Family Dispute MI child update


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referring to other post where a valuable both monetarily and sentimentally musical instrument was treated VERY roughly at TG by a child with ODD and some damage was caused. He was not properly supervised. He has been known to be destructive in the past and in fact, broke something at my home in the past.

Re: musical instrument

1. I was able to get a repair person in. A person cancelled and he was squeezing me in. My bill for repairs was less than $200 , but some of that work needed to be done anyway. Certainly not all. It’s not clear cut in other ways as well. Still some slight sound issue. The repairman wants to come back in six month for a thorough check up. Generally speaking, the repair doesn’t look severe. But, there was damage.

2. I told my son the parents don’t have to pay, but I want the child fully supervised when at my house. At all times.

3. The mom was called and told his weekend. I was told she was upset. She was told all the young children have to be better supervised but she seem to “get” that this child needs to be watched at all times.
She offered to pay for the repair and was told it was not necessary. She told my son she would have her son apologize to me in some manner. I am not sure what this means. Maybe a note. Unsure/unclear.

4. I was half expecting to hear from the mother, but no one ever called me. No adult has apologized to me. I’m unsure if this was truly needed, but it would of been nice. My son has verbally indicated and clearly so that he agrees with me and is very concerned about the boy especially how he could hurt his son. But, our son also doesn’t wish to talk about it.

I find myself almost sick with uneasiness at times. I’m concerned for my grandson’s safety mostly. And secondarily, for my property.

I take a tiny bit of comfort that the mother seems to now understand the need for constant supervision.
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the repair doesn’t look severe.
This is beside the point. The damage was the point. Of course the mother was upset. She was probably hugely embarrassed on multiple counts. She was probably pissed on some level she was called on it. She was irresponsible. Knowing her child was destructive, she did not monitor him. She was called on it, because this was the only responsible thing to do.

Nomad. I am unclear why you are upset. You handled this beautifully. Do you want to change the plans for the upcoming gathering? This is completely your right to do. People change course all of the time. You are not obligated. It feels like you feel you are walking the plank. Why go ahead with this if you feel this way? You have a right to take actions (or not) consistent with how you feel.

Do I remember correctly that you have a history of abuse (I do)? The question to be asked, is this. If you feel that there is a likelihood that this child (or anybody) will cause harm to your things, to you, to your loved ones, are you obligated to engage with them or are you obligated to set a boundary to protect yourself?

It sounds like you need to take this conversation further. First with yourself, to hear yourself and your needs, and second with your family to put in place a plan that addresses your needs and concerns.

As far as your grandson's safety, his parents are responsible for that. But then, if you host an event at your home, where you are inviting people who may hurt others, then you could feel that you are in a sense colluding.

If you look at it this way, both your grandson, and you (and indirectly your husband and son, who will be called upon to spend happy time, enforcing security) are being compromised.

You are a highly responsible person and a thinking person. It is hard to walk stuff like this back.
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I’ve mention some things before and I suppose there are some intricacies that would be enlightening...but too much to say here.

But , the child has been violent and destructive. He has hit my grandson and others. My grandson adores him. I am pleased his mom does “seem” to get it now re the great need for constant supervision. But, the boy’s parents tend to not take things as seriously as they should.

My son and husband greatly want the party at my home.

It’s a weird conglomerate of factors to take in.

Right this moment, it would help me if I knew for a fact his parents were taking the need for supervision VERY seriously.

My concerns at this point are:
1. That he will hurt my grandchild, if not now then at some point down the road
2. That he will hurt my property.

If I get a better handle on if the parents are taking this very seriously, it sure would be helpful. If she had called me, this conversation likely would if taken place. Instead, she is avoiding me.

I will have to figure out how to determine her sincerity or speak with her or something. Again, it’s an uncomfortable mix of personalities and circumstances.Perhaps the embarrassment alone, will cause her and her husband to strictly monitor their child while at my home.

Thank you for listening. It’s comforting to hash out these bizarre/concerning scenarios.
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Nomad, remember one thing though. No matter how much you watch your kid, and lets say that he can be watched 90 percent of the time) no child can be watched all the time by anyone and he will still be at risk to sneak away and do damage very quickly. They have more than one kid to keep an eye on too.

I dont think you should not host the party if it would upset your husband and son. Its not worth it. But if it would disappoint them but not anger them then I would consider it.

If not, just remember not to be too upset if this or another kid breaks something. It happens even without the kid being a problem. It isnt possible to watch any kid every moment.

Hugs to you.


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I understand.

I’ve had several of these things at my house now. All with kids younger. Knock on wood, nothing has been broken with the exception of the two items by this one particular child.

I accept things can get broken when especially when children are in the home.
But, his behaviors are extreme and extraordinary. Greatly increasing the chances for problems.

I feel uncomfortable.

We have discussed hiring a babysitter to help.

Or I could hire the housekeeper to watch certain things and then later clean.

One concern is the parents will completely abandon watching the child if they know a helper is there. They can be impulsive and not use the best judgment.

But, I might do it anyway. Have the daughter in law speak with the mother that she is still to watch the child at all times.

Maybe if I have multiple adults watching the child and the property, I have a fighting chance.


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Hi Nomad.

I think that if you decide to host the party you have to be the one who takes responsibility, and not expect that others do so. Why? (I am not saying that anything would be your fault. Clearly these people are problematic.)

You know already a number of things:

You know that the child is destructive of things, and of people.

You know that the parents do not take responsibility to watch him sufficiently.

You know that the mother or father did not follow up to call you whether to apologize or to assure you that they would take responsibility. This pretty much to be telegraphs that they won't. This pretty much communicates to me that they perceive "you" to be the problem.

You know or suspect that your daughter in law and son do not take this as seriously as do you.

You see, you are not going into this blind. You pretty much know the motivations and the limits of each of the cast of characters.

You are making the choice to go ahead or not in a repeat. This is why I say, this is your responsibility. I used to say all of the time in my work: Do tigers have stripes? I would say this when people would complain about the repeated wrong-doings of people in their lives...What I meant to say was, people act from who and what they are. When we have the expectation that they do not, or will not, the issue is our own. To expect a tiger to act as an elephant, is not realistic.

Remember that saying, fool me once....? I mean something like that.

This is your decision.

If you have a repeat of the same circumstances on this second get together, will it have been worth it to you?

Will it be enough for you that you greatly pleased your husband and your son and helped to keep harmony in the family, and helped your daughter in law and son save face? Even if stuff is destroyed and your grandson might be hurt? Only you can decide.


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Thank u Copa. You may have missed my post above I’m seriously considering hiring someone to help watch the child and insist the parents still watch the child. Etc.


Active Member
If hosting the party is important and you have the funds, why not hire a babysitter/shadow to be with the child during the entire event?


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I would not like my kids to be angry over something like this. If you feel the same, you thought of a solution! The housekeeper/shadow is a great idea!

You are not alone in wanting to please your family. I quietly do things sometimes that are not fair to me. I think it is often very worth it especially if it involves my beloved kids and hub. My oldest daughters SO has done many things I dont care for that affected me and, for my daughters sake,I just blow it off. I dont want her and him fighting because I complain about something. I dont mind not always getting in my .02 or always making my point. The peace in my family is well worth it to me.

I guess because there was so much anger in my original family, I dont want discord in my family of choice and taking a few unpleasantries for the team is okay with me. In your situation, I would probably lock up my valuables and bedrooms on top of the babysitter.

Next year maybe you and hub csn spend the holidays out of town :)
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Mini update: Our son called. The mother is definitely taking this seriously. In fact, it seems to be a wake up call. It is shocking to me and I think everyone that it took this long. Nevertheless, she has become aware that she has a highly problematic situation on her hands. Sadly, she is not doing too well emotionally with the realization. (Haven’t we all been there). Sadly, from what we can gather, it has not fully hit the father what a mess this is. I think she has turned a corner, I suspect he still thinks if they just parent him well, get lots of support from grandparents, teachers etc ...all will be ok. Sigh.

Interestingly, my adult g. F. G. was out of control today and very inappropriate with me. She is 30.

These guys are clueless x a million.

Maybe it’s a strong defense mechanism. Denial ...big time.

Having this type of “child” in my own life has been a profoundly painful.

My husband thinks her mini breakdown likely means the boy won’t come. I agree.

But, I agree with Copa and all of you. I have to be greatly prepared. Locked up items, locked doors, babysitter, everyone watching the child...I’ll go overboard in the protection dept.
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You may have missed my post above
No. I did not miss your post.

The thing is Nomad. Nothing you do will insure that this child won't act out or whether or not the parents take responsibility. Like you said, if you hire a babysitter, the parents very well will lay back and have a great time. Your decision to me should take into account all of the variables, and that you are okay with them. If not, you will have dread and resentment.

I read your latest posts just now, that the mother of the child is taking seriously the situation. I am hopeful that everything goes without a hitch.


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Im glad the mother at least is waking up. The boy will get no help if neither parent wakes up.

It sounds like the boy may not come, which would be ideal.

Great update!


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My husband thinks her mini breakdown likely means the boy won’t come
I think it is more likely that the family as a whole will not come. Which would be a good thing.

You finessed this well, Nomad. The truth got told to your son. You stuck up for yourself. Your son stuck up for you and for his child. He told the truth to the parents. He supported you. Your husband and son together helped you come up with a plan that seems like it may work and they committed themselves to put it in place. You did not back out of the party. You kept your commitments. You showed yourself to be ready "to take one for the team."

This family has real problems. That is the elephant in the room. Problematic people make problems for others. We have extraordinary empathy for this because we have lived so long with problems, and unfortunately, exposing others to our problems. In my case, I was not sufficiently responsible or sensitive.

If this family decides to not come, this has nothing at all to do with you or how you handled this. You did good.