Alexandra - posted on 08/30/2013 ( no moms have responded yet )
I want to start off by saying...I know the importance and love involved in a grandchild/grandparent relationship. I have and continue to have a very close one with my own. But what do you do when a grandparent involved keeps overstepping his boundaries. I just really need some advice. This is pretty long and I am sorry for that. I will say I am seeing a professional but just wanted to see if anyone had similar experiences and what they have done.
First a little history. My husband was married before and they had a child. She left when my DSS was still a baby and has been in and out of his life since then. My husband was working 2 jobs and depended on the care his father and DSS aunt, ex wife's sister, were providing. Fast forward to about a year ago...my husband and I had been seeing each other for about 6 months. I noticed that everyday he was picking up his son from his dads house and his son would already be dressed in the clothes he was to wear the next day...whether he felt that my husband was inadequate of dressing him I don't know. They would be clothes far too small and at one point I had found myself picking out clothes for him that actually fit and would leave them for him to wear the next day. When FIL noticed that he was picking him up in different clothes he got upset. Now I know that I may have overstepped my own being only a gf at this point but I saw a little boy going to preschool in pants that were too short and shirts that barely covered his stomach. I did what I did to help.
Even after we have told him we needed no more of the clothes or toys he had in his house for DDS he continues to bring them over. Clothes that he worn 2 years ago, again clothes that were too small. I started just donating them as I got them
Presently we have been married for almost a year and have just had a huge falling out with FIL. We have gotten together on numerous occasions to discuss the boundaries and terms he was not meeting with us. I hate to list all of these examples but I just would like to see if anyone has experienced the same thing and what they have done about it.
FIL pushes for his time with the one grandson and almost refuses when we invite him to hang out with us all. I might add that we also have a son too. When he asks to do something it is usually to take the oldest and does not include us all.
-We noticed that DSS was sitting in the front seat at 5 years old in a booster seat. We told DSS how dangerous it is to be sitting in the front seat and that all kids should be in the back. He told his Papa himself that he should be in the backseat and his response was that he wanted him in front with him so that he could see him. We stepped in and told him not to do this anymore or he could not get in the car with him anymore. He tried to do it a few more times and we had to stop car rides.
- Every weekend DSS was staying the night at both his Papas and then his Aunts house. (This was the routine before i was in the picture) Once DH had weekends off and was wanting to have the weekends for family time, FIL through a fit and said he would be lonely and what would he do with his time and with all the things he had for DSS. I felt this was kind of a weird way to react but understood that he was used to having DSS as much as he did. We decided to meet up and discuss that we wanted to make this transition comfortable for FIL but I don't think he tried to make it easier on himself at all.
-FIL called one day saying that I needed to get online to fill out DSS info and send his birth certificate to enroll him in tball. I called DH to confirm and he had no idea what I was talking about! I told FIL that we had already set him up for soccer and that we wouldn't be doing T-ball. He was floored telling me that soccer was too dangerous and that he wanted to coach. I dismissed it and just went about my day.
- one night FIL was texting me begging to see DSS and I had told him it was late, we had school the next day, and maybe another night. He texted later saying he wanted to bring by a radio to help DSS sleep..I told him we had it taken care of but thank you. Later on as DH and I were spending some alone time together we heard the front door open! It was FIL with radio in hand! It was midnight and his excuse was that DH wasn't answering his phone!
- DSS Last Day of Kindergarten Concert was fun until DSS had tripped and fallen. He was upset at first but then shook it off. FIL ran up and picked him up holding his head to his shoulder. I had to step back feeling a little embarrassed. FIL continued holding him until we left. I had only hoped no one had noticed as none of the other kids were being held.
- This summer I had lost my son 2 months before he was to arrive. immediately after hearing of this FIL let everyone know that he was to be taking DDS...he had no concern as to where DS would be going and never once asked if there was anything he could do while we were in the hospital. Mourning is a tough thing to do and when we have made visits to the cemetery or have brought our Angel son up he tells us that its time to get over it and it isn't good for DDS to witness this. He doesn't think he should know anything about it at all!
- Finally, just last week, we told FIL that we would be giving him info about going to have lunch with DDS on Fridays. We felt that if he needed some time with DDS alone that this would be the perfect opportunity. A few days later he called up to the school demanding information because we were not giving it to him! The school later called me asking if FIL had any custody of DDS. They had noticed he showed up to the meet the teacher night asking questions that normally parents would. We told him not to call up to the school anymore unless there was an emergency. He doesn't see how he stepped on our toes a bit there.
This leads to our falling out. We received an email from FIL saying that he wanted to have our 5th talk about the problems within our family. Being over it at this point I let him know that we were seeking professional advice on the matter and would be more than happy to discuss these things when we feel we are able to. He was so upset and started firing shots...I didn't care about anyone in the family, I had disrespected so many people in his family in the past year, I was making ridiculous accusations, that I have taken away his sweet boy(DDS) , and that he would be telling this professional about the things that DDS had told him. All of which is new to me. I thought I had a great relationship with the rest of the family. I feel sad about this, if it is true. I was hurt and to tell me that DDS has told him things breaks my heart. After over hearing my fair share of the goings on at FIL from DDS I would never bring up to him to hurt him.
At this point I don't know what to do. After FIL told me that putting DDS in counseling was wrong and that maybe we felt he needed this because we have taken away his time from the people that provided structure in his life was the real reason he needed it and how I have ruined this family, DH pulled the rug out and told him he could not see DDS until he apologized for this.
I take this as usual in law disagreement but I feel like he has taken it too far. I feel like he cannot accept or embrace the fact that his son and grandson now have someone in their lives to take care of them and will not let us bond properly. There have been so many issues that have been resolved with DDS. He is seeking counseling because of his ADHD diagnosis, his past and the absence of his mother. FIL does not agree with this and says that DDS was perfect until I stepped in. I would say that since I've been involved and keeping him home most of the time we have resolved many issues like not pooping in his pants anymore and wanting nothing to do with a sound machine or nightlight!
I love being a mom to both my DDS and DS. I knew it would be a struggle at times being a step parent but knowing I've made positive decisions in his life makes me so happy. I might add that DDS shows us no emotional upsets and is adapting to a family home nicely. Counseling has had a very positive effect on him as well.
So are FIL feelings justified? Is he just having a hard time? How do we get him to follow our rules??? Like I said I am seeing a professional but I wanted to see if anyone had any advice that have dealt with the same things?