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My grandson Harry

(30 Posts)
susie2907 Mon 30-Jun-14 16:12:28

Harry has lived with us, his grandparents, on and off for most of his 14 soon to be 15yrs. His mum and dad divorced, acrimoniously, almost 10yrs ago. His mother has recently met her new partner and is to be married in Aug this year.His dad remarried almost 7yrs ago and has had little contact. My daughters new partner has persuauded my daughter that Harry should live with a parent, and it is to be Harry's choice, except.....he can only choose between his mum or his dad. which will mean a school change either way, his older sisters live with us, they are both over 18. I dont want to upset his mum, but feel this is unreasonable. HELP I NEED SOME FEEDBACK, thanks x

Elegran Mon 30-Jun-14 16:27:35

There is nothing intrinsicly wonderful about living with a parent, when he has spent most of his life so far mostly with grandparents, and his sisters are living with you.

Are you officially the guardians of these grandchildren or is it an unofficial arrangement?

And does he seem a man with whom Harry could form a father-son relationship? Does he want to see more of Harry's sisters too, or is it just Harry?

I wonder why the new partner says Harry "should live with a parent" and not that he would like to have Harry to live with him and your daughter? That would be a more direct way of suggesting it.

It sounds very negative - as thought he does not think that Harry should live with you. How do you get on with him in general?

tanith Mon 30-Jun-14 16:29:19

Harry is old enough for his own views to be considered , how does he feel about the situation? I don't think he could be forced to do something he doesn't want to do, have they even asked him?

rosequartz Mon 30-Jun-14 16:34:12

You say your DD has recently met her partner and is to be married soon. He will not have had time to build up a relationship with Harry, added to which Harry would have to change schools presumably part way through his GCSE years.

Why does this man think it would be better? I would be somewhat wary if he started making demands and trying to control other people's lives; after all he can scarcely know any of you well enough to judge. (But then I have never been any good at being told what I should or should not do, so other people may look at this completely differently.)

Aka Mon 30-Jun-14 16:36:27

Tanith is correct. Harry is old enough for his views and wishes to be taken into consideration.

rosequartz Mon 30-Jun-14 16:37:35

I too agree with Tanith.

annodomini Mon 30-Jun-14 16:39:42

With the upheaval of leaving you to live with 'a parent', the disturbance of changing schools at a crucial phase of his education, and leaving behind the peer group to which he is accustomed, poor Harry could become a very mixed up young man and his progress in school seriously affected. You say his father has seldom had contact, so does Harry seriously have a choice? Does his father want him? What do his sisters have to say about the situation? So many questions to be answered before a decision is made. My sympathy is with Harry.

merlotgran Mon 30-Jun-14 16:46:29

To be blunt. Who does he think he is?

My grandson, Harry, is just 16 and his parents divorced five years ago. He and his brother have always lived with their mother (our daughter) but if DD's partner started dictating where he thought our grandson should live I think Harry would have plenty to say about it.

I agree with tanith. The lad will have enough to cope with in his GCSE years without having to leave the people who have loved and cared for him and change schools.

Elegran Mon 30-Jun-14 16:52:12

I would definitely be wary of a man who wants to make life-changing decisions for a boy he hardly knows. He could be - I can't define him without far more information, but he could be - either someone who wants total control of everyone within his sphere of influence or even someone who wants to have a young teenage boy under his control for his own agenda.

Others have emphasided that Harry is old enough to have his own views on the subject. They should be considered. Can you get legal advice on this? Lawyers offer the first half-hour advice free, so you could get a rough idea of Harry's rights.

Elegran Mon 30-Jun-14 17:07:14

susie2907 What does your daughter say about this?

GillT57 Mon 30-Jun-14 17:19:43

This has to be your grandson's choice and nobody else's, especially a newly arrived partner.Could your granddaughters and Harry talk to their Mother and point out that delighted as they are in her new found happiness, they want to stay together as a family, but would love to visit her and her new husband in their new home? Sorry to be harsh, but children, especially vulnerable teenagers, are not puppies to be boarded out and picked up again when somebody wants to play happy families.

Elegran Mon 30-Jun-14 17:39:47

We seem all to be of the same opinion on this.

I would be interested to know what the boy's mother thinks of the idea. She may have more children with her new partner. Coping at the same time with a teenager she has not lived with for years who has been torn from the home he knows best could be very challenging for her.

TriciaF Mon 30-Jun-14 17:40:03

His older sisters will have their views too.
This perhaps needs a family meeting with a non-involved person to keep the peace!

Eloethan Mon 30-Jun-14 18:01:34

Unless Harry has brought the subject up himself and has been nervous about hurting your feelings, I don't see why this relatively new partner feels he has the right to interfere with what appears to be a happy and settled arrangement.

You say your daughter was "persuaded" that this was a good idea and yet, presumably, she was previously happy for Harry to be living with you. Like elegran, I wondered whether this man has an overly "controlling" personality - not the best sort of person to form a sensitive and respectful relationship with a teenage boy that he hardly knows.

Mishap Mon 30-Jun-14 18:03:54

At this age it would be very hard to make him go anywhere he did not want to, but ideally you would not wish him to have the trauma of making a choice.

Has he stated a preference or does he not know what is in the air? He clearly must be consulted.

However - and here is a big warning - this poor young man does not want to become an emotional football with different factions trying to persuade (and bribe?) him to their point of view.

The way forward is communication - but it may be that some parties might not wish to engage in this.

This new partner has no right to express the opinion that Harry should go to "a parent" - I can understand that he might wish to have him within his own new family unit (well I think I can understand - does he have any idea what an uprooted teenage boy might be like to live with!?) but his expression of a general opinion in this way is one to be ignored I would think.

rosesarered Mon 30-Jun-14 18:05:47

Agree with all others. If you are happy for Harry to continue to live with you, and Harry wants to stay with you, there is no problem. Incidentally, I think it is marvellous of you to have given all 3 grandchildren a home with you, well done. smile

Iam64 Mon 30-Jun-14 18:49:08

Yes, what's the agenda of the man who is suggesting life changes for a boy he hardly knows.
Harry's wishes and feelings must be taken into account by everyone. The difficulty is establishing what they are, and how much weight should be given to them. I'm not suggesting insisting he remains with his grandparents if that is not what he wants, but it's important he isn't unduly influenced. Sending best wishes to you, what a turmoil you must be feeling flowers

JessM Mon 30-Jun-14 19:07:27

I agree. Harry has chosen his GCSE options and is half way through the course. He is very unlikely to be able to do the exact same options in another school.
Even if he could, they may be doing a different exam syllabus (e.g. different books in English or different periods of History)
There could not be a more terrible time to move schools.
I think you should point this out to everyone concerned and if Harry wants to get to know his new step father over the next year he can decide then what to do as he will be 16.
Make an appointment to speak to his head of year in school and they will explain the issues in more detail.

Penstemmon Mon 30-Jun-14 19:10:14

It seems an odd pronouncement. I wonder what the thinking is behind it?

I would certainly have a free consultation with a solicitor ( you often get a half hour slot) who supports the family mediation scheme or CAB to check what the legal position is.

Ultimately the choice needs to be Harry's.

rosequartz Mon 30-Jun-14 19:40:02

As elegran pointed out, I would be very wary indeed in case he has another agenda.

Of course, he could have teenage children himself and would like them to be all one big happy family, but I doubt that it would end up like The Waltons.

Harry is old enough to know his own mind.

sparkygran Mon 30-Jun-14 20:00:50

Harry must make his own decision and what does DD think about all this interference from soon to be husband. Seemingly she had been happy for her 3 children to be brought up by her parents

grannyactivist Mon 30-Jun-14 20:15:32

Odd, controlling behaviour from the new man. In your shoes I'd ask your grandson what he wants and then move heaven and earth to make it happen. If grandson says he wants to live with dad, but dad says no - what will new man do then? If grandson says he wants to stay with you he cannot be forced to leave, so what will new man do then? These are situations that, rightly, should be out of new man's control.

rosequartz Mon 30-Jun-14 20:20:42

Of course, teenagers can be contrary, so he could just think it is a good idea to live with mum and new man. In that case you would have to make,sure he knows your door is always open for him, his room is still there and keep the lines of communication open.

Deedaa Mon 30-Jun-14 23:21:12

I agree with every one here! Another angle is that if your daughter is settling into a new marriage the last thing she needs is a stroppy teenager. There are enough problems to sort out in the early days without adding extra stress. It's a bad idea however you look at it.

glammanana Mon 30-Jun-14 23:44:54

This new man sounds far too controlling after what seems like a short relationship,the time is so wrong for Harry to be moving schools and his friends so hopefully he will have the strength to speak up for himself and let his true feeling be known if he wants to stay where he is. This man sounds as though he could possibly become a problem in the future I hope not for you DDs sake but having been through a divorce with my DD whose XH was a controlling stepfather I would be warey.