My 5 year old (I have had him since age two) has an attachment disorder from being neglected and abandoned by his biological mother in the first year and a half of his life. He has been with me since age two, and has slowly been becoming a more stable child. He still has outbursts of rage, set off by little things, and can be violent (though he has never done more than hit or push the younger kids). He is unable to properly empathize with others because of his disorder, and it causes him to sometimes be cruel and hurt others. I am very happy with his progress, and how far he has come. I'm sure he's on the path to being able to live a life without the repercussions of his earlier years.
My main concerns are, 1. What is the best way to explain to younger siblings (age 2 and 3) that the oldest has a disorder that makes him have outbursts and that he does love them even though he lashes out? and 2. It seems like the younger ones sometimes model his behavior (his angry tantrums and pushing others when mad), and I'm afraid that they will emulate it through their lives even though they have been raised in a loving/non-neglectful home just because they are copying their older sibling whom they look up to.
Does anyone have a similar situation with multiple kids living in a house with a child with a disorder? Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.
I really feel like I'm doing the younger kids a disservice. They both have more easy going temperaments, but admire their older brother so much. I feel as though they're victims of my oldest's disorder. I'm also afraid they will feel abused by him, and confused of his feelings for them since he is off and on very sweet and caring, and then angry and violent.
They all receive time outs for misbehaving, and then are talked to about their behavior and role play how they could have handled the situation better. I do not do any physical punishment, and I will not so please no suggestions of that.
Answer by frogdawg at 10:57 PM on Apr. 11, 2011
Answer by Southernroots at 11:48 AM on Apr. 13, 2011
Answer by AAAMama at 12:14 PM on Apr. 22, 2011