PO issue

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Some may recall that difficult child is on probation and I testified in Jan. to the judge about some very personal things regarding my past and family upbringing. During that hearing, difficult child was not in the court room but the PO was, along with the attnys. It was supposed to be closed doors and info was not to be discussed with difficult child or made public. They knew that difficult child was not aware of any of these things.

    Now, this PO has caused me grief before with trrying to tell me to aloow or not allow certain things for difficult child which were way beyond her scope of duty as a PO. Also, she has always had a tendency to blame me for difficult child's trouble. She seemed much nicer to me since that private hearing, but last week she really rubbed me the wrong way.

    First, difficult child talked about wanting M rated games that I would not let him get. She said she didn't agree with that and I should let him have some. Then, difficult child said he wanted his cell phone back (I had taken it away earlier this year for good reasons). She said I should work something out so he can have one. difficult child said he thought I was over-protective. She said she thought I was, too, and that she could understand after all I'd been through (which was heading down the road toward that private hearing/discussion). I kept shooting her dirty looks to try to get her to hush. But she said to me well, you have been through a lot so I can see why you are over protective, but I let my step-sons do these things so I think you should start letting difficult child.

    Would this infuriate you all as much as it has me? Suggestions?

    difficult child wouldn't go to school today. He isn't doing it out of defiance, I don't think, but it might be considered unexcused. The PO will most definitely blame me for it if it is unexcused. I KNOW the message difficult child getting out of this is that the PO won't bback up my authority, if he does something wrong, it will be me that has to pay the price. Unfortunately, if this has to go before the judge again, it will be both of us paying the price.

    One of the things that really gets to me- part of my testimony was about how my family would not back up or even support my decisions regarding difficult child and the efforts I was making to keep him on track. They always seemed to try to get difficult child to believe that the problem was just me. The judge ruled in my favor and agreed that I should keep family away from difficult child or monitor his communication with my mother. (There was more to it to cause that). Anyway, I think the judge got the point pretty well. But this PO is doing the exact same thing. I had called her supervisor before over stuff like this and it was just wasted breathe. The GAL said before that she couldn't do anything about it.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Can you ask to be assigned a new PO?

    FWIW, I don't think you're overprotective. I don't let my 15-year-old have M rated games. Furthermore, it's your house, your rules. If you're not helping difficult child live up to his end of the parole deal, then it's the PO's business, but not what games he has access to.

    Why isn't difficult child going to school today? If it's mood-related, the psychiatrist should be willing to write an excuse for school.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    :grrr:The P.O is completely out of line! No, you are not being one bit over protective. I would be furious!

    Gentle hugs to you.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Her job is to make sure that difficult child complies with the requirements of his probation, not to coparent with you. I would send her a letter advising her that her input regarding *your* house rules is inappropriate and undermines your responsibilities as difficult child's parent. Be specific in your examples (cell phone, video games, what she allows her stepsons to do (are you kidding me????), etc.). CC: Judge, GAL, and her supervisor.

    It's what I would do anyway. Hard enough to parent a difficult child without the interference of someone who doesn't understand the dynamics.

    Oh, and if she's going to blame you for difficult child not going to school, I think a quick call to her this morning asking for her assistance in getting difficult child to school is in order. Share the joy. ;)
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Now compromise is a good thing, but PO is taking this to an extreme.

    If there were reasons to take the phone away then it might be time to evaluate if those lessons have been learned or not, but it certainly does not mean we just decide on a whim what punishments should be discontinued randomly, on a whim.

    Is THAT how she does it with her stepsons? Does she dole out punishments and then take them away when someone else tells her to?

    Give me a break!!
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks all! I just got back from taking him to school. He said he was having sleep problems and getting up is hard and I believe him. The psychiatrist said yesterday he thinks there is an anxiety issue here and I agree (I have one myself and have seen signs of snxiety for a while in difficult child). psychiatrist also ordered a blood draw and included a glucose test on top of the typical.

    I emailed the CM at school and told her he hadn't felt well this morning (he looks like c**p) and explained what was going on. Hopefully, they won't mark it down as unexcused.

    I really like slsh's idea. I think I will do that. Mainly because whether or not my specific choices are the ones she would or wouldn't make is not the point to me. She is the PO, not a family therapist. She apparently thinks that because I come from such a sick, dysfunctional family that I couldn't possibly know how to make a wise parental decision. Never mind that I've been doing it for 13+ years. And she apparently believes it is her obligation or at least option to tell us whether or not each decision meets her approval. I think she should be concentrating on making sure difficult child is compliant with the court order and rules of probation. She knows a therapist is involved so even if she didn't agree with something and was concerned that it might be effecting difficult child, she should be leaving that up to the therapist, in my humble opinion.

    Yes, I think a letter is in order. Thank you!!

    PS. I think her step-sons are younger than difficult child and haven't reached the age where all H**L breaks loose yet- just wait until she's dealing with that! And, I had discussed the game issue with psychiatrist about 1 or 2 years ago. He said the violent games have an impact on kids, even easy child kids, and people just haven't realized it yet because it doesn't show up as a problem until later. Not that it will be a problem with all kids, but that it does impact all of them. And he said with a difficult child, you have to be even more careful. So, I feel comfortable with my approach to this.
  7. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    I don't know about there, but here you can't even buy M games until you are 18. Some stores here even ask for ID. I think if legally they can't buy it for themselves, then it's up to the parent to decide if their child is ready/mature enough to play M rated games. And you know your difficult child better than a PO who sees him once in a while for a limited amount of time. My difficult child was over 13 when I let him get his first M game, and I still remember he walked up with it and said can I have this one, and I looked it over and decided it wasn't too bad and said ok and he still said but it's an M game. LOL I took that as an indication he would be ok with M rated games, since he questioned me allowing it himself. And a cell - I don't think kids really need them until they're 16, it's what I told difficult child anyway. :tongue: If they have reasons to need one - going somewhere there's no other way to contact home in an emergency or some such - maybe. But for general they don't. They're in school all day, and can use the house phone when they get home. Your home, your rules.

    I think that PO is out of line, commenting on things that are out of her purview. Unless the judge ordered him to be allowed these things, there's no need for her to even bring them up. Hope you write the letter as was suggested, and maybe get a PO who realizes they're not family therapists.
  8. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    klmno-I agree with the others. Just on an offshoot though, does anyone have any ideas how to regulate behavior when at friends houses? My ds informed me last night that friend is getting Xbox 360 and getting a mature game that we have not let him play. I don't know if any of this is true, but what if it is? I am sure the parent of the friend is not going to let her 9yo play this mature game, but what about her 13yo? I haven't talked to her yet but am friends with her. I am sure she would understand. But how do you keep the 13yo from playing in the presence of the 9yo?
  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Pooky - just my opinion. You have 2 choices - don't let difficult child go over to friend's house or let him but understand that he will probably have exposure to the game.

    I have never allowed toy guns (not even water guns, mean old me) or swords or war toys. I also have never let the kids watch the vast majority of cartoons. If it wasn't on PBS, they didn't watch it in my home. When their friends have come over, they have to live by my rules too. But, when they go over to their friends' houses, they certainly are exposed to different parenting styles and different rules. I would never impose my rules on another household - but I also have to accept that my kids have played with guns, done nothing but snack all day while rotting their brains on (insert cartoon channel of choice), and other things that wouldn't fly here.

    If it's *really* important to me (I just about flipped out when one of Diva's friend's dad took them to a local bar for Shirley Temples while he did his drinking), then I will not let my kids go to that house.

    Just my 2 cents. ;)
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What happens if you contact the judge about the PO causing problems? Or the PO's supervisor's supervisor?? Keep going up that ladder if she keeps pulling this stupid stuff.

    M rated video games?? When he can legally buy them!! Here at least the STORE and the cashier who sold the game get in trouble if they sell a minor an M rated video game. It may just be a local rule, but every store that I have been in that sells the games follows it. It really chaps the hides of some of the college kids who are not 18 yet at the beginning of the year when they get their loan $$.

    I really REALLY think you need to keep a journal of her stuff. Be as specific as possible as to what brought up the issue between you and difficult child, what you decided, WHY (went WAY over on cell phone bill (over by XXX$$), isnot old enough to buy M rated games, they incite him to be violent, whatever), who brought it up to PO, what PO said, how it undermined your parenting.

    Keep this log for as long as she is there. After every session go up a level over her head. her boss, the boss's boss, that boss's boss, the governor, etc... until someone beats this woman with the common sense stick. She is an idiot.

    I am sorry things are so rough. I hope difficult child sleeps better soon and feel better soon.
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Although I think I understand the situation and sympathize with you, I am not so sure that you should go on the offensive with the PO. With many years experience parenting I have never found a positive result from an action that could harm someone's career or standing. Most of the time there is a basic need to retaliate, to negate the validity of the "attacker"
    (yes, I know it is not an attack but it can easily be seen as one by a defensive government employee).

    in my humble opinion you have every right to express your concerns. I just suggest that you do so in a less assertive way. "The system" is VERY imperfect and children/teens frequently are negatively impacted when a loser employee
    gets involved.

    Perhaps you can share your feelings in a more subtle way. Off the top of my head I would think it best to write something like "following our meeting the other day at my home I was uncomfortable that difficult child might
    believe that your role and my role might be blended" "although, for example, I respect your choice to allow your sons M rated games and cell phone use I have made choices for my son that I also believe to be right
    for our family" "Your deligence in helping difficult child successfully complete the
    terms of his probation really is appreciated. I do hope that he is able to respect you for your position as a representative of the Court without feeling that his Mother is in a diminished capacity for guiding him toward

    Something along that line I think would be of help to you, difficult child and also
    make it subtely clear that you are the Mom. Perhaps others don't agree
    but in the CD family we all share what we think is best...even if it isn't the most popular choice. LOL

    Sending hugs. DDD
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Those are good points DDD. I am mulling it over. I have another "reason" to write a letter, that has nothing to do with any court ordered person doing anything wrong, so maybe I could just add a paragraph in on this subject.

    Susie, documenting this for my own personal files is a good idea, too.

    I spoke with difficult child about it this afternoon and agree that I can loosen the reigns a little since he has matured a lot this past year. However, I told him that when it came to parental decisions that I didn't really care what the PO's opinion was, they are my decisions to make. We will still make every effort to follow her requirements regarding the PO rules. He said he understood and that she wasn't his mother. I let him rent a T rated war game but told him that M was still not allowed yet.

    Pookybear: Based on my experience with difficult child's friends, don't be so sure that another parent wouldn't let a 9yo play these games. difficult child had a friend and his younger brother visit our house when the 2 older ones were about 9 or 10. The younger was around 7 or 8. The boy brought a game and I was shocked to walk into the living room to see the split screen of 2 hunters and it was them hunting each other. I told them to put it up and called the mom, thinking that the boy had taken it from his dad's collection without permission. No, she had bought it for them. Most families are allowing this. When I figured that out is when I asked psychiatrist about it.

    I should mention, at least with my difficult child, when he isn't stable he has looked up assulat weapons on line before, he has done things that could have cost him his life (I call it indirect suicide), and he has swings of depression and mania. It isn't always that I mind certain things when he is stable, but those images are still with him when he isn't stable. Also, it is nearly impossible to revoke that permission or game or other item when he isn't stable if I've already given it to him to keep.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I so totally understand what DDD is saying about the letters. It would probably be a good idea to try it that way first. BUT I strongly feel you need to keep a journal of these things for yourself.

    It is hard to be the parent who CAN'T allow the violent games/videos/whatevers because your child has times when those images can propell him along the road to really doing those things. We had many years of not being able to allow even some of the Disney movies, simply because Wiz would then think whatever was on them was OK in real life. The Three Stooges were a NIGHTMARE for me. husband loves them. But when Wiz was bonking heads together, poking fingers into eyes, etc... cause it was funny on tv, well, it took the fun out of them.

    STay strong, hold to what you know is right for your kid, and hopefully the PO will be out of your life soon. At least difficult child says he knows that you are the parent, NOT the PO.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    yeah, Susie, I'm thinking of just staying calm and when it happens again, just tactfully mention that it's great that it works in her family, but this is the decision I've made for difficult child. If she wants to pursue it further she can. Somehow I doubt that the judge would side with her on this one.