Need some advice about dss mom neglecting him. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 12-03-2008, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm going crazy!!

A little background....
I've been married to my husband for three years. He has a almost 6 year old son from a prior relationship. My dss lived with his grandma for most of his life because his mother dated guys that didn't want her son around. In 2007 she told us we could have Anthony full-time. For the last year I have raised Anthony as my own. We had to fill out papers to get full custody so that he could start kindergarten this year. His mom was totally fine with giving him to us but then decided a week before court that she wanted him back, that she had made a big mistake, and that she didn't approve of the fact that my dh spanks anthony when he is bad. So we decide when we go to court that we will go for shared custody. She is fine with this. Well when we get there we find out that we have to have an agreement drawn up since they were never married. Now we are in the midst of filling out the agreement but Anthony has been living with his mom full-time now for a month. We get him every other weekend. His mom's family is very dirty and nasty and even when Anthony lived with her mom, he ALWAYS came over to our house with lice(im not implying that everyone who gets it is dirty as I have had it. I only imply that they are dirty because they never get rid of it!). Since I've been in his life for 3 years he has had it more than 10 times!!! So we constantly have to check him and usually we cut off his hair. When we decided to give him back to his mom to live with, we made it clear to her that we didn't want him coming over with lice all the time. She's only had him one month and this past weekend he had it again!!! These people have to be living with it all the time and not treating it for this to be a problem constantly. I'm so sick of it. My dh won't say anything because he doesn't want to rock the boat but I have to constantly worry about getting it too! I've gotten it twice from him! Not only that, but she sent him over this past weekend with NO clothes because she said they were all dirty. How can all of his clothes be dirty?!! I sent almost all of his clothes over with her to keep as I thought she would be responsible but she isn't being. We only have a few outfits. She sent him with no coat either and it was freezing out all weekend! When she does send clothes she sends sizes 7 or 8 and he wears 4 and 5T!! None of the clothes ever match either. Recently we also found out that there are 11 people living in her 2bedroom apartment. A friend of her has 5 kids and one on the way and she is staying there along with her and her three kids and boyfriend. I really feel like the constant lice, the living conditions, sending him with no clothes or coat, are all neglectful! I've started writing down everything that she does wrong as well as the dates and times. Everytime he gets lice I'm going to document it, everytime he comes with no coat or no clothes I'm going to document it. He even had two gashes on his face from one of the children and him fighting.

We go back to court in January to finalize the parenting plan. We've thought about bringing these things up and getting a lawyer but I also don't want to cause friction between all of us as we get along pretty good right now. I know we need to do what is best for anthony but part of me thinks that by stirring things up, it's just going to make anthony feel like he's caught in the middle. I want both families to get along for his sake but I just don't agree with how she is doing things. She thinks he is better with her because she is his mom and sweet to him and gives in to his every whim, whereas my husband is strict, and believes in a butt spanking every once in awhile. He told her he was scared of daddy and that daddy didn't love him(because he gets spankings) so she let a 5 year old make the decision of where it would be best for him to live and that's just not reasonable. She complained to us and told us she wanted him back because we didn't let him pick out his own clothes when we went to the store, we didn't let him eat whatever he wants(he eats what I cook and never complains), etc....Yet she neglects him like this? Just looking for some feedback from others. What would YOU do if you were me?
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#2 of 29 Old 12-03-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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I'd convince your husband to find methods other than spanking to discipline his son.

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#3 of 29 Old 12-03-2008, 05:57 PM
 
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Yeah, if this is going to wind up in court (and it sounds like it might, the overcrowded living situation you describe is illegal and that needs to be brought to the attention of the judge), this spanking thing might wind up being a huge, huge issue, depending on how the mom frames it and how the judge feels about it. Tell dh that if he wants to keep his son, he needs to stop hitting him.
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#4 of 29 Old 12-03-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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Oh, and I wouldn't trust what the mom reports about how Anthony feels. Ask Anthony how he feels about food, clothes, discipline etc.
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#5 of 29 Old 12-03-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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We go back to court in January to finalize the parenting plan. We've thought about bringing these things up and getting a lawyer but I also don't want to cause friction between all of us as we get along pretty good right now. I know we need to do what is best for anthony but part of me thinks that by stirring things up, it's just going to make anthony feel like he's caught in the middle. I want both families to get along for his sake but I just don't agree with how she is doing things. She thinks he is better with her because she is his mom and sweet to him and gives in to his every whim, whereas my husband is strict, and believes in a butt spanking every once in awhile. He told her he was scared of daddy and that daddy didn't love him(because he gets spankings) so she let a 5 year old make the decision of where it would be best for him to live and that's just not reasonable. She complained to us and told us she wanted him back because we didn't let him pick out his own clothes when we went to the store, we didn't let him eat whatever he wants(he eats what I cook and never complains), etc....Yet she neglects him like this? Just looking for some feedback from others. What would YOU do if you were me?
You are NOT going to like my answer, but you are asking what you I do if it were me, so I am going to tell you.

First of all, there is no WE. There is the parents, dad and mom. A judge will not see a WE .....
Second, ok, shes not mom of the year by any means, but what has DAD done to show concern about this. Not YOU. DAD.
Has he been concerned enough to call CPS in?
Courts are not going to look likely on someone who is so worried about their child in terrible living conditions, but did nothing about it.

You need to step out.
The judge will talk to the parents, mom and dad about the parenting plan. You do not have a say in the parenting plan. Step parents are legal strangers to the child, so while you are concerned, your husband is the one that needs to do the documenting. The calling CPS or whatever he thinks needs to be done. If he wants to spank, it is his call, it is his child!!!! Parents arent always going to agree on discipline, whether they are together or apart. She may want to incorporate a non spanking policy in the agreement, he may not want that, but if she brings it up, it may not look good on your husband. I personally do not advocate spanking at all, but not everyone sees it my way.

Yes, you love him, I understand. I am not saying that is not nice all the stuff you do for him, but bottom line, you still are not the parent. Let the parents do the parenting plan, you really do not or should not be worrying about it to begin with.
This may sound harsh, and I am sorry I really am not trying to be mean here, it is just reality. The courts will see this the same way.

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#6 of 29 Old 12-03-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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*note* you may have also found the wrong group of Moms to confide in if you feel that hitting a child for any reason, on any part of his body is fine. Hitting is hitting, and hitting is a form of abuse.

Your User Agreement here at MDC, read it and make it your friend and read the FAQ to answer all the questions of the (MDC) world.
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#7 of 29 Old 12-03-2008, 07:17 PM
 
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You've come to the wrong place to find support in spanking a child. Read the User Agreement. In these forums, it is not permitted to defend spanking under any circumstance. It is abuse, plain and simple. When someone bigger hits someone smaller in order to get them to comply, that is abuse.

With that said, the mother sounds like she isn't much better for the poor boy. So I would do what the PPs have said. The boys father needs to lead the charge, and you should probably do some reading on gentle discipline methods so that should you get custody, you will be able to offer the boy a true sanctuary and place to heal from the rotten cards life has dealt him.

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#8 of 29 Old 12-03-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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This is a delicate issue on this board, with one parent opting to apply corporal punishment and the other neglecting basic needs. I can see how you'd lean toward wanting DSS with his father among the two choices, besides obvious biases spanking as a measured discipline feels like a lesser evil than overcrowded living, no clean clothes, basic hygiene and health needs ignored. But for the sake of the mother, for compromise and bringing her to your family's side more in the custody issue, and perhaps for more effective and loving discipline, maybe another method of teaching right from wrong is in order.
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#9 of 29 Old 12-03-2008, 08:23 PM
 
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Let the parents do the parenting plan, you really do not or should not be worrying about it to begin with.
I think that is a bit unrealistic. They have been married for 3 years and she is supposed to be like
"I shouldn't care about this situation so I don't, because I am not a natural parent, I am going to not seek advice from anyone."

I get that as a step, I do not enter into play within the physical court realm, but as my DP bounces ideas off me when it comes to parenting and parenting plans, I cannot just separate myself from his life like this.

But I agree about spanking. I don't know if I see it as the same degree of abuse that others see it, but it is a pointless practice when there are a billion alternatives. I think that if you (op) are trying to reach out for advice and/or what not, whoever suggested checking out the gentle discipline forum has a good idea. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, you are probably truly concerned, and maybe you and your DH could check it out together.
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#10 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 10:13 AM
 
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I'm going to set the spanking thing aside, as I know that I am personally against it, but this board isn't really a place that I want to get into that conversation. She is asking for advice more on blended family issues, and everyone has jumped on one issue in a long post. I think she gets the point.

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I think that is a bit unrealistic. They have been married for 3 years and she is supposed to be like
"I shouldn't care about this situation so I don't, because I am not a natural parent, I am going to not seek advice from anyone."

I get that as a step, I do not enter into play within the physical court realm, but as my DP bounces ideas off me when it comes to parenting and parenting plans, I cannot just separate myself from his life like this.
We my dh did his parenting agreement, he discussed it with me first before bringing it to DSD's mom. I went to the initial meeting with he and the lawyer as well. This parenting agreement in effect set up how our household will be run for the next however-many years - both time-wise and financially. It would be ridiculous for him to not discuss it with me. There were even times when he and I disagreed on things and had to work it out before he could decide what he wanted to do in the next step of negotiations. In the end, he had the final say because it was him negotiating with DSD's mom and not me, but he definitely consulted me. It would be strange for him not to.

To the OP, since you have no idea what my background is, I am a stepmom to a 6 yo and we have had a week on, week off arrangement for over two years now. The parenting agreement was just finalized.

With regard to some of the other concerns (clothes, hygiene), there are some things that you can do. If you are truly planning on your dss living with you half-time, then now would be the time to start building a wardrobe for him at your house. He should have winter gear and clothes at your house if he lives there half of the time, especially given the fact that the two houses do not see eye-to-eye on what appropriate clothing is.

Since you see him every other weekend, I would keep giving him a short (military-style) haircut until the lice issue is resolved.

If your husband has issues with these things, he does need to bring them up. If the first time that she hears that he has a problem with the living conditions, etc, is in court, isn't that going to be a little weird? He was fine with it (as far as she knows) until the court date?

Also, in order to be granted 50/50 custody (in my state, at least), the parents really have to demonstrate that they can work together when parenting the child. It is hard to get 50/50 in my state if both parents don't agree on it. I know that my dh let some things slide that he felt weren't as important to keep the peace during the parenting agreement negotiations, but they were nothing compared to the issues that you have. If he had living conditions or hygiene concerns, he would bring them up (and has in the past). Issues that affect a child's safety and health are not issues to keep the peace on. If he can't bring this sort of thing up, he will have trouble with a 50/50 arrangement. It requires a lot of communication between the houses.

I would consult a lawyer. You have a lot of issues going on here, and how the court sees them is going to be specific to your state.

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#11 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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Yes, you love him, I understand. I am not saying that is not nice all the stuff you do for him, but bottom line, you still are not the parent. Let the parents do the parenting plan, you really do not or should not be worrying about it to begin with.
This may sound harsh, and I am sorry I really am not trying to be mean here, it is just reality. The courts will see this the same way.
Regardless of what the courts view a step-parent as, this is their family and their life. The OP has every right to have a say and discuss with her husband what things are agreeable to them as a family. I mean seriously? This is her husband, the decisions put in place on a parenting plan will affect the OP everyday of her life, probably the biggest decisions and commitments the two of them will have to make and abide by. Why on earth would it be okay for one to make the decisions without the other? Imagine this scenario: Your husband comes home and says "Honey, I decided we should move, I sold the house and already bought a new one, pack your things we move this weekend." If soeoen came on here and said that mst everyone would say what a UA voilation the husband is, who does he think he is?, get out of that controlling relationship, etc. This is the same ting, parenting plans affect everyone involved in the families, steps included.
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#12 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 11:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post






With regard to some of the other concerns (clothes, hygiene), there are some things that you can do. If you are truly planning on your dss living with you half-time, then now would be the time to start building a wardrobe for him at your house. He should have winter gear and clothes at your house if he lives there half of the time, especially given the fact that the two houses do not see eye-to-eye on what appropriate clothing is.

.
You may have missed it, but the OP said that they gave all of his clothing to his mother when she took custody back. Doesn't seem fair that they should have to rebuy the things they already purchased because his mom won't take care of them.
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#13 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would like to say that I don't believe i need to stay out of it. I WAS HIS MOM for most of his life. He is 5 and I have been in his life since he was two. His mom was NEVER around. He lived with us for over a year and I TOOK care of him while his dad worked all day and half the night. My husband and I provided the food and shelter, she would go MONTHS without calling him. She NEVER came to see him. How am I supposed to detach myself when I've been his REAL mom the whole entire time?? For those families where the mother is in the life of the child or the child has always lived with the mother, etc. Then I can understand why the stepmom or stepparent should detach his or herself.
As another user said, I came for advice more about how to deal with his situation at his house and I did feel like i got jumped on about the spanking issue more than anything. I will drop it. It is my fault for not having read the guidelines properly. Everyone is intitled to his or her opinion but I am not an abuser. It took me almost two years to conceive my baby and I'd die for him and I love him with all my heart, he is my heart and soul...so no one is ever going to make me feel like I'm a bad parent. That's all i'll say on that.
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#14 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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I would like to say that I don't believe i need to stay out of it. I WAS HIS MOM for most of his life. He is 5 and I have been in his life since he was two. His mom was NEVER around. He lived with us for over a year and I TOOK care of him while his dad worked all day and half the night. My husband and I provided the food and shelter, she would go MONTHS without calling him. She NEVER came to see him. How am I supposed to detach myself when I've been his REAL mom the whole entire time?? For those families where the mother is in the life of the child or the child has always lived with the mother, etc. Then I can understand why the stepmom or stepparent should detach his or herself.
As another user said, I came for advice more about how to deal with his situation at his house and I did feel like i got jumped on about the spanking issue more than anything. I will drop it. It is my fault for not having read the guidelines properly. Everyone is intitled to his or her opinion but I am not an abuser. It took me almost two years to conceive my baby and I'd die for him and I love him with all my heart, he is my heart and soul...so no one is ever going to make me feel like I'm a bad parent. That's all i'll say on that

I am sorry you felt "jumped on" That wasnt the intention in MY part, however, I also did not say detach yourself. You, however mom you might have played, still, in the courts eyes, are NOT the mom. So you legally have no say in the parenting plan.
I did not say you can't discuss it with your husband, I specially said in court, you will have no say so you will have to stay out of it then, as the court will not see your part in anything.

Also as one poster mentioned, you should have clothes at your house for him. If you cared about him so much, you wouldnt care if he took t hem home and they were never returned, as he probably needs them THERE, so you would buy more clothes. Clothes should not even be an issue, it is trifle compared to the other "horrors" happening at his moms. I really suggest your husband be more concerned than you are, and show his concern...ie:cps, talking to the mother, whatever.

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#15 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply. I respect everyones' answers on this matter. We sent all of his clothes with him because we knew he needed them there since we would only have him once every two weeks. You are right, clothes are not important in the grand scheme of things. I merely mentioned it to show that he is being neglected when she fails to do the duties she has said she will do. We have absolutely no problems with buying him clothes and will continue to do so. Anything he needs we are willing to provide. It's more just that there are the other things like the lice problem and the dirty living, and the overcrowding. It's an accumulation of problems.

When we were originally applying for custody of anthony, we applied for custody Together. He would have legally been in the custody of both of us. She was willing to do this. She is the one that communicates with me. I am in this whole situation because my husband is hispanic and knows nothing about our laws regarding custody, so unfortunately I am the one left researching everything for us. I'm the one that enrolled him in school, I'm the one that filed the petition for custody. My husband is just a mechanic who came from Mexico ten years ago, poor, and can speak english, but does not know how to read or write it. It's a tough situation. In the court hearing that we've already have, I was present and part of the proceedings as well as will be present and part of the parenting plan agreement since we are asking for shared custody. I'm the one WRITING the parenting plan agreement. We received a template from the lawyer but my husband, myself, and my dss's mom are going to sit down and create the terms of the parenting plan together.

Do I want to be doing all of this? No. I too don't think it is my responsibility to create the parenting plan, file all the paperwork, etc....but my husband's ex is very young, naive, and frankly isn't all together there in the head, so she couldn't be left as the one to handle all the work or it wouldn't get done right. I'm the most responsible knowledgeable one out of the three.
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#16 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mommyto3girls,
I really appreciated your answer as well.
I agree with you in every aspect about the husband analogy.We might be the step parents but if something is going to affect us, then we have a say too. It isn't fair for us to just sit back and accept everything just because we are the step parent. I would be livid if my husband just made decisions without me. We are a family, we should communicate as a family, everyone's opinion should count, etc.

Plus for some reason his ex likes to communicate with me versus with him. She's a timid 20 year old girl that doesn't like fighting and sometimes she will really get my husband worked up and angry, so she'd rather tell me and then I have to relay it to him. In a perfect world, this is not how it should be. My husband even gets mad about it and calls her up. *SIGH*. Oh the hardships we face as step parents.
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#17 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's another thing. When we ask him if he took a bath, he can never remember the last time he did. When we ask him if he ate, he always says " at school". He can never tell us what mom made him for dinner or anything.
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#18 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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You may have missed it, but the OP said that they gave all of his clothing to his mother when she took custody back. Doesn't seem fair that they should have to rebuy the things they already purchased because his mom won't take care of them.
I missed that... I know that it can be infuriating/not fair (we used to lose every. Single. Outfit. to DSD's mom's house), but realistically, they aren't getting these clothes back. So they should probably just buy new ones as soon as they can - even if it has to be thrift store clothes due to budget constraints. At this point in time, they really only need three outfits and winter gear. Obviously if they do get 50/50, they'll need more at that time.

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#19 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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Plus for some reason his ex likes to communicate with me versus with him. She's a timid 20 year old girl that doesn't like fighting and sometimes she will really get my husband worked up and angry, so she'd rather tell me and then I have to relay it to him. In a perfect world, this is not how it should be. My husband even gets mad about it and calls her up. *SIGH*. Oh the hardships we face as step parents.
If you look back over some of the past threads in this forum, there are quite a few posts about why this does not work very well in most situations. It may work for a while, but itusually ends poorly. The child's parents really do need to be able to communicate with each other. Your husband may have to learn to keep his anger in check a little bit better when talking with your dss's mom. Easier said than done, I know, but it can be done.

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#20 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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Is she at all receptive to an honest discussion of what is best for Anthony? If she is sweet and naive and young, why did she make the decision to "take him back?" (In my experience, sometimes this happens when the parent has a new partner and wants to create a family again).

Anyway, if you want to play hardball, I would have your husband (or you, given the role you have in this as you've described it) report her to CPS and to whatever agency deals with housing code violations, and if they are renting, to the rental company (since 11 people in a 2 br apartment is illegal).
I would file papers for sole physical and legal custody. Get a lawyer.
I would have you and your husband, independently, document what is going on. If your husband has to do it in spanish, do it in spanish.

The language difficulties and your dss's mother's unwillingness to communicate with your husband are problems, I think, because they can make it appear like you care more about this situation than your husband does, and in the courts' eye he is the one that matters most. I think you need to impress upon him the need to be calm, to be the one to talk to dss's mother, to take the lead on these matters (I am assuming dss's mother speaks spanish too?)

If I were you, I would back down just a little bit while things escalate (legally). Don't overfunction. When dss's mother calls to talk to you, tell her you feel she needs to talk to his father and hand him the phone. This will help in the long run.
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#21 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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I must be misunderstanding something, but I cannot afford to buy 4 sets of clothing for my two kids to have one at each house, and I do not think this is indicative of how much I love my kids.

Of course I want them to have clothes at their Dad's home, but that's not the point.
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#22 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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The language difficulties and your dss's mother's unwillingness to communicate with your husband are problems, I think, because they can make it appear like you care more about this situation than your husband does, and in the courts' eye he is the one that matters most. I think you need to impress upon him the need to be calm, to be the one to talk to dss's mother, to take the lead on these matters (I am assuming dss's mother speaks spanish too?)

If I were you, I would back down just a little bit while things escalate (legally). Don't overfunction. When dss's mother calls to talk to you, tell her you feel she needs to talk to his father and hand him the phone. This will help in the long run
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Good advice..however:

If you are legally in the parenting plan/custody order due to mothers agreement, you DO have a say in things, legally. Most step parents are not in the orders(hard to get the mom or dad to agree to such) but in your rare case, if you are in the legal court orders to make decisions for child, you can step in if dad does not. It is preferable to the courts however, if dad does it ultimately.

Me and my wonderful husband serve God. Blessed with twin girls 2/11/11. <3

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#23 of 29 Old 12-04-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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This is a situation with a lot going on. The mother is apparently only 20yo, so she was 14yo when she had this baby. Maybe she can get a parenting class? Is she also a recent immigrant like your husband? Does she read English? It seems like it may not matter but some of the things you are concerned about may be due to youth and/or lack of family help.

And yes, if you continue to post on MDC, you'll need to visit the gentle discipline forum for better methods of discipline. It makes me cringe thinking about someone smacking a 6yo...
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#24 of 29 Old 12-06-2008, 01:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sunflower, I am not delving into the issue of discipline anymore, as I said before. That is over and done with, and I'm now trying to focus on the bulk of my question that I asked everyone to comment on, not the discipline situation. As I said, you are entitled to your opinion but I think you should also be respectful of other people's feelings. I get the point.

I know this situation is different like (my husband speaking spanish and having legal rights to my stepson at his mother's request, etc.) Yes she was 15 at the time she had Anthony, she speaks spanish but is american. My husband was 25. She was a runaway, who told my husband that she was 19 years old and that her family lived in California(she lived in Ohio and so did they). My husband found out differently when she was 8 months pregnant and the police came knocking at his door. She got taken into custody and they were going to arrest him until HER mother actually intervened and told them that her daughter had lied to him and it wasn't his fault, so he was never charged with anything. Now she is 20 and he is 30 years old. It is a very odd and crazy situation. I feel sometimes like she looks up to me like an older sister(I'm 26) for some reason. I also do feel like her lack of parenting skills has a lot to do with why she does some of the things she does, but she now has two more children and I think she should have learned what she was doing by now. Know what I mean?

Thanks for all of the advice from everyone. It was much appreciated and I am definitely going to look into some of it!!!
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#25 of 29 Old 12-07-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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I don't think you can drop/separate the "discipline" question. If the mom has a major opposition to it, she can make a BIG deal out of it. I know I would - I know everyone doesn't feel the same as me, but I feel incredibly strongly about it and would NOT be okay with my ex hitting my kid. I think if you want to make this work, you need to abandon the moral high ground that I think you are trying to claim and figure out how both families can work together for the best interests of the child: negotiating discipline, parenting classes and support for the mom (who I agree seems to have been dealt a bad hand), support and communication for the parents from a trained counselor, etc. Sounds like a non-ideal situation but that you genuinely care for this kid - I'd focus on how to make that stuff work. Also, I'd assume the mom loves this child - sounds like she does. Work with that.
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#26 of 29 Old 12-07-2008, 01:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bronxmom View Post
I don't think you can drop/separate the "discipline" question. If the mom has a major opposition to it, she can make a BIG deal out of it. I know I would - I know everyone doesn't feel the same as me, but I feel incredibly strongly about it and would NOT be okay with my ex hitting my kid. I think if you want to make this work, you need to abandon the moral high ground that I think you are trying to claim and figure out how both families can work together for the best interests of the child: negotiating discipline, parenting classes and support for the mom (who I agree seems to have been dealt a bad hand), support and communication for the parents from a trained counselor, etc. Sounds like a non-ideal situation but that you genuinely care for this kid - I'd focus on how to make that stuff work. Also, I'd assume the mom loves this child - sounds like she does. Work with that.

You can make a big deal out of spanking, but in the vast majority of states, it won't go anywhere. It's considered by the courts to be a legitimate parenting decision and discipline technique (so long as it doesn't rise to the level of a beating--leaving bruises, done with a closed fist or an object, or on more delicate areas of the body).

That said, I agree with the rest of your post.

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#27 of 29 Old 12-08-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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actually, due to a finding of child abuse, my ex is forbidden from using corporal punishment, that was quite clear in my pp
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#28 of 29 Old 12-08-2008, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ProtoLawyer for the info about how courts view the types of discipline. I have read that same information somewhere before.

To everyone:

I did not mean for this post to become a debate on what types of discipline are right or wrong. Nor am I uneducated about those disciplines. I'm well aware of gentle disciplining as well. I'm sorry if I have offended anyone with my post. I should have just left it out as I see it can ruffle feathers.

Right now both families are doing very well as far as getting along with each other. She accepts the differences at our house and we are perfectly fine with MOST things she does at her house. We accept that we live in different households but mine (and my husband's main concern) is Anthony's well being. I know his mom loves him but if she is not willing to provide him food, shelther, clothing, like we have, then it becomes an issue. When we agreed to give him back to her my husband told her he would be paying very close attention. That if Anthony started coming over and had not had a bath for days, food to eat, etc, that he would bring that up in court and would request full custody. Even though I'm the one posting this question, I post it because my husband IS concerned. However, since he has no idea about a lot of the laws of our country regarding this sort of thing, I am left as the one researching it. I came here to get advice on how to handle his living situation, the overcrowding, the constant lice problem, and if any of you considered that neglect. After listening to what everyone has had to say, my husband and I have decided to sit down and have a meeting with her and discuss our concerns. If then things do not get better, we will call CPS and then take it back to court and let them decide.

Thanks to all again for the advice!
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#29 of 29 Old 12-08-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pranamama View Post
actually, due to a finding of child abuse, my ex is forbidden from using corporal punishment, that was quite clear in my pp
Well, in a circumstance like that, yes. The OP gave me no reason to believe that the spanking is any more than just spanking--if that's the case, the court won't care.

The court *may* care if a stepparent administers the spanking, but that really differs by state and even the judge. Here in WI, most judges won't say anything unless the spanking is more than just an open hand on the butt (because stepparents actually have a intermediate parental status--not legal parents, but not legal strangers either).

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