S.P.A.R.C.

Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center
crazy gamesriddles and jokesfunny picturesdeath psychic!mad triviafunny & odd!pregnancy testshape testwin custodyrecipes

Author Topic: Child having difficult time dealing with Absent Grandparent  (Read 9248 times)

mdegol

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 88
  • Karma: -8
    • View Profile
Re: Child having difficult time dealing with Absent Grandparent
« Reply #10 on: Nov 09, 2011, 10:58:33 PM »
It just seems pretty heartless.  Kids lost mother, grandmother is losing daughter and grandchildren.  Hard to believe that it doesn't matter to the kids that the mother died.  You are speaking of parental alienation, but part of a custodial parents obligation is to facilitate a positive relationship of the children with the other parent.  I suppose once the other parent actually dies, it is entirely incumbant on you to make sure that happens, since there is no one else that will be able to do that for them at this point.  Trying to erase her from their life, even saying that new wife's family substitutes for mother side, seems to smell like a form of parental alienation, even easier to do with a deceased parent.  For me, it brings up fears because I know my ex would do EXACTLY the same thing while dancing on my grave (my kids are young enough that they wouldn't even remember me) and making me sound like the devil himself.  Definitely cut off my family, for what I think he would justify to himself as legitimite reason.  So maybe that's why I am sensitive about it.  Sad to say.  You may be completely justified, but it sounds really harsh.  I apologize if my comments offend you, but realize we are only getting one side of the story.  And I guess from now on, that's the only one the children will get also.


Rave

  • Private Reserve
  • SuperHero
  • ***
  • Posts: 10770
  • Karma: 322
    • View Profile
Re: Child having difficult time dealing with Absent Grandparent
« Reply #11 on: Nov 10, 2011, 07:57:03 AM »
I think if the grandmother's motives were truly about what is best for your children, she'd willingly agree to any terms you set, and would make it obvious to you that she respects you and your wife's choices regarding the children and would abide by them.

When grandmothers or mil's get caught up in proving who is entitled to what, it becomes a power play.  It's a fight, and they won't back down unless they can prove they are in control.  So stupid.

I'd say in your case, your previous MIL has made the choice for you.  She has in no way indicated that your children can even have a casual relationship with her, without her playing games which will negatively effect your children, and likely cause disharmony in your home.  Your kids need a mother figure.  Sounds like the MIL plans to be that, and if she gets access to your kids, I'm fairly certain she'd try to be that by turning your kids against your wife.  She'll be easy prey.  That will hose up your entire family, your marriage, and your kids.  The grandmother is not worth that.

It's unfortunate that her arrogance, ignorance and insecurities combined, will unfortunately make it nearly impossible for her to see the real way to gain access to your children.   Even if you were able to paint it out to her clearly, she could possibly change in your presence, and then go back to her games when you weren't around.  These types aren't quick to change.

I've heard two types of stress described.  One is a one-time event, such as a death, or a move.  The other is a constant stress, like having to be involved in a toxic relationship for a long time.  The latter is supposed to be worse, because there is no recovery, no relief from the grief.

She doesn't sound like the type of person that you could invite into your lives just a little.  And once your kids started seeing her again, it'd be really difficult for you to extricate her out of the picture again.  I'd keep an eye on your kid's feelings on the subject, but I would not be quick to decide for the grandmother to come around again. 

ocean

  • Private Reserve
  • SuperHero
  • ***
  • Posts: 5055
  • Karma: 172
    • View Profile
Re: Child having difficult time dealing with Absent Grandparent
« Reply #12 on: Nov 10, 2011, 04:07:19 PM »
I agree with Rave. This Grandmother pulled a lot of stuff before and after the parent death. Someone needs to protect the kids. Yes, we are only getting one side, but when Grandma called school behind their backs, that showed again her true colors. If Grandma really wanted to, she could go to the courts and get some type of visitation since the parent has passed BUT something is stopping her...evidence of past behavior?

mdegol

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 88
  • Karma: -8
    • View Profile
Re: Child having difficult time dealing with Absent Grandparent
« Reply #13 on: Nov 10, 2011, 05:08:07 PM »
You have a point Ocean.  There certainly are toxic people that cause more damage than the good they bring.  And that's a good point about court.  She could always take it there, but if there is some big problems, that could be stopping her.  Its probably just my own insecurities that made my skin crawl a little bit.  In the end-it IS a parental decision and certainly could be the right call.

MixedBag

  • Global Moderator
  • SuperHero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3049
  • Karma: 155
  • That's Me...MixedBag
    • View Profile
    • http://www.doilyboutique.com
Re: Child having difficult time dealing with Absent Grandparent
« Reply #14 on: Nov 11, 2011, 09:23:24 AM »
I bet it's money that's stopping Grandma.  The litigation expenses KNOWING that Dad has potential evidence of her past behavior makes the whole thing scary from both sides.

You never know WHAT the court will allow as true evidence -- we should know that from our own experiences.  You/We may think we have tons of proof of this or that, and then here comes court and its rules, and the attorney's and poof....you leave scratching your head

I agree to protect the chidren......totally.

I can't agree with some of the stuff that's been posted as REASONs for his bottom line decision and think that alternatives need to be tried.

"When the children's mother died in May, their grandmother refused to let either myself or my wife (the children's stepmother) to come to the memorial service. She said she would pick the children up from me and return them to me after the service. I refused. Weeks went by, their grandmother pleaded with me to let her to continue to see her grandchildren. She would call constantly, leave text messages and voice mails demanding to see her grandchildren. She sent a relative to our house to talk to us about "the rules" of letting them see the children."
 
This paragraph bothers me....
 
1.  No one should have stopped Dad from taking the children to a funeral barring a restraining order.
2.  Grandma  tried ......by Dad's own admission.....and that didn't work.
3.  Grandma asked for help......that didn't work.
I think that SUPERVISED time is very appropriate.
Each request -- and since he came here asking for a "what should I do?" -- should be answered with "Let's meet at McDonalds on XYZ, and take it from there.

"They have two sets of grandparents in their lives, my parents and my wife's parents. Both treat them with respect and as grandparents should, with a little bit of spoiling on the side. "
 
THIS statement stuck out at me like a sore thumb....in a divorced family, children can  have up to four sets of grandparents, or TWO mothers, or TWO fathers...

I remember recently -- here -- a very long thread about encouraging a mother to remember that a father was still the child's father.......a rather crappy father, but still the father
 
This is GRANDMA -- mother deceased -- she's still GRANDMA.....maybe even an "in loco parentis" parent IF she were to go to court.....given how Mom let Grandma take care of the children.
WHY is it ok for folks to encourage this Mom's family to be replaced.......yet when it was a crappy Dad, we sang a different tune?
 

 
 
 


Fatherforever

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
Re: Child having difficult time dealing with Absent Grandparent
« Reply #15 on: Nov 11, 2011, 02:41:26 PM »
Thank you all for your advice, trust me, this decision has not been easy.

Mixedbag, I value the advice you've been giving, not just here, but in previous topics, but I couldn't see even supervised visitation being an option.

Perhaps, my timeline was not very accurate with the events of the memorial service problems. For the 3 weeks after their mother's death (before the service) I asked the family for a time of healing for the children. A time for them to reflect on what had happened, uphold their normal routine and help them through any questions they may have. In other words, we told them to let them be and give them a few weeks time apart to grieve in their own way. We did not get that time. The grandmother called constantly, threatening, then pleading, then demanding to see the children. She sent her brother to our house on her behalf a week after their mother's passing with a "visitation schedule" she had written up which explained the weekends she would have them.

We have never tried to erase the children's mother from their lives, they speak of her on occasion. But I cannot give them memories of her when she did not choose to use her time on earth to spend with them. I understand the importance of them remembering her, whatever parent she might have been.

As far as erasing the mother's family from their lives... they saw a great aunt on that side once about a month ago. None of the other relatives ever had much to do with the children, their mother was not on good terms with a majority of the family and so would not take them to visit with certain family members. The others have not cared to call or shown any intent to want to visit.

As for my wife's family, they have been in the children's lives since before they can remember. She came into their lives when my youngest was 16 months and my oldest was 3 years old. So her family didn't just suddenly appear in their lives when their mother died.

The only time she actually had the notion to take me to court was a few years ago when she wanted to gain custody of the children when her alimony had ceased, so she could collect child support. Her sister called me explaining her intent to take me to court about this, after a long conversation she had had with her on the subject. Needless to say, her family squashed that thought out of her head before she could pursue it further.

Their grandma could not respect either of their parents (mother or father) when their mother was alive, what makes you think she is suddenly going to change her tune now that there is absolutely no parent to hold her back?

A new development in this whole drama... yesterday when my wife arrived at the children's school to pick up a book order we had placed previously; their Grandma was parked in the second row of cars facing the school. Thank God the children go to YMCA after school and therefore would not be out front for parent pick up. I don't think she recognized my wife's car, but she called us late last night accusing us of keeping the children away from her.

Guilty as charged.



MixedBag

  • Global Moderator
  • SuperHero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3049
  • Karma: 155
  • That's Me...MixedBag
    • View Profile
    • http://www.doilyboutique.com
Re: Child having difficult time dealing with Absent Grandparent
« Reply #16 on: Nov 11, 2011, 05:33:28 PM »
ok.....GUILTY as accused.
 
Once again you say:
"Perhaps, my timeline was not very accurate with the events of the memorial service problems. For the 3 weeks after their mother's death (before the service) I asked the family for a time of healing for the children. A time for them to reflect on what had happened, uphold their normal routine and help them through any questions they may have. In other words, we told them to let them be and give them a few weeks time apart to grieve in their own way. We did not get that time. "
 
WE???  So by your definition, keeping the children away from the other side of the family, TOTALLY, is appropriate for them to heal from this?
 
Again, that bothers me ... there are two sides to the children's family.....yours and the mothers.
 
Think supervised time with the Grandma.....she's obviously interested, and she's bad mouthed you in the past.
 
What about setting something up at the local DHR -- here they have a play room where a third party supervises time.  You can set the ground rules and tell them to terminate a session immediately when Grandma steps over the line.
 
I just don't think you're justified totally cutting her off like that.
 
Sorry.....for the disagreement... I'm all for protecting the children, but.....really encouraging you to think again about your decision.
 
WE did not need time to get over the death.....the CHILDREN might have, and folks grieve or handle it different ways.  As for memories.....you have them.  You married her for a reason.....or had children with her.  Share those good memories.
 
Let me take this a step further...
 
If Mom was that bad....then you should have had her parental rights revoked, or that should have been supervised, etc....  But that didn't happen, or did it?
 
 

Fatherforever

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
Re: Child having difficult time dealing with Absent Grandparent
« Reply #17 on: Nov 11, 2011, 07:12:19 PM »
"So by your definition, keeping the children away from the other side of the family, TOTALLY, is appropriate for them to heal from this?"

For the 3 weeks that we asked for immediately following their mother's death, yes, I felt that was appropriate. The time applied to all family, not just her side.

"Think supervised time with the Grandma.....she's obviously interested, and she's bad mouthed you in the past."

And she would in future as well. Of course she's interested, she wants control. So then what? The children start having contact again and don't understand it when they suddenly can't see her again because of her mouth or behavior? It seems that supervised would be in the best interests of Grandma, considering that only my oldest has any care to see her. Which after talking to him, find out that when he "misses" his grandma, he seems to miss the computer, xbox, BB gun, playstation, wi, and all the toys he doesn't have at home. Grandma wasn't mentioned in lieu of all these possessions.


"You married her for a reason.....or had children with her.  Share those good memories."

Married her,yes, but having children is what showed her true colors. She would go out all weekend, ignore my phone calls for her to come home. Suddenly it wasn't all about her, and her weekends weren't hers alone anymore. That was her undoing, and the reason she ultimately left. She couldn't do what she wanted anymore.

"If Mom was that bad....then you should have had her parental rights revoked, or that should have been supervised, etc....  But that didn't happen, or did it?"

It was in the works, death has a way of finalizing things. Otherwise she would have had her rights revoked within a year if all had worked out.

"Sorry.....for the disagreement... I'm all for protecting the children, but.....really encouraging you to think again about your decision."

Not a problem, if there weren't disagreements there wouldn't be much need for the forums.

"I just don't think you're justified totally cutting her off like that."

What more justification do I need? Parental alienation, witness to domestic abuse, child endangerment, child kidnapping, harassment, lack of respect etc.

So, despite the fact that she doesn't respect us as the parents nor has enough sense to keep her biased opinions to herself, we should reward her with supervised visitation? To what end? I can only see this going one way, because she's not about to change the way she has been for the last 40+ years of her life. I see us back in this predicament... the children being hurt worse, and her harrassment increasing ten fold.





MixedBag

  • Global Moderator
  • SuperHero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3049
  • Karma: 155
  • That's Me...MixedBag
    • View Profile
    • http://www.doilyboutique.com
Re: Child having difficult time dealing with Absent Grandparent
« Reply #18 on: Nov 12, 2011, 08:04:50 AM »
You mentioned that in WA state....grandparents rights are not there.  Did you ask that question and include the fact that the mom has passed away?

You mentioned that revoking mom's rights was in the works....Did you file paperwork with the courts to get the process started?

I also think that having your wife go to the Mom's funeral and thinking that this is ok, is not ok.  Even for the sake of the children, that's over expecting on the part of the other side.

I also think that Grandma -- attempting to use the school to gain access to the children is a NORMAL response to her situation of being denied access to her grandchildren.  That's a piece of advice we give FATHER's who are denied access to their children -- go to the public stuff that the school has.  Mom can't deny your/Father's right to see the children there.

I also think that letting a child play with a gun.....vs. your opinion of not having a gun is a matter of parenting choices.  Now telling the child NOT to tell you is wrong.  My EX#2 also let Michael have a gun or be around guns at an age that bothered me.  I thought I could handle it, but when I bought him a rubber band gun at Disney, and then watched him play, I simply couldn't do it.  So I told Michael that I tried, it upset me, and that we would have to put it away until he goes back to his dad's where I know he'll be allowed to play with it.

You keep wrapping your own feelings and need to mourn Mom's death into the picture.....

I hope that you'll find a counselor for the one who misses grandma.....and all those toys...that's normal for a child.

I think that you should set a time and place of your choice and tell Grandma that you'll be taking the kids out for dinner at McDonald's at XYZ and set ground rules in that notification.  SIT at the same table, and leave if she breaks your rules.

Take baby steps -- if all goes well, sit at the table behind her next time.   And if that goes well, sit further and further away.

Your justification supports SUPERVISED parenting time, not cut off parenting time......I'm willing to bet on that.

Grandma -- like her or not -- probably has tons of rights now that MOM has passed away.

 
I firmly believe that Grandma will win the subject of time with the children, but you/Dad will win supervised time.....and that's why I'm making that suggestion.

Fatherforever

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: -1
    • View Profile
Re: Child having difficult time dealing with Absent Grandparent
« Reply #19 on: Nov 12, 2011, 08:40:32 PM »
"You mentioned that revoking mom's rights was in the works....Did you file paperwork with the courts to get the process started?"

Lawyer had just finished writing up the papers.

"I also think that Grandma -- attempting to use the school to gain access to the children is a NORMAL response to her situation of being denied access to her grandchildren.  That's a piece of advice we give FATHER's who are denied access to their children -- go to the public stuff that the school has.  Mom can't deny your/Father's right to see the children there."

She wasn't trying to go to any school events, she was trying to manipulate people in a position at the school to try and access the children any way she could.

"I also think that letting a child play with a gun.....vs. your opinion of not having a gun is a matter of parenting choices."

She's not their parent.

"I think that you should set a time and place of your choice and tell Grandma that you'll be taking the kids out for dinner at McDonald's at XYZ and set ground rules in that notification.  SIT at the same table, and leave if she breaks your rules."

So if she breaks the rules... then what? Pull the children out of there mid-meal and try to explain it away? I can tell you right now, it doesn't matter if I am standing there or not... she doesn't realize what she says is wrong, she never has. Hence why even now I can't have a conversation with her without it turning into a power play for her. I will not put my children through it again.

"Grandma -- like her or not -- probably has tons of rights now that MOM has passed away."

As of 2005, Grandparent Rights were deemed unconstitutional by the Washington Supreme Court. In 2006 efforts to pass Grandparent Rights were denied. It doesn't matter in the case of the death of a parent. In some cases, to be frank, the law really does suck for those Grandparents clearly trying to be an advocate for their Grandchildren. But in the case of this particular Grandmother, she dug that hole deep long ago with her behavior She had many, MANY instances were she could have amended her behavior due to the parents' wishes. But she did not; she figured she would always have access to them through their mother. You would think her willingness to conform would have increased ten fold after her access is denied, but that isn't the case.





 

Copyright © SPARC - A Parenting Advocacy Group
Use of this website does not constitute a client/attorney relationship and this site does not provide legal advice.
If you need legal assistance for divorce, child custody, or child support issues, seek advice from a divorce lawyer.