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Complicated Family Situation
January 14, 2020
1:08 pm
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Ailuros
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January 14, 2020
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My boyfriend has two boys, 5 & 7. Their mother died of a drug overdose a few years ago and he didn't have the means to take care of them at the time. His parents helped a lot but wanted money for doing it so he allowed them to adopt his children so they would receive all of the financial benefits. Since then he has gotten back on his feet and during that duration he would essentially babysit his kids regularly but that was really the extent of what his involvement was. We met after all of this and we've been living together for about a year now. His kids come over at least on Sundays and sometimes on a weeknight. His older son has Asperger's but we have no issues with him. His younger son unfortunately has some major issues that aren't being addressed. He is aggressive, obsessed with being the best at the expense of others, shows no real empathy, doesn't listen unless it benefits him, consistently disrespectful, told us that he's a "cat killer" while standing in front of my cat, takes pleasure in others pain, etc. The list goes on and on. We have told my bf's parents for months that he should see a therapist but we are constantly dismissed and told it's just a phase or they don't see that behavior so it must just be something at our house. We have tried punishment, negative reinforcement, positive reinforcement, reward, logic, appealing to empathy, etc. I have read every article I can find on things we can try and nothing makes any difference. The other thing is that the boys mother did drugs and drank while pregnant with him so it's very likely that he was born with some issues Cry. We know he has some of these problems at home but his parents refuse to admit it. We decided to contact a psychology office and see if they can give parenting advice. We were told that unless one of us was the legal guardian that they cannot code it as parenting advice and therefore we would have to pay out of pocket. Obviously we cannot afford $200 an hour. We aren't poor but we certainly aren't that well-off.

There's also a problem because his parents aren't meeting what we would consider to be basic needs for the boys. Their average meals in a day are typically a granola bar for breakfast, a granola bar for lunch, and a frozen pizza for dinner. They don't push healthy eating habits on them because they said they tried but it didn't work so they just don't even really try anymore. They've even told me that they ate cookies for breakfast one day. On top of that they keep the water turned off to the bathroom the majority of the time because of a leak they haven't fixed in years. So typically the toilet is filled with feces and urine throughout the day. Also, they don't have a proper kitchen because they started remodeling it a few years ago and then stopped. Now they use a toaster oven in the basement. My bf's mother doesn't work due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so she doesn't keep up with the cleaning and because she doesn't work, my bf's dad has to work all the time. Therefore my bf's mom is the primary caretaker for the boys. When we addressed even just the food situation with her and how the youngest wouldn't eat anything we make she told us and him that he should just be able to ask us for what he wants and we should make it for him. We have zero support from his parents on anything we try to do. When it comes down to it I feel like we are just free babysitters. We are having no impact on the youngest and he doesn't even like coming over unless he can get his way the whole time. So now my bf is at the point that his youngest will no longer be allowed to come over until his parents get him into therapy. We feel like we've been pushed into a corner. Later today my bf will be calling his dad to tell him. We're fully expecting them to say that he can't see the boys at all then as a punishment to us for pushing back.

Please help. I feel like I'm going insane. I come from a very different family where there is more open communication and traditional family values when it comes to raising children.

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