled. This all kicked off not long after he started Yr7 and High School. It is as if we have suddenly got a different child in our home to the one we have had for the past 11yrs.

middleeasternpromise Thu 24-Jan-13 00:47:56

No you dont have a different child on your hands you have one who is used to getting his own way but now hes older the stakes are higher - he wants things you now know it isnt appropriate to agree to. However where you maybe havent being say no before or setting boundaries he is extremely confused about why you have suddenly stopped letting him have what he asks for. Lots of parents who are very caring about their children make the mistake of giving in alot when their children are younger and then expect that their children will understand when their requests are unreasonable. If they have learnt that when you say no, a bit of badgering/crying/stropping can turn that no into a yes - then thats how they understand things will work. When it was about toys, sweets and bed time perhaps you felt it was alright to give in a little bit if there wasnt going to be any real obvious harm. However what can then happen is a very bright child learns to pester and push everytime the word no is said. They dont understand that the stakes are different just because they have gone into the older age group - they still think if they want it then they should be allowed to have it. If hes in this mode he will have trouble with peers because they see him as immature - and he will feel he has to impress them by telling stories. When was the last time you felt the parenting was working well and how did you make that happen? Remembering what you have done well can help when thinking about how to turn a difficult situation around. Sons and fathers often get into tricky dynamics so reassure yr DH that this is normal but hard work -might be hard for a man who didnt get positive exp when he was young boy and so is trying real hard to protect his son who doesnt understand why dad is doing things the way he is. So hard for you both but you can get through this.

SirBoobAlot Thu 24-Jan-13 00:56:39

Have you had any contact with CAMHS at all?

Tortington Thu 24-Jan-13 00:59:06

I think the bags packed thing was a good idea.

and if my son had attacked me in front of my DH aged 12 - he'd have got a smack.

constantnamechanger Thu 24-Jan-13 01:06:47

I asked because I have seen abuse symptoms written off as teenage behaviour

flow4 Thu 24-Jan-13 01:56:20

Yes. That happened to my Ex. His dad started beating him aged about 12, and he responded by becoming quite disturbed and disruptive at school... The school called his parents in, who said nothing was 'wrong' at home... So the school also caned him for bad behaviour. sad He has never had any support, and he is in his 50s now.

OP I know exactly how you feel.
My dd aged 13 decided she wanted to go into foster care because she thought that would give her the freedom to go out all night, use her phone until 3am and not do any homework.
She threatened countless times to run away, she went to friends houses after school and turned off her phone so we didn't know where she was.
She went into school and told them DH was hitting her every day.

I honestly can't give you a reason why. I know that she thought we were ruining her life because some of her friends had no rules at all and were on the street at 11-12 at night, were meeting boys from FB, were doing stuff I wouldn't let her do.

SS did an investigation and closed the case because dd admitted she had made it up because she wanted to get out of the house.
I know writing that, it sounds as if there was something going on that caused her to feel this way. But it came down to not being allowed to go out at night, not being allowed to post innapropriate pics on FB and having to switch off her phone at 9pm, as unbelievable as that sounds.

We have been through family counseling and dd had individual counseling for a little while.
Is that an option for you?

I know dd benefited from family counseling very much as it have her a chance to try and explain how she was feeling in a neutral environment.

Your DS sounds very much like my dd. she also used to tell stories to people and struggle with the consequences when she was found out.

She thought that she wasn't "enough" IYSWIM, that in order to make friends she had to pretend to be something she wasn't, to sound more interesting and exciting.
Counseling is helping improve her own self worth and helping her to understand she is a lovely person and she doesn't need to get attention in the wrong way but its an ongoing process tbh

One piece of advice I can give you, please don't be scared about discipline your DS because of SS involvement. I'm sure you aren't actually hitting him but don't be scared about laying down rules, and consequences, and please don't make your DH step back.
Because that's what he wants, well it was what dd wanted.
She felt like, by holding SS over our heads she could get away with whatever she wanted.
SS deal with children and families every day. Just be open and honest with them and help is available.

I've been where you are. It can get better.

PanicStrickenWife Thu 24-Jan-13 18:59:28

Relived here. Visit with SW went better than expected. She is of the opinion that DS needs some help with managing his emotions and we were obviously struggling with him and his behaviour. She also wants to talk to the school as DS has revealed to us that there have been other problems with him getting teased and bullied by other kids. She is also recommending that we have some family therapy to try and re-build the relationship between DS and especially DS2. Hopefully this will end as a positive experience rather than negative. Thanks for all the advice given here.

cory Thu 24-Jan-13 19:50:46

Hope family therapy works well for you, I have found it helpful.

flow4 Thu 24-Jan-13 20:37:46

Glad it wasn't as bad as you feared, Panic smile

Tortington Thu 24-Jan-13 21:20:22

great!

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