A mother posted: “Last night, I awoke to find one of my sons in my room stealing the electronic devices. (I have suspected for some time that people were coming into our room in the night for bad reasons, but told myself that would be a bridge too far and that I shouldn’t think that.) It was his second attempt that night, as the first time, I saw him come in and foolishly assumed he needed help. He lied and said he had a sore throat, I believed him, gave him medicine, and comforted him. Later, I awoke to have the same child rummaging around in my very dark room, looking for the ipod. Of course, though he was caught red handed, he would not admit it. (I didn’t push it.) I also know that his brother was in on it, because the one who I caught tried to distract me while I heard the footsteps of his other brother go back upstairs. I feel so, so betrayed. The worst thing is that this was my son who seems to have feelings for me. It isn’t a compete RAD child… So, I just don’t know how to proceed. I am completely devastated. Feeling the same grief for the loving family that we prayed for. Hating that my kids view me as just an obstacle to overcome on the way to doing whatever the hell they feel like. And fear that I am losing my third son as well… Do I even bother to talk to him about how I feel? Do I try to make some lesson out of it? or do I just continue marching on, knowing that no matter what I say, or how hard I try, that things just aren’t going to change.”
I’m sorry. You feel hurt and betrayal. And that’s ok. I will say one thing that “we” hate hearing – but this time it’s true. Even NT (neurotypical) kids steal from their parents, and lie about it sometimes. Brothers who normally hate each other will band together for a common goal against mom and dad. So if even they will do it, how much more will our damaged, not quite with reality kids? Even though you do have a bond and attachment with the child, children are innately selfish and don’t think outside of I want and I want it now. Our kids are just 1000x worse. That doesn’t change the bond you have with him from his perspective, it doesn’t come into play at all for him. Yes you should talk to him how it hurts you, how it feels to be betrayed, how it hurt your heart. Absolutely, in language he can understand (emotional age). Remember 1 -2 sentences is all you’re gonna get before he tunes you out – make them count. I am going through this myself with my middle child, who I thought was attached, and puberty just started to hit and he’s been doing mean things to me personally – like throwing away my brand new shoes into the garbage at the curb on garbage night so they couldn’t be retrieved… stuff like that. It hurts. Hell yes. For us it was the sign that my son needs to be in counseling (he hasn’t up until now, didn’t seem to have any major issues, home since 2008, age 11 now, but knew eventually things would start up). Just cuz we were expecting him to eventually act out didn’t change that it hurt when he did, because it was so personal, directed at me. It shocked me, actually, I thought it’d be regular acting out like his brother, not so personally mean. Is there hope for my middle child? Yes, I believe with the help he’ll be fine. Yes you continue on, march on, BUT YOU ARE WRONG when you say no matter what you do or say, things aren’t going to change. That may be the short term, but you are in this for the long term, the big picture, and looking at the child’s whole life. What do you DOES matter and DOES make a difference when you look at that child’s entire life. You may not see any results til they’re 30. But you are planting seeds, that hopefully will take root and grow. Keep planting, keep tending those seeds. They DO matter. It will always matter
This is truly what unconditional love is. Although your heart hurts for her, you HAVE made a difference in her life, you continue to make a difference in her life, and I believe things would be so much worse for her if you were not her mother. At least she had/has a chance, something she would not have had otherwise. She still has a chance. Her brain is still growing, changing. She’s still under 18. Hang in there, hon.