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A place to learn, mingle, and share

This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.

Saint Rita is known to be a patroness for abused wives and mourning women.
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Taking custody of my neices

Feb 18th 2013 new
My nieces have been in the care of my parent the last seven years. I am concerned for both my parents and my two nieces (15 and 12). As my parents are still in reasonably good health for their mid seveties, the stress of teens is getting to them. My sister has been in and out of psyciatric care out of state for most of the time since giving up the girls to my parents. She often says that she wishes to care for them, but I doubt she will be stable enough any time soon. Their father is no longer in the picture. At some point, I suspect that I may need to step in. My last girlfriend was dead set against taking them too quickly. I am trying to figure how to approach this with any other lady, since these girls are family, yet not my children. At this point, I do try to stay somewhat active in their lives, just so they know me, if I need to step up and take control, in a hurry. how soon would be hard to say, and harder to explain to any future lady in my life. how should I approach this.
Feb 18th 2013 new
(Quote) Chris-280015 said: My nieces have been in the care of my parent the last seven years. I am concerned for both my parents and my two ...
(Quote) Chris-280015 said: My nieces have been in the care of my parent the last seven years. I am concerned for both my parents and my two nieces (15 and 12). As my parents are still in reasonably good health for their mid seveties, the stress of teens is getting to them. My sister has been in and out of psyciatric care out of state for most of the time since giving up the girls to my parents. She often says that she wishes to care for them, but I doubt she will be stable enough any time soon. Their father is no longer in the picture. At some point, I suspect that I may need to step in. My last girlfriend was dead set against taking them too quickly. I am trying to figure how to approach this with any other lady, since these girls are family, yet not my children. At this point, I do try to stay somewhat active in their lives, just so they know me, if I need to step up and take control, in a hurry. how soon would be hard to say, and harder to explain to any future lady in my life. how should I approach this.
--hide--


With a plan. No matter what the end result is for your nieces, get more active in their lives now! Show up at their extra curricular activities with your parents, take them to the mall shopping for clothes when they need them (BIG plus), offer your support in their relationship with their mother and share stories (good ones) about when you and she were young.

As for a plan . . . have one. Talk to your parents, and consult a family law attorney. Then when you do meet and date a lady, you show her that you have something solid to fall back on if it becomes necessary. This gives the woman the ability to know what is in store. If it's open ended with no boundaries, no clear cut authority or responsibilities then even I wouldn't touch that relationship and I'm always open to kids regardless of whose they are.

And here is something else to consider . . . it is ugly and not an accusation, but the reality of the world we live in. What ever you do, make sure you are in a position to protect yourself and your reputation. A man showing interest in his adolescent nieces will always be looked upon with suspicion by someone. This is where consulting a family law attorney and even a therapist who specializes in children would be beneficial.

Blessings and God's wisdom in your decision
Feb 18th 2013 new

This is GREAT advice! clap clap clap


I would add my two cents

- Get involved with the girls now. Get to know their personalities, let them get to know yours. Even if it's only regular Sunday dinner together. Let them know they can rely on you -- and make sure that you are dependable.

- Your role would be somewhere between Dad and Big Brother.
"Dad" must think for the long term: building character, finishing their education, learning good work habits, knowing how to judge other people's characters.
"Big Brother" doesn't lay down the law, but points out the lessons he's learned over the years: this isn't a good idea because.... well, what if he does this, then what?....that doesn't make sense to me, because I think....


I wouldn't give a single thought to what a prospective girlfriend would think. Your nieces need you. Any gal who has a problem with that is selfish. NEXT! Besides, the girls are teenagers. In a shorter time than you realize, they will be grown and gone.



Feb 18th 2013 new

(Quote) Chris-280015 said: My nieces have been in the care of my parent the last seven years. I am concerned for both my parents an...
(Quote) Chris-280015 said: My nieces have been in the care of my parent the last seven years. I am concerned for both my parents and my two nieces (15 and 12). As my parents are still in reasonably good health for their mid seveties, the stress of teens is getting to them. My sister has been in and out of psyciatric care out of state for most of the time since giving up the girls to my parents. She often says that she wishes to care for them, but I doubt she will be stable enough any time soon. Their father is no longer in the picture. At some point, I suspect that I may need to step in. My last girlfriend was dead set against taking them too quickly. I am trying to figure how to approach this with any other lady, since these girls are family, yet not my children. At this point, I do try to stay somewhat active in their lives, just so they know me, if I need to step up and take control, in a hurry. how soon would be hard to say, and harder to explain to any future lady in my life. how should I approach this.
--hide--
Hi Chris, Joanna and Marge have made excellent points. Just me, I feel the "good stories" is a biggie. I would just add, expect snafus, even with a good lawyer on board. Also, if things start to go sideways, don't be slow about asking for assisstance, particularly on anything adversely affecting the girls' emotional stability. And yes, the time will fly by in a blink ! Wishing you all the best.

Feb 18th 2013 new

(Quote) Chris-280015 said: My nieces have been in the care of my parent the last seven years. I am concerned for both my parents an...
(Quote) Chris-280015 said: My nieces have been in the care of my parent the last seven years. I am concerned for both my parents and my two nieces (15 and 12). As my parents are still in reasonably good health for their mid seveties, the stress of teens is getting to them. My sister has been in and out of psyciatric care out of state for most of the time since giving up the girls to my parents. She often says that she wishes to care for them, but I doubt she will be stable enough any time soon. Their father is no longer in the picture. At some point, I suspect that I may need to step in. My last girlfriend was dead set against taking them too quickly. I am trying to figure how to approach this with any other lady, since these girls are family, yet not my children. At this point, I do try to stay somewhat active in their lives, just so they know me, if I need to step up and take control, in a hurry. how soon would be hard to say, and harder to explain to any future lady in my life. how should I approach this.
--hide--

Chris, you have gotten some great advice already. I would just like to add something to that. There is a specially trained type of therapist, a licensed marriage and family therapist. Look for the initials LMFT after the name. LMFTs are specifically trained to work with family, individuals or couples abt complicated family matters, such as your sister's mental illness and how that has affected the girls. You could get together with your nieces, your parents and have family therapy with them to help them unravel what has been handed to them -- two parents who literally aren't there for them.

I am an LMFT and was trained at the college I attended by seeing actual families, couples and individuals, who paid only $10 an hr for this service. We did therapy with other graduate students and were overseen by supervisors. The website to look for an LMFT would be http://www.aamft.org. I hope this helps. Being a teen or tween girl is no picnic in the first place. It would be even more difficult with absent parents.

Feb 19th 2013 new

(Quote) Marge-938695 said: I wouldn't give a single thought to what a prospective girlfriend would think. Your niece...
(Quote) Marge-938695 said:


I wouldn't give a single thought to what a prospective girlfriend would think. Your nieces need you. Any gal who has a problem with that is selfish. NEXT! Besides, the girls are teenagers. In a shorter time than you realize, they will be grown and gone.

--hide--



I agree with Marge-NEXT!

Feb 19th 2013 new

(Quote) Marge-938695 said: I wouldn't give a single thought to what a prospective girlfriend would think. Your niece...
(Quote) Marge-938695 said:


I wouldn't give a single thought to what a prospective girlfriend would think. Your nieces need you. Any gal who has a problem with that is selfish. NEXT! Besides, the girls are teenagers. In a shorter time than you realize, they will be grown and gone.

--hide--



I agree with Marge-NEXT!

Feb 19th 2013 new

(Quote) Chris-280015 said: My nieces have been in the care of my parent the last seven years. I am concerned for both my parents an...
(Quote) Chris-280015 said: My nieces have been in the care of my parent the last seven years. I am concerned for both my parents and my two nieces (15 and 12). As my parents are still in reasonably good health for their mid seveties, the stress of teens is getting to them. My sister has been in and out of psyciatric care out of state for most of the time since giving up the girls to my parents. She often says that she wishes to care for them, but I doubt she will be stable enough any time soon. Their father is no longer in the picture. At some point, I suspect that I may need to step in. My last girlfriend was dead set against taking them too quickly. I am trying to figure how to approach this with any other lady, since these girls are family, yet not my children. At this point, I do try to stay somewhat active in their lives, just so they know me, if I need to step up and take control, in a hurry. how soon would be hard to say, and harder to explain to any future lady in my life. how should I approach this.
--hide--


Chris - you are doing a good and noble thing. By all means, take custody of your nieces. Those girls need you. Bring them into your home. Give them the love, structure, guidance, and support they need. It may not be easy, but it is your call to sanctity. This is how we respond to God's call in our lives - just as Mary did at the Annunciation and again at the foot of the cross. Did St. Joseph walk out on Mary when she became pregnant?


ANY woman who won't accept her boyfriend's children (or wards) is simply not worth bothering with. The same applies to any man who won't accept his girlfriend's children/wards. Willingness to accept stepchildren is a strong indicator character. Unwillingness to do so is also an indication of character - but a disfavorable indicator.


Love is ALWAYS AND ONLY about addition and multiplication - it's NEVER about subtraction, division, or fractions. theheart

Feb 19th 2013 new
(Quote) Chris-280015 said: My nieces have been in the care of my parent the last seven years. I am concerned for both my parents and my two ...
(Quote) Chris-280015 said: My nieces have been in the care of my parent the last seven years. I am concerned for both my parents and my two nieces (15 and 12). As my parents are still in reasonably good health for their mid seveties, the stress of teens is getting to them. My sister has been in and out of psyciatric care out of state for most of the time since giving up the girls to my parents. She often says that she wishes to care for them, but I doubt she will be stable enough any time soon. Their father is no longer in the picture. At some point, I suspect that I may need to step in. My last girlfriend was dead set against taking them too quickly. I am trying to figure how to approach this with any other lady, since these girls are family, yet not my children. At this point, I do try to stay somewhat active in their lives, just so they know me, if I need to step up and take control, in a hurry. how soon would be hard to say, and harder to explain to any future lady in my life. how should I approach this.
--hide--


Prayers for you as you undertake this task. Children are so important and I pray for your successful parenting of your nieces. Praying Praying Praying
Feb 19th 2013 new

(Quote) Margo-404841 said: Chris, you have gotten some great advice already. I would just like to add something to ...
(Quote) Margo-404841 said:

Chris, you have gotten some great advice already. I would just like to add something to that. There is a specially trained type of therapist, a licensed marriage and family therapist. Look for the initials LMFT after the name. LMFTs are specifically trained to work with family, individuals or couples abt complicated family matters, such as your sister's mental illness and how that has affected the girls. You could get together with your nieces, your parents and have family therapy with them to help them unravel what has been handed to them -- two parents who literally aren't there for them.

I am an LMFT and was trained at the college I attended by seeing actual families, couples and individuals, who paid only $10 an hr for this service. We did therapy with other graduate students and were overseen by supervisors. The website to look for an LMFT would be http://www.aamft.org. I hope this helps. Being a teen or tween girl is no picnic in the first place. It would be even more difficult with absent parents.

--hide--
Thanks, Margo for the LMFT information. I have a brother who has mental issues and who is about to be released from prison real soon. There is not one family member who wants to take him in (not even his 2 children). I tried helping him a few times without much success, and can't take on that responsibility since I have an adopted great-nephew I am raising. I ask all reading this to please say a special prayer for guidance. Thank you, again. theheart

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