difficult child/difficult child mom causing problems

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by AppleCori, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Well, difficult child mom calls to say that the 17yo cant go to the activity this afternoon with his dad. She said he is being punished by having that activity taken away for the rest of the season because he got in a fight with his difficult child 20yo drug addict brother and is mad at her for letting said drug addict live in their house. Not sure what the fight was about or who escalated. Dad was mad at her taking away their activity and said she should punish him by taking away something else like video games or cable tv. She says its HIS fault for kicking difficult child out and putting it upon her to take care of him so he should share the punishment! Dad said she doesn't have to care for a 20yo man who is about to become a father, he should be supporting himself and the baby, and she should kick him out if he is making trouble for her and the 17yo. She hangs up on him as usual.

    He is now on his way over there after talking to 17yo. He wants him to come over here for a while, but mom was in the background saying he wasn't going anywhere, so I don't know whats gonna happen when he gets there. I asked him to be calm and rational and she can be the screaming lunatic and if she calls the cops, he just needs to explain his concern for the minor child living with his out-of-control drug addict adult brother. The boy is 17 1/2 so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    what a messed up situation. sure sounds like she's using difficult child to punish dad. glad he is almost 18!

    Sorry your having to be around all of this, must be very sad and frustrating.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  3. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    So, dad gets to the x's house and the 17yo is waiting outside so he gets into the truck and they come back home. I had made his favorite desert (my quick and easy sticky buns) and got some ice for his finger, the one he hurt when punching his difficult child brother. Seems difficult child, as always, was taunting and teasing 17yo and finally he couldn't take it anymore and punched difficult child in the eye. They started fighting right there in the house and their mom tried to stop it and get her leg hurt, which was why she was really mad. Oh, also mom's boyfriend and his kids were there, so she was probably embarrassed. 17yo was in trouble for being the first to throw a punch and, as she said, it's never ok to hit. I have to confess that i think difficult child deserved it, though! Luckily, 17yo is about 6'3 and 350lbs, a football player who lifts weight regularly and is much bigger than difficult child older brother.

    After a while mom texts 17yo asking where he is. He tells her at dads. She says he better bring him home now. She tries to call dad on his cell but he doesn't answer because he knows she will yell at him and he would then get mad. She seems to enjoy arguing and fighting with him and making him mad seems to give her pleasure. She tries quite often.

    After her unsuccessful attempts to reach dad, she calls 17yo and tells him she is coming to pick him up and if he isn't waiting outside, she will "cause a big scene". He does, though we told him he didn't have to. He is certainly welcome to stay with us, but he won't even consider it.

    Yes, mom is certainly a difficult child herself!
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    At least the younger boy is 17 and a half... at 18, HE can choose for himself, and knows where his stability is.
  5. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Yes, he is almost 18, but I really don'tknow if things will change much. 17yo is so attached to his mom, and so scared to defy her.

    Before the divorce mom moved out and into her boyfriend's house, leaving the kids with dad temporarily, and still had them convinced that the divorce and problems were all dad's fault. She had had a boyfriend for more than a year, yet somehow she wasn't to blame for anything. It's really strange, the hold she has over him.

    For instance, a few months ago she called 17yo when he was here at his dad's house and told him to bring her certain dvds that dad had gotten in the divorce. Dad heard the conversation because he was sitting right there and told 17yo that mom had no right to the dvds and he wasn't going to give them to her. 17yo could not understand why she wasn't entitled to have them. Dad explained about the divorce settlement and how they had sat down and divided them up and she had taken what she wanted and now nothing in the house belonged to her but he still wasn't convinced.

    Dad called X and told her not to ask 17yo to get her stuff from the house or put him in the middle of their divorce. First she denied having told him to do it, then proceeded to explain why she was entitled to get the dvds.

    17yo will always make excuses for her.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily "always" - but he sure isn't in any position to rock the boat right now. It might take a few years (rather than a few months).
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Truthfully it sounds like both parents are placing the teenager in the middle. Frankly I think that is wrong regardless of the motivation. Of course I don't know the life history of the son but sincerely I believe it's time that his Dad has a man to man talk with him reiterating that he loves him, loves to spend time with him etc. BUT has decided to avoid conflict with bioMom in hopes that life will be more pleasant for his son.

    It really doesn't matter if his bioMom had fifteen boyfriends and treated your husband poorly. She is his Mother. If she has deliberately caused harm to the sons I assume husband would have custody. I'm sure your husband does not see that the ongoing conflict between him and his Ex is hurting his son. You have three adult children. You know that the teen years are often difficult. You've been successful raising your first family and with your help this young man will feel the love that is always there from his Dad, from you and the joyful eight year old.

    by the way my husband and I both have children by Ex's that are not our cup of tea. The teen years were "testy" and both of the Ex's played games with the teens. We backed off from the game playing and although one child (17 yr.old son by the way) had to have therapy and did use substances to avoid the stress....everyone turned out fine. I'm sure your step kids will too if they aren't used as pawns. Good luck. DDD
  8. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies!

    DDD, can you tell me what you see as my husband playing games and/or putting the child in the middle? I agree that he has often been drawn in to her games, but he is trying hard to avoid the drama and do what is best for the child. If this all should have been handled differently, I am interested in hearing how!

    Dad has had a talk with son more than once about wanting to avoid conflict with mom, and he lets most things go so as not to create conflict with her. Interaction with her is kept to a bare minimum.
  9. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I'm not DDD but in my opinion if his mother told him he wasn't allowed to go and then your husband shows up and takes him anyway it undermines biomom's authority big time. I'm not saying he didn't need to be removed from the situation for a while just that husband could have contacted the biomom to work out an acceptable solution. Even though you guys aren't fans of the 20 year old difficult child you are also most likely only getting one side of the story. Biomom may have had a dang good reason for the punishment.

    Once the son arrived at your house he got taken care of, given his favorite meal, and basically got babied. His actions had just caused injury to his brother, his mother, and most likely household items yet he leaves and goes to dad's house and gets treated like a prince. Top that off with husband not answering phone calls and making a 17 year old deal with his now ****** off ex and I would say it is a recipe for disaster.

    I am not trying to be mean here just show you how this might look from someone else's point of view. in my humble opinion your husband needs to start dealing with his ex instead of ignoring her or putting your 17 year old stepson in the middle. If your husband stops allowing her to pull the strings by using the child things might change.

    My parents recently allowed my daughter to move in with them against my wishes. Honestly this situation rings a bell with me because they did the exact same thing. Picked up my difficult child from outside my house and took her with them without my approval. Then they proceeded to give her anything and everything she wanted while telling her I wasn't doing a good job of parenting. Well guess what. Now she lives with them and I get to send them support payments but I don't have my child and I dont have a relationship with them right now either. In the long run all it would take is them picking up the phone and opening up with honest dialogue but until they stop playing games I will remain silent on the issue. I refuse to play the game your husband is playing and stick my child in the middle of adult drama.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I see a lot in the situation. First and foremost, I see a minor child put in danger by living with an adult drug addict difficult child. If I were the parent, that would have to change or we would be on ou way to court over custody. It isn't healthy for the older sibling to be living in the home. In my area allowing an adult who is using drugs or is an alcoholic to live in the home with your child (regardless of how close to 18 they are) will get CPS after BOTH parents. The custodial one for letting the abuser live there, the non-custodial one for not yanking the child out or the entire mess into court.

    The next thing is that each parent should not try to control what the child does at the other parents'. If they cannot agree on basic rules, and basic consequences, then they need to enforce consequences while the child is with them, and not when the child is with the other parent. Around here the standard custody arrangement, which is VERY hard to get a judge to change, is 50/50. It is some bizarre arrangement where the kid isn't really with either parent for more than 3 days, I have never understood the court ordered division. If the child acts up right before going to the other parent, the custodial parent can either deal with it then,or tell the child the consequence will happen upon their return. Kids are not stupid, and even as young as 3 they can remember what they and why a consequence is given.

    Taking away an activity wtih the other parent is over-stepping. Unless the parents AGREE to remove the activity, the parent who isn't involved has no real right to take it away as a punishment. Not because they have no right to be mad,or because it might not work, but because it simply isn't going to happen. It is an unrealistic expectation.

    Now both parents need to insist on decent behavior, and they should back eachother up. But we all know it isn't going to happen in a LOT of divorces. So focusing on what you CAN change will get you a lot farther. Though if my child treated his father badly and wanted me to then do nice things? The child would probably get a surprise because I would not be happy.

    I cannot count the number of times my exsil has told my parents or bro that niece is not allowed to do, have, see, speak to, watch, blah blah blah something. She flat out refuses to enforce any discipline at her home, but always has some consequence that bro or my folks are supposed to follow through with. It is always a mess.
  11. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your reply, SusieStar,

    Yes, I agree that a drug addict with increasingly erratic behavior shouldn't be allowed to live in a house with minor children, which is why WE kicked him out a year ago.

    Unfortunately, we only hear what goes on there by dribs and drabs, as 17yo is usually very protective of his mom and is reticent to reveal anything that puts her in a bad light. It is usually only after he is really angry/upset about something that he will talk about it. This is a very quiet kid who keeps things to himself (strong, silent type) and doesn't want to rock the boat at almost any cost. It takes a lot for him to loose control and punch his brother. He is a big, strong kid but he never fights at school or gets into any trouble. It is only with his brother.

    We have talked many times about what to do. 17yo begs his dad not to do anything.

    Dad may have been wrong in picking up 17yo, but it was our normal visitation, and we haven't been able to see 17yo for several weeks. 17yo also begged to be removed from the situation temporarily so that he could cool off and get away from his brother's mouth before something worse happened. Remember, these are big boys, man sized boys, and dad was worried about everyone's safety.

    Mom always comes up with some reason why 17yo can't come for visitation, because she really wants us to take difficult child back into our home, or at least 'share custody' of difficult child to take some of the strain off of her. And again, 17yo will not cross his mom and would rather forego visitation that create more problems, so we have had to accept that.

    We have tried to help difficult child at various times, but after the last situation in December when he was using drugs in the house, we said no more. Dad has offered to help mom remove difficult child from her house if she needs him to, but she thinks it is wrong to kick him out when he has no money, job, car or place to go. So she tries to manage each situation as it comes up, often by punishing 17yo if there is an altercation between the two, because she has no consequences to give difficult child.

    It is a very difficult situation to be in.

    Again, thanks for your input, susiestar.