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This is over the top - Page 4

post #61 of 205
I guess I just don't have a lot of faith that an intervention style meeting would do anything to improve these kids' situation. Did other family members at the pool see the episode the way your dh did? Because if there are multiple people telling CPS (not the police, but the social workers) that what they saw was not harmless playing, i don't know why the social worker woudl think it was just because that's what the dad says it was. All I know is that I would never be able to forgive myself if I saw/knew about something like this, and later the kids ended up dead in the bathtub.
post #62 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
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?
And you believe that making an unsubstantiatable report to CPS will result in 'getting help'?

If this family went through a divorce there'd be a damn good chance the father would get full custodial rights. He looks good on paper. He's just a stern, loving father, by all outward appearances.

Do you honestly see no way to approach this problem aside from imploding the structure of this entire family? Quite frankly, this just seems like a very juvenile and immature thought process to me. Something that would seem sensible only to a person who was very young, very rash, and prone to make major mistakes with their life.
post #63 of 205
Was this man abused or treated roughly as a kid? I'm NOT condoning his actions but maybe he doesn't know of any other way to discipline his kids? Could you have a serious talk with him about anger management or gentle discipline - stating facts about how kids learn better and are easier to raise with "these great parenting techniques (ie GD) that you and your dh have started using? All given to him in a non-accusatory manner so that he doesn't just turn you off right away and escalate his force on the kids?

What a situation! Sorry you have to be around it - maybe it was brought to you b'c you are strong enough to help. Just some thoughts. How awful.

Those boys walk around filled with anxiety and fear and insecurity every day of their young lives. And could very well repeat that with their own children if no one helps now.
post #64 of 205
I have to say that if I had the kind of anger that your BIL has and I emotionally abused my 2 year old and held my 5 year old underwater (in anger, not playing), I would hope that someone would take my kids away from me until I got help for myself. That would be a wake-up call to me to get the help I needed.

He obviously needs some anger management classes and some therapy.

I know you are in a tough spot and it sounds like you want to try to do something to help. I agree with the comments about taking your SIL out just the two of you and have a heart to heart talk.
post #65 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Did other family members at the pool see the episode the way your dh did?
Yes, they saw a father dunk his kid because he was frustrated that he wouldn't listen while playing in the pool. It wasn't water torture. It wasn't child abuse. It was pushing his head underwater and holding him for a few seconds. That's called dunking and every swimmer I've ever known has been dunked.

It's something that none of us would ever, ever do to our children. It was disgusting and sad to the people who saw it. But it would never fit the category of abuse in any court in this land.

Yes, if there were some pattern of using this as discipline. Yes, if there were strange circumstances, like making the child go outside and get into the pool to receive his punishment. But someone dunking their kid one time as they are all swimming in the pool together - just no way.

I'm sorry, but this is frustrating to me. Let's call a spade a spade. It doesn't help me to get all histrionic and hyperbolic. I have to work within the system. I can't have this guy arrested because he doesn't believe in gentle discipline.

Anyway, I'm thinking that a good starting point is to have a private conversation with SIL about his anger issues and how she perceives them. Maybe this is something they are already working on, for all I know.
post #66 of 205
I'm going to come down on the don't call CPS side here. This guy sounds a lot like my father (except that my father wasn't devoted or loving at ANY time). CPS was called on him when I was nine, they came, investigated, and despite the officer's misgivings they didn't have enough evidence to do anything. My dad didn't get nicer, he just got more careful. The next time he left marks he just kept me away from other people until it had faded - two weeks, if memory serves. And he never forgave me for CPS coming (my camp counselor called), and berated me about it for the next fifteen years.

I agree that you should talk to your SIL, but I also agree that calling CPS could sever your relationship with these kids - who clearly need you - while not benefitting them at all.
post #67 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post
Was this man abused or treated roughly as a kid?(
Yes. His father is, and was, a complete tyrant. His mother is terrified of him, as were all the children.

This is normal parenting, from his perspective.
post #68 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtBikeLover View Post
I have to say that if I had the kind of anger that your BIL has and I emotionally abused my 2 year old and held my 5 year old underwater (in anger, not playing), I would hope that someone would take my kids away from me until I got help for myself. That would be a wake-up call to me to get the help I needed.

He obviously needs some anger management classes and some therapy.

I know you are in a tough spot and it sounds like you want to try to do something to help. I agree with the comments about taking your SIL out just the two of you and have a heart to heart talk.
I agree. If I ever behave that way I hope my family intervenes and helps my children.

Are the other people in your family who viewed the swimming pool event willing to acknowledge it is abuse? If the whole family is willing to go talk to him and try and get him to get some type of anger management and parenting classes, that might be a big wake up call for him. If he continues with the abusive behavior, what is the family ready to do to protect these children? You need to sit down and have a family meeting and come up with a plan on how you are going to deal with this.
post #69 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
Yes, they saw a father dunk his kid because he was frustrated that he wouldn't listen while playing in the pool. It wasn't water torture. It wasn't child abuse. It was pushing his head underwater and holding him for a few seconds. That's called dunking and every swimmer I've ever known has been dunked.

It's something that none of us would ever, ever do to our children. It was disgusting and sad to the people who saw it. But it would never fit the category of abuse in any court in this land.

Yes, if there were some pattern of using this as discipline. Yes, if there were strange circumstances, like making the child go outside and get into the pool to receive his punishment. But someone dunking their kid one time as they are all swimming in the pool together - just no way.

I'm sorry, but this is frustrating to me. Let's call a spade a spade. It doesn't help me to get all histrionic and hyperbolic. I have to work within the system. I can't have this guy arrested because he doesn't believe in gentle discipline.

Anyway, I'm thinking that a good starting point is to have a private conversation with SIL about his anger issues and how she perceives them. Maybe this is something they are already working on, for all I know.
Why are you making excuses for him? You said in your previous post that held the child under until he came up choking and crying. Being held underwater is the most horrible thing I can imagine. You said this child came to him crying, trembling and afraid, so he knew his dad was getting ready to do something horrible to him. Frustrated is yelling at your kid, not holding him underwater to punish them. And no matter what you call it, holding a child underwater to punish them is not dunking, it is abuse. Dunking is when you push a someones head down, but you don't hold it underwater.
post #70 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
Yes, they saw a father dunk his kid because he was frustrated that he wouldn't listen while playing in the pool. It wasn't water torture. It wasn't child abuse. It was pushing his head underwater and holding him for a few seconds. That's called dunking and every swimmer I've ever known has been dunked.
That is not at all how you portrayed it in your initial post about the incident, not even close. The coolness of your tone shocks me. A child who comes up sputtering, choking and is shaking with fear to come to their PARENT is not okay. I see your reluctance; I hope it is not at the price of these children. How you can discount the responses from members on this board who were those children growing up is beyond me.
post #71 of 205
My DH grew up with an abusive father, so he had some anger issues too. He was a wonderful guy at heart who adored me, but he never learned how to deal with situations except to fight about them. And he got an anger "high" off it, it was self-rewarding and intoxicating to him. It was like living with Dr Jeckel and Mr Hyde. I tried sooo many nice, pleasant, gentle ways to deal with it and to try to teach him a better way. But they didn't sink in at ALL. Finally I told him either you go to anger management counseling and work on this or we're done because I can't spend the rest of my like like this. He believed I was serious, and he went to anger management counseling. He turned over a new stone, and he's been working hard at it ever since. To the point where I finally felt comfortable about having children with him; and he's been a wonderful father!

I guess my point is these angry men don't understand "nice". You need to do something strong enough to get their attention and to convince them you're serious. I don't know if calling CPS is the answer, quite possibly it's not. But trying to have nice little chats or teach by example is not going to work imo. I think your SIL needs to give him an ultimatum.

Anyway, hope something gets worked out so those poor kids don't have to live in fear of their dad! Good luck.
post #72 of 205
OP, I understand that this is a very complicated, highly emotional situation for all involved.

However, if I had to choose between never seeing my nephew again but *knowing* he was safe and protected from an abuser, or being in his life but knowing he was being abused, I'd learn how to deal with never seeing my nephew again. Because, seriously, it's not about my wants or my feelings. It's about making sure a child I love and care about is safe *all the time*, even if I'm not part of that child's life.

Tolerating even intermittent abuse in order to not rock the boat, is too close to being complicit with the abuser's actions for my comfort. A family that is kept together by tiptoeing around the truth and avoiding confrontation in order to "keep the peace" is not a good family for anyone.

And yes, I know from whence I speak. I confided in adult relatives about abusive behavior by my parents. Those relatives who did nothing to help me or my brother ... I'll never be able to completely forgive them, even though I've managed to forgive my parents. Those who did something, anything, even if it earned them the ire of one of my parents - them, I love and respect even more.

Please consider what is truly best for your nephews in the long-term.
post #73 of 205
I was told in a parenting class given by a former CPS worker that if you have concerns-to call CPS- not give them identifying info about the person- but describe your concerns and ASK them if that is something that should be reported, and go from there.

I would hope that if I treated my kids in the ways you've described, that someone would help them, and me.
post #74 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
Yes. His father is, and was, a complete tyrant. His mother is terrified of him, as were all the children.

This is normal parenting, from his perspective.
So why are you ...just... stunned?


From OP:

--He abruptly stood up before I could say anything more, stormed out of the house and told his wife they were leaving. They went off and argued for a long time and then went to bed in their room

I'm just...stunned.---
post #75 of 205
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Madonna View Post
However, if I had to choose between never seeing my nephew again but *knowing* he was safe and protected from an abuser, or being in his life but knowing he was being abused, I'd learn how to deal with never seeing my nephew again..
Be specific.
post #76 of 205
This thread is being returned to the board. I have removed posts that violated the MDC UA. Please refrain from taking direct issue with a poster in the thread and instead contact the member directly via PM for clarification or report the post in question and a moderator will handle it. Thank you.

DC
post #77 of 205
He sounds like he's a major jerk. But, I don't think calling CPS is the best idea in this situation.

I think what she did was fantastic, and I hope others in the family will follow suit.
post #78 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
Yes, they saw a father dunk his kid because he was frustrated that he wouldn't listen while playing in the pool. It wasn't water torture. It wasn't child abuse. It was pushing his head underwater and holding him for a few seconds. That's called dunking and every swimmer I've ever known has been dunked.
That's not called dunking where I'm from. Dunking is something that people do to each other IN PLAY, not as a form of punishment or a knee-jerk angry reaction. Many swimmers I've known have been dunked, but no swimmer I've ever known has been shoved/held underwater because someone was angry at them. I'm sort of astounded that you don't differentiate between those two.
post #79 of 205
Do you think your BIL would respond better to "male" authority than "female" authority? Sounds like he might be pretty traditional.

Maybe your FIL pulling him aside and saying something along the lines of "this sort of thing didn't go on in the home I raised SIL in, and when you married, I believed and expected that both SIL and your future children would be in a safe, comfortable home, where they were respected and well-treated. You know your anger isn't normal, and I know your anger isn't normal. I know you love SIL and the kids, what can I do to help?
post #80 of 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed View Post

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.

[snip]

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.


Condescending responses to suggestion you don't like make it difficult for me to think you really want help with this. If you want to model being gentle to your BIL I think that's great. But please remember to be gentle with those here at MDC who may think differently than you do as well.
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