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Neglect or not?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is something that has been preying on my mind for several months, and I'd really like some unbiased input.
My step-daughter 2 years ago was a wonderful 13 year old kid. She had mostly A's a few B's was respectful, smart, stayed out of trouble, and was just generally a pleasure to be around.
She decided to move in with her mother as opposed to relocating with her father and I, and since then everything has gone to hell. She's now 15 and staying out all hours with her 20 year old boyfriend. She has in the past 13 months been arrested for assault, thrown out of a school, charged with poaching, drinking(hasn't been busted at it but admitted it to me), was caught by her MOTHER having sex with before mentioned 20 year old, and has dropped every activity and friend that doesn't involve being with this boy.
Where is her mother you ask? Doing her own thing. They've just moved for the 4th time in 16 months(much closer to the boyfriend, she could walk there now), which in itself isn't an awful thing, but 2 of these moves have been so "Mom" can live with a boyfriend. The last boyfriend move lasted 4 months. This woman also says my stepdaughter doing all of these things is "no big deal" as she did that stuff too. Her grades are still good(for now, poor kid has been to 7 different schools in the past year and a half)
My husband hasn't made her come live with us because she(Kimberly my stepdaughter) threatened to run away, flunk all her subjects on purpose, and to make all our lives and I quote "a living hell". He's also scared(he won't admit it) of his ex-wife who is a vindictive witch, I won't even get into what she threatened, I can't without cursing a blue streak.

Now for the question. I've more than once considered calling child services anonymously and reporting Carol(the "mom") for child neglect. Having discussed it with my husband he pretty much begged me not to, being terrified of what Carol would do. I'm really teetering on the edge of it being worth him being furious at me, Carol setting her nasty little eye on me, and Kimberly never speaking to me again to put an end to this. I feel like this child is throwing her life away and it kills me. I'm also selfishly worried over the effect she would have on my children if she came to live here.

Any advice would be much appreciated, even if it's stressing the other side of things. My mother was always huge on playing "devil's advocate" but I just don't have the ability to see another side on this. Thanks folks.
post #2 of 13
I don't know what to tell you , this one is really hard . I know in fact that in that age the girl is in , is never easy . I have a 15 year old son and he was trying to get away with a few things . But then we nailed him down and he straiten out .But girls on the other hand are harder to deal with .I know a woman now , when she was a girl she was just like that the way your step - daughter sounds like . Now she has a husband and a new baby boy and is doing good . I think your step-daughter is just looking for love in the wrong direction , ussualy that is what the girls look for . I don't think that the girl would change in your house if you force her in . She would run away and would get you in trouble and who knows what els she would do to you and your fam. I do understand what you are feeling right now , I would feel the same and worry . I am sorry that I am not much help to you . But I will say a prayere for your step - daughter
post #3 of 13
I would try sitting done with your step daughter and explaining your concerns to her. I think she will respect you more if you try to reason with her. It is statuatory rape for an adult to have sex with a minor - he is 20, she is 15 so I think that qualifies.
post #4 of 13
I was going to point out the statutory rape thing as well. Of course, it does depend on the state that she lives in, some states have the age of consent as low as 14. But that may also require the mother to testify since she was the one who caught them, so that may not work.
post #5 of 13
This may sound harsh, but one parent who is scared of the other parent is allowing certain activities to occur and therefore 'helping' the child on her way down the wayward path. Your husband has options. Petition the court and get the child in his custody. Get counselling for the teen and get her on the right path.

I'm sorry, but your husband is the adult, and it doesn't matter if the child (or ex-wife) is threatening to 'make his life hell'. Who is the adult in this situation? Who is controlling who? This child has no responsibilities, no proper guidance (from what you have described), and no future (since she dropped out of school and has a growing criminal record). Any court would award your husband child custody in this case.

By doing nothing, except sitting in the shadows and fearing others, your husband is indirectly consenting to his daughters lifestyle because of his inaction. If this were my daughter I would have done everything in my power (including calling children's aid if necessary) to get that child out of that household or into therapy as soon as she started showing signs of trouble.

I am not saying at all that this is an easy situation, but where was your husband when things started to go downhill. It's been 2 years and look where she is now. What I am trying to get across in this post is that serious events are taking place and it seems nothing is being done about it. It seems neither parent is acting reponsible or taking any action and that is why the daughter is already in the mess she is in.

She needs a stable household, parental guidance, and unconditional love. Get to the courts, call children's aid if necessary, but do some action rather than inaction. This life is destroying your step daughter.
post #6 of 13
I agree with Russian Blue... Some one has to take responsibility Your Husband is an adult..Let ex wife threaten all she wants.

The priority should be the child.
post #7 of 13
I totally agree with Kass. The girl is still a child and she needs help. If she keeps going down this path, it will be her destruction. She will end up pregnant or worse. It is up to her Dad to save her.
post #8 of 13
I agree with Russian...but I don't think calling CPS is wise, considering the foster homes I've been in, there's no guarantee that you'll get custody if you go that route. Your husband is her father and he needs to be a father, not be afraid of an ex who is not acting like an adult at all. He has option of getting his custody rights changed and also to have serious talk with his daughter before she ends up in a lot worse. Considering that his daughter is getting in trouble more so while staying with the mother, the judge would look more favorable towards the father.
post #9 of 13
I really cannot comment on wayward daughters, having been one myself. I will say, however, it is not selfish to want to protect your own children from this girl. I think since both the parents are so spineless or unconcerned about her, the authorities should step in. Sometimes these kids straighten out on their own, but it is very rare, and even rarer that they can be reasoned with at that age once this bad behavior has started. I really hate that you are having to deal with this. My heart goes out to you, and that poor girl. It sounds as though she is in serious need of something. It sounds like it should be professional help.
post #10 of 13
Originally posted by valanhb
I was going to point out the statutory rape thing as well. Of course, it does depend on the state that she lives in, some states have the age of consent as low as 14. But that may also require the mother to testify since she was the one who caught them, so that may not work.

I totally Agree with that!! When it comes to children someone needs to stand up and play the adult roll. and since her Birth mother isn't then it is the fathers job. and if he chooses not to then it is neglect on both parts. But it's not considered neglect in most states eyes. neglect boils down to Nutirtion, clothing, and housing. Abuse boils down to harm donw to the child physicaly,emotionally, and health wise. So turning to the state won't do you much good unless Father presses Satutory rape charges. and yes he can. just for pure suspicion. in most states if the man is more then 4 years older it is considered Satutory rape. Something needs to be done otherwise the poor girl is going to end up like my ex-boyfriend. In and out of jail, with addictions to many illegal substances, and no care for his wellbeing or anyone elses. her mom may claim harm to you and your family but a simple restraining order can help stop that.

P.S. you can also tip CPS anonymously. as a concerned person in the community kinda thing. I have had to do this alot. once was against my own sister in law. she still has no clue that it was me that had to do it. but I couldn't handle seeing her 3 boys starve anymore. and there was only some much feeding them I could handle.

anyway there's my 2 cents worth. you and your family will be in my paryers.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well my hubby made a stand. He informed his exwife that things WILL change or they will be going to court. She responded saying that she would take him to court first (for what? geeeez) He answered "Go ahead! I'll be there with bells on! I'll actually take Heidi(me) and the babies with me! On second thought I'll show up with Heidi, the twins and her girls!" Hee-hee-hee. She hung up on him. I sat down with him and told him that I realized that he felt the things going on there were out of his control but he needed to get it under control, I pointed out that I need to know he's going to be behind me being tough on the twins at that age. I also said that if Kimberly comes to live with us she would have a really hard time running away once I was done with her, and that I wasn't scared of a few rough months.(I'm a big believer in tough love.) Here's hoping Carol wakes up.
post #12 of 13
I'm so glad that you husband took that first step! I hope I didn't come across to harsh in my last post but when I heard what was going on it seemed nobody even cared for this girl because of the inaction. While growing up, my friend was exactly in Kimberly's situation and it was horrible seeing her life ruined because of the lack of guidance and parenting.

Professional counselling would be a really good start for all of you to help mend past relationship problems and open the lines of communication with this troubled teen. I wish your family well with the days ahead.

post #13 of 13
Good for your Hubby! and for your Step Daughter! She needs the tough love! Good luck!!!
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