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Little pitchers, big ears and absolute idiots.

 
 
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2008 08:07 pm
Mo is my seven year old son. He is adopted.

His best friend is also seven years old and adopted. "Curly" was adopted by his grandparents. Curly has lots of contact with his bio-people, even more than Mo who has more than enough.

Curly is cool, I really like him. I like his parents too. But sometimes they say really nasty, really nasty, things about his bios in front of him.

It makes me very uncomfortable. I would never say anything nasty about Mo's bios in front of him, EVER.

I know our situation is odd but I imagine that people have dealt with their kid's friend's divorcing parents who say nasty things about the other parent.

And sometimes they say nasty things when their kids can hear.

It makes me all achy.

How do you deal with this?

Thanks!
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 1,702 • Replies: 13
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Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2008 08:13 pm
@boomerang,
My sis I deal with adopted my other "baby" sis's first born, in a very dysfunctional environment.

I have no easy answer, but negativity breeds **** that comes back to roost.

You gotta explain it or contain it...
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2008 08:14 pm
@boomerang,
Me, I'd try to work it into a conversation without it being about them.

E.g. "With Mo I try not to get too negative about his bio-parents. Even if they may deserve it he might have difficult emotions to deal with to hear it. It's tough sometimes isn't it? Especially when some of these guys (look around for dramatic effect) are just such deadbeats!"

0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2008 08:33 pm
@boomerang,
Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh....yuck.


But...is Mo bothered?


I think Rob's suggestion is good...but if the people are too blind in that area to actually DO such a dumb thing (which is different from helping a kid understand that the bios couldn't look after him safely, which is something that needs to be addressed over time) then I am not sure if a gentle comment like that is going to help for long.

If you opt for that, and it does work...hoorah.....if not, then I think you need to watch Mo carefully and see if he reacts, and open the subject up for discussion with him if he does, (mebbe do that anyway? but he may not be notcing ita lot right now, but odds on he will in time) and/or speak directly to the other parents, requesting they not do that in front of Mo.




0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Oct, 2008 08:34 pm
My feeling would be to give Curly some place safe to talk about his parents.

Maybe start the conversation with Curly about how bad it makes you feel to hear his grandparents say " blah blah blah" about your parents. That cant be true. What good things are they, or do they, or will they ..e tc.."

Curly may disagree with grandparents totally, but not have any say so nor feel safe in arguing with them. Curly may feel as though they are right, even if he knows other wise.

You cant change grandparents, but you can give Curly more confidence in his feelings about parents by giving him room to FEEL what ever it is he truly feels about them.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 10:22 am
I've been mulling all this over. Thank you all for your suggestions.

The truth of the matter is that this bio-dad is a terrible. He brings drugs into the house and has sex with his girlfriend on the living room sofa. He's 30 years old, lives with his mom and her husband (the kid's adoptive parents), his two kids, his adult brother and a girlfriend all in a one bedroom house.

Then adoptive dad complains about this stuff loudly in front of the kids.

I told him the truth - that if it was my did I'd throw this "man" out. It's a completely toxic environment for Curly and his little brother.

Mo hasn't really brought it up. We're so careful in how we talk about his other-people. We do talk about them though. Thank god I never have to worry about them moving in here!

What a mess.

We're taking a road trip next week which means lots of time for chatting so I might find a way to bring it up to Mo. That way he'll have time to cool his heels before he sees Curly again.....
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 10:37 am
@boomerang,
I'd be concerned about a system that allows children to remain in a family like that.

~~~

While I can understand not wanting kids to be exposed to nasty comments about their birth parents, not admitting that they were/are doing bad things is probably at least as damaging to the kids. That kind of stuff needs to be addressed with the kids.

Children aren't stupid or unobservant, and sometimes they have to know that other adults see the crap as well.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 10:38 am
@boomerang,
So, curly lives with his adoptive parents, WITH his bio parents and their shenanigans all in a one bedroom place?

Or , does he live with adoptive, but just HEAR about bio?

One way or the other , I still think giving little curly a comfortable space to say what he wants to say with out anyone else to correct, change, or influence him may be the best thing . Give Curly space to become confident in how he feels no matter if it is true or not. Bad parents can still be angels in a kids eyes. Great parents can be devils in a childs head. And it doesnt sound like he has room to accept how HE feels about it.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 10:44 am
Curly lives with his adoptive parents, who are his paternal grandparents.

So yes, bio-dad lives with them.

In the house it is bio-dad and girlfriend, adoptive mom and dad, another adult son of mom's, and the two brothers. (Confusing, I know.)

I worry a lot about a system that allows it too, eBeth. I know the grandparent/adoptive parents really do love these two boys. There is no doubt in my mind. But letting bio-dad move back in was a horrible mistake.

CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 10:46 am
@boomerang,
One should never speak ill of bio-parents as it is a direct reflection of the
bio-kid. The kids know who their biological parents are, and ranting about them
in such ill manner will give the kids the impression that they're no good either.

Although my daughter doesn't know her biological parents (neither do I), but
I do know about their life and what happened to them. So far, I have never
said a negative word about them and when Jane is older and can understand
the situation much better, I hope she will not judge her bio-parents nor see a
reflection to herself. Let's face it, there is a reason why we adopted our children
and why bio-parents are unfit to parent, but we have to make sure that our
kids don't feel inferior because of the life their bio-parents chose to live.
On the contrary, we have to ├╝ber-compensate in that regard.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 11:23 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Curly lives with his adoptive parents, who are his paternal grandparents.

So yes, bio-dad lives with them.

In the house it is bio-dad and girlfriend, adoptive mom and dad, another adult son of mom's, and the two brothers. (Confusing, I know.)

I worry a lot about a system that allows it too, eBeth. I know the grandparent/adoptive parents really do love these two boys. There is no doubt in my mind. But letting bio-dad move back in was a horrible mistake.




Yikes...I hadn't imagined it as that complex.

I agree...if bio-dad is that bad he won't be doing the poor kid any good by being there....but I suppose one of the ways he may have got that bad is by having parents who could not say no to him.

And...it IS hard saying your hopeless adult kids can't live with you....one of my little fellers just suffered terribly when his alcoholic mum got herself homeless, and was allowed home by her own mother, who is doing agreat job of raising the little feller. She KNEW she shouldn't do it, and it would turn out terribly, but she felt she couldn't leave her daughter on the streets.

Luckily, the welfare folk are still involved (and I am encouraging them to stay involved for just this sort of circumstance) and put their feet down.

I think it perfectly fine of the grandparents to make it clear they do not agree with their son's choices, but not to vilify him in front of the poor little kid....

I certainly do not think you can be criticizing his g'parents to Curly (that's just mirroring and reinforcing what is already happening, and taking it to a new level) but it would be great if you ever get to be an empathic ear to him.

Do you think Mo ever gets triggered by what he sees/hears at Curly's?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 11:35 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
The truth of the matter is that this bio-dad is a terrible. He brings drugs into the house and has sex with his girlfriend on the living room sofa. He's 30 years old, lives with his mom and her husband (the kid's adoptive parents), his two kids, his adult brother and a girlfriend all in a one bedroom house.

Well, if they raised their first kid to be like this....

I think you can talk to Mo about the situation, but I'd be very hesitant to interfere between Curly and his parents.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 11:37 am
Mo doesn't go to Curly's house.

And he won't be going to Curly's house.

Luckily that isn't really a problem at all. We live a block from school and Curly lives on the outer edges of the district so back and forth visiting doesn't happen.

I usually set it up so that Curly just comes home with us after school and then his mom picks him up when she gets off work.

I used to invite the brother too but it got to where they would gang up on Mo.

I really like Curly; he's a nice kid. I'm amazed that he doesn't seem more discombobulated than he is.

I completely agree CJane that finding that delicate balance is very important. You can't talk bad about the bios but you can't send the message that it's okay to not take care of your kid, either. It's constant and ongoing.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 11:44 am
@boomerang,
Halleluljah.

I oughta KNOWN you wouldn't.
0 Replies
 
 

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