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Old 07-15-2019, 11:17 AM
AlexaI
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Default How Do We Get This Child to Be More Mindful of Others' (and Animals') Pain?

I am very concerned about my nephew and his relationship with animals. He is a very instinctive child, 4 years old, meaning that he tends to do whatever comes to his mind. He won't listen ever, he will bother everyone around him and sincerely consider it funny, which I guess is normal for a kid his age. We can't say no to anything that he will start scratching, screaming and throwing things around. The problem is he will bother his cat the same way he does to us. He is not dangerous per se, but he will do things that keep us all anxious like trying to poke at the cat with a pencil or run after him or press on his skin a bit too much. You can't leave him alone for a second that he will think of something we wouldn't approve of to do. He plays with his own cat well when we are around, throwing a plushie that the cat can catch for example, but he may do that for 15 minutes, then all of a sudden he will think of something else to try. He is a high energy kid and we try to keep him busy, but it just takes 5 seconds for him to try something "bad". Yesterday we were at the park and he stepped over a stray cat's tail knowing all too well it would hurt the poor thing, which shocked me. Granted it wasn't HIS cat, bit still it's a living being, how can he not show more compassion? Am I expecting too much? There's no way anyone is getting rid of the cat and I need serious solutions. Has anyone ever dealt with this? How do we get this child to be more mindful and responsible towards his own pet?

I should add that punishments don't really work much. Taking his toys just gets him mad at us enough to start acting spitefully, same with spanking. Talking to him doesn't work either because it's like he got it one second and then does it again 20 minutes later. We suspect he does it for attention but it's constant and no one can expect a child to be kept playing and doing stuff non stop. We are human too. Please help.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:22 AM
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http://nationallinkcoalition.org/faq...busing-animals

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...als-when-worry

https://www.animallaw.info/article/l...estic-violence

Here are some resources.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:04 PM
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This is not normal "kid behavior". He sounds very impulsive. I had a child like this in my daycare from 11 months until almost 5. He was my first daycare child ever, so I held on waaaay longer than I should have. I finally insisted he move on to Preschool since he turned 5 too late for Kindergarten. I couldn't take another year of it.

I think your nephew should be evaluated. Start with his pediatrician, tell them what you posted here and they should know how to get the ball rolling. Good luck to you!
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:05 PM
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No one is naturally mean and abusive. Our instincts are to be kind. Somewhere along the way this child has learned this behaviour. It also sounds like there is a grave lack of discipline and consequences for actions and possible neglect (reason for abusing an animal to get attention).

I would strongly urge you to get his parents to take him to a professional to find out what is going on.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:07 PM
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This is not just normal "kid behavior". It sounds like he has impulse control issues. I had a child like this in my daycare from 11 months until almost 5. He was my first daycare child ever, so I held on waaaay longer than I should have. I didn't have the skills to deal with him and his parents didn't seem to think there was an issue. I finally insisted he move on to Preschool since he turned 5 too late for Kindergarten.

I think your nephew should be evaluated. Start with his pediatrician, tell them what you posted here and they should know how to get the ball rolling. Good luck to you!
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:09 PM
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Sorry, thought I didn't post my reply. Added some info and posted, then realized I had posted the reply previously 😊
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knoxmomof2 View Post
This is not normal "kid behavior". He sounds very impulsive. I had a child like this in my daycare from 11 months until almost 5. He was my first daycare child ever, so I held on waaaay longer than I should have. I finally insisted he move on to Preschool since he turned 5 too late for Kindergarten. I couldn't take another year of it.

I think your nephew should be evaluated. Start with his pediatrician, tell them what you posted here and they should know how to get the ball rolling. Good luck to you!


Not normal!
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:29 PM
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Thanks everyone for your opinion. You pushed me to check out for possible problems and I found out about ODD, aka oppositional defiant disorder. The symptoms line up with what my nephew has been experiencing, it's uncanny. Has anyone ever dealt with it?
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:57 PM
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Only in my husband! He has ADHD. The ODD is undiagnosed but certainly there. It's often comorbid with ADHD.

It's not helpful for friends, family, or care providers to diagnose a child. We are not qualified to do it and it isn't going to get them the help they need. It will create conflict with the parents and make them dig their heels in further and write off their kid's behavior even more stubbornly. The best thing you can do is suggest an evaluation, not a diagnosis, and draw boundaries of behavior and enforce them. If the child doesn't stay within the boundaries, there need to be consequences that affect the parents as well as the child. Consequences like "I'm not comfortable watching Jimmy for you any more. I can't guarantee his safety or the safety of the people and animals around him." That makes the parents responsible for the problem.

I am still learning this lesson myself, with the guidance of the folks here. I have a child with challenging behavior who has put me through the wringer this year. I am only three years in and I swear I buy a new book for every child who comes through my daycare. When you try to find the problem behaviors in your books and the books all say something like "of course, if you are seeing these kinds of things, there are bigger underlying problems that this book is not intended to address"--it's time to throw in the towel.

My boundaries would be: do not touch the cat. Do not play with the cat. Leave the cat alone. If the child persistently goes after the cat, and the child needs to be the one who has their movements restricted. Shrink the area where they are allowed to play. It could be a challenge to keep a cat out of any space it wants into, but it is irresponsible to allow this poor pet around the child.
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4 year old, animals, discipline - consistency, domestic violence, evaluation, parent - its a verb, seperation, violence

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