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what is 'normal' behavior?

Posted by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 9:11 PM
  • 12 Replies

I have a 2 friends who I met when they were together.  They got pregnant, and then married.  Always kind of a rocky relationship but I like them both just fine.  They divorced/separated about a year ago.  (they've been dating on and off for about 8 years).  Their son is 3.  The girl started dating a new guy.  I went to their house to meet him and hang out with her and I brought my son.  I felt uncomfortable and had to CONSTANTLY be holding his hand or running after him...I didn't even go to the bathroom.  When i got there I was pretty shocked with the conditions.  The guy she's dating apparantly 'inherited' a house from a co worker (thats all i know) and it needs some serious work.  While that is fine, I don't think her child should be there when he visits from the dads house.  (The girl has visitation currently).  She flipped out when her ex brough up the conditions and told me things like "Can you believe that, don't you think he's crazy?"  I didn't really know what to say.  They had a cat box with no lid just in the middle of the living room, no carpet on the stairs and nails poking out of them.  No cabinets on any of the kitchen cabinets ... pretty much... unfinished.  The dad lives with his parents.  I've been there, too.  Its a nice house, even if he is living with his parents, its...finished.

So.  Today he told me he's having a hard time because his son is acting really weird when he comes back from his moms.  I told him that there is a lot of room there, but when he explained it to me and told me that his doctor was telling him that it didn't seem normal to him I thought maybe i would ask some of you ladies who may have been through this.  This is a direct quote of what he told me.  Any opinions would be really helpful.  His son is a total sweetheart so i'm a little put off, too.

"when (my son) gets home from his moms house he has been acting out/weird. I took him to the doctor yesterday, and brought it up...and the doctor said that it is not normal. I mean its normal that he acts out because of the seperation, but the way he is acting out isnt normal...and she says she is worried about what goes on at her house"

"screaming at me, hitting me, throwing terrible tantums with absolutely no reason, doesnt want his pull up changed, wont eat, has nightmares,is digressing in potty training "

"It takes me until the day before he goes back to get him back to normal, then the whole process starts again"

 

Any thoughts or helpful suggestions to help ease the behavior?

by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 9:11 PM
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Replies (1-10):
kristinbugg
by on Jan. 1, 2013 at 9:58 PM
The nightmares, potty training regression, refusal to change Pull-Up and refusal to eat COULD be a sign of sexual abuse. I'm not saying the child is definitely being sexually abused, but those things are HUGE red flags. Are there any physical signs that aren't normal with the child?
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zannahdeux
by Silver Member on Jan. 1, 2013 at 10:05 PM
1 mom liked this

This was one of my thoughts too but...regression is TOTaLLy normal for young kids who have a lot of change or stress. My sd would revert back to baby talk when dh and I got married and then when we moved in together...she was 8 and 9 during those times....I would suggest that the dad call cps about the conditions and you should too. Two calls will send them there for sure...good luck to them 

Quoting kristinbugg:

The nightmares, potty training regression, refusal to change Pull-Up and refusal to eat COULD be a sign of sexual abuse. I'm not saying the child is definitely being sexually abused, but those things are HUGE red flags. Are there any physical signs that aren't normal with the child?


lovemyfriend
by Bronze Member on Jan. 1, 2013 at 10:25 PM

That was a thought I had, or neglect.  I don't know her boyfriend...so who knows there, but I could see her not paying enough attention maybe?  I am not sure about physical signs.  What do you mean?

Quoting kristinbugg:

The nightmares, potty training regression, refusal to change Pull-Up and refusal to eat COULD be a sign of sexual abuse. I'm not saying the child is definitely being sexually abused, but those things are HUGE red flags. Are there any physical signs that aren't normal with the child?


kristinbugg
by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:59 AM
Any abnormal bruising, cuts, scrapes, or anything like that. When Dad changes the Pull-Up, is there any redness, irritation or bruising on or around the genitalia, rectum or buttocks?


Quoting lovemyfriend:

That was a thought I had, or neglect.  I don't know her boyfriend...so who knows there, but I could see her not paying enough attention maybe?  I am not sure about physical signs.  What do you mean?


Quoting kristinbugg:

The nightmares, potty training regression, refusal to change Pull-Up and refusal to eat COULD be a sign of sexual abuse. I'm not saying the child is definitely being sexually abused, but those things are HUGE red flags. Are there any physical signs that aren't normal with the child?



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whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

I think it has to do with his parents separating. I think it is common. I don't know about "normal," but common.

I think the child needs to see mom and dad interacting with each other at exchangees, acting like they like each other and get along, to make the child feel more secure.

I don't know about the house thing.  I don't think the behavior is related to that. not that I can tell from this post anyway.

Mommyof5247
by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 10:18 AM
My SD did many of the same things when she was 3 but her mom was actually telling her things to scare her about dad & me. Overall, I think the regression & some tantrums are from the stress of the separation. If the doctor has concerns, then they are required to report them. Dad could also get a letter from the doctor being specific about those concerns if doctor is willing to be involved.
I wouldn't want my 3yo in a house that's not up to par either, but mom must have earned her way to only getting supervised visits so I'm not terribly surprised either. Dad needs to express his concerns to a counselor, BM & CPS if he's really worried & has the doctor stating similar things.
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twinklebites
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 10:32 AM

XH and I separated when the kids were 2 they were horrible acting when they came home some of their behaviours were normal for the age just exaggerated , I do blame his couch hoping on that the kids neverwent to the same house on visits but I never thought  any abuse I would keep looking for signs change is extremely difficult on some kids it was worse for my DS than my DD.

Lorena
by Bronze Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 10:41 AM
I think this is common with kids that have to go through seperation. And now my has a new guy. My skids are 9,7,&4 when they come back from bm's they act up. It seems that by the time we get them acting appropriate it's time for another visit with bm.
Now for the house. If bd is really concerned he could call cps and have them check it out. I agree that it sounds like there could be some safty issues.
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lovemyfriend
by Bronze Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Thanks for the help, ladies!  I'll ask him those questions about the abnormal physical signs, and also about their behavior to each other at exchanges.  And I'll give him all the other info too. 

DDDaysh
by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 5:14 PM

I would be concerned with the contitions, particularly the protruding nails.  However, if the child isn't coming back injurred, only acting strange, I'm not sure that has to do with it.  

While those things you mention could be signs of abuse, they don't really seem that abnormal.  They could also just be signs of a 3-year-old who is in upheaval emotionally because of his parents separation and being shuttled back and forth.  

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