Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Little Boy Gone Wild

So, some of you may remember "little boy."   The 6 year old who goes to my husband's school - the 6 year old whose mother is drugged up and doesn't want any of her children - the 6 year old who was living with his father when father was arrested for alcohol/drug related charges, was released from jail and promptly and very unexpectedly dropped dead on a street corner.   The 6 year old who was put in a foster home with five other boys, all older, and whose foster mother spoke very little English.  The 6 year old who we brought into our home to stay with us until the end of the school year because we wanted him to have a few happy months before he left to live with family out of state.   THAT 6 year old boy.  

Well, THAT 6 year old threw a shoe at me the other day!    He gets mad when he doesn't get his way, and since I am frequently the one to tell him to clean up his room, or "don't do that" or just plain trying to get him to behave properly, I am the object of his "affection."   And not only does he throw things at me (well, he threw a shoe at me once), he "tattle tales" on me to my husband - haha!   The other night he had the nerve to tell me that "Mr. L is going to have a talk with you about what you said to me" - said in that snarky kind of snotty way.  He is disrespectful and disobedient - - to me.   He is rather good at manipulating, and, fortunately, I am even better at figuring it out.   He doesn't usually treat me badly in front of my husband.   He did, however, do it in front of my husband's mother!   Wrong move, kid.  He lies, too.   We never know when he is telling the truth, thus, in our eyes he never tells the truth.  Last night he was tired, and had a little cold, and had a fit when he was told that he couldn't go bike riding.  I gave him a choice of eating dinner or going to bed.   At dinner he told Mr. L that I was mean and that I had something mean to him.  

My husband has the patience of Job.  Wish I did.  I am having a hard time remembering he is only 6 years old and that he's been through a lot for his young little life.  He is fine 75% of the time . . . it's the other 25% of the time that I have a difficult time with and, to be honest, I feel something like a failure.    

And to be honest again, I can't wait til the end of the school year.  And for that I feel really bad.


  1. He probably acts that way to push you away since he is used to being left. That way when you leave him, he doesn't get hurt.
    I hope the home he goes to is as loving as yours so he can grow up to be a decent human being.
    It is very difficult to like/love a lying, hurtful child. I know this because my 21 year old is like that.

    1. I think he will have a good home with his relatives, they seem to be very loving and can't wait til he comes. And, I'm sorry about your 21 year old. 21 is young, and maybe someday said 21 year old will be able to change :)

  2. Judy, I don't know this little boy, but it sounds like he is testing you. You enforce all the rules, which equal love....there is way more love in a no than a yes, and maybe because you are invested in him he is testing you to see if you will still love him no matter what he does. I am just guessing, but my 7 yr old does the same when he gets a new teacher etc. He finds out who is going to keep trying and who's going to give up.

    I also have to say, I am sure happy this little boy had you these months, you are not a failure in any way!!

  3. you are great and hospital and generous to have opened the doors of your home !
    I was impressed when I first read about this and I am still impressed today !
    so there !
    think about that !! :)

  4. You are probably the first good thing to have come into his life, and he doesn't know what to do with it and he's terrified of losing it.

  5. It could possibly be all of those defenses coming out, given the circumstances he has been in for his last 6 years. This behavior is probably all that he has ever known. It sounds like he would make a good candidate for some behavior counseling.

  6. I agree with the comments above. He's one scared and scarred little boy. But at the same time, you deserve respect. Hopefully he'll get a handle on that the more you shower him with love. (:

  7. He sounds like a lot of 6 year old boys. He especially sounds like many children in his situation. I think good foster parents get that kind of treatment a lot. You are not a failure in any way. You would be a failure if you didn't set boundaries and try to teach him about rules. I'm guessing his relatives will get the same treatment, at least in the beginning. I don't blame you for looking forward to the end of school. You know he is going to a good home and you can stop feeling guilty. Dare I admit I snickered when I read he threw a shoe at you?

  8. It's not your fault and he's had a rough start to his 6 years, with no consistency or love. You are awesome for taking him in to begin with!!!

  9. It must be very hard for you, while you're trying to be kind and loving he seems to be throwing it all in your face but he has probably had to live on his wits at such a young age.With parents who abuse drugs he's lived with lying as the norm. I really hope his relatives get good support because he will be no different there,I do hope they don't give up on him.

  10. I found you because you found my blog. What an amazing truthful telling of a relationship with a six year old who thinks he's packing his bags any day. Tough on you. Tough on him. You can feel like a failure but the failure was in play long before you entered the room. If you are you and stand your truth he will see that at least. Will it help anything? Hard to say. It won't hurt.

  11. Just having him in your home, healthy and safe, proves you are not a failure. The fact that he is testing you, and still has a warm comfy bed to sleep in...priceless. I hope you are the first stop to a better life for him.

  12. Judy, you are absolutely NOT a failure and neither should you feel guilty about not being able to wait for the school year to end.

    As a child counsellor, (yeah, who would have thought)and this may sound weird but it shows that he has built up a strong attachment to you. In showing his anger towards you, it also means that he feels safe enough in the knowledge, that no matter how badly he behaves, you still care for him.

    You're doing the right thing by being firm with him, because he still needs to learn that his behaviour is unacceptable.

    I truly admire what you've done for this little boy. You are awesome!

  13. Hey! You are giving this child what he craves and what he needs. I hate that when kids disappoint me in that way but I make the best of it - and it is HARD to simply say, "well, he's six years old and he's had a tough life" -- you deserve to be treated respectfully and you are teaching him that. It is, however, exhausting. Hang in there!

  14. You certainly have your hands full! I think he has a lot of problems to sort out. Hopefully with your kindness and direction, it will be sooner than later.

  15. I know your husband works in schools right? Not the foster system? (maybe I'm wrong?) I apologize if what I'm about to say is a huge "DUH!!!!" ;) Lying is a very common "Foster kid" issue. It's more than pushing boundaries. It's a whole different thing with them. Maybe you knew that. If you didn't, maybe someone through foster care or a social worker from there can point you towards specific resources to help deal with that.

    Whether you knew that or not, it's still super tough. I doubt anyone could do better than you're doing. The fact that you say he's fine 75% of the time says a lot about how solid and positive your relationship with him really is.

  16. no reason to feel bad. you are not a shrink, you are not his mother .. he could use some of both ..

  17. Very nice of you to take him in. I think it would be hard for me, too, to remember what he has gone through and that he is only six when he is already so manipulative.

    I don't really have any suggestions besides deep breathing when he does something so that during your mini-break you can remember his life-story. But, I'm sure that would be hard to do in times when he is throwing a shoe at you.

    Good luck!

    Don't feel bad for having feelings about wanting your time with him to be over... that is only natural.

  18. I would have sold him to gypsies by now, so you're doing great!!!

  19. oh, this is so tricky. I get it. I used to volunteer to teach "economically deprived" kids to read. We are talking 4th and 5th grade. I was in 10th grade at the time.

    This one girl I worked with made it so unbearable. She did not want to be there, would not look me in the eye, ignored me, etc. I had such mixed emotions. One side of me (the older wiser side now) thinks, "Poor thing! so many problems!" but the me at the time was pissed that I was spending my time and she could not be bothered to be the least bit grateful.

    Did I mention that I quit volunteering there after just a few months?

    You are a good person. I cannot blame you for wanting to be out of that situation soon!


  20. Sending continued blessings- strength for you and your husband and way for wild boys heart to be able to feel safe enough for love. You are not what failure looks like. xo

  21. I want to thank all of you for your kind words of encouragement - it's so nice to know that none of us need ever feel alone :)