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This is over the top - Page 3

post #41 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
... but she is watching her children be abused without defending them.
Not true at all. She spends the better part of her day protecting them, in a million different ways. If he has any sense of accountability and control, it is entirely due to her.
post #42 of 205
Blessed, you quote nextcommercial as being somewhere closest to the truth, but nextcommercial wrote that part before reading about the pool incident, and changed her stance after she read the about the dunking part.

1) As everyone has said, some one needs to do something for these children. this man is abusive.
2) If this man can do this shamelessly after being corrected on his behavior like it's no big deal, bigger things are happenning behind closed doors.
3) I'm starting to get a bit suspicious of the broken arms you mentioned in the children that happenned in the past.

Edit: She may be a wonderful mother, but those children are still obviously not getting the protection from this man that they need. It's not about her, it's about the children. I wonder how he's treating her behind closed doors as well...
post #43 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
She may be an oustanding mother, but she is watching her children be abused without defending them.
:

I grew up with a father who sounds very similar to this guy, and part of me still hates my mother for keeping us there. The children don't get a choice in the matter, especially if everyone in the family just lets it go on like this. I don't think the hurt of a divorce is anything compared to how they are suffering right now.

I think if it had happened in my house I would have phoned the police and had him taken away and would have given a very detailed report. Abusers rely on people keeping quiet.
post #44 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post
1) As everyone has said, some one needs to do something for these children. this man is abusive...
By my standards and by those of MDC parents, he is. Not in the eyes of law, however. Nor even in the eyes of many mainstream American parents, to be honest.

I'm open to suggestions which anyone thinks is helpful.

Magical thinking isn't very helpful. Commandments like 'this must be stopped!' aren't helpful. None of us can snap our fingers and make him dissapear or turn into a better father.

Calling the police? Calling CPS? And when they show up they find 3 happy, healthy looking little boys without a mark on them, playing in the backyard. Yes officer, I yelled at my son. He broke something and needed discipline. Yes sir, I'm sorry, I lost my temper and threw a hat at him. No sir, you can see that it didn't hurt him at all, it's just a made of paper and plastic. Yes officer, we were playing and I dunked my son in the pool. That's not against the law, is it, sir?

All done? Now BIL packs his family up and leaves, and we probably never see the boys again. Any chance we had to love the boys, parent them gently, be a part of their lives, to make a difference is gone.

So, since we are left with working within reality and dealing with real life consequences, the decisions about how to best approach this are complex and not at all straighforward.

If you've got a better plan, let me know.
post #45 of 205
Personally, if several people witnessed it, I think the authorities may take it as more serious than what you're thinking they will, although I don't know. I mean, of course if they ask him what happenned, he'd probably water it down. But if someone like you would call them and recap in as much detail as possible everything that happenned at your place today, and a few other witnesses back you up, I think they may take it seriously. Even if they don't do anything, they have more records on this man combined with past records, and any future ones that others may file on him, I think that will count for something.

And if it were me, if in doubt about what he did as actually being causes for action on their part, I'd at least ask. Describe what you saw, and ask about it.

I hope something changes for these children's sake. It's not "magical" thinking, or whatever you call it to hope and beg somebody to do something for the sake of these children.
post #46 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
Not true at all. She spends the better part of her day protecting them, in a million different ways. If he has any sense of accountability and control, it is entirely due to her.
Passively watching him abuse her children is not protection. I'm sorry, but no matter how loving she is, if she doesn't intervene in the abuse, she is not protecting them.
post #47 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
Calling the police? Calling CPS? And when they show up they find 3 happy, healthy looking little boys without a mark on them, playing in the backyard.

These are happy children?????
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
...yelling their names and having them startle with fear, come over and stand fearfully in front of him wondering what he's going to do....

...the boy was tearful and trembling, saying he was afraid to come over...

...he came up choking and crying.
post #48 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenMidwife View Post

These are happy children?????
:
Yes, they are. When not being yelled at they are joyful, playful, affectionate. They are wonderful cousins to dd and play well with her.

We spent a lovely morning at the state park together, and everyone had a good time. Right at this moment the 5 yo is sitting next to dd in a chair, looking at a book together. The 2 yo is napping in his father's arms in the bedroom. And the 1 yo is breastfeeding while his mother sits with the older children.

This isn't a movie. There aren't evil characters and good characters. There are just people who are struggling to be the best they can be.
post #49 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
By my standards and by those of MDC parents, he is. Not in the eyes of law, however. Nor even in the eyes of many mainstream American parents, to be honest.

I'm open to suggestions which anyone thinks is helpful.

Magical thinking isn't very helpful. Commandments like 'this must be stopped!' aren't helpful. None of us can snap our fingers and make him dissapear or turn into a better father.

Calling the police? Calling CPS? And when they show up they find 3 happy, healthy looking little boys without a mark on them, playing in the backyard. Yes officer, I yelled at my son. He broke something and needed discipline. Yes sir, I'm sorry, I lost my temper and threw a hat at him. No sir, you can see that it didn't hurt him at all, it's just a made of paper and plastic. Yes officer, we were playing and I dunked my son in the pool. That's not against the law, is it, sir?

All done? Now BIL packs his family up and leaves, and we probably never see the boys again. Any chance we had to love the boys, parent them gently, be a part of their lives, to make a difference is gone.

So, since we are left with working within reality and dealing with real life consequences, the decisions about how to best approach this are complex and not at all straighforward.

If you've got a better plan, let me know.
I don't know where you are, but angrily holding children under water would be considered abusive in many areas. Throwing things at a toddler would be considered abusive in many areas. Frankly, I've seen children removed for less, but at the very least reporting them would open up an investigation and make sure these children are protected. If you all stood up for these children when CPS came to do their interviews, you bet they would have something to investigate.

I'm not sure what is going on with your posts, one moment the children are trembling in fear, from a father who gets his kicks out of it and sobbing their hearts out as their father destroys their property, scares the life out of them and throws something at their face, someone who is capable of "emotional and physical violence". The next moment he's a devoted family man and they are happy children. I understand that having the authorities intervene with a family is a very scary thought, but not nearly as scary as even more children growing up with abuse while people who are supposed to protect them stand by, because even worse than their parents actions, they somehow think it's okay, and god forbid they do that with their own families when they grow up.

Modeling how to be a gentle parent generally doesn't work for these people. My mother was as gentle parent as they came, she did wonders to protect me, however it still didn't prevent myself from being beaten. And I can tell you it doesn't prevent most children from being abused.

Basically it's in your hands, but I can tell you that based on everything you've said that yes it is abuse and yes most CPS agencies in North America would likely launch an investigation if a whole bunch of people came forward saying that this is what they've witnessed. Especially if there was a case on them before.
post #50 of 205
I used to be happy too, when my dad wasn't in the midst of kicking the crap out of my mother/siblings. It doesn't mean for a second that he wasn't abusive, or that my mother should have stayed with him. People who abuse their children/wives don't do it 24/7. They generally have a freakout, and then calm down for awhile, days, sometimes even weeks, and then have a massive blowout again. Just because he acts like a decent person in between his episodes doesn't mean they're not damaging his children for life. And a lot of people tend to see the calm moments and think "Oh, it's not so bad..he's being really nice now" or "This will be the time that it doesn't happen again". It's a very normal pattern for family abuse situations.
post #51 of 205
I don't think CPS would do anything about the first incident you described, but there's a good chance they would do something about holding a child underwater as punishment. If they have investigated them in the past, there's a good chance they're waiting for solid evidence and eye witnesses to be willing to testify or at least write out a statement in order to be able to do something concrete about it. Even if they can't, this time - everytime a report is made, they are building evidence against them. If the time comes that they feel it prudent to act, they will have enough evidence to get the kids to safety. I am not someone who thinks CPS should be called at the drop of a hat. In fact, as someone who was unjustly removed from her home as a child, I am suspicious of them. Even I think you should call. Even I would call if I saw that. Holding a child underwater as punishment is in a whole different league than yelling or throwing something or even spanking.
post #52 of 205
Thread Starter 
I can tell you without reservation that a police report or CPS report would go absolutely nowhere aside from forever severing my relationship with my nephews.

They will see clean, polite, happy children who are obviously loved and well cared for, without any sign of abuse whatsoever. They will see a middle class, professional couple who look for all the world like Ward and June Cleaver.

They'll hear a story about everyone playing in pool, the child being rambunctious and not listening, and dad dunking him. Family members dunking each other are pretty ordinary. I was dunked plenty as a kid. I imagine so was the cop who would be here listening to some crazy lady (me) trying to convince him that this all American family man, this clean cut, handsome, polite and well spoken coach of his kid's soccer and softball teams, this boy scout leader, is an abuser and needs to go jail. Because he dunked his kid. The cops probably wouldn't make it back to the squad car before bursting into laughter.

So I could call. And I would be extremely short sighted and foolish to do so. Because it would wreck the relationships of this family - forever. And it would do nothing except solidify this family against me and any influence that I might have had with them.
post #53 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
Yes, they are. When not being yelled at they are joyful, playful, affectionate. They are wonderful cousins to dd and play well with her.

We spent a lovely morning at the state park together, and everyone had a good time. Right at this moment the 5 yo is sitting next to dd in a chair, looking at a book together. The 2 yo is napping in his father's arms in the bedroom. And the 1 yo is breastfeeding while his mother sits with the older children.

This isn't a movie. There aren't evil characters and good characters. There are just people who are struggling to be the best they can be.
People who are severely abused are rarely walking around depressed and crying all day. Just because he sometimes calms down long enough for his wife to not leave him and his kids to not cry and scream every time he approaches does not make it better. In fact, the very fact that things seem all back to normal means that the 5 yo does not find it out of the ordinary to be held under water. A child who is not abused would not apparently recover from that easily. A woman who is not abused would not go and spend the night with her husband after such incidents. If she has to spend most of her time protecting her kids, that is a more than obvious sign of a very bad situation.

Having his whole family sit there and barely say anything about his behaviour is a great reinforcement for him to stay in denial of how abusive he is. He might tone it down in public from now on, but the only consequence of that is to make him a more efficient abuser.

I get the fact that the likely outcome of a call to CPS is just you not being able to see your nephews again, but you need to do something about it. A family reunion seems like the perfect opportunity for a family talk on the subject. Everyone needs to come together and address the problem. Perhaps an ultimatum is in order at this point. He either gets some help or the whole family will make sure those kids are safe by whatever means necessary.
post #54 of 205
Since you don't seem convinced the authorities will do anything about this, how about starting with a heart-to-heart w/ your sister? Does she KNOW how horrible his behavior is? Is she aware that you consider it abusive? If it were my sister, I would tell her, privately, with tears in my eyes and fear in my voice, that I'm worried her husband is going to KILL one of her kids with one of his temper tantrums. (I mean, it isn't too hard to imagine a dad who holds his kid underwater against his will might do so again, and this time wait a little bit too long... nor it is hard to imagine a man who would throw a hat might throw something else, like a heavier object, or a punch.) I would tell my sister that I think he needs anger management counseling and an ultimatum. Maybe he needs a "time out" from the family in the form of a time of separation. Unless she is being abused as well (and possibly even if she is) she should take action. Maybe she thinks it is acceptable, but she's not sure, and she needs to hear it from someone else that it is not.

I read these stories, and I fear for these kids, I really do.
post #55 of 205
Thread Starter 
Yes, having a family discussion...

Talking to SIL...

These are ideas that can possibly go somewhere meaningful. Let's focus on reasonable solutions that might actually help.

Calling CPS/cops makes about as much sense as telling me to get a pistol, walk out there and shoot dad down in front of the kids.
post #56 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by momileigh View Post
(I mean, it isn't too hard to imagine a dad who holds his kid underwater against his will might do so again, and this time wait a little bit too long... nor it is hard to imagine a man who would throw a hat might throw something else, like a heavier object, or a punch.)
I recall my dh telling me about a news article he read online a year or so ago about a father who killed their toddler by punching her in the face after she knocked over his xbox. I highly doubt that father, or most parents who end up killing their children in this way set out to do so, but it does happen fairly often. Serious injury or even death would be a very real fear of mine if the kids were my relatives.
post #57 of 205
Have you discussed this with anyone else there besides your DH? I hope the other people in your family agree with you (it is hard to imagine anyone who would not, but I know how surprising people can be). If everyone agrees, then maybe doing intervention-style would work. An important thing to keep in mind is that his wife and kids will likely go home with him so make sure he does not see it as her fault and wants to 'punish' her for it later. Maybe sending his wife and the kids on an errand or activity would work.
post #58 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by maliceinwonderland View Post
I recall my dh telling me about a news article he read online a year or so ago about a father who killed their toddler by punching her in the face after she knocked over his xbox. I highly doubt that father, or most parents who end up killing their children in this way set out to do so, but it does happen fairly often. Serious injury or even death would be a very real fear of mine if the kids were my relatives.
It seems like there's a story like that on cnn.com every week or so.
post #59 of 205
How about this plan for now...Please take SIL out for a coffee somewhere...Just you and her.. Have a heart to heart with her. Straight out ask her if she needs help...Sometimes all it takes is for someone else to put into words what you yourself have been thinking...
Let her know that your and the rest of your family will wholeheartedly support her and her children if she needs to get herself out of an abusive situation. Be honest and open... Let her know that you will listen and do whatever it takes to help her.
Your sisterinlaw maybe waiting for the help you need to provide....
post #60 of 205
I'm not following what the OP actually wants. I understand she came to vent, maybe ?, or because she had to tell someone, anyone, because she was overwhelmed by the situation. But what I don't understand is coming to MDC of all places, GD central, and telling this and not thinking people will be up in arms over it. On MDC I usually see a tend to shy away from CPS intervention, not encouragement to it. So for this many to say, hey I think there is a real problem and authorities need to be involved seems to be a key in the answer to the problem.

So I guess what I'm asking is to the OP what do you want everyone to say that will make this situation better for those little boys other than get them help outside of the family?
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