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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Coping with new "housemates" - August 17th 2010, 01:22 AM

My mom's friend, who she has known for over 10 years now, is losing her house to forclosure like so many other Americans. She was originally going to live in this run down camper trailer, which is inhabitable to humans believe me! She has two kids, a 19 year old son who is lazy and who is inconsiderate in my opinion and a 10 year old daughter who has A.D.D and is extremely hyperactive! My mom, being the kind person she is, offered our finished garage (which really isn't a garage, its a room pretty much, to her and her kids until she gets back on her feet (Shes completely broke). They also have a large dog, 3 cats, and a 50 pound tortoise...and we already have a LOT of pets ourselves. I don't know how I personally am going to deal with it. I have this anxiety and stress disorder, and just thinking about having to worry about the 10 year old accidentally letting my dogs outside while I am at work, or allowing her big dog to mix with my pack of small dogs and of course my dogs being the ones who will be injured, and probably killed stresses me to no end!! And I have never lived with a kid before, especially one with a hyperactive disorder, and I just know she will cause me a lot of stress! I don't know how to go about dealing with it, I don't want her and her kids (and pets, the 10 year old and her pets are MY biggest concern) to live in a TINY run down, unsanitary trailer which won't even be hooked up to electricity or plumbing, but I also don't want something negative to happen in my own personal life, such as losing the life of one of my dogs (Who are my children!). My brother had a friend live with us for only a few months, and it was HORRIBLE!

Do you think I am being selfish not wanting them to live with us? How do you think I can manage my anxiety and stress level?

Ive already figured I can deadbolt doors that lead to the dogs so that the child cannot open the doors and let the dogs out, not to mention it would be unsafe for her to be around them because they are not used to children, and may bite. (And jump all over her too, we are talking about 10 dogs...small, but as a pack feisty and capable of harming a child).

I personally don't see it working out, but my mom is optimistic.
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Re: Coping with new "housemates" - August 17th 2010, 02:25 AM

Children with ADHD can be difficult to manage, but not impossible. If I were you, I would learn more about this particular mental disorder, then talk to the girl's mom about how to handle various situations (ex. girl is running around the house and won't listen to you). That way, you'll feel a bit more prepared for whatever comes your way. Also, keep in mind that you are NOT her mother... so ultimately, it's NOT your job to make sure she's okay. That's her mom's job, first and foremost. If she asks you to baby-sit, that's one thing... but just because you live together doesn't mean you have to become the girl's big sister.

As for the dogs and other pets... perhaps you could talk to your mom about having them taken to the shelter, or given to better homes while the family gets back on their feet. If they're so short on cash, then they can't really afford to buy food for their pets. That money should be going toward other things instead. You could also tell your mom that you're concerned for your own pets, and that it's not worth risking their safety in order to see whether or not the two "packs" can come together peacefully. Perhaps you could reach a compromise: if things don't go smoothly after two weeks, then all of the other family's pets have to go, or live somewhere else until they can get back on their feet.

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