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earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
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Our live-in housekeepers son hurts my dog and we have to keep

Resolved Question:

Our live-in housekeepers son hurts my dog and we have to keep them separated. He seems to get enjoyment out of hurting my dog. People are telling me this is normal but it seems so socio pathic and deranged.

My dad got seriously injured so I am taking care of him. Our housekeeper/helper has a 2.5 year old son who is extremely beyond his years, very intelligent in many ways. I know very little about children and I try to keep my advice or words to myself, but she is a live in so the kid lives with us too.

To give you some idea about his behavior/lifestyle, he decides when he sleeps and when he eats, he goes into the fridge and climbs up and tells someone what he wants and he gets it. He doesnt have set meals. I have set meals but since I work out of the home and many hours, the food is brought up to me and I eat pretty healthy. However the child doesn't eat regular meals. Today he asked me to lift him up to point at what he wants in the fridge and he pointed at the whip cream, and I asked his mother if he was hungry and she said I dont know. Then i said has he eaten? She said no. So I suggested to make food for him and did. However, he insisted he wanted whip cream only and wouldn't eat the food. I ignored his request.

My dog is my best friend and I can't stand to see him hurt her. I got to the point where I will scream at the top of my lungs to get him to stop as his mother used to move slow to get him. The few times that happens, he runs off or hides or cries.

My responsibility is my dog. It happens so fast. We now gate them apart but when I am not looking the mother doesn't leave the gate up or such and they are together. The injury takes moments as this kid is so fast.

One day I was in a common area in the house and my dog was sitting on my lap practically...this is so i can protect her. She is a large dog though and the kid was on the other side of her calmly smiling at me and his hands were on my dogs face, thinking he was just holding her face and he was cooing to her... then i realized he was pushing his fingers into her eyes. I freaked and the mother calmly got him and went away.

This angers me so much but we need her right now for my dad's sake. I can't think of replacing her right now. Its just not doable as she does so much for our house.

I learned that taking his toy cars away send him into a freaking out crying stage and so now I am doing that. When he acts out against my dog and his mother doesn't stop him or even if she does but moves slow, I go get his toy and throw it in the trash.

The kid has since developed this respect for me and now cries whenever i leave the house. Apparently he likes no one but me, besides his mother. I like him 70% of the time but the other 30% i hate him with all passion.

What shall I do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  earthsister replied 4 years ago.

earthsister :

Good morning, I would like to help you today.

earthsister :

This sounds like a very frustrating situation, as you need and want to keep the assistance of your housekeeper, but her child seems to make life very difficult for you and your dog. I do also understand that you have pleaded with your housekeeper to keep her son away from your dog, but she fails to do so, or moves too slow to stop him. I also can understand you feeling most responsible for your dog, seeing that the child is not your own; however it does appear that you like him more than you don't; and that this child has developed a liking for you as well. This sounds like a good reason to want to make things better with him, and not just get rid of your housekeeper (and her son). I would be a bit concerned with how it seems your housekeeper is ignoring your request (this could bring up issues of trust). This may be a useful standpoint to come from when you speak to your housekeeper (letting her know that you want to be able to trust her to follow the rules of your home). More importantly, I think that a good way to bring urgency to the situation when you do speak to her again, is to express your concern for the safety of not only your dog, but her child as well. A lot of times, children get bitten by a very kind and playful dog because they are picking with or agitating the dog. Let your housekeeper know that you do not want such a thing to happen with your dog and her child, and so it is necessary that he is not allowed to pick at the dog.

earthsister :

I also thing that it may be helpful to find a dog trainer (who works with people) that can help teach your housekeeper's son the proper way to interact with a dog; this of course would be an extra cost, however perhaps maybe part of the stipulation can be that the payment for the trainer comes (at least partially) out of your housekeeper's pay. Another good teaching tool can be books or videos: "Tails Are Not For Pulling", is one such book that can be read to your housekeeper's son on a regular basis:

earthsister :

When you are around your housekeepers son, do what you can to teach him what is and is not acceptable when interacting with your dog, and also explain to him that these rules are for his own safety, as well as the safety of your dog: Ask him to put himself in your dog's shoes (paws): "Would you want someone to poke you in the eye or pull your tail?"


earthsister :

I do hope that my answer has been of some help. I aim to provide excellent service; if you feel that my answer is of no help, please message for me prior to providing your rating, so that I can assure that I have done my best to provide you with the answer that you need. Thanks. "earthsister"

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX is helpful, but just to clarify, yes, I have been doing all of what you said. I have told the little boy many times what if we were doing it to him and he doesn't care. He runs his toy cars into my dogs paws so a few times I did that to him, not hard of course but he is one that doesn't like to be touched in any way unless he wants to be touched. He is very independent. When he wants to hug you he will and when he doesn't want to be hugged he wont. I am very good about allowing him his space.

I also have been going over the biting thing as that was my biggest concern. The mother doesn't seem to care. So one day he was running into the dog and her tooth cut into his cheek. She didn't bite him but it could be assumed by someone that my dog bit. In fact our housekeepers boyfriend asked what happened and he said my dogs name. SO i was concerned from day one that my dog would have to be put down by authorities if she bites a person and she is so sweet and so patient. she would never bite him. however he provokes her so much.

You're right i trust our housekeeper less and less because she doesnt do this. For example we bought her an iphone and its new and she keeps letting her son watch videos on it and he drops it. I asked her probably 8 or 9 times to not let him and everytime i turn around it seems, she lets him use it. She then justifies it by saying hes not touching, hes just watching so i allow it but then he'll pick it up and drop it. It is not insured and cost us around $600 for it. So we don't want it broken.

However, I am stuck. I can't fire her at this point but I also can't handle the extra stress at times. I hate yelling at anyone, esp a two year old but the ONLY time he listens to me in the time sensitive moment is if i do yell. then he goes into tears but at least my dog doesnt get that one injury.

I am going to look up that book now and I am hopeful you can give me a little bit more of an answer to the above?

Thank you!
Expert:  earthsister replied 4 years ago.
Hi again,
I do not suggest continuing to yell at the child; as it is stressful for both adult and child, and teaches the child nothing in regards XXXXX XXXXX and communication. Do try what I have recommended in regards XXXXX XXXXX dog trainer that can work with people, as well as books, videos, and self at home instruction with the young man and your dog. If nothing gets better, and the stress continues, I do think that you will have to make a tough decision. Meanwhile, be honest with your housekeeper; let her know that you do not want to get rid of her, but the stress is becoming too much for you to handle and something has to be done. If she cares about her job as I think she should, I am sure that she will be willing to listen to your suggestions and to follow through. Please stay in touch; let me know how it goes. "earthsister."
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