Friday, September 30, 2011

How to deal with 4 year olds meaness

My grandson Connor was located in Cali away from his father & me "Nana" and in a situation where his young mother was using drugs and saying devastating things to the young boy such as I hate you, this is all your fault, Nana is a bad person who should be killed etc. This was going on for 2 years.

We did not realize this situation, as we were given no contact with the boy not even on the phone for that time. She did not even send pictures to any of us here. Out of the blue the mother told my son to come to Cali to get the boy that the boy was the devil and she did not want him anymore. My son went to Cali and retrieved his son. I saw him for the first time in over 2 years today. I was so excited I did not have a clue as to what was about to take place.

He seemed to recognize me and at first he seemed happy to see me. I was so happy to hold him again after so long. Before he moved to Cali with his mother he really loved me and we played a lot and were very close & loving with each other. Today when I saw him again he told me that he hated me that I was a bad person and if I was not looking he would crush my skull in and he would kill me because I deserve to die. Then he told me to get away from him and get out of his house "I'll kill you!” he said. I told him I wish he did not feel this way because I love him more than anything else in the whole world. He scowled at me and yelled for me to "just get out of here and go home!" “Leave me alone!”

I did not cry in front of him but I assume I was pouting and holding back tears as I calmly said "OK Connor I will go home now" I told him I loved him very much then I left. My heart is broken for this little guy. I am to start babysitting tomorrow for my son as he works and I really need some advice as to how to handle his delicate little feelings and my own at the same time as trying to show him a loving environment which is the opposite from what he has been used to while living with his spiteful & hateful drug addict mother.

I am quite sure she must have been saying these hateful things around the poor little fellow and also directly to him as punishment for her own situation. What can I do to help him love & trust me again and to stop saying such ugly things with such an ugly face & attitude towards me. He used to cherish me and couldn't wait to play with me before his mother & my son separated. Now two years later he thinks I am evil and would do him harm and says he hates me and I deserve to die, he wants to "kill me dead".

I feel so badly my heart is aching not only for me but for him as well, and how badly his mother has treated him to the point of this displayed hatred. He claims to hate his mother as well and “never wants to see her again”.

I want him to love & trust me again...I miss him deeply and I want him to have normal feelings & emotions and to feel loved & special not the way he feels now. Can you please help me? I am the grandmother but he will be spending his days with me as his father works. Connor is 4 yrs, his mother is 22 yrs, his father is 28 yrs, I am 47 yrs and he has not seen daddy or me in two years until now.

We now live in New Orleans and my son, the mother & Connor had to move back to Cali after hurricane Katrina as our home was damaged. They broke up after that and my son moved back here to New Orleans. Since then the mother has withheld any contact with my son or me until the call came for my son to come and get his devil son.

We love him with all our hearts and want him to adjust his hateful attitude without causing any further damage to his emotional foundation. Can you help...I want him to have a normal life with good feelings & a loving attitude towards everyone even his mother who has abandoned him. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

He was not violent towards me at all physically, he just spoke in a non specific tone as though it was normal conversation. He was not outwardly angry or aggressive in action while he said these hateful things, but it scared me in a weird kind of way to.

Renee in New Orleans

Dear Renee:

He has you and your love. While this should be enough I would strongly encourage you to get him into therapy now. The good news is that there are children's therapist who specialize in play therapy and can help him with his adjustment. He needs support, he needs assistance in adjusting to reality. He has not been living in a real world and his mind was not full developed then nor is it now.

Keep being loving, kind and setting boundaries with him AND get him into a qualified play therapist who can help him and help you help him.

He is fortunate to have family who love him so, all children in his situation are not this fortunate.

Sincerely,

M Kay Keller

Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Politeness 

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Comment: Thank you for your time & advice, I am FWDing all of this information on to my son and we have discussed similar actions mentioned in your article already. Today is going very well. There has been no negative verbalization's on Connors part thus far. I have kept him occupied with "neato" stuff like worms & bug carcases & snake skins from my snake. We also held the snake and looked for frogs. He seemed at ease and interested in all the "neato stuff" I am focused on his future & emotional well being. I will do everything I have to do to see to it he feels safe, loved and honor boundary's delicately set for him.