Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Leg to stand on?

Posted by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 3:17 PM
  • 27 Replies

I have a 13 year old SS and he has some issues. He is a very sweet kid, with a lot of potential, but there are things that he's just not ready for. His mother has had a huge part in why he's behind, she has intentionally held him back for financial gain but now she is treating him like he is able to be responsible beyond his capability. She has 4 other kids besides my 2 stepsons, AND 2 step kids of her own, a 10 yr old with MAJOR issues and a 13 yr old that doesn't seem to help out. BM expects my 13 yr old SS to watch 5 little kids (ages: 10,5,4,4,3) that all have a disability, by himself or with my other SS, who is 10, but isn't mature enough for this task either. 

I'm wondering if there's something my husband can do. I know that he can't control what she chooses to have the kids do at her house within reason, but I'm worried that something bad might happen due to lack of adult supervision and I don't think my stepsons should have that responsibility hanging over their heads. Is there a legal angle that could be taken? I know that 13 is legal to babysit now, which I think is ridiculous, but there has to be something that says that the kids have the be capable to handle the task as well, not just old enough. 

My StepSons mother is there, along with her husband, however, they're are asleep and apparently lock their bedroom door and my SS's don't think that they can disturb the adults.

Anyone have any answers?

by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 3:17 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
sara82lee
by Bronze Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 3:44 PM
Personally I think you have nothing. Aside from some other evidence that custody should be changed to combine with that, and short of actually getting a custody change, I don't see anything that can be done. I'm not even convinced that the situation is really that awful - not that she sounds like mom of the year.

Maybe someone else has better ideas than I do, though. Good luck.
jules2boys
by Platinum Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 3:52 PM
1 mom liked this

How about, instead of trying to change a home you have no control over, you/dh enroll SS in a babysitting course and/or a first aide course to give them some lifelong tools to have at their disposal instead of being so concerned over a situation you aren't in and don't know the dynamics of?

Over the years, BF/SM have strongly disagreed with my choices of how 'mature' the boys are and the responsibility I've let them try on their own.  I've felt they were ready to branch out, BF/SM did not.  I didn't change anything for them.  They still held the boys down, treating them as much less mature than I feel they truly are.  Doesn't make either of us wrong, just different. 

charleyangel317
by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 4:04 PM

I would tell this to an atty and see what they tell you your options are.

minimoo
by Platinum Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 5:28 PM
I think this is great advice.

I started babysitting at 11. Overnight at 12. My oldest is almost 11 right now. Personally, I don't think she quite has the maturity or confidence to be babysitting for long periods of time yet or for other people, I know she's ok to leave for half an hour or so when I have meetings before their bus comes. I will be putting get in s babysitting course when she is eligible, not bc I want her to be responsible for my other kids, but bc they are great life skills to learn and I know she will want to babysit soon.

Quoting jules2boys:

How about, instead of trying to change a home you have no control over, you/dh enroll SS in a babysitting course and/or a first aide course to give them some lifelong tools to have at their disposal instead of being so concerned over a situation you aren't in and don't know the dynamics of?

Over the years, BF/SM have strongly disagreed with my choices of how 'mature' the boys are and the responsibility I've let them try on their own.  I've felt they were ready to branch out, BF/SM did not.  I didn't change anything for them.  They still held the boys down, treating them as much less mature than I feel they truly are.  Doesn't make either of us wrong, just different. 

Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 7:21 PM
1 mom liked this

In our state there's no age requirement for babysitting or being left home alone. The law states that it's up to the parents' discretion.

I would say if your SS is in some type of therapy or counseling for his special needs then your DH should talk with them about whether or not THEY feel it would be safe for SS to babysit.

We've run into this a bit with SD and BM. SD is 13, but 2 years behind her age group in school and developmentally delayed. BM keeps telling her that she can babysit and a few times has told SD she shoud ask DH and I if she (SD) can babysit our other kiddos (DS is almost 11, MDD is 7 and has special needs, and YDD is 5).  SD is not developmentally OK to babysit safely. But, she's in occupational therapy and counseling and both of her therapists agree that SD shouldn't be babysitting.

lovelymomma87
by Bronze Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 7:28 PM

I don't think there's anything wrong with my SS getting educated about how to look after other children, but even with the knowledge, he's still not ready. He doesn't have the mental ability to handle it, plain and simple. He's 13 with the mind of a 9 year old, he can't even take basic care of himself without adult supervision. We are in no way trying to hold him back, I have no concern running into town to do a quick errand for 10 minutes, leaving him home alone with my 2 girls, BUT, my girls have no special needs and can be trusted to not break something when left alone in a room. That's the main issue, he's not old enough or capable enough to handle that many special needs kids. Plus, it's not our obligation to train him for a situation that we aren't putting him in, that is her job and she's not doing it and that seems negligent to me.

Quoting jules2boys:

How about, instead of trying to change a home you have no control over, you/dh enroll SS in a babysitting course and/or a first aide course to give them some lifelong tools to have at their disposal instead of being so concerned over a situation you aren't in and don't know the dynamics of?

Over the years, BF/SM have strongly disagreed with my choices of how 'mature' the boys are and the responsibility I've let them try on their own.  I've felt they were ready to branch out, BF/SM did not.  I didn't change anything for them.  They still held the boys down, treating them as much less mature than I feel they truly are.  Doesn't make either of us wrong, just different. 


lovelymomma87
by Bronze Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 7:37 PM

That's a good suggestion, and I will definitely bring it up to my husband. My SS is in counseling, I think it would be a good thing to have my husband talk to her and get a dialogue going with my SS about this. I wonder though, if she believes that it's not a good thing for him to be doing, could that be enough to get it changed.....

I really don't want to dictate someone elses house, I really don't, I'm just worried about my StepKids, and people that I talk to that know my kids, also believe that this is an unhealthy, inappropriate task to expect these kids to do as well.

I mean, there's not a bedtime when the boys are there, and they're waking up very early to watch these kids, they don't even take proper hygienic care of themselves because they're so involved with this task, they don't think that they can involve adults if there IS an issue and that's scary to me. It's one thing to be watching over siblings, I know this has been a common practice for a very long time, but when older siblings think it's okay to take disciplinary action against their own siblings (i.e spankings, holds, etc) THAT"S not a good situation......in my opinion anyways.

Quoting Tinkerbellmama:

In our state there's no age requirement for babysitting or being left home alone. The law states that it's up to the parents' discretion.

I would say if your SS is in some type of therapy or counseling for his special needs then your DH should talk with them about whether or not THEY feel it would be safe for SS to babysit.

We've run into this a bit with SD and BM. SD is 13, but 2 years behind her age group in school and developmentally delayed. BM keeps telling her that she can babysit and a few times has told SD she shoud ask DH and I if she (SD) can babysit our other kiddos (DS is almost 11, MDD is 7 and has special needs, and YDD is 5).  SD is not developmentally OK to babysit safely. But, she's in occupational therapy and counseling and both of her therapists agree that SD shouldn't be babysitting.


whatIknownow
by on Dec. 30, 2013 at 8:03 PM

I think this is basically a Nunya.

amantonacci
by Platinum Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 8:11 PM

So you're basically just looking for anything you can to try and take moms kids away from her? That's really sad

DDDaysh
by Bronze Member on Dec. 30, 2013 at 8:22 PM

You've got nothing credible, sorry. 

You can think it's negligent all you want.  WE can even think it's negligent.  But unless a child actually does get hurt or they are breaking some kind of law, you've got nothing. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)