Thank you Mark. Your answer is exactly in line with my thinking. I'm sorry I did
not supply more information concerning the background originally, but was not sure whether there were limits on this. As briefly as I can put it - we emigrated from England in '72 when our son was 5 and daughter 2, and have no near family here. Education has been important to us and our children both attended boarding school and received good grades. My daughter picked it up and ran with it. My son has stumbled from one crisis to another, is now 45, was married in '97 to his Filipino pen-friend whose English was just passable and education not good. They have three sons, 13, 9 and 8. As my husband and I had just retired we bought a house for them to rent, with the promise that they could buy it from us at the purchase cost when they had got on their feet. Five years ago, when my son had almost completed an EIT course for an adult electrical apprenticeship (which he'd abandoned in his twenties for a trip back to England for 6 years), our daughter-in-law stated that since their rent had paid the mortgage they should have the house. We pointed out that we had worked hard all our lives and couldn't just part with our retirement funds just like that. She then took the children away from the house and their father and rents a house in town. She also forbids the children to see us unless their father is with them, they aren't allowed to stay for holidays or indeed to travel with us for a day out on birthdays, etc. unless their father comes to. In short she is calling all the shots and our son is trying not to displease her in case the children suffer, as he has never done anything about getting a parenting order in place. We have a brilliant relationship with the boys who do come to see us at weekends as we had to sell our house and move into the one we'd bought originally for the couple to live in, and since had this property sub-divided and a small cottage built on the adjoining property, so our son does have his children to stay with him at weekends. The boys are very quiet, needless to say very fearful of upsetting either of their parents, and his wife has made it plain she wants me to have no part in the school or extra-mural life of the boys. Oliver, with the speech problem, is particularly withdrawn and although he and I do have a special bond I can see him slowly slipping through the cracks.
As you so rightly say, we have to be careful that we don't create an atmosphere where the boys are even more uncertain than they are already, and your reply has given me the confidence to go to the primary school where I know and am on good terms with the secretary and the teachers and make some quiet enquiries about speech therapy perhaps through the school. I do have good rapport with my son as long as I don't question his wife's actions and as Oliver is extremely close to his father I am as sure as I can be that he will give the situation some further thought.
So thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I will make a point of keeping you posted. I do hope each of my appointments doesn't cost me $35 as we are on a pension and have already parted with too much money on our son's behalf!
Regards, XXXXX XXXXX