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A friend of mine has a daughter that tried to drown the other sister in the tub the other day. The oldest one is 7 yrs and the other is 4 yrs old. Both have different fathers, and for awhile, I was seeing both children more than their individual fathers.. I care a lot about all 3 of them. The mom had a violent relationship with the latest father in 1997-98 and tried unsuccessfully to resurrect the relationship but it turned out bad. Mom is a little quick in temper, but not overly hot. I am trying to help her and the kids in what ever way possible, but she isn't receptive to the idea of Ritalin, as the school suggested. Nor at this time understand that the last 2 years has caused a lot of trauma on all three of them.

 

I used to work a residential treatment facility for 5 to 12 yr old kids. I also have 2 kids, and have a great understanding of kids, and how to participate with them in positive ways. Her kids, both of them respond very positively to me when I'm around, and can calmly get them under control quickly if they act out. The 7 yr old is going for a psychological evaluation and soon she and mom will start some counseling. How can I carefully give her advice and support and try to make her understand the positive steps of patience and a positive peer model, like me, can help? Yes I care about all 3 of them a lot, but can only do so much if she wonít allow me. Just looking for suggestions. Both fathers see the girls very little, still probably less than I. In fact the oldest mistakenly called me dad a few times. I know that I can't take the place of a father, but I think the kids are reaching out, where as mom is holding back. Any help or suggestions would be great. Thanks.

Gee. Some tough problems and situation you describe. I'm not so sure how much you can help. So much will depend on their mother. If you try and take over the situation (and I'm not saying you are) I think in the long run that'll backfire because these are things primarily the mom must work out. I suppose you can give her both physical, material and emotional support without doing all the parenting for her. For example ask her how you can be helpful in other areas (like cleaning the house or give her some extra $) so that she can spend some time with her kids. The counseling in this case sounds critical for the family but may not work (counseling can only do so much). Medication may also help the kids but is of far lesser importance to the children than the stability of consistent affection and discipline. I hope this is helpful. Good Luck.