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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I am concerned about my 9 year old grandsons emotional attachment

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I am concerned about my 9 year old grandson's emotional attachment to his maternal grandmother. I'm hoping that she isn't doing anything abusive to him, but not sure.
When he visits her, she constantly hangs all over him and wants to sleep in his bed with him. She always says "I love you and miss you" like 20 times in a row, when he talks to her on the phone. She buys him whatever he wants and lets him eat whatever he wants, even though he is over weight and she has been told to limit his caloric intake. He cries hysterically when she leaves after a visit. He wants to live with her and doesn't mind tellling his mom that. She writes him about every week and sends him toys too. She is married, but not a happily. Physically, I have noticed that she kisses my grandson on the mouth. He has also mentioned something about "big loving" that he and Nana do. I hate to think the worse, but it does not seem normal for a grandparent to act so much like this kid is her boyfriend. Do you think a counselor could get him to open up and tell what is really going on with them?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know about this situation and can see why you are this concern.

Customer:

Hi,

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hi, thank you for joining the chat

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

While in some cultures or families kissing grandchildren and children directly int heir mouths is just acceptable and fine, all the other behaviors you have described are obviously very unhealthy and I'd say, abusive too.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This scenario shows an adult who is severely spoiling a child, seriously distorting his personality, damaging his psychoemotional and physical health too with it, and without doubt, undermining his relationships with parents and other family members.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Spoiling this bad, could be, in my opinion, as bad or worse than what we use to consider abuse, because it is masked as expressions of "unconditional love and caring", while in fact these behaviors only distort and undermine a child in multiple ways.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

When affection, attachment and sharing are unhealthy, without assertiveness, clear and good boundaries and limits, sound discipline and even common sense, they become destructive. For sure the child would love such spoiling and see other people opposed to it as enemies and mean, but in fact he is being victimized by the person spoiling-abusing him in such ways.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This child's parents should be fully responsible to taking good care of their son not allowing any unhealthy influence, even less those which are obviously abusive like this type of spoiling.

Customer:

Do you think there is any sexual abuse going on here?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

A child's psychotherapist would be the best professional to support parents and grandmother. I believe they are who truly need professional support the most. I do not use to work much with a child in his situation, but with those adults responsible of raising - parenting them. He is just a victim of whatever those adults responsible for his integrity, education and well-being do, and unless real changes were not implemented at those levels, the child would continue to suffer and develop further problems.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Based on what you said, the only red flag I could suspect here around sexual issues could be the "big loving" you reported he mentioned. it is necessary to find out what does that mean for sure, once all the other behaviors are very concerning and damaging, and from there to other issues could happen too, no way to know but by truly knowing this child, which is parents responsibility, and if they do not know, then professional psychological support seems necessary to find out. Independenlty of the potential sexual issue, the other issues you reported justify the need of immediate professional support.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It is not normal for a grandmother to "cry hysterically" after every visit, and it is unacceptable and abusive to spoil a child the way she does, even more when he already has overweight problems.

Customer:

My grandson is the one who cries, but only when he has to leave her, nobody else.

Customer:

I will get him to counseling right away and maybe they can figure out any other issues he may be hiding.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, sorry for the confusion. then it does show the nature of their attachment, she is literally empowering a very unhealthy relationship, and it would continue to undermine the child's well-being at multiple levels.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Child psychotherapist, with expertise in play therapy could be very effective exploring any issues, including those that present resistance and real challenges to adult therapists....I believe a child psychotherapist or a marriage and family therapist is essential here to work with both parents and grandmother, since the child absolutely depend on them.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I support your initiative, please also consider therapy around parenting, boundaries and healthy attachment, affection and discipline, for both parents and grandmother to work on making essential improvements, to protect and take good care of your grandson's integrity, development, growth and well-being.

Customer:

Ok, thanks so much for your advice. It has helped me realize that I need to get some help for him soon.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust.

Customer:

Have a nice day!

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You too!

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