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My kids aren't getting enough to eat at their dad's house

I have 3 children who are 11, 9 and 6. They go to their dad's house every other weekend. He has recently gotten married to a woman with 4 children of her own though 3 live with her full time and 1 only comes every other weekend, same weekend as my children. So when my children are there, there are a total of 7 children and 2 adults in the 3 bedroom home. Ever since my ex's now wife moved in, about a year ago, my kids complain about how there is just not enough room, my 2 girls share a room with her 2 girls and half the room is used for storage and all 7 children share 1 bathroom (the other is ONLY for the adults) so my kids don't always even get a shower all weekend) there have been other problems like this but I told my kids to just think of it like going camping, it's not ideal but try to have fun anyway. So yesterday I picked my kids up at around 11. My 11 year old DD jumped in the car and asked if we could go get something to eat, that she was STARVING, I said that it was a little early but ok, then asked jokingly "what, did you eat breakfast at 5?" then she said "no, amber (SM) wouldn't give us breakfast because we were going home so why not eat with you. I wasn't supposed to pick them up till 11 what was she thinking. I asked where he dad was and she said he went get the car worked on. Anyway, then they started telling me about how they have been hungry all weekend. They said that at meals they got small portions (and my kids are average build so their not little piggy or anything). They said friday night they got pizza and only got one piece each and nothing else was served ( my 6 year old usually eats 2 and the other 2 probably 3 pieces) when they asked for more they were told to stop being pigs, that the other box was for lunch. I asked them if her kids were hungry too and they said no because they all have their own snacks in their rooms, that is how they do it there but since my kids aren't there when they buy them, they don't have anything to supplement their diets. Well I called my ex but he wasn't there so I spoke to his wife, she said that they are trying to save money to go on a vacation (that my children won't be invited on anyway). I told her that I don't care, my children will be fed properly and if they are not, they will not go over there anymore, I don't care what the court order says, no judge is going to fault me for not sending my children over to go hungry. She said I am welcome to send my kids snacks like her kids have and I said it's not my job to provide food for over there. Well finally, I talked to my ex, he said that his wife is in charge of the food and that no one is going to starve while there so I can't complain. I told him that my children WILL be fed EVERY MEAL that is served until I pick them up, the fact that they were told they weren't welcome to breakfast (at 9 am) because I would be picking them up 2 hours later is crazy to me. I am thinking about letting my kids try 1 more weekend with me sending over snacks for them. I am also planning on having my 11 take a cell phone and telling her if she is 1 time denied food, call me and I will pick them up right away. On one hand, I hate to do this because I will worry about them having enough food but I don't want to have to go back to court again. Do you think it is right for me to give it 1 more weekend if I send LOTS of snacks and give a cell phone for them to call? I called DCF and they said they can't step in because the children are being fed something and as this is the way her kids eat all the time, they aren't going to starve.

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:25 AM on Apr. 11, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (15)
  • Not good. Tell them to keep their snacks hidden in their bags. She should have fed them breakfast.

    Answer by pookiekins34 at 9:30 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Well YOU can and would be faulted for not sending them. What you need to do is go back to court for contempt and say he is not caring for the children while he has them. Document everything. Yes send your dd with a cell and tell her no one else is to know. When she is denied breakfast or lunch again she herself can contact DCF and tell them she is hungry and not being fed. They would come right away. She can also call you right after she calls them. Since its on a weekend she can call the sheriff dept non emergency number and ask for the on call social worker.
    If you do send snacks make sure the kids hide them also. I would tell your ex they have snacks they are not to share, and you have the receipts and will be going back to court because he is unfit and not feeding his kids.

    Answer by gemgem at 9:31 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Ridiculous, I would at least call and ask that a social worker go to evaluate the fitness of the home. You can't refuse to send them if it's court ordered, but ask your 11 year old to keep a journal of what she does at Daddy's, what she eats, what time she sleeps, etc. Don't tell her why, tell her you just want to know what her weekend is like. Send the cell just in case. And yes, send each with lots of healthy snacks.

    Answer by Kimedbs at 9:45 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • I wouldn't send them anymore. But that's just me.

    Answer by TARARENEE at 9:45 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Well, if DCF feels that way, then the courts probably do too. Nice! You could still talk to your attorney to see if you have a legal leg to stand on. In the meantime, I'd talk to the ex to see if he needs names of local food banks to get help w/ groceries. It sounds like they are trying to make a little stretch a long way. And w/ growing children, that's not good. Packing snacks is good too, but could become a problem when warmer weather hits & ants could be attracted to their snack stash. I wish you luck in finding a good solution to this one!

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 9:48 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Do they not want to go at all? Is there anyway that your DH could take them to a hotel or something on the weekends that he has them? This is boderline abuse, and I think perhaps you might need to consult your lawyer,, IDK, but it does not sound like a good situation at all. Hugs mamma!

    Answer by kimigogo at 9:56 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • i wouldn't send them anymore. the stepmom has no right or business telling you she's not in charge to feed ur kids. I would also tell your ex that if they don't start getting fed right they are not coming anymore.

    Answer by chica679 at 10:28 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • How are they allowed to have that many kids in such a small home? I would contact DCF and tell them exactly how small the place is and how many kids are there when your kids are there. As for the feeding issue, have your kids contact the sheriff and let them know they are not being fed. You may have to go back to court to get this straightened out, but isn't that better than having starving kids? Best of luck to you.


    Answer by KateShesGreat3 at 10:43 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • I'd feel so guilty sending them back over there! Just make sure they have their own snacks, and make sure your 11 year old DOES call you if they are still going around hungry. Hope it doesn't happen anymore! Poor kids!

    Answer by lovingmy4babies at 11:04 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • First CPS NEEDS to care about them being hungry, but as long as each child has their own bed he really can't be faulted for space unless it is completely filthy and unlivable. However just from experience i am not advocating getting CPS involved if you can help it. It turns into a HUGE battle eventhough im sure u have nothing to hide he can call them back on you just for kicks. Trust me my stepkids were removed from their mom by CPS but she still would call them on us for fun or b/c my husband "yelled". If someone like her can get them to come running i'm sure your kids being hungry would get them there.

    Answer by Genice6 at 11:06 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

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