My grandaughter (Z) will be 4 in Dec. Mom & Dad have lived together off and on.Mom(L)has commitment issuses & finally asked my son(J)to marry her 5/04. Mom(L) sleeps with Z most every night(and has for a very long time), and rarely with dad(J). L has seen a psycologist a few times (under pressure & not on regular basis) for anxiety & ?? marriage, & J has attended with her twice, at her request. On these occasions he discussed the sleeping problem, but psychologist has not offered any real guidance. The child Z, does have coughing and sinus problems which she takes meds routinely. But now, when it's time for bed she starts to cry and says, "I'm sick, I feel very bad, I have a bad cough, I need some medicine" (and then fakes a cough), "I'm scared, I had a bad dream" (even before she's been to sleep). This behavior had been mostly at bedtime, but now has progressed to anytime she is corrected or doesn't get her way. Dad(J) insisted Mom(L) stop sleeping with their daughter. Mom says she doesn't want to change and will not change, "it's just a part of parenting." With L refusing to change, J told her either she needed to move out or he would. She quickly made the decision she would leave and the next day was checking listings for apartments and plans to move into a 1 bedroom on Oct 1, (L) says she will sleep on the couch. In the mean time dad(J) is living at my house with Z staying over several nights a week.
Below is another behavior she has had for quite some time (prior to seperation this month). Z can be happy, playing, and belly laughing, until mom(L) comes home. She then becomes bratty, whiny, talks back, doesn't want to listen. This behavior also occurs when mom is with her and then someone else walks into the room. Otherwise she has always been a very loving and well behaved child.
Mom also wants "control" in making custody schedule. Any schedule presented with equal time is quickly rejected.
Z does have real sinus problems.
Is mom sleeping with her daughter causing her to also "fake illness" and display this manipulative "bratty" behavior?
Would it benefit or hurt Z if dad gets primary custody?
It seems the marriage is over (L's decision). What can be done to assure Z good mental health and good sleep patterns?
It may be stating the obvious, but this mother is emotionally disturbed and she is bringing about emotional disturbance in her daughter. Children cannot live under the influence of a disturbed person, and in a household with such marital problems, and have much of a prospect of developing in a normal way. It would be sensible for her father, assuming he is a pretty well adjusted person, to pursue custody of his daughter or, at the very least, ask the court to appoint a guardian ad litem whose job it would be to evaluate the situation and make a custody recommendation to the court.
Who does z sleep with when she is visiting you, and dad is over?
Does she sleep in her own bed? Just wondering.
That would be a very hard habit to break, always having someone there, overly dependent on an adult at nighttime.
I would say the mom getting a one bedroom apartment shows that she really just wants her daughter to comfort HER and two children cannot raise each other. Dad gaining custody as he seems to have more practical sense, and with the grandparents helping out like you are doing, she would probably do better with the mom visiting her daughter at your house supervised.
The child is acquiring medical problems, and they would just increase living with L. She is learning to be manipulative.
Children seem to sense where everyone's weak points are and manuever through them like professionals.
But to stay the course, stand and face each crises calmly, Z
will have a good solid chance to make it through.
I cant help but notice that you are the MIL to the Mom. That the father is your son? I can't help but be a bit suspicious of this, especially when they are getting divorced. Are you sure you are not making a little something into something it is not? I have a lot of bad experince with a meddling Mother in Law, and I know if Her son and I were ever to divorce, she would make up whatever she could to get my children, or for her son to get them.
Sorry, It just seems to me that you are meddling.
You really do sound like my MIL. She keeps a notebook at writes down every timy little thing in it.
It just seems like you know an awful lot. How would you know about Zoe staying in the car by herself? DO you question her a lot about what she does with her mother? Looking for something to use against her? If you can truly say this isnt something Personal, then I wish you all the luck. Just make sure this is truly in the best interest for your grandaughter before you try to take her away from her mother. Perhaps instead you could try to persuade counseling?
We have put up a twin bed in our extra bedroom. Zoe helped put it together. Her favorite colors are yellow and green. My mother-in-law made my husband and I a hand made quilt for a wedding present 30 years ago. It happens to be yellow and green with multi-colored butterflies. She loves it and was excited to put it on her new bed. The first night she slept in it, was a little difficult. When she woke up that night and called for dad, he went to her room. She said she had a bad dream, he told her it was just a dream, rubbed her back and she went immediately back to sleep. The next morning we made a big deal over her success.
In response to MIL
September 22, school closed early due to hurricane, mother failed to pick her up.
Sept 26, drove guy she had meet only 3 weeks ago to airport, through hurricane ravaged area. All exits closed. Z has bladder inf/ poss kidney stone. Unable to stop for potty. Under normal conditions, just the drive 8 hours.
Sept 28, left 3 1/2 y/o in car alone to buy more panties
As stated in the original post, she was in counseling.
We do not question z about her mother.
A concerned customer reported to an employee of a store, they went back outside, saw a fireman in the parking lot. The fireman was standing at the car when mother came rushing out. I admit Z and her mother have a good relationship, and should continue. But, she also has a close relationship with her father. Mother has not been making good decisions lately. She was unable to be reached to take Z out of school for evacuation, many calls to her new cell phone, (disconnected home phone when she got cell), and also not at work that day. Late that afternoon, still didn't know school closed. Doctor's office also unable to reach her to change her medication, severe bladder/kidney infection, not responding to 1st antibiotic. So bad, she has now had a renal ultrasound. My son was seeking joint custody, but since then other problems have come up. Under advice of an MD and lawyer he is now seeking temporary custody. He doesn't plan to keep her away from her mother, but insist she make better decisions and doesn't put the child in danger. Z's health is all our concern and that is why I posted the original question.
I am the mother of 3 children, happily married, and my oldest son still sleeps with us, from time to time. I have read your comments, and find that in the very beginning of your original post, you make a judegement call about DIL "commitment" issues. You go on to mention behavior (whiny, crying) that ONLY happens when Mom around! OK.....my kids do the same thing, as do MOST kids. 1st off, they are ALWAYS better behaved and less manipulative of most anyone outside of their parents. My In-laws and my parents notice this in my children, and my sisters kids. I find you mentioning that to be another way of taking a stab at your DIL. 2nd.....I personally find nothing wrong with a child sleeping with her parents/mom/dad. You however seem to, and I wonder if your son truly has the issue, or do you? Many times my husband and I have taken criticism about our choice to let our childnre sleep with us, and find it to be common in your generation. My goal here is to get you to ask yourself if you are really and truly trying to HELP your granddaughter, or is it to hurt the DIL? Although not a Dr. your grandaughter's behavior sounds pretty "par for the course" at 4 yr. Your notations of the DIL's care.....do not. They sound like negative meddling which can only serve to HURT this situation. A child of divorce myself, both of my parents had enough to deal with in the divorce, and it was severly compunded my "meddling family", which in turn just caused more damage for me and my siblings. I can understand your concern about your GD, I truly do. However, it seems you have a bigger issue with the Mother. Be careful....your involvement in this matter could cause your GD more harm than good. Why not let the DIL and your son work this out? And if behavior is SO out of control as you claim, why isn't your son investigating, instead of you? As a child who has been there, it is best to NEVER try to tear a daughter from her mother. There are long lasting effects that can not be seen yet. Whether you approve of DIL or her behavior, has she TRULY put the child in harm's way? I think you would be shocked at just how many mom's "run into the stroe for a minute" leaving their children unattended. I see it all the time as a Police Officer. Again, please think long and hard about YOUR involvement and how best you can assist your GD. She is going through allot right now, and I am sure your son is not faultless in this either......There are ALWAYS 2 sides! Good luck.......and honestly.....your GD sounds like she is a normal little girl, who happens to be going through allot, and whether you directly, or indirectly say anything about her mother, and your son, she feels it living in your home:)
My daughter is 3yrs old, she does still sleep with me occassionally, but I have gotten her her own bed of which she sleeps in most of the time. We do share a room. But only because I cant afford a 2 bedroom place. Her father and I do not live together. I see absolutely nothing wrong with my 3yr old sleeping with me other than the fact that she hogs the bed, I do prefer her to sleep in her own bed though. Her father still lives with his mother so when she goes to visit him if she sleeps there she generally sleeps with his mom. She also only gives me problems...most children give their mother the most problems and behave for other people. I believe you may be overreating or turning the situation into something it isnt.
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