Our son, a 9-year-old, confided in us recently that the only reason he came to live with us is that he wanted to get away from his previous foster parent. I don’t blame him, she was abusive, and I’m happy we can give him a safe place to live. However, he has confessed that he doesn’t think of us as his parents or his family. He’s been with us for a year.
He is officially adopted now and is legally our son. So, there’s no going back. He can’t be placed with another family now. We had many conversations with him when he was in a foster placement with us to make sure he wanted to be part of our family. He always said that he did want to be with us. On the day we signed the adoption paperwork, we even had him talk with the social worker privately one last time to ask him if he really wants to be part of our family? He said yes.
It’s become clear now that he was just saying those things to get away from his previous placement. Again, I don’t blame him. His old foster mom would physically abuse him.
We try to do everything we can to make him feel happy and loved. We bought him drums so that he can follow his passion for that. We shower him with gifts and spend a lot of time playing with him and trying to engage.
The real problem is that he doesn’t see us as parents, and because of that, he has very little respect for us. If any. When we try to have serious talks with him or administer discipline for poor behavior, he shuts down, or worse. He gets violent. He has completely destroyed the walls in his room. You can see it in the other room now. He physically attacks us, threatens to kill us/stab us. This past week, he tried to choke me because I asked him to stop using his drum stick to put more holes in the wall.
He goes to therapy, but it’s made no difference. We begin intensive in-home therapy as well as medication this week. We desperately hope they work, but I’m worried they won’t. He doesn’t like us very much unless we are giving him exactly what he wants when he wants it.
We can handle a nine-year old’s punches, kicks, and bites now, but pretty soon, he will be a teenager and be much stronger. There will be a day when he will be able to overcome us physically, and we have no idea what to do when that happens.
So, we’re stuck with a nine-year-old roommate that doesn’t like us at all, can’t go live somewhere else, and that attacks us on a regular basis. We live in fear.
I’m not sure what I’m trying to accomplish with post, but it was good to put it into words.