Update on granddaughter and 3 year old great grandson


Well-Known Member
It was two years ago that I flew across the country to bring our great grandson home to live with us. His mom was to follow within one or two weeks but it took 6 or 7 weeks and she became unstable on drugs. She was actually paranoid for about 2 months after she did return home. But she stayed away from meth for two or three months and when she started feeling better and seeing friends it started up again. Last Summer she was able to work four or five months before things fell apart. This year she worked about 3 weeks in August and September before being fired for being unreliable and not showing up on schedule.

She has never really stepped up to become the parent again. His dad returned to his estranged wife and our great-grandson has been spending every other weekend with them. They probably spend more time with him than his mom does. She may spend one or two nights a week in our home but when she is here she's not emotionally and physically available to her son. I saw an article about the absent parent syndrome and I think it fits our situation.

This summer she was pulled over twice in one week on drug charges, meth, her drug of choice. It's been 6 months and she's to have court next month and it sounds like the prosecutor is going to offer diversion. Which could be a good thing if it entails her getting to rehab. But without a lot of supervision she will not be able to complete diversion and then she will have a felony on her record. I know she is still using...

For all purposes we are our great grandson's parents. But the only legal paperwork we have is a medical authorization. His mom and dad have never had a court decision on visitation and custody. If one parent would decide to keep him away from us there's nothing we can do at the moment. We have him enrolled in Head Start and this has really helped him and given us some time each day during the week for us. It's got him on a schedule where he goes to bed earlier and also has to get up earlier to go to school from 7:45 to 2:45.

We got him back Sunday evening from his dad's and stepmom's house. When he's there she has weekend visitation of her two boys from a previous marriage. They are seven and eight. Great grandson is three. Sunday night his behavior was way off. He went upstairs for his bath but would not let me take his pants and diaper off. When we finally managed to get the diaper off he had had a poopy diaper. But he would not let us touch him to clean up or get in the tub. We could not get another diaper on him. He hid in his little tent in his room naked, and we gave him blankets. He cried and would fall asleep and wake up and cry more for almost 2 hours. My husband stayed in his room and slept on the twin bed in case he woke up. I did manage to get him to school.

I found out from his step mom's mom, who was there on Sunday afternoon, that he was getting spanked when he had an accident! And I think that's why he fought us because he didn't want us to see the poopy diaper. I called his pediatrician and they printed out information on potty training. We will have to have a big discussion with his dad and stepmom and I wanted to have professional guidelines for them to follow when he's at their house. When Alex came home from school we talked to him about pottying and having accidents and if anyone was spanking him. We told him if he's getting spanked we will make sure no one does it again. He started saying over and over again "you no let anyone spank me Gigi and Papa!" We promised him the spankings would stop.

Tonight is supposed to be his evening with his dad and stepmom. I'm torn on how to handle this. There's also other issues of the seven and eight year old boy telling him inappropriate things. Yesterday he was calling people puta which is Spanish for w****. I told him that was a bad word and he should not say that to people. He says it's okay it's Spanish. The older boys other parents speak Spanish as they're main language. Also, when he got upset about the diaper change he was yelling the f word at us. I have heard his dad use that language when he was living with our granddaughter. I know it's common among young adults but I feel very inappropriate for children his age to hear that especially in anger.he has also used bxxxh and mxxxxxfxxxxx.

I'm sorry this is so long... I tried to catch things up from the past year. We are in our late 60s and 70s. We want his parents involved in his life, we see how estrangement gave our two grands issues when they were in foster care and we eventually adopted them. It just feels like history is repeating itself! Thanks for letting me vent. Any ideas or encouragement appreciated.



This sounds very troubling. He shouldn’t be spanked just because he had an accident in his diaper. That can cause major psychology problems for children. Spanking is to correct bad behavior. I definitely don’t think it’s an appropriate punishment in this case. They can’t yell at him for that.

Emphasize to his dad and stepmom how wrong this is. If he goes in his pants again, maybe he doesn’t get to play with the iPad, or watch his favorite show, or something like that. Reward his behavior when he goes like he’s supposed to.

If he’s deliberately going in his diaper, is it because he’s upset or nervous when he’s with them? At school and when he’s with you or his mom, is he doing it at those times?


When it comes to profanity, he’s just repeating what his dad and stepmom have been saying. He can’t be expected to stop when he hears it from them. They need to be more careful. Tell him how much trouble he might get in if he says those words at school.


Well-Known Member
I agree, Crayola... I wish I had some legal backing. The dad could keep him and even my granddaughter couldn't do anything except to go thru the court system to try and get Alex back. At least we have quite a few professionals that would speak up on our behalf. Early Ed teacher, Parents As Teachers, Head Start teacher and family support worker, and a child therapist at local mental health facility all know that we are his adults and has been for a long time.

He was supposed to go to his dad's for a 3 hour visit tonight, but stepmom was sick, so they cancelled. I called his pediatrician and explained the situation about punishing him for potty accidents. He copied his guidelines for potty training and highlighted and underlined no punishments, positive actions, and if they mess up have them help clean up, put clothes in dirty clothes basket, etc.

We had planned to have our "talk" tonight. But it will wait. I'm going to try and talk to the dad and explain it's his child, and he's responsible for how he gets treated on the visits. And we promised Alex no more spankings. And we intend to stand up for him.



Well-Known Member
He does seem a little slower to he ready for potty training. But he's doing better in the last few weeks. We usually use pullups for at school. When we use training underwear, it's usually when we are at home and I set a timer and use rewards. I think they just st put in trainers and expect him to get himself to the potty. With the older boys there to play with, I'm sure he gets distracted and waits until it's too late. Ksm.


Well-Known Member
He went upstairs for his bath but would not let me take his pants and diaper off
Right off, this put me on red alert. My first thought was somebody is touching him. Part of me said, whew, when I realized it was the potty accident. Gee Whiz. I have potty accidents.
He hid in his little tent in his room naked, and we gave him blankets. He cried and would fall asleep and wake up and cry more for almost 2 hours
OMG, Ksm. This is so upsetting.
he was getting spanked when he had an accident!
This is terrible. I wish I had something smart to say.
There's also other issues of the seven and eight year old boy telling him inappropriate things.
This is terrible!

The thing is. We don't know to what these boys are exposed.

I think your baby is doing phenomenally well. And when you factor in, what he has endured and still endures with his parents, he's a miracle. He is a kind, loving, bright, active, energetic and spontaneous little gentleman who is a joy to everybody around him. I am just so touched his Papa stayed with him that night.

There is the other thing. We don't know how bad those spankings were. Did it cross the line? It's one thing a swat, but he sounds like he was traumatized. He is treated with such kindness and love by you both, he is treasured. I can just imagine how it felt to him, that precious little boy.

I am so sorry this happened.