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Question
Posted by: What doI dO? | 2012/03/07

Orphaned kids

I took in my cousins 2 kids since feb 2011.Their mother died a few years earlier and their father was looking after them in his final stages of AIDS and related illnesses.I went there saw them living with no electricity ,little food,no care and my heart broke.I asked their father and he said I could take them until his mom returned to take care of them in 2012.Their dad passed away late 2011.They are 10 and 8,a girl and a boy.I have 2 boys of my own.They never speak of their parents,they dont ask any questions.I tell them things like,ur father liked to to that or your mother loved this kind of food or when u dress this way u look like ur dad.They smile or giggkle and thats it.The boy was failing in school before he came to live with me but we soon realised he is intelligent just like his sister.They both do well inschool but the girl lies alot and never admits to doing anything wrong.The boy gets very sad sometimes ,may cry but says nothing is wrong.The girl never cries even if i punish her for lying.They call my ghusband and I mum and Dad on their own so we just went with it.What sort of help do they need? should i be mentioning their parents more or not? Financially its been a big adjustment becuase my baby is only 14 months now,so from having 1 child,i suddenly have 4,but we manage well.I cant afford a pyscologist ryt now.Im worried that the girl tries to win over and impress people all the time,she never lets up and I cant tell you who she really is.The boy has lots of potential but hes like the crazy boy from " the wild thornberrys " sumtyms.they listen to us and are generally well behaved,better than my own kids.Im worried about what is going on INSIDe their heads? how do i help them? They may go back to their paternal grandmother next year because i sometyms feel overwhelmed, and she hints that she wants them back.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its hard to know what sort of relationship the kids had with either of their bioparents. It was brave and good of you to take them in when you did. I dont think you need to mention their parents specifically more - just, as you do, enough to make it clear that its OK for them to talk about their parents when they wish to do so.
This must all have been really confusing for them, especially with the prospect of going to live with grandmother next year.
They may feel insecure ( obviously ) and unwanted, and may vary between trying to impress you and others so they can stay, and giving up when they don't think this is working.
Check whether there are any child welfare services near you who could provide access to a counsellor for the children, to help sort out what they want and help them adjust to the situation. They're lucky to have someone as thoughtul and caring as you to have relied on at this stage in their lives

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Our users say:
Posted by: What do I do | 2012/03/08

Guys url making me cry now too.all the people in the area they lived in,family and friends say that but you know somehow i dont feel im doing a HUGE thing.My husband has been extraordinary in this,let me tell you,they literally hang on to him and hug him goodbye abt 5 times before he leaves home.He makes all our lunches and drops n picks them up from school and is basically the entertainment for them.Im too serious,worry abt the mum stuff,cleaning ears,brushing teeth,praying before bed,doing homework..Since we have them,God has also blessed us abundantly and I always tell people that say " u will get old before ur time,or those kids are too dammaged they will turn on you 1 day"  that I hope one day if my own kids need help that someone will open their heart or home to them.You guys really making me feel special now(smile).Thank you,you have just given me more strength.Thank you,God bless you &  your families and all the sick and needy kids around the world.BIG HUG

Reply to What do I do
Posted by: Bongi | 2012/03/08

Girl you just made me cry. Words cannot express what you are. The world can do with a million more of you. Thank you.

Reply to Bongi
Posted by: Lilly | 2012/03/07

Girl I take my hat off for you!!! You''re an angel in disguise and I admire your strength and courage to give these 2 kids a home!!! You don''t even complain about the financial or emotional strain this has put on you ... but your only concern is for their welfare!!! You go girl and believe me, Karma is watching you and will pay you back 1000x over!!! So proud of you - I''m sitting here with tears in my eyes!!!

Reply to Lilly
Posted by: What do I do? | 2012/03/07

Ok Doc,Thanks,I will continue with that then.Their parents were not together and they lived between maternal &  paternal grandparents homes with either the mother or father but since the boy was born,they never lived with both parents under the same roof at any one time.Very dysfunctional family but their mother showed them love and the boy in particular was her baby &  about 3 or 4 yrs old when she passed on.After he died he never spoke much and the family thought he would need a special school.Nobody spoke to them about what happenend.Yes I was very brave without knowing it,I just put them in the car with what they were wearing and off we went(a mothers heart).I just knew I could do better than what they were in at that time,but im not sure if im doing a good enough job with their emotional health.I cant contact the child welfare becuase their gran collects their grant or smething but Ill maybe contact an NPO and see if they have counselling.Thanks alot

Reply to What do I do?
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/03/07

Its hard to know what sort of relationship the kids had with either of their bioparents. It was brave and good of you to take them in when you did. I dont think you need to mention their parents specifically more - just, as you do, enough to make it clear that its OK for them to talk about their parents when they wish to do so.
This must all have been really confusing for them, especially with the prospect of going to live with grandmother next year.
They may feel insecure ( obviously ) and unwanted, and may vary between trying to impress you and others so they can stay, and giving up when they don't think this is working.
Check whether there are any child welfare services near you who could provide access to a counsellor for the children, to help sort out what they want and help them adjust to the situation. They're lucky to have someone as thoughtul and caring as you to have relied on at this stage in their lives

Reply to cybershrink

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