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I can't sleep from the worry of it all

(46 Posts)
dolly Tue 01-May-12 17:37:37

I am so sorry to make this post when i have only just joined recently, but i have no one to turn to as i am embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone i know.

I won't bore you with the intricate and long history behind my problem as i would be writing a novel, but it involves my daughter and her lack of care for my 2 grandaughters.
my daughter, like me, has suffered from depression for a long time. She has 2 daughters 10 and 4yrs old. We live nearby and have been heavily involved with the care of them even though i am disabled with a very painful spinal injury.
Once again we have fallen out because she is neglecting the girls and i just dont know what to do about it. Every time i try to talk to her about it or offer to look after them for her she tells me to stop poking my nose in.
Everything came to a head this morning. We had the 4yr old over for tea yesterday after school. I must add that her and i are extremely close and have that "special" bond. She told me that her teacher rang mummy and said she had to go home for a wash as she had an "accident" in bed the night before and after she had a wash she went back to school. As you can imagine i was mortified. I tried to broach the subject with my daughter who went bolistic and said it was just a one off as she put clean knickers out for her to wear to school and it was my little grandaughters fault for not putting them on!! i explained that se is only 4yrs old and could not be made responsible for it . I have now been threatened with not having access to the children and if i have a problem i should ring social services. i am tortured inside. I really really do not want to do that. The thought of losing the children scares me more than anything in the world. By the same token my conscience keeps telling me it is not right to accept this happening but i have no idea how to tackle it.
My daughter has told me she no longer wants any contact with me at all and any access arrangements are to be made by text to her partner.
Any advice or ideas would be greatfully received.

Nonu Tue 01-May-12 17:41:58

Oh dolly I am so sorry for all your troubles , it sounds awful for you I don"t know what to say, except I feel for you so much

imjingl Tue 01-May-12 17:42:15

How happy are the children. Are they well fed and thriving?

If it's only a cleanliness issue I wouldn't take it any further. If the children are suffering emotionally or physically, that would be a different matter.

dolly Tue 01-May-12 17:44:08

Sorry I spelt gratefully wrong at the bottom

imjingl Tue 01-May-12 17:46:16

Don't worry about spelling! No-one on here I can't spell.

dolly Tue 01-May-12 17:47:14

Thanks Nonu

Hi imnjing
I know the kids love mum very much indeed,but she is becoming very much a jeckyl and hyde person dependant on her moods. Yes, they are fed, but i dont feel they are thriving emotionally

Ariadne Tue 01-May-12 18:01:31

Oh dear, dolly what a dreadful situation to be in, and one where only you can make the decision! There are a lot of people on GN who have a lot of experience in these situations, and I'm sure they will be with you soon. Meanwhile (((hugs)))

Pigeon Tue 01-May-12 18:11:55

Dolly, I wondered whether you feel able to talk to her partner? You could say you want to help but if she rejects your offer you will talk to someone at the girl's school. That way she has an opportunity to let you help before you involve someone else. And by the way, these days the school teachers etc will all be trained in child protection issues and know exactly what signs to look for in terms of any kind of abuse or neglect.

I am reading into what you posted above that this isn't a one-off and you have had concerns before and are now getting more worried. If she doesn't get help, things may get worse and the children will suffer. I think you should go with your instincts and involve professionals. I'm sure they will listen to your concenrs and approach the situation sensitively.

And by the way, you shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed. It seems to me that you are doing your best to help. I'm a new member here too but people seem very helpful and supportive.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do

Stansgran Tue 01-May-12 18:18:17

Teachers usually have extra clothes for "accidents" in infant schools so I think it is a pity the teacher made such an issue of it. I know they can't wash children nowadays so she must have soiled herself quite badly to be sent home. It is worth remembering how cruel even little children can be if a child is whiffy and I think you are right to be concerned as it is all part and parcel of fitting in. it's all a matter of how you speak to your daughter -they can be difficult creatures if they think they are trying their best and failing. Can you make light of such events and if you can buy 7 pairs of knickers all different colours so the little one knows to put on a different colour each day. But at the end of the day a loving gran as a refuge for the little one is worth more than eating humble pie with your daughter. A bit of a ramble but but Ii am writing as I think and I think faster than I type.

Annika Tue 01-May-12 18:20:42

dolly Social services are not just there to take children away from their parents. They also help with support for parents who for one reason or another cannot cope. Their aim on the whole is to keep children with mum.
It has been known for schools to report any concerns they have with any of their pupils to social services and then they can then work hand in hand with the parents.
I know you want whats best all round and you love your daughter, but she is a grown up and the children must come first after all who will speak up for them. I know it is hard to know what to do for the best. I am aware of that its easy for me to give out advice when it is not happening to me or my family. I hope that some of the advice and kind thoughts you get on here are of some help. Thinking of you and sending you ((((hugs)))) flowers

Anagram Tue 01-May-12 18:33:31

stansgran, not all infant schools have the same policy. At my GDs' school parents are routinely phoned/called in if their child has had an accident. On one occasion a boy who had diarrhoea had to go home as he was - apparently the staff are 'not allowed' to help clean them up in any way!

Dolly I do feel for you - and your daughter must be feeling pretty awful too. She is obviously very sensitive at the moment, and of course she doesn't want you thinking she's a bad mother. I do hope you can be reconciled, for both your sakes and those of your little granddaughters. x

Greatnan Tue 01-May-12 18:39:50

Dolly, here on Gransnet there is no hierarchy of members and the newest member is listened to with just the same interest and sympathy as those who have been here from Day One. Your story is heart-breaking and I hope some of the advice you have been given is helpful - speaking to the children's father, if possible, and perhaps asking for an appointment with the head teacher.
One word of caution - one of my daughters sent a letter to the education authority because she was concerned about one of her nephews and wanted to get him statemented. Her sister was having some mental health problems at the time. A year later, someone at the department sent a copy of the letter to her sister. Their relationship has never recovered, even though the intention was just to get help for the child.

petallus Tue 01-May-12 18:46:03

Yes, try and patch things up with your daughter. I think some daughters can feel very upset by what they see as criticism from their mothers.

Some years ago I became aware that I was putting my grandchildren before my daughter in giving kindness and care and the benefit of the doubt. In fact the grandchildren got most of my finer feelings. As soon as I realised this I consciously started to adopt a more positive and helpful attitude to my daughter, who just has her faults like anybody else.

If it were me I would have to be extremely worried before I would call in social services. I think it would make everything ten times worse.

whenim64 Tue 01-May-12 18:46:12

How about apologising for the wobble and saying that you want to be as helpful as you can? She might be quite ashamed and upset herself, and maybe expected you would support her and assume it was a one off on this occasion. (I know you have issues about her being neglectful). I agree with others who think the teacher over-reacted - little ones often need a change of clothing - one of my grandsons had to have fresh clothes on only yesterday when he had an accident - trying to wee standing up but didn't know about the technicalities of putting the seat up and leaning in, so everywhere got splashed! Your daughter will hopefully be more vigilant now, but so far the children have not suffered harm and you are involved in their lives, so maintaining that relationship could be the difference between generaly disagreeing on her standards and involving the authorities.

The bottom line is that, if the children are at risk of serious neglect, you should contact Social Services. If there is room for manoeuvre still, don't involve the aithorities and try to help her.

imjingl Tue 01-May-12 19:00:10

One thing, the teachers at school will be keeping an eye out for them and their develipment.

You still have access, thank goodness, so you can do your bit when they are with you. You could have very small chats with them about how nice it is to always look clean. Even the little one will be able to take it board. You could just say something like "always have a little wash down there if you have an accident in the night, and remember to ask mummy for cleans pants".

Definitely try to keep friendly with your daughter, even if it means an abject apology from you. (Not that you've really got anything to apologise for of course) You really don't want to lose contact with any of the family.

Is your daughter getting treatment for her depression? It is a horrible thing to have.

imjingl Tue 01-May-12 19:01:49

Sorry about spelling.

I did warn you grin

nanaej Tue 01-May-12 19:18:14

So sorry to hear of this tricky and sad situation.
Am horrified that schools are still hiding behind the pretence of 'not being allowed' to change children! I have changed ch on many occasions in school including terrible accidents as result of upset tummies! Not my favourite part of the job but as the head felt I needed to set the example of care for children to other staff members.
Dolly does your GD school have a parent support assistant or similar? If so they may be able to help.Otherwise as your GD is only four is there a children's centre nearby? They may have someone there who can offer advice and support. Agree with others advice to keep relationship with your daughter as positive as possible but if you really think your GC are being neglected you have to act to protect them as well as finding a way to support daughter if she is suffering from a mental health illness. Good luck and lots of positive thoughts to you. flowers

glassortwo Tue 01-May-12 19:27:39

dolly my feelings are that I would try to smooth things out with your DD, she may be feeling vulnerable but unable to ask for help. But if you are on hand you will see that the childrens needs are taken care of. The important thing is that their well being is being monitored. flowers

glammanana Tue 01-May-12 21:56:54

dolly I am sure you have had this reaction from your daughter because she is embarrassed with what has happened today and with the problem she has with depression she feels that she has a lot to prove to people and at the present time is finding it difficult to do so.I personally would not involve child services but keep a line open with the school nurse if you have concerns,your daughter will get over her embarrassment and when her depression lifts then is the time to have a quiet chat with her.In the meantime make sure that her partner knows how sad you feel that things have gone on this occassion and keep the door open to

grrrranny Tue 01-May-12 22:13:46

I think you need, if she will let you, to tell your daughter that you love her and that she is doing a good job with her children but sometimes she might like a little help. You probably have done this but it is so easy when depressed to think that you can do nothing right. I don't think you should approach the school or social services at present as this may blow things out of proportion. Perhaps you could suggest to your daughter, when things calm a little, that the school may have a parent support system (as a previous poster pointed out) that she could contact. I have been all through this situation and know just what a terrible worry it is. Obviously if you think the children are in real danger you would have to act but it doesn't sound as if that is the case from your post.

grrrranny Tue 01-May-12 22:17:15

glammanana Sorry I hadn't read yours - probably posted at same time - because we both said more or less the same thing.

glammanana Tue 01-May-12 22:21:42

grrrranny Great minds come to mind grin

Faye Wed 02-May-12 00:27:13

Definitely agree with glam and grrranny. I can understand your concern that granddaughter had the accident the night before and from what I can gather had not been bathed or had clean underwear put on her before she went to school. It is upsetting but far worse things have happened to children. Could you tell your daughter if she is feeling depressed and unable to cope she can always call on you and that you understand!! flowers

dolly Wed 02-May-12 09:25:35

Thank you so much for all your replies.

I must say that i have offered help and support over and over again and tell my daughter all the time that i love her and care about her and the children. Even though i can barely walk, my husband is a nurse and we have even offered to have them stay for a period of time so she can sort herself out but she never takes up the offer.
I cannot talk to her partner as he is a big part of her problems and quite frankly is useless as said by my daughter on numerous occasions. I do not like to interfere with their relationship issues as i know that is not my place. She wont leave him because she fears being alone. Because she talks to me about these problems it adds to my worries about everything.
I dont think I will contact social services . I might have a word with someone at the school. I didnt think they would talk to me as i am just the grandparent and have no rights

whenim64 Wed 02-May-12 09:50:08

They don't have to have a discussion with you, but you can feed information and concerns to them and they have a duty to act on any concerns. Think carefully about what you want from the school, as any alarmist information is duty-bound to be referred to social services. All child protection/safeguarding training dictates that any wprker in the statutory agencies (school, health etc) must report a concern that a child is at risk on the same working day to their manager, who must act on that information.

Raising a concern that you want to support the children and that mum is struggling is not saying they are at risk.