26 answers

Advice on How to Deal with an Ungrateful Relative.

Hi everyone,
I need some advice on how to deal with an ungrateful relative. Four months ago my cousins children were removed from her home because she was neglecting them due to drug use. She has a total of nine kids and I went to parenting classes and foster licensing class to get her children out of foster care I successfully finished all classes and on June 1, 2008 her five boys were placed in my care. It has been a real struggle but we are managing. These kids are so ruined by her drug use and they all have some type of developmental problem. They had absolutely no home training they didn't know how to bath themselves or anything its been really ruff. Their ages are 9, 8, 6, 5, & 3 can you imagine what I go through in a day? I have a 7 year old and 1 year old of my own. I have heard from other family members mean things she is saying about me and it angers me because my life has completely turned upside down since her children have come to live with me. I work full time and I'm also a single parent. My cousin is talking badly about me to family members that had no interest in helping get the kids from foster care and they are entertaining her conversations. I spoke to the children Social Worker about her behavoir and was thinking of just giving the children back to the system but when I sat with the kids and talked about them returning into foster care they begged me not to send them back, and asked me what did they do wrong? They have grown so much since they have been with me, they are doing really well in school and I also have them in counceling. They've been through a lot! How do I go on? I have opted to have their mom not visit my home anymore and requested that her visits take place at the Child and Family Service Center. I regret stepping up to help, but I did not want them to suffer for her behavoir and problems please give me any advice, and or words of encouragement I need it.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks soooo much for all of the support! I was literally in tears when I received all of the compliments, I know I’m doing a great job but it really feels good to hear it from so many people who understand what I do. I read every last response and all was exactly what I needed to hear. I have decided that the 3 year old is too much for me, he doesn’t speak, isn’t potty trained (have been training for months), and can’t dress himself its like I have two 1yr olds. It is not his fault but I just can’t give him what he needs, and the mess I get from his mom only complicates things because I go thru a lot particularly with caring for him I continuously stress myself. So I heard you clearly Nancy S. T.T and Pam G. I spoke to the Social Worker and asked if I bring him in could I get him on weekends, she doesn’t see that being a problem. Now that’s the plan, he really needs therapeutic care. I forgot to mention initially that all the kids are involved in sports at their school & recreation. I use to get calls from the school everyday about the older 4 boys behavior but now that’s minimal maybe once a week. At any rate it’s getting better.

I will feel everyone in on the 3 yr olds progress and let you know what happens with all my boys. Thank you Be J for the invite I am going to take you up on your offer. I live in NW Washington DC but wouldn’t mind traveling for a good church. Thank you thank you thank you my to Mamasource family I have been reading your messages over and over all day at work hope the boss doesn’t get word(smile).

Respectfully,

J.

P.S Pam G. thanks for the chore ideal I’m going to start with them on Saturday

Featured Answers

I know it must be hard to not be getting the support you deserve, but just know that you are doing the right thing! Is there anyone who can be a support system for you? Any friends or family members who are dependable and understanding? It would be nice if there was someone you could lean on. It is great and worthy work you are doing. You can make a world of difference in the lives of those children. Be proud and hang tough!

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You are doing a great thing! Don't let their ungrateful mother make you regret your decision. You stepped up when no one else did and you are to be commended. Foster care can be very hard for children, they don't always receive the best care as people's motivation for doing it isn't always right. I think you are doing a great thing and doing the right thing isn't always easy, in fact most times it is the hardest thing to do. Just know that those kids are better b/c of you and will probably one day thank you for all that you did. I would tell the other family memebers not to tell you what she is saying, it upsets you, and doesn't help the situation. if they can't respect that I wouldn't talk to them either. Good luck and God bless.

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J.,

First of all, I am praying that God grant you peace and continue to bless you and all of your children. Remember, even though they are your cousins, right now legally they are your children. Every decision you make for them, you make as their mother. You would surely do what is best to keep your biological children safe from persons who may cause them any type of mental, physical or psychological harm and you are definately doing the same for your cousins. Keep your chin up, their mother may or may not come around, but you know that you have done the best you can for those boys and they will ever B. grateful even though their mother will not. People will always find something to complain about, especially those who don't have Christ in their hearts. My mother used to tell me when I complaind that I was being teased in high school, 'when people talk about you, no matter how bad, see some positive in it that because they notice you are doing something they either failed at or don't feel confident in doing.' Of couse as a teenager this was hard to see, but as an adult I thank God when this happens because it is through Him I'm able to do what I'm doing and whatever it is I'm doing is in His plan!
I will continue to pray for you and the children, that God keeps a hedge of protection around you all and make you strong with the attacks of the enemy.
God Bless & keep praying!
B.
p.s. if you are in the Largo, Bowie, Mitchellville, Upper Marlboro area I would love to meet you and pray with you. Feel free to send me a message. I am a member of Kettering Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro if in the area visit us!

1 mom found this helpful

I first wanted to say that you have a wonderful spirit and many blessing are coming to you for your actions. I do not know many people that would take in five children when they already have three of there own. Girl you are something wonderful to have a heart like you do.

Now, I want you to remember the reason that you took the kids in. You stated that you took the kids in because you did not want them to suffer as a result of the negligent mother. It was never about the mother of the kids. I believe she is talking about you because she has to find a way to lift herself up because of the imbarrassment and guilt she faces for her children not being in her care. Its like she found away to turn the attention off of her and on to you. She is not the first person to do it and will not be the last.

So back to the children, If you decide to return the children let it be strickly because of your lack of ability to function with so many children. Lets not make her a factor at all and beside what type of people would listen to someone with the likes of her(no offense) and not listen to someone with a heart of gold. In my opinion, thoses listening are just as irrelevant. So sweety base your judgement off of your abilitiy and not off of her. Be honest with yourself. Can you really take care of all those children and still be in good spirits. If so continue to do so. I personally believe they were placed in your life for a reason. Be in touch with your calling. In the long run those boys are going to love and thank you unconditionally. Just remember there will be trials an tribulations. However, no means allow yourself to suffer as a result of a family members drug addiction.

Hope that helps my prayers are with you.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, the best way to deal with an ungrateful relative is to cut them off.
And their cohorts. A drug user is in no position to feel gratitude or anything but selfish behavior. That is the unfortunate thing for the drug user and their family.

You are far too busy to worry about anyone who is not worried about you. It sounds easier than done i am sure but I did it. You can too. You can choose who influences those children. She may be jealous that you could do it and she couldn't. but whatever the reason is, it doesn't matter.

You stepped in where she failed them. You deserve accolades, but don't expect them. The only thanks you will get is those children turning out well.

Each one should have responsibilities and chores to help with the household. They can do lots of chores that are age appropriate that will help you.

You are making a difference to those boys. I am not sure how you are doing it but wow- good things will come to you.

1 mom found this helpful

I will first echo what others are saying--you are a Godsend to these kids. I am a foster parent in Virginia, so I have some advice from that perspective. First, if you are not getting support from your family for this amazing thing you have done, then get Social Services to support you. If you need a break, then have them arrange for respite care. We have had kids for weekends or a week and it gives their regular caregivers enough breathing room to continue the great work. I am sorry that your family is not supporting your courageous act of love, so find the support you need and deserve somewhere else. I recommend support groups for foster parents. It has helped my husband and I tremendously. Our first foster daughter is now our adopted daughter and the support groups helped us through the process.

Also, in dealing with your cousin, perhaps you could insist that the county have her in counseling as a requirement for her to visit with her kids. It sounds like she is in the initial stage of denial and maybe some more strict requirements for her may move her into taking responsibility for her actions and cleaning up her act.

Again, you have taken on a huge responsibility and deserve whatever support you need. Think about how your decisions will impact your family and make the decisions that will be best for you. God bless you.

1 mom found this helpful

J., you are truly awesome and admirable. I totally understand your regret in taking this on in the short term...but long term, you will be glad you did, it will not be easy, nothing with rewards so great ever is. We ar strong women and can handle anything we decide to handle. Prepare yourself.

Ignore the relatives, ignore the mother. Put people around you who are positive and supportive. Don't waste your time defending yourself, they won't listen anyway. Do what you have to to preserve yourself, your family and your nephews. Let all those children know (including yours) that you will always be there as their rock to care for and love them. It will be hard at times, after all they are human too and will no doubt go through periods of resentment toward you for a whole multitude of things...ignore it and love them. Don't be afraid to REACH OUT FOR HELP from your chosen support group...whether it be moms on this blog, family who are there for you or your church. Set boundries with everyone, the children, your family and the mother, NOW.

I am here for you as well as all the other good women who have responded to your blog to listen.

God Bless you!
L.

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YOU ARE A SAINT! IT IS THAT SIMPLE. I HAVE A SPOUSE AND A NICE HOME BUT I DOUBT I COULD HANDLE WHAT YOU HAVE!!
Beyond the obvious, however, is the fact that you have saved the lives of these children but it can not come at the cost of losing yours or that of your own two children. Forget your family members---their mother and all those other "talkers"--- who it is just possible engage in the same activities that led to the children being removed from their mother's care....Get social services to provide you with babysitting help and suggestions for things those 5 boys can do together and outside of your house with good men as role models. Church, YMCA, youth clubs, club scouts. Something active like basketball or outside like camping/hiking. Five boys together of these ages is almost unimagineable chaos! It is also important that you had that serious discussion about 'giving them back or to the foster system.' They can understand this concept and need to know your level of struggle and to hear how much you love them. They will feel empowered and want to help, but they will need your directions to make their efforts worthwhile. Except for the 3 yr old, they can and will help you in real ways. Make them a schedule of adult duties they could handle (their wash and putting clothing away, bedroom upkeep, meal prep and clean-up, assisting each other with homework. make a chart; schedule rewards of even a smiley face). My boys began doing their own wash at ages 5 & 6; they were precise about it back then and loved the 'job'. They are now 17 and 18 and have never known any other procedure.They were very proud of doing it when they were younger and it was a HUGE help to me. Offer rewards of your time for a boardgame, a pizza or ice cream--something very simple and not costly at the end of the week and praise them for being so special and able to help you like "big boys". It is a long road; you are an amazing person; I hope you can all make it together.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear J.,

I just wanted to comment on your post, I think what your doing is admirable. Hang in there. I think no matter what happens your doing and will do great. If your relative is saying bad things she is probably resentful that your doing such a great job and she couldn't do it herself, at the point she is low, she wants you to be low and put you in a bad light as well, hopefully you don't fall into it. Those kids need you and if for whatever reason you can't go on with them all, let them know it wasn't there fault. They are going through tough times as well, but all of you together can make it. Take care and bless you all! :)

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