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My little sister... - May 20th 2011, 12:41 AM

She just keeps getting worse and worse. When I was little, she'd throw fits on my mom and hit her and slap her and bite her and kick her. I'd try to help my mom, and my mom would tell me to get out of it and leave them alone. One time I remember my mom actually breaking down and crying, because my little sister had left red marks all over and screamed so loudly my grandma could hear it from her house.

Now my little sister...

She's got a habit of lying. She constantly picks fights with me. Now, I know you're gonna say she does this because I don't give her enough attention. But every time I do try to talk to her, she makes snide comments and is a smart-aleck (did I spell that right) and a half, and I can't stand her. She hurts my cat's kittens, doesn't care when they squeal and catches them when they tries to get away.

Worse, she hurts my little brother. They were walking home from my grandma's this evening, and she tries to walk down in ridiculous heels. When my little brother runs ahead -- I mean, come on, he's just six, and he loves to show off how fast he is -- he slows down a bit almost home, and my little sister slaps him with her book because he ran ahead.

Then she comes inside and starts telling my mom some cock-and-bull story about how my grandmother told him to not leave her behind -- it's only several hundred yards from one house to the next -- and how it was an 'accident'. She whines and cries and screeches until my mom finally gives in and starts listening to her over my little brother. Then my mom tells my brother to stop whining, and comes into the kitchen, and starts quarreling at me to pick up my stuff from where I ate supper. I think she's just trying to prove to herself she can keep control over at least two of us.

And while quarreling at my mom and trying to convince her that she wasn't lying about it being an accident (which I don't believe one bit of, considering the fact that she is violent toward my brother all the time and lies about it), she says, smiling like she's proud of herself: "But I only hit him once on purpose today, mommy." Need I remind you she's almost a foot taller than he is, weighs more than he does, and is three years older?

My brother and I get the worst end of everything. My mom shouts and quarrels at me whenever my little sister is around. When my little sister provokes me into telling her to stop doing something, I get shouted at. When my mom can't control my sister, she quarrels at me. When I stand up for my little brother, I get quarreled at.

On top of all this, my little sister is constantly whining that she's sick. It's gotten to where every other evening, she screaming and hollering and whining and begging for Tylenol. She swears up and down she has a headache, or her leg is hurting, or her stomach is aching, or she is sore all over from running outside. No matter what it takes to get that Tylenol, she will.

Then, she steals all my little brother's toys right out of his hands and claims them as her's. If he gets anything back at all after her doing this, my little brother gets the second-best. My mom and my sister scream back and forth until they come to some sort of a deal.

When my dad's home from work, my little sister will do everything in her power to make me shout at her, and then she'll say: "Ana did such-and-such thing," and I'll get shouted at and told to go to my room by my dad. I haven't ate dinner in the same room as my family for nearly a year, because she sees that as the time I'm most vulnerable to shouting. I honestly try not to shout at her, but it's hard to forget what physical and emotional injuries she inflicted upon my mom for nearly seven of her nine years of life, ever since she was big enough to do it.

To take the cake, my mom blames me for my little sister's behavior. She says I used to pinch and prod my sister as a baby, and make her angry, then laugh in her face for it. I don't remember doing any such thing, ever. She says the only reason Moriah -- my sister -- is so mean is because I used to shout at her when I was little. But I was always the one that paid Moriah the most attention, played with her the very most when we were younger. I'd probably still be playing with her if she wasn't so damned mean to me.

I'm worried for my little brother. He listens to me well enough now, but today, he told his first lie, and he did it just like Moriah would have. I'm afraid he's going to follow her example. More likely, because of his unwillingness to hurt anyone unless provoked, I'm afraid he's going to end up shy and frightened, just like I was for six of the seven years since my sister started acting up, and not fit in with the rest of the kids. Already, he sits beside me mostly every morning on the bus, won't stick up for himself, and tends to get upset over little things. Still, I can't bring myself to ignore the fact that he lied, just like my little sister.

My little brother means the world to me. I'd honestly kill or even die to protect him, because he's just the best kid in the world. He hugs me every time he sees me, misses me when he doesn't see me, we talk and watch movies and read kids' books together sometimes. More than for myself, or even for my mother, I'm worried for the sake of my little brother.

So what should I do? I don't really know. The thing I'm most concerned about is my brother's welfare, because I don't want him to be emotionally scarred by my sister, or forced to think that the only way to survive is to be violent and lie about everything; the secondmost thing is my own welfare, seeing as all my mother's frustrations and my sister's punishments land on my shoulders.

Any replies would be very much appreciated, and if you read all this, I commend you for being a very, very patient person.


Anna's Personal Keys to Happiness
1. Do what you want within the bounds of reason, whenever you want to, and regret nothing. 2. If you have an opinion, don't beat around the bush, or there isn't a point in saying it. 3. Don't keep the company of anyone who won't like you and will try to change you.



   
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Re: My little sister... - May 20th 2011, 10:59 PM

I'm not a psychological professional, so please keep that in mind as you read the rest of my response. According to the DSM-IV-TR, your sister would meet the criteria for Conduct Disorder, Childhood-Onset Type or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Her cruelty toward your family members, animals, and her use of theft and deceit to get what she wants are all classic signs of a serious behavioral disorder. At this point, simply disciplining your sister won't solve her problem, because that won't teach her anything about morals and appropriate behavior toward other living beings. Given that she's been exhibiting this behavior starting at a young age, I see no reason why she would "grow out of it" over time. She needs counseling, both on an individual and family level (you will all need to be on the same page when it comes to helping your sister, as well as your younger brother who is at-risk for developing mental disorders of his own).

I would recommend talking to your mother first. You can look up the criteria for Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder and show your mother. Convince her that your sister's behavior is causing problems for everyone in your family, and that it won't improve unless she gets professional help. If your mother won't listen, try talking to a counselor at your sister's school (if you can't go during regular hours, leave a voice message and ask them to contact you ASAP). If nothing comes of that, as a last resort, you may want to call Child Protective Services and ask them what you can do for your sister. Explain that your sister needs therapy but is not receiving it, and your little brother is being abused as a result of your little sister's behavior. They may be able to get involved and force your sister to receive an assessment from a psychological professional.

The thing I really want to emphasize is that your sister's behavior isn't going to improve on its own, and given your home environment, addressing the issue without the assistance of a psychological professional probably won't do the trick, either. You need to bring out the big guns for this one, unfortunately. I wish you and your family all the best.






   
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Re: My little sister... - May 21st 2011, 02:53 AM

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Originally Posted by PSY View Post
I'm not a psychological professional, so please keep that in mind as you read the rest of my response. According to the DSM-IV-TR, your sister would meet the criteria for Conduct Disorder, Childhood-Onset Type or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Her cruelty toward your family members, animals, and her use of theft and deceit to get what she wants are all classic signs of a serious behavioral disorder. At this point, simply disciplining your sister won't solve her problem, because that won't teach her anything about morals and appropriate behavior toward other living beings. Given that she's been exhibiting this behavior starting at a young age, I see no reason why she would "grow out of it" over time. She needs counseling, both on an individual and family level (you will all need to be on the same page when it comes to helping your sister, as well as your younger brother who is at-risk for developing mental disorders of his own).


I would recommend talking to your mother first. You can look up the criteria for Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder and show your mother. Convince her that your sister's behavior is causing problems for everyone in your family, and that it won't improve unless she gets professional help. If your mother won't listen, try talking to a counselor at your sister's school (if you can't go during regular hours, leave a voice message and ask them to contact you ASAP). If nothing comes of that, as a last resort, you may want to call Child Protective Services and ask them what you can do for your sister. Explain that your sister needs therapy but is not receiving it, and your little brother is being abused as a result of your little sister's behavior. They may be able to get involved and force your sister to receive an assessment from a psychological professional.

The thing I really want to emphasize is that your sister's behavior isn't going to improve on its own, and given your home environment, addressing the issue without the assistance of a psychological professional probably won't do the trick, either. You need to bring out the big guns for this one, unfortunately. I wish you and your family all the best.
I may have trouble convincing my mom, and not only my mom, but any psychiatrist or psychologist, that she has any type of disorder. She's perfectly normal in public. She acts like an angel when everyone can see her, and has, from my understanding, plenty of friends at school, good grades, etc..

But after researching it a bit, it does really match up with her personality. There were only two or three things on the list of symptoms (on each site I visited; I visited several) that she actually doesn't have.

I'll form a plan, though, and talk to my mom about it. Just have to catch her in a good mood. Thanks for the help, PSY.


Anna's Personal Keys to Happiness
1. Do what you want within the bounds of reason, whenever you want to, and regret nothing. 2. If you have an opinion, don't beat around the bush, or there isn't a point in saying it. 3. Don't keep the company of anyone who won't like you and will try to change you.



   
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Re: My little sister... - May 21st 2011, 09:55 AM

Don't mind your mother going at you, I'm sure it's because she's frustrated and doesn't understand why this is happening. She probably goes at you because she doesn't want you to butt in and potentially add more fuel to the fire. I think your brother just needs more and more care, as although he told the first lie you know of, it's likely in an act of self-preservation so he doesn't get in trouble. The fact he's sitting with you means he wants you to help as you're the eldest sibling and he probably wants comfort and for your younger sister to stop.

With regards to your younger sister, I've seen and met several kids like her who were older. The most recent one was 16 years old, she's been harassing one of my best friends outside of campus and I won't share how I approached her in detail but just know it was with verbal force, intimidation and carrying out several threats until she finally showed a true sign of fear. It worked for a bit but I had to approach her again and this time she was less resistant.

Your sister's repeated injury to animals does spark something different because that's not acting out like a brat that needs a good hard kick in the ass.

I've done several research papers on psychopathy and related disorders in adults and children. While I'm not an expert, it would be worth getting your sister to a psychiatrist BUT film her in these episodes. I say this because if she lies quite well, the psychiatrist may not be entirely convinced until he sees her in action. It's possible he/she could make her angry and see her anger in-person but if not, the videos would help. One possible method of therapy which you may be able to do yourself, is give her "rewards" when she does not react violently and angrily in situations she used to. Children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) react especially this way to figures of authority, so if she views your mother as authority, she's trying to get dominance over your mother. You may also be a figure of authority, although less so than your parents. I mentioned psychopathy because although it is similar, it's not the same but there are child-version assessments for it.

Children with psychopathy, conduct disorder and ODD may be intelligent, although their aggression can affect academic performance, it does not in all cases. You would need to see how she acts at school, particularly, how she is with teachers and fellow students. If she is perfectly fine with them, then establishing a diagnosis of ODD is going to be quite difficult as it may indicate deep family issues with additional issues your sister has given the animal cruelty.

I would pay particular attention if her harm toward animals increases, as it may. I would also pay attention to how she reacts when she's hurting the animals: smiling, no expression, etc... .

Parents don't want to hear their child has a mental disorder of any kind because there's a huge social stigma, so your mother may say you're wrong when you show her ODD and conduct disorder (CD) diagnostic criteria.

If it may help for your parents or yourself, there's a CBS television movie called "Child of Rage", made in 1992. It's not exactly the same as your sister because there was child abuse but the point is, the children displayed similar acts of aggression as your sister. Part of it is in another fascinating book, "Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us" made in 1993 by Dr. Robert Hare. There's a big difference between a child psychopath, a child with CD and a child with ODD.

If there is to be therapy, it must be on an individual and family basis, and the therapist also has to be able to see your sister's anger to appreciate the situation. This probably could be done by the therapist especially in individual therapy.

Lastly, and I hate to say this, but your sister may be recommended or forced into a hospital psychiatric ward depending how she gets. I say unfortunately because even if it's with children, the wards are a mix of disorders and sometimes some people can be quite prone to violence.

In addition with your sister needing therapy (no question there), your brother may down the road also need it depending how things go from here. This also goes for your mother because she's under immense stress. It's possible Child Services may be involved for the safety of all, especially safety for your brother and yourself.


I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
- Danko Jones (I Think Bad Thoughts)
   
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Re: My little sister... - May 21st 2011, 12:55 PM

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Originally Posted by The Man And XX Master View Post
Don't mind your mother going at you, I'm sure it's because she's frustrated and doesn't understand why this is happening. She probably goes at you because she doesn't want you to butt in and potentially add more fuel to the fire. I think your brother just needs more and more care, as although he told the first lie you know of, it's likely in an act of self-preservation so he doesn't get in trouble. The fact he's sitting with you means he wants you to help as you're the eldest sibling and he probably wants comfort and for your younger sister to stop.

With regards to your younger sister, I've seen and met several kids like her who were older. The most recent one was 16 years old, she's been harassing one of my best friends outside of campus and I won't share how I approached her in detail but just know it was with verbal force, intimidation and carrying out several threats until she finally showed a true sign of fear. It worked for a bit but I had to approach her again and this time she was less resistant.

Your sister's repeated injury to animals does spark something different because that's not acting out like a brat that needs a good hard kick in the ass.

I've done several research papers on psychopathy and related disorders in adults and children. While I'm not an expert, it would be worth getting your sister to a psychiatrist BUT film her in these episodes. I say this because if she lies quite well, the psychiatrist may not be entirely convinced until he sees her in action. It's possible he/she could make her angry and see her anger in-person but if not, the videos would help. One possible method of therapy which you may be able to do yourself, is give her "rewards" when she does not react violently and angrily in situations she used to. Children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) react especially this way to figures of authority, so if she views your mother as authority, she's trying to get dominance over your mother. You may also be a figure of authority, although less so than your parents. I mentioned psychopathy because although it is similar, it's not the same but there are child-version assessments for it.

Children with psychopathy, conduct disorder and ODD may be intelligent, although their aggression can affect academic performance, it does not in all cases. You would need to see how she acts at school, particularly, how she is with teachers and fellow students. If she is perfectly fine with them, then establishing a diagnosis of ODD is going to be quite difficult as it may indicate deep family issues with additional issues your sister has given the animal cruelty.

I would pay particular attention if her harm toward animals increases, as it may. I would also pay attention to how she reacts when she's hurting the animals: smiling, no expression, etc... .

Parents don't want to hear their child has a mental disorder of any kind because there's a huge social stigma, so your mother may say you're wrong when you show her ODD and conduct disorder (CD) diagnostic criteria.

If it may help for your parents or yourself, there's a CBS television movie called "Child of Rage", made in 1992. It's not exactly the same as your sister because there was child abuse but the point is, the children displayed similar acts of aggression as your sister. Part of it is in another fascinating book, "Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us" made in 1993 by Dr. Robert Hare. There's a big difference between a child psychopath, a child with CD and a child with ODD.

If there is to be therapy, it must be on an individual and family basis, and the therapist also has to be able to see your sister's anger to appreciate the situation. This probably could be done by the therapist especially in individual therapy.

Lastly, and I hate to say this, but your sister may be recommended or forced into a hospital psychiatric ward depending how she gets. I say unfortunately because even if it's with children, the wards are a mix of disorders and sometimes some people can be quite prone to violence.

In addition with your sister needing therapy (no question there), your brother may down the road also need it depending how things go from here. This also goes for your mother because she's under immense stress. It's possible Child Services may be involved for the safety of all, especially safety for your brother and yourself.
Child Services? They won't take my siblings away from my parents, will they? 'Cause if anything, I think that might hurt my sister worse than anything. And I do love her and care about her, no matter what she does, because she's my little sister.

I'll try to give her rewards when she's good. Maybe she'll enjoy making cookies... She seems to like stuff like that, when we aren't arguing over it.

When my mom isn't around, I can get her to listen pretty well. Last time she hurt my brother while we were all playing I sat her out, and she was pretty angry and lied about having pushed him, but she stayed there on threats of me not playing anymore. That proves, at least a little, that she's not quite out of control yet, and that I have a little bit more power over her than my mom does. Mainly, that's why I try to step in when she and my mom are quarreling, though it doesn't seem to work quite as well as when I, myself, am the only authority figure around.

The animals... I think she loves them, but she wrestles with them and runs around in the yard with them squealing something awful, and she hides them under blankets and lies, smiling all the while, about having them, and doesn't seem to care when I tell her she's hurting them. I don't know if that constitutes as animal cruelty or not, but it sure looks like that, sometimes.

Would taking a video of her doing stuff and then showing her help at all? I mean, maybe if she saw the stuff and heard the stuff she was doing, it would make something click and she would realize herself a bit better? I think it would be good, maybe to see if she's capable of feeling guilt, or if she just explains/lies it away like everything else, just so when it comes time to visit a psychologist/therapist, I or my mom can give them some more information on her behavior.


Anna's Personal Keys to Happiness
1. Do what you want within the bounds of reason, whenever you want to, and regret nothing. 2. If you have an opinion, don't beat around the bush, or there isn't a point in saying it. 3. Don't keep the company of anyone who won't like you and will try to change you.



   
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Re: My little sister... - May 21st 2011, 10:48 PM

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Originally Posted by Eldora View Post
Child Services? They won't take my siblings away from my parents, will they? 'Cause if anything, I think that might hurt my sister worse than anything. And I do love her and care about her, no matter what she does, because she's my little sister.
It's no guaruntee but if things spiral out of control, then there's a higher chance of them being involved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eldora View Post
When my mom isn't around, I can get her to listen pretty well. Last time she hurt my brother while we were all playing I sat her out, and she was pretty angry and lied about having pushed him, but she stayed there on threats of me not playing anymore. That proves, at least a little, that she's not quite out of control yet, and that I have a little bit more power over her than my mom does.
Kids with CD and ODD won't be completely out of control, they maintain control over what they want and especially with CD, they're intelligent enough to know when to stop being very aggressive because it won't work in their favour. She wouldn't be someone who tears the house apart because a spider was in a different room, there is going to be some control and they will allow you some control in certain situations. It may instead be she knows her mother will have the highest power and is the one who will give her what she wants. Alternatively, she may just not like her mother at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eldora View Post
The animals... I think she loves them, but she wrestles with them and runs around in the yard with them squealing something awful, and she hides them under blankets and lies, smiling all the while, about having them, and doesn't seem to care when I tell her she's hurting them. I don't know if that constitutes as animal cruelty or not, but it sure looks like that, sometimes.
That sounds more like it's unintentional on her part and she lies about having them so she can keep playing with them. It may cause harm but for animal cruelty, it means deliberate harm. An extreme example (your sister isn't doing this so it's purely for example purposes) is putting a cat in an incinerator and watching the cat scream in pain as it dies. That's an extreme example and kids have done that but your sister seems no where near that level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eldora View Post
Would taking a video of her doing stuff and then showing her help at all? I mean, maybe if she saw the stuff and heard the stuff she was doing, it would make something click and she would realize herself a bit better? I think it would be good, maybe to see if she's capable of feeling guilt, or if she just explains/lies it away like everything else, just so when it comes time to visit a psychologist/therapist, I or my mom can give them some more information on her behavior.
The videos would be excellent for the psychologist or psychiatrist and therapist. The psychologist or psychiatrist can see how she is acting so they know which diagnoses are more likely. Granted, it cant be just one clip from one day because everyone has bouts of anger, so it would have to be numerous clips from different days. Ideally, filming her entire behaviour from the start of the anger and lying to the end of it would be perfect but it's understandable you probably cannot do so. It's also good because kids with CD often have been in contact with the law (sometimes kids with ODD as well have been in contact with the law) but if your sister has not, then without video evidence, such a diagnosis becomes very unlikely. The best would be if the psychologist or psychiatrist sees her anger and lying in-person so they can poke around to examine it. The videos would be great for therapists so they know what they're dealing with in better detail than simply being told the child has whatever diagnosis.

I didn't think of suggesting to show the video clips to your sister but it may be beneficial as you say, however, it could instigate her anger because you're filming her over and over. I'd avoid mentioning that you're taking the films to also give to a psychiatrist and therapist down the road because that puts you in the hot seat with your parents and your sister.


I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
- Danko Jones (I Think Bad Thoughts)
   
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