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to want the truth told about what happened in my family?

(23 Posts)
quicklynamechanging Sat 13-Aug-11 23:33:08

Name changed. Poo pouffe, penguins, towel elephants.

A family member of mine has just had a new baby DS. He is absolutely gorgeous and very sweet. smile

The grandfather of the baby remarried several years ago, and I know some things the wife did that would mean the new parents would likely want to keep the baby away from her. I suspect that contact between the woman and the baby may be sporadic anyway, due to distances, but the father of the baby (the grandfather's son, keep up!) would very likely not want contact between his son and his father's wife if the truth was known. It involves mistreatment of a younger sibling (once that sibling was the only child still living in the family home), quite serious comments made about all the siblings (there are four of them) and threats that were continued to be made towards the younger sibling into adulthood. The grandfather either did nothing, or also made comments.

The majority of this has been kept from the baby's father because he didn't get on well with his younger sibling and it has been unnecessary to bring up what was in the past for everyone. All he really knows for sure is that his younger sibling does not like their father's wife, though he may very well be vaguely aware that there is a lot more to it. Quite crucially, I believe that his wife knows nothing.

It is obviously not the choice of anyone other than the parents, who their baby sees or doesn't see as he grows up, but should the parents have the full information about someone who may have continued contact with their child? Bare in mind that this person may pose no threat to the baby at all, but also could, primarily if left in sole charge for periods, which is possible with babysitting. If it matters, it would be the younger sibling that would approach the parents of the baby with this information, with the full support of a number of family members.

Any advice welcome. Thanks.

thisisyesterday Sat 13-Aug-11 23:37:16

yes, i think the younger sibling should speak to them and say that now they've had the baby and it's possible there could be unsupervised contact they feel compelled to let them know what went on

babeinthewood Sat 13-Aug-11 23:39:03

If it looks like he may leave the baby with The woman, then Yes the younger sibling could bring it up. No-one else should though IMO

bonnieslilsister Sat 13-Aug-11 23:39:27

I would want to know....however hard it would be to hear.

quicklynamechanging Sat 13-Aug-11 23:43:01

It wouldn't be anyone else that said it, but there would be the support and presence of at least one family member. That is because the father of the baby has a generally strained relationship with the younger sibling. The father is nice, but horribly naive and it has been convenient for him to blame the difficult family dynamic on his younger sibling. The presence of the other person would be solely to mark how serious the situation would be.

quicklynamechanging Sat 13-Aug-11 23:43:11

Thank you for replies, btw.

babeinthewood Sat 13-Aug-11 23:45:34

that sounds reasonable quickly, the only thing I would say is choose carefully, you dont want the father to feel he is being ganged up on smile

meditrina Sat 13-Aug-11 23:45:47

Without more information on the type of mistreatment, or the age of the sibling when mistreated, it is difficult to know how serious this may be.

It is however potentially tricky if the mistreated sibling has not shared the information with the other siblings. Do you know why not? Is it something you can broach with him/her? For revelations would have a big impact on him/her - it's essentially his/her actual life we are talking about here in addition to potential for impact on the new born (something that may not, one hopes, come to pass, and it's some distance into the future before there is likely to be a possibility of risk). I'd say avoid being precipitate, talk to the affected sibling, have him/her tell the story - or unmistakably consent to having a third party do so.

griphook Sat 13-Aug-11 23:47:54

yes, without a doubt they should be told, if you think the baby maybe in danger then there are no other options

iamamug Sat 13-Aug-11 23:49:47

Be truthful - the welfare of the new baby is the most important thing and the baby's father will realise that - now that he is a father himself.
Families are funny things!!

Moodykat Sat 13-Aug-11 23:55:19

I think I would want to know so I could make the decision for myself as to whether the woman gets to spend time with my son.

quicklynamechanging Sat 13-Aug-11 23:56:05

I believe the younger sibling has tried to mention stuff in the past to the older brother, but was rebuffed because of the less than ideal relationship they have. It's just a sibling thing, they just didn't get along. The brother has a 'good' relationship with the father's wife, but he never lived with her in a stepmother/stepchild set up, the younger sibling did, and greatly suffered for it.

The woman has a temper and has displayed bizarre conduct in the past, both of which I personally know to be true, and I am almost certain the father of the baby is unaware of.

quicklynamechanging Sat 13-Aug-11 23:58:24

What you're all saying, is exactly why I am leaning heavily towards suggesting something gets said. It's not about trying to control who the baby sees, it's about giving the parents the full information, so that they can make the choice.

quicklynamechanging Sun 14-Aug-11 00:06:13

Meditrina, we are talking 11 onwards really. That's the age of the youngest sibling when the father remarried. The mistreatment was quite varied, went from restricting access to the family home, withholding food, some physical punishments for minor things, lying about other family members, many things really. There was no sexual abuse.

ShoutyHamster Sun 14-Aug-11 00:08:00

Yes, absolutely, make sure that BOTH parents know.

It is far too important not to.

Then, as you say, they will make their own decisions.

To reiterate - BOTH parents. Families are funny things. I would not feel comfortable just telling the father here and rely on him to relay the exact same information to his wife, if you think his judgement may be clouded due to his relationship with the sibling. And she most definitely should be put completely in the picture.

Moodykat Sun 14-Aug-11 00:10:44

I agree with Shouty, the wife definitely needs to know too. Maybe the sibling should try and talk to the wife if the brother refuses to listen? Or maybe that might cause more issues. That's not helpful is it? Sorry!

blackeyedsusan Sun 14-Aug-11 00:15:54

ditto shouty... (again)

quicklynamechanging Sun 14-Aug-11 00:20:25

Shouty, that is exactly what I think. The father has some respect for the other family member who would likely be present as he was being told, and I think the same would be necessary for his wife as well. She will need to be clued in by someone in addition to the younger sibling, as her opinion of them may well be clouded by now.

The younger sibling is female, I don't know if I've said that so far.

thisisyesterday Sun 14-Aug-11 09:56:26

maybe they could arrange to speak to the mother and father of the baby... that may also help diffuse the situation if the father is quick to anger or blame his younger sibling?

or could the younger sibling write a letter? co-signed by other members of the family, or with a note from some other people saying that they know this all to be true? that would give him time to digest it without being confronted face to face?

redexpat Sun 14-Aug-11 11:42:25

What is in the child's best interests?

ChaoticAngeloftheUnderworld Sun 14-Aug-11 12:19:13

Agree with others, the parents need to be fully informed.

DontGoCurly Sun 14-Aug-11 12:25:52

I think she should definitely try to tell him but it's possible he won't believe her and think she is shit stirring. But at least make an effort. Hopefully if the babies Mother hears it, she at least will be on her guard.

SnapesMistress Sun 14-Aug-11 12:52:18

Yes, tell the mother at the same time.

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