Gransnet forums


Update re the younger grandchildren.

(19 Posts)
Noregrets Wed 18-Dec-19 08:43:34

Me again. I hesitated to post again here, but decided to do so because I appreciate the kindness shown to me here, and not only by those of you with whom I've exchanged private messages.

There will be some here who will no doubt feel and express a negative reaction. That will say more about them than it ever could about me, so frankly, it won't upset me one little bit.

My concern is for my grandchildren, and the recent contact with them has only deepened the concerns, not just for me, but for my two wonderful older daughters, other family members and friends.

My DH went to pick up the 3 younger children from school on Monday. One had been kept at home with a terrible cough. The other two emerged from school and one of them, who is on the milder end of the autistic spectrum, was very agitated. She shouted out that she wasn't going to come for tea because "Mummy could have been sent away and Daddy sent to prison" because of Granny speaking to the social worker.

My DH dropped her off at home and brought her sister here. She was very withdrawn and uncomfortable. I did say that I knew everyone had been upset including Mummy and Daddy but that I had wanted to make sure the 3 of them were safe, after what she had told me. She nodded, and managed to say that things were better now.

She had a special meal and a special dessert, and ate well. She watched a favourite TV programme, and cuddled up to DH. She would have always done that with me, so I left the room, as I was getting upset. She came to find me to say goodbye, and asked if she could come again on Wednesday.

That could have been politeness or confusion. Her sister, after making a scene outside school, had later asked DH when they were having a sleepover. She also said that her brother had cried because he couldnt come. Poor kids.

My DH later emailed my SIL, who had asked him to pick up the children. He described what had happened and then said that although it had been an uncomfortable experience for him, more importantly, it was much more difficult for the children. Ending by saying that although we will always be happy to see the children, it has to be what they want, not to meet the needs of the adults in their lives, (their Mummy tends to offload their care onto other family members to a huge extent). Therefore DH asked SIL to request others do after school pick ups, to prevent further distress to the children.

I have let the social worker know what the children are saying, and about their confusion. My older daughters have been very angry with their sister for causing the children unnecessary added distress. They share too our concerns that the children will never feel able to confide in someone if the abuse by their father and older brother resumes.

After a heartrending emotional response initially, I am feeling fairly accepting of the situation for myself. I have enjoyed every minute of the huge amount of care of the children for nearly 8 years, but it has taken over my life, and my DH's too. And I'm sorry to have to say it, but no longer having to deal with their parents is something of a relief.

Smileless2012 Wed 18-Dec-19 09:26:07

Thank you for letting us know how it went on Monday Noregrets. I'm so sorry that rather than soothing your concerns they've been increased.

It must have been very upsetting for you and the children, especially seeing your GD cuddling up to your DH; something she would normally have done with you. It must have meant so much to you, when she found you to say goodbye and asked if they could come on Wednesday. Is that today? Are they coming?

After the initial upset at the school, it does sound as if your GD settled down, eating well and asking when they'd be coming for a sleepover.

Both you and your DH are obviously putting the needs of the children before your own and we can only hope that the other adults in their lives, their parents in particular, will do the same.

I'm confused about the suggestion that others pick the children up from school, is that because you think they'd be less distressed if they got used to someone other than their parents collecting them, or because of what's happened with the intervention of SS, it was your H picking them up that distressed your GD?

I don't know what else to say. This is a nightmare situation for you to find yourselves in. It's perfectly understandable that dealing with your D and your s.i.l. has taken its toll especially with the concerns you have for your GC.

I hope you are able to see them soon, possibly sometime over the Christmas holiday

Stay strongflowers x

Barmeyoldbat Wed 18-Dec-19 09:31:57

I have been in a similar situation, I was even asked by Social Services to provide a safe house for all 4 gc when things kicked off with elder gc The GC never wanted to come as it was over an hours drive to school next day, and we were both working. In the end we . stepped back, just kept in contact with my son and left it open for the children to contact us anytime.

It worked, and now years on I look back at how how I was at the beck and call of my dil who would lie to me. The bond with the gc is still there and strong.

I think you have ade the right decision, now go and take a long holiday if you can. good luck.

Noregrets Wed 18-Dec-19 09:38:51

Thank you both. Both the girls were so distressed and scared that I don't think it wise to put them through that again just yet. They are clearly under a lot of pressure from their parents, and I don't want to add to that. Going to take some professional advice I think.
Smileless, we and others have always done nearly all pick ups and drop off, for all the children, especially when it might interfere with their mother going to the gym etc.

Smileless2012 Wed 18-Dec-19 09:43:26

Getting some professional advice is a good idea Noregrets.

It's so sad that the girls parents are putting them under pressure to the extent that they are afraid. I agree that it would be better to give it time before having them to your home again.

endlessstrife Wed 18-Dec-19 10:21:00

I think it’s just about time really. You’ve made a start, and it sounds like you handled it really well. I don’t think you could have done it any better, if you’d been pre warned of the scenario, and had time to rehearse. Children always need protection, no matter what the cost elsewhere. Do you get support from your older daughters? Do they have children? Obviously, from what you’ve said, your husband sounds very good as well. Just carry on going with your instincts, which so far, seem to be right. If everything you do is in the children’s best interest, you can’t go wrong.

FlyingFree Wed 18-Dec-19 10:35:03

Aww, children on the spectrum are very emotionally extreme. Little girls try to hide it so much, especially at school. To me the meltdown in front of hubby shows she actually does feel comfy with him to let out a day's worth of pent up autism traits in his direction! It can be very painful to be on the receiving end though. She has obviously just attached her meltdown to things heard at home. I can see why your daughter might be exhausted and struggling and need support! Maybe she needs to see a doctor? I hope things get much better soon x

Noregrets Wed 18-Dec-19 13:38:08

Hi everyone

FlyingFree, I do appreciate what you are saying, but the other granddaughter was just as distressed, just much quieter about it. And the other is usually completely happy after school.

This morning, the extent of their anxiety has made me wonder about trauma bonding, and the sort of Stockholm syndrome abused children can display. Need to research and think about that.

And now, my DH has received a very conciliatory email from SIL. Not sure what that's about. More later.

Noregrets Wed 18-Dec-19 13:43:32

Just wanted to clarify that the children's Mummy has provided very little care for them throughout their lives. She is fun and caring with them in small doses but leaves much of their day to day care to her husband or their grandparents, and has done since they were born.

FlyingFree Wed 18-Dec-19 15:06:49

Being in an abusive home is just like constantly having your good day ruined. You want to be happy but others are angry or worried or depressed or stressed. That's why we are always positive at school! Children need a place where their happiness is everyone's priority and they aren't constantly brought down with adult issues x

Noregrets Wed 18-Dec-19 15:34:45

OK. We have replied to SILs email re contact over the coming weekend. The children's other grandparents are away or otherwise engaged, which might explain SILs positive approach to us having contact, as no alternative child care is available to them.

We have replied saying that we will be guided by the children's feelings. So DH will pick them up from home at whatever time is chosen, and be guided by the children's feelings re coming to us for a while, and letting them stay at home if that is what they wish to do.

Noregrets Wed 18-Dec-19 16:39:10

Smileless2012 Wed 18-Dec-19 18:22:30

That is the best solution Noregrets, presumably if the children would rather stay at home they'll do so with their parents.

Have you heard nothing from your D? Is it just your s.i.l. you're communicating with?

Madgran77 Wed 18-Dec-19 18:24:09

Noregrets It seems like you are rightly taking one step at a time according to whatever happens at any given time. It sounds like it is going to be a rollercoaster for you, depending on when you are needed for childcare to be honest. And an even bigger rollercoaster for yopur poor grandchildren. Keeping what the children want/feel at the forefront is a very good idea, ...although I suspect even more exhausting for you.

Getting some professional advice seems wise ...what sort of professional advice are you thinking of?

What did the Social Worker say when you told them about the children's reactions?


Noregrets Wed 18-Dec-19 18:50:22

The social worker is clear, bless her, that she can only receive information from me but not share it. I'm thinking that this family situation is so complex, it's best I don't continue posting here.
Bless all of you kept from contact with your GC, but our situation is probably too complex to deal with here

Smileless2012 Wed 18-Dec-19 19:08:23

I understand Noregrets and wish you all the very best for the future.

Stay strong and carrying on being the kind, loving, wonderful and courageous GM that you are. xx

FlyingFree Wed 18-Dec-19 19:11:32

I understand @Noregrets. Best wishes for the future ❤️

SueDonim Wed 18-Dec-19 20:39:24

I don’t have anything of use to say, Noregrets but I wish you all the best in this difficult situation. flowers

Granniesunite Wed 18-Dec-19 20:42:55

Wishing you all you wish yourself and the grandchildren.
Hope the professional advice helps.