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What can DH do to make BM understand that her son is unhappy?

Every Thursday when SS goes to school from BM's house, he gets teased relentlessly because he smells. His clothes smell...the best I can describe it is a combo of smoke and mildew. He doesn't have his own alarm there, so he gets up when he is woken and that gives him enough time to get dressed before they leave. School starts at 8, they are 5 miles away and they get up at 7:30. So he doesn't get a chance to brush his hair or teeth or wash his face or eat. He eats a cereal bar in the car on the way. The judge and the attorney say that there isn't enough evidence of anything actually going badly to ammend the visitation schedule. It has gotten so bad he cries and cries when he sees him mom. Everytime she comes to the house, he goes and hides in his room and fights about going with her.


Asked by Anonymous at 6:10 PM on Jan. 27, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • Ohhhh poor baby.

    How old is he? Have you tried telling her how embarrased he is about not being able to brush his teeth and about smelling like smoke?

    What about packing him a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in his backpack and asking his teacher to let him brush when he arrives. I am a teacher and I would allow ANYTHING like that to help our a student!

    If it continues you might could even have a clean change of cloths at school for him. Maybe in his room or in the nurses office.

    As a teacher I would be willing to go out of my way to help a kid that is struggling to fit in because of a parents neglect.

    Sorry he has to deal with this.....

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 6:15 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • You can write a letter with your concerns and send the things for him to her house he needs so he can get dressed. Send an alarm clock and show him how to hook it up and set it up so he will have more time to get ready. I know that sometimes kids also blame the parent when in reality they do have some blame there too. He can wake up and brush his teeth and comb his hair within 30 min I am sure. You can also pack him an outfit to keep in his backpack to wear the next day.

    Answer by gemgem at 6:13 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • Send him there with his own alarm clock, personal hygiene items and maybe pack his clothes in a plastic bag with a fresh dryer sheet....I got teased in school too cause I smelled like cigarette smoke UGH it was torture.

    Answer by amber1216 at 6:14 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • OP Here
    His clothes come from here. She doesn't maintain clothes for him there. We send a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, and a spray bottle (kid has crazy cowlicks!!!) He is 6, has a really hard time brushing his teeth on his own and the dentist has told us not to let him do it since he isn't capable of doing so. They leave at 7:45 for the drive, so has 15 minutes in the AM. We have discussed things with her, written her letters. All she does is cry and say that she is doing her best. DHs offer to agree to a different visitation schedule so that she doesn't take him to school ended up in her attorney attempting to file a motion that she get awarded full custody since DH wasn't keeping up the terms of the existing arrangement.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:18 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • I agree with PP, ask his teacher to get involved. maybe you can leave an extra change of clothes there every week, along with whatever else he needs to have a good day. He could even stop at the nurses office when he first gets to school, if he doesn't want to go to his classroom. I think that is a WONDERFUL idea!
    I would be willing to bet that the school will be more than willing to help, and then they can be a good resource later if you need "witnesses"!

    Answer by christyg at 6:20 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • OP again

    His clothes get laid out the night before on his bed so that he can get to them easily, that is why they smell I think. I am in the process of teaching him how to set his alarm, but he still has a hard time telling time. At home, he gets up at 6:30 and has no problem getting ready for the day. He does everything in a reasonable amount of time with little reminding. I brush his teeth and sometimes help with his hair, but that is the extent of the help he needs getting ready. DH suggested letting him get up earlier and getting himself ready and then her getting up when she needed to take him to school and she said that he would just play around and not do anything productive anyway so what was the point?

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:21 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • For the brushing, once a week won't make much of a difference from a dental standpoint. As long as you are helping him the rest of the week, don't sweat the one day =)

    Answer by christyg at 6:22 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • Well then there isnt alot you can do. He is going to have to learn to live with it or learn to figure it out on his own. It sounds like you have already done all you can do at this point. I would just document everything you can so that when she does take you back to court (and sorry sounds like if shes got a lawyer she probably will eventually) you have everything written down. Ya know? Its sad she wont listen but at the same time maybe she is doing the best she can. Sometimes one persons best isnt the same as what others see as best. You cant change people.

    Answer by gemgem at 6:22 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • Maybe you can meet him at the school. But hide so his mom won't see you. When she's gone go in their and clean him up and change his clothes.

    Answer by lesliekaym27 at 6:33 PM on Jan. 27, 2009

  • Stability is what a child needs. That would be my argument to the court. He could be with you on school days and her on weekends. Why can't she be made to bring him home before school so he can clean up? I had a problem with mold and mildew and my clothes smelled horrible. I carried Febreeze with me. Can you pack that in his backpack or put him some clean clothes in a spacebag that will protect it from the smell. He could then open the bag and get dressed at the last minute and not smell bad. There are traffic toothpaste pads you could pack for him. It's a dab of toothpaste on a finger pad that he can use when he gets to school. That's sad how the judge is letting his self esteem be damaged like that. See if you can get him in therapy and the therapist could plead to the judge how important self esteem is.

    Answer by admckenzie at 6:42 PM on Jan. 27, 2009