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Author Topic: Mother wants to give up costody - what to do?  (Read 6644 times)

oaken_shield

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Mother wants to give up costody - what to do?
« on: Dec 11, 2003, 08:54:24 AM »
THe situation is we divorced 10 years ago - 2 girls now 12 and 14.  12 y-o is skipping school now and mother is worried that she "will get in trouble with the law".  She wants me to take her and try to straighten her out.

The problem is I have a 6 year old son by another marriage and I worry how this might effect him.

Additionally, she just called and told me that if I don't take her, she is shipping her off to her sisters and I am afraid she will be treated the same way there as by her mother.

She has never been disciplined or made to be accoutable for her actions by her mother.  Her mother has always left it up to her to do as she pleases and now she is paying the price for it.

Any opinion I can get would be appreciated.

Steve


Indigo Mom

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RE: Put yourself in your daughters shoes....
« Reply #1 on: Dec 11, 2003, 09:00:41 AM »
Or her mind, maybe.

Mom is throwing her away.  Dad doesn't want her because it cause problems with his new family.

How do you think this child will feel?

I personally think you SHOULD take her.  It's obvious she needs attention and isn't getting it with her mother, and that's probably why she's acting out.  Negative attention is better than none.

-----She has never been disciplined or made to be accoutable for her actions by her mother. Her mother has always left it up to her to do as she pleases and now she is paying the price for it.-----

Your love, guidance, and being firm with her can change all that's happening.  That's what this child is SCREAMING for...some love.  She's your little girl, take her.  Don't let mom send her to aunties.

oaken_shield

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RE: Put yourself in your daughters shoes....
« Reply #2 on: Dec 11, 2003, 09:31:05 AM »
Another problem is that her mom talked to her about it last night and she refuses to come live with me (although it is not up to her) - she says she will run away although I have my doubts.

I want to take her, but am afraid she will have a negative effect on my son.  Her mother has had 10 years out of 12 to screw up her life - I am curious if I can really make a difference?

Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter and would do anything for her, but part of me wants her mother to take responsibility.  I also hate to split up the girls but her mother refuses to allow both to live with me.

At this point, I am leaning toward taking custody of her because it is apparent to me that her mother will pawn her off to anyone else (like the aunt) who will take her so that her life will be more convenient.

I'm partly mad at her mother, partly mad at myself and frustrated in what is best for everyone.

Thanks again for the suggestions and comments.  I will take them to heart.


Kitty C.

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Then step up to the plate, man!!!!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: Dec 11, 2003, 11:32:07 AM »
As much as you'd LIKE the mother to take responsibility, it ain't gonna happen, cuz you CANNOT make her do anything.  The ONLY thing/person you can control is YOURSELF.

She says she doesn't want to come live with you?  It's because she KNOWS she ain't gonna get her way with you like she does with her mom.  I agree with Indy, she's SCREAMING for attention and boundaries, neither of which she is getting right now.

Take her and your other daughter.  If you're SO concerned as to how this will affect your son, then start counseling (family and individual for the girls) right away.  It will be a hard transition for them to make and you ALL will need all the help you can get.

But think LONG and HARD of the alternatives.  Juvenile delinquency (which one is already exhibitting), teen pregnancy, possible criminal behavior, addictions, premature death.......need I say more???  What kind of adults will they grow up to be, if you refuse to take responsibility now?  Yes, those girls have TWO parents, but just because one refuses to accept responsibility doesn't allow you to do the same. Do the RIGHT thing, man.  Get those girls..........NOW.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

oaken_shield

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RE: Then step up to the plate, man!!!!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: Dec 11, 2003, 12:30:27 PM »
In case I didn't mention it above, the mother refuses to let them both live with me.  So it would just be the youngest daughter (12).  

Of course you are right that I have a responsibility, but I have more of a responsibility to protect my son don't you think?  If it was not for the feelings that I am putting my son in jeopardy, I would have no hesitations.

At this point, it seems I will have to take her and try my best to straighten things out.   Strange how I have been foghting for custody on and off until she was 10 and now that I have the opportunity, I have reservations.  It going ot be hard to undo 10+ years of her mothers negative influence.

Thanks again for the input.  It is appreciated.




Kitty C.

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No, no, no............
« Reply #5 on: Dec 11, 2003, 01:16:50 PM »
You have EQUAL responsibility to ALL your children.  By holding one in higher esteem over another, you are putting conditions on your love for your daughter.  Basically, you are telling her (by not wanting to take her or accepting her because there's no other way around it) that you will not love her unless she's 'good'.  Whatever happened to giving her all the help and love and discipline she needs right now, huh?

I can't believe I'm hearing this.  You've been fighting for custody for 10 years but now it sounds like you don't want her because you're 'afraid' of what influence it 'might' have on your son?  He's SIX years old, man!  Kids are MUCH more resilient than we adults give them credit for.  Yes, she's screwed up, by 10 years of her mother's influence.  Which is why counseling should be considered MANDATORY in your case.

Let me tell you one thing.  If your heart isn't in this the WHOLE way, trust me, your daughter will sense it.  Get your own head on straight first, before you even try to help your daughter.  She WILL know, because there WILL be a difference in how you treat her compared to your son.  If you don't love them equally, they WILL know and they WILL resent you for it.  IMO, it's just as bad as what the mother is doing to her.

People here who know me also know I am VERY blunt and to the point, sometimes to a fault.  And I apologize if I offended you in anyway, but this child is crying out in the ONLY way she knows how.  I feel so VERY sorry for her.  Because it sounds like NEITHER parent loves her enough to do what's right for her.  Just remember one thing:  You still gotta be able to look in the mirror, regardless of what decision you make and how you decide to implement it.  And one last parting question:  What do you want her coming back to tell you in 20 years, if she comes back at all?
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

Indigo Mom

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RE: Wake up and smell the coffee!
« Reply #6 on: Dec 11, 2003, 01:23:57 PM »
You have 2 kids, not just one.  It's your job to take care of both kids.  Just because your oldest has lived with her mother for 10 years doesn't make you any less responsible for her "fixing".  You HAVE to help her...gawd knows her mom ain't doing it.  Right now, you're all she's got.

When she comes to live with you (and this is a direct order from me) it WILL be negative for a while.  There's probably going to be tons of crap dished out by her to you and the rest of your family, but that's normal.  Look what she's been through!  You can't expect her to come to your house and be all peachy keen and shit...ya know?

A whole lot of love, understanding, and kindness will go a LONG way with a child who's never had any type of discipline or tenderness in her life.

-----I'm partly mad at her mother, partly mad at myself and frustrated in what is best for everyone.-----

Get rid of the anger.  Forget about what that mother did, forget about what you've done.  Focus on that little girl.  Anger gets you nowhere.  Love gets you everywhere.

I know you're concerned, but if ya do it right (and I know you can) things will work out.  



Indigo Mom

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RE: oh dude! I am totally feeling ya!!!!
« Reply #7 on: Dec 11, 2003, 01:28:29 PM »
-----Strange how I have been foghting for custody on and off until she was 10 and now that I have the opportunity, I have reservations-----

I fought for 6 years for my boy.  When I finally got him back...it was like, "oh...ok...now what am I sposed to do with you?"  Sorry, had to make ya laugh.

It is strange, isn't it?  We fight and fight and never give up, but then we're clueless as to what we're supposed to do when we do finally get 'em!

-----It going ot be hard to undo 10+ years of her mothers negative influence.-----

Never underestimate the power and love of a daddy!

tulip

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RE: Then step up to the plate, man!!!!!!!!
« Reply #8 on: Dec 11, 2003, 03:02:17 PM »
How do you think it's going to affect your son to show him that he is more important to you than his sisters? What kind of a person do you want him to grow up to be?

If you have been fighting for your kids for ten years, then why are you so willing to sit there now and say, well she won't let the other daughter live with me, so that's the way it's going to be? Why don't you try asking a judge if he/she is going to keep custody of one sister with the mother who is willing to throw the other sister out like the trash? That says a lot about her as a parent.


oaken_shield

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Please don't confuse love and responsibility
« Reply #9 on: Dec 11, 2003, 03:20:54 PM »
I fully understand what you are trying to say, but I do love all my children equally - I never once said that I loved my son more than my daughters.  I did say that I do have more of a responsibility to my in-tact family than I do to my estranged daughters.  It is simply a fact, not meaning to degrade the love I have for all my kids.  My son has a great chance to grow up well adjusted.  I worry about her influence on him is all - if anyone in my shoes didn't then I would begin to wonder.

Yes I love them all equally, and my heart aches for my daughter.  It has since her mother started letting her have free run and the changes I saw in her.  I still have hope and will do my best to help her.  I simply worry that if I do fail, it would effect what might have been a wonderfully adjusted little boy.

This is not an easy decision to make, believe me.  I assume those who act as though it is have been in the same situation as I am in now.

I have to work to undo 10 years of bad parenting.  Not an easy task nor is it guaranteed.  I want to help my daughter, but don't want to screw up my son's life - it should not be hard to understand my quandry.  Like I said above - if it was just me, then I would not hesitate.  Could you so easily allow someone into your home who may have a negative impact on your child as you seem to be suggesting to me?

So please don't think this is easy - it's not an easy decision to make.  My heart says to take her in and help her as best I can, but my head says "be careful".

I appreciate the advice.  I will consider it all before I make my decision, but do consider my situation before getting bent out of shape.


Davy

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You might be surprised
« Reply #10 on: Dec 11, 2003, 03:46:11 PM »

Your daughter is currently acting out in accordance with her environment and negative role modeling.  Once she begins to stabilize in a more loving environment you might be surprised of her balancing act.  

The WORST thing you can do for her, your son, yourself and another mother if there is one is to allow HER mother to take a foothold or thriving influence in your home WHATSOEVER.  Set the rules and guidelines and make certain it is permanent (until you choose otherwise).

Kitty C.

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Let me sort out your confusion..........
« Reply #11 on: Dec 11, 2003, 03:50:43 PM »
What I said was you DO have EQUAL responsibility to ALL your children.

JMO, but the decision itself would be easy.  Implementing it and seeing it thru is the hard part, but whoever said parenting was easy?  Yes, I COULD easily allow MY child into my home, even tho another one of MY children 'might' be negatively impacted by it.  You canNOT protect your son forever and this is a bump in the road of life that YOU have responsibility to take care of.  Believe it or not, but it ALREADY is impacting your son.  He may not be able to voice it, but he can certainly sense it in some way. He KNOWS that there's something going on, if it is affecting you in any way.

Start the counseling NOW.  Go first, to get your head on straight and get your priorities straight, because they ARE equal between your daughter and your son.  NEITHER is a higher priority than the other.  Once you have that figured out, and seek the help you need to see this thru, the rest will follow.

Will it be tough?  You bet.  Will there be yelling and screaming, something that maybe your son has never had to experience?  Maybe.  But that's what the counseling is for, to help ALL of you cope with it and work thru it.  Bottom line:  All of your children need you and are counting on YOU.  Sometimes we have to do things that may appear negative at first, but if your end goal is a positive one, then WORK THRU IT.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

Davy

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And your young son..
« Reply #12 on: Dec 11, 2003, 04:04:16 PM »
Oak...it was my experience that my youngest son LEARNED and GAINED substantially from observing his older brother and sister gross misbehaviors and moreover how Dad stood steadfast providing love and structure through it all.   Ten years is a long time but I think the more important issue is that she is 12 probably going on 19 and NEEDS her Dad's firmness and love now more than ever before.

Just trying to help.  Best to ya !!!

nosonew

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RE: And your young son..
« Reply #13 on: Dec 11, 2003, 05:45:39 PM »
I have one thing to say, okay maybe two or three...here goes...

1.  My husband had to fight for years to just see his son (even with a court order) and his biggest arguement to counselors, mediators, court, etc. "I don't want to wait until he is too old and is too unruly and defiant for me to do anything with him!!!  I believe this is where this man is.  BM probably didn't let dad see him enough, let her do anything and everything, and NOW dad has to straighten her out?  Yes, she is his responsibility, but I see his point.

2.  For your daughters sake, please give it a try.  It's apparent "something" is going on in this girls life that is causing some major disruption to her thinking process (although, it could be learned behavior over years).

3.  Immediately upon getting her, take her to a GOOD counselor for her to vent to.  

4.  Set firm, solid, explicit rules and make her follow them.  

5.  Don't give up unless you're afraid she's going to set your house on fire.

Good luck.  Nosonew

wendl

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RE: Then step up to the plate, man!!!!!!!!
« Reply #14 on: Dec 11, 2003, 11:05:48 PM »
ALL your children need you NOT just your son.  Your son is young and can adapt, you should be thinking of how to help your daughter,  she is at a confusing stage and how would you feel if your mom and dad didnt want you, probably like hell.

I would file for custody of her, then get her in counseling, then after she has been with you fight for custody of the other kids as well.

JMO

StPaulieGirl

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RE: Please don't confuse love and responsibility
« Reply #15 on: Dec 12, 2003, 08:26:16 AM »
I've read through all the replies, before I added my reply.  

Your first duty is to protect your innocent son.  A person's personality and behavior, is usually set by the time they're 7 yrs old.  I don't know what to tell you to do.  Of course you love your daughter, but if she's a juvenile delinquent, perhaps a better place for her would be a group home.  I'm having problems with my 16 yr old son. I've been told to dump him at his dad's house and let him deal with him, like a sack of trash.  If I do that, I know that my son will get cigarettes, beer, weed, and porno.  When he ends up in jail, it will be my fault.  Heck it will always be my fault, because he probably will end up in jail, no matter who he lives with.

My concern is for my youngest, who is 9.  She doesn't need to see me yelling at her brother for stealing my cigarettes, any liquor I may have in the house, or money out of my wallet. Oh did I mention that he is mean to her and her friends?  Remember, if you give your kid the beating he/she deserves....it's child abuse.  "Time out" doesn't work for older kids.  Grounding is a joke.

Your daughter could end up ruining your marriage.  Seek counseling for yourself before you make a decision. I love my son as much as you love your daughter, but you have equally important family members to consider.  

oaken_shield

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I have decided....
« Reply #16 on: Dec 12, 2003, 10:00:32 AM »
I have decided yesterday that I would do this for my daughters sake.

I had a long look deep inside myself and realized that my family is strong enough to withstand and I have to do this for my daughter.

I have not called her mother yet (it was late last night when I got off work) but have promised to call her by this evening.

I thank all of you for the opinions and views.  While it frustrated me at times, most of you have a very good way of expressing your opinions and have certainly helped me to make the decision.

Very excited to spend long lost time with at least one of my daughters, and kinf of scared for the future and the hard work we will all need to apply.

Look for updates and more questions coming soon!


Kitty C.

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Good for you!!!!!!!!
« Reply #17 on: Dec 12, 2003, 11:28:36 AM »
I, and others, have recommended counseling to help you, your daughter, and the rest of your family to help you thru this transition period.  I STRONGLY recommend it.

I have a SS whose 'mother' doesn't really want him (but does a good job of 'acting' like it) but CERTAINLY doesn't want his father to have him, either.  She'd lose out on $400+/month CS.  He is 9 years old and has been asking for TWO years how long it will be till he can ask the judge who he wants to live with.

His mother doesn't give a damn about him and only sees him as a 'tool' to use against her ex, whom she perceives hurt her SO bad with their marriage and divorce, she wants HIM to hurt as badly, thus using the child as a means to an end.  In the process, this child's life is distorted and he can't really trust anyone.

I've told DH that it's obvious where this is going.  SS is already showing signs of behavioral problems in school.  Once he hits middle school and puberty, all hell will break loose.  Eventually, the problems he's causing for the PBFH will outweigh the CS and she will BEG DH to take him.

I've told DH that he may think that it's over when that happens, but the BIG problems will be just beginning.  Once we do get him, he will be a very confused, angry young man, and NOT understand why.  He will not be able to trust anyone close to him and will lash out.  I've told DH that he will need therapy and counseling to work thru all the garbage heaped on him for so many years, and WE will need counseling just to learn how to deal with it.

DH comes from a family that believes in taking care of their own problems, whether they know how or not.  To 'ask for help' is a sign of weakness to them.  But DH realizes that SS's life, AND ours, could literally be destroyed if we don't do this right.

And you know what the REAL kicker is to all this?  We live in a VERY small community (<2500) and TWO BLOCKS away from SS, but ONLY see him 4 days a month.  Why?  Because that is the MINIMUM the court ruled on, so it is the MAXIMUM the PBFH will allow, unless it suits her needs.  And if we try to participate in ANY of SS's activities, other than school, she explodes.

Make a counseling appt. TODAY.  Prepare in EVERY way you can for this transition.  A good counselor can even help you work thru getting all the custody change issues worked thru with your ex.  Maybe even getting your other daughter as well, who knows.  I also recommend having your daughter seen by a child psychologist, the more specialized, the better.

Good luck and PLEASE let us know how it is going with you and your family!!!!!!!!   :)
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

StPaulieGirl

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I understand
« Reply #18 on: Dec 12, 2003, 11:58:10 AM »
You have a strong bond with your daughter.  I can't blame you for your decision.  Get counseling in place before she moves in.  Please.  Good luck and let us know how it's going :-)

(((big hugs for you and your family)))

Indigo Mom

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RE: tis a sweet decision you have made, my friend!
« Reply #19 on: Dec 12, 2003, 04:45:51 PM »
I know you can do it.  It's going to be tough, but you and your child will pull through and then...smmmooooooth sailin!!!!!

I urge you to get this legal asap!  


fusilier

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RE: tis a sweet decision you have made, my friend!
« Reply #20 on: Dec 18, 2003, 03:30:05 PM »
It will be tough, it will be HELL! Make sure you have the support of your new partner in doing so, or you are liable to end up in another divorce. Therapy, with a Psy.D or PhD; and not a permissive parenting type either - a specialist in problem kids. Damn skippy it will be tough, I got custody of my daughter at 7y.o., after 4 years with her BM. She was a physical and emotiopnal mess-encopresis, anxiety, OCD, anger. But in a year she made remarkable improvements, and now at 9 is a super kid. Your job would be tougher. But make sure it's what YOU want and that it is right for you; get your business straight. I'd like to say "it's your kid, you have to..." but only you know what will work. A lot of these posters are right - love, attention, boundaries, PARENTING, is what the kid is screaming for, but can you and your new family take that on? Maybe not, and there's no shame in that. She's old enough, maybe keep the door/heart open and when she eventually hits the bottom, she'll know where she needs to go.
Good luck.

 

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