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Confronting Grandparent about Innappropriate Touching - Page 3

post #41 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by OR Mom View Post
DH and I talked last night. He has an overall annoyance attitude about this. He says there is absolutely nothing sexual about what his father is doing. He did that to all the children in the family up until 19 years old. He doesn't just pat bottoms, he grab, grab, grabs......so I asked DH if he was touched that same way. He said yes. He said that's just his dad and a sign of affection.
It does not matter even a little bit whether this is sexual. Who cares? It's violating the children's boundaries and it will ruin their relationship with the grandfather. If he can't stop himself from doing this, then you have to stop him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OR Mom View Post
I'm considering contacting his brother to find out his opinion. I don't want to injure my children's relationship with their only grandfather. I just want him to stop with the butt feel-ups that my boys do not like. Yesterday my son said "Grandpa bited my butt".
I really don't see why it's on you to prove that there is something inappropriate about this. The children don't like it and it makes you uncomfortable. He has to stop doing it. That's all. Your dh has to back you up, even if it didn't bug him when his dad did it, because your kids don't like it.

There is no inalienable right to show affection to someone in a way they don't like!

If it would make you feel better, spell out what you want from the grandfather, run it by your dh, and email it to him. I don't think it's necessary though--what's necessary is to stop him from doing this, every time. If you have to, say "No horseplay, the boys don't like it" and physically intervene. That's all.

You know if he was intent on spanking them, that's what you would do. A lot of people do things out of the goodness of their hearts that are just violent and terrible. Don't get confused by the whole "is it sexual" issue. Who cares if it's sexual? It's not okay to do this!

If he can't conform to basic polite behavior with you and your family, don't visit him.
post #42 of 92
I agree w/the pps in that it doesn't matter whether it's sexual or not, as far as stopping the behaviour. It has to stop. And your Dh's ambivalence about it stopping is really confusing and disturbing to me, especially in light of the fact that it frightens your children. Does your dh have issues with confronting his father in general, or just in respect to this issue?

At any rate, I think a qualified counselor's opinion would be invaluable at this point.
post #43 of 92
In my opinion its hard to confront this long distance. I would never let my kids alone with that particular person even leaving them with grandma would worry me. If you got a bad vibe off ot it you should trust your instincts. When you visit again the first time it happens simply walk over to the grandfather and talk to him privately Just simply and politely tell him that this behavior is making you uncomfortable and to discontinue it. Look him square in the eye and just be polite but give him that ( I am the mother and I will rip your arms off ) look in your eyes. Don't even deal with the husband, trust me I have a good husband and he will say he is going to handle his family and totally doesn't.

My theory is that the grandfather may be harmless but if he isn't he now knows that you are a force to be reckoned with and will think twice about trying anything with your kids.
post #44 of 92
Thread Starter 
I'm not concerned or surprised by my DH's reaction to this conversation. He thinks I overkill a lot of stuff and he reacts the same way if he slightly disagrees with any topic we discuss. I can't get any information or come to any conclusions going by how he reacts.

He doesn't feel it's necessary to call up FIL and discuss this now. We are home and there's 2500 miles between us. I'm just still reeling from the trip and concerned about ALL future visits with his family. I do feel scared and a bit powerless as well. What if we got divorced and I wasn't there to stop this? Or what if DH feels it's totally fine to leave the kids with his parents and I don't? I don't trust FIL or MIL. Period. I don't know if my children are in any real threat or not, but I don't want them to spend time alone with these people. And it worries me that DH isn't right along beside me. Maybe he is. Sometimes he does agree with me, but doesn't really show it with words. He's not the kind of guy to say "Yes, honey, you're right" about ANYTHING! He did try to tell FIL several times to stop touching. FIL would stop for the moment, but would do the same thing the next day.

There's no doubt this is an issue that needs to be addressed. FIL will have to be told, using words that get the seriousness addressed. I guess we can do it before the next visit. I'm just feeling really great to not have to worry about him being close for a long time.
post #45 of 92
OR MOM: The overwhelming attitude is that this needs be addressed, this grab-grab-grabbing of the bottoms by Grampa. But were u asking HOW to address it? That's what I got from your posts.

If so, there are any number of ways; it sounds like you've tried a couple of not so direct, more polite ways. Before a battle ensues between u and DH, maybe you should dicuss some "working definitions" with him. Sometimes, partners speak 2 different languages, literally. When u say "This concerns me", he hears "I have a complaint" which makes him feel defensive. Start by telling him, you'd like to talk about the situation YOU perceive with FIL, and that you'd like an opportunity to clarify. Tell him your END GOAL is to achieve MUTUAL understanding, so that you can maintain the feeling of being unified that you are accustomed to. Let him know that when you are odds, it compromises that feeling. Ask him just to listen until you have presented your whole idea to him, defining the terms u use "When our son is crying because he doesn't like a touch, it doesn't matter who did the touching or what that person's intent was..." then RECIPROCATE. Let him have a turn, so that you just listen, creating an enviroment where he feels secure in telling u his perception. What you'll need to make clear, too is that ultimately, it's not about YOUR perceptions, tho it's important to equally understand them... The bottom-line (no pun intended ) is that whether they're 3 and sensitive to touch, or 13 and moody... if a person doesn't like a touch, and has expressed that dislike, to continue is a form of abuse. And Grampa may need to know that he's causing TEARS. That your DS is extremely NOT OKAY with these touches and that WHATEVER his INTENT... it is not okay to persist. Period. That's some verbage you could use...
post #46 of 92

Come down hard on the guy

If I were you, actually, I would write him a snail mail, so he gets MY HANDWRITING, and tell him that you came home very upset about this, and want to clear the air so that your future visits will be something the boys look forward to, rather than with apprehension and worry over how gramps will grab their butts.

I'd tell him, "I don't like seeing you grab my boy's behinds at all, and, I'm not going to put up with it. (He was a jerk about it before, so this is the kind of guy who needs firm, threatening rules, and he still may not heed them, so be prepared to take further action, like screaming at him and leaving, or have a squirt gun handy and dowse him.)

"The boys don't like it either, Hubby doesn't like it, though he remembers it as harmless and basically affection from when he was a kid. But, dear FIL, it's a new world, and this very tickling and grabbing of personal body parts is viewed as "bordering on" molesting. (It is molesting.) So, in order to teach my children to protect themselves from others taking advantage of them, I have to enforce a NO BUTT-GRABBING RULE, unfortunately.

Now, since you did ignore our requests that you stop it last time we visited, I have assured the boys that I will protect them from the butt grabbing."

Personally, I'd say you have to do this when you are prepared to get the worst reaction you can't even imagine, like they accuse you of molesting the kids. These type of confrontations don't play well, the guilty AND the innocent are hurt by it. But the innocent will understand and accept and HELP you. You have to be ready to have the relationship end, because they might react that way. Take a microrecorder with you and record the discussion for posterity.

Your husband may be in some degree of denial of just how much he really hated the grabbing, or how much he felt violated, no one to tell. And denial is making him say, "you're paranoid." Hey, that's part of your job description as a mom. He may actually be too affected by what happened to him (I'm assuming just grabbing) to be in touch with it inside him.

Okay, well, good luck. Mention it here and there, give it a break, let hubby sleep on it, get a book at the library about the subject, and still, don't push him to "get over" whatever he's dealing with if anything. You set them straight. Hubby may take years to get to that point, if ever. You do it, you talk to them. Then when they complain to hubby, he can just say, Oh yea, we're training them against child molesters.
post #47 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by OR Mom View Post
DH and I talked last night. He has an overall annoyance attitude about this. He says there is absolutely nothing sexual about what his father is doing. He did that to all the children in the family up until 19 years old. He doesn't just pat bottoms, he grab, grab, grabs......so I asked DH if he was touched that same way. He said yes. He said that's just his dad and a sign of affection.

I told him I didn't think it was appropriate and he was annoyed. He said he's not worried about it at the moment because it will be several months before we even see him again. He said if I want to say something, I can call him up and talk to him. I asked DH if his father was ever sexually abusive to anyone. He said no.

I'm considering contacting his brother to find out his opinion. I don't want to injure my children's relationship with their only grandfather. I just want him to stop with the butt feel-ups that my boys do not like. Yesterday my son said "Grandpa bited my butt". Then he started to cry and said "I don't want to talk about it". He's 3 years old. I have no idea what that meant. I told my husband what he said and DH said "oh, he was probably on the couch and dad just pretended to bite him"! I asked him if he thought that was appropriate and he just put it back on me. He said "you are being over paranoid, like you always are." I am over paranoid about my kids, but this stuff is wierd to me. I've been reading the tapping bottoms spinoff and I do feel a lot of those posts are strange. But all of those posts are VERY CLOSE relatives......we only see this man twice a year!!!!

So, unless I say something, nothing is going to be done about this until the next visit (6 to 8 months from now). If I say somthing now, it is likely to be laughe off, then forgotten about by the time we see them again (and a refresher will need to be given). What should I do?

Listen, this is the nuclear bomb option and I almost never would suggest this option, but this is one of those times.

I would give an ultimatum. Two choices: protect his children, or lose them.

Sorry, but this behavior is inappropriate. You are not being paranoid. Your DH is being defensive because he was molested by his father and can't accept this to be true without radically revising his understanding of his own identity and his father's.

He can stand up and be a man, or he can be a part-time father. His choice. Your job is the one you're doing and he's not: to protect your children.

Good for you.

I'm sorry to be so adamant about it. Without going into detail which isn't necessary here anyway, a close member of my family was sexually abused by a close relative. His parents denied that anything was wrong and continued to expose him to this person for the rest of his childhood.

Major repercussions. Not just for him, but for his wife, his kids. He wasn't the only victim.

Only until the close relative's son threatened to kill the relative with his own bare hands did the sexual abuse stop.

Someone needs to step in early, before anything happens.
post #48 of 92
Thread Starter 
This is a sample letter I came up with:

I'm writing in regards to our visit last week. There's an issue I want to bring to your attention.

We feel the butt grabbing game that you play with ___ and ____ is overstepping some boundaries. We would like that type of playing to stop. ___ and ___ are particular about how they are touched and by whom they are touched. They have both expressed that they don't like when you tickle them or get their butts.

I feel it's important to discuss this now for a few reasons.
1. The butt-grabbing is not something I was raised around and I don't feel comfortable with that type of affection towards the boys.
2. One of the boys tried to tell me that "Grandpa bited my butt", but he could hardly say the words because he was CRYING! Then he said he didn't want to talk about it.

I know this is a form of affection you like to show, but our boys don't like it. We parent our boys to be in control of their own bodies and they have both expressed, several times, that they don't like those touches. I am simply standing up for my children. I have no ill feelings towards you, I just want that type of play to stop for good. No butt touches/taps/grabs/pinches.

The boys LOVE to help you work, watch you work, go on walks, play with Daisy dog, look for bugs, play with trains, play with trucks, cars, machines, etc. They love you dearly as a Grandpa.
post #49 of 92
I'm just coming to this thread now - I think that I would take out the part about how you "weren't raised with" butt-grabbing. Make the letter all about your children's discomfort and the inappropriateness of continuing to do something they are uncomfortable with. If you make it about your discomfort or background, it'll get interpreted as being all about the comfort level of his uptight daughter-in-law.

Other than that, great letter!
post #50 of 92
I agree that part should come out. Also, I might say "We request that this type of playing stop" rather than "we would like." Sounds a little more assertive. Looking good, though!
post #51 of 92
I think it is important for the letter to say

This behavior needs to stop. Or this behavior must stop.

Not "we request..." or the other softer language.


Frankly, after reading all the posts, I wonder if you should not just join your son throwing toys at grandpa when's he's being a **** and ignoring the child's signs that he doesn't want to be grabbed.

Or get a spray bottle and spray grandpa right in the face... just like you would do with a misbehaving cat.
ARGH

I do understand why you can't do this. I would not give my child a hard time about throwing toys in this situation though. I think that is good for him to do, since his words weren't being listened to. (I'm probably alone on that though...)

Allie
post #52 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
I would give an ultimatum. Two choices: protect his children, or lose them.

Sorry, but this behavior is inappropriate. You are not being paranoid. Your DH is being defensive because he was molested by his father and can't accept this to be true without radically revising his understanding of his own identity and his father's.

He can stand up and be a man, or he can be a part-time father.
How does this protect the OP's children? What happens when FIL comes to visit his son, and his son, convinced that this behaviour is harmless, leaves her children with this man? Unless one can get a restraining order or supervised access or something, leaving our children's fathers over parenting differences doesn't protect our kids - it protects our consciences, but that's about it.
post #53 of 92
Great letter, ORMom!! I would take out number 1, like the others suggested, and maybe firm up some of the language to make it stronger. Otherwise, it's a great start, and I applaud you for taking this step on behalf of your kiddos!
post #54 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
How does this protect the OP's children? What happens when FIL comes to visit his son, and his son, convinced that this behaviour is harmless, leaves her children with this man? Unless one can get a restraining order or supervised access or something, leaving our children's fathers over parenting differences doesn't protect our kids - it protects our consciences, but that's about it.
I agree w/Storm Bride. I understand your point, and agree w/the impulse, but taking away their father (and her husband!) in order to remove the grandfather is extreme and untenable. It also wouldn't prevent the grandfather from seeing the children, especially since we assume that he hasn't actually done anything criminal yet (highly inappropriate and suspicous, but not actually criminal).

I think that ORMom is handling the situation well, and I assume that if she needs to resort to heavier methods in the future in order to protect her kids, she will. Her children aren't in imminent danger, with the grandfather 2500 miles away.
post #55 of 92
I might try the spray bottle on my mil.
post #56 of 92
LOL about the spray bottle.

In this situation, because it seems the OP feels very strongly that this needs to be handled, even though the grandparent is far away, I would make sure that custody is spelled out in your wills and that there is a provision in the document given to the guardians you choose (and backups)that specify that you do NOT want your children to be with those grandparents alone, EVER, until the children are 18 years of age.

Also, I do think you should pursue some kind of counseling with your husband, because he is not standing up to this issue and I would be concerned in the case that I passed away and the children were left exclusively in the care of the husband.

Allie
post #57 of 92
Thread Starter 
Great advice, AladdinsLamp! I'm working on the letter. I'll post an update when it's more complete. Thanks so much everyone!
post #58 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AladdinsLamp View Post
LOL about the spray bottle.

In this situation, because it seems the OP feels very strongly that this needs to be handled, even though the grandparent is far away, I would make sure that custody is spelled out in your wills and that there is a provision in the document given to the guardians you choose (and backups)that specify that you do want your children to be with those grandparents alone, EVER, until the children are 18 years of age.

Also, I do think you should pursue some kind of counseling with your husband, because he is not standing up to this issue and I would be concerned in the case that I passed away and the children were left exclusively in the care of the husband.

Allie
: Definitely good advice!
post #59 of 92
OR MOM, I think your letter was well worth it and second the thoughts re; removing references to your upbringing and personal preferences. Grampa might use that as fuel for an attack on you. Definitely just be clear that ut is in you children's best interest that he repect the boundary being set.

Is DH any closer to understading your perception, and backing u, yet, or are u on your own facing this?
post #60 of 92
Thread Starter 
Update. I took out the personal preference part of my letter, added some stuff about trying to teach the boys where they can and cannot touch each other and felt like the letter was sounding pretty good. So I let dh read the letter. He said it sounded good, but still needed some work (my dh's way of supporting the letter). I then said, "well, it does still need work, but I really feel your parents would rather it come from you". HE AGREED!!! So, we may be back to the beginning with this, but dh is willing to write the letter and use what I've written down for a guideline. YEAH!

I also feel I need to protect my kids from staying alone with il's. Any suggestions on that? I should obviously make a copy of the letter and date it. What else do I do? (In case I died or dh and I divorced, etc.).
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