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Author Topic: Step Child Aggressive  (Read 7491 times)

momx3stepx1

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Step Child Aggressive
« on: Sep 18, 2007, 02:23:56 PM »
My Step child is 9 years old and spends 30 to 40% of the time in our home.

I have one older child 15years old and My husband and I have a 3yr old and a 4yr old together.

My Stepchild is very aggressive. She has been suspended every year in school..1st,2nd 3rd and in the 4th grade.. already suspended twice from after school care and it's just Sept.

Each time SC is suspended it's because of aggression to other children, hitting- fighting, or aggression towards teachers, yelling disrespecting and running away.


My Step Child also shows aggression towards our  children.
When SC was younger she use to hit my oldest, we tired everything to get SC to stop. Time outs, grounding ect... It's when my oldest finally had enough of SC hitting, My oldest hit back.
I do not condone violence in our home, but needless to say SC never hit my oldest again.

When our younger children came along, SC started to hit and hurt them.
With the huge age difference you can't expect the youngest to defend themselves.
I NEVER leave SC alone in a room with the two youngest two. SC still hurts the youngest right in front of me and tries to deny it, even though I saw it with my own eyes. (pushing, biting, throwing things at them breaking their toys)

We spoke with Biomom about this behavior, But it's never SC fault and never takes responsibility for her actions.

 We tried counseling numerous of times. SC won't talk.
Counselors all say the same, that unless their is consistency in both homes with discipline & rules,,, then SC behavior will not change.

Biomom will not work with us, but rather place blame and make excuses.

I'm stuck between protecting my younger two and caring for SC.
Sibling abuse is unacceptable and we can't get SC to stop.

We do believe there is some sort of domestic abuse with BioMom and StepDad. But can not prove it.


Any Suggestions?






Sherry1

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A child doesn't get suspended every year unless they have
« Reply #1 on: Sep 19, 2007, 11:41:15 AM »
behavior disorders.  I do not agree that the *only* thing that will improve the child is consistency in both homes.  Yes, consisitency will help but there are a lot of children of divorce that have inconsistent parenting styles and all these kids don't get suspended nor do they all have tantrums and violent tendencies.

The child needs to be seen by a child psychologist, not a "School counselor", but a full blown Ph.D. I would suspect the child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder and possibly ADHD.  


http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/children_with_oppositional_defiant_disorder


momx3stepx1

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RE: A child doesn't get suspended every year unless they have
« Reply #2 on: Sep 19, 2007, 12:21:25 PM »
I have been saying, I think she has O.D.D. for the longest time. I read a book on it. She shows many signs of O.D.D.

ADHD is a very good possibility, she is a very hyper child. (Very intelligent also)

Unfortunately Bio-mom does not believe in psychologist and it was like pulling teeth before we could get SC in to see a family counselor.

I mentioned SC seeing a psychologist recently, but Bio-mom refuses.

My husband is the non custodial parent and can not make the appointment to take SC in to see a psychologist.
 Even if we did go behind Bio-mom's back and do so. Any treatments &/or medication will be refused by Biomom.

Until steps are taking in the right direction by Bio-Mom
What can we do in our home to protect our youngest?
It's exhausting and I'm concerned about my youngest, I may not have the power or control to help SC, but I certainly can protect my youngest from further aggression by their older sibling.

I would hate to cut back on visitation with SC, What other options do we have???

Sherry1

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I guess the only option you have is to tell biomom
« Reply #3 on: Sep 19, 2007, 12:50:23 PM »
that this child will no longer be coming to your house unless she starts seeing a professional.  That would force her time with the child to be 100% parent and she might see how bad the kid is.  

Personally, since other children are involved, I think you and your DH need to cut off visitation until BM wants to cooperate.

My YSS is diagnosed with severe ADHD, ODD & Separation Anxiety.  I know how bad it can be.

momx3stepx1

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RE: I guess the only option you have is to tell biomom
« Reply #4 on: Sep 19, 2007, 02:18:09 PM »
We did do that at one time, refused visitation, to get Bio-mom to agree to letting SC to see a counselor when she was with us.
SC was hurting our youngest on a consistent basis. Now SC is getting sneaking about it.

Hate to do it, but it looks like we may have to do it again. Refuse visitation until SC sees a psychologist.
We love SC very much but she needs help with her anger. Our insurance covers it.

Bio-mom does not have any other children, so she does not see the aggression first hand towards other children. Even though it happens at school, Bio-mom says it's never SC fault.

Bio-mom will eventually comply, Having SC 100% of the time will interfere in her social life.

Thank You..
 If anyone else has any other ideas, I am open to anything right now.


Sherry1

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I know that my YSS got so violent in school, the school
« Reply #5 on: Sep 19, 2007, 02:53:45 PM »
officials notifed BM that they would no longer educate him or allow him to school unless he saw a psychologist and the entire family was required to have family counseling.  It might come to something like this for your SD.  I still don't think my DH's ex really got a full taste of how bad YSS was until he committed juvenile felony at age 11.

momx3stepx1

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RE: I know that my YSS got so violent in school, the school
« Reply #6 on: Sep 19, 2007, 04:52:02 PM »
unfortunately,
 I think that's what it is going to take for BM  to wake up and smell the coffee.

The school hasn't been much help. BM makes up excuses why SD is acting this way and all is forgiven

She's in the 4th grade now, It will get worse in her teen years if something isn't done soon.

Thank You Again!

Kitty C.

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Here's some 'worse case scenarios' to consider......
« Reply #7 on: Sep 19, 2007, 09:35:03 PM »
1.  Even if the school is spineless and refuses to do anything about the situation, it's VERY possible that your SC could cross the line some time and seriously hurt another child.  If that were to happen, there's a strong possibility that your DH and the BM could face a hefty lawsuit from that child's parents.

2.  The school might finally grow some cajones and expel her from school.  If that were to happen, there's a possibility that the ONLY way to educate her would be through homeschooling.  Since transcripts have to be transferred from school to school, any school you would attempt to enroll her in would be smart to refuse her based on the expulsion.

3.  If she were to seriously hurt someone, be it at home or school, you can count on law enforcement and DHS getting involved and the first thing they'd do is put her in a juvenile detention facility.  Hopefully while there, they would do a full psychiatric work-up and realize that this child needs serious residential treatment.  Given her age and depending on the seriousness of the crime and depth of treatment needed, she might be gone for 2-3 years.

These are some scenarios I would strongly recommend you pose to the BM.  Sticking her head in the sand will only cause more harm to her child.   One other thing to consider is that if the school won't lift a finger, go up the ladder, all the way to the superintendent and school atty. if you need to.  Also, look into the district's policies on violence and see if any 'infractions' she already been in qualify.  The school personnel are not just there to teach, they're there to protect, too.  They're ALL mandatory reporters and it sounds to me like they may be breaking the law themselves by not reporting this.

One other thing to consider..........given all the info you've given us, I would venture to say that this child is in dire need of intensive residential treatment.  But to pay for it out of pocket is prohibitive, unless you have a money tree in your backyard.  BT, DT, and will be paying a $25,000 loan for a 2 month wilderness therapy program for the next 20 years.  For a one to two year program, it could cost upwards to $75,000 to $100,000 or more.

If she ends up in the legal system, and through evaluation, if they recommend residential treatment, the STATE will pay for it.  But you really don't get a choice on where she would go and it would stay in state (unless the critical help she needs is not offered in ANY state facility, which hardly ever happens).  The tough part about getting into the legal system is that it's so overwhelmed, she may be in detention for quite a while (possibly months) while waiting for a bed in the proper facility to open up.

And if you're wondering, I've researched much of this out of necessity and have been through the entire juvenile legal system, includling residential treatment.  If you have any further questions about it, I'd be happy to help.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

Sherry1

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Excellent post Kitty (m)
« Reply #8 on: Sep 20, 2007, 08:32:48 AM »
While in BM's care, YSS (11) was involved in a Juvenile Felony with another 11yo.  The damage they incurred was $7,000.  BM and the other parent were court ordered to each pay back $3,500 which equated to about $300/per month.  In addition, BM was required to pay about $100/mo for his probation fees.  This happened in Arizona and Arizona will only hold the parent that was in control of and or had custody of the child.  DH who lived in another state wasn't held financially accountable (thank goodness).  We knew YSS was fully capable of this type of behavior.

Now, YSS lives with us and he has matured some, however, he is still very capable of breaking the law again. However, this time he will be 17 in December and he will be held accountable for his actions.  If he breaks the law again it will be his 3rd time and he will be tried as an adult, and he is very aware of this.

momx3stepx1

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RE: Here's some 'worse case scenarios' to consider......
« Reply #9 on: Sep 20, 2007, 08:48:22 AM »
I fully understand that if SD hurts someone There could be a law suit.
Dh and I have years, not months of efforts on our part trying to help SD.

We've , not BM, has put SD into counseling. But BM has hindered all efforts to get SD the help she needs. We have numerous emails to prove this.

Every effort we make though the schools or legal courts, BM claims DH is just doing this to gain custody and  to not pay child support.

Since SD was 3 years old she has been an aggressive child.
Are hands are tied and I HAVE to look out for the best interest of my two little ones. They are MY main priority. I am scared my little ones are the ones who will be seriously injured if this continues.

My Dh is the NCP and his hands are tied. We exhausted every avenue.

If BM is faced with some serious consequences, then maybe something will finally be done to help SD.
I truly fear SD teenage years if something doesn't happen soon.

Thanks for you insight.

Sherry1

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The big problem is that you could end up with the "consequences"
« Reply #10 on: Sep 20, 2007, 10:19:41 AM »
A lot of states holds both parents accountable for damage or injury instilled by their child.  DH was just lucky because YSS lived in a different state and their laws were that only BM could be held accountable.  If you have the child 30-40% of the time you are exposing your own liability.


lucky

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RE: Here's some 'worse case scenarios' to consider......
« Reply #11 on: Sep 20, 2007, 12:47:14 PM »
I've been in Kitty's shoes too AND if the state steps in and removes the child from her mother's care, they MAY try to place the child with you - and you will NEED to have your research done to ensure that the court, DHS, and whomever else understands that the best situation for the child is treatment - NOT FOSTER CARE.  Foster care isn't for kids like this although many social workers, probation officers and judges like to go that route - it's cheaper.

And as for finances, in MN, the parents (CP & NCP depending upon ability to pay - and they seem to think EVERYONE has money to throw around) have to pay the placing county child support unless their insurance covers the program the child is placed in.  Even then they tried to force me to complete the financial evaluation form so they could determine what MY portion would be - my insurance covered 100% at the time.  I was even threatened with being taken to court because I refused to comply - that's how badly they wanted my money, even though the county wasn't paying a dime.  Turned out they'd put her on medical assistance without my knowledge and wanted me to pay for that.  I told them she had coverage through me and I was paying co-pays and my attorney would be calling them.  Never heard another word.

Be careful of DHS if it ends up there.

[em]Lucky

Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.
- Will Rogers[em]
Lucky

Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. ~  Will Rogers

Kitty C.

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RE: Here's some 'worse case scenarios' to consider......
« Reply #12 on: Sep 20, 2007, 09:33:39 PM »
Then you're only option is to stop ALL visitation until the BM agrees that the child needs serious help.  It is the ONLY way to truely protect your children.

You haven't mentioned what state you're in, and Lucky's word of warning regarding how her state and county handled their situation should be seriously considered.  One thing we found in our situation is that funding cuts in our state have severely limited what DHS can now do without a juvenile delinquency order.  I literally told DS's probation officer that if I knew 5 years ago what it would take to get help for him, I would have told him to break the law back then.  She didn't bat an eye, because she knew I was telling the truth.

Counseling will never work for this child.  She needs intensive treatment from pediatric psychologists or psychiatrists...a professional who is specifically trained and educated in her specific needs. This is WAY beyond the scope of practice for a counselor or therapist.

As for cutting off all visitation, I would recommend that this ONLY pertain to your home and around you and your children.  I think that your DH should still have some contact with her, even if it's only to take her out to dinner or spend a few hours with her at a park or zoo.  It could do more harm than good for her to be cut off completely from her father.

As for the school, you can still push there, and hard.  Like I mentioned before, go up the ladder if you have to.  If the principal of her school refuses to acknowledge the situation, go to his superior, most commonly the superintendent.  If he/she won't listen, demand another meeting with him/her AND the district's atty.  If that doesn't get a response (and I would be amazed if it didn't), go to the school board.  After that, the state Board of Education.  Keep moving up each rung until you are ABSOLUTELY positive you've run out of ladder.

Something else to consider, tho it may seems 'way out there':  write a letter to Dr. Phil.  You never know what might happen and if he were to get involved, you know it would be completely paid for and she would have the best in the nation to help her.  Write as many letters as it takes to get a response.  As the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  And this goes for anyone you try to get involved.  Be cordial and diplomatic, but hound the hell outta them until they give you some answers!

I emphasize this so much because what you've described is a child who is crying out in pain.  She's screaming for help in the only way she knows how and no one is listening to her.  If she doesn't get help now, you have every right to be horribly afraid for her future.  With what I've been thru with DS, I've seen some of that, and it's VERY scary.  Refuse to take no for an answer from anyone.  If any person or entity tells you they cannot help, demand to know where to go next.  Go to you state legislator if you have to.  One thing I have found out for a fact:  you NEVER know and can be very surprised where resources and answers can come from.   It can come from the most unlikely of places, so don't ever discount anything.  But above all else, keep trying and pushing forward.  Your SC's life just might depend on it.............
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

dsm

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I second Lucky's post
« Reply #13 on: Sep 21, 2007, 06:30:20 AM »
And I'm going to back up just a bit more.....


In I think your first post you state that this child is with you 30-40% of the time.  Does your DH share legal custody with the mom?  If so, here's what I would do.  From another post you state your insurance covers 100% of the cost for evaluation, counseling, etc.  I would take the school records and make an emergency appointment with a coverage psychologist - not tied to the school.  I would notify BM of the appointment and state that in light of the past 4+years' events and continued episodes you are getting this child some help.  

BM may fight you on it, but your DH has as much right as she does to make decisions for the child's best interest.  So do that.  And then schedule followup appointments on your time.  If the psychologist recommends an in-patient program, notify BM of such, and be sure to keep things open-door so that she always has the option to contact the psychologist.  And then, get her some help.

What you describe is reminiscent of my older brother and how he reacts to me and my little brother.  .... it was ugly - ugly - ugly when we were kids.  He was extremely abusive to us (dumped a vaporizer over my little brother when he was 2 or 3 which he still has a burn scar from some 30 years later; broke my leg when I was in 5th grade...list goes on).  The state got involved in the situation with my brother....  that was not pretty.  And I would not wish that on anyone.  My parents didn't have insurance back then that would cover psychological treatment and I guess alot of other issues that they didn't share with us.  Just be careful if DHS ends up in the scenario.   Your other kids could be removed from you as well - at least while their initial reports are completed.

Keep your documents together and know who and what you're up against.  Education is the best way for that to happen.  

Good luck!!!

==============================================================================

dsm - 36; DH - 40; SD - 18; LO - 11; BB - 4
------------------
It's time for me to do for me and mine.  The others can worry about themselves for awhile.
dsm - 44
DH - 48
SD - 26
LO - 19
BB - 12
1 demon who provides cheap entertainment of the fluffy and furry kind.

My mantra - it's time for me to do for me and mine so we can live in the present and not fret about the past nor worry about the future.  What is, is.

Sherry1

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I really don't know where it snapped with YSS to CLEAN UP HIS LIFE
« Reply #14 on: Sep 21, 2007, 07:02:29 AM »
but he did it.  He isn't 100% there, but it took him wanting to change and the best child psychologist in the city to help him work through it.  He will be 17 in December.  He has spent time in juvie and if he breaks the law again it will be his third strike and he will be tried as an adult.  These kids can change, but it is NOT easy.

Kitty C.

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Also..................
« Reply #15 on: Sep 22, 2007, 11:52:31 AM »
I just read the next week's list of shows on Dr. Phil.  I HIGHLY recommend you watch the show this coming Wednesday called 'Cranky Kids'.  On Dr. Phil.com, it has a description of the show, which may give you some insight on what it's about.  It's very possible that there may be some avenues for resources from that show.........remember what I said about resources coming from unlikely places?  If you can't be home for the show, tape it or have someone you know tape it.  If that's not possible, once Wednesday hits, you can access the gist of the show from the website.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

momx3stepx1

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RE: I second Lucky's post
« Reply #16 on: Sep 30, 2007, 06:23:41 PM »
Thank You ....for everyone's advice.
 We live in Nebraska.
DH can only take his daughter in for emergency medical treatment and has to notify BM immediately.

We went through a program before that covered 100% of  counseling. Not a psychologist. We have to get everything pre approved for that through the insurance and only a certain number of visits are covered.
there is out of pocket expenses for this as well.

Which is no problem..but we have to get it pre approved for her to even see a psychologist. therefore making it not an emergency.

Luckily SD has not done anything serious, like you mentioned above.
Right now she's aggressive and a bully.

I will defiantly keep after the school.


I have kept years of documentation...Just in case!

Dh & I have made plans to spend time with SD with out the other kids.
Until we can get her in to see a psychologist or get something done through the school.


mistoffolees

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RE: Step Child Aggressive
« Reply #17 on: Oct 09, 2007, 08:59:52 AM »
I mostly concur with the comments already offered - with just a few caveats.

First, I wouldn't simply refuse visitation. Rather, I would sit down with SS and explain that you really want him to come to your house, but that his behavior does not meet with your expectations. Then lay out the rules very clearly - possibly written down so he can see them as well as hear them (for many kids, getting a message only by voice doesn't work very well).  Then, whe he acts up, tell him it's time to go back to BM and cite the specific rule he has violated. Then let him come again next time. Go through the process a few time before giving up and banning him entirely.

This does several things. Most importantly, it tells him that he's loved and you want him, but that you have standards of behavior that everyone has to meet (I'm assuming, of course, that no one else in the house - including parents - is allowed to hit someone). He is more likely to learn appropriate behavior from this process than from simply being banned until he seeks counseling. Note another important side effect - if you ban him until he sees a counselor, that seems like punishment and will greatly reduce the risk of success. Rather if you tie his opportunity to visit you to his behavior, you focus the attention on the behavior - and the counseling is a tool you're offering him to help.

This is one where I disagree with the counselors you talked with. Kids are very flexible and can typically understand that different houses have different rules. As long as you're 100% consistent and don't accept violence - EVER - then he should be able to understand that he's not allowed to do it at your house. He'll still be trouble at school and his mother's house, but one step at a time....

I would consider (probably in consultation with your attorney) simply taking him to a counselor and stating that you believe that his behavior puts him in serious danger of harm to himself or others and it is therefore covered by the 'emergency medical care' portion of your agreement. I find it hard to believe that a court would punish you for seeking counseling for a kid who's violent and has had so many problems. Again, see your attorney first, but I don't see this as a huge risk.

Finally, I would notify the school and mother in writing (possibly a letter from your attorney) that you believe the child could harm himself or others and that you believe he needs counseling but that you are unable to do that because of your divorce decree. This might accomplish two things. First, the school's attorney may see it and decide that they can't take the risk of the kid hurting someone when there's a written document on file warning them. Second, it might help to reduce your risk of liability if he does hurt someone and you get sued (I'm not sure it changes the legal liability, but it would undoubtedly soften up any jury).

One last option you have is to petition the court for counseling orders. If you explain the multiple suspensions, violent behavior, and so on, I'd say there's a very good chance that the court would order it.

Good luck.

momx3stepx1

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RE: Step Child Aggressive
« Reply #18 on: Oct 14, 2007, 03:38:06 PM »
We have done the counseling with SD. She was in counseling for over 6 months and would never talk to the counselor.

There is, we think , no proof, Domestic violence at BM's house. None here.
Hurting yourself or others is not allowed in our home.

We have been doing what you suggested Below.

First, I wouldn't simply refuse visitation. Rather, I would sit down with SS and explain that you really want him to come to your house, but that his behavior does not meet with your expectations. Then lay out the rules very clearly - possibly written down so he can see them as well as hear them (for many kids, getting a message only by voice doesn't work very well). Then, whe he acts up, tell him it's time to go back to BM and cite the specific rule he has violated. Then let him come again next time. Go through the process a few time before giving up and banning him entirely.

The problem with this is BM will refuse to take SD when she has hurt her younger siblings. She won't answer her phone or say she is too busy to take SD.

I think a Psychologist is our only option right now. BM will not agree to it.
SD has soo much anger and I believe a lot of PAS. BM tells SD that we love the younger two more than her
and a lot of other junk.

I think we are going to have to cut back on visitation until BM agrees to professional intervention.




 

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