I was just doing a little research trying to figure out an appropriate consequence for when Daffy breaks the rule about touching the cat. The social worker didn’t really have any good suggestions when we met on Monday. I read this article and I’m all the more frustrated!
However, locking a pet inside a closed space, violently lashing out at a pet after getting in trouble with a parent, or taking pleasure in watching an animal in pain are all “red flags” that signal the need for professional intervention. This is particularly true when the child has the cognitive maturity to understand that what s/he is doing is wrong – and repeatedly does it anyway.
When I think back over the two years I have known her, several things come to mind off the top of my head (in regard to pets):
- Catching her try to sit on the cat before she even moved in
- Seeing her through the baby monitor hitting the cat in her bed
- Swinging her hamster around in an umbrella
- Trapping her hamster in a Barbie van for the school day
- Goofy finding the new cat trapped in a zipped bag in her closet
- Countless scratches on her hands and face over the past 2 years, something that has rarely happened to anyone else in this house the entire time we’ve had cats
- The sinister laugh she does while doing anything to annoy animals
I feel like the above list warrants the “Seek professional assistance” advice given in the article. I sought assistance. They don’t seem to care. What do you do when people just won’t listen? Is my only option to wait until Daffy goes too far? It’s no wonder that Tink feels such hatred for Daffy, given that she considers the cat hers. It’s not a very big leap to see why Tink has so many fears for her baby as well (coupled with comments that Daffy has made.)
I want things to change, but I feel like they aren’t going to without professional assistance that will finally see Daffy for who she really is.
PS. Would now be a good time to mention that we told the licensing social worker were NOT willing to accept children with a history of abusing animals???