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I don't recognize my niece anymore.

Feeling at a loss these days. My niece just turned 8 and she's growing up. She used to be the kid that wanted to take things to children's hospital so they wouldn't be so bored and got excited by lots of things.

She still smiles and laughs when her mother isn't around, but every time her mother walks in the room the smile disappears, she acts afraid to speak, and if I ask her if she wants to do something she looks at the floor and shakes her head.

I asked her a while back if she wanted to work with me on sewing some doll dresses and she said yes.
I asked her dad a while back about her helping me out with some doll outfits to give to the children's hospital. I got a email back saying that she said "she didn't feel like it"

I've seen that little girl start to shake when her mother enters the room. Or she'll be happily playing with me and then as soon as her mother enters the room she stops.
Over the past 6 months I did manage to ask her if everything was OK and she told me that she wasn't supposed to talk to me about things.

I've called and asked her dad to speak to me, but if he doesn't, then I'm about to go to the school counselor and see if she has advice. This would probably put everyone in a tight spot since her dad works at the school.

I'm at a bit of loss. I'm not sure if she's become spoiled, or if there's another problem here.

I was abused when I was growing up and there was really no one I could tell. When I did try to tell my pillar of the community mother just convinced them that I didn't really know what I was saying.

I've been asked many times why don't I just walk away from the situation because things often don't go well with me and her mother. Long story.
Seems that her mother is trying to keep me at a distance from said niece and
her sister. I'm starting to wonder if she's doing that because she's got something to hide. something she doesn't want oldest niece telling me.

This has happened in the past, oldest niece has told me that she wants to talk to me 'quietly so that no one else can hear' and she talks to me about things that bother her.
I think mom is trying to prevent that.

Niece's mom has never seemed that please with my oldest niece. she's admitted how disappointed she was when she wasn't the boy she was expecting. I see her mom hug the youngest one all the time. I can't really name a time that I've ever seen her give oldest niece a hug. I've seen her tell my niece no when niece asked for a hug before.

I can't be there for my niece if I'm prevented from being able to see her. My worst fear is if I speak to someone about this they'll just blow it off and I'll be prevented from seeing my nieces.

has anyone else run into a situation where they thought that maybe a child that wasn't theirs may need help?


Asked by Anonymous at 12:38 AM on Sep. 17, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • I'd be so worried about abuse that might be going on with the way she's acting.. those are all signs she's been abused in some way inappropriately. If there is ANY way you could find a way to see if you niece has bruising or marks DO SO, keep a camera handy to take a quick picture. Tell you niece it'll be okay, that you are going to try to fix this. Then call CPS.. keep in touch with the counselor at school about your fears as well so they can help in keeping an eye on this girl.
    Best of luck!

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 10:23 AM on Sep. 17, 2011

  • I haven't been in that situation, but if I ever felt a child really needed help, I wouldn't hesitate to call CPS.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 12:50 AM on Sep. 17, 2011

  • i have a few time now. i had to call the CPS to make sure nothing was going on

    Answer by BabyDove at 12:57 AM on Sep. 17, 2011

  • I would call CPS and explain to them what you've explained to us and tell them your instinct says something's wrong. Ask them what you can do in your situation. I don't know what is considered cause to go check the kids themselves. Don't worry about the Dad working at the school. The counselor should be able to keep it quiet unless of course the child says something (likely). Ohhhh boy. Good luck.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 12:59 AM on Sep. 17, 2011

  • I was kool-aide and football,basketball too.I have been around a lot of neglect kids.They would tell my boys and my crew wanted to know why their friends ranked 1st in sports and their parents didnt care.Over the yrs,I have been thanked many times for helping wth their boys....they know the fun is overand time to get clean and start all over

    Answer by Isiswolfe at 9:16 AM on Sep. 17, 2011