Here's the situation. We have lived in this house about a year and have made a close relationship with the neighbors. They are very sweet older people who are taking care of their grandson and his recently handicapped parents. Their grandson tends to get in trouble in school, etc. but they always use the "he's just a kid", "everyone else is just picking on him" excuses. He likes to come over to our house and play alot. My oldest son is 7 and he is 8 and since my kids are homeschooled I like for them to have as much interaction as possible with other children.
Today when my children came in to eat lunch he stayed out in the backyard. I looked out the french doors to check on him and I noticed he was sitting down petting our puppy. I watched a little longer and I think he was trying to choke her, but Im not for sure. I opened the door and said hey dont squeeze the dog's neck please. Of course he said Im not. But something inside me just doesnt trust him.
Im a little nervous to say something to his grandparents because I dont want to make things awkward especially if he wasnt trying to choke the dog. Im just not sure what to do, he's not the type of boy that seems violent but at the same time he does not listen or respect adults. Any advice on how to deal with this without offending anyone or causing problems between ourselves and the neighbors?
I would talk to them and explain the sitution and tell them if anything else happens he will not be welcome to play at your house. I had a sitution happen when Tina was just 8wks. old. My husband's daughter which was about 9 or10 yrs. old at the time, tryed to smother Tina in the bedroom. I told her for now on when she visited she was not to close the bedroom door. I think it scared her enough that I walked in and saw what she was doing that she was afraid I would tell her dad. Never had another problem. Hope it works out for you because only y'all can protect that little dog. Some kids can be very cruel to animals. Its not worth losing your dog's life even if it makes them mad.
My nephew is a bit like that. He's an odd little boy. I absolutely WILL NOT let him around my animals when he comes over. I understand that he's only 5, but old enough to know right from wrong. I would just watch him when he comes over and not let him around the puppy. Although it's tough...it is your dog...and you have every right to say something to the grandparents to prevent it from happening again. They may not give a hoot about what he does or his actions, but when it affects you directly...I would say something to them. Hopefully they would understand your concerns. When I told my sister in law that my nephew was hitting and choking the puppies and trying to sit on them, she understood and he did get in trouble...but I went the extra measure and won't let him around the dogs or cats when he's over and I'm pretty sure he understands why. Good luck. Keep us posted!!!
I fully agree with thelifeofriley!! If you are not for sure of what you saw... and if you have a gut feeling. Then two things.... don't accuse him of something he MIGHT NOT have been doing... It'll only give him ideas if he wasn't. The grandparents will get defensive...as you know they are anyhow.... so to keep peace and the health of your puppy... Either put the puppy up or you keep the puppy FULLY with you when he is around. Consider your puppy as one of your children...protect it...watch it. Though I do have to say... I beleave you are right..and you saw what you think you saw... but..if it wasn't for not being for sure...let it go.. and atleast now you can have your guard up to prevent any future occurances. I would have said to tell the grandparents if you were 100 percent for sure! But I seriously believe if you say something... they will take his side...and it'll be very uncomfortable living next to each other...and the dog could pay the price by some one feeding it something it shouldn't have! (I am NOT trying to scare you but some people hold grudges and are weird like that...) Just keep a closer EYE on the pup if you have that child over!
You really need to keep a close eye on this kid. If something else should stir your suspition in regards to his behavior, it needs to be reported. If the grandparents won't listen, then somebody needs to. You know this is how most serial killers start out. I don't want to cause a panic, but this could turn in to a really serious problem. And might need to be dealt with by a mental health worker.
He's your friend,your partner,your defender your dog.You are his life,his love,his leader. He will be yours faithful and true to the last beat of his heart.You owe it to him to worthy of such devotion
Go with your gut feeling because that's usually right. I agree with everone else - keep the dog away from the kid when he's around & I would just add that you should keep an extra eye on him when he's playing with your kids. You never know.....
Yeah I was kind of thinking the whole serial killer train of thought as well. I really think he needs to talk to a counselor or something. He really has been put in an awful situation, going through a terrible accident with his parents only to have them handicapped, his grandma has cancer and his grandfather is pretty much the only one taking care of him even though he just had back surgery because years ago he broke his back. Put all that together and I can understand why a child might be angry with the world. But regardless of his emotions I will not allow him to hurt any of our family members, including our dogs.
I'm going to keep the dogs put away when he's over and keep a very close eye on him. If any other incidents happen I will definitely bring it up to his grandparents. I guess for now I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I just hope his bad behavior doesnt rub off on my kids. I was kind of hoping they would be a good example for him. I really do feel sorry for him.
I have an emotinally disturbed son(now 26) and I have tons of experience on this topic.
I could not allow my son to go anywhere on his own due to behavior similar to this child's, but I was not in denial about it like these grandparents are. I would not only watch him like a hawk with your pets, but ANY time he is in your house. Emotionally disturbed children (mine is autistic) are often fire starters,cruel or sexually precocious. He needs help in a big way and it sounds like the grandparents are in denial or don't have the energy or emotional stregnth to deal with this. Believe it or not, CPS was the best source of help to me for dealing with my son and eventually when he became too big for me to handle and my safety was in jeopardy, it was CPS that found the proper placement for him I AM NOT SAYING TO REPORT THIS FAMILY TO CPS in fact please do not do this, but you may want to suggest this to the grand parents when...not if...but when he becomes a real problem, cause unless they open their eyes, he will. it is sad, but your duty is to protect YOUR family and pets, not worry that you will offend the neighbors over this. Be nice to this kid, but very firm, because he probably wants discipline and sounds like he's not getting it at home. He will respect you if you are fair but firm.He may get really mad when you send him home, but he'll be OK. Good luck...
How about other children to interact with yours? If he's a possible BAD influence...I'd consider joining a youth group or a community center..some place your children can be around NORMAL children. I, also, feel sorry for the young boys situation..but..you didn't make that situation so you are not responsible or obligated to deal with him. Maybe it's time to brake away from him...just a casual hi and bye... over time he'll find other friends or kids to hang around. Good luck, make sure you keep a good eye on your puppy/dogs and children when he's around.
Redford has hit the nail on the head. Your children may be a good influence on this child, but the reverse may also be true. I am an elementary teacher and have seen children with this behavior, I will not even mention what some disturbed children have done to animals (Kindergarten!). Does your son like sports? Join the local soccer club or baseball team. Do not confront the grandparents, you may have an unwanted fight on your hands. Allow the child to keep coming over and offer him your love and support, but monitor the childrens' play, somtimes your child can be exposed to some unwanted things during play.
I would try telling the grand parents what you think he may have done and ask them if they think he may have done this. Ask for their advice about how to handle it with him.Tell them that you don't want to upset them or him.
Let me begin by saying that I honestly and truly understand your concern when it comes to your children and your pets being around the child this thread is about...but is that really the big picture?
You mentioned in your OP that the child is living with his grandparents and his recently disabled parents...uh, HELLO......of course this child is unstable, his parents can no longer care for him. I'd bet that this child was like any normal 8 year old BEFORE his parents became disable. If this child is showing signs of mental disturbance, the most responsible thing to do is to speak with this childs grandparents. Tell them about your concerns, but also show them that you're concerned about the kid. He might need some kind of psychological counselling - he's pretty much lost his parents - nothing easy for any child to go through. From what you've posted, his behaviours can most definately be manifestations of anger, despair and sense of loss of his parents.
I agree with Doggy. A child who exhibits detachment, most often acts out in cruelty to animals, despicable sexual acts on small childeren, and other behaviours that are clearly visible, if you're watching for them. This child would be extremely angry, confused, and may or may not be starting to act out his anger. I would say definitely talk to the grandparents, and parents, if they can talk, and recommend counselling. He is already getting in trouble in school,why is that, I wonder?