Angry 11 yr old, Avoidant Parents- what’s an au pair to do?

by cv harquail on March 27, 2011

Dear AuPairMom — Hi, I was using google to look for some advice when I came across your website. I’m an au pair and I’ve been living in the US for 3 months now and at the minute, my 9 months remaining just feels like the longest time. I look after 2 kids and I’m really having difficulties with the younger one (11 years old). He seems very angry at everything.

He compares me to his former AP and finds me lacking.

I know that he was very close to his old au pair who had been there for 2 years. He constantly compares me too her and tells me how she would have done it some much better. He doesn’t listen to me and I really struggle to get him to complete all his after school activities/chores that his parents want him to get done. It just feels like a constant battle with him over every small thing, and so I don’t really feel like I’m building any kind of relationship with him because all we seem to do is argue.

201103272009.jpgI tried to talk to my host parents about this and they were supportive and said they understood that I wouldn’t become an authority figure for a while… But their patience isn’t actually helping me with specific ideas for what to do.

Would getting at the root of his anger help?

My host parents work really long hours and so I feel like I’m having to cope with this angry child all on my own without having any idea what the root of his anger is. I tried talking to him about the root of his anger but he insists he’s fine.

Today was just rock bottom. He refused to go to school and nothing I said could get him to go, so my host mum had a big row with him and then left to work, leaving me with this child having a complete meltdown. He got so worked up he threw up and so I had to call the school to tell him he had thrown up and wouldn’t be coming into school today. So that just left me all day looking after him with no break. My host parents aren’t going to be back until about 8 which I just feel is too long a day for me to work — it becomes a 14 hour day, because I’m responsible for putting him to bed too.

I just feel a bit taken advantage of because they know that I won’t leave him alone, so they can just go to work and forget about it. I feel like they’re trying to make it my problem instead of confronting the problem themselves. I know I need to discuss this with them but I don’t know how to bring it up.

And there’s more…

I’m also unhappy with other things (such as me having to do all the chores around the house…including many that have nothing to do with the kids like making my host parents’ bed). I know I need to talk about these other issues too, and I don’t want to bring it all up at once and make them angry.

I’d really appreciate any advice you have to offer…. Thanks, R.P.

Dear RP — Sounds like you’ve got a problem within a problem within a problem.

Many layers of anger, passive and active abuse, and avoidance. It looks to me like these are all related in a system. The bad news is that the problem-system is complicated; the good news is that if you work on one element, you can influence the other elements too.

For perspective, let’s start by making it clear that an 11 year old who is angry and throws tantrums has probably been pulling similar crap for years. Nobody up and develops that kind of anger towards a person, especially an au pair with only 3 months in the family. Consider that the boy’s anger has been an issue for some time now (in one form or another). And, consider that his parents know this, and that they have apparently NOT figured out a way to manage his anger effectively.

And, let’s be clear– your host parents ARE taking advantage of you. Sure, they could have hoped you’d cover for them when their child got ‘sick’, but then they should have worked to find a way to let you off as soon as they came home (or even have one of them come home earlier). If they have not acknowledged the situation they left you in, and at the very least thanked you, that’s even more of a problem.

Finally, you should not be doing chores unrelated to kids. Period. Again, if things were all going well and you wanted to help out, fine… but O.M.G. you should not be making their bed!

201103272011.jpgHere’s what I think you might consider:

1. Call your LCC and talk with her about the chores. Ask her to schedule a meeting/check-up with the parents– as though it’s the LCC’s normal thing to do– and have the LCC explicitly go over what the au pair roles say your are allowed to do and specifically what you should not be expected to do. if there are specific chores in addition to the bed-making, tell these to your LCC so she can address these directly. The idea here is to make it your LCCs job to reinforce the guidelines with the parents who are breaking the rules.

2. Ask the host parents for a scheduled meeting time, just you and them. Tell them that their son’s anger with you makes it difficult for you to do the kind of job you and they want you to do. Tell them you need specific directions from them about what you should do, and what they will do, and how the parents’ and caregivers’ behaviors will reinforce each other. Remind them that as the parents they must set the tone of what will and won’t be tolerated, and that they have to create the framework for the whole family. (Note, it sounds like the parents probably also have anger issues… it’s a family system thing, not about you. Repeat: it’s not about you.)

3. Go to the library and check out the book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen (there may also be one for teens– get that too). Read it, start following the advice. You need a system for dealing with him, and this one is a good one, especially until his parents get it together.

4. Prepare for a rematch. In the absence of information about the whole system from everyone’s perspective, we have only your persecutive to work with. We give you the benefit of the doubt and we assume you are seeing everything clearly and aren’t adding to the problems. If things are as you say, there is a decent chance that you will not be able to fix the situation and that your host parents won’t change. While you can be optimistic and do your very best, you might also consider whether there are enough other good things to make staying with this family worth the work of dealing with an angry tween.

5. Clarify the learning challenge that this situation offers you, and then address that as a personal challenge. You are being taken advantage of by the child, and by the parents. Your strategy for managing this conflict isn’t working, and you need to try new strategies– some of which may feel weird to you. Try them anyway. Try being direct. Try standing up for yourself directly and indirectly. Stop making the bed. Consider that you are in this situation, with angry people who are hard to manage, and that this is a situation that you’ve been in before. Break the pattern. Things are already not working, so try something new.

Okay parents and au pairs– open for your advice! cv

See also: Arguments between my child and my Au Pair are driving me nuts!

Sai With An EXPRESSION! from lyk3_0n3_tym3
Grrr from Big DumpTruck


{ 17 comments }

Calif Mom March 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Yep. What CV said!

Sandra Newman March 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I can myself in this aupair’s skin when I was an au pair myself. I tried so hard, nothing ever changed. After a while I just gave up on it and waited till my wedding day so after I few weeks I could get my check and get out of that place. I was kicked, spited at, humilated and so many other things and the parents never did nothing. I end not missing this kid at all. If I were you I would rematch RIGHT NOW. This is not worth your energy and time – which is limited – to waste!

Taking a Computer Lunch March 28, 2011 at 7:13 am

While my ‘tween isn’t nasty to our AP, he is indifferent. Two things happened – he had an active, sporty, and engaging AP who was fluent in English, followed by a non-sporty AP who barely spoke English. It was at that moment that he decided that the AP was for The Camel, and not for him. Granted, The Camel has a steep learning curve, and most APs spend their first weeks with us trying to learn how to care for her. At the moment we have a completely non-sporty AP, who makes some effort to reach out to him, but when he rebuffs her, she doesn’t offer a second activity.

If you want to make this match work, figure out what interests the child on his own terms (not those things for which his parents signed him up because he should do them). Does he like rap? Rock? Manga? Soccer? Baseball? TV? Use the carrot and stick approach. Do X and then you can do X… Personally, whatever motivates him should be the carrot. Don’t offer to play board games if he’d prefer to have you help him download music on to an MP3 player. Finally, it’s really hard to be an adult when I child endlessly compares you negatively compared with previous AP. Deflect the “X did this better.” Try, “I know you miss X. We could try Skyping her after school today, but I’ll need you to behave.”

As a HP, I am very aware that when one of my kids is home sick from school that I must cancel my PM plans to get home in time to take over. 10 hours is a maximum. My husband once commented that our AP had to do so little when our son stayed at home from school, unlike The Camel, becuase he reads or watches TV, and that it shouldn’t count against her hours. I replied, “If you want her to be the adult in the house and responsible for him, then she’s working. If you want her to be able to leave and go to the gym and have lunch with her friends, then she’s not.” She worked and I came home earlier than planned (because DH is the AM parent and I am the PM parent).

But my gut instinct–based on your description–is that if I were in your situation I would rematch. It sounds as though these parents don’t want to raise their kids – they want you to do it for them. They’re not helping you to get through to their son, they’re attempting to placate you.

Calif Mom March 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

I agree; if I were the AP, I would head for rematch. (It’s not unusual for 3 months to be a breaking point, by the way.) If they haven’t taken any steps to get at the real problems here–which CV pinpointed with shrink-like accuracy–they’re not going to.

The only nuance I would add here is that I disagree that an 11 year old who is acting out has learned that behavior over time. That could be true, but the kid could also be responding to pressures in the family system–or teasing at school that he doesn’t want to talk about–that have built over time and when the catalyst of hormones are thrown in, the kid just can’t cope and absorb any more–he has hit his breaking point. Unfortunately, his parents aren’t tuning into that and aren’t taking it seriously enough. But regardless of whether it’s new or old behavior for the 11 yo doesn’t matter. It needs to be addressed seriously by the parents. And not just by taking away his game boy (or whatever the electronic candy du jour is).

It’s HARD to deal with issues like this. Parents don’t like feeling that they don’t know what to do (because families don’t come with manuals) and asking for help is embarrassing/humiliating for some people. There’s no “Happiest Tween on the Block” book because it’s just not that simple. It really does get more complex as they get older.

I bet the reason the parents are working until 8 pm each night is because they both find work much easier to succeed at than family. Sad but not uncommon.

This is Not About You, Au Pair! If you have clearly told them specific examples of unacceptable behavior and explained just how miserable this is for you, and you see no signs of the parents taking this seriously, move on.

They have YOU making the parents’ bed? Uh no. That’s clearly not in the program (and would creep me out, by the way). These parents are taking advantage of your good nature and are in denial about their kids’ wellbeing and I feel sorry for the kids but You Can’t Fix This One.

Lots of families out there looking for fabulous rematch candidates. Talk to your counselor and start marketing yourself!

JJ Host mom March 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I second all of what CV said. Specifically, find some neutral way to remind the host parents of the boundaries of the program. 10 hours a day max, 45 hours a week max, child-related chores only. Find some neutral way to present this; either by pulling up your contract with them, or by having a conversation with the LCC in the room, and then work with them to figure out a way to get your responsibilities back into the legal guidelines. If you approach it as “this is not quite right so let’s find a solution together” vs. “you’re doing this to me” I think you’ll get a better response.

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen is a great book and will give you some real tools for dealing with this child. (I wouldn’t be surprised if it also gives you tools for talking with your host parents.) Try that, come up with a plan, run it past the host parents in the context of “will you support me if I try this?” and then try it.

And thirdly, start thinking about rematch in case this doesn’t work.

Au Pair in Question March 28, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Hi, thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it! Things have definitely taken a turn for the better. I talked to my host parents about the situation and they were fantastic and extremely supportive. They apologized that I had had to work such a long day and gave me an extra half day off the next week to make up for it and they made it clear that this was an unusual circumstance and that it would hopefully not happen again. They also sat down with me and we brainstormed about how to deal with these situations when they come up and they provided suggestions about how to develop a better relationship with the 11 year old. I will definitely try out some of the suggestions put up here too because I know that’s something I have to work on.

Although there are some very difficult times being an au pair, ultimately this year is about me getting experience for becoming a teacher, seeing America and generally becoming a stronger/more independent person and all those things far outweigh the negatives so I just have to keep that in mind when things get tough.

With regards to the inappropriate chores, I’ve emailed my counsellor to see what she suggests I do and I appreciate the feedback on here so that I know what is and isn’t okay for them to ask me to do.

I noticed on some of the other posts that some host moms don’t like au pairs using this site but just from my perspective, it’s an invaluable tool to be able to get advice from people who know what they’re talking about and who can give me impartial advice and I would like to think that host moms would like that au pairs are trying to improve how they handle situations like this so I hope you continue to put up with us au pairs :-).

Former Aupair March 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I now exactly what you are dealing with. I was an aupair for 2 years and I had the same situation as you. During my first year I took care after two wonderful kids ages 2 and 4 and I had a wonderful year. Things were very difficult at first, including a meltdown/no school situation just like you did. After 3 months though, things were in control and we started having a good time. I love them with all my heart and I still refer to the kids as “my babies”.
On my second year, I took care a 9yrs old boy who was the only child. I was the first and only aupair. He didn’t get along with me since day 1, and gave his parent a hard time about having someone else in the family. After three months things were far way from getting better. The kid insulted me, hurt me, throw stuff on me and hit me. Every time something happened I talked to the parents, but without success as they covered for the kid. I stayed there for the whole year, because I didn’t want to ruin my year as an aupair, I was really focused on my studies, school and applying for my Master’s degree. On my last day, I didn’t even see the host father; I waited for the mother to park her car, got my check and said good bye. The kid didn’t say anything and didn’t even look at me.
I don’t know how I could stay for the entire year, but I guess I was to focus on my goal. The happy end is that I was accepted in the Business School, Got a internship, a Job at the university and my diploma. The bad part is that I developed Panic syndrome, had to go thru psychotherapy, take very strong medications, got fear of going out, close places such as Movie Theater and all because I was been mistreat for a 9yrs old child. If I could choose again, I would have gone under re-match. My healthy is more important.

Former Au Pair D. March 31, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Dear Au PAir. First of all I am sorry. I had the same problems you are having now when I was an au pair. The younger boy I took care of had huge problems with anger. He was always screaming and yelling and was very agressive ALL THE TIME. he even tried hitting me twice. I tried talking to the parents but they never cared. Host Dad even told me that if I couldnt make the boy stay in his room during his time off then that was my fault.
I know how hard it is. I used to even cry because of how stressed out I was.

Also when I tried to punish him with Time Out the parents would get home and just dont care about all the bad things he had done and released him from the time out.

I know how horrible it is what you are going through. My advice is that, if things dont get better after you talk to the LCC and the parents than you should ask for a rematch.

1stimeHM April 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I feel for both sides here as we are having some similiar problems. My AP is having difficulty with our 6yr old son, but not our 4,2, and 5 month old. I understand that she may not know how to discipline him or feel comfortable doing so, but I have often found her turning “no’s” into “yes” because she gives in. She pleas with him to listen to her and whines that he is not a good boy. He has played on her responses to him and clearly acts out with her. My son has pushed her a few times and threw a couple major temper tantrums and the AP catastrophized the situation into a claim that she was being abused.

I look back on the situation and have to ask….who was in control? My son has never done this to anyone before, not even myself. So to be fair, I have sat down with both the AP and my son and discussed the rules of behavior and following who is in charge. I do feel that becuase my son has not listened to her , she has already given up and wants no part of him. She has been here 3 months. He told me just a few days ago that she only wants to be with the babies and not him and that she does not love him.

I have tried to facilitate fun outings just for the 2 of them and given them special days just to themselves and I found she spoiled him to keep him content (all day video gaming, junk food, eating where ever he wanted in the house and other things we clearly do not allow) and I try to explain the mixed messages he is getting. SO I guess what I am trying to get at is an AP needs to be consistent, no needs to be no, and some responsibility for behavour has to be on part of the AP. The AP herself is a role model to the children.

Children often act out for reasons that they may not know the specifics to, they just know they don’t feel right. Children flourish with structure, consistency and attention. This is how they will learn to respect you. I feel I am always trying to satisfy my AP with calling my sons behavour on the carpet in front of her but when I am not here she will just complain about how he was for the day and not be able to say how she handled the situation besides saying “he made me cry”. It is not and easy job, and an AP can feel overwhelmed. Honestly, is hard but it is part of the job. An AP is not just a babysitter, they are a mentor and role model. If one does not want to participate in working with the family to learn how to be a role model, stand their ground, be mature and let the children know that they are on the parents side, it is not going to be a good situation.

I am not expecting my AP to be perfect or know exactly what to do, but I am expecting her to learn from us, how to stand her ground and use what she has learned, otherwise the behaviour will continue with our son and unfortunately we are going to have to reconsider the placement. Are there any other strategies or approaches that someone else has had with their AP in this situation? She is good with the other 3 children and has some great qualities, but I cannot sacrifice my oldest child’s development and happiness because of this.

Taking a Computer Lunch April 2, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Personally, I would come down on him like a ton of bricks if he initiates physical contact with your au pair. Even if she’s not in charge, your son should not learn that if he mistreats her he’ll get video games. We allow our au pair to give out punishments for behavior that is out of line: taking away TV time, taking away the opportunity to “hang out” with friends – and back her up. Personally, I don’t believe in bribes.

On the other hand, you also need to press this AP to be “the adult” in your home when you are not there. She shouldn’t be cajoling your child to behave, she should be setting limits. If she’s not been a caregiving position before, this can be difficult.

If your AP would honestly be better off with babies and toddlers and not school-aged children, then it may be time to cut her loose before the other kids get too attached to her.

1stimeHM April 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm

2 tons down and no bribes here! just had a mtg with LCC after week long discussions amoungst us all. New systems in place to track behavior of children during daytime with positive reinforcements and consequences for negative behavior spelled out to a T. On to adulthood it is for our AP, it is her chance to shine during the day and we will reinforce each evening. So the truth will lie in the results as we have agreed to work on this relationship and learning process of the next couple of weeks.

Calif Mom April 7, 2011 at 8:15 am

1sttimeHM,

Good luck to you all! I hope it works out and she steps up.

The hard time for you is going to be in “a couple of weeks” when you need to decide whether the new systems and the au pair’s changed tactics 1) have actually changed and 2) are working for your whole family–and you are absolutely right that you need to have a caregiver who is compatible with all your kids. Each child needs their needs met, or the whole systems crumbles. Been there with an au pair who could handle the little one but not the eldest. Don’t linger too long with this if it doesn’t turn completely around in two weeks. And listen to whatever your own little internal voice is telling you!

Changing au pairs *is* really hard; living with one who isn’t right is leagues harder on everyone.

Best wishes!

Ann

1stimeHM April 8, 2011 at 11:03 am

Thank you for the advice! I am planning on daily reviews (for everyone to attend) at dinner (which did not happen prior to our LCC mtg) and our tracking system did work this week (earning stars for positive reinforcement/ loosing stars for undesireble behavior=lose of a priveledge). Our AP did use the system during the day as instructed and wrote a note each day. Our goal is to have her explain more (writing/verbal) what she did to facilitate and reinforce that this needs to be a consistent pattern. I will let you know how it goes and I also agree that it will be very *hard* if a rematch has to happen, but it will be harder for my family to suffer through a match that is causing discord in the family.

APAnnInGermany July 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Hi AP, I’m sorry for your bad experiences, are you still with this family now?
Actually, I’m looking for HF’s advice in a similar situation. I’m here as a summer AP [June-Sept]– as an EU citizen, in Germany, I can stay 3 months without a visa.
I have been with a lovely family for a month now, but when I say lovely, I mean the HM and “Host Grandpa”: HD and I have little to no communication, and the two kids really don’t like me.
After about two weeks and 10 tantrums per child, HM [who works from home] rearranged her work schedule so she could drive to the kindergarten and collect the two kids, instead of me walking to collect them.
Younger child is toilet training, and sadly not getting anywhere; because of her tantrums and not telling me when she needs the toilet, she has a lot of accidents, not helped by her refusal to let me change her [always crying for Mama].
Elder child has [to use a cruel term,] a chip in his shoulder, and resents when his sister gets her own way in an argument beacuse “he is a big boy: she’s little and doesn’t understand”. He doesn’t like me because I stop him from doing dangerous things [climbing trees, throwing heavy toys, more than two kids on trampoline, etc]. He has anger issues, I think. He constantly shakes his fist at me, or growls like a bear.
I try to initiate games with them, but it’s always difficult, because they refuse and run to Mama’s office. I feel terribly guilty when they interrupt her business calls every 20 minutes, but she says it’s not my fault.
Another factor is the language barrier… HM led me to believe that the children spoke English –ok, I didn’t expect them to be native-speakers, but the only words they know are “please” and “thank you”, sometimes interchanged :/ Also, I don’t think HM understands that I am here to learn German, I only have about 9 months’ tuition behind me.
The stresses of every day are getting to me, I look forward to every evening alone in my room and a lot of junk food hidden in my suitcase. I miss my friends and parents terribly, and I’m pulling out my hair.
BASICALLY, I do all my chores [and more somtimes!], and while the kids and I don’t get along, I still keep them safe of course. Is it worth suffering for the next 2 months, or should I cut my losses and go home?

aria July 3, 2011 at 2:43 am

You shouldn’t go home, why don’t you try to find another family? I’m sure you can find one who is still looking for a summer au pair. I would not want to stay with a family like that and you won’t make any progress in two months. I don’t think you should torture yourself by staying there, but I do think you should take advantage of being in Germany and try to find a new placement ASAP.

love to be an au pair January 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Hi well I am trying to make a lot of post before but I just can’t do it I don’t understad how. But ok, as I could not that way I am going to ask for advice here:

1) My oldest host kid: well he is 8 years old but he behaves like a rebel teen, he is defiant, mean, tricky, and the teacher told me that he bullies everyone at school, that is so easy to believe as he is the same way with his siblings. I talked to my host parents but the only answer I got was “yes, that’s our son. he is a wild one” but they did not even talked to the kid. Somehow, I know he trusts me because he goes to my bed in the middle of the night when he is scared, but never goes to his parents. He let me hug him and show him love while he refuses his parents when they tried that. My HD is always working however he takes good care of the kids when he’s home, and I have to say he is one of the best fathers I have ever met. The HM instead is lazy (and she says that herself) she does not work, but complains for everyhting!! she just go for lunch and gym…and I am the one who meet the teachers and everything that have to do with her kids. The teacher told me that the kid is super aggressive at school and almost all the time that I go to pick him up I find an angry mom or an angry teacher complainig that my host kid hit, bit, scratched, kicked or did something to a kid (specially younger than him). I went to the school’s psychologist (petition made by his teacher) and MY HM sent me and the therapist said that everything raises because of the mom!! I KNEW THAT but how can I make her understand that if she says that she has the worst son ever!! I feel bad to be the only one who believes that the kid can be sweet is he wants….that is a taugh situation…and I deeply love that kid (more than the other two) and hate when she yells at him.

2)well the second advice Im asking for is more personal:
Is it THAT WRONG to think about being an au pair in another country after my second year as an au pair in USA?? I have thinking this a long time ago as I already finish my university, LOVE CHILDREN more than anything else in this world, I really enjoy the job not only for the travel part but because it allows me to give the best of me to others. I talked about that with my mother (not host mom, the one who made me), and she thinks it is absurd that I don’t wanna start working on what I studied for instead, she thinks that being an au pair in europe next year is being stuck and not moving on with my life. But honestly, I am really young (22), I have all my life to work as an engineer after my year in Europe, PLUS what if I dont wanna have the “succesfull-prototype life that everyone expects from me (except myself)… I enjoy more being with children that being with machines and numbers and what!!! does it makes me less professional??? I really wanna be an au pair in europe before giving my life to what life is for ( career and my future own family) Am I that crazy and stupid as my mom thinks??

thanks

NoVA Host Mom January 10, 2012 at 12:09 am

I’ll address the second part first: Only you know the answer. You are 22yo. You are an adult. If you are not ready to settle down and begin your career path, and you are interested in continuing as an AP elsewhere, then that is a decision you need to make. It’s not your mom’s choice or mine for that matter. You have to know who you are and what you want to do. If you enjoy working with children, then get your teaching certificates. Look into becoming an instructor in a foreign country. You should not be following a career path that is not of your choosing anyway. You are the one who has to like going to work, not your mom.

Okay, now for the first issue:
You need to have a serious sit-down with the HD, HM, and LCC. Your role is not to be the replacement parent. Mom should be going to the therapy sessions with her son, not you (at least if she is not traveling or such; i know some travel for work and those times cannot be helped, and for me I now work an overnight shift and I cannot always get the leave I want for doctors appointments, etc, so HD goes and frequently the AP drives the kids there to meet him as he’s already on duty).

Ultimately your HPs are the ones responsible for the behavior of HB. Yes, you are to be a role model and be a positive influence and source of structure and support for him, but it sounds like his issues are long-standing ones and I suspect the parents know. You should not be the one receiving the scoldings about HB’s behavior. You should be advising the teacher to direct her comments to the parents (at this point, it sounds like it is beyond the simple, “do you know what HK did” and moved into the “This is a daily issue and people are getting hurt”. the first one I expect my AP to handle and then tell me about later, the second is all on me since the buck stops with the parents no matter what).

I’d definately let your LCC in on what is going on, and that you are feeling very caught in the middle on this. You are, frankly, and it is not fair or okay to either you or that child. He has some issues and they need to be addressed properly before he puts himself into a situation which will seriously impact his future (gets moved to an “alternative school” for chronic suspensions for fighting and aggression, pushed to a point where he decides to drop out of HS, lets his anger issues get the best of him and someone gets seriously hurt, you name it). Yes, on this one I am using my professional thinking cap and recognizing a description of kids who, when left to their own devices, just get more and more out of control. Worse case scenarios are never pretty, and this is a situation which can be addressed and the proper support can be given to turn things another direction.

Best case is that the HD sees exactly what is going on, the conversation with the LCC and you (and the notes, etc, from the teachers and school therapist) is an eye opener and HD makes some serious changes for the benefit of this child. Including addressing whatever is going on with HM. Make sure it is understood how ofter you have become the responsible party for HB’s behavior and how many parent-teacher meetings you have had to sit in. It is entirely possible he has a vague understanding of things, but does not really grasp just how far this whole thing has gone. Let the LCC help you find the words for this discussion.

Good Luck. And keep giving that boy as much support and positive guidance as you can. He needs to know someone loves him unconditionally, but still will not accept certain behaviors. You can love someone without liking something they have done. It is possible that HB is old enough to understand this difference when it is presented to him.

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