Worried/Not sure what to do

Nicole - posted on 11/03/2010 ( 30 moms have responded )

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I am worried but I can’t put my finger on what’s wrong.
My son came home from his dad’s place this weekend with a swollen, purple ear. No one mentioned it. I discovered it at bath time. I called his grandma to ask for a ride to the hospital, because both of his ears were continuing to swell and she said he had had a knock on the head at the park, it was nothing to worry about and that she had put a cold cloth on it.
I took him to a doctor and the doctor said his brain was fine, his ear was fine and that he had taken a hard hit, but he would be fine.
Today my son tried to choke another child at daycare. When asked why he was doing that he said, “she wasn’t listening”
I don’t think his grandmother would abuse him. I know that she has been neglectful in the past. One friend told me that she had seen her with him at a bus stop one day and as she was digging through her purse, my son had run away from her and got 5 blocks away on a busy street. My friend had asked her, “do you want me to get him?” She got up and said, “No, don’t worry. I’ll do it” and hadn’t seem worried. She is now watching him every Friday morning.
I know he gets into fights with his stepbrother at his dad’s house, and he has come home from there with bite marks on his arms and scratches on his face. I am told he gives as good as he gets and that they do what they can to keep them apart but they spend one whole day together each week.
What I am trying to figure out is whether or not I should report her for neglect. I am not on easy speaking terms with any of my ex-husbands family. When I told my ex about the choking he was shocked and said Nathan had never done anything like that at his house.
While it’s obvious that there is something wrong, I don’t know what or what to do about it. I don’t feel safe having my son go over to his grandma or dads house, but I don’t know if I have grounds for preventing it just based on what I know.

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H.J - posted on 11/05/2010

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Every time your child comes home with a bruise from his fathers house take him to the doctors, doctors are mandated notifiers so if they see abuse they have to report it by law, when you go to Court you can subpoena your child's medical records from your doctor to show the frequency and times that he has come with bruises and injury's from his fathers. As the other girls have said take photos... lots of them. Check the laws in your area here you can keep the child from seeing his father if you have reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect until an emergency family court hearing can take place. Also get an afridavit from the friend who saw grandma let your little one run down the road as that is negelct and you can have it ordered that Grandma only is allowed near your son supervised. In the mean time you could try and make all access with dad and grandma supervised by a 3rd party then you can not be accused of keeping your son from his dad and grandma. Good luck it sounds like an awful situation.

Maria - posted on 11/04/2010

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If you have to let him go b/c of custody issues I would document everything! If you can take pictures of bite marks and scratches. Just be careful no diaper area shots. That'll get you into trouble. If you don't absolutly have to let him go then don't! If you don't think he's safe then that's the answer. You've already had to make one trip to the ER. Thank goodness it wasn't serious. But next time it could be worse. You mentioned that she'd been neglectful in the past. She may only have gotten more vigilent to be alowed to see her grandson again. Do good for awhile then slack off later. Also if you think you should report it then do. You don't have to prove abuse/neglect you just have to suspect it. Good luck!

Nikkole - posted on 11/03/2010

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Well my mom was actually checking something like this out for a family member today (my mom is a correctional officer and talks to judges all the time) You dont Have to let him go to his grandmas house grandparents have no rights pretty much! You sons father on the other hand even tho you have seen these thing if there not reported or on file its not wise to keep him away from your son because if you go back to court the judge WILL look at that! If i were you i would go talk to a judge and report all these things and request that you have your sons visitations monitored with the grandma and dad if you wanted that dosent mean you will def get that but most likely you will and if he has any other bruises i would take pictures!! good luck

Shana - posted on 11/03/2010

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Take him to a child psychologist. If you don't know where to find one, just call either your local human services or hospital. They would know how to get him to open up to what is happening when he is not in your care, and it sounds like something terrible might be going on. Don't just forget about it, or pass it off as nothing, it's NOT normal for a child to choke another child because "she's not listening" to him, children learn what they see. Unless he's manic, something is wrong.

Liz - posted on 11/03/2010

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Unless a judge has ordered you to take your son to her house once a week, you don't have to.

You're his mother. You do what you feel you need to do to keep him safe. If you have a gut feeling, follow it.

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Jennifer - posted on 11/06/2010

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I have three kids, 9,7 and 2. What I have noticed over the years is that sometimes, some kids don't know how to handle their anger and let it out in different ways, like biting, hitting, kicking, throwing things and etc. Maybe try to help him find other outlets when he gets upset to help try and prevent injuries to himself or others. Start with removing him from the situation, calm him down and then try distracting him with something else, like a book or toy. You can even try calmly talking to him to try and understand why he is upset. Let him know that hurting others is not nice. It takes alot of repeating but eventually he should start to understand. And his dad needs to be on the same page with you in helping to prevent any outbursts of anger and do the same things.

I wish you lots of luck!

Nicole - posted on 11/06/2010

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My son is 4 years old.

I have started to document everything.

I called mental health and asked that he get to speak to a counselor, told them what was going on and they directed me to child protective services.

I called child protective services, they said there was nothing to worry about.

I called mental health again, and they said that they would see him and if they think something is wrong, they will advocate for us to get him help.

He is having an eeg in December and an assessment to see if he is on the autism spectrum, though his peditrician said IF he was he’d be on the high functioning side.

I am considering going to court to go for supervised access.

Stephanie - posted on 11/06/2010

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i would presonally report it that way if god forbid something did happen it would be on record that you had concerns before then. it shoulds like his grandmother needs to spend more time paying attention and taking care of the children instead of letting them beat on eachother. as far as the "she wasn't listening thing'[ i would def. be concerned ab that. he picked that up from somwhere. weither it be family, tv or wherever it came from somewhere and it could get worse if it isn't prevented. i wish you the best of luck and hope things change for the better for you and your son!

Lauren - posted on 11/06/2010

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i wud do what u feel is right but try to prevent arguing about it just b like this is what im goin to do nd thats it because if ur worried aout ur sons saftey it ur job to keep him safe :)

Kyra - posted on 11/05/2010

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I agree about documenting everything. You need to know that if you son has told more than 3 people what he has told you then child services wont be able to do anything about it . I was told this by someone who works for cps. They believe that if they have then someone may help him change the story, or the story is flawed. Good luck.

Cassandra - posted on 11/05/2010

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I would document everything. Judges and friend of the court wont do anything without proof, pictures, recorded phone calls, etc.

Mary - posted on 11/05/2010

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My sister is going through a similar situation, and the best thing to do is document everything. Every little detail...then if push comes to shove, you have the documentation to sway a judge and protect your little one. I'm really sorry to hear that, and I hope everything works at for you and your little guy

Corissa - posted on 11/05/2010

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If it was me with my son I have legal custody of my son so I would forbid him to go over there. I would also file a report and open a case with children services and also get some legal advice.

Britnee - posted on 11/05/2010

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Follow your gut and listen to your heart If you don't feel that it is safe for your son to go over to his grandmothers house then don't allow him to go over there. To me it sounds like there is something serious going on while he is over there and you don't want it to be too late before you interfere. Grandparents don't have rights anymore so besides wanting to see her grandson there is nothing forcing your son to have to be over there. Ultimately it is up to you of whether you allow him to continue going over there but follow your gut because 9 times out of 10 it is usually correct. Also start taking pictures of any incidents that happen and record everything that way if you do report it you have evidence to back your stories and concerns. Wishing you the best

Laura - posted on 11/05/2010

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omg no your right something is wrong follow your gut you don't have to let anyone take your child if there is a risk of him being harmed how old is your son? plus the grandmother is acting as a babysitter and you can refuse to have her watch your child you have the right to decide who can and can not watch your child even if his dad doesn't like it.If this is new behavior and he's at a young age this behavior is likely learned keep track of all dates and what happened this will help you if you need it in a court or for cps this will also help you if his family trys to turn the blame around on you.

Christina - posted on 11/04/2010

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Better safe than sorry. I would report this immediately. It sounds like somebody in your ex's family is abusing your son and they need to be investigated, regardless of whom it might be. I'd also not allow your son to go see his grandmother until an investigation is complete. Like I said, it's better to ear on the side of caution instead of sending him over there and possibly risking his life!

Deidre - posted on 11/04/2010

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document EVERYTHING!!!!! every mark he comes home with, everything he says about being there but be sure to ask "open" questions so that they cant say you coached him. be sure not to indicate anyone let your son do most of the talking. hope this helps!

Nicole - posted on 11/03/2010

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I have asked my ex to let me take him on Fridays while he is at school but he says no. I can't do much after that other than go to court.

Betty - posted on 11/03/2010

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If your son is trying to strangle other kids than he needs a psychiatric evaluation to see what's going on in his head. That's a scary thing.
I'm pretty sure he has to let you keep him if he can't watch him for any longer than 3 hours so let your ex know that he needs to give you the chance to take him next time he is unavailable to look after him.
You can forbid grams from babysitting next time you go to mediation but it could make you look like you're alienating your son from family so only do it if you truly believe you must.

Nicole - posted on 11/03/2010

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I think that's the hardest thing. I don't know what's going on because I'm not there. But something it happening, or he wouldn't be coming home hurt and hurting his friends.

This past week he's said he's afraid of the dark. He keeps saying it.

Okay, so I need to take him to see a child psychologist and I need to get legal advice about dad and grandma.

Thank you for all of your supportive comments:) It really helps.

Chrystal - posted on 11/03/2010

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you could maybe hire a private investigator and have them install a camera in the house. Just an idea. I'm so sorry what you are going through. That would scare me to. I would definitely pray about it and surely a good answer will come to you. Good luck:)

Ashley - posted on 11/03/2010

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how would both ears be swollen from a knock on his head sorry maybe one, but not both sounds like they boxed his ears as for chocking a child sounds like he picked it up i think getting him a child psychologist like Shana said and getting a emergency court order to keep him from his gramas until you can figure out whats going on. Also if none of this is possible consider getting a teddy bear camera or something so mabey u can see whats going on mabey extream but worth it. I really hope were all wrong but if not u have support.

Stifler's - posted on 11/03/2010

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The only way to prevent him taking the kids to grandma is a restraining order against grandma.

Nicole - posted on 11/03/2010

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The day he goes to his grandmas, his dad has access. I don't have a say in where he goes when he's supposed to be with his dad or at least I don't think I do.

Stifler's - posted on 11/03/2010

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Isn't the son the one choking other kids though? I'd say he's copped a flogging for doing something naughty and they don't want to tell you.

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If I were you, I'd stop taking your son to grandma's and possibly to dad's. Regardless of whether or not they are actively abusing your child, if he's coming home with bruises or scratches or anything out of the ordinary and is acting strangely, you need to keep him away from them. You know something is wrong so listen to your instincts. They can't do anything to you for that.

Sarh - posted on 11/03/2010

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I would still "report" it and not sure why he is going over to her house, but I would not allow it. After the first time something happened that would be it if it was me. You are mom and never second guess something you feel you need to do to protect your child. I honestly would never let my child go by someones house who I know has neglected ANYONE before.

Good luck! Keep your little guy safe!

Caitlyn - posted on 11/03/2010

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In the United States grandparents don't really have rights over their grandchildren. Unless there is a court order (unlikely) proclaiming that you have to bring him to his grandmother's house you don't have to. In all reality it sounds as though it would be safer if you didn't. His father on the other hand you can't prevent him from seeing without a court order. Father's have the same legal rights as mothers unless there is a court order.

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