dispute re MI child


Well-Known Member
We had a huge get together for Thanksgiving at our house. Plenty of weirdness, but went ok. However.... One adopted child was there who caused an issue. I’ll call him Mikey. About age 8 or 9. I’ve mentioned him before. He is not well. Sort of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Impulsive too. Does not respect authority. Can be violent at times.
Now on medication. Very slightly better.

In a few months, another family party is suppose to be at my house. Our son is in charge.

Mikey broke a vase at my house once before. Then denied it...even though it was obvious. I chalked it up to a kid thing....although it bothered me that he showed no remorse.

At TG, unbeknownst to me right away, he broke something of tremendous value. Let’s say it’s a guitar that has been in my family for fifty years. This is changing the facts ever so slightly. Let’s say he stock his foot in the guitar. This is very comparable to what actually happened. Created a small crack and broke some strings and it now doesn’t play right. It’s been babied for all these years and now has a flaw of unknown dimensions and will need expert and possibly expensive repair.

I started to cry. The guitar is actually about 100 years old and was in excellent condition. I think it can be fixed. I have calls in to experts.

I lost my temper and told son that if the parents don’t agree to supervise the child 100% of the time whenever at my house, he will not be able to attend the next function at my house in a few months or the other option would be to simply look for another location to have the function.

The boys’ parents are his wife’s relatives and I’m not sure it’s my place to speak with them directly. I think probably his wife should or possibly my son. Right this second, they don’t know about the guitar.

Do you think I was out of line?
Who should tell the parents the boy caused damage to something of value?

My husband says I’m totally in the right, but probably shouldn’t of called my son when I was angry and dropped this bad news more gently.

Also...any guesses as to what is wrong with this kid?

Maybe I shouldn’t of called while angry...but I won’t change my mind...he needs constant supervision.

PS Due to the personal nature of this topic, there is a small chance I might ask for this post to be removed down the road. .


Well-Known Member
Im guessing attachment disorder for a diagnosis and this child would not be in my house again. Not sure his folks CAN control him. Some even small children are beyond parental control.

Are his parents very important to you? If not does he have to cone to your house?

No I dont think you overracted!


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Correction: The child seems ODD . Not Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Sadly, our grandson adores him (the child). It boggles the mind. It’s worrisome. I have moments I’m hysterical internally about this.

The parents are very important to my daughter in law.

She isn’t like them and often disagrees with them, but oddly tends to defend them or prefers folks don’t call attention to their strangeness.

Our son thinks they are peculiar. They (the parents) have done some things , for example, on social media, that are stranger than strange. Phoney baloney to the extreme and weird weird weird. I’ve never seen such odd folks. Narcissistic tendencies. Must not go well with the chikd’s ODD tendencies. A sad mess.
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Well-Known Member
I'm so sorry, Nomad.
I do not think that you are wrong for not wanting an ill-behaved child with a diagnosis to not come to your house.
Maybe you can call your son and discuss it at length when you are calmer. I understand that he likes the family for some reason, but it's YOUR house.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I'm so sorry that happened.
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda!
It's not always easy to respond to something without our emotions. The little boys parents need to be made aware of what happened. It would have been best to address when it happened. Since it happened in your home, if it were me, I would contact the parents and tell them what happened. I would be honest with them and tell them that you are not comfortable having their son in your home without constant supervision. Will they be offended? Perhaps, but that should not be your concern. They need to be made aware of how their son's careless actions have affected you.
I am not without empathy for the boys parents as they may very well be headed down a difficult road with him but again, they need to know what happened. I don't know how your son and his wife will respond to you telling the parents, hopefully with respect and understanding but if not, I would make it clear to them that when you are gracious enough to invite people into your home that you expect people to be respectful and to also keep an eye their children.
We had 20 people at my house for Thanksgiving including 2 little boys age 7 & 9. Their parents monitored their every move making sure they were behaving.


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My deal was the parents supervise the entire time the child is at my house or he can’t be at my house.

They could take turns.

I know when our special needs daughter was younger we had to do this type of thing. We had to be creative. Yes, life was and still often is difficult.

Son says he doubts the parents would agree to this and everyone seems to be chicken to even tell them what happened.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I also think it's okay to correct someone else's child in my home if the parents don't. What they may let pass in their home is not okay in someone else's home.


Well-Known Member
Tanya...I mentioned this to my husband. Much younger kids were there with no issue.

I myself have watched my own kids better and certainly my mentally ill child.

If my daughter in law continues to hesitate to tell the parents, maybe I should.

I ceraty empathize as have a Difficult Child has severally altered my life.

BUT, I think they need to step up to the plate...even if it is very tough.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Ugh what an awkward situation.

I think the parents should offer to pay for the repairs - however the best time to have mentioned it would probably be when you realized he'd done it and I'm sure you may not have wanted to say anything because you didn't want to ruin your Thanksgiving. Although they are close to your daughter in law, why do they have to be invited when your son and daughter in law are invited? I would be nervous having the child around also.


Well-Known Member
Years ago, we had a surprise Thanksgiving visit from some members of my husband's side of the family, one of whom was the five year old nephew who had recently burned down their house. We didn't know they were coming. They just showed up. I didn't even let them in. I simply and honestly explained that there was no way I could let that child into my home. What if he tried to burn down my house? As you can imagine, I was called every ugly name known to mankind. That part of the family has never forgiven me. I have never regretted what I said. I'm glad I didn't let him in my house.

You should not feel guilty. Tell them the event is cancelled.

Tired out

Well-Known Member
I am confused.. Were the parent's of "Mikey" at your home too or was the boy only accompanied by your son and daughter-in-law? If the parents were there I would call them about the incident. If they weren't there it really isn't their fault he wasn't supervised. whoever brings the boy should be in charge of keeping an eye on him. As far as I am concerned he and his parents wouldn't be invited to future gatherings at my house. If you can't manage that (keeping them away)
A--have the gathering elsewhere
B-- have the gathering in a contained area and doors closed to other areas. Other wise the big pain would be to put anything breakable into a locked room. I would probably lock all of my other bedroom and bathroom doors so there is only access to one bathroom and the common area. What a pain in the neck!
There were kids my son thought he was friends with that I wouldn't allow in my house becasue 1 liked to tease the cat. No way Kid! get out- stay out. His mom thought he was such a sweet kid..gah.


Well-Known Member
I do not think it is your role to either come up with a way to guarantee that the child is not destructive, nor is it your responsibility to speak directly with the parents. You do not know these people. Your son and daughter in law do. You were only gracious and accommodating extending invitations to people you do not know and really do not much like. That is the elephant in the living room. You seem to be uncomfortable with the parents too. Why would you want them back?

I think your son and daughter in law need to solve this and you can work with them. You are in an unfortunate position where you are left holding the bag. Either keeping your mouth shut and submitting to a replay or looking difficult by having to speak up. There is no good outcome for you.

I would not want these people again, and I would probably have to speak up to son and daughter in law, to change the venue to their house or another alternative.

I do sympathize with the parents. They probably wanted to have a good time.
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Well-Known Member
The real problem is, just like most of us, if our own adult child is married we dont want to start trouble with our child's spouse which can cause trouble between us and our son or daughter. I have fortunately never been in this situation. It would be touchy. Sounds like the daughter in law is not reasonable regarding this child, which can cause strife...bad strife depending on tje personality of the daughter in law. And although I dont know them, usually the man defers to and supports his wife. No mother wants this type of trouble.

This would be touchy for most mothers. Nomad, is this the problem?


Well-Known Member
if our own adult child is married we dont want to start trouble with our child's spouse which can cause trouble between us and our son or daughter.
I recognize this. But the thing is, if Nomad eats it, that begins a bad pattern with respect to son and daughter and law and the problem can compound itself.

I think I would suggest a restaurant. But Nomad has no really good options. Just less bad ones. I would suggest a BBQ but it's winter. Unless she could confine the guests to a part of the house where there are no valuables. But why should she do this? I think if she submits to the situation and does not speak up for herself there could be resentment.

Maybe the thing would be to sit down with son and daughter and law and put the problem in their lap. To say: This is what happened. What should we do? What do you think the options are? I don't feel comfortable solving this myself, because I want you to feel comfortable and I want to be open about how I feel.

And have full transparency and collaboration.

I think even talking to the parents directly, Nomad would risk problems with her daughter in law and indirectly her son. I think the only people who can really handle this are son and daughter in law. They are the ones really that extended the invitation and it was only love and good-heartedness of Nomad for them, that propelled her hospitality to this difficult family. As I understand it Nomad did not know these people. (And she does not even much like them!) The kids need to solve this and to take responsibility. That is what I think.
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Well-Known Member
SWOT is correct.

daughter in law is very close and protective of this relative.

It is a very touchy situation.

Our son does tend to deflect toward the wife.

I suspect I’m already on a doo doo list for even suggesting the child needs constant adult supervision if he attends a function at my house.

My husband and son wanted the event in question at our house.

I do regret (a little) that I was so forceful . I could of let my son feel more involved with the discussion and decision.

But, it doesn’t change the facts...I do believe he needs supervision.

The mother helped me a lot in the kitchen on TG and I don’t think was watching any of her kids. They have three chikdren and the father did a fairly decent job watching them, but I don’t think was watching the “difficult” one in particular or sufficiently.


Well-Known Member
Nomad. I don't think you want to go to war about this. I agree with SWOT. You have more to lose than to gain. If daughter in law is touchy and son sides with her, you risk walking into a huge mess. Better to lock everything of value up and try to keep the kids in an area that is easier to monitor.

Tired out

Well-Known Member
Unless she could confine the guests to a part of the house where there are no valuables. But why should she do this?
I put this as an option because it causes the least confrontation with the daughter in law, son, and other kids parents. Sometimes you just have to humor some people. I have had people at my home and moved things to other rooms and locked doors and put a gate across the stairs to make other areas off limits.
Nomad, Try not to feel too bad about calling your son. The situation needed addressed. You could now call him and ask his suggestions concerning the child. I do hope the parents of the child were informed of the damage. Since he is on a medication perhaps his parents are open to figuring out what is going on with him. Maybe they are afraid to look that tiger in the face. Who knows what goes on in their home. Maybe the child isn't just a brat but , actually needs medical/physiological intervention. You said you see odd in him.
Good luck!!


Well-Known Member
Thank you.
He saw a psychologist who already suggested ODD.
It is clear. I am trained in the area.
When he broke the vase, moments before an adult told him to put it down because it was not a toy and could get broken. Instead, he continued what he was doing and played rougher with it and it broke.
He found some sheet music that was hidden and was told to put it away by my husband. He seem to do this briefly because moments later it was back out.

I like these suggestions. It is sooo awkward because I feel I’m in the right and truly do not want the child back in my house without adult supervision.

I’m faurly sure the father was watching them ...all three...equally and doing an ok job. But, this one needs extra attention. The father likely needs help. But, no one is addressing this. No one wants to.

I’m forlorn.


Well-Known Member
One thing I wouldnt do, because I love my kids, is antaganize the spouse of my child. Unless your kids are married perhaps you think your kid will take your side. Although fortunately I have not been in this situation, many people I know have. It is amazing how touchy some spouses can be and your child will usually stick up for the partner. His or her alliegience is to his or her spouse and kids first. It can lead to estrangement....for what? A few umcomfortable days a year?

I would not take on the spouse or sit the kids down. That in my opinion would not go over well....Mom sitting adult parents down like children. I smell outrage. "Your Mom is treating us like we are in high school! Tell her never again or I will....who does she think she is?" You just never know where this will lead.

If it is possible why not move the get together to a restaurant? Make it seem like you want to do it...that the restaurant is special. Eventually daughter in laws friendship with this very odd couple could wane, they could move, they may have an out and out argument.

They are not worth your relationship with the kids and grands even if the morally correct thing to do would be to take a strong stand and ban them. That could cause a lot of anger that isnt worth it.

In again my experience, men tend to defer to their wives. The women tend to run the house and make the decisions. Men will usually back off. Not all men, but it seems to be common. And they will side with wife. Bart was very submissive to his ex when they were married. My girls are pretty much in charge of their SO's. Talking to others I hear this very often.

I dont think it is a good idea nor necessary to antagonize daughter in law. It isnt like this crazy couple will be around every day!

Good luck, whatever you do.

Question: is this the same couple who writes a blog about their child using full names and pictures?
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Well-Known Member
Oh jeez. Why make race an issue? We have kids of different races. I cant imagine writing an article pointing it out. I want my kids to just feel like part of the family. Ugh.

Sorry but I am laughing a little thinking about writing a candid blog about sex.

I wouldnt read it either!!!?