My step son is coming to stay....... Help!!!! Another UPDATE No 53 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 88 Old 11-24-2009, 09:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tireesix View Post
Things are just dumped on him last minute by his mum.

When I came down stairs I heard him say 'I haven't been that bad' (he has)
his comment stood out for me.

so is your house his doghouse?

meaning does he associate being sent over to your house when he has done something bad?

this really concerns me.

if he associates being sent to daddy's because he is bad it makes it tougher for you guys to help him.

poor guy is already going thru a hard time. i dont think anything positive you do will register at first. he is still going to operate from 'this is my punishment, prison' place. it makes it harder for you guys because all you can do is keep on positive reinforcement but you have to put up with his negatives for a v. long time.

thank you for letting us know he is back. i was worried.

you all have such an uphill battle ahead. s to all of you

i so so so feel for your boy. he has no home. that is so sad. to be wrenched from everything familiar and he has no say in it.

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#62 of 88 Old 11-24-2009, 11:43 AM
 
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Your DH needs to do something, honey. He can't keep on standing by while his son is treated like this. That boy needs his father in his court.

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#63 of 88 Old 11-24-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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My brother and I were teens that went back and forth. My brother was usually in trouble whne it happened and I was usually just angry with one or the other and left.

The best thing that happened for me was finally not having a choice in the matter. My father and stepmother kept me there and it was decided that that's where I would stay...no more going back and forth. I was angry at first, but it was really the best thing to settle me into a situation.

That's what your SS needs. He needs his father and mother to decide for him that he's going to stay with you and that's final. No punishment, just "this is where you have a better chance of success." But if he's choosing to hang out with druggie friends, then he's stuck in pattern and may not have the ability to make other friends. Those friends are easy to make, so they're more attractive to him. You may have to do something more drastic, like homeschool him, or get him into running start, get him to be a volunteer, or get him into a church club for teens (If church isn't your thing, try a Unitarian Universalist church), get him into some club or activity outside of school that will help him make friends who are less likely to get him into trouble. He can't do it by himself. If you don't want to homeschool, homeschoolers in your area may still be able to help. They're pretty good at gathering resources for teens outside of school.

I remember my father buying me all new clothes and telling me to be a snob at school until I could figure out who I wanted to be friends with. He had the right idea, but I just didn't have that ability. The more "respectable" people were either intimidating or too "respectable" for my taste.

A good book for you to read is "The teenage liberation handbook." and "how to talk to kids so kids will listen."

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#64 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can someone read this letter through for me.

Z talks to me and tells me stuff and my DH wanted me to write it down for him but mostly for Zs mum.

Can you read it through and give any suggestions about things that might come across as a bit I don't know, upsetting. I don't mean about what Z says but, you know, you would rather have a child coming to you rather than someone else.

Anyway, here it is:

For some reason Zack feels able to talk to me and so he does, non stop, while we are out. It almost seems to be a release for him. He tells me things even if he thinks I might feel uncomfortable about it like how he feels about being here, about being forced to come down etc.

I think the best thing he has told me so far is that he had started feeling comfortable here, however, this was just after I had a frank discussion with him about things relating to his school work, his Dads feelings and this sort of thing. If he asks me questions, I do not lie to him but do not pretend I know the answers either if it happens to be a question about you and Colin.

I promised Zack I wouldn't tell his Dad or you about things he has said and if it had just been minor stuff, I probably wouldn't have you and Colin. Its not minor stuff though, well, not what I would call minor anyway. I feel though, that because he is able to talk to me, that it may be best if no one lets on to him that I have told you things because otherwise, he might clam up. It would probably be best to just use the information to help you make a decision about what you plan to do with him in the future and then try and forget it (if at all possible).

I don't want you to feel hurt by the fact that he is talking to me rather than you. As a parent, it is always our wish that children will feel comfortable coming to us with their concerns and problems, I hope that my girls feel able to come to me. I do know from experience though, that in a difficult situation involving separated parents and all the problems the situation brings with it, that a lot of children find it easier to talk to someone who is outside of that situation. It doesn't feel like they are betraying the other parent or getting the other parent in trouble. The other thing is that I am closer to his age I guess, so maybe a bit more approachable and I do seem to spend a bit more time with him, I mean, when we are walking to the shops its natural to just talk (and talk he certainly does!).

So...................

Zack talks a lot about smoking, he asks me questions about smoking like 'if you have just lit a cigarette and the bus comes do you stub it out or throw it away'? I say it depends how I am feeling and Zack will then say 'I just throw it away'.

He has mentioned a number of times when we have been on our own about how he is desperate for a fag.

Zack and his friends seem to enjoy smoking on the upper level of buses as well.

I guess this old news because we kinda know he smokes but it is more of a confirmation, especially as he seems to know about the average cost of a pack of cigarettes and tobacco. I suppose some people might think of the smoking thing as a minor issue but the health problems are pretty major.

Alcohol wise, he seems to like vodka and energy drinks. When I have been shopping with him he always points out the beers, lagers and ciders he likes, the ones he doesn't like and his preferential vodka (which is usually the cheapest stuff).

Zack and his mates seem to find it amusing to find ways of getting alcohol without being asked for ID. It would seem the girls in the group are more successful at doing this, however, if that doesn't work, the resort to nicking it.

They also (Zack included) steal tobacco/cigarettes if the opportunity arises.

This stealing seems to have landed a couple of his friends into some trouble with shop owners and Zack appears to not be the only one banned from shops due to stealing stuff and Zack isn't the worst out of his friends for doing it.

Apparently, when Zack goes shopping with you and you tell him he cannot have something, he waits until you aren't looking and puts it in his pocket anyway.

Another concerning thing was that at least one of the girls in his group of friends has become pregnant. Apparently he was around one particular girls house when she told her mum she was pregnant, the girl had an abortion. Zack didn't want me to say anything about this to anyone, this is one story he was very clear about me not telling anyone because he didn't want you or Colin asking questions.

He has also mentioned a few fights he has been involved in that have ended up with other kids getting hurt and/or expelled. It always seems to involve Zacks group picking on someone who is weaker than they are or younger.

When he talks to me about wanting to go home, its never about going home to see you and his brother, it is always about him going home so that he can go to school and see his mates. He would rather be in school doing a 2 hour detention with his mates rather than be here and that is simply so he can see his mates.

His world just seems to revolve around fighting, being nasty, stealing, getting what he wants, his mates, alcohol, cigarettes and that is about it.

The sad thing is that he is not a bad kid, he is not mean or nasty to the girls, he is polite and its nice to be around him. It just seems that his social life up in Bristol is totally getting the way of everything he does, including his school work and his lack of education is just pushing him further towards his mates. Its a huge nasty cycle that needs to broken.

Apart from the worrying things that could and maybe already have happened due to alcohol abuse, he could get into an awful lot of trouble because of some of the hobbies he and his friends have and not just from the police either. Apparently one of his friends nicked some alcohol from a shop and the shop owner had some family with him and they chased Zacks mate in a very threatening way.

Anyway, hope some of this helps you and Colin to find a way to help Zack. In the mean time I shall keep my ears open!!!

Katie -x-


Any thoughts?
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#65 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 08:23 AM
 
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Breaking his confidence means he is unlikely to trust you again. I would never promise a kid complete confidence, but rather that if he shared stuff that compromised his safety you would go with him to talk with his parents. This behind the back stuff is likely not going to go over well with either his mother or with him.

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#66 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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His mum already knows and is fine with it considering the situation we are in.

We aren't just talking about a bit of smoking here and there but shop lifting, assault etc. If I tell him I cannot guarantee that I won't say anything then he simply will not speak to me.
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#67 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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I've been keeping up with this and I have to say my heart breaks for this kid. Before you send that info to his mom, I really have to ask this. I'm not trying to be snarky or insulting to her at all, and I realize that we only get pieces of a whole in most posts, but will she really care? I mean, she knows he smokes, drinks and hangs out with a bad crowd already. She appears to care enough to send him to dad's when it's too much. But I can't say I've really seen her TRY to reverse or help any of the issues so far. Do you really think she'll bother? Is it worth risking his trust? Honestly I wouldn't send it - he feels like he's been let down by every adult so far, this may be the final straw and all of you could lose him for good over it. Now if you think she'll bust her tail to make positive changes and really work to make things right for him, that's something to consider as well. From what you've said though, I don't see that happening.

What I WOULD do (and I realize things are different legally there than here) is use this information to go back to court and prove he's not in a good environment and try to get full custody of him. That poor kid needs stability, rules and a life away from his "mates".
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#68 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 01:16 PM
 
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I've been keeping up with this and I have to say my heart breaks for this kid. Before you send that info to his mom, I really have to ask this. I'm not trying to be snarky or insulting to her at all, and I realize that we only get pieces of a whole in most posts, but will she really care? I mean, she knows he smokes, drinks and hangs out with a bad crowd already. She appears to care enough to send him to dad's when it's too much. But I can't say I've really seen her TRY to reverse or help any of the issues so far. Do you really think she'll bother? Is it worth risking his trust? Honestly I wouldn't send it - he feels like he's been let down by every adult so far, this may be the final straw and all of you could lose him for good over it. Now if you think she'll bust her tail to make positive changes and really work to make things right for him, that's something to consider as well. From what you've said though, I don't see that happening.

What I WOULD do (and I realize things are different legally there than here) is use this information to go back to court and prove he's not in a good environment and try to get full custody of him. That poor kid needs stability, rules and a life away from his "mates".
I really really really agree with this post. Think long and hard about betraying his trust, especially to someone who seems unwilling or unable to help him.
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#69 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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Yup. I don't think that that letter adds anything significantly to what you started off with - sadly, it confirms most of it. I don't see that she's going to learn anything that's worth breaking his confidence- and right now, he's talking. And more importantly, there's some vulnerability in there too, I think?

In particular, the teenage pregnancy isn't relevant to his mum: can I ask how Zack reacted to this? Is he scared of finding himself in the same situation?

How is your DH doing? Is he any clearer on what he's going to do yet?

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#70 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, DH said to not do the teenage pregnancy bit as well.

I think the problem with the mum is that she thinks that if he stays with us for a bit, all of a sudden Z is going to be better behaved, better at school etc and that is simply not going to happen and DH wants her to see that by having it in front of her in black and white.

With regards to Zs school work, the school says he is fine, he really isn't, he reads books designed for 4-8 year olds and has issues even with those. He can't spell to save his life and everything else is just as bad, so as far as DH and I are concerned, that is probably a big factor in his school behaviour.

When it comes to being at home, it is his home environment that is pushing him out and from what I can see, his friends have become his adopted family. He doesn't want to go home to see his mum, he wants to go home so he can spend all his time with his mates (which is kinda understandable with his age group but tits the extent of it IYSWIM).

He has been a really good considerate kid while he has been here. We have had a couple of moments with him but other than that he has been fine. No smoking, no drinking etc.

I guess that no matter what I say, its all about what she believes and if she can't see just how bad the things she knows about are, then nothing is going to change it.

DH and Zs mum are meeting up tomorrow to discuss things further and then next week she is coming down again with someone from Zs school (the school counsellor).


I think everything depends on these meetings and I just hope Zs mum can come to a good decision so that we don't have to go the hard way because we would all prefer this to be as gentle and easy as possible.

I will leave the letter for now though.

Oh, I did speak to a family worker today though and she wants to keep posted on whats going on, there is a thing called AXS Pathways, we are on it, its usually for rotten parents apparently but we are on it for our health problems. Anyhoo, she says, once we find out what is happening with Z, if he is staying with us (which I suspect he will be), Z will be added to our group and that way a care plan can be sorted and through that, we can access a range of services for him.

So, everything is ready to go, once we have the go ahead.
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#71 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 03:07 PM
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Rather than betraying his trust, you could just say you've been talking alot and from the info you feel he really needs to stay with you and your DH so he can have a fresh start. His behavior when with his mom backs up your conclusion and his mom probably already knows alot of it already. Having one adult he can really trust is more important than the details of what he's told you.
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#72 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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I've been keeping up with this and I have to say my heart breaks for this kid. Before you send that info to his mom, I really have to ask this. I'm not trying to be snarky or insulting to her at all, and I realize that we only get pieces of a whole in most posts, but will she really care? I mean, she knows he smokes, drinks and hangs out with a bad crowd already. She appears to care enough to send him to dad's when it's too much. But I can't say I've really seen her TRY to reverse or help any of the issues so far. Do you really think she'll bother? Is it worth risking his trust? Honestly I wouldn't send it - he feels like he's been let down by every adult so far, this may be the final straw and all of you could lose him for good over it. Now if you think she'll bust her tail to make positive changes and really work to make things right for him, that's something to consider as well. From what you've said though, I don't see that happening.

What I WOULD do (and I realize things are different legally there than here) is use this information to go back to court and prove he's not in a good environment and try to get full custody of him. That poor kid needs stability, rules and a life away from his "mates".
Yep, my first thought as well was save it for the courts. I don't think much will be accomplished by a.) breaking his trust, b.) trusting that this woman will keep it to herself, and c.) telling her that her kid is more comfortable with you. She'd likely not respond well to it, which will only contribute to more problems between her and Zack.

I'd also be contacting the case worker or liaison officer for the court and custody cases, and start filing petitions to have them revised. You do NOT have to let this woman figure everything out. And in fact, if she has primary custody and is leaving him with you guys indefinitely, I would absolutely go through the court for that. If for nothing else, but to have it on paper and documented.

ETA: Even though I think it's really obvious you have his best interests at heart, I beg that you try not to place blame on his mother. Even if she is deserving of choice words it will NOT be in Zack's best interest to hear a shred of "us against her". A few things you said in regards to his mom, which may just be you venting on here, could be construed by a vulnerable 13 year old as blame or taking sides. That's not to say that discussing her and her roll in her son's problems should be avoided, but just tread carefully in front of him. Even if he's comfortable talking to you, I think you should avoid talking to him about her. And I'm not saying you have, but just in case. Especially with him feeling displaced and obviously showing different colours in different households, I think it could create a major poop-storm if he got it in his head that you guys think his mom is to blame or wrong or not a capable parent, etc. It could lead to problems of him playing one against the other. Poker face time.

Signed - a previously 13 year old to divorced parents who lived with a step mother also. I was a nightmare, and I got away it using the divide and conquer method.

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#73 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 04:09 PM
 
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I second (third, fourth, fifth, whatever) the "don't send it" sentiment. I was also a troubled youth. When I was about 15, I told the school counselor know something about my home life (not abuse or anything like that) that I generally didn't tell people about. I was just starting to trust her and was, honestly, kind of testing the waters. She promptly told my mom what I'd said, because she felt my mom "needed to know". I never told her anything again. (I didn't get in trouble or anything - it wasn't the kind of information that would cause anybody to get mad at me.) In fact, I never went back to her office - not for career counseling, course guidance - nothing. She betrayed my trust. End of story. I'm still like that, to some extent, although I'm better at...limited trust, I guess?...than I was as a teen. If you betray my trust, you're toast.

That incident has affected my ability to even seek counseling or therapy as an adult. (I may have overcome that hesitancy, if this incident were the only thing causing it, but there were some others that came along later. The thing with my school counselor was the root, though.) When you don't trust easily, finding out that the one person that you did trust has turned on you is devastating. I'm sure my school counselor had good intentions, just as you do - but betraying a trust is betraying a trust. I truly don't see any good coming of that route.

Plus, as others have said, it's unlikely to affect his mom's way of looking at the situation, as she already suspected most of this.

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#74 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 07:00 PM
 
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Yep, my first thought as well was save it for the courts. I don't think much will be accomplished by a.) breaking his trust, b.) trusting that this woman will keep it to herself, and c.) telling her that her kid is more comfortable with you. She'd likely not respond well to it, which will only contribute to more problems between her and Zack.

I'd also be contacting the case worker or liaison officer for the court and custody cases, and start filing petitions to have them revised. You do NOT have to let this woman figure everything out. And in fact, if she has primary custody and is leaving him with you guys indefinitely, I would absolutely go through the court for that. If for nothing else, but to have it on paper and documented.

ETA: Even though I think it's really obvious you have his best interests at heart, I beg that you try not to place blame on his mother. Even if she is deserving of choice words it will NOT be in Zack's best interest to hear a shred of "us against her". A few things you said in regards to his mom, which may just be you venting on here, could be construed by a vulnerable 13 year old as blame or taking sides. That's not to say that discussing her and her roll in her son's problems should be avoided, but just tread carefully in front of him. Even if he's comfortable talking to you, I think you should avoid talking to him about her. And I'm not saying you have, but just in case. Especially with him feeling displaced and obviously showing different colours in different households, I think it could create a major poop-storm if he got it in his head that you guys think his mom is to blame or wrong or not a capable parent, etc. It could lead to problems of him playing one against the other. Poker face time.

Signed - a previously 13 year old to divorced parents who lived with a step mother also. I was a nightmare, and I got away it using the divide and conquer method.
ITA.

My "little" cousin recently got pregnant (at 17), dropped out of school, moved in with friends, and cut off all contact with the family. There was so much secrecy behind her back and breaking of her confidentiality between her parents and relatives (but then they'd totally use the info to trash each other and break her trust). I am actually afraid for her. The sad thing is she was such a bright young woman and had a big heart. If she had any stability in her life and people who looked out for her (rather than fought over her like an object) I think things would have turned out soooo differently for her.

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#75 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 07:11 PM
 
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Any thoughts?
Yea.. I would not send that. To me none of that stuff is important enough to risk the trust this kid has in you. His mother doesn't seem to care anyway. I would simply try to get physical custody of the kid and go from there. A lot of these things wont be issues if he is living with you.
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#76 of 88 Old 12-03-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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Because this is talking about how to deal with the ex, custody, etc, I am going to move this to Blended Families.

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#77 of 88 Old 12-04-2009, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ETA: Even though I think it's really obvious you have his best interests at heart, I beg that you try not to place blame on his mother. Even if she is deserving of choice words it will NOT be in Zack's best interest to hear a shred of "us against her". A few things you said in regards to his mom, which may just be you venting on here, could be construed by a vulnerable 13 year old as blame or taking sides. That's not to say that discussing her and her roll in her son's problems should be avoided, but just tread carefully in front of him. Even if he's comfortable talking to you, I think you should avoid talking to him about her. And I'm not saying you have, but just in case. Especially with him feeling displaced and obviously showing different colours in different households, I think it could create a major poop-storm if he got it in his head that you guys think his mom is to blame or wrong or not a capable parent, etc. It could lead to problems of him playing one against the other. Poker face time.
Yeah, my parents tried to pul this crap as well and it really hurt me so we say nothing negative about Zs mum. Occasionally me and DH vent but not within earshot of Z.

Thing is, Zs mum has tried to the best as she knows how. I realise she feels bad about a lot of stuff and as she says, she just wants to make him happy but the way she has done it (by buying everything he wants, not saying no, allowing him to treat her like a door mat etc) hasn't been the best way.

She obviously loves him, you can see that whenever she is here and close to bursting into tears (poor lady, honestly I have to say, before I really met her I had formed an opinion of her but having had a chance to meet her and talk to her properly on a couple of occasions I have totally changed my mind about her, she is a good person who got caught up in the emotions of a difficult relationship which ended up in her being a single parent and everything else).

Essentially, she wants the best for him, but I think she is finding it hard to let go. She did say while she was here last time that it is really hard to think that as a parent you have failed. We tell her, she hasn't failed, things might not have gone right with Z but that doesn't mean she has failed. I guess its like me and my mum, we simply do not go together, our personalities are too different.

Having said that, DH and I were somewhat stunned when she said it is Zs fault that Zs education is so bad because he doesn't put the effort in....... However, I think a lot of parents go by how they were brought up and from what I gather, her up bringing wasn't necessarily fantastic. DH and I made a decision to break the cycle of the way we were brought up, everything we do is different, I guess not everyone is able to do that though.

So, yes, we will see how the next 2 meetings go and then Colin and I will decide how we are going to pursue this. We would rather not do it the through the courts but obviously, how we move forward is down to Zs mum, we can do it easy or we can do it hard!!!!

I really like Z, I have to say, he has some interesting quirks (I actually have to tell him to put back stuff he has pocketed in the shop, I am quite observant these days) but its nice to have him about. He says he hates learning and school work but when we are talking, he asks lots of questions about things. He is really helpful with the girls which I am surprised at.

So, keep your fingers crossed that all goes well today with the first parent meeting!
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#78 of 88 Old 12-05-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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Judging by your last post, she honestly sounds like a woman who really does want what's best for her son, she just has no idea how to do it and she's in WAY over her head here. But you're right, she hasn't failed as a mom. You said yourself, underneath it all he is a good kid she gets some credit for that side of him too.

Have you guys come any closer to figuring out what the living arrangements are going to be? Your house can't keep being the place where he's sent when he misbehaves or he's just going to start doing the same things for you guys as he is for her.

My advice would be for you guys to have him with you full time, with mom and J coming down for visits as frequently as possible. He needs to be away from the social group he has at home if anything is going to change but at the same time you don't want him feeling like he's such a bad kid that mom had to ship him off. Once you have him, contact your social worker and get the ball rolling as far as programs that could help him.

He's probably going to fight you tooth and nail on this and it will likely take a long time before things really start to settle down. There are going to be days where you're going to want to rip your hair out, but it's ok. Be consistent and patient and he will eventually come around.

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#79 of 88 Old 12-06-2009, 03:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tireesix View Post
His mum already knows and is fine with it considering the situation we are in.

We aren't just talking about a bit of smoking here and there but shop lifting, assault etc. If I tell him I cannot guarantee that I won't say anything then he simply will not speak to me.
I think you are doing the wrong thing by sending this letter. You should not tell him you won't ever tell. What you should say is that you want to be a safe person for him to talk to, but that if you feel something is endangering him you will be there to help him talk to his dad about it. I would not tell his mother anything you learn. Let the things you learn in your home be things that you and his father help him with. I think that his mother is likely to spill that you told her things you said you wouldn't, in anger one day. And then your relationship with him will be lost. I would go back to him and say that you can't promise him complete confidentiality, but that you and his dad are ready to help him without anger or judgment because while you hope to help him find healthier more positive ways of having a good time, you understand that he has had a rough time without the support of both parents for so long.
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#80 of 88 Old 12-06-2009, 07:34 AM
 
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Tireesix,
I hope things are going well for you....this is a very difficult road you are on with this great kid that obviously needs you and his dad and sisters to help ground him for the future! Sometimes just having a person that RELATES to him is a million times better than just someone that's related TO him. Big difference to a kid that's in pain.

I hope that you don't send the letter to his Mum. I think that would unravel a lot of the work that's been done by you and your dh and Z- he would loose faith in both of you, you are tied together now. I think you are better off by having daily contact with her and talking to her about stuff you ARE allowed to say- or on the other side to write to her on behalf of Z- have him sign off on the letter as well. If that's what he wants. You could help him do that with his dad as well...maybe asking the questions that are burning a whole in his mind/heart/soul. It's a non-confrontational way to get the answers one needs...yet you aren't hanging on that person's every word waiting for the HORROR of what they MIGHT say. I know this from my own experience as kid that smoked cigarettes, drank regularly, and generally got into trouble and mayham-no cops or school issues though. Something to consider.

I just want to applaud you, my dear... you have 3 little's at home, a husband with medical problems, your OWN medical issues and are accepting this boy, his mum and all these problems that are big and you are so happy- excited- hopeful- helpfull- serious- tender. I applaud you for being a GOOD StepMother as well as mother. It's never easy being a step-parent, and you've been handed a big deck of cards and, while it's not easy, you are doing IMHO a great job! Bravo momma! Keep up the good work you are doing and I hope you raise these kids to all be kind and open minded. Many blessings and Lots of Strength to you and the WHOLE family!!!

Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

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#81 of 88 Old 12-06-2009, 11:15 PM
 
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Wow! those are really a lot of issues. let me address the one that sticks out in my mind the most, and it's not the drinking. sleep is essential in young adults. I would suggest getting him a journal. let him write whatever he wants to write in it, whatever is on his mind. let him get that out, even if he doesn't want to talk about it. it will help clear his mind. I used to lay awake for hours at night, not being able to sleep. I would eventually go to the living room, sit on the couch in the dark, and stare at the clock for hours. my mind raced in circles until I could get it all in order and lay back down. now, I start early, think about all of the things that could bother me, and get them out of the way. I also do one page of Soduku a night. I lay in bed, turn the lights down enough that they aren't blinding if I wanted to lay there and go to sleep, but enough that I don't have to strain my eyes to see the puzzle. I lay on my pillow, do one page, lay the book down and go to sleep. when I started that, I was amazed how easily I went to sleep afterward. finding something for Z to do before bed that would help him problem solve, without really getting his mind going like a book, might help him wind down easily.

as for the smoking and drinking, I can't say I quite agree with a 13 year old doing those things with parent permission. however, you said you don't want him going cold turkey. I'm not much of a drinker (anymore), but I do smoke. and I wouldn't want to go cold turkey. you could limit his intake, if that is the road you want to take. I would make it known that he is not allowed, under any circumstances, to drink away from home, and without your permission. that way, the controlled environment is still in effect. allow him a set number of cigarettes if you like, but I would not let him have however many he wants. the goal is to get him slowed down. once he is old enough to buy his own, he can do whatever he wants. right now, it comes down to your rules and what you want for him. (when I say you, I mean you and your husband, and anything you agree to, not just yourself.)

as for the rest, I think once you get him into a stable environment, where he knows the rules and what is expected of him, he should level out and perform according to what is right and wrong. (I dealt with this with my own DSD, age 6, not too long ago. once she realized her father and I were not budging, she quit pushing. the home environment helped, I believe.) children need a stable and protecting home environment. I believe you will provide that for him. open up and talk to him about the seemingly mundane things in life, and I'm sure he will follow suit when he feels comfortable. best of luck!
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#82 of 88 Old 12-07-2009, 05:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, what a total failure this weekend was.

Z has come back a crying mess because he is so homesick.

We kept explaining to his mum that he can't read so he brings him a harry potter book and the first thing he said is 'I can't read that'.

His mum is refusing to make any decision until the 12th of December I think it is when she is coming down with one of his teachers. I fail to see the point of bringing down a teacher rather than a social worker. Apparently, then she will decide what to do with him. This whole fannying around and not making a decision is really stressing Z out. He keeps thinking he is going to be going home but 2 weeks turned into a couple of months which is now 3 months and she keeps telling him and not us. Last thing we knew, he was staying until after christmas, now its until after the new year only we only found that out after she left.

Soooooooo, I think DH is going to just put a pile of pressure on her because it isn't fair on any of us and as soon as a decision is made, we can get sorted with everything.

I REALLY need things sorted financially more than everything, I am freaking out about christmas, Zs mum is still getting money for Z and I want to get it all transferred over to us, especially as last week I was totally and utterly banned from working for the foreseeable future and I am really freaking out about it. I had kept my hopes up that I would have a Doc on my side and allowing me to work early next year but after some discussion with 2 of them it was decided it would be stupid for me to work and not just because of my health.

I just need stuff to be sorted. Z needs stuff to be sorted and DH luckily seems to be affected by morphine in such a way that he just gets to sail through life without much in the way of worries (I wish it had that affect on me but alas, as of yet, no luck).

Zack occasionally tells me that he is desperate for a fag but thats it. He had a wee bit of beer one day during a football match and that has been it, not much in the way of complaints or anything, hes just been real good.

Does anyone else get the feeling that his mum maybe likes stuff this way but isn't ready to admit it yet which is why she keeps increasing Zs time here and yet not giving a date for coming home?

I just hope DH does what he plans today and just puts a bit more pressure on her.

I said to DH the other day 'him being here without any idea of what is going on or what he is going to be doing is probably doing some damage to the poor kid. This situation isn't good for any of us and we need it sorted now'.

I mean, its been 3 weeks so far, a fortnight before he came down he was here for a week. Surely thats long enough for a decision even if it is just a 'we will trial him living with you for 6 months' kinda thing.

Its 8 am here, I have had 14 hours sleep yet I don't feel I have been to bed at all, sooooooooo tired. I know having a decision would help my health a wee bit.
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#83 of 88 Old 12-07-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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CAB, solicitor, and a tip off to the benefits agency, honey. And don't play her games

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#84 of 88 Old 12-07-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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Honestly, this dithering may have a lot to do with the benefits. Not that Z's mom doesn't love him and want him to be OK, but if his government check is making the difference between her staying afloat financially and not, she may be very reluctant to give it up.

So, yes. Benefits Office. Maybe you could even schedule a visit with a caseworker on the day she's coming down anyhow? Get all of you in a room together to hash this thing out? At this point, she may actually be committing some kind of fraud for which she could get in trouble, and nobody needs that extra added drama...
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#85 of 88 Old 12-07-2009, 07:34 PM
 
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It's getting close to the point where the IR would consider a prosecution for benefit fraud, yes. Certainly if she tries to drag this over into another tax year, and claim for him on another lot of tax credits then there's likely to be questions asked.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#86 of 88 Old 12-15-2009, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, we went away for a few days with Z and the children.

While we were there, got a call from Zs mum, she can no longer afford to pay us £50 and will now only pay £30 a week even though she gets at least £50 for him a week.

We told her that we will put in a claim for him instead and she said no to that because she doesn't know how long he will be here and besides, he doesn't eat £50 quids worth of food a week (never mind gas, water, travel, clothes etc).

I called up tax credits this morning who were very unhelpful saying 'well if you can't decide between yourselves who gets it then there isn't anything we can do'. Ummmmmmm, he is living with us, we want to claim, she is refusing to cancel hers. I mean ????????????

I am just so pissed off.

She also changed the date for when she and the social worker are coming down to the 22nd of December and changed the social worker to one of Zs teachers.

Z is very unimpressed with not knowing what is going on, we are unimpressed with what is going on and she is just dithering around thinking its ok to do.

This is really fooking us all around. She still hasn't paid us for the last 2 weeks.

I don't want child maintenance from her, she can't afford it, but I do want us to have for Z the tax credits and child benefit we are legally entitled too to make things a bit better for him here.

He got so upset yesterday because he asked whether he was going home at christmas and I said maybe and I discover that EVEN NOW, he has NO idea that he might be here for a good while.

I will not lie to him and explained it all, as much as I am privy too anyway. He was obviously upset. I said I don't make all the decisions, its not up to me whether you go or stay because I want you here even if you don't want to be here. Its all down to your mum and thats why she is coming down (to ruin your christmas) to discuss your future with your dad and teacher (wtf?).

I feel like screaming.

DH said he was going to get firmer with her and nothing has happened. He is worried about pissing her off and her taking Z back and just letting him continue the way he has been.

I am going to tell him what tax credit folk said and let him sort it. I will be damned if I am going to get my self even more ill cos of more stress (I am in so much pain I don't know what to do with myself).

Gah.

Thankyou especially flapjack.

I am going to MAKE the DH talk to his ex later and he will damn well do what is best for Z and our family and he will make Zs mum see what is best as well.
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#87 of 88 Old 12-15-2009, 11:38 AM
 
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You're welcome. (BTW, £30 per week per child in child benefit and tax credits sounds about right to me...)

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#88 of 88 Old 12-16-2009, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She says she gets £50 and simply cannot afford to pay us the other £20.

Its a joke.

Z is a bit happier though and is now thinking of saving up his christmas money for a new phone instead of using it for a train ticket back to his home lol!!!!!
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