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To refuse to have my niece stay with me anymore?

(42 Posts)
Goodynanny Sun 05-Dec-21 23:24:15

My sister is a single parent, (her choice), and has two adopted children. As is often the case, the children came from very difficult and upsetting backgrounds and subsequently have had their problems.
I’ve always helped out by looking after them, when needed, over the years.
They are now 18 and 14. The 14 year old has a lot of problems, cuts herself, is abusive and threatens suicide. (She has attempted suicide, though more as a cry for help I think). Social Services are involved but don’t seem to give much help.
She stayed with me for the weekend while her mum was away with friends, and as usual, bought their two small dogs with her, (much to the horror of my own dogs). Again while talking to me, she lost her temper, shouted, cried and was abusive, said she hates her mum, doesn’t want to live with her and wishes she could disown her. She then swore profusely, accused me of hating her and wanting her to die! I keep telling her I love her and always will.
In addition to this, their dogs are not housetrained and poohed all over the house, including on the beds.
I don’t think I can have her stay with me anymore, it is just too much. I constantly worry that she will hurt herself or worse and the abuse is so upsetting.
I want to support my sister but I'm 64 and not in the best of health and frankly I’m finding it way too much.
My partner hates seeing me so upset and worried. He also doesn’t want her staying anymore, but I hate to let my sister down. Am I being disloyal?

Blossoming Sun 05-Dec-21 23:32:45

No, and it sounds like a hell of a lot to cope with. I understand you feeling torn, but you can’t do the impossible x

V3ra Sun 05-Dec-21 23:35:44

No you're not being disloyal at all.
At the very least the dogs should be going to kennels, or a doggy homestay, and not misbehaving at your house.
It's not fair for your sister to expect you to cope with a troubled teenager, much as she herself might feel she needs a break.

rafichagran Sun 05-Dec-21 23:42:51

You are not being unreasonable, your sister should not expect this. She is taking the P... expecting you to look after her filthy untrained dogs.

Ro60 Mon 06-Dec-21 00:10:54

Sounds like you all need help. Goodynanny (though you've earned the right to drop the 1st Y),
Can the daughter go to 'Respite' with a professional foster carer?
SS need to step up before it's too late for this poor girl. A couple of years & she'll be out of the 'system'. ?

Goodynanny Mon 06-Dec-21 00:21:11

Ro60 apparently SS have refused the idea of respite foster care.

Caleo Mon 06-Dec-21 01:01:43

I think the poor child needs a carer who can tolerate the abuse, and I think it would need someone who has been specially trained and is physically fit to be able to do so.

Obviously Goodynanny you have the best will in the world, and have already done the child some good. I bet she will always remember you as a light in her darkness. However much as you would like to support the kid you can't and nobody could blame you.

welbeck Mon 06-Dec-21 01:50:51

it's not the child, it's your sister who is at fault here.
why are her dogs not house-trained.
how can she expect to impose that horror on you, along with all the difficulty of an emotionally disordered teenager.
of course you should not do this any more.

the child is adopted, not fostered, so as i understand would not be eligible for respite foster care.
this is the usual situation unfortunately; ss are very keen to recruit adopters because then they no longer have responsibility for the child. and they don't have to pay.
versus foster care.
many adoptive parents are dropped in it like this.
there are self-help groups for adoptive parents; your sister might benefit by sharing her experiences there.
people who have gone through something are often best placed to support others in similar situation, rather than the so-called experts.
just my experience. in another setting.
good luck.

welbeck Mon 06-Dec-21 01:52:43

just realised, i may have misunderstood the situation re respite foster care.
but it comes to the same thing, since ss have declined the request.

FarNorth Mon 06-Dec-21 01:59:07

Will you still be able to see your niece quite a bit, so that she doesn't feel devastated that you don't want her to stay any more?

Make clear to your sister that, whatever happens, you won't have her dogs to stay again.
If they are as bad as you say, what sort of conditions is your niece living in?

CanadianGran Mon 06-Dec-21 02:20:43

I think you will just have to have a talk with your sister saying that the situation is just too difficult for you.

If your sister goes away again, can the 18 yr old be responsible for the 14 yr old? You can be available for emergency contact only.

mumofmadboys Mon 06-Dec-21 06:51:42

Would it help if you stayed at your sisters home?

M0nica Mon 06-Dec-21 07:32:56

Do not look for ways round. Simply tell your sister that you cannot have her dogs in your house again - ever, because they are not housetrained and defecated all over the house including in a bed.

The problem with your sister's adopted daughter is more difficult. It looks as if the poor child has been taken from one dysfunctional home and placed in another. However to put it bluntly, even though it sounds indifferent to the child's problems, that is not your problem. It is your sister's and it is up to her to resolve.

Simply tell your sister that, although you feel sorry for the child, between her difficulties and your poor health, you cannot cope with her in your house unless your sister comes too.

If you hesitate to have such a meeting with your sister. Ask your partner if he would tell her. He could explain that he is worried about your health, that the last visit left you strained and exhausted for days so he thinks it best if the child no longer stays with you and that she is in the care of her mother when in your house.

Not easy I know, but the solutions to problems like this are never easy.

BlueBelle Mon 06-Dec-21 08:10:48

Oh this poor child you mention SocialServices but you haven’t said if she is under CAMHS which obviously she should be. How do her school manage her ? So many questions need asking ?
Certainly you should not have the dogs ever again and whatever is your sisters house like if they poo everywhere ?
I can understand you not wanting to look after her again but that’s another rejection for this poor kid she may be very fond of you it doesn’t sound as if she has much in her life
I think you need a good talk with your sister and as these two children are her responsibility perhaps she needs to not go away for weekends with her friends at the moment
Could you have the young girl for shorter periods invited over to a meal or take to the cinema or something to keep your links and let her know she is not rejected again
What a sad story for you all
(When someone is in the middle of a huge mental health rage it is best to leave them alone in their room don’t try and placate, or keep telling them you love them or to ‘calm down’ or anything like that ,just let her get it out of her system in a safe place on her own)
A sad story for you all I hope you find some answers for everyone sake

Lucca Mon 06-Dec-21 08:10:58

A troubled child/young person is one thing where I would try to persevere with care, but why on earth you feel obliged to have the dogs is beyond me, and sorry but a dog that was not housetrained wouldn’t get a second visit to my house .

Shelflife Mon 06-Dec-21 08:45:39

The dogs should not be with you even if the were house trained!.the fact they are not is outrageous!!! Your young neice is very troubled but she is not your responsibility, that task belongs to her mother. Talk to your sister and tell her it is too much for you . Perhaps spending time with your neice elsewhere is the answer , a shopping trip and lunch out? You love your neice but you must protect yourself. I hope this young lady gets the professional help she clearly needs. Good luck !

glammanana Mon 06-Dec-21 08:46:56

I would certainly not be having the dog's stay at all its just not fair on you & your OH.
Can you go with your OH and both tell her of the hardship you are having with your niece and give her the support she needs with SS.

silverlining48 Mon 06-Dec-21 09:10:18

Putting aside the dogs which you should not need to deal with, most unadopted 14 year olds can be very difficult so it’s not surprising this youngster is too given she will have extra issues especially of rejection.
Your sister needs to seek help initially with gp who can refer onto agencies which may help.
This is a confused and angry child who needs love and suppport hard though that may be at times.

Goodynanny Mon 06-Dec-21 09:22:03

She is under CAMHS and has had various councillors and psychologists. She is also on anti depressants. One of the problems is she is very tidy and her mother is the complete opposite. She also complains that her mother goes out far too much and that makes her feel unloved. But my sister says she needs the breaks!
I will try and see her away from my home, I think maybe that might help.

Socksandsocks01 Mon 06-Dec-21 09:27:36

No one could take that. I wouldn't think of it. And she knows the dogs are not house trained but still sent them over. Not likely. They are all her responsibility. Say no. And keep saying it everything she asks. What about your mental health?? Stand firm she's taking tge proverbial

silverlining48 Mon 06-Dec-21 09:37:00

If Camhs is involved your sister should be working together with them to help her daughter.
All you can do is try to be there and give them Both as much support as you are able,
Sister needs to limit her outings a bit and Maybe she and your niece could go out together sometimes. Don’t give up on the girl she can get through this stage given enough love and patience.

silverlining48 Mon 06-Dec-21 09:38:30

Socks that is harsh

M0nica Mon 06-Dec-21 15:51:47

I think OP's sister needs to realise that an adopted child is not just for Christmas.

When a child is going through troubled times and needs support and attention, real parents, whether the child is adopted, or not stick it out and do not take breaks when the child is farmed out on someone else, while they recover. The child comes first, last and middle.

FarNorth Mon 06-Dec-21 16:05:47

One of the problems is she is very tidy and her mother is the complete opposite. She also complains that her mother goes out far too much and that makes her feel unloved. But my sister says she needs the breaks!

It must be torment for the girl to live in a messy house with dogs defecating everywhere.
What is the point of mental health treatment for her when she has to live in those conditions?
Do social services know what the house is like?
You can report, anonymously, to them that the house is not a hygienic place for a child.

DiscoDancer1975 Mon 06-Dec-21 16:06:37

There’s no reason for you to keep putting yourself under this kind of strain. It’s sad your niece is this way, but for you to keep on the way you are could detriment your health.

Is there no one else who could support her? Was she able to adopt as a single mum, or was she in a relationship then? Because if she was, surely the ex partner should be helping. I was adopted myself, but I’m sure the whole process is probably different now.

That said, please take care of yourself.