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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My question is complex. I have a grandchild that will be 3

Customer Question

My question is complex. I have a grandchild that will be 3 in June. Since birth her, her dad, and her mom (has left without child more than once) lived in my home. When mom left we went for custody and it is joint with mom getting visits but no overnights. Her is the issue since the baby was 2 months old her crib has been in my room and I have been the only "parent" the baby knows. The mother is now wanting to be a mom but only when it is convenient for her. The baby doesn't even seem to like mom or dad. Mom had already rushed taking the baby for a few hours and now wants overnights. I have already seen behavior changes and such since the visits for a few hours started. I am worried about how this will effect the child and I seem to be the only one who is worried. What can I do as a grandparent protect the baby?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 4 months ago.
This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum. Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. If you notice that the child has been behaving poorly or is getting distressed the more time she spends with her biological mother than you can continue limiting custody and visitation to protect her. In addition, you can spend as much time with your grand-daughter as possible and continually to positive reinforce and support her. If the biological mother is going to be in her life though, and it has negative consequences, than unfortunately there is not much you can do besides cutting her out of the child's life completely.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Well here is the other issue. I have affidavits from people who state that the only parent the baby knows is me. And my son the father in a text that I have a copy of says that him and the mother have been crappy parents ( not the word he used it was worse). Up until the mom moving out of my home two weeks ago she has not been a mom in any means to the child since she was 2 months old. And dad hasn't been dad either. But my son, the dad thinks that if he pleases the mom that she will still want to be with him and it doesn't seem to matter if the child being upset or showing signs of huge meltdowns and extreme clinginess ( oh I am sure that isn't a word) to me gets worse with every visit. I am wondering if at this time so I can do what is best for the baby and set rules and guidelines so she can have some normal life wouldn't be better. I mean there has to be something that can be done before she becomes a shell of who she really is.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 4 months ago.
Giving a child a set and consistent routine would be best, ***** ***** routine must be grounded in positive support and reinforcement. So you must play, interact, take the child with you for errands, etc... as this will help foster the child's psychological make-up into the best possible outcome. You can also bring the child to a Child Therapist that specializes with infants and the therapist can help develop a proper parenting plan that the mother and father must abide by for the best interests of the child. If the mother goes against this, than you maybe able to use this to limit her visitation rights or to include visitation with the therapist. Obviously the courts try not to take away the biological parents unless absolutely necessary, so you and the child will be stuck in this system for some time until either the mother and father get their act together, leave, or have their visitation rights completely removed.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 4 months ago.
I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue. *Please do not forget to leave a positive rating at the top of the page so that I can get credit for helping you. Thank you, ***** ***** appreciate it.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you. It saddens me that there isn't more I can do for my grandchild that has been neglected by both parents 32 months of her almost 36 months of life. It saddens me that a parent can ignore a child for almost three years and the just be allowed to do whatever...we live in a sad world where court favor the parents that haven't been parents. I am watching a beautiful almost 3 year old have nightmares, scream and freak out when she can't find me...the only one that has been a parent to her. She pushes her parents away all the time. It is scary to think that she is somewhere else with these two and cannot get what she needs because they care.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 4 months ago.
Unfortunately the courts will try to give every opportunity to the parents to regain their custodial rights, even if neglect and/or abuse was present. I know this is very difficult for you, but continue to be the best grand-parent you can be to this child, and at this time you still have primary custody of the child so she is safe in your hands at this moment. What happens in the future is anyone's guess as it depends on how the mother and father act and behave in regards ***** ***** child, which is sounds like they are very inconsistent, so the odds are in your favor that they will not be granted custody of this child. Continue with what you are doing as you are doing what is best for the child and that is all anyone can ask for in this delicate situation.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I don't have custody. The custody paperwork states they have joint custody with my son having physically custody and they him and her live in my home. And that mom will visit child in my home and no overnights. And my son instead of being worried about the babies well being will do whatever the mom wants even against court orders to please the mom.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 4 months ago.
I understand the situation a bit more now, although it does sound very confusing. If they are going against the courts orders than it is possible that you can report this to CPS and then have custody transferred to you, but I am not a lawyer, so I would recommend you consult with a family law attorney about this