I have an issue that is an adoptive-type circumstance, but perhaps more, because it is an in-family adoption and I am uncertain about the likelihood that it will be permanent.
My great-niece is 4 and came to live with us and her great-grandmother who stepped in to be her guardian because my dgn mother had broken my dn's arm and refused to get her treated, as well as they were squatting in a house with no windows and doors in December. It's a long story, but basically my mother-in-law (her great grandmother) had been the only constant caregiver in her life, albiet allowed abuse to occur under her watch as well as drug abuse by my niece in front of my grand niece. She is an enabler and doesn't seem to be able to draw good boundaries for the people around her. There is a lot of family history here, and we suspect that my dgn is actually the product of incest that my niece accused her father of, but my mil refused to believe and actually funded the legal defense of her son (my niece's father).
Now she is living next door to me most of the time, and when she first came out to live with us, it was understood that my DGN would be eventually living with us, and for the first month or so, that is the direction we were going. Then my MIL started to express her desire to have my DGN stay with her, and would do things to make my DGN want to stay with her, like allow her to have a bottle with chocolate milk during bedtime, and put her in diapers and not help her use the potty (at 4 years old). Basically babying her and letting her do whatever she wanted. Distructive behaviors, very regressive behaviors. Watch tv whenever she wanted, etc. Things we don't do in our house.
We got her potty learning done and had her on water at night, but my MIL would come back and have her again exhibiting all these regressive behaviors. Crying, instead of using words when she didn't get what she wanted...all sorts of things.
Now things are occuring like my DGN is taking things from our house and putting it at my MIL's, sneaking it, and when I find out later, it causes a big mess when I insist that she can't do that. Especially because my MIL doesn't seem to see what is wrong with it. The nature of what she is doing seems really subversive and it bothers me a lot. I really value honesty and respect for things. She asks all the time, or insists, that somethings is hers. She is very into defining what is hers. I will get toys that are for all the kids (I have a 4 yr old DS and a 2 yr old DS), like horses and she will take them over to my MIL's to keep. She will find something she likes and ask me to put them up so other's can't play with them.
The major issues are I don't know where this is leading. I see the path that would occur if she stays with my MIL. She is 70 years old. She has been a horrible parent and grandparent to all of her family, ultra-enabling of the girls and abusive of the boys. She has values and standards that are so different than what I am doing with my own children, and the clashes make it very difficult to parent all of them. She has begun to lie to me and to challenge me because my MIL does not back me up with discipline, so she has no respect for my standards of behavior. I have her with my kids every day for 10-12 hours a day, because she loves my boys and our toys and we go places, as my MIL doesn't drive or do anything but sit in her house.
I have to go my son is waking up. Any advice is great.