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Help.. my kids step dad is out of order

Bishop Conkers
post 10.May.2006, 02:27 PM
Post #1
Joined: 6.Mar.2006

Advice time..

I have been sitting on this for what seems like ages, but it infact reared it's ugly head on Monday. (2 days ago).

I am a Brit, have lived in Sweden for 14 years and have tow children with a Swedish girl, we split up 7-8 years ago, and the kids spend a week with me and a week with her and her partner.

I have good contact with their mother, and their step-dad seems like a decent chap, but it would seem this is only on the surface.

Last weekend my son (12) and the step-dad got into a row, it's not important what it was about, but my son slapped him in the face, he says it wasn't on purpose, not that it matters whether it was an accident or not, it was wrong and he knows that.
Anyway, the step dad then grabbed my sons arm and was thrashing him around, shouting and screaming, he was beside himself with rage, my son who is normally so calm and reasoned was so scared that he peed himself. (it's not a problem he has EVER had before.

My ex-wife was the one who called me crying and it took an hour for me to calm her down... my son- he doesn't want to talk about it, and when I questioned him, he started crying too...

The Brit/Father in me wants to do what my dad would have done, go round there and smack six bales of sh1t out of the step-dad, make it clear that if he lays a finger on my son (or daughter) ever again that I will work him over.
The sensible (swedish-ised) part of me knows that this action will result in a police report and serious charges, as well as not really doing anything to help with the problem.
My daughter (9) is more open and tells me everything, rather than bottling things up, she says that the step-dad has never hit them, but he grabs there arms or shoulders and shakes them, and I interpret this as probably as close to a beating as most Swedish children ever get from parents.

My daughter says that when her mum and step-dad have rows, she goes to her room and puts a pillow on her head so she doesn't have to hear them... my son says he goes to his room and reads a book with his walkman on...

I have told them that if this happens again, they do not need to be in that environment, and they can call me, I will come collect them and they can stay with me until it blows over...

But my dilemma... what should I do?

Sensible advice please... simply telling me to go smack the beejeesus out of him is not welcomed.

Conk.
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*Vicis Patronus*
post 10.May.2006, 02:30 PM
Post #2


As always it's easier to give an advice than to actually do it. But I would probably try talking to that guy and look him straight into the eyes and tell him that this better not happen again, and then stare him in the eyes. And maybe say that if this happens again I will have to take action. (he can interpret action in whatever way he wants)
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Edward
post 10.May.2006, 02:32 PM
Post #3
Joined: 26.Apr.2006

I would have serious words with this guy it if he wants to shout at your ex and she can live with that then fine, but your children come first they should not have to put up with that shit. I have a similiar situation and if ant thing like that happened to my child I would feel liking beating the crap out of the bastard. Best advice get legal advice about full custody better to be prepared than unprepared.
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*(capital B) Blondie, Tl F*
post 10.May.2006, 02:35 PM
Post #4


i think you need to sit down with the other party and explain your fears for the kids, go somewhere on mutual ground, find out why he behaves like this i am in a similar position i have a new partner and so does my ex, but if my ex's partner layed one finger on my son i would retract contact until i got it sorted, same with my partner ,he leaves all the disipline with me he knows that if he ever touched my son other than play fighting he would be out!! for whatever reason a child needs to feel safe in their home shouting and the kids being scared will do some dammage, any form of pulling etc is just bullying and you need to nip it in the bud
they have had enough trauma with the splitting of parents as it is they need a safe haven not a battleground see someone legal before its too late
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Aneud
post 10.May.2006, 02:37 PM
Post #5
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 27.Nov.2005

It does sound like a difficult situation and I'd like to start by congratulating you for keeping your head clear and presenting things in a collected manner which further suggests you're balancing your emotional and rational part quite admirably.

Indeed beating sense into him would be dangerous but not only for the potential legal repercusions but because you are at this point providing the calm, peaceful oasis for your children whereas if you engage in violence they'll lose faith in that.

The dad they need to call to get away from conflict is always on top of things and can deal with them rationally, he'd talk rather than shake or scream so maybe that's just what you could attempt. Maybe you could find some one-on-one time with the stepdad and let him know in no uncertain terms that he needs to stop that sort of behaviour. Especially since if I understand right, that can easily qualify as emotional abuse and in Sweden as opposed to other places it's prosecuted -if I have the right info-. If that's so you could subtlely mention that as well, let him know you would not want to resort to that but will be forced to if he can't control his rage around your children.

That's my 2 SEK, hope it helps and again, congratulations on the attitude.
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Mike
post 10.May.2006, 03:10 PM
Post #6
Joined: 14.Mar.2005

Conk, I'm really sorry to hear this news. I hope your kids don't suffer any permanent trauma from this.

The answer to your dilema is quite simple: Never let your kids go to mom's place again without you, unless she dumps her boyfriend. If that means, in practicality, that your kids live with you from now on, so be it. You know it's the right thing to do.

Don't fool yourself with "if this ever happens again" bullshit. You know it will happen again. You cannot subject your kids to being in the same house with that animal another minute. It's your duty to protect them.
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*Kodos*
post 10.May.2006, 03:22 PM
Post #7


Conkers...

My two kronor (sorry beth)...

Gosh...I wish I knew what to say to offer comfort. Your situation sounds absolutely horrific.

As the child of divorced and re-married parents...my perspective is not the most positive. My step-father is an absolute turd. A zero in the parenting department, actually. And he was fueled and inspired by my crazy mother.

Your children are quite young. They have yet to hit the part of their lives when they turn into sulky, unreasonable adolescents. If your ex's partner has such a short fuse now...what will happen when they reach puberty and start to really challenge him?

Do I think taking the step-fester out for a beating is a good idea? Absolutely not. But I do not believe in the "one-time" only bit. If he has shaken your children, screamed at them or abused them emotionally, chances are he is going to do it again. Sadly, it is just a matter of time.

Your children do not need to grow up in a house of discord. The implications and subsequent effects will be far too damaging to them and will carry through to adulthood, making interpersonal relationships very challenging for them.

If you can pursuade this jackass to seek counseling, that may help. But I'm not so sure. Do I advocate your yanking them away from their mother? Absolutely not. I would, however, issue a firm warning to your ex about this situation.

I am not sure if this blather is remotely helpful. But I will be more than happy to lend an ear whenever you may need it. I feel for you, your children and your hellish situation. Feel free to e-mail me at marniemarnie @ gmail.com. I do not have much to offer other than moral support.

*hugs

/Marnie
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Bishop Conkers
post 10.May.2006, 03:25 PM
Post #8
Joined: 6.Mar.2006

I am a fairly calm and level-headed person, but on the few times that I have lost my temper, it gets ugly... for this reason I do not want to meet this guy face-to-face with the sole purpose of bringing this up. So I sent him an email, this will eaither defuse the situation (if he really is a good guy, but just has some problems right now, or, if he is not so decent, then this should bring the rat out of his hole. Either way, I'll be keeping a close eye on the situation until this is sorted out..

Here is the email I sent to him about an hour ago.. (I have removed thier names):


I have been sitting on this thought for a few days now, I don't want to make the situation between you and I uncomfortable, but I see no way to avoid making the following statement :

I am concerned about the kids being left alone with you when xxxxx(the mother) isn't there.

I demand that you respect the rights my children have as human beings and I will not tolerate any form of physical or psychological aggression towards them.

This point is not up for discussion.

Two strikes and you are out. Have I made myself clear?

Mike

So. that's it... I hope this sorts itself out for everyones best interests, whenever I have met him, he has always been such a nice guy.. the model father it would seem... although my ex-wife says it is more a case that his 13 yr old som from a previous marriage is just sh1t scared of him...

Conk.
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*Vicis Patronus*
post 10.May.2006, 03:27 PM
Post #9


That was nicely put Conker, one can't say that you went to far or anything, at least now you can show that you've tried to deal with the situation if it would go any further. And I swear most people would write in a much more aggresive way. That doesn't mean that you didn't do enough, it just means that you can control yourself.
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*David OL*
post 10.May.2006, 03:28 PM
Post #10


Conk ol' boy, Kangster is correct.

One time is once too many -- they're not his kids and even if they were, he should know better. Tell him to his face that you aren't happy with what has happened and that he'd better stop it at that - otherwise you'll report him next time. Simple, non-intrusive and if that doesn't work, the authorities can step in and help out.

Out of curiousity, what does the ex-missus have to say about all of this?

Hope it works out for the best mate!


Cheers,
David.
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Mike
post 10.May.2006, 03:30 PM
Post #11
Joined: 14.Mar.2005

I mostly agree with Kang, but face it, the step father is not going to change, and the only way to get mom to realize this is to change the conditions of the visitation rights. As long as the kids stay there, nothing will change. Your ex wife will stay with the loser, and things will get worse for your kids.

Tell your ex (not in front of the kids) that the kids are no longer safe in her home, and that she can either kick step dad out or prepare for a court battle.
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Mike
post 10.May.2006, 03:36 PM
Post #12
Joined: 14.Mar.2005

Think about this:

Even if step-dad never lost his temper again, do you want your son to have to see this guy every day, a person who made him wet himself? It's psychological torture.
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*(capital B) Blondie, Tl F*
post 10.May.2006, 03:39 PM
Post #13


i think everyone has made good pointers for you conky,not sure about email though how do you know he hasn't blocked his mail face the retched brute man to man (no violence) or speak to your'e ex firmly but fairly these are you're kids too, , she needs to look at what is going on around her maybe she is so wrapped up in him she can't see the wood for the trees somethings gotta give and you as a dad have to do whats right
as with kangy if you just want to vent out some anger i'm here to listen,, i really do feel for you .zoe [dot] rush [at] ntlworld.com
good luck
/zoe x
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*Kodos*
post 10.May.2006, 03:44 PM
Post #14


QUOTE (Mike)
Think about this:

Even if step-dad never lost his temper again, do you want your son to have to see this guy every day, a person who made him wet himself? It's psychological torture.


Most importantly...this "step-father" is a role model for them. We, developmentally, learn from the actions of our parents and figures of discipline and/or authority. Sadly...any child is going to be programmed to handle anger with aggression if the child stays in such an unhealthy environment and only sees destructive behaviour patterns as a response to an unsavory situation.

I hate to sound melo-dramatic. I really do. It's not my MO, here.

Perhaps I'm so very passionate about it as I have been spending years trying to deprogram myself from the shit I picked up along the way.
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Diana E
post 10.May.2006, 03:47 PM
Post #15
Joined: 4.Sep.2005

The net is NOT the place to get too personal- let me just say that my kids grew up with a horror of father, who promised to 'never do it again.' Women and children who live with men who behave this way are in no position to clearly assess danger and get out of it. It falls to you, the father, to protect your kids, and that means having them live with you. Your ex may appear to be completely rational and on top of the situation, but she isn't, and you have to trust those of us who have lived through this- the hitting gets worse as the kids get older, often times. No emails, no more discussions- kids come to you until Bad Boy is out of the picture.

The worst kind of hell you can imagine is NOTHING compared to having to live in a home where violence happens. Trust me, you don't wanna hear my story, and I don't share it, anyway, but take my word on this issue. It NEVER gets better.
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