D.M. asks from Hurricane, WV on December 20, 2008
My Nephew Is a bully...any Suggestion Please
my 10 year old nephew that I am raising has had a rough life, but the last two years has lived with my husband, kids and me. he has always been very rude and hateful with everyone. I had lunch at school the other day and walked into him screaming at another kid. he bully's my 3 year old. (ie. shuts doors in his face, jurks his arms and very mouthy) this is just some of the things. I really need help with this. has anyone had to experience this with their kids or family. I don't know where to begin to get him to be a different person than what he is use to being, or to stop being a bully. I have threatened to whip him and have punished him numerous times over this...Any help will be appreciated....thanks,
So What Happened?™
I want to thank everyone who responded to my request. My nephew lived with my mom until she passed in December 2007 and then he lived with his natural mother then he was taken by CPS and placed with me. So far my husband has had a talk with him and all is calm for now. I have started counseling and went to two sections so far. If all stays the same as it is right now. we will be doing great. I just have to put my faith in GOD and let him guide me with my decisions for my family and what is best for us. Thank you all who have responded, I appreciate it! 8<)
D.M. answers from Fayetteville on December 23, 2008
My friend took on her husband's niece. One thing that helped her with dealing with living with another family where she all of a sudden had two "siblings" was counseling. She still struggles and wants to see her mom, but knows that Aunt and Uncle are doing what is best for her.
Something else that might help is giving him consequences that are not whoopin's but removal of priviledges.
T.C. answers from Nashville on December 22, 2008
I would first set down with yoru husband and make a list of behavior that he has that you like and behavior that you don't like. I would then have an appropriate discipline to go with it. For example if he has a video game he likes if he is mouth to you give no warning, take the video game away for a week. Let him know up front that bullying is unexceptable and will not be tolerated anymore. Second-you have to stick with the punishment! Everyone has to stick with the punishment. Also, tell him he can be removed from the school for bullying. Most schools now have a no tolerance rule for bullying.
S.J. answers from Charlotte on December 22, 2008
I agree with the others. It sounds like some counseling would help. Also, you might try setting some time aside when things are good (like not in the middle of a flare up) and talk to him. He's a big boy. Ask him questions. Ask him why he does it. Ask what he would think of some one who treated him the way he treats others. Ask him how he would like it if he was treated that way. Really take time to listen and hear what he says. Try to validate his feelings even if it's only to say some thing like "Let's see if we can find someone to help you communicate better and you to feel safe here." It sounds to me like some of the classic, "Will you still love me if I do this?" behavior.
K.B. answers from Jacksonville on December 22, 2008
D., If you can, try to get some help for your nephew. Someone for him to talk to. If you can't afford it, there may be free services. You or your husband may not be the one who can get through to him. He may have heard or seen a lot before he came to be with you, I am not sure. But if he did, this may be in his system and he just needs to learn it is not acceptable. I am not a professional, so I won't even begin to tell you what you should do on your own. I have a nephew with ADHD and some other problems that add to the mix. You can't believe a word he says and to him NO means Maybe. This I will say is my sisters fault. Instead of dealing with his temper tantrums when she told him no, she would evetually give in. She had little money, but if he wanted a $200 baseball bat, he got it, even if it meant not paying for something else. He is now 21 and is NOT a functional adult. I can't count on 2 hands the number of jobs he has had. If I would have had to take him in and raise him at age 9, I don't think I could have with his behavior. I wish you luck and hope things work out for you.
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S.A. answers from Fayetteville on December 22, 2008
It sounds like your nephew has been traumatized. Anger is a symptom of the problem. Anger/rage always surrounds trauma. Behind the anger lies the wound or hurt. Being a Christian who has been emotionally healed from hurts, I know personally that turning to Jesus and letting him in is the only way to true healing and getting to the source of the trauma which is usually locked away. I don't know your or his spiritual state, but that's the best place to start. Asking Jesus for help. He promises to heal all hurts. Outside of the that, regular counseling may help locate the pain, but healing is not a given. Healing happens through acknowledgement of the pain and forgiveness/letting go. And it's usually hard to forgive without the Lord's help.
If you are a Christian pray and ask God for wisdom. If not, practically speaking, try to have your nephew open up about his past in order to locate the hurts. There are ways to do that by asking questions. But without Jesus you're walking blindly.
In any case you'll have to watch him carefully, since he acts out against others in the family.
I hope this helps. God bless you. \
M.T. answers from Nashville on December 22, 2008
Do you really want to raise your child with a bully or someone that harrasses and taunts your child leaving your 2 boys with no self esteem or confidence in themselves. I had a nephew like that and the best thing I ever did was to get away from that. I don't know why you have custody of your nephew but I would think really hard about putting him somewhere else in my own boys best interest.
I don't know what to do. Sometimes I think it is just in the genes. But if he doesn't settle down and learn his lesson now, he will get kicked out of school and/or sent to a correctional school because there is a "no bullying" policy in the school system now. I don't know that they really regulate that 100%, don't know how they could, BUT I know that if he was yelling or bullying my child I would be at that school every day raising 'you know what' till they did something about it and if it were really bad and I couldn't get anything done about it, I would seek higher help, maybe even an attorney.
It sounds like he may need some kind of medication to zonk him out if he can't behave. I think that I would seek a psychiatrist and get him on some kind of medication. I don't normally like that but if I had a bully around my kids, especially one that I would get into trouble for and wasn't sain enough to understand, I wouldn't hesitate.....along with working on how to get him out of my house and away from my kids.
A.R. answers from Knoxville on December 22, 2008
Have you sought counseling for him? This doesn't sound like your typical behavior problem. It sounds a little like Attachment Disorder.(look it up online) Obvioulsy he is living with you because he was neglected. Poor thing. Also that you put you were stressed in a little about me kinda makes me worry about you. That stress can wear you down. I feel for you. Big hug and good luck.
J.M. answers from Memphis on December 22, 2008
if regular punishment isn't having a response maybe you need to stop focusing on the bad behavior and start rewarding good behavior. Any time he's being good, playing quietly, not being mean to the younger kids (even if its just a moment), draw his attention to it. Tell him how good he is or how proud you are of him. Even thing he does right, reward him either with praise, extra tv time, an outing somewhere just for him. Devise a system that works for you.It'll be hard to catch him being good at first but hopefully it will soon get easier. He may feel like he's being yelled at all the time or that he's not as loved as your real kids. Positive reinforcement, while sometimes harder, can have much better results than negative reinforcement. Besides that, for some kids any kind of attention, even yelling and punishment, is better than no attention.
S.B. answers from Charlotte on December 22, 2008
Find him an outlet..kick boxing is great.Talk to the school couselor.He maybe lashing out for some reason also.Talk to your local police about bullying and see if they would talk to your nephew.Sounds like you need to use tough love on this boy.Tell him if things dont changed and you cant handle it then he will have to go into foster care because your kids need protection from him.
As the mother of a bullying victim you need to stops this NOW before he does do harm to your children or to someone else...good luck
D.B. answers from Memphis on December 21, 2008
You can get the school counselor to look at him, talk to him, sometimes that helps. But there are a few things that it could be. It could be food related, food allergies, it could be ADD, Aspergers. A psychiatrist can prescribe medications if he feels he needs it so I would take him there. It may be his rough life welling up and coming out in ways even he can't control or understand. And the stress it puts on your family is not healthy either.
So have him tested for food allergies & then seek a psychiatrist that can evaluate him. Best of luck to you. You are wonderful to take him in.
A.B. answers from Clarksville on December 21, 2008
You didn't mention this in your post, but if you know he has had a rough life, have you provided him with any form of counseling? Children are resilient, but there are still things that your nephew may not know how to work through, especially since it appears that his parents are not in the picture. I know that children whose parents have failed them in some way tend to have a tremendous amount of anger. They will direct either at themselves or at everyone around them or both. Even if you and your family have provided him with everything he needs to be happy, he probably needs to have a professional work with him to overcome whatever is at the root of his anger. You and your husband may also want to attend counseling to find effective ways of working with your nephew so you can help teach him to control himself and trust others. This is not to say that you guys are doing anything wrong, and I think it's wonderful that you are able to take him into your family like you have, but sometimes we all need a little extra hand. Best of luck to you all!