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Old Yesterday, 11:49 AM
 
9,207 posts, read 5,293,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I think it is odd for the father to be opening mail, but she is 16 and he is her father and he gets to decide what books she can read.

What I think was really inappropriate is your determination to prove to the child that you sent the book. Are you trying to start a fight between the girl and her father? As soon as you heard she didn't get the book, you should have backed out of that conversation and taken it up with her father instead of with the 16 year old.
I have to agree. If the book "disappeared" my first reaction would be that I overstepped and I should back off the topic with the child and then checked in with the dad to clarify my intentions were not to upset him in any way.
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Old Yesterday, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
33,684 posts, read 32,278,966 times
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He may be one of the reasons they have problems, or he may be one of the reasons they are still alive. We don't know.

But there are obviously some boundary issues here, and I agree that you should be less intentional with your niece going forward and just remain a constant positive presence in her life, in the event that she reaches out to you one day for real help.

The main message I would take from this incident is that it sounds like there is something your husband could communicate better about with his brother.
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Old Yesterday, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Early America
1,217 posts, read 537,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
I have to agree. If the book "disappeared" my first reaction would be that I overstepped and I should back off the topic with the child and then checked in with the dad to clarify my intentions were not to upset him in any way.
This ^^ and discussing counseling with the kid rather than the parent is overstepping boundaries too.

The book looks iffy. Given the family background of mental illness, he is probably trying to protect her rather than control her. Right or wrong, he's the parent. OP, you said that you don't live near them and your knowledge of them is based entirely on what the kids have told you on the phone. The other adults in the family think he is wonderful. Why is that? Do they live near him?

Keep in mind that teenagers can be very manipulative, and can blow everything out of proportion. In any case, you have only one side of the story.
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Old Yesterday, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Big Island of Hawaii
1,925 posts, read 610,551 times
Reputation: 4655
perhaps he felt the book might help her gain power over her own life and empower her to get free of his control. Very subversive!
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Old Yesterday, 01:34 PM
 
529 posts, read 909,097 times
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I looked at the book and read the one star review and would not want my teens reading that book. If there are mental health issues in the family, you have to be even more careful. The review has quotes from the book that I agree could be really harmful for some teens. I think you should let it go. It is a parent's right to control what material comes into his or her home, and there is a chance you also are reading too much into some behavior in the household. For example, I open all the mail in my house because no one else cares about the mail. It would remain unopened forever if I didn't open it!
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Old Yesterday, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
19,112 posts, read 23,868,588 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
Well, he had a bunch of kids with a mentally ill woman. He likes that control it gives him - the wife is gone, so now he gets that from the daughters. Therapy for his daughter would "embarrass" him? Oh hell no, this guy is not a good person. He's basically ensuring that they can't function on their own and that no one would want to take a chance on helping them. He's just not crossing the line into out and out abuse. They all need to get out of that house, but it seems unlikely that will happen.

I'm sorry, OP.
Thanks. He does like to control and play mind games with the girls. I have seen it in the times we visit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bande1102 View Post
Eh, I didn't like the book. Personally, it's not one I'd choose for my child.

I think you should ask your husband's perspective on how to get along with his brother.

I think it would be infinitely more helpful to your niece if you were to connect with her father and, together, give her a supportive environment. I don't like the dynamic of you + teenaged daughter vs father. You don't have to like the father or agree with his parenting style. But obviously you both love his daughter. Start with that shared love and expand outward. I think he could use some help.

I appreciate your desire to help, but you really don't know what's going on with that family. Are you a parent? Have you parented teens?

Now, if there is abuse going on in the family, then you have to step up and do the right thing. Whether that is contacting social services or notifying the school or whatever needs to be done.
My husband doesn't like or trust his brother. The problem with abuse and sociopaths is it is hard to prove. I do believe he has some real mental issues.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ForLoveOnly View Post
It sucks that your have to battle to be there for your niece. I think the book was a great idea. I also think your niece is lucky to have you.
Thank you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
It sounds more like *he* is the *cause* of the mental issues for all of them, including the mother.
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
I think you know the answer. Dad opened it, didn't like some aspect of it (it looks ok but I wouldn't get self help books for kids who weren't mine) and tossed it and didn't give it to his daughter. I think it would be almost expected with what you know about him. In the future, I might just bounce it off the dad.

"Hey I saw this book and I think it looks helpful, mind if I get it for niece?".

I know some parents who still object to the word "sucks" for anyone. So that would have got me thinking if it was appropriate for me to give as a gift without checking first. Also when you have a very "sulky" teen at home...you really don't want anything to add to that. I had a foster daughter (teenager) who was so sure everything about her life sucked that I wouldn't even consider a book with the word in the title. Its a tough time for kids and parents alike.

ETA I just looked through the little sample online and I wouldn't buy this book for my kid or anyone else. Its really dark and I didn't see any real problem solving skills in the sample. Maybe its in the book. But I am put off by what I saw. I think there would be much better options out there and I would really be interested in they methods the author is using to help kids cope with difficult situations.
Well then maybe he should have told me that or said please don't send her books. But to steal it and pretend she never got it. Sorry but that is low and sneaky.


Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I think it is odd for the father to be opening mail, but she is 16 and he is her father and he gets to decide what books she can read.

What I think was really inappropriate is your determination to prove to the child that you sent the book. Are you trying to start a fight between the girl and her father? As soon as you heard she didn't get the book, you should have backed out of that conversation and taken it up with her father instead of with the 16 year old.
Her father lies and I hate when he lies to her. He told her that was all the gifts. I don't lie and I am very blunt so yeah I wanted her to know the truth...and then I dropped it and never mentioned it again to her. She still has to live and deal with him.


Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Just a thought. Perhaps he opens all mail because the mentally ill mother sends them things that upset them or cause problems. Just because the return address said it was from OP, that doesn't guarantee it was from OP. I've never had the post office ask me for ID when I send registered mail or mail packages. I could put anyone's name on the return address. Or any address, for that matter.
Sounds like paranoia to me. It's bad enough that he turned all of them against the mother when she really does have problems. But yes I could see him doing that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
I have to agree. If the book "disappeared" my first reaction would be that I overstepped and I should back off the topic with the child and then checked in with the dad to clarify my intentions were not to upset him in any way.
It's not about him. And again he should have let "me" know.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
He may be one of the reasons they have problems, or he may be one of the reasons they are still alive. We don't know.

But there are obviously some boundary issues here, and I agree that you should be less intentional with your niece going forward and just remain a constant positive presence in her life, in the event that she reaches out to you one day for real help.

The main message I would take from this incident is that it sounds like there is something your husband could communicate better about with his brother.

They are in no life threatening danger. Just mental and emotional.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SimplySagacious View Post
This ^^ and discussing counseling with the kid rather than the parent is overstepping boundaries too.

The book looks iffy. Given the family background of mental illness, he is probably trying to protect her rather than control her. Right or wrong, he's the parent. OP, you said that you don't live near them and your knowledge of them is based entirely on what the kids have told you on the phone. The other adults in the family think he is wonderful. Why is that? Do they live near him?

Keep in mind that teenagers can be very manipulative, and can blow everything out of proportion. In any case, you have only one side of the story.
I did not discuss it. I have become all of his girls sounding board because my husband and I are the only open minded adults in the family. We don't judge them and would never turn them away. The entire family has turned their backs on the daughter who ran away. They all believe "the father". My husband and I are the only ones who stay in contact with her. Just because she made mistakes is no reason to turn your back on an 18 year old and someday she will need her family.

BTW, I never tell the girls what I feel about their father. They sound off to me and I usually say something like "he's your dad and some day you will be able to make your own choices" and a lot of "I'm sorry about thats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by steiconi View Post
perhaps he felt the book might help her gain power over her own life and empower her to get free of his control. Very subversive!
Sounds about right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellar View Post
I looked at the book and read the one star review and would not want my teens reading that book. If there are mental health issues in the family, you have to be even more careful. The review has quotes from the book that I agree could be really harmful for some teens. I think you should let it go. It is a parent's right to control what material comes into his or her home, and there is a chance you also are reading too much into some behavior in the household. For example, I open all the mail in my house because no one else cares about the mail. It would remain unopened forever if I didn't open it!
That is weird. When I was young I loved getting mail, so did my kids, and most kids I know.

Yes I am careful and I don't say anything to rock the boat. It only makes it worse for her.






Thanks for the replies. I really am just sounding off about someone who can't be helped and it irks me
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Old Yesterday, 02:07 PM
 
9,207 posts, read 5,293,408 times
Reputation: 20483
I think your heart is in the right place, but you have strong feelings against the father and are trying to subvert his decision making. Is this a pattern for you?

It would be cool if you listened to other posters who are trying to give you an alternative way to look at things.

It wasn't his job to contact you to tell you he didn't like the book...especially if this is an ongoing issue (as mentioned when you were talking to the kid about counseling).

Anyways...best of luck.
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Old Yesterday, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
19,112 posts, read 23,868,588 times
Reputation: 84039
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
I think your heart is in the right place, but you have strong feelings against the father and are trying to subvert his decision making. Is this a pattern for you?

It would be cool if you listened to other posters who are trying to give you an alternative way to look at things.

It wasn't his job to contact you to tell you he didn't like the book...especially if this is an ongoing issue (as mentioned when you were talking to the kid about counseling).

Anyways...best of luck.

Thanks for your opinion. No this is not a pattern for me. I don't lie about or to people. I am not trying to change his decision making I think he went about it the wrong way with me, an adult, and yes with his daughter.

I saw the other views from the posters...even agreed with some. I just don't see any way of fixing him and I was venting here as opposed to saying anything to a teenager. You should understand that.

He doesn't know she told me about the counseling thing and I just felt bad that he wouldn't get her help.

And I'm sorry but if my child received a book I didn't approve of I would tell the adult who sent it and ask them to please clear it with me before they sent others. Kids can be excused for bad behavior adults don't have an excuse.
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Old Yesterday, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Florida
3,073 posts, read 2,480,728 times
Reputation: 6155
I'd say it was normal if she were 6. Maybe if she was 10. But 16?? I couldn't imagine going into my teens' mail and taking out a book I found objectionable. Totally overbearing and inappropriate. (And the book is fine... but even if it were more edgy, she's 16!)
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Old Yesterday, 03:03 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
65,444 posts, read 55,674,009 times
Reputation: 57781
Quote:
Originally Posted by ylisa7 View Post
No there is no chance that it was misplaced. He does not allow his daughters to get the mail or open any mail even when addressed to them.

The mother has true mental issues and she has been out of the picture for about 10 years.

.
No wonder the poor girl has issues! How wonderful of you to be a presence in her life that she can confide in, and also serve as a model of a "healthy" adult for her! That is PRICELESS!

Do you live near enough to her, to be able to see her for lunch, or a girl's day on a weekend? You could give her the book then. I would do this, and consider it in my mind to be an experiment. "Let's see what happens when I give her this gift her father apparently censored from her mail" type of thing. Does he go through the girls' stuff on a regular basis, snooping in their rooms? What's wrong with him?

Does she have college plans? If so, she'll be out of the house in a couple of years, thank heaven. Do you think her dad will try to control where she goes to college? Once she's out of the house, you can see her more frequently. It sounds like she could very much benefit from more interaction with you. And at college, she can get free counseling. He might require her to start at a community college, so he can continue controlling her.
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