Someone HELP!

ritabook25July 3, 2012

I have been married to my husband for over a year now. My SS 9 currently lives with his grandparents and wants to live with us. My problem is that it seems like I am dealing with a 3 year old instead of a 9 year old!!! My in-laws treat my SS like he is still a baby and spoil him WAY too much! They don't even let him play in the back yard unless someone is out there with him because they fear he will get hurt or the sun will be too much for him! How do I handle my SS and talk to my in-laws about this?

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Let me get this straight...

You have been married for a year.
This child is 9 years old & lives with grandparents.
You are complaining that he behaves like a 3 year old, not a 9 year old.
You are complaining that the grandparents baby him & spoil him.

Why do you need to handle anything? It's not your problem, why are you trying to make it your problem? If the dad is capable of parenting is child, I would assume that he would be raising his son, not the grandparents. Same for the child's mother... where is she? So, I can only assume neither parent was capable or willing to be the primary parent for this child and how the grandparents do it is none of YOUR business. You have been on the scene a year and unless the grandparents no longer want the child, then I don't see why anyone would upset his life. The fact that a 9 year old says he wants to live with you, does not mean he is old enough or mature enough to make that determination. Children don't usually have the capacity to make a decision like that. From the tone of your short post (which I will also assume is giving very limited information), you disagree with the parenting style of the grandparents and if he were to go live with you, he may or may not respond positively to YOUR parenting style.

Personally, I think you should stay out of it completely. If you like the kid, visit when his dad visits him. If you don't like the kid, let the dad visit on his own & go get a mani/pedi... but do not try to take this kid & try to change things to what you think they should be. It's not your place and will probably backfire.

PS. I am raising my DGS3 and my son doesn't necessarily agree with everything I am doing in raising him. He has an opportunity to seek custody but is not willing to do it. If he were to marry someone that were to do it for him, I would fight it tooth & nail. It is HIS son & if he wants to be the parent, he should be doing it on his own & not relying on someone else that may or may not be around in years to come. With divorce rates what they are, I would never let a third party get involved with a decision such as custody or how the child is to be raised.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Could not of said it any better imamommy! Spot on...

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 1:54PM
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Ima, I don't think you fully read the post clearly... It will become her "problem" after reading...
"My SS 9 currently lives with his grandparents and wants to live with us."

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 7:45PM
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I read the post clearly. What the child wants is not always considered in a custody case, at least not a 9 year old.

The OP is married to a father that does not have custody and it isn't her place to push for custody. There is likely a reason he doesn't have custody, like he didn't want to be a single parent or he is incapable of being the custodial parent because the courts tend to favor bio parents over grandparents so he could have his child if he wanted. Now that he is married, his wife (who already seems critical of the child & sounds as if she thinks she's going to "straighten him out" because the grandparents haven't done a good job) is talking about how does she deal with him, etc.? And I stand by my answer that it's none of her business. If the dad wanted his child, he would have his son unless there is a good reason the court hasn't given him his child.

The fact that the child wants to live with dad is meaningless to me. Of course he wants to live with his dad, but for whatever reason the dad doesn't have him until the new stepmom comes along? Why upset the child's life now? Just because a child wants to live with the parent, doesn't mean it will happen. My STBexSD wanted to live with her mom. The court said no... and later when STBexH considered it, BM said she didn't want her daughter to go live there. Kids don't always get what they want and many kids in divorce situations want to go live at the other house when they decide they don't like the rules in their house. It happens all the time & if the OP's SS thinks it will be fun living with them instead of the grandparents, well that isn't really a good reason to change custody. And if they do succeed in getting custody, it rarely goes the way people anticipate.

I think OP should stay out of it and if the dad gets custody and it becomes her problem, then she should decide how to handle things. She is asking how to talk to the grandparents and deal with this child... she shouldn't.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 8:01PM
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Dad may actually have custody & just have an agreement with his parents that his son lives with them.

It sounds like OP's concern is that she'll find herself sharing living quarters with a child who has behavioral & maybe developmental delays.

It probably is time to clear the air:
What does husband intend to do here?
What do grandparents intend to do? (if they have custody, their word is likely final.)
What does OP want her life to include/not include?
Where is this boy's mother?
What is her role in his life?

It's a good idea to refrain from engaging in something before you know all the facts.

& once you do know all the facts, disengagement may still be the best thing.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 9:08PM
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Ok, I'll chip in my 2 cents.

Lady if you think you are going to go over there and tell the grandparents how to do things at their house you are in for one heck of a rude awakening.

--"How do I handle my SS and talk to my in-laws about this?"--

You mind your own business. If and/or when your husband has a problem with the way his parents are raising his child for him, I'll assume he's a big boy now and can 'handle' his own discussions with his parents. I'll also assume that this child is being raised by these grandparents for a reason. I'll go on to assume that as it is you here wondering how to discuss things with inlaws that perhaps it is not husband who has a problem with the way his son is being raised but it is you. What else CAN I assume? Parents don't usually let grandparents raise their children for them for years and years. If the grandparents have been raising the child it would be 1) because kid's parent/s where not capable of raising child and/or 2)kid's parents blew off their own responsibility ...there just is not much more to pick from.

If the grandparents have custody of this child, you are going to need much more than to tell a judge 'grandparents supervise outdoors play' or 'grandparents in my opinion spoil the child rotten and baby him'. Yeah, good luck with those reasons in a courtroom.

I'm certainly not going to take the assumption that the child has behavioral issues and/or developmental delays based on the extremely brief description by new stepmommy who, by the way is not actively raising the child in her home...especially one who thinks she is going to be the one to set the grandparents straight and tell them how they are doing it all wrong aka 'discuss this with them'. There was no explaination as to why this child is being raised by grandparents. There was no indication in OP as to if father himself has an issue with the upbringing of the son he does not raise himself.

Yeah, unless there is much more clarification given by the OP along with solid factual examples as to why this stepmommy from afar feels the child should be removed and put into her care at this point, I stand by Ima. We've not heard why this child is where he is, How long he's been there, why it is she 'dealing' with the child (he lives with grandparents, when is SM dealing with kid at all except perhaps a visitation), how often these times of having to 'deal' even are blah blah blah. I'm not willing to hand the kid over just because new stepmommy thinks she needs to intervene based on the five or six generic lines she posted.

Perhaps if she comes back and expands. I seriously can't imagine what kind of 'advice' she thought she would get based merely on what/how was originally posted.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 1:01AM
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sylviatexas to respond to your questions:
What does husband intend to do here? All he wants is to have his son. It has been a fight with the grandparents because the child has lived in their house (with his dad) his whole life so they believe the child should be left. Wouldn't it be in the best intrest for the child to be with the dad so that he can be the parent without having the grandparents interfering? My husband agreed that the child can stay with my in-laws only to finish out the school year and then move in with us.
What do grandparents intend to do? (if they have custody, their word is likely final.) THEY PLAN TO GO COURT TO GET CUSTODY, WHICH THEY DO NOT HAVE!
What does OP want her life to include/not include? I want my life to include my SS without and arguing with the in laws but I can't seem to get along with my mother in law.
Where is this boy's mother? She dropped the child off when he was a few weeks old and never went back for him.
What is her role in his life? She has NOTHING to do with him. she doesnt even acknowledge him when she sees him around town.

The reason for the "generic" post is because I am new to all this and really didnt know how to express my thought without writing a whole book about it. SO EXCUSE ME FOR NOT BEING SO DETAILED!
I married my husband knowing he had a child. I'm not going to sit back and NOT be a part of this childs life. My husband and I are concerned about his behavior and developmental delays. My in-laws think that the child should continue to live with them beacuse they feel he will be "comfortable" with them and because I dont have any kids so apprently I know nothing about them. When I said talking to them about it I meant about how the child should be raised with the parent, not the grandparent!!!! I could see not letting the child go if they had custody or if the parent was not there for the child but that is not the case!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 12:16PM
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It doesn't make sense that the child was only left there to finish out the school year. If you've been married for over a year, that's longer.

If they plan to go to court & get custody, the court will decide if they have good reason. I can't imagine a parent taking their child to court for custody of a grandchild if they don't have valid concerns, unless they are crazy. Of course, if they were crazy, I would assume that the dad would not have left his child with them.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 12:47PM
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We're not trying to attack you, but you have to understand, like JMT says - parents don't just let their grandparents raise their kids unless the parent for whatever reason is not capable of raising the child or they are just blowing off their responsibility to their child.

From what I can gather - husband and his son was living with the grandparents. Husband gets married and instead of waiting until his son finishes his school year to move in together, he leaves his son with his parents. I'm sorry, but if I got married, I'd wait until the school year was over to move instead of leaving my kid with my folks.

And, it's summer now, unless the kid is in summer school or you live in the other hemisphere, school has been over since the end of May. So what's stopping husband from going and getting his son and bringing him back to live with him now?

You say the grandparents currently don't have custody. If your husband is so concerned about his son's behavior and developmental delays, what's stopping him from getting his son now?

It is your husband's job to raise his son and to stand up to his parents, not yours. If he has no problem leaving his son with the grandparents, you'll just be spinning your wheels trying to figure out how you are going to handle the kid, when really your husband is the one that should be trying to figure this all out.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 4:00PM
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"you'll just be spinning your wheels trying to figure out how you are going to handle the kid, when really your husband is the one that should be trying to figure this all out."

Thank you for putting that in there. It reminds me of one of the reasons I am in the process of getting a divorce. My exDH has custody of his daughter but still wasn't doing his job in parenting her, he was willing to let me be the parent & do it all. When I put it back on him because it became too much for me, the marriage quickly unraveled. He apparently had no interest in being the primary parent, as long as he had me to do it for him. I guess that is the thing that strikes me about OP's situation is that it seems the dad isn't all that concerned with who is raising his child, OP seems to be the one pushing it since common sense would be for dad to just go get his child if he really wanted to.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Hmmm. A couple things stick out I'm still not understanding I suppose. Kid is 9, been living with his father and his grandparents all his life in the grandparents home. Then Dad gets married and moves and now all the behavioral and developmental delays are the GRANDPARENTS fault?

So why did Dad live with his parents for eight years? Why not an apartment/house for Dad and son? I could see if GPs were just back support for a single guy trying to raise his son, but how did GPs get so much supposed responsibility over the child that they are now to be blamed (per you) for any behavoral issues and developmental delays. Dad was there raising his son (well until the last 'over a year' when he bailed to marry and move away) was he not?. I have to assume GPs are doing nothing different than what/how they have been a role in child's behavor and development first the first 8 yrs of kid's life. Dad obviously had no problem with the first eight. If so, I would not think he'd have stayed in that home taking advantage of his parents generousity and would have long ago spoken up about and dealt with any concerns of his GPs 'parenting' styles.

So do I now assume that it was normal and fatherly behavor to marry and move off from child(before child's school was out) leaving child behind in the care of the GPs (supposedly short term but has now been over a year and in a home which such parenting short comings)? I'm not quite sure where in this scenario Dad put his responsibility to his son front and center and lived up to his sense of duty to child nor best interest of anyone (except maybe of course his own self and desires).

It all doesn't ring quite right considering Dad does not feel he can pick-up son from child's 'short stay' of being left behind and must discuss proper parenting skills with GPs and negotiate courtroom custody battles. Something just does not add up.

--"I'm not going to sit back and NOT be a part of this childs life."-- and yet kid's been at GPs over over a year.

--"When I said talking to them about it I meant about how the child should be raised with the parent, not the grandparent!!!! "-- and yet, Dad moved off 'over a year ago' instead of perhaps postponing marriage a short time (until school being out)and allowed his parents to continue raising his son. Now though he is concerned with how child behaves and possible developmental issues. Was there concern for developmental delays 'over a year' ago? Was child developing per his age right up until he was eight and then suddenly appears to be regressing?

So if GPs have no legal authority nor any legitimate grounds to refuse Dad from now picking his child up and raising him however Dad chooses, then I doubt a lawyer will advise his clients (the GPs) to continue to persue a custody battle that has no merit...on the otherhand, if perhaps there is more to the story and issue is not perhaps as clear cut as you present, a court will settle the suit for all. Hopefully a judge will sort it all out, rule in a true best interest of the child, the adults in the picture will either adjust to and accept the ruling or you all can bicker, fight and point fingers in disagreement. Sounds like the grounds have already been set for continued drama and unrest for this caught in the middle little boy. Sad, it could have all been different from the get-go.

Go luck to all of you, but especially the little one.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 8:10PM
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"common sense would be for dad to just go get his child if he really wanted to."

There ya go.

If school hasn't ended for the summer, he can pick him up at school to avoid confrontation.

If it has ended, he can ask police to be present;
the presence of "the law" tends to keep people from going nuts.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2012 at 1:55PM
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I assume you knew your DH's reasons for living with his parents for so long and leaving his child there before you married him. And I assume you were alright with his reasons. Everyone experiences different circumstances in life so I definitely cannot judge DH for the choices he made.

That being said, I think this is definitely a fight you should stay out of. Let your DH and his parents fight it out. Your job is just to be there to support DH and to love him but stay out of the fight.

I have seen several families where the grandparents have helped raise their grandchildren and become overly attached. These people have just lost their son when he moved out and married you. Now they are facing losing their grandson too. You said you don't get along with your mother in law. Is it possible that she is feeling she won't have access to her grandson if he comes to live with you? Is there anyway you could show her how important her role will continue to be in his life no matter where he lives?

I would also encourage you to ask what is really best for the child. Of course, he misses his father but is it best to move him from the only home he has ever known? Are there ways for Dad to be more involved with him while he is living with the grandparents? Only you and your family can answer these questions. I just know in my heart it would be best for your the boy if all the adults could come to a compromise so he can be loved and supported by all of you. It's hard enough to be a kid now days without the adults in your life fighting.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:28PM
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Legally, your husband won't have any difficulty moving his son into your home. Unless a court order granted the grandparents custody, they don't have any custodial rights over the child. I recall a similar case in our office a few years ago, and the grandparents never made any progress in their case, even though the child and his mother had lived in their home for several years.

Just as an aside, the case that I'm mentioning was referred to a mediator, and that approach proved very helpful. The mediator identified that the grandparents had valid concerns about their grandchild losing certain things when he left their home (one was hockey). The parents and the grandparents were able to work out a comprise in the mediation and the relationship was healed. You might want to try mediation. If you end up in court, it will cause a permanent rift between your family, and your inlaws.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:21PM
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