Dear Dr. Meg,
I’m a devoted reader of yours. I love the advice you give, and I am in desperate need of some now.
I have a four-year-old, and his father and I do not live together. In fact, his father still lives at home with his mom and dad. My son’s father is 30 and he has no—absolutely no—motivation or desire to move out. He is the oldest of four siblings, all two years apart, and they ALL still live at home. They don’t pay rent, and barely help their mother out with chores. She works full-time and is going to school.
My problem is that my son’s father works midnights on the police dept, is in FOP, and some days has court. So, he’s either out or sleeping, leaving the responsibility to his parents to take care of my son when he’s over there.
They spoil him to no end. He can do NO wrong in their eyes. My son comes home to my house and tells me he hates me, kicks me, gouges at my eyes, and tells me to “stop looking at him.” He has a potty mouth, saying things like, “stupid this and stupid that” and “f-ing this and f-ing that.” His grandma has the worst mouth of all, dropping the “F-bomb” just to drop the “F-bomb.” It’s a habit for her.
He tells me he has more fun over there. Well, of course he does; he’s the king of the house. He hates me because I show him discipline. Now I’ve found out that my son sits in the backroom with his 28-year-old uncle playing video games. They all feed him garbage, giving him soda pop and fast food. I have asked so many times for them to not give this to my son, but they don’t care. It’s all adults over there, and they couldn’t care less.
I can’t keep him away from there because his father lives there, and he is granted joint custody through court.
I’m so sad and feeling like the way I want to raise my child is taken from me because of his “other” family.
Thank you for listening,