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Concerns about Stepdad

(20 Posts)
SupernannyA Sat 18-Jan-14 22:26:52

My 11 year old grandson has been rushed into a relationship where he has a stepdad and new siblings. Stepdad and his family has a far from satisfactory history of parenting and relationships. Grandson is very unhappy and tearful, does not want to go home and feels he is picked on for everything. I am very upset but how can I help him, it is not for me to interfere with my daughter's new relationship but my grandson is my primary concern.

tanith Sat 18-Jan-14 22:35:30

Just being there for him whenever he needs you is the best thing you can do for him SupernannyA, its a hard situation, been there myself and I know I have to bite my tongue every now and then.

SupernannyA Sat 18-Jan-14 22:38:07

Thanks Tanith. What about if you felt violence towards your daughter was part of the picture?

tanith Sat 18-Jan-14 22:45:07

Have you had a conversation with your daughter about the situation? If not I think I would be having that conversation sooner rather than later.

Ana Sat 18-Jan-14 23:01:29

I think we need a bit more information to go on, SupernannyA. Why do you think this man may have been violent towards your daughter? Has she said anything to you about the relationship?

I do understand that your grandson might well feel left out or even picked on in the new situation he finds himself in. As tanith says, just be there for him and keep your eye out for any signs that there may be something seriously wrong.

Nelliemoser Sat 18-Jan-14 23:35:33

It appears that a current pilot scheme where a woman can request to know if a new partner has any convictions for domestic abuse or child protection issues is likely to become law.

If you do have any worries or your Grandson talks about problems do take notice. Don't grill him about it though.

If you are really worried it is abusive, do discuss with children's services. If you mention the man's details they could if they chose to actually do a check on him with the police. They may not tell you but if they have reason to be worried they should be having a conversation with your daughter.

It might be difficult to get your DD to do this though, but its worth knowing about.

grannyactivist Sun 19-Jan-14 00:21:48

Hello SupernannyA and welcome. flowers
Do you live close enough to offer to have your grandson to stay over for regular weekends? You could couch the offer in terms of, 'Just until the family has made adjustments to the new set-up.'
If you suspect domestic abuse then I think you need to have a heart to heart with your daughter and check out your suspicions - quickly.

POGS Sun 19-Jan-14 01:11:52

Super nanny

I absolutely understand where you are coming from. My daughter is going through a divorce and my darling grand child has just met her 'potential' siblings. She is 8 years old and like a lost soul.

What can we do ?????? I read your post and it upset me as I am crying a lot and very fearful of her future. I cannot offer any words of help but I wanted you to know you are not alone, as you will see on other threads. You sound a lovely nanny, my heart simply goes out to you.

glammanana Sun 19-Jan-14 10:44:49

Supernanny Are you able to talk to your DD on a rational basis about suspected domestic violence or is she too wrapped up this new partner to see what is a potenial major problem,I would keep a special watch on your DGS as you will notice any change and in him and deal with it right away,I can tell you if DV is going on your DD will use every excuse in the book to deny it as she will not want to loose face in her new relationship,is she worried about being on her own with her DS ? she may be frightened of admitting she has made a mistake.Take care of yourself as POGS said you are not alone.((hugs)) flowers

JessM Sun 19-Jan-14 11:28:51

In your shoes, if not possible to have a good conversation with the mother, I would not hesitate to ring the school and ask to speak to "the senior staff member in charge of child protection". They will treat your conversation as confidential if asked to do so. If they are reluctant in any way to talk to you say "this is a safeguarding issue". Ask them to make a note in their confidential files that you have raised the issue.
Make them aware that he seems very unhappy since the change in the family and ask them to keep an eye on him and check discretely with teacher(s) without saying why e.g. quiet or not behaving in usual way.
And then keep in touch with them if he does not improve with you.
If stepdad lives in the area they may already be aware of his track record as a parent. (they won't tell you of course)
I would add that my stepfather bullied me and, even more so, my sister - psychological abuse only, but that is also a form of abuse.

Riverwalk Sun 19-Jan-14 12:44:23

That's must be a worry for you Supernanny - let's hope that your fears of DV don't materialise.

As others have said, you can let your grandson know that he always has you to rely on, and do try to speak to your daughter as best way you can.

Why oh why do women go charging into new relationships, before the ink is dry on the divorce, and inflict a 'blended' family on their children.

palliser65 Sun 19-Jan-14 13:10:49

An 11 year old boy who is tearful and unhappy is an alarm call. The step father does not appear from his history to be succesful at relationships. The little boy is vulnerable, bewildered and frightened by the sounds of things. This will have long term effects on his mental health. He will learn to be anxious and untrusting. Please speak to your daughter for her sake and the boy's. Failing that call his school and childrens services and explain your concerns and the child's environment. Can you visit when the stepfather is there and observe the entire dynamic?

palliser65 Sun 19-Jan-14 13:50:49

Just another thought. Are you able to speak to the boy's father and get his view on his son's behaviour? The fact he has been rushed into this relationship will cause him to be traumatised and now to have his confidence damaged by constant criticsm will be damaging. You are right to say he is your primary concern. Your daughter is an adult and able to make her own choices your grandson is a child. I wish you well and sympathise with you in a very difficult situation.

SupernannyA Mon 20-Jan-14 18:22:04

The situation is rather complicated but sharing it on here means it is open for anyone to read and I am scared that it might be traced.

bikergran Mon 20-Jan-14 19:00:41

Supernanny you could maybe PM one or two on here or perhaps PM one that you feel comfortable with, I'm not sure if PMs are stored or can be accessed? hope some, one can help you share your problem.

eliza Mon 20-Jan-14 19:40:38

SupperN I think that it could be an idea to speak to your daughter and let her know how her son is feeling, I am sure she loves him and would want to help to make him feel better--please let us know how things go because I do get upset when hearing stories like this and am hoping for a happy ending smile

palliser65 Tue 21-Jan-14 09:20:46

Hello Supernan I agree with Eliza. Please let us know of outcome. A lot of pressure and worry on you but the boy is the vulnerable one. I am thinking of you all.

Not a judgement on you at all as you have enough to deal with but just a general observation in agreement with Riverwalk. Why is it necessary to traumatise children with a beak-up and then before they have adjusted to that impose another environment and relationships on them?

SupernannyA Thu 30-Jan-14 23:24:20

I would really like to talk detail, things are developing. This is not intended to be insulting but I cannot publish the fully story, this has to be personal. Who has the time to read my full story, is the big question. We all love our grandchildren without bounds but do any of you know the "Dear All Three" letter and have that guilty empathy with the writer?

Anne58 Thu 30-Jan-14 23:38:10

SupenannyA Sorry , I don't , but just bumping this in case there are others here who might be able to help.

Elegran Thu 30-Jan-14 23:55:49

I feel that you must discuss the detail with a professional person who has experience in this field, and who can take it further if it is needed. If this man has a history of bad relationships and parenting, then he is probably known to the social services in his area. Whatever you say will be treated in confidence, and checks discreetly made.

Meanwhile, do all you can to build up your grandson's self-confidence, and let him know that you are love him and will be around to listen to him. Keep lines of communication open with your daughter without ranting about her choice of partner - as you say, it is her relationship and her choice. It is possible that she may see him with different eyes once the initial rose-tinted spectacles wear thin, and she will need you then.