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My friend is going through a nasty divorce. He has two kids, one is 14 and has ADHD and ADD, the other one is just there (she is eleven) for her sister when she needs her. They both see a therapist. Their mother has a severe drinking addiction and the kids hate her. Just last week the 14 year old became homicidal against the mother. Immediately the father called 911 and the poor kid was rushed to a hospital. The girls aren't allowed to go home until the mother leaves (The mother refuses to leave). So they are staying at my house. The father is now the legal guardian and is staying here too. Two nights ago the 11 year old had a panic attack and said it was because the 14 year old became suicidal. They are both in the hospital now and getting better but the father died last night and the girls still don't know. I am supposed to tell them. When would be a good time?
Uh... before you asked this question.They clearly deserve to know that their dad passed away. And they aren't going to like the news any better if you wait until a "good time".
This is a hard one. The girls definately deserve to know their father passed away as soon as possible though. My father died when I was 11, and my family waited to tell me until almost a week after it had happened. When I found out I was completely furious that the fact had been kept from me. These girls are young, but they are not little children anymore- they are approaching a very difficult age already, where they feel they are entitled to being treated like an adult and being just as informed on issues as any adult. You need to tell these girls that their father has passed, but that he will always be there for them in spirit, so maybe that can help with the blow. Also, how did their father pass away? This fact can be vital in telling them. If it was from an issue like drugs, alcohol or something, then you might want to just tell them he passed from complications, rather than letting it seem like he was irresponsible and did not care. With their father having passed away, the girls will most likely go to live with their mother, however since you say the 14 year old went "homocidal" on their mother, I would suggest you look out for both the 14 year old as well as their mother and put an appeal in with the court about the custody issue. If you feel like you could care for these girls and give them a (much needed) fresh start in life, I would go for it. From the sound of it, what these kids now is help becoming stable (both emotionally as well as in life). It's up to you now to provide that to them as well as to let them know that their dad would have wanted the best for them. And make sure these girls go to counseling as well, at least once a week, because it is NOT normal behavior for any 11 year old to be having panic attacks, as well as any 14 year old to be going "homocidal" or "suicidal".
To add to the previous post, definitely need to tell them ASAP. Since they're both currently hospitalized, I would recommend talking to their providers there, so that the hospital staff can continue to monitor their behaviors and moods more closely and can help them start to deal with their grief.What a horrible situation! I hope things continue to get better for these 2 girls!
you should have already told them. they need to know as soon as possible. but don't tell them the cliche things like "he'll always be with you in your heart." They'll look at it like you're patronizing them. Give them concrete comfort, like telling them they can come to you for anything, that you'll try to keep them from their mother, etc. give them hope for the future.
I would go to court to get legal guardianship of the children. After that get an attorney & get "power of attorney" over the children. That way, if the mother tries to take off with the kids she'll be charged with kidnapping since she is not legally responsible for them or otherwise.