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Struggling with how to handle..

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

The kid's father has been in town for 2 days. I dropped the kids off with him for a few hours (at his parent's house) yesterday and we all visited today. Yesterday when I picked them up my oldest was crying saying that daddy pushed him and daddy grabbed his arm. I looked and he did have a red mark on his arm so I asked their dad about it and he says he gently separated them while they were fighting. Same type thing happened today.

In the past I have witnessed him pushing the older kid (always only the oldest) with a quick, precise movement. It's agressive but controlled so he doesn't see anything wrong with it. It leaves bruises from his hands on the kid and of course the kid hits the ground. Said child is autistic.

He has this art of convincing everyone that we didn't just see what we saw. He didn't push the kid, he gently moved him. Etc. Only a couple other people have seen him do this.

So do I have to just let it happen? What can I do about it?

 

Also, kind of unrelated, my middle child says he wants to live with daddy because daddy misses him. He doesn't get mistreated like the older child so I can understand him missing daddy but it still upsets me. :(

post #2 of 21
If he is pushing and grabbing hard enough to leave redmarks and bruises, he is doing it realy hard! I have not been in that situation, but I think taking them straight from dads to the pediatrician would be a good idea. Take pictures yourself too, but I would like to have a third party witness as well. Im not sure how bad the bruising/marks need to be before it becomes a cps/police issue.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post

If he is pushing and grabbing hard enough to leave redmarks and bruises, he is doing it realy hard! I have not been in that situation, but I think taking them straight from dads to the pediatrician would be a good idea. Take pictures yourself too, but I would like to have a third party witness as well. Im not sure how bad the bruising/marks need to be before it becomes a cps/police issue.

I feel like he's just toe'ing the line of abuse. :( Enough to cause psychological harm to the kids but not enough to get in trouble.

post #4 of 21

Why is he seeing the kids unsupervised? Do you have a custody agreement that requires this? If not, then perhaps this can be avoided by not leaving the kids with him alone?

 

Your middle child isn't old enough to understand 'wanting to live with Daddy because Daddy misses him." This sounds like parroting what his Dad said to him. He can't possibly comprehend the ramifications of such a thing. You can validate his feelings ("It's hard when mommy and daddy don't live in the same house." "Your daddy misses you and it makes you sad." etc.) without really entertaining this as a true option. It sounds like it isn't a good option in any way whatsoever.

 

If you aren't protected by a court order, or a valid custody agreement, it's probably time to do that to protect yourself and your children. Grabbing hard enough to leave marks is corporal punishment verging on physical abuse. Take photos. Every time. And then do what you need to to protect your kids. 

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry View Post
 

Why is he seeing the kids unsupervised? Do you have a custody agreement that requires this? If not, then perhaps this can be avoided by not leaving the kids with him alone?

 

Your middle child isn't old enough to understand 'wanting to live with Daddy because Daddy misses him." This sounds like parroting what his Dad said to him. He can't possibly comprehend the ramifications of such a thing. You can validate his feelings ("It's hard when mommy and daddy don't live in the same house." "Your daddy misses you and it makes you sad." etc.) without really entertaining this as a true option. It sounds like it isn't a good option in any way whatsoever.

 

If you aren't protected by a court order, or a valid custody agreement, it's probably time to do that to protect yourself and your children. Grabbing hard enough to leave marks is corporal punishment verging on physical abuse. Take photos. Every time. And then do what you need to to protect your kids. 

Our divorce won't be finalized for a few weeks yet. He has agreed to give me sole custody and signed a waiver of service, I'm doing it all pro se. I'm just trying to keep him happy until it's all final so he doesn't change his mind (to answer the question why I let him have them unsupervised).

It's good to remember that my middle child doesn't realize what he's saying, I know they all miss him in a general sense. 

I will be getting a good camera for sure...i have a picture of a man-sized handprint across my oldest kid's face. :( It's hidden away to use as a bargaining chip if he ever tried to take them from me, he doesn't know I have it.

 

Also worth noting is that he's going to Korea for a year in May so I won't have to worry about it for a while.. 

post #6 of 21
That sounds like abuse and is something I would report to cps as a teacher. In our area they are awesome about walking you through your concern if you are unsure about whether something does cross the line or not.
post #7 of 21

If it's leaving marks or bruises, it's abuse.

post #8 of 21
Quote:
 I would like to have a third party witness as well.

 

Quote:
 If it's leaving marks or bruises, it's abuse.

 

I work collaboratively with CPS on a daily basis... I do the mental health assessments and therapy - if deemed necessary - on CPS referred cases.  In my county (and it does vary greatly by county), as soon as a mark and/or bruise is witnessed - preferably by a third party - they will investigate within either a 24 or 72 hour time frame.  The details of the reports are assigned points... the higher the points the quicker the investigation.  The fact that it is your autistic ds, who is receiving the marks, the higher the priority. 

 

Additionally, as important as it is to document by taking pictures of the marks... it's often very easy to enter into a he said/she said dispute about the validity of those pictures.  This is why third party witnesses (particularly mandated reporters; teachers, doctors, childcare workers, etc) and their subsequent reports are SO important.   

 

Quote:
It's aggressive but controlled
 
I'm just trying to keep him happy until it's all final so he doesn't change his mind (to answer the question why I let him have them unsupervised).
 
 Also worth noting is that he's going to Korea for a year in May so I won't have to worry about it for a while.. 

 

The fact that he is grabbing your ds hard enough to leave a bruise, that is not controlled.  

 

While I completely understand trying not to "rock the boat" and wait it out until he leaves... it truly only takes one incident to go from bad to worse.  Not the mention the potential psychological damage it is putting your children through... presently and possibly in the future.  

 

My suggestion: 

 

If there is still a visible bruise, then contact CPS immediately and/or see if you can get into see your pediatrician.  You need that third party witness.  Also, bring your pictures of the recent bruises/marks and the previous incidents.  Personally, going straight to the police station, which can be very intimidating for a child, should only be considered in more severe and immediate cases.  Although, in all honesty, ANY action you take to protect your kids is a good decision.  

 

If there is not a visible bruise, contact CPS and give them ALL the details.  They could then advise you on next steps.  You can call and give them this information anonymously.  In my county, we call it an anonymous consult.  

 

I'm really sorry that you and your kids are having to deal with this.  It is never easy... for anyone involved.  :hug          


Edited by Holland73 - 1/22/14 at 5:11pm
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holland73 View Post
 

 

 

I work collaboratively with CPS on a daily basis... I do the mental health assessments and therapy - if deemed necessary - on CPS referred cases.  In my county (and it does vary greatly by county), as soon as a mark and/or bruise is witnessed - preferably by a third party - they will investigate within either a 24 or 72 hour time frame.  The details of the reports are assigned points... the higher the points the quicker the investigation.  The fact that it is your autistic ds, who is receiving the marks, the higher the priority. 

 

Additionally, as important as it is to document by taking pictures of the marks... it's often very easy to enter into a he said/she said dispute about the validity of those pictures.  This is why third party witnesses (particularly mandated reporters; teachers, doctors, childcare workers, etc) and their subsequent reports are SO important.   

 

 

The fact that he is grabbing your ds hard enough to leave a bruise, that is not controlled.  

 

While I completely understand trying not to "rock the boat" and wait it out until he leaves... it truly only takes one incident to go from bad to worse.  Not the mention the potential psychological damage it is putting your children through... presently and possibly in the future.  

 

My suggestion: 

 

If there is still a visible bruise, take them directly to the police station.  Or, if you can get in to your pediatrician's office right way, take them there.  Also, bring your pictures of the recent bruises/marks and the previous incidents. 

 

If there is not a visible bruise, contact CPS and give them ALL the details.  They could then advise you on next steps.  You can call and give them this information anonymously.  In my county, we call it an anonymous consult.  

 

I'm really sorry that you and your kids are having to deal with this.  It is never easy... for anyone involved.  :hug          

Thank you for all of this information, believe me I am taking notes. The only reason I am waiting until the divorce is final (3 weeks or so) is because the kids and I are already gone. We haven't lived with their dad for a few months, this was a visit. I will be making sure the visits are supervised from now on.

In regards to taking pictures, I have noticed that it is hard to get a picture of bruises most of the time. Can I take him to the police department if it has been a day or 2 since the incident (I'm thinking sometimes it takes a couple days for a bruise to appear).

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post
 Can I take him to the police department if it has been a day or 2 since the incident (I'm thinking sometimes it takes a couple days for a bruise to appear).

Personally, I'd call CPS, explain the situation to them and then see what next steps they advise. 

 

The only reason why I say this, which I know is in opposition to what I initially wrote, is because 1) it can be pretty intimidating, especially for a kid, at the police station and 2) if the bruise is too light to even be picked up on in a picture and it has been a couple days since the incident, then I'd err more on the side of conservative action.   I'm also going to revise my previous post, regarding involving the police.  

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holland73 View Post
 

Personally, I'd call CPS, explain the situation to them and then see what next steps they advise. 

 

The only reason why I say this, which I know is in opposition to what I initially wrote, is because 1) it can be pretty intimidating, especially for a kid, at the police station and 2) if the bruise is too light to even be picked up on in a picture and it has been a couple days since the incident, then I'd err more on the side of conservative action.   I'm also going to revise my previous post, regarding involving the police.  

 

Thank you so much for all this info, I have just one more question...should I warn him? Like, "I've told you time and time again that you're too aggressive with Corbin, if it happens again I will contact CPS." Or just do it?

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post
 

 

Thank you so much for all this info, I have just one more question...should I warn him? Like, "I've told you time and time again that you're too aggressive with Corbin, if it happens again I will contact CPS." Or just do it?


I'd be very weary when using threats against anyone.  

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holland73 View Post
 


I'd be very weary when using threats against anyone.  

Hmm, wasn't thinking of it as a threat..more of a plea, I really don't want to deal with cps (I will, of course, but don't want to).

post #14 of 21

No, don't use CPS as a plea or a bargaining chip. Also, don't give an abuser heads' up about it.  It gives them time to coach the child and teaches them to say things like, "If you tell your mother..." 

Given that this has been happening, you should get in for a consult with CPS ASAP (really, you're letting this man abuse your most vulnerable child?  You know that isn't ok.) A year from now, when he returns from Korea, it will be too late to bring up that 'last year he left marks.'

I don't know how verbal your child is, but if he is capable of relating what happened, he needs to be able to do that to a third party asap. 

post #15 of 21

I 100% agree with not using CPS as a plea/bargaining chip. I completely understand not wanting to deal with them, but I don't think it's a good idea to use it as a plea in that way. As the PP said, all that will do is give him the chance to start grooming the kids and possibly finding ways to hurt them without leaving marks (there is information on how to do this out there, it's heartbreaking but true). He may even accuse you of false accusations and try to push for more custody of the kids than he has been. It also may be better to do this now than when the divorce is finalized, I don't know what's going on with custody but I imagine it'll be easier to ensure you get supervised visitation if he's been found guilty of abusing at least one of the kids.

 

Is your child seeing a therapist or specialist for help with his autism? If he is, has he told the therapist about the way his dad treats him? That may help as well.

 

I'm sorry that you and your children are going through this. I know that dealing with CPS is scary and completely understand not wanting to. I don't know what other options there are, but you need to report this to someone. It's not okay for this man to be treating your child like this, and you need someone to have a record of the treatment and ideally get someone to do something about it. I know someone whose daughter was being sexually abused at her ex's house who had to hire a lawyer to fight the case- but it cost a lot of money that you may not have.

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowAsylum View Post
 

No, don't use CPS as a plea or a bargaining chip. Also, don't give an abuser heads' up about it.  It gives them time to coach the child and teaches them to say things like, "If you tell your mother..." 

Given that this has been happening, you should get in for a consult with CPS ASAP (really, you're letting this man abuse your most vulnerable child?  You know that isn't ok.) A year from now, when he returns from Korea, it will be too late to bring up that 'last year he left marks.'

I don't know how verbal your child is, but if he is capable of relating what happened, he needs to be able to do that to a third party asap. 

 

Good point about coaching however please read the whole thread before replying, I have already said that I will not let him see them unsupervised again and I do not appreciate your insinuation that I'm "letting" him hurt my child. I am 3 weeks from sole physical and legal custody because stbx agreed to that. If I do anything today regarding CPS he will surely decide to fight me for the kids and given the fact that he has free legal representation he would likely get at least 50/50. They will be safer in the long run if I have sole custody. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post
 

I 100% agree with not using CPS as a plea/bargaining chip. I completely understand not wanting to deal with them, but I don't think it's a good idea to use it as a plea in that way. As the PP said, all that will do is give him the chance to start grooming the kids and possibly finding ways to hurt them without leaving marks (there is information on how to do this out there, it's heartbreaking but true). He may even accuse you of false accusations and try to push for more custody of the kids than he has been. It also may be better to do this now than when the divorce is finalized, I don't know what's going on with custody but I imagine it'll be easier to ensure you get supervised visitation if he's been found guilty of abusing at least one of the kids.

 

Is your child seeing a therapist or specialist for help with his autism? If he is, has he told the therapist about the way his dad treats him? That may help as well.

 

I'm sorry that you and your children are going through this. I know that dealing with CPS is scary and completely understand not wanting to. I don't know what other options there are, but you need to report this to someone. It's not okay for this man to be treating your child like this, and you need someone to have a record of the treatment and ideally get someone to do something about it. I know someone whose daughter was being sexually abused at her ex's house who had to hire a lawyer to fight the case- but it cost a lot of money that you may not have.

He sees a psychiatrist but doesn't talk much to him. I am thinking that we may start seeing a psychologist as well.

In regards to having records, I do have a list of things that have happened.

post #17 of 21
You are so lucky he is agreeing to sole custody! I think you are handling this really well.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Springshowers View Post

You are so lucky he is agreeing to sole custody! I think you are handling this really well.

 

Thank you, I am lucky. Once the divorce is final it will take a lot to change it and I don't think he ever will..just waiting at this point.........

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowAsylum View Post
 

No, don't use CPS as a plea or a bargaining chip. Also, don't give an abuser heads' up about it.  It gives them time to coach the child and teaches them to say things like, "If you tell your mother..." 

 

Plus, it gives him time to think of other abuses that don't leave any marks and are harder to prove (and therefore protect your child).

post #20 of 21
Sole custody now doesn't mean he can't come back later and say that he wants visitation or even a fifty fifty split so I wouldn't let that hold you back from calling. I don't know about your state but in mine even when a parent gets sole legal and physical custody not having a visitation schedule for the noncustodial parent is something judges don't sign off on without holding a hearing even if both parents agree.
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