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Very worried for grandsons mental health

(25 Posts)
TGB70 Mon 02-Nov-20 20:55:41

Our eldest son is a divorced dad with custody of his 2 sons age 13 (DGS1) and 8 (DGS2). For the last 7 years he has been living with a partner who already has 3 boys age 14, 12 and 10 (by 3 different fathers) They also have a son together who is now 6. They were living is a 2-bedroom house which obviously was very overcrowded and unsatisfactory. There have been a couple of times when DS and 2DGS were thrown out and came to live with us before returning to her house. There have also been other things such as her stopping us from seeing the 2 boys if we have said or done something she doesn’t like. The boys usually stay with us 2 nights a week and have done for years (when allowed) We moved to a smaller house a few years ago.
A couple of weeks before the first lockdown we were on holiday and received a text from DS saying that he and the boys had moved out of her house and into ours, so when we got back the boys were in their usual room and DS on a camp bed in the lounge with lots of their stuff all over our house. A few weeks later they were given a place in a local hostel, a one bedroom flat. We saw them every day because they brought their washing to us and it was obvious that, despite the circumstances, they were in there was a lot of affection between the three of them. We formed a support bubble with them originally which he claims is still valid but if she is living in his house cannot now be valid.
She was shielding with 3 of her boys during lockdown (the eldest was sent to live with his parental grandparents about 18 months ago because he was ‘causing trouble’ in the home). Throughout all this time DS continued to do her shopping taking the boys with him to the shops and making them stand (often for over an hour ) outside her house while they talked on the doorstep. He is not working and claims he is her ‘carer’ as she apparently has various health issues!
At meetings with the housing people DS said that there was no way that they would live together again.
At the end of August DS and his boys were assigned a nice 3-bedroom house. The boys were very excited. DGS1 said he was very happy to have left the crowded house as he was being bullied by ‘her’ boys. The boys were promised that they would both have their own room and be together in this new house. DS said that they couldn’t move in until he had the house ready, so they stayed with us. When we took them round the day before they were due to go to back, she and her boys were already there and have not left since, so DGS1 does not have his own bedroom as promised and is still being bullied.
Since then DGS1 has been very angry and unhappy and taking it out on us. It is obvious that they are talking about us in a very disparaging way and he has come out with some very hurtful things - our house is dirty, our house is cluttered, we use ready meals at times, we were stupid to go on holiday a few weeks ago, we are not his real grandparents, nor his dads real parents because his dad is adopted.
GS1 has said that he wants his dad’s ‘loving kindness’ back, he feels that his home has been invaded and that she is making all the rules even though it is his dads house. Whenever it is time to go home from our house, he gets aggressive and has often broken down in tears.
We think that she is using access to their boy to control DS.
As well as this she has a dog that has been left in her house for the past 2 months, in a cage, only being briefly visited a couple of times a day.
It is very, very hard to say anything because we can never be sure what the reaction will be. We feel all the time that we are walking on egg-shells. We don’t know who to turn to for advice and would really like to anonymously report them, at least about the dog, but they would probably blame us anyway and stop us from seeing GS1 and GS2, (who is mildly disables and absolutely adores his grandma) at all.
Sorry for the long post. Any advice would be helpful

MissAdventure Mon 02-Nov-20 21:09:25

First things first. Report the animal cruelty!!!

Callistemon Mon 02-Nov-20 21:15:02

Yes, phone the RSPCA asap.

OceanMama Mon 02-Nov-20 21:20:12

I agree with the others. Report the dog issue. That's no life for a poor dog. Do this first.

MissAdventure Mon 02-Nov-20 21:28:11

You seem very keen to lay blame on "her", but your son is an adult
and complicit in all this.

Perhaps it may be best to talk to him about why his children are treated this way?

I would be telling him in no uncertain terms that he needs to parent his children properly.

Your poor grandsons health isnt going to improve while he is having to live with this selfish pair.

Bibbity Mon 02-Nov-20 21:42:30

Your son is failing as a father. He is solely to blame for this entire catastrophe.
He is abusing his sons and causing the deterioration of his own child’s mental health.
Are social services involved?

geekesse Mon 02-Nov-20 22:05:32

I am staggered that anyone should consider that the ‘first thing’ to deal with is the welfare of a dog when the OP expresses what appears to be well-justified concern for the mental health of a child!

MissAdventure Mon 02-Nov-20 22:07:09

Getting the dog out of the cage that it's shut in is as simple as one phone call.
The rest is far more complex.

Summerlove Mon 02-Nov-20 22:32:03

Agree with bibbity.

I very rarely suggest calling social services, but this could be the time. I might also anonymously report the extra people in his house.

Fuchsiarose Mon 02-Nov-20 22:34:15

Gosh, what an awful lot of witty you have been dealing with over a long time. This is definitely a toxic relationship between DS and DIL. These children are suffering, they are told security awaits them in new house, for it to fall apart. How are they managing to go to school. Do they keep changing schools.? The childrens needs are not being met, as the parents life is chaotic and driven emotionally. Break ups, getting together, break ups. Social services need to know the children have little security. And as for the dog, RSPCA, pronto.

Fuchsiarose Mon 02-Nov-20 22:34:42

Witty meant worry

BlueBelle Mon 02-Nov-20 23:01:14

I agree with Missadventure get that poor dog out of the cage I m sitting her so angry at the thought of that and I m not even a crazy dog person The other is much more complex but yes it’s your son that is at the root of the problem that poor little boy waiting for his own bedroom and a small family unit is pushed right back where he came from in turmoil The boys aren’t hers so why the hack did your son let her move in to his newly acquired house He I m afraid to say is the lynchpin in this sorry story social services need to be involved or your two grandsons are going to be damaged for ever and what about the one they have together. 6 boys of mixed parentage all living under one roof with very inadequate parents is asking for someone to get damaged

jenpax Mon 02-Nov-20 23:03:23

There were a few points I wasn’t clear about and which might have a bearing on things
1) where is the boys own mother? If around does she know what is going on?
2) who owns the house in which the step mother and boys are living? If it’s empty who is paying the bills? are they on benefits and if so do DWP know that she isn’t in her home (relevant if rented)
3) is the property son is in rented to him by the council and how many people are allowed to live there?

Hithere Mon 02-Nov-20 23:39:53

Where is the mother of your gc?

Your son is not putting his kids first and is majorly failing them.

That dog deserves better and is being abused.
Please report it.

Is it even legal for so many people to live in that apartment?

sodapop Tue 03-Nov-20 09:14:29

Succinct post Hithere I agree entirely.

Callistemon Tue 03-Nov-20 14:14:19


I am staggered that anyone should consider that the ‘first thing’ to deal with is the welfare of a dog when the OP expresses what appears to be well-justified concern for the mental health of a child!

That's because the dog will be easy to deal with - an animal welfare association should be able to re-home the poor creature as soon as possible..

It's far more complex and needs far more thought dealing with children and it's not so easy to advise reading one post online and not knowing all aspects of the situation.

Unless you think Social Services would be able to swoop in, take the children away and re-home them in an instant.

Callistemon Tue 03-Nov-20 14:15:11


Getting the dog out of the cage that it's shut in is as simple as one phone call.
The rest is far more complex.

Far more succinct than me, MissA
Well said.

Luckygirl Tue 03-Nov-20 15:32:53

Never mind the grandson, let's make sure the dog is OK..........??????? shock

MissAdventure Tue 03-Nov-20 15:44:51

More a case of "let's spend 5 mins reporting animal cruelty, then we can spend years trying to undo the damage this selfish pair are inflicting on their children".
In the time it took to make this thread, the RSPCA could have been informed.

Madgran77 Tue 03-Nov-20 16:42:47

I think it is your som who is making very poor choices. Can you discuss this with him?

welbeck Tue 03-Nov-20 16:45:57

it's not even easy re the dog, as if it is reported the woman will blame OP and get her own back by stopping all contact with GC, and possibly son too.

welbeck Tue 03-Nov-20 16:46:38

op, ring NSPCC for advice.

welbeck Tue 03-Nov-20 16:50:32

from NPCC website :

Whether you want to report child abuse and neglect, or are worried about a child and not sure what to, we have advice for you. Don't wait until you're certain: if you have any concerns or suspicions, contact us as soon as possible.

Call us or email [email protected]

0808 800 5000

TGB70 Mon 09-Nov-20 14:53:30

I know it has been a while since I posted. Thank you for your responses. I am very grateful. The boys mother is not really in the picture - another long story.

Things have changed a bit but I still have some difficult decisions to make.

lemongrove Mon 09-Nov-20 16:26:53

I would say look to the DGS before anything else, he seems to have an unhappy life.Why has your son’s wife/ partner been allowed to take over the new house?
Could the boy stay with you at least for a while?He is at that age 13, when it’s really important that he doesn’t go off the rails or neglect schoolwork or get in with the wrong crowd, all of which could happen if he is unhappy.
There are no easy answers, it’s a real problem for you.