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Worried about behavior of 8 year old.

(8 Posts)
Demiwave Mon 05-Sep-11 20:11:20

I posted this in chat but was told the SN boards might be more useful.
Here is my original OP and a lonk to the thread.

"I may have to change some detail for this. We have just returned from a holiday with SIL and her kids. Youngest is 8. We knew his behaviour was challenging and we have looked after him many times and had lots of contact with him but this is the first time we have witnessed his behaviour over a longer period of time. Here are some examples of what we have been treated to:
Swearing: (Fuck, bitch etc.) Not aimed at us directly but used to strangers in the pool and randomly at other times.

Lying: blatant lies to get himself out of trouble and usually to try to get someone else into trouble (even when it clear he is the only culprit). So convincing that he seems to even believe himself.

Total lack of empathy: Quite happy when someone is hurt, makes a fool of themself, gets told off.

Very quick temper: angry a lot of the time unless totally getting his own way.

Inappropriate: (have to be careful not to out myself here) was physically inappropriate with another child on the holiday (unwanted on the other child's behalf).

I wish I could give more detail but I am frightened of outing myself. I have lots of experience with children and with this child and his siblings and for the first few days I stayed firm but fair with him which usually works (with him). I saw something in him this week which frightened me. He didn't seem to care about anything or anyone as long as he was ok. I have similar age children, as do lots of my friends and I don't think I've ever witnessed such extreme behaviour in any of them. DH and I are frightened for him. We feel he is going down an extremely dangerous path.

He has no friends at school or at home, he is in the nurture group at school for behaviour (he is an average/bright student academically). SIL is lovely but is at her wits end and asks for our input. When we give it she makes excuses or agrees but never carries things through. She never had these issues with the older two but she parented them differently.

We have always tried to support her and we love the kids but, at the moment none of us want to be around him and that is a terrible thing to say but, if she isn't willing to put boundaries in place and try to stop this behaviour, I don't want my children subjected to it.

Do you think this all sounds in the normal range or is it extreme (i know what I think but wonder if others think I'm wrong)

If you had a child like this in your family, how would you handle get-togethers?

Any advice/input gratefully received.
(I have left out huge chunks but there is only so much I can safely say)"

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/1293611-8-year-old-normal-behaviour-or-serious-issues

Demiwave Mon 05-Sep-11 20:11:45

*link not lonk!

aspergersrus Mon 05-Sep-11 21:38:57

Demi wave, I don't have the time to say too much but I will say that it sounds as though your SIL is maybe struggling to parent her son...."She never had these issues with the older two but she parented them differently." stood out to me. I "suspect" her son has some issues (maybe aspergers), I am only saying that because he sounds similar to my son in some ways, especially the lack of empathy and need to control.
If this is the case she will need some help and support to "learn" how to parent this child as will he. I have found since my son was diagnosed that it has helped us both, I can explain to him why he finds some things difficult. I can also explain that I recognise why he does certain things but also what the implications may be if he continues to do them and how we can move forward. The child may well be struggling also to understand why he behaves the way he does and struggles to make and keep friends. The kindest thing you can do is stick in there and suggest she seeks some advise and support.

AspergerFiction Mon 05-Sep-11 21:49:23

Has your SIL sought help? Has she discussed the issues with you? Has there been any discussion about AS or any other possible cause?

The fact that you say she never had any issues with the first two makes it likely that there is some issue/condition with the younger one. You say she parented the first two 'differently' - how? Do you mean that the normal parenting (as per the first two) simply hasn't worked with the younger child? Or is there some other reason for her to parent differently?

It is obvious that she needs help - and while it might be difficult for you - she will no doubt appreciate your support.

Demiwave Mon 05-Sep-11 23:14:02

If you look at my link, you'll see why I don't think it is AS but I can understand why initially you may think that from my op. Someone suggested ODD and this seems to fit much more than any autistic spectrum disorder.
My SIL has always been more liberal than us when it comes to discipline and routine and consistency. We have always just accepted this as different parenting styles and, just as I'm sure she didn't always agree with our choices, we sometimes disagreed with hers but it was never an issue.

The older two are not bad kids, they have too much freedom and are allowed access to too much too young (TV/film choices, alcohol, adult conversation etc.) but they are essentially normal, healthy (emotionally) children/teens and seem to be doing fine at school and with their peers and other adults.

Since DN was about 4, SIL has lost all interest in parenting him. He is allowed to roam the streets for hours on end (not late at night though), he is allowed to eat whenever and whatever he likes, he is treated as an inconvenience to all of them. (although then SIL will over-compensate and baby him). SIL split with his father 3 years ago. She is very definitely depressed. His behaviour is ignored or not seen as serious or laughed at or punishments are not consistently applied. He is left to his own devices a lot but then she will spend fortunes taking them out or buying them take-aways or going swimming/ to the cinema. The inconsistency is a big issue. She is not a bad person but, at the moment, as a parent, we feel she is ineffectual. I don't think it is all down to her parenting but I believe it has been a big factor in his problems.

dolfrog Tue 06-Sep-11 01:20:46

Demiwave

Some time back I created a research paper collection help explain some slightly related issues. I called the collection Early Development it covers a wide range of issues, but not in any great depth. You can select a research paper title of interest from the list, and this will link to a summary of the research, and more. You will also find, top right, links to more research papers related to that topic if you are interested.

You may find something useful or may be nothing at all.

IndigoBell Tue 06-Sep-11 02:39:44

Can you support her to get help for her depression?

Demiwave Tue 06-Sep-11 09:20:08

Thanks dolfrog, I'll have a look.
Indigobell, she is under a doctor and a counsellor but has chosen to stop taking her anti-depressants. We've supported her in that we have the kids for her overnight, sometimes she comes with them and we have a family night with them all. We've been on holiday with them (sometimes paying), we've backed her up with the kids (eg oldest was caught smoking and she asked DH to speak to him, which he did), we have offered to go to school meetings, doctor's appointments, we've had them all over for Christmas, we've offered to help decorate the house, I taught her oldest to swim because she didn't want to send him to lessons, we took him on holiday with us for two weeks, I have listened for hours when she wanted to talk. There is only so much we can do, we both work and we have four children of our own and the youngest is not yet one. I am at a loss as to what else to do.

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