Are my parents overstepping or am I doing something wrong??

Melonie Hoak - posted on 11/08/2012 ( 81 moms have responded )

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Okay...This is going to be a long one but please bare with me because I really need advice & help with this one...I live in Pennsylvania & my husband & have one, 5 year old daughter...

MY parent's have always put there 2 cents in with what they thought was wrong, & well, everything I do or say with my daughter was wrong...Even if it was something they'd advised me to do, later on they decided it was wrong & made sure to make me feel like a big piece of crap about it...

About a month ago it got a whole lot worse...My daughter, who has always been home with her Dad while I work, burnt her hand on the exhaust of my husband's tractor...He had been riding it earlier & specifically told her never to touch the tractor because it's hot...Well she was in her playhouse playing & he turned his back for a minute after fixing something on it & then picking up the tools & next thing he knew she was screaming & holding her hand...He took her in, took a picture, sent it to me & started taking care of it...It was 2 little blisters, less than a 1/2 inch each under her thumb...I called our after hours pediatrician number & was advised by the physician on call to just take care of it at home because at the hospital, all they would do for it is put burn cream on it & dress it which we could easily do at home, instead of exposing her to all the germs in the ER from what everyone else is in there for...So he took care of it that day & we continued to care for it...She went to my parent's 3 days later whenever of course, she'd popped it through her bandage by putting pressure on it while playing...Kind of unavoidable with a kid...Well, my parent's were immediately freaking out about it...Calling at me at work to tell me that I neglected her by not taking her because I take her to the drs when she has a cold so I should've just took her for that & never even called...FYI, I call before I take her to drs or ER for anything & I do what they tell me...But they won't listen to anything I say or let me explain for that matter...First reaction is jump down my throat about everything & when I explain or defend, I am being selfish & not thinking about my daughter...

After 2 days of harassment about the burn, they decided that they were going to step in & say that if I ever left her alone to be neglected by her father again, they were taking her off of me...They said that I am the worst kind of mother there is because I left her be alone with him while he was neglecting her & that I am worthless & yada yada yada...

They think she is neglected also because one day, while her dad was in the bathroom, she made herself a peanut butter sandwich with a spoon & she told them about it & she told them her daddy lets her help him make her food...To them, this is neglect & that if I did not agree to take her there from now on while I work, that they'd already talked to CYS & they agreed with everything & were given the okay to step in & take her...

They then started on a mental abuse kick...They think she is mentally abused...First reason was because they somehow got the idea that my husband & I fight constantly & that our daughter hides under her bed when we do...Now I will be the first to admit, yes sometimes we argue, who doesn't?? However, my daughter has a daybed, with a trundle bed underneath it so it would be physically impossible for her to lay underneath it with it under her bed, & it is always there...Even if she managed to pull it out without us knowing, which is highly unlikely, there is no way that she would ever be able to maneuver it to place it back underneath her bed...Of course, this is something else they did not want to hear & I was told I was again being selfish & I just needed to shut up & to hear what they had to say...Well I asked her what she does when Mommy & Daddy argue & she looked at me, clueless & replied, play, I guess...

There next mental abuse kick...My dad's ex, the woman who raised me, died from lung cancer after she & my dad had split up, of course my sister & I are both upset & grieving & sometimes talk about her...My daughter heard us talking about her & asked me about her so I told her she had a grandma up in Heaven that she never had a chance to meet...(My daughter was born at 26 weeks & my mom was battling cancer in the hospital & passed away when she was only 3 1/2 months old so it was too much of a risk for either of them to be around each other)...One day, she went to my dad's & told him she was upset about it so they think it is mental abuse that I told her that & I was looking for attention from her by telling her...

Mental abuse point # 3...They think that because my daughter whines a lot that she is mentally abused...I get that the whining isn't good, but I don't think that it means she's mentally abused but maybe I am wrong...

Mental abuse point # 4...My daughter does get punished by going to the corner...However, she gets one minute per year of her age & her time starts once she stops throwing a fit if she is, if she goes in without a problem, it starts immediately & then we talk about it...Well, apparently when she gets in trouble over there, she says, fine I will just go to the corner then...I was told I should not be punishing her for anything because she doesn't do anything that deserves her to have to go to the corner, this was one of the things they previously told me to do when she's not listening...

Mental abuse point # 5...I tend to tell Havanah she can do something but if she acts up, I change my mind...I've also on one recent occasion, changed my mind about going trick or treating for the 2nd hour bc I told her we would go again after a one hour break, but the temperature dropped tremendously so I said enough...They said that it was mental abuse...

They say they've also talked to CYS about this & that CYS agrees that she is being mentally abused...

My husband & I have recently started individual counseling as well as marital counseling because we do have issues that we need to work on...We've also enrolled in parenting classes that start in January & signed up for a family focus group for the 3 of us to have a better family life...The meetings will focus on positive ways to reinforce good behavior & positive discipline, structuring our lives to create less whining, & assistance with kindergarten readiness...My parents recently realized that my husband is perfectly capable of being alone with his daughter...Kids get hurt, we don't like it, but it's going to happen...They still say that CYS says they need her at least 2 or 3 days a week because of the so called mental abuse...They claim that CYS agrees with them about everything & that they are calling them constantly & documenting everything Havanah does & says over there so that they can have enough evidence so CYS wants them to keep doing this so that they can swoop in to take her out of our home & give her to them as soon as we don't do exactly what they want...Here's the thing...I waited until a week after the first time they say they called CYS & never heard a thing from CYS & I called CYS...They told me that there was no record of any of us being in the system...They said my parents most likely were filing reports but they were being thrown out because there are children who really are abused that they need to worry about...I finally told my parents that I talked to them & that there is know case found what so ever but they said they are just telling me that because they need enough evidence & incidents before they will step in & they know that they are now in control, not me so they will only give them information...

I have no idea what to believe but I am so scared that I am going to lose my daughter...My sister has been there whenever they question her & she told me all they do is sit there & ask her questions over & over until my daughter finally answers them the way they want her to because she wants them to leave her alone...I don't know what to do...I am so afraid of losing my daughter & I am doing everything I can to give her a good life, but it's never good enough for them...There is always something I am doing that makes them say that I am unfit & that they would be better off with her...My child is clean, her clothes are clean ,my house is clean, she is played with, there is always food in my home, & she is always getting attention but they are always saying we are both unfit parents because she's neglected & mentally abused & that CYS agrees with them & they just aren't stepping in right now because they are waiting until they have enough to take her & give her to my parents...I don't know what to do...I feel like I am doing everything right but I don't know what to think anymore...Maybe they are right & I am just as stupid & blind as they say & I just can't see it...

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81 Comments

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Lydia - posted on 11/10/2012

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OMG Melanie....I feel for you.Children get sick, children get hurt, and they will do things in the split second that our backs are turned--there is no need to feel like you've done something wrong. I, for one, am not one that runs my children to the doctor for every sneeze or sniffle, bump or bruise. If you can take care of those things at home, especially if you consulted with your doctor, then by all means, do it!!You sound like a wonderful mother to me--and we all have issues we need to work out. Unfortunately, neither marriage nor parenting comes with a manual...Counseling is a great thing and it is doing wonders for my family.



As far as the parents are concerned...I'm echoing the others... CYS was NOT called. If there was any reason for concern, then CYS would have sent someone to your house.(I know because someone came to my house when my youngest got into some mop water when I wasn't looking and I had to take her to the ER. Of course, they found nothing.) In my opinion, the only mentally abused person in this story is YOU! And with any abusive relationship, you have to protect yourself and stop the abuse. So limit your contact with them...and I would definitely keep track of the incidents as the others suggested--you might need the info to keep them away from your child...Good luck!

Leah - posted on 11/09/2012

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It sounds like you are the one being mentally abused by your parents! If they cannot stop the harassing, I would tell them they do not have a right to see their granddaughter.

Rachel - posted on 11/09/2012

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Angi is right- this is harassment, and it sounds like they harassing your child and CPS as well. You have outlined a great plan for supporting your family. Follow that plan. People this critical should not be taking care of your child if you can avoid it- stay away from your parents until they have proven they respect your authority and stewardship over your daughter. And God bless you sweetie! No wonder you are fighting with so much weight on your shoulders. *hugs*

Angi - posted on 11/09/2012

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They are lying to you, trying to manipulate you. Child services doesn't work like that. Tell your parents that if they don't let up you will file harassment charges on them. That is what they are doing. And of course follow through if you need to. You need to set boundries for your family and lay them out clearly for your parents and don't let them cross the line. I have much respect for parents and grandparents but also know how I want to raise my own kids. I love their help and advice, but know I don't have to take their advice. Good Luck!

Denikka - posted on 11/09/2012

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I wouldn't be letting her over to your parents anymore. If you're abusing your child, I can only IMAGINE what they would think of me and 99% of the other good/decent parents out there XD



You are being perfectly good parents. You are addressing whatever concerns you have by going to counselling and taking parenting classes.



I completely agree with Dove about finding out grandparents rights. Find out what rights they may have and how you can prevent any kind of custody battle (although it's reasonably likely that the judge would laugh your parents out of court with what you've told us here)



I would also address any school, preschool, playgroup, etc that your daughter may go to where she's separated from you for any length of time. Tell ALL the people involved that you are having some issues and NO ONE except you or your husband is to pick up your daughter. IF on the off chance you may need someone else to pick up your daughter, have a specific password or phrase to use, and make sure you call in ahead of time to let everyone know that this specific person is picking up your daughter. Maybe request that they do an ID check or something.



You are a GOOD mom and you are doing GREAT for your daughter. It's always sad when we need to protect our children from our own family, but sometimes they are the ones who can and will do the most damage.

Christina - posted on 11/09/2012

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Why are you even letting your child go around them if they are acting like that? I live in TX, we have CPS, these people are real butts, my step brother was with a woman who has 3 children from a previous marriage (2 boys and a girl). The womans mom would keep the little girl all the time, so much that she would call her mom sometimes without thinking. The "grandma" started filling that little girls head full of so much crap that when she finally called cps the little girl actually believed the things that had been drilled into her head so cps removed her from her mothers care and placed her in the home with "grandma". Needless to say after a few years "grandma" admitted that she coaxed this little girl into believing all that crap and that it was all lies. Be very careful, I dont know how things work in Pennsylvania but here, Grandparents only have the rights that we "The parents" allow them to have.

Tracy - posted on 11/09/2012

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Yeah, I would stop all visits with your parents. If there is a case with CYS pending, you'll find out about it one way or another. Until then, no use killing yourself about it. Document what you can of your parents' behavior and get a letter from your sister. From the sounds of your story, the mental abuse is from your parents. But, and I can't explain why, I feel like there is a part of this story that is either missing or being downplayed... Your parents really could just be problem making a$$holes, totally possible. But USUALLY there is a reason why parents get crazy like this - especially not liking your husband alone with your daughter. They mention the fighting between you two. It sounds like, whether warranted or not, there is major concern with your husband. I would take a serious and honest look with unbiased eyes to see if there is something you are not willing to see that others can see. Again, I could be entirely off base here, but something just doesn't seem completely upfront in this explanation. I truly hope I'm wrong because crazy parents are easier to deal with than spousal troubles. I wish you all the best.

Natalie - posted on 11/09/2012

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Don't take your daughter there anymore, more than anything they are probably confusing the hell out of your precious girl, Don't let them question your parenting, they are obviously the ones with the issues, not sure why they would talk such rubbish. If you are taking care of your daughter and your husband is taking care of her too, maybe its about time you put your foot down and stop taking their shit. This is your child, you are raising her. Usually i would say try to explain to them that your daughter is well taken care of, but in your situation i really feel that they wouldn't bother listening to you, they are convinced your daughter is unhappy, not sure why. Just cut ties with them i am very sorry to say, but that is not family, they shouldn't treat you that way. In the back of my head i just keep saying why the hell would you let your family treat you that way? Your daughter definitely doesn't need to grow up with people bad mouthing her parents.

Kimberlee - posted on 11/09/2012

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I have to ask . If your Dads wife passed away and she was the one who raised you then who is "your Mom" that you are referring to in the OP ? Are both of your parents saying these things ( like the calls they supposedly have made and accusations against you regarding your child etc) or is just your bio mom or is she a step parent? Is the Dad in "parents" your Dad or a step Dad? Are your parents back together?



Sorry but this part has me so confused.

Kimberlee - posted on 11/09/2012

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I would stop sending her there. And let me say that I don't take that lightly , I believe a child's relationship with extended family is extremely important but from the sound of things YOUR PARENTS are mentally abusing her. The constant questioning of a five year old is completely unacceptable. I would still allow them to see her ( because I do think extended family is important) but only in my presents.

Sheila - posted on 11/09/2012

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My goodness it sounds to me like it is your parents who are being mentally abusive. They are trying to retain control and keep you co-dependent. You don't need their approval anymore. Allowing the continued unsupervised access to your daughter is going to mess with her thinking and undermine your parenting. Going to parenting classes and getting impartial help and advice is the best thing. Your little girl is precious and her childhood is in your hands. All the very best to you and your husband as you seek to do the right thing for her and yourselves. Don't let yourself be bullied into doing anything less.

Sam - posted on 11/09/2012

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I'm sorry to say this but your parents are abusing you mentally!! If they did contact family services you would have had someone either call or show up to your house to talk to you about this!! They are just trying to scare you!! As for the therapy and parenting classes, if family services did show up and you informed them of the classes and therapy they would close the case instantly!!! They would see your seeing the problem (if there actually is one) and working on fixing it!! Needless to say they are over stepping their boundries and need to back off and let you and your husband be the parents! Its one thing to have an opinon but what they are doing is abuse to you and your husband and if that were me, my child would have no involvement with them until they got therapy and backed off!! Hope things work out in your favor!!

Lisa - posted on 11/09/2012

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I agree, definately stop contact immediately, and make sure to let your parents know that they will only see their granddaughter again when they can respect you and your parenting decisions. Any body related to a Childs safety would have investigated before now if a claim of abuse had been made and even if they had come out to interview your child at your parents house, it would have been done without them present as it was them making the accusation. It is not healthy for your daughter to be around them and the tension they are obviously causing you

Linda - posted on 11/08/2012

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I agree with the other responses.......Document as much as you can......and definateky stop bringing your daughter over to your parents house!!!!!! Do not let them in your house!!!! Continue your counseling..............Your parents seem creepy........They have no right to treat you and your family this way!!!!!! Please DO NOT bring your daughter there anymore!!!!! I wish you luck......:)

Holly - posted on 11/08/2012

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Wow. I'd say your parents are evil. Everyone else's response was exactly what I was thinking. Document their crap. Document if anything happens, like the burn to your daughter, and if you call a doc document what time and which doc called you back afterhours. Basically document everything.



Second, cut them off at the knee. They are crazy as crazy can be. Sounds like worst case they reported you and CPS didn't care or didn't think it valid and didn't do anything... best case they never called and she's making crap up to get her way. Either way who treats their adult daughter like this??? And their grand daughter. I certainly wouldn't let my daughter around them ever again... especially alone! They might make up such a fanciful story that CPS DOES come out to investigate. From what I've read from peoples first accounts CPS if they are worried enough can and will take the child from anywhere from 24 hours to THIRTY DAYS! while they investigate. I wouldn't put myself in a position where they could try and manipulate my daughter and cause such a hardship and problem for my little family.



I wish you guys good luck. I can't even imagine how disheartening this is for you guys. hugs!

Maren - posted on 11/08/2012

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It sounds to me like they are a really big problem. If it were me, I would cut them out of my life, at least for a time. It sounds to me like they may be causing a lot of anxiety for your daughter. Is she happy visiting them? I wouldn't worry about losing her as even if someone came out to visit your house, they would find no reason to remove her. Additionally, just because they remove a child from a home doesn't mean that the grandparents will get the child.



I wouldn't worry too much as, from what you say, you are providing for your daughter in every reasonable way. Signing up for the classes and being in counseling is evidence of that! Talk to your therapist about this and see if you're in a place to cut them out. They really seem to have a serious negative affect on you and that's not good for you, your husband, or your daughter. Talk to the therapist. That's the best place to start.



Good luck. I hope you find some equilibrium in your situation that you're happy with.

Lenora - posted on 11/08/2012

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Melonie, you are NOT doing anything wrong and neither is your husband! You sound like good loving parents and kids will get hurt sometimes no matter how much you try to protect them. This is part of life!

There is nothing wrong with a 5 yr old making a pb & j, this is teaching her how to be independent. Your parents are being overbearing and overstepping their bounds. Maybe this is why your daughter is so whiney, she is being bullied into saying that you are bad parents (in so many words) and she doesn't know what to do about it. I agree with what everyone else says about CYS, if they thought your child was being neglected or abused in any way they would have already been over there and taken her from you. I also agree that you should cut off all unsupervised contact between your daughter and your parents immediately. See a lawyer, get a restraining order, do what you have to do, they are the ones doing the abusing!

Pam - posted on 11/08/2012

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In many states grandparents have no rights and they are too controlling. If you do not need them to care for the little one avoid taking them over without you or your husband around. Find out about the laws in your state regarding grandparent rights and if they have rights talk to a lawyer to protect yourself from any harm they might try to cause.

Carmen - posted on 11/08/2012

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Wow. This may sound crazy to you. But you shold not allow anyone other than your husband to tell you how to raise your child. They are confusing you and your child. That is Mental abuse. Because they are antaginizing you to the point of not knowing what to do. Te answer to your letter.is. You need to go on a small vacation with your child ad husband and not allow anyone to tell you how to raise your child. No one knows your child like you do.



Sincerely,



Very confused

Megan - posted on 11/08/2012

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My heart goes out to you sister--clearly you are doing everything you can (including working to support your family, as so many of us moms have to do)--YOUR PARENTS ARE THE PROBLEM. This is how we stop the cycle of bad parents creating bad kids who become bad parents--stop listening to those bad parents!! Whatever is at the heart of their disdain for your parenting, you seem to have the love and involvement that every great parent has. It's hard to admit your parents are unable to see the good in YOU, their child, but maybe they are. Sometimes they project what they feel their OWN shortcomings as parents were, and they take it out on you--as if you are the one doing wrong. It sounds like you are trying to do everything right--have faith in yourself and limitless love for your child and you will be fine. Keep strong!

Dove - posted on 11/08/2012

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Ditto Shawnn! And KEEP going to that counseling cuz you need to believe those words for yourself! ♥

Shawnn - posted on 11/08/2012

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Oh, and Melonie, read this a few times: YOU ARE NOT STUPID. YOU ARE NOT A BAD PARENT (your parents on the other hand...) YOUR PARENTS ARE NOT RIGHT!!!



YOU ARE A GOOD MOTHER, AND A GOOD WIFE. YOU ARE A STRONG, INDEPENDENT WOMAN WHO DOESN'T NEED THE APPROVAL OF HER PARENTS TO RAISE HER FAMILY SUCCESSFULLY.



Now, go to it, girl!

Ashley - posted on 11/08/2012

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i did not read the whole thing, but i just want to point out that if they have really talked to CYS, and CYS agreed with them, then they would have been to your house to check if the abuse and neglect is really happening. if they found out it was true, you would not have your daughter. they are trying to scare and manipulate you. dont let them. also, CYS cant just give them permission to take your daughter from if one more thing happens. CYS would have to come remove your daughter from your home and your custody and place her where they see best fit. and you would have to go to court and fight it. they cant tell you not to leave her with her own father, and they can not stop you from telling her about her grandma who passed away. my children know about everyone in our lives who have passed away. cut them out. dont have anymore contact with them, and dont let your daughter have any contact with them, especially visits by herself. tell them there will be no more contact until they can learn to not overstep there boundaries, and keep there opinions to themselves. you need to tell them exactly what there boundaries are. if they dont do it, then they dont have contact with you and your daughter.

Lacye - posted on 11/08/2012

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Here's how you know they are lying, if you were reported, they would have already sent somebody to your house. Since you have not had a visit from them, your parents are lying.



For your sake, not only document everything that they are doing, but I would keep the child away from them for a while. They are only making your think they are in control but in all honesty, YOU do. You are the parent. They are not. They are harassing your child for false information and are drilling her to say what they want her to. That is damaging in itself.

Shawnn - posted on 11/08/2012

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As the others have said, start documenting the incidents immediately. Also, immediately STOP allowing them to have your daughter unsupervised. Cut off their contact RIGHT NOW. Quit calling them to get their "advice". and retain an attorney to start the paperwork rolling for a protection order for your daughter, and a general restraining order on them for yourself and your husband.



When they take you to task for that, explain that you and your husband are mature adults, and are involved in your own life with your child, and that you cannot allow their abuse to continue to potentially harm your child. Also, if you DO have any alternate care arrangements (daycare, school or preschool) make sure that they understand that your parents are not allowed anywhere near the establishment, nor are they under any circumstances authorized to remove your daughter from that establishment. Also take them off of all paperwork that you have put them on for "emergency contact"



DO continue with the counseling, both for your relationship and for the family.



Now, as Little Miss has said, your parent's haven't called CYS. How do you know that? You haven't received any visits, neither by law enforcement nor by CYS themselves. If they had been contacted, they'd have at the very least done a drive by on your house to determine if there was a reason to investigate.



best of luck

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/08/2012

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Oh btw, any child service agency would investigate you if they were concerned she is in a dangerous environment. They are not waiting on your parents word for it. CYS has not been called by your parents.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/08/2012

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Oh btw, any child service agency would investigate you if they were concerned she is in a dangerous environment. They are not waiting on your parents word for it. CYS has not been called by your parents.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/08/2012

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I would NOT be letting my child back over there. Ever again. Seriously. It sounds like they are gearing up to try and take her. I agree with dove. Contact a lawyer. Contact the police and let them know what is going on and they are threatening to take your daughter. Do not let them into your house. Change the locks if you need to. Do not have any further contact with them. Tell them that you are cutting them off until they stop mentally abusing you, and if they are mentally abusing you, what lies could they be telling your daughter. That you are getting a family lawyer to represent you and your family since they are making threats and have contacted the police. That if you need to put a restraining order out on them you will. Tell them they will NOT take your daughter. That you love her. That is the end of it and walk away. Do not engage in further conversation with them and DO NOT have your daughter with you. Keep them the hell away from your family or they will ruin it.

Dove - posted on 11/08/2012

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First thing I would do is start documenting everything they have said and done. Second thing I would do is call a lawyer and find out what kind of 'grandparent rights' they have in your area and how you can protect your child from them. Third thing I would do... 100% cut off all contact with your parents. If my parents ever behaved like that they would never see my kids again. The only 'abuse' in this situation is coming from them.



Keep going to the counseling and parenting classes and document EVERYTHING... no matter how small.



I'm so sorry you have had to deal with this psychotic mess and I hope things get better for you and your family soon.

Ariana - posted on 11/08/2012

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I would start documenting every incident you've just said in a organized fashion. So Novermber 5th parent accused me of mental abuse for ..... threatened to call cys on me.... etc etc but keep it documented in an organized fashion.



I would continue to get the councelling and parenting classes you are planning on doing and also document that. If you feel you are doing something over the top with your daughter try to reflect on that and see if there is any truth. If there is make the necessary changes you need, if not then keep doing what you're doing.



It sounds like your parents are being extremely controlling. If I were you I wouldn't allow my child to see them at all, restrict all access to your child. They're basically telling you 'hey, we're just waiting for enough evidence so we can steal your child' and you're continuing to allow them near her?



I wouldn't get crazy with them but either speak to them, or email them, and tell them calmly that you are a good parent and their accusations are unfound. They are threatening to take your child and as long as this continues they will not be allowed near her.

They will probably freak out and call cys and make all sorts of allegations, in which case you should have everything documented of what they've said and what you've done. You might even call them before you do this and tell CYS that your parents have been threatening you saying they are going to call cys to have your child taken from you and you are planning on not allowing them near your child right now so they may get calls coming from them. Then at least if calls do come in if they come to see you you can explain to them that you've already called them and expected this sort of thing to happen.



If you are a good parent and not abusing your child your parents won't be able to have her taken from you, just make sure you're doing everything you can for your daughter.

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