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Old 05-23-2012, 03:13 PM   #11
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

I didn't have time to read through all of the advice and responses, BUT, I can tell you this...

I fought for custody of my three nieces in 2008, their mother was mentally and emotionally abusive, no drug or alcohol use (may have had occasional drinks, but nothing crazy). The mother may have been schizophrenic or Bipolar...undiagnosed, just suspected by court therapist...

We were awarded custody and then took custody the middle of 2009...Something to keep in mind: I was the fav. aunt who spoiled them rotten b/c they didn't' get much (didn't know the extent of the abuse and it was the kids normal life so they didn't know to say anything they were 12, 13, & 16 when they were removed...16 y.o knew they needed help and told school counselor)...I had a great loving relationship with all 3 girls. the two younger ones came to live with us so the older one could finish her senior year where she was living with another family member at the same school.

It was a LIVING HELL for AT LEAST a year and a half...(BTW my son was 6 mos when they came to live with us...fun times newborn and teen girls)...they tested boundaries and tried to split up DH & I, told lies to family about us being mean and abusive, threatened to tell DSS we were molesting them and have ALL 3 kids taken away from us...'your sweet baby too!' I was told by the 12 year old. It looked very bleak...I realize my 'hardships' and experiences with my girls don't even come close to what you are going through...that is why I am telling you this...IF these girls were MILDLY abused and neglected compared to the ones you are caring for, the road you are walking down is LONG and DIFFICULT...it will take the love and patience of a saint...AND some respite care!!! Once the girls figured out that we were not sending them anywhere else like property and that we loved them no matter how insane they made us they cooled off...still have issues, but I am glad to take these issues over the ones we had before...both girls are fantastic, great grades, not doing drugs, drinking, sleeping around, etc. I looked at behavioral treatemnt centers MANY MANY times...took a tour once, got very close to 'save my 3-person family', glad I didn't do it. we had LOTS of intensive therapy...look into 'in-home' therapy, if the kids have medicaid, don't SETTLE!!! we went through 5 therapists before I found one that was interested and CAPABLE of helping us!!! Don't be afraid to yank them out of one therapists care to find a better one, they are used to strangers and people hopping, you will find a good one and be able to get help...most of all, love them, be patient, USE RESPITE CARE when you can! PM me if you 'd like to talk more...I'd be happy to give you my number so you can vent...you'll need to vent often, girl...

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Old 05-23-2012, 05:31 PM   #12
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

[QUOTE=juclark77;15137220]They likely have Reactive Attachment Disorder, maybe PTSD. Also, the sexualized behavior suggests that they may have been sexually abused. You need a great attachment therapist. This may be a place to find one: http://www.attach.org/resources/comm...aimletter.aspx

Other resources that may be helpful are these books:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20

These sound like super great helps! Read as much as you can anytime you can get. Glean any little bits of help you can from every place you can think to learn from.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:36 PM   #13
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

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Ya know, Jon complains I'm not fair and my girls get more or w/e...... but I really try, but it's REALLY hard (especially when these two break or tear up anything i get for them, I've had to resort to hand me downs or goodwill because i can't keep buying them the quality clothes i do for my girls and them destroying it first wear or play) and you can't really explain to a 7 year old boy in this situation that well... though you are technically my kid now, you're not my kid!? or you're just not as well behaved? UGH. VERY FRUSTRATING.

You absolutely can and should be explaining to a 7 year old - here are the clothes that belong to you (say 4 nice tops, 2 nice bottoms, and a bag of hand me downs/goodwill). When you mess up the nice ones the bag is what you will have left. If you make it x amount of time without ruining Any nice clothing than I will buy you another nice outfit. Maybe you can even help pick it out. When you make it x amount of time again, you will get another one. And so on.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:10 PM   #14
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

And also just wanted to add Mama. Not being on the same page as dh or not feeling that you have his support and encouragement in something as big as this would be really tough!

Also, I am somewhat confused as to what is permanent guardianship exactly? It's not an adoption? But, the HHS case is closed? But, you get a subsidy and you could still give them back?

I don't know how that works obviously, but it sounds to me like it might cause a lot more trouble/confusion for the kids down the road as far as attaching, feeling safe and able to move into more "normal" behaviors, knowing who they are and where they belong, etc. And it sounds like it's also maybe causing some stress for you regarding them being technically your kids or not. How we think about/view situations can have a huge impact. And an adoption can give you that concrete final forever this is my kid head and heart knowledge that seems like it would be glaringly missing in your situation.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:15 PM   #15
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If there is any thought at all of brain damage the pedi can refer you for neuro psych testing to see how bad things are. I'd request it just to know.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:30 PM   #16
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

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I didn't have time to read through all of the advice and responses, BUT, I can tell you this...

I fought for custody of my three nieces in 2008, their mother was mentally and emotionally abusive, no drug or alcohol use (may have had occasional drinks, but nothing crazy). The mother may have been schizophrenic or Bipolar...undiagnosed, just suspected by court therapist...

We were awarded custody and then took custody the middle of 2009...Something to keep in mind: I was the fav. aunt who spoiled them rotten b/c they didn't' get much (didn't know the extent of the abuse and it was the kids normal life so they didn't know to say anything they were 12, 13, & 16 when they were removed...16 y.o knew they needed help and told school counselor)...I had a great loving relationship with all 3 girls. the two younger ones came to live with us so the older one could finish her senior year where she was living with another family member at the same school.

It was a LIVING HELL for AT LEAST a year and a half...(BTW my son was 6 mos when they came to live with us...fun times newborn and teen girls)...they tested boundaries and tried to split up DH & I, told lies to family about us being mean and abusive, threatened to tell DSS we were molesting them and have ALL 3 kids taken away from us...'your sweet baby too!' I was told by the 12 year old. It looked very bleak...I realize my 'hardships' and experiences with my girls don't even come close to what you are going through...that is why I am telling you this...IF these girls were MILDLY abused and neglected compared to the ones you are caring for, the road you are walking down is LONG and DIFFICULT...it will take the love and patience of a saint...AND some respite care!!! Once the girls figured out that we were not sending them anywhere else like property and that we loved them no matter how insane they made us they cooled off...still have issues, but I am glad to take these issues over the ones we had before...both girls are fantastic, great grades, not doing drugs, drinking, sleeping around, etc. I looked at behavioral treatemnt centers MANY MANY times...took a tour once, got very close to 'save my 3-person family', glad I didn't do it. we had LOTS of intensive therapy...look into 'in-home' therapy, if the kids have medicaid, don't SETTLE!!! we went through 5 therapists before I found one that was interested and CAPABLE of helping us!!! Don't be afraid to yank them out of one therapists care to find a better one, they are used to strangers and people hopping, you will find a good one and be able to get help...most of all, love them, be patient, USE RESPITE CARE when you can! PM me if you 'd like to talk more...I'd be happy to give you my number so you can vent...you'll need to vent often, girl...
You wanna move next door to me so we can snack on hostess cakes together!? haha. I REALLY appreciate your post, and may just take you up on that.

We found out tonight the CHILD that abused them, is going to be back in there school again, she wasn't in 6th grade, she was in 4th grade, and now will be in fifth, so stil at the elem. school. So.... now we've gotta DEFINITELY do the school change thing.

I think I'm pretty set on NOT sending Jon to the summer program at school, since L is there, too. And I've heard all they're doing is letting the kids play and taking them on field trips on fridays. Definitely don't want him field tripping with the girl.

... gotta go get a drink....
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:23 PM   #17
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

Firstly you are really trying your hardest and you do need to have a babysitter/aide come in and give you a regular break! Plus, DH needs to step up to the plate!

Have you talked about appropriate behavior with Jon? His rubbing may simply be because no one has sat down with him and explained physical boundaries and how to protect himself and others from inappropriate sexual behavior. What is appropriate to do and what is not. Check out a few books about it from the library. Make sure he knows what private parts are and how to keep them private. Explain when and where those things are appropriate ie: your house rules, like in your bedroom, alone, with the door closed. Explain how you are going to help him by reminding him of what is appropriate.
Do the same for the little girl, but for her age level. This is a very important step that may have to be repeated until you are blue in the face! They need to know this no matter where they go. Predators prey on kids like this. So even if L never sees them again they are still sending signals out, alerting other abusers and that need to be changed so they can protect themselves.

Stop buying only your girls new things. If you buy new stuff, buy everyone new and they are responsible for their clothes. Have them change immediately after school or church into play clothes to help them stay nice. Whatever you do TREAT THEM ALL EQUAL!!! Inequality will kill their trust in you, make them resent you and even hate you and your girls. Equal love and attention, equal gifts and treats, equal discipline. They are now all your children. Don't draw lines in the sand between bio and non-bio, unless you are going to send them back into the system.

Like pp said about having to retrain them just like they were one, is exactly what you will have to do, that and getting better counselors. This can happen without talking down to them or making them feel stupid, not that you would, but sometimes it comes out that way LOL. A simple list of house rules on the wall can help and the statement, "We don't do that here, we do this instead."

Once again, you are really stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility for these kids. It's to sad more people are not helping them out more. It sounds like it's going to be an exhausting game ahead of you. Remember they have experiences that will make them far older than you and far younger than your youngest. You need a better support team and get the help your family needs.
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Last edited by rumblepurr; 05-23-2012 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:21 AM   #18
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

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Originally Posted by sunnymommy View Post
And also just wanted to add Mama. Not being on the same page as dh or not feeling that you have his support and encouragement in something as big as this would be really tough!

Also, I am somewhat confused as to what is permanent guardianship exactly? It's not an adoption? But, the HHS case is closed? But, you get a subsidy and you could still give them back?

I don't know how that works obviously, but it sounds to me like it might cause a lot more trouble/confusion for the kids down the road as far as attaching, feeling safe and able to move into more "normal" behaviors, knowing who they are and where they belong, etc. And it sounds like it's also maybe causing some stress for you regarding them being technically your kids or not. How we think about/view situations can have a huge impact. And an adoption can give you that concrete final forever this is my kid head and heart knowledge that seems like it would be glaringly missing in your situation.
Well, permanent custody still leaves the door open for the birth mom, stepdad, bio dad to come in and petition for custody or even just visitation. We can hire an attorney to petition for the termination of parental rights, but thats it. And if we do that, they'll prolly lose their medical cards & our kinship care funds. Which, honestly, we really need right now because of me not working and I know our private health insurance doesn't provide as much coverage as their medical card does unfortunately.

I would like to formally adopt, but financially, it just isn't an option RIGHT NOW, because I can't go back to work with all the appointments & things. I think you're right that it would finally set it in stone for me that these our MY kids. I just have so many fears about one of parents popping back in in a year or two wanting visitation. It also REALLY bothers me that the kids both have different last names, not just from me, but from each other. We can petition to change their last name, but DH is not at all on board and dk that he'll ever be, because it's HIS last name - and he's afraid they'll grow up to be thugs or w/e and run his family name into the ground. yeah... The kids both have their bio dads last name. And around here the little girls last name is associated with 2 things - prostitution and drug dealing. So you can imagine my tone when I have to correct everyone that tries to call me Mrs. B**********. GRRRRR. Of couse, there's nothing that says our daughters won't fall off the straight & narrow path either, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by L&A'smommy View Post
If there is any thought at all of brain damage the pedi can refer you for neuro psych testing to see how bad things are. I'd request it just to know.
The psychologist has mention that, but I can't get the Dr. to order us one. So, we're considering transferring AGAIN to another Dr.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumblepurr View Post
Firstly you are really trying your hardest and you do need to have a babysitter/aide come in and give you a regular break! Plus, DH needs to step up to the plate!

Have you talked about appropriate behavior with Jon? His rubbing may simply be because no one has sat down with him and explained physical boundaries and how to protect himself and others from inappropriate sexual behavior. What is appropriate to do and what is not. Check out a few books about it from the library. Make sure he knows what private parts are and how to keep them private. Explain when and where those things are appropriate ie: your house rules, like in your bedroom, alone, with the door closed. Explain how you are going to help him by reminding him of what is appropriate.
Do the same for the little girl, but for her age level. This is a very important step that may have to be repeated until you are blue in the face! They need to know this no matter where they go. Predators prey on kids like this. So even if L never sees them again they are still sending signals out, alerting other abusers and that need to be changed so they can protect themselves.

Stop buying only your girls new things. If you buy new stuff, buy everyone new and they are responsible for their clothes. Have them change immediately after school or church into play clothes to help them stay nice. Whatever you do TREAT THEM ALL EQUAL!!! Inequality will kill their trust in you, make them resent you and even hate you and your girls. Equal love and attention, equal gifts and treats, equal discipline. They are now all your children. Don't draw lines in the sand between bio and non-bio, unless you are going to send them back into the system.

Like pp said about having to retrain them just like they were one, is exactly what you will have to do, that and getting better counselors. This can happen without talking down to them or making them feel stupid, not that you would, but sometimes it comes out that way LOL. A simple list of house rules on the wall can help and the statement, "We don't do that here, we do this instead."

Once again, you are really stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility for these kids. It's to sad more people are not helping them out more. It sounds like it's going to be an exhausting game ahead of you. Remember they have experiences that will make them far older than you and far younger than your youngest. You need a better support team and get the help your family needs.
Thanks rumblepurr! I just need to keep being reminded that these are not issues that will resolve overnight or in weeks or months..... Although it's discouraging, but I need to get my mind & heart set on this for the long haul.

Just like you said... I NEEEEEEED a better support team. Seems everyone wants to sweep all this and these kids issues under the rug and try to tell me to do that to, not possible, even if I wanted to.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:30 AM   #19
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

You may be able to keep their benefits with adoption. Here we would push adoption over permanent custody for those reasons and if the relative adopted through foster care, it was all free and they set up the benefits. I have heard even with private adoption that you can get a subsidy for special needs kids (some woman emailed me when we were searching tell me all this stuff about how you can get the subsidy to be a stay at home mom and all this stuff that sounded so shady to me and I have no clue why she was telling me it but anyway).
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:46 AM   #20
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Re: Looking 4 Advice on Raising Young Kids from Abusive & Severely Neglectful Backgro

(have not read every post) It sounds like these kids need intensive therapy, physical abuse, sexual abuse you know about those, there is really no telling what these kids have gone through. I know you said you spank and not to try and change your mind but I feel like I have to say that according to all my studies in child development/child psychology corporal punishment for a physically abused child is quite counter productive and quite possibly damaging to an already 'damaged' child.
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