Need help with 9 year old

farm_momAugust 5, 2014

My DH and and I have been together a couple years and when we got together, I knew he was divorced with two kids, who were 14 and 7 (they will be 15/9 this October). The biggest problem(s) we have, have been due to the way his ex wife has chosen to raise them and have noticed they are both extremely rude, inconsiderate, selfish, lazy, and immature. The house where the ex lives is filthy, there are holes in the floors and walls (even in the winter!), there is a "carpet" of dog poop throughout the whole house, dirty clothing everywhere, disgusting, nasty dirty dishes everywhere, food old and new all over the house - not to mention a veritable slew of roaches, ants, rats, mice and other assorted creatures. The kids are never made to help with chores and there is junk in the yard, as well as outside their fences and gates.

Last summer, my DH and I thought they would be staying at home (at the Ex's), but the younger son spent most of his summer in day care and we still aren't really sure why. They are certainly old enough, but the only thing we were told is that they fight, The oldest son barely made it through 8th grade and if his grandparents hadn't stepped in and paid (like $10,000) for fancy tutoring, he would not have passed 9th grade. The older son is very, very obese - 6'0 and 375 lbs, now the younger one is leaning that direction too.

The mother has taught neither of these children any type of life skills and they are not at all interested in doing anything for themselves, because someone has always done everything for them... I could go on and on, but the problem I have at this moment, is the 9 year old, because the 15 year old has been with his mother...

The nine year old lies and embellishes upon everything, then when he gets caught and is asked why he lies, he give the classic "I dunno" response. He also has started sneaking food then claiming is is hungry all the time. I don't know whether to believe him about anything anymore and though I love my DH... He feels guilty and there are no consequences to the lying. There's a lot more too... And it will post more. Thank you in advance. :)

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Mom-of-all-trades

How often does your husband see his children. The things you describe are something CPS could get involved with. Is your husband ready for them to move into your home?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:59PM
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farm_mom

We have had the younger one since school was out and indefinitely. The mother allows the 15 year old to choose whether he come to our house or not and most often he chooses not to come here, because we have a farm and their is work to do, and he told his grand mother and great grandmother he does not want to have rules or help us with chores.

We live in a state that has DHS rather than CPS and we have tried to get them involved several times due to the living conditions at their mothers, but they do nothing even though the children are and have been in imminent danger as each of them has fallen several times thru the holes in the floor and off the extremely unsafe front porch, and then some. It's really a losing battle. I am a medically retired police officer and have seen the system fail here on a pretty regular basis. And it's very frustrating.

And yes, we are ready to have them come live with us, but the older one doesn't want rules or chores, so stays with his mother, who has taught them to be lazy and allow others to do for them, inconsiderate, rude, selfish, money-hungry and liars. She goes along doing her own thing, going to the bars, shopping, always has her hair and nails done, but then gripes about not having any money. the younger son is with us, the older one mostly with his grandparents or alone at home playing video games..... Then she pulls her head out of her butt, plays mother of the year for a couple days and buys them things and takes them out to eat every night for a week... And round and round we go.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:13PM
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Mom-of-all-trades

Does his custody agreement allow for the grandparents to be involved? Not that the kids do not need them but the son should be with their father if mom is not able to take care of them. I think your husbands only recourse is to take the issue to court. He may be saving the young man from a bleak future if he does.

Best wishes to you.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 7:01AM
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farm_mom

The custody agreement is joint at this time and it would be like moving mountains to change it because the ex wife has wealthy former mother in law wrapped around her finger. The mother in law is a while other drama filled ball of wax... (Though they have been divorced for 10+ years and we have been together 2, the mother in law gives the ex wife money and invites the ex to all family gatherings even though when we got together she said she wouldn't... And then some...)

I've found that these kids cannot or will not do much for themselves, I discovered yesterday that the 9 year old had not a clue on how to make toast in a toaster, and didn't know how to tie a trash bag closed. They don't know how to actually clean anything, don't brush their teeth or use deodorant unless reminded, don't make their bed or know how to sleep in a bed that has sheets on it, have no clue about doing dishes or laundry, wait for someone else to prepare sandwiches and simple meals, their favorite phrase is "I want," and they want damn near everything and have no concept of money, spending or what a budget is, they ruin shoes and clothing, don't take care of anything, especially if it isn't theirs, and just think whatever they've ruined will be replaced, they have no motivation or drive to do much of anything, especially if there is no benefit to them. When asked to do simple chores like feed the rabbits, they will deliberately do it wrong in order not to have to be asked again, they fake hurting something or feeling ill in order to get out of doing chores, then get mad when they're called out on faking, the older son is horribly obese and probably diabetic, but the mother in law and the ex wife are in denial and don't seem to see anything wrong with a 375 lb 15 year old who wears 3X and 4X clothing... The 15 year old has been asked to get a job in order to help pay for gas and insurance and claimed all summer he didn't have time (tutoring 4 days per week for 3 hours)... His goal in life is to work in retail and has to have a babysitter for 3-4 hours every day in order to make sure his homework is done (he should not have passed 8th or 9th grade, because he was too lazy to do homework and the ex wife had not a clue he was failing)... I could go on and on... And I realize a lot of these things cannot be fixed, especially with the older child, but DH and I think we might have a chance with the younger one if we can get him on the right track and away from the daily nonsense with the mother in law and the ex wife.

Right now... The youngest ones biggest issue aside from all I've mentioned is the lying and embellishment just to do it. He knows it's wrong, but continues to do it... And I never know when to believe him, punishments have no effect.

I know it's s lot...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 7:34AM
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jewelisfabulous

Family counseling is so needed here. Also, see a child behavioral counselor so you, as a parent, can develop effective and healthy strategies to help the children change these behaviors.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:59PM
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sylviatexas1

so why did you get into this situation, & why are you still in it?

Repeat after me:
"Not my circus, not my monkeys",
& decide whether you want to wrap the remainder of your life up in this family's dynamic.

None of the people involved has made a move to change anything, & you're a newcomer & an outsider (which is lucky for you):
you are not going to effect any change,
you can't haul them out of their quagmire by pulling as hard as you can.

You'll be dragged into their nightmare instead.

You're already angry & accusatory;
calling the boys lazy, saying that it's too late for the 15-year-old (15 years old!), dismissing your husband's role in the dynamics of it all, blaming the boys' mother for your husband's mother's position...

Unless the holes in the floor happened overnight, your husband has had lots of opportunity to intervene, & 'feeling guilty' just isn't an excuse.

Just listen to yourself:

'He also has started sneaking food then claiming is is hungry all the time. I don't know whether to believe him about anything anymore and though I love my DH... He feels guilty and there are no consequences to the lying.'

Any law enforcement officer, heck, any daycare worker, has been taught that food-hoarding is a classic sign of a chaotic, disturbed environment;
it has nothing to do with how hungry the person actually is.

don't know whether to believe him?

Belief or disbelief isn't even relevant;
his behavior isn't a deliberate attempt to flaunt some sort of rebellion;
it's a flaming, flashing, neon red signal that *something is very very wrong*.

& there *mustn't* be any 'consequences to the lying, if by consequences you mean punishment, which is what it sounds like.

Children who hoard food do it for reasons that they cannot articulate, & they never, never, ever admit that they've done it for fear of punishment, & they always, always say that they were hungry.

It's a symptom of the problem.

'ex wife has wealthy former mother in law wrapped around her finger. The mother in law is a while other drama filled ball of wax..'

so what?

Neither your husband's mother nor his children's mother is the issue;
those boys are the issue, & your husband is their father.

'a lot of these things cannot be fixed, especially with the older child, but DH and I think we might have a chance with the younger one if we can get him on the right track and away from the daily nonsense with the mother in law and the ex wife.'

Get them away from their mother & their grandmother & you'll find that you're in the same position as the mother.
The behavior of *all four or five of them* will force you into it.

If you do decide to stay in your marriage/relationship, please, first, get some guidance for yourself, for your own sanity & benefit, secondly, get guidance in tandem with husband (if he won't go, toss him back), thirdly, get some guidance on what to expect from these kids & how to *gently* get them into a more healthy, happy, secure place.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:46PM
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farm_mom

Thank you for the candid replies, which is what I need - not sugar coated and off track.

I'm still here because I love DH and the kids.

We have tried to intervene when it comes to the living conditions and always hit a brick wall in the end, no matter what avenue we take, whether law enforcement and/or DHS.

And yes... At 15 years old, due to the influences of his mother and grandmother, we feel at a complete loss on what to do. He's had counseling, we have ALL has counseling... Yet, the circumstances are unchanged and there is so much blaming and shifting of responsibility.

The younger child hasn't been "hoarding" and we have watched really closely for those signs, because his mother is a hoarder and it's been a concern. For the most part, we find food missing, wrappers and boxes in the trash but he says he's not eating it when DH and I haven't either and there's no one else here... His room is clean and I've never found anything in his clothing or room or elsewhere.

Why shouldn't there be consequences for his lying? This part of what you wrote, I had trouble understanding.

Here an example of his lying/embellishment. 10 minutes ago he went outside to make sure the animals have feed and water. I asked him if all the rabbits had food and water and he told me yes. I go outside to check on my newly hatched chicks and see that none of the rabbit feeders have anything in them and all the waterers were almost empty. I explain to him for the 800th time, the animals depend on us for feed and especially water right now in this 100 degree weather... I ask him why did he tell me just a few minutes ago he had fed them, when he didn't and he says "I dunno." I explain to him again, if he forgets... It's really ok to say you forgot, we all do it. What's not ok is to lie.

So you're saying he shouldn't be punished for lying? If he's going to lie about something so simple, we never know when to believe him and constantly have up check and re-check because of similar situations. "Is your room clean?" "Yeah." Then it's checked and most certainly is not clean. "Help me understand why it's not clean and you told me it was?" "I dunno,"

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 4:05PM
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jewelisfabulous

"So you're saying he shouldn't be punished for lying?"

Of course there should be consequences for lying. In our house, our boys lose privileges for betraying our trust. Mostly, they lose video games for a certain period of time. That's what "hurts" the most for THEM. Your mileage may vary, but every kid has something that they don't want to have taken away for bad behavior.

Also, he needs to do the task he had been told to do.
In the case with the rabbits and chicks, you have to matter of factly take him by the hand and go from cage to cage with him and watch while he does the job he was supposed to do to begin with. Afterwards, you praise him for doing it correctly and talk about how much the rabbits and chicks love how he helped them.

"He's had counseling, we have ALL has counseling... Yet, the circumstances are unchanged and there is so much blaming and shifting of responsibility."

Find a better counselor. Commit to the counseling. It does work, but not if done in half measures.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 6:08PM
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sylviatexas1

Punishing a child who does crazy stuff & who doesn't know why he did what he did is entirely counter-productive;
punishment trains him to never ever trust you, to never ever confide in you, to never ever admit anything.

Punishing him may relieve your frustration, but it'll sure as he!! do further damage to a child who already has been through a lot.

Get professional guidance before you do anything.
Get professional guidance before you act on any advice you've received on this or any other forum.
Get professional guidance.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:28PM
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