Relocating Dominican Children

Gero

New member
Jul 26, 2005
19
0
0
After living in the DR for a while, I got engaged to and married a Dominican. Eventually we relocated to Canada and brought my two step-children with us. They have been here a few years now, and my stepson has adapted well and is thriving. His sister, however, is a different story. She has not adapted well, and her behavior is not only unsatisfactory, but destroying our family.

She is an incorrigible liar, she steals, is consistently disobedient and disrespectful, and refuses to do her homework or otherwise participate in school. She has been to counseling to no avail. I am repeatedly told by my spouse that this is typical behavior for a child in the DR, and of course, I reply that it is not typical nor acceptable here. She is still prepubescent... without effective intervention, I am afraid of how much worse it might get when she becomes a teenager?

My question: has anyone else experienced this kind of behavior in a Dominican child who has been relocated? What things have you done to resolve the issue?
 

contasm

Member
May 10, 2005
130
8
18
Gero..Do your step-children get to travel to DR to see their mother/father or your spouse relatives ?
 

DianaC

New member
Jan 8, 2005
48
0
0
We have similar issues with one of ours...

We have similar issues with one of ours. I am sure that we will eventually get it worked out, but for now it creates a lot of stress.

I don't think that it is typical behavior there or here, but I have observed that little girls are given more latitude in the DR than little boys.
 
Last edited:

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
18,946
502
113
Move this thread to LIVING, please ANNA....

First off, the young lady probably needs some "tough love" ...

By prepubescent you mean she is 10,11,12???

Has she been checked for a learning disability? Her eyes are in good shape? Is she in any way less loved and adored than her brother??
I don't really like all this ADD stuff, but I really am OLD school: "Reading and writing and 'rithmatic, taught to the tune of a hickory stick...."

However, this sort of behavoir is NOT considered to be anything close to normal in decent DR homes. No family of medium stature would tolerate this, and many, many of the low income families would be very tough on this sort of attitude if they were trying to get her educated.

If you want, send her to me, we need a new maid.

HB :ermm: :ermm:
 

bob saunders

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
27,874
1,489
113
dr1.com
It certainly isn't normal behavior for Dominican children. If my wife has a child like that in her school if the parents and teachers cant straighten them out in short order, they are out. It sounds like, you and your wife aren't on the same page. You both have to agree on an approach to the problem and then be consistant with what ever you decide.
 

Gero

New member
Jul 26, 2005
19
0
0
Yes and no

She is younger (8), she is on the waiting list to be tested, but ADD doesn't really fit with her "symptoms". She is more likely ODD... yeah, it's new... Oppositional Difiant Disorder.

Have tried the tough love thing... she doesn;t really care about antthing or react to removal of priviledges, puncishment, etc.

Sorry, not a great maid either...
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
18,946
502
113
Eight years old

and with an older brother getting all of the attention?

Seems like a cry to be noticed...anyway she can pull it off....

Do go on with the checking and testing..

HB :D:D:D
 

Gero

New member
Jul 26, 2005
19
0
0
contasm said:
Gero..Do your step-children get to travel to DR to see their mother/father or your spouse relatives ?
Yes, they have been back every summer. This year, we might all go at Christmas.
 

Gero

New member
Jul 26, 2005
19
0
0
bob saunders said:
It certainly isn't normal behavior for Dominican children. If my wife has a child like that in her school if the parents and teachers cant straighten them out in short order, they are out. It sounds like, you and your wife aren't on the same page. You both have to agree on an approach to the problem and then be consistant with what ever you decide.
I agree that part of the problem is consistency. Another part of the problem is that my wife is stricter with the boy and lets the girl get away with (almost) murder. She can do no wrong in her mother's eyes. The boy can (almost) do no right. When I try to discipline the girl, I am being "unfair".
 

contasm

Member
May 10, 2005
130
8
18
Would she like to go back to DR?

Gero said:
She is younger (8), she is on the waiting list to be tested, but ADD doesn't really fit with her "symptoms". She is more likely ODD... yeah, it's new... Oppositional Difiant Disorder.

Have tried the tough love thing... she doesn;t really care about antthing or react to removal of priviledges, puncishment, etc.

Sorry, not a great maid either...
Gero.. Have you asked you step-daughter is she resents being brougth to Canada. Perhaps she misses relatives, friends in DR. Some children react and behave as your descriptions when they feel they have been uprooted from an environment they consider safe and comfortable. Would be beneficial for all of you to explore this issue.
 

Gero

New member
Jul 26, 2005
19
0
0
contasm said:
Gero.. Have you asked you step-daughter is she resents being brougth to Canada. Perhaps she misses relatives, friends in DR. Some children react and behave as your descriptions when they feel they have been uprooted from an environment they consider safe and comfortable. Would be beneficial for all of you to explore this issue.
Believe me, we have asked her all of the questions (more than once)... there is no consistency in the answers. Some days she swears to love it here, some days she expresses a preference for the DR. At 8, I think that his is normal. Hey, some days I prefer it here, some days I long for the DR...

What she misses is being able to do exactly what she wants, when she wants to do it. What she resents is being expected to conform to the norms and values of Cdn. society. And she is clear on this point. She never waivers from it.
 

rellosk

Silver
Mar 18, 2002
4,159
54
0
Gero said:
What she misses is being able to do exactly what she wants, when she wants to do it. What she resents is being expected to conform to the norms and values of Cdn. society. And she is clear on this point. She never waivers from it.
That sounds exactly like my daughter.
 

REALDOMINICAN

New member
Apr 2, 2005
17
0
0
35
ok i see

this is the solution , smack her when is need it.
my mother hit me with Bat,Chair ,Bottles and Wire.
i'm thanks to that ,thats why now i Respect everybody .
 

jruane44

Bronze
Jul 2, 2004
1,025
44
0
A, A
REALDOMINICAN said:
this is the solution , smack her when is need it.
my mother hit me with Bat,Chair ,Bottles and Wire.
i'm thanks to that ,thats why now i Respect everybody .
Let me know when you need a good smack.
 

jellylegs2002

New member
Apr 9, 2005
171
0
0
a brat!

When i was younger i was a horrible brat....i really was, now i've turned out ok im glad to say. I agree a good smack is always a gd thing, but only when it is really necessary. Make sure u dont play up to the attention she wants you to give her, the reason she is being so badly behaved is cos she knows u react to her and give her attention for doing it. If you dont react at all, she'll give up cos she knows its not working. Praise her even on the smallest things that she does well/good, rather than all the negative things. She'll notice the change and will want to do better things that please you as it means she'll get positive attention from that, rather than being a pain in the A*** so she gets negative attention. Just an idea, theres this english tv program where a psychologist comes and helps families with children who play up, and the biggest reason they do it is because they want attention and its the only way they have learnt to get it, but by the parents changing their attitude to focusing on the positive things rather than the negative, and ignoring the bad behaviour the child realises that to get attention they need to be good. This is with young children, so im not sure how it would work with an older child, but you could always try and see.
 

MommC

On Vacation!
Mar 2, 2002
4,057
6
0
dr1.com
Sounds to me like you need to sit down and have a long talk...

First with your wife and then with the daughter.

Decide with your wife what constitutes acceptable behaviour for the daughter, what will be expected of her and how mis-behaviour will be handled by BOTH of you (although since you are the step parent discipline should be left up to the child's biological parent while your role should be to offer friendship and support to the child! You should NOT try to 'parent' the child as you are NOT her parent! -[so says DR.PHIL!]).

Then sit down with the child and let her MOTHER explain to her what behaviour is expected, what the 'rules' are and what 'discipline' will be if the 'rules' and behaviour are unacceptable.

Since she seems to not respond to "withdrawal' of priviledges and since I am not an advocate of 'smacking' I would suggest that the 'discipline' be in the form of having her remain in Canada for the summer while her brother gets to visit the DR as usual.

You didn't say if you and the mother go to the DR with the children in the summer or who they stay with while there. Maybe someone there is influencing the child in a detrimental way while they are there.......?
 

Gero

New member
Jul 26, 2005
19
0
0
There is still a chance that she will come around

Great advice especially from jellylegs2002 and MommC. Most of it we have tried, but we will keep trying. There is still a chance that she will come around. She is still young. But it is so frustrating to not see any improvement in her behavior over the last couple of years. I believe that we have tried everything short of a boot camp for kids. We have discussed and agreed on consequences for her actions, but her mother does not follow through... or after a few hours dismisses the behaviour as typical or that she didn't know what she was doing. This girl does know what she is doing... she is very intelligent and she reads people very well... she knows almost upon meeting someone new what is the best way to manipulate them and get her own way. Sometimes, I am in awe of how good at that she really is!

To answer some of the questions you have asked (and forgive me if I don't get to all of them)... when they visit the DR, they are with either myself or my wife or both of us. We have houses and some land there and so we stay in our own house. It is located very close to members of both my wife's and her ex's families. They do go to stay at their Grandparents (dad's side) for a while. Occasionally, but rarely, their father even stops by to see them. Mostly they are with us and with my wife's family.

I am not really sure that smacking her will make any difference. The few times we have tried that kind of punishment, she doesn't seem at all impacted. And more than what we have tried is illegal here. We haven't been going this alone, we have tried counseling and family therapy and various programs that are offered here, but so far, not even a dent has been made in her behavior.

Someone quoted Dr. Phil before, and I will paraphrase him now: he said that you need to find the "currency" that is important to these children and then "trade" in that currency. In our case, we have not found a currency that matters to her. Once we do, the situation may improve.

Thank you for all of your feedback. At least now I know that this is not "typical" behavior for Dominican children and that most of you don't seem to have experienced anything like this. Count your blessings.

(Please excuse any typos you find... my typing isn't so great.)
 

bob saunders

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
27,874
1,489
113
dr1.com
It sounds like you have to "discipline" the mother before you can discipline the child. My step-son(Dominican) had a habit of "borrowing" his older stepbrothers CDs, Games....etc and leaving them unprotected on the floor and some other habits, like taking milk out of the fridge and then blaming it on others. My wife did not believe he was doing any of these things, until one week he was the only kid home. So, after she had told him to cut out the lying and going into the other boy's rooms and taking their stuff, she told my son in front of Jose. Next time he goes in your room and takes something, you can have his stereo and you can also give him a cuff. Travis,who is very gentle with Jose, normally, boxed Joses ears, and we don't know what he said to him, but since then (about 3 years have passed) and Jose's behavior has straightened out. I doubt that this would work WITH YOUR STEPDAUGHTER. Is her behavior when she is in school as bad or when she is visiting friends. If so then the problem is her. If it's only at home then it's her mother reaction and inconsistency. I'm well aware that it isn't that simple, my oldest son was a "difficult" child, who still is difficult, but an adult with a job, decent friends, and a bright future.
 

Gero

New member
Jul 26, 2005
19
0
0
Good question

bob saunders said:
Is her behavior when she is in school as bad or when she is visiting friends. If so then the problem is her. If it's only at home then it's her mother reaction and inconsistency.
In some ways she is worse at school. At times she will talk or sing over top of the teacher during a lesson, crawl around on the floor in and out of the desks while the teacher is teaching, and generally not participate. She does what she wants and doesn't do what she doesn't want. She has been caught stealing food and other things from the children, she doesn't respect school property or other children's property, and she lies about being starved and asks for handouts at school. She absolutely refuses to do her homework stating that it is not her homework, that it is for the rest of the class, but not for her. She has even falsely filled out parent portions of homework reports to make it look like she has done her work.

She only has one real friend, but that is at home not at school. And lately that friend seems to be spending a lot more time with my stepson. Even friends will only be manipulated for so long. Strangely enough, she gets invited to a lot of birthday parties, but no calls or coming over to play.

Getting the consistency happening at home will help, but I fear that her problems run deeper. Hopefully the testing will identify the problem so that we can devise a plan to resolve the issue. As a last resort, she may end up in boarding school for a semester once she is old enough. There, she will find out quite quickly that she cannot manipulate eveyone around her.