posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 02:36 PM
How old are the children? I've read all the posts, albeit some of them quickly, but maybe I missed the children's ages ?
I think the problem is your son, OP. Then will qualify that by stating that I'm sure he's doing his best.
However, if two children are aware (as they obviously are) that they can bring a grown man to his knees (as they did) then first of all, it's your
son who has to get help. Otherwise, it's the blind leading the blind.
As you (OP) have formed the opinion the children are inherently 'evil', then it would be best if you kept right out of it for the foreseeable
future. Not intending to hurt your feelings and can understand WHY you consider them evil, but you're not helping .. even though you might believe
you are .. and in fact you may well be exacerbating the situation.
Your son has to get help from UNemotional, intelligent others. Maybe professionals. Or maybe successful parents in the neighbourhood or those he
might know. He needs to get professional councelling, too, so that he's got his own head on straight before any more damage is done.
He may have custody, but that's not enough to make a successful parent. And for sure, these kids need a calm, considered ADULT in charge. So he has
to get himself sorted out and fast, or this is going to end in tragedy.
We know nothing of how the marriage broke down or the circumstance of the final separation and the custody details. But most of us know that even
when one or both parents is a substance abuser, marriages rarely end amicably. Usually, the families get involved to some degree. There is
fault-finding, recriminations, accusations, blame, disparaging remarks made about the 'absent' parent and all the drama of the divorce and custody
and property settlements.
Now, ten to one, your son's children have been privy to some or even all of this. Yes ?
And as the mother is described here as a drug user, we can almost gaurantee that those children have heard you and your son referring to her in less
than complimentary manner. You and your son may feel justified in your opinions of the mother. And for all we know, you may BE justified.
But, to those children, she is their mother. In years to come, they may form the same or even harsher opinions of her than those of you and your son.
But right now, all those kids know is that she's out of their life ... and her place has been filled by your son and you.
Yes, in the long run, the kids may be better off with your son and you. But kids don't think long-term.
All they know is, they're stuck with their father and to lesser extent .. you.
And they're giving it to you in spades, because they can. Because your son falls to the ground when they break his stuff. They're treating him
like a kid, because they can, because he's reacting like one.
I know that sounds cruel. He's obviously at the end of his tether and who could blame him. His marriage has ended and he's stuck with two kids who
won't co-operate and who are hostile. Kids are cruel little beggars, especially when they have the upper hand. They're probably thrilled to have
such POWER over all you adults. They're getting attention for their antics. They know they have all you adults bluffed. And they're getting to
act out the pain, fear, sense of rejection, sadness, confusion that THEY feel over the divorce, loss of their mother, etc.
Beatings, bribes, threats, punishments .. these aren't the prime solution.
What your son has to do somehow is get those kids to want his approval and to shrink from his disapproval. The word we usually use for this is
'respect'. When children seek your approval, you don't have to raise your voice or your arm.
Ok. Whose approval DO you think they might yearn for, OP ? A neighbour ? A local friendly policeman or some other 'good guy' -- a particular
teacher at their current or previous school ? Try to work it out. Try hard. It could be one of the psychiatrists to whom they're exposed. There
has to be someone.
Then, when you find that someone, your son needs to approach that person and ask them to lend a hand. If the children see your son on equal and
friendly terms with an adult they genuinely respect, the respect will .. in their minds ... transfer to your son, also, as in 'Gee, my hero likes my
Dad'. That's Step One .. an 'emergency' stop-gap, basically. The finger in the dyke.
Step All the Way Through is for your son to get some counselling for himself. His own self esteem has to be built up, the sooner the better. He
needs to be taught to be able to step back from the fray and see this situation for what it is .. a couple of kids acting out and determined to punish
the very people who are there for them. And he needs, most probably, some grief counselling. His marriage has collapsed. Never mind the details --
the reality is, this current situation is NOT what he envisaged on his wedding day. It's his worst nightmare. His OWN dreams have been shattered.
And even though it probably had to happen and was inevitable .. and even though he's probably better off out of that marriage than in it --- he's
still grieving, somewhere deep down. And he needs to acknowledge that and get some help to get through it. Until then, he's just as damaged as his
After that, he needs practical help .. financial advice, for example. And maybe he could get to the point where he could pay someone to come in and
attend to basic housework a few times a week. And when he's on his feet, maybe he could pay someone to tutor the kids after school a few times a
week, or on weekends. The benefits in the above are obvious, for both your son and the children.
The reality is this: the kids are there and will be there for years to come. They CAN learn to respect boundaries. They CAN become decent citizens.
This CAN be fixed. Your son CAN make a decent, fulfilling life for himself and his children.
And you, OP, CAN help him with this, but for the moment, it would be better if you did so from the sidelines .. maybe by arranging for someone to
assist in the house, or with tutoring for the children, for example.
As much as your frustration is understandable, it's not really helping the situation .. not really helping your son or his children. Maybe you also
should get some counselling ? Perhaps you never liked your son's wife? Perhaps you were too involved in the divorce and custody issues ?