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  #1  
September 6th, 2013, 04:30 PM
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Well she texted me first. A long text about how she is worried about O because last night he had an explosive outburst at her, and then again this morning. She says he was swearing at her, calling her names, self deprecating, and slamming doors. She said he then went to the kitchen and pulled a knife out of the drawer. At this point she called me crying, asking me what she should do.

I asked her if he was calm and she said yes he was in his bedroom. She asked if she should call the police. I said no. She asked if she should take him to school, I said yes I think if he is calm he should go. Because she claimed the whole reason for his outburst was because he wanted to "stay home and spend time with her."

So she took him to school and scheduled a Dr's appt. I was unable to get out of work due to a hellish day today,but I was able to be on speakerphone during the appt. (Eric was on a plane heading back from Atlanta.) She then proceeded to try to make it seem like O is always out of control, that he explodes all the time, and that he threatens his own life constantly.

I interrupt and make sure the Dr knows we do NOT see these same behaviors that she claims to see.

The Dr asks if there is any history of mental illness, and she proceeds to say that she believes DH suffered from depression a while ago. "Oh and I have struggled with addiction, but nothing mental health related." SHE WAS IN THE PSYCH WARD FOR TRYING TO KILL HERSELF!!

So I tell the Dr that DH and I will not agree to any medication until O sees a counselor. BM surprisingly agreed to this.

We have come to the realization that being with his mentally unstable mother is now doing more harm than good.
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  #2  
September 6th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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Oh No! Hugs to you and O! I hope this is the first step to getting him counseling and with you guys more. He needs stability! I hope you can talk to just him and find out what started this incident! Keep an eye on him and call counselors for him. If you tell them a small portion of what happened you most likely will get him seen sooner. Ask his teachers/counselors at school about different behavior on each parent's week. Keep a record!
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  #3  
September 6th, 2013, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by pmdc5286 View Post
Oh No! Hugs to you and O! I hope this is the first step to getting him counseling and with you guys more. He needs stability! I hope you can talk to just him and find out what started this incident! Keep an eye on him and call counselors for him. If you tell them a small portion of what happened you most likely will get him seen sooner. Ask his teachers/counselors at school about different behavior on each parent's week. Keep a record!
Thanks Patty. I cried a lot today for him. To be 8 years old and have so much confusion and pain in your brain that the only way you think you can get your message across is to do this.

It worries me. He told us he was not planning to hurt anyone and he would never take it to school. But my heart is in pain right now. I want that little boy to be happy. I want him to have everything he can possibly have in life.

I want his mother to stop trying to make him sick.

I had actually spoken to the school psycologist yesterday and she is going to try to find some resources for us. It was just a coincidence. I just want someone he can talk to about all this.

I think it's time to fight for more time with us. His time with her is not doing him any good.

I know we all may paint a slightly different picture when we post on a public forum, but I can say- putting it on my life, we DO NOT see the same behaviors that she does. And he has told us he acts right here because he knows he is supposed to.
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  #4  
September 7th, 2013, 04:37 PM
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That poor child. The fact that he doesn't act that way when in your home says alot about her home. Monkey see monkey do. I'm glad you guys are getting him into counseling, hopefully he is able to talk to them about whats troubling him.
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  #5  
September 7th, 2013, 04:58 PM
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Jenn--

I have some thoughts on ways to hopefully get O to open up to you guys. At our house we have a "safe spot". It is on our bed. When we are in the "safe spot" you are free to talk openly and will not get in trouble for what you say. This has worked wonders. We tried the "just tell me and you won't get in trouble" but that did not work nearly as well as the safe spot. I would tell him he is free to talk, text you or Eric is he feels out of control like that and talk to you about what is wrong. Tell him you care about him and his feelings and you will talk to him any time.
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  #6  
September 7th, 2013, 09:31 PM
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Patty- We actually did that tonight.

Backstory- just found out Eric has to fly out tomorrow morning. Texted BM and she actually let us grab Owen for the night. I am bringing him back to her after I take Eric to the airport in the morning then she is keeping him till Sunday.

When we picked him up we asked him if he knew why we were getting him. He said, "Probablky because I have been telling my mom all week long how much I missed you guys."

We talked to him tonight. We told him we are starting whats called an open door policy. We told him any time he is feeling upset or confused about anything, he can come to us and tell him what's wrong. He started to say "Well my mom...I don't want you to tell her what I say it's mean." So we said, "Everything you say to us right now is safe to say. This is a private conversation with us and will stay between us. So he opened up to us tonight.

He told us his mom takes him to her ex's house all the time and the ex makes him to chores all day long like clean his entire house and he pays him money for it and he hates picking up his disgusting tissues that he leaves all over the floor but the ex says he has to do it.

He said he feels like during his week with his mom she always just brings him to his grandmas house. (He slept there twice this week) and that her with his him isnt really spent with him.

He said even when they are both at home, shes always too busy for him and he asks her to play with him and she says no.

He said he was angry at her this week because he missed us a lot.

He said when he is at our house he feels happy and everything is okay. But when he is at his moms house he just feels so angry with her and he doesn't know why.

I asked him how come we always hear that they yell at each other but he is never angry when he is here and he said, "My mom and I just don't get along that well."


So we had a really good talk with him. I really think he is verbalizing that while he loves his mother and always will, it's not the best relationship. He is angry with her but doesn't know why probably has a lot to do with them never really healing from what happened and her trying to act like it never happened to begin with.

So he's got his birthday party with us the 14th and his birthday the 17th. He is completely fine tonight and very clingy to me.

I hope therapy helps.

When we picked him up BM was being very firm with him which is good for her. She needs to not let him get away with these things. We told him too that the name calling he was doing to her was not okay.

She has taken away all toy guns and all video games involving guns, but Eric and I are not inclined to do the same. Funny thing is we got him a bebe gun for his birthday, and we are obviously going to keep it taken apart and away from him or any bebes unless he is supervised, but we don't think we are going to change our gift. We see no issues at our house, no anger, no attitude, no disrespect. As far as we are concerned, he has earned it here. We just need to help him figure out what's wrong there. And tonight was a good start. I can't wait to get a counselor.
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  #7  
September 8th, 2013, 10:15 PM
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Just a little update. A little short term closure to this chapter.

We took Eric to the airport today, and then I texted her that he fell asleep and we would be there around 10 so he wouldn't miss church. She said she had a headache and wouldn't be getting out of bed to go to church anyway. took this as a sign of her feeling overwhelmed with the situation so I offered to keep him. She agreed.

I think she is having a hard time raising a child with his own feelings and thoughts. It was super easy when he was a toddler, but now it's not just black and white.

She called and talked to Owen this afternoon. And then asked to speak to me. She said she wants to put our differences aside and figure out whats going on with Owen. She said she wants me to be able to be open with her. So I was. I told her that Owen does not like week on week off. I told her that he does not feel angry when he is here. I told her that he said he feels a lot of anger when he is with her and doesn't know why.

So now she thinks he has PTSD. And While I am not one to slap a label or diagnoses on something, I think shes closer with that than with bipolar. I think hes still pissed at her. I think hes finally trading in his guilt for anger and resentment. She tried to say that because she had him so much until he was 6 that they have a closer bond and thats why his true colors show with her. I said, "You and I both know that NO parent wants their childs true colors to be anger and pain. His true colors are a polite respectful young man." She finally agreed that our home was the more stable of the two and he has a mother and a father family unit with us.

We talked about Owen not liking week on week off. Eric and I are going to talk to her, boost her up, tell her how hard shes been working, tell her he needs firm discipline right now, and suggest that we have him more than half the time. If that falls through with no hope of making it work, we will likely switch to a 4-3-3-4 schedule. Being away from Owen for 7 days is very hard. It's gonna suck only having him for 4, but then he's only gone for a couple before he's back. It might help us remain consistent too. If he is with her for a week being manipulative, thats bad. If hes only with her for 4 days before he's back, the values we instill in him are likely to not have worn off in that time.

So hopefully she keeps her end of the deal and remains easy to talk to. I have no problem being civil with her as long as she isn't in one of her moods of "I'm his mom I'm superior."
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  #8  
September 9th, 2013, 06:29 AM
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Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry O is struggling so much, but I am really glad that you have been able to have some conversations both with him and with his mom. I LOVE the open door/safe spot idea (and I might have to implement it at home), and I am really glad that it worked to get O to open up to you guys. I think he is so lucky to have you and his dad to talk to and to be there for him through all of this.

Reading about how he acts at her house versus your house, it has me wondering a little if he might not be modeling behavior he has seen from her in the past? If he seems to be craving attention from her, and he saw how she recevied attention when she attempting suicide, he may just be mimicking that behavior for the desired response. Either way, I am really hoping that a counselor helps! I hope that having someone unbiased that he can jsut talk to without feeling guilty will be a huge benefit for him. And I really, really hope that she come around on the schedule. I hope that she gives you guys more than 50% of the time, for sure, but I also think that if you do the 4-3-3-4 split, you may end up with more time than that anyway. And I REALLY hope that she sees how hard it is for O to go to her ex's house. I can't even imagine!!
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  #9  
September 9th, 2013, 07:17 AM
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Poor O.

As someone with a dss who is mentally ill (and who specifically has/does struggle with violent outbursts, who has pulled knives, etc.), if what she's saying about his behaviour at her house is true, I would absolutely continue to pursue counseling. I would also try to arrange an evaluation for him. I believe you that it doesn't happen at your house and I can certainly see why his time with her would be extremely stressful and why he must have a lot of complex emotions about his mother, but honestly... there's never a time when a child pulling a knife out of a drawer in anger is normal. There just isn't, and it would be doing him a disservice not to at least have him evaluated if that really happened.

Of course, if she's full of crap and she exaggerated the details, that's a lot different - but FWIW, an evaluation never hurts and can really only open up doors for him (if he needs them), be it medication, therapy or just some alternative communication techniques at home. If his mom seems to be agreeable to counseling and to finding some real answers about what's going on, I think that's the best you can hope for given the circumstances.

A more stable schedule would likely do him a lot of good too. I think it's great that he is willing and able to express his emotions so clearly - that's pretty awesome for an 8 year old boy, and I'm glad it's being encouraged with you and dh. It will make it infinitely easier to help him process and heal if you know where he's coming from.
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  #10  
September 9th, 2013, 10:35 AM
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Counselling is a great idea. Going back and forth from 2 completely different household isn't easy for kids. I hope the shorter schedule works better for O.

I just caution you to be careful that O may be manipulating you to some extent. Not saying he for sure is but it's always a possibility. We had issues with my Dh's oldest telling stories to her mom about her visits with us. Some of the stories were completely untrue and others were twisted exaggeration.

It's obviously he gets more positive attention at your house. It's likely that his outburst have nothing to do with mental illness but more to do with needing attention. Often negative attention is better than none.
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  #11  
September 9th, 2013, 10:49 AM
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Barely been back for a couple of weeks and already picking apart my posts. Good to see you, Kris.
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  #12  
September 9th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Barely been back for a couple of weeks and already picking apart my posts. Good to see you, Kris.

WHAT?????

I was responding to Jennifer's post not yours. I didn't even read yours. Way to make it about you
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  #13  
September 9th, 2013, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by LifeToTheMax View Post
Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry O is struggling so much, but I am really glad that you have been able to have some conversations both with him and with his mom. I LOVE the open door/safe spot idea (and I might have to implement it at home), and I am really glad that it worked to get O to open up to you guys. I think he is so lucky to have you and his dad to talk to and to be there for him through all of this.

Reading about how he acts at her house versus your house, it has me wondering a little if he might not be modeling behavior he has seen from her in the past? If he seems to be craving attention from her, and he saw how she recevied attention when she attempting suicide, he may just be mimicking that behavior for the desired response. Either way, I am really hoping that a counselor helps! I hope that having someone unbiased that he can jsut talk to without feeling guilty will be a huge benefit for him. And I really, really hope that she come around on the schedule. I hope that she gives you guys more than 50% of the time, for sure, but I also think that if you do the 4-3-3-4 split, you may end up with more time than that anyway. And I REALLY hope that she sees how hard it is for O to go to her ex's house. I can't even imagine!!
I am hoping we are able to get him more. But I fear that her trying to be buddy buddy with me is an attempt to not lose what she had. What we have right now MIGHT sway a judge to give us more time. But we refuse to put Owen through a vicious court battle. And we don't feel he is in any immediate danger with her, so unless that happens, we just have to try to work with her.

I feel he mimics her a lot. She screams at him so he screams at her. She slams her door at him so he does the same. She doesnt give him respect so why should he respect her?

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Originally Posted by Keakie View Post
Poor O.

As someone with a dss who is mentally ill (and who specifically has/does struggle with violent outbursts, who has pulled knives, etc.), if what she's saying about his behaviour at her house is true, I would absolutely continue to pursue counseling. I would also try to arrange an evaluation for him. I believe you that it doesn't happen at your house and I can certainly see why his time with her would be extremely stressful and why he must have a lot of complex emotions about his mother, but honestly... there's never a time when a child pulling a knife out of a drawer in anger is normal. There just isn't, and it would be doing him a disservice not to at least have him evaluated if that really happened.

Of course, if she's full of crap and she exaggerated the details, that's a lot different - but FWIW, an evaluation never hurts and can really only open up doors for him (if he needs them), be it medication, therapy or just some alternative communication techniques at home. If his mom seems to be agreeable to counseling and to finding some real answers about what's going on, I think that's the best you can hope for given the circumstances.

A more stable schedule would likely do him a lot of good too. I think it's great that he is willing and able to express his emotions so clearly - that's pretty awesome for an 8 year old boy, and I'm glad it's being encouraged with you and dh. It will make it infinitely easier to help him process and heal if you know where he's coming from.
The only detail I know she exaggerated is being fearful about being in the same house with him. You are his parent, he is a little boy, he's not going to grab a butter knife and overpower you.

He showed us how he grabbed it. He picked it up to throw it. Should he have picked up a knife to throw? Absolutely not. Do I feel his intentions were to hurt anyone with the knife? No. Do I think it was a cry for help? Probably.

He will be evaluated as soon as we find someone we all agree on.

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Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
Counselling is a great idea. Going back and forth from 2 completely different household isn't easy for kids. I hope the shorter schedule works better for O.

I just caution you to be careful that O may be manipulating you to some extent. Not saying he for sure is but it's always a possibility. We had issues with my Dh's oldest telling stories to her mom about her visits with us. Some of the stories were completely untrue and others were twisted exaggeration.

It's obviously he gets more positive attention at your house. It's likely that his outburst have nothing to do with mental illness but more to do with needing attention. Often negative attention is better than none.
I hope it works better too. I just worry that him only being with us for 4 days max before he goes back with her will be hard for him. But the shorter time with her will help his transitions.

Bm is very manipulative. Owen has definitely picked up on some of this. I don;t necessarily feel he is manipulating us though. He tries. But he does not succeed. I'm sorry but if he had told me he wanted to stay up until after 10pm to text his favorite mom in the world like he did to his mom last week when he wanted to text me, I would have told him he should have texted her instead of playing video games and it's bedtime.

I thought a lot about this. Her stories and his about his behavior with her are very consistent. They both say that he screams. He yells. he slams doors. He throws himself on the floor crying. He is honest with her and told her last week that he does not act that way here. I feel if he is manipulating anyone, it's his mom. Because we know he can be an amazing, well mannered, well behaved kid here, so he should in theory be able to do that there.

I'm sure it has a lot to do with attention too. She slammed the door on him instead of being his PARENT and talking to him and comforting him. I'm sorry but if your child is having what you refer to as an "emotional outburst," what good can possibly come from SLAMMING YOUR DOOR IN HIS FACE? Step up, grow up, and help him work through it. I think grabbing the knife was a big sign of, "Now she'll pay attention to me!"

Thanks for everyones input. This situation is the last thing I ever wanted to have to deal with. I find myself in tears every time I talk about it. He's been with me since Saturday night and he has been perfectly behaved. He just seems very at peace here. His mom says when he is with her he always seems to have a cloud over his head. I'm sorry that's the son she has because its sure not the son we have.
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  #14  
September 10th, 2013, 12:44 AM
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1- if a child has gone for a knife, comforting him could be dangerous until he has calmed down. If Reme grabbed a knife in anger at me, you can be **** sure I'm grabbing the cats and closing a door. Giving him a hug is not worth a possible stab wound/gunshot wound or hell even a punch.

2- I cannot believe you are still going to give him a gun! I don't care if he is fine at your house, you don't give a child who is showing violent tendencies anywhere a weapon. I personally think that this is incredibly irresponsible on your parts.
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September 10th, 2013, 05:21 AM
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For what it's worth, it can be hard to see it as a real danger when the child in question is still small and can be easily over-powered. It's a much different story when the child in question is the same size as you and in their teen years.

I don't believe O has the level of issues that my oldest dss deals with, but I will say that any level of violence really does need to be addressed as early as possible. A 6 year old boy grabbing his youger brother by the neck is a pretty easily diffused situation; a 120 lb, nearly 14 year old grabbing his brother by the neck is tougher, and frankly, scary. It may be as simple as O needing some anger management coaching in addition to a way to process his feelings about his mom (and I really hope it's that simple) - but until he routinely does not use violence when angry or under stress, I would hold off on things like the gun, personally.
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  #16  
September 10th, 2013, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by plan4fate View Post
1- if a child has gone for a knife, comforting him could be dangerous until he has calmed down. If Reme grabbed a knife in anger at me, you can be **** sure I'm grabbing the cats and closing a door. Giving him a hug is not worth a possible stab wound/gunshot wound or hell even a punch.

2- I cannot believe you are still going to give him a gun! I don't care if he is fine at your house, you don't give a child who is showing violent tendencies anywhere a weapon. I personally think that this is incredibly irresponsible on your parts.

Not picking apart - just adding another perspective. I don't think a child screaming & slamming doors in showing violent tendencies. DD went through a stage like this when she was dealing with the stress of seeing her bio dad. She was younger than O - about 5. She also grabbed a knife once & threaten to kill herself.

She went to a child therapist for 1 hour a week for 1 year. It worked wonders. She is 11 now & completely stable & happy. She doesn't have a mental illness or behavioral issues. She just was a kid dealing with a very stressful situation. I suspect that is the same with O. He just doesn't know how to handle his emotions. And his bio mom doesn't either so she's not equip to help him. Jennifer & Eric can't be with him all the time so he needs to learn some strategies to deal with his mom.

I guess I should have been more specific. I'm wondering if his story is true or he was sneaking to text you & made up this story so as not to get in trouble. It's human nature to go in to survival mode And I'm sure he does learn it from his bio mom. I know my dh's oldest got it from hers.


Quote:
Bm is very manipulative. Owen has definitely picked up on some of this. I don;t necessarily feel he is manipulating us though. He tries. But he does not succeed. I'm sorry but if he had told me he wanted to stay up until after 10pm to text his favorite mom in the world like he did to his mom last week when he wanted to text me, I would have told him he should have texted her instead of playing video games and it's bedtime.
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Last edited by My2miracles; September 10th, 2013 at 10:18 AM.
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  #17  
September 10th, 2013, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by plan4fate View Post
1- if a child has gone for a knife, comforting him could be dangerous until he has calmed down. If Reme grabbed a knife in anger at me, you can be **** sure I'm grabbing the cats and closing a door. Giving him a hug is not worth a possible stab wound/gunshot wound or hell even a punch.

2- I cannot believe you are still going to give him a gun! I don't care if he is fine at your house, you don't give a child who is showing violent tendencies anywhere a weapon. I personally think that this is incredibly irresponsible on your parts.
In response to 1- When she walked out of her bedroom, he was holding it up to throw it. She told him to put it down and go to his room and he did. He was not in a fit of anger when holding it. He was holding it up to throw it. He routinely throws things over there as a way to get his point across.

In response to 2- We routinely take O to the shooting range. It's not like he will have access to this (BEBE) gun without us being present. It's just the ability to teach him gun safety without having to go to the range.

We have to remember that he did not grab a knife and point it at her. He grabbed a butter knife from the silverware drawer to throw it. Should he have grabbed a knife? Obviously no. But I don't think what he did was as severe as if he grabbed a butcher knife from the knife block and pointed it at her.

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Originally Posted by Keakie View Post
For what it's worth, it can be hard to see it as a real danger when the child in question is still small and can be easily over-powered. It's a much different story when the child in question is the same size as you and in their teen years.

I don't believe O has the level of issues that my oldest dss deals with, but I will say that any level of violence really does need to be addressed as early as possible. A 6 year old boy grabbing his youger brother by the neck is a pretty easily diffused situation; a 120 lb, nearly 14 year old grabbing his brother by the neck is tougher, and frankly, scary. It may be as simple as O needing some anger management coaching in addition to a way to process his feelings about his mom (and I really hope it's that simple) - but until he routinely does not use violence when angry or under stress, I would hold off on things like the gun, personally.
I have been on the phone trying to get a hold of counselors, but I got home from work late, and they are all closed. I have a half day tomorrow, so I will try again then.

I know not everyone will agree with the bebe gun. FWIW, Owen has shot a real .22 at least 4 times in the past with us. We are not going to use the gun as a way to relieve anger. We just don't feel like he deserves taking this away because A. We were not there to see exactly how that morning played out, and B. he has been nothing but a model child here. He doesn't even yell here and he yells there every day. I do think it's possible to only have anger when you are with the person who causes it.

Also fwiw, my goal is to get him in to talk to someone this week, before his party, so things CAN change.
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Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
Not picking apart - just adding another perspective. I don't think a child screaming & slamming doors in showing violent tendencies. DD went through a stage like this when she was dealing with the stress of seeing her bio dad. She was younger than O - about 5. She also grabbed a knife once & threaten to kill herself.

She went to a child therapist for 1 hour a week for 1 year. It worked wonders. She is 11 now & completely stable & happy. She doesn't have a mental illness or behavioral issues. She just was a kid dealing with a very stressful situation. I suspect that is the same with O. He just doesn't know how to handle his emotions. And his bio mom doesn't either so she's not equip to help him. Jennifer & Eric can't be with him all the time so he needs to learn some strategies to deal with his mom.

I guess I should have been more specific. I'm wondering if his story is true or he was sneaking to text you & made up this story so as not to get in trouble. It's human nature to go in to survival mode And I'm sure he does learn it from his bio mom. I know my dh's oldest got it from hers.
It's possible he made up the story so I would think it was cute and not ask BM about it. But it's not something that concerned us because he had a great week at school. If he had a bad day after being up that late, I would probably mention it like, "Hey O was texting me after 10pm, just wanted to give you a heads up in case he was supposed to be in bed."



I don't want everyone to think we are terrible people for considering the bebe gun. I will admit, when this situation first happened, I told Eric I think we should return it. But we go to the shooting range often. We are not ones to think that him playing games like James Bond on the N64 or the Wii are going to create a violent child. We do make sure he mixes in Mario and things like that. But the gift we are giving him is a gift that will be used in a controlled environment. We feel he has earned it here. Does he have anger issues surrounding his moms house? Absolutely. But until he shows even the slightest sign on anger here, we don't feel the need to change our gift. We have a gun safe, it will be kept in there, and used only when Eric takes it out and uses it with him, just like the .22 we have now.
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  #18  
September 10th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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Ashley, my response was because it seemed like you misunderstood and thought they were arguing, he grabbed the knife, and she slammed the door. They were yelling, she slammed the door while he was standing in the kitchen instead of talking to him, and he reached down and grabbed the knife to throw it.

Thats when she told him to put it down and go to his room. It was very very clear from both how he showed me and how she showed me that his only intention was to throw the knife.


Just a quick question, mainly because I am curious, and don't know the answer myself. Had he reached down and grabbed a fork to throw instead, would it been seen as dangerous as the butter knife?
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  #19  
September 10th, 2013, 06:47 PM
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Edit: Spoke with Eric just now, after not discussing the situation much since this weekend.

We both seem to be rethinking the bebe gun. I still stand firm that since it would be something we would be in complete control of, and WE feel that it would not be a problem, that would be a decision we could make if BM was not in the picture.

What happens if we go back to court and she brings that up? Probably not worth the risk. Still keeping it in the back of our mind for Christmas, things could be a lot different then. But that being said....

WHAT DO I BUY THIS CHILD?!?! lol
AtomicMama likes this.
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  #20  
September 11th, 2013, 06:13 AM
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No idea on what to buy, but I hear you on the point of holding off in case you go back to court. I hate having to think that way, but it's so true! DH and I often have to look into things as "how would this look if we went back to court?"
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