Update on my post from a few weeks ago

Reply Sun 24 Jul, 2022 04:36 pm
As I stated in my post from a few weeks ago, my oldest daughter [38f] and her husband [38m] have been bashing my wife [56f] and I's [57m] parenting of our youngest son [13m]. They think that he eats "too much junk food", plays too long on games (he sometimes plays over 7 hours a day), and is too isolated. They've been taking him to their house/family activities (such as hiking or swimming) with their kids [16f, 11m, 9f] 5-6 days a week this summer without permission.

My wife and I decided to ban 13m from 38f's family for a month. We had enough with 38f and her husband pulling 13m away, their disrespect in our fights, taking him to their home without asking, and trying to manipulate him behind our backs.

13m threw a fit and ran to his room, while 38f berated me over the phone. She accused me of “being a control freak”, complained that it would “hurt her kids to be away from their little uncle” and “he has issues that you’re ignoring”, asked if it was “worth tearing him and the family apart”, and ended with “he’ll run to us in the end, no matter what you do.”

I held firm, and told her that we won’t tolerate them trying to replace us as parents to him anymore. To prevent any contact between them, I blocked 38f's family on 13m’s phone and social media (though he could add them back after it ends) and had 38f and her husband hand over their keys to my house. I then got calls and visits from my other kids (33m, 31f, 27f, 24m).

33m and his wife [35f] agreed that 38f and her husband overstepped, but thought our priorities need to be helping 13m over reining them in. 31f and her husband [32m] were on 38f's side, and tore into us for the ban. We also banned them from 13m for a month. 27f and her fiance [27m] pleaded with us to make sure that he isn’t cooped up in our home for that time, which we agreed to.

Only 24m hasn't made a comment. However, he and his Brazilian girlfriend [22f] have been visiting 13m every day. They’ve been playing games and watching movies with him, and teaching him Portuguese. 33m, his wife, and kids (12f, 10f, 8m, 6m), 27f and her fiance have also been visiting every other day. 33m and 27f have taken 13m to their houses on the weekends, which he seems to enjoy.

However, it only took 4 days for 38f’s family to violate the ban. On the 2nd night, I caught my granddaughter (16f) sneaking 13m in her car. She begged me to let him see her family again, but I refused. I escorted 16f home, and warned her and 38f’s family that any more incidents will extend the ban to a year.

Overall, 13m has mostly been hiding in his room since the ban from 38f’s family. He only comes out when his other older siblings show up. We're open to 38f and her husband helping out once the ban ends. Again though, they need to respect our authority as his parents if they want to stay in his life.

TL:DR: My wife and I banned our youngest son from our oldest daughter’s family for a month. We’re tired of her taking him to her home without asking and trying to dictate our parenting of him. We had a few fights with our other children over it, but we are sticking by our choice for now.
Reply Sun 24 Jul, 2022 04:51 pm
I think your best bet is to get a family counselor involved in this. Hopefully the therapist can identify the problems and then work with every one to settle this peacefully and happily. Your situation is very complicated, frankly I don't know what kind of advice to offer you.
Reply Sun 24 Jul, 2022 05:43 pm
Yes, I sincerely and wholeheartedly agree with glitterbag. It was exactly what I was thinking. First you and your wife go and explain the situation, then take your 13yo, then invite other family members. Otherwise, it'll be a gong show.

Aside from that, I'm proud of you for taking these measures and standing firm. Good on you and your wife.

Also - how are you spending time with your youngest or is he in his room all the time? Can you take him bowling, play a board game, go golfing, swimming, taking him camping, etc.? It may be that when you three spend more time together you'll create a stronger bond.
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