December 21, 2009,
M.S. asks from Houston, TX on December 17, 2009
Free Parenting Classes in Katy,Tx or Nwest Area
My niece and her son moved in a month ago, my family is in shambles, my husband and older son are always annoyed, my 17 yr old stays in her room and I am iether stuck in my room or with a headache. This child screams non stop, touches things,climbs on my table, coffee tables, and when you say no, he runs to hi mama and says the F word to us, he walks and eats in our home which is not allowed for anyone, he throws a fit in the high chair so she rarely feeds him but junk and lets him walk around the house with it. He sleeps til 11am then again at 6pm then has us all up with his screaming and crying til 12 or 1am while she is playing the playstation or watching tv, or on the phone. I have sat the child down to eat, i use to cook for him but he is not my obligation,I take his food if he walking around with it and take it to the table and tell her she needs to do the same, he will cry and eventually sit and eat on the table. I have asked her to keep him up all day and get up early with him because we need our sleep at night and she still lets him sleep late because she says he is bad and would rather him sleep. I donot cook breakfast at 6am anymore so not to wake them, I do this before going to bed now(courtesy) but I do not get the same courtesy when we are trying to go to bed. I gave her books, baby games, writing board and told her to do things with him,play with him but she says he is bad, and I end up playng with him and he sits and listens, she watches at times and I tell her "You see". What do I do? I am frustrated and my family is falling apart!I am ready to tell her to find somewhere else to go.
S.B. answers from Houston on December 21, 2009
What was the agreement when she moved in? I would go about your daily life as you did before they moved in. You should not have to change your lives to suit her. She lives in YOUR home. Does she work? If not, why not? If she cannot find a job, I would give her chores around the house. She is not a guest, she is a member of the family and thus has responsibilities to the family.
If she cannont be respectful of the house rules then she needs to find another house. Why is she living with ya'll and not her parents? Where is the daddy of the child?
I would prepare a "contract" for her. Explaining what you expect from her and what she can expect from you. I would give her 30 days to improve. If she doesn't then I would tell her she needs to find other arrangements. Also, the well being of your family is important. Good Luck and Merry Christmas.
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D.B. answers from Houston on December 18, 2009
1. There are a couple of residential programs for young mothers who are willing to get their lives together, such as Gracewood and Project Row Houses. Must work or go to school to participate, and they offer services to train and educate them as parents and good citizens. both have websites and campuses in this area.
2. You can call some of the larger churches near you for parenting classes, which may be free or scholarships available (Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran, etc). In the Collaborative for Children database of parenting classes, the closest free classes are held at a) DePelchin Children's Center off I-10 and Durham, at b)Escape Family Resource Center near Greenway Plaza, off Richmond Avenue, or c) TX AgriLife parenting classes in Richmond, TX. Escape has scholarships to cover the materials cost. DePelchin costs $15 to cover materials and the instruction is free.
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N.S. answers from Houston on December 18, 2009
Parenting classes will not help. The niece apparently did not have a good role model to follow therefore she does not know how to be a mom.
The little one is not your obligation, but by taking them into your home you've taken on some level of obligation. Perhaps it's up to you to "raise" one more child.
Does the Mother work? If not, why? Is she can, she should. Talk to her about a gameplan and time frame - surely she doesn't expect to live with you forever. It soulnds as if she is a teen mother who wishes she were not saddled with the responsibility. Is your family ready to expand by 1? Where is the child's father and what role does he and his family play?
It sounds as if you and your family needs to ask harder questions and find other solutions other than parenting classes - which probably won't work for your niece.
J.B. answers from Houston on December 18, 2009
Crisis pregnancy centers offer parenting classes and if a woman attends them she will usually earn points or tickets of some sort to get some much needed items, like clothing for the child etc. so that provides incentive to go to class. There is a center in Katy that you can look up online and call and talk to about it, if they don't offer exactly what you need they may be able to direct you somewhere. It does sound like your niece needs some parenting even more than the two year old. She moved into your home and is now under your authority and must flow into the way your house functions. I wouldn't change one thing about how you cook etc because she needs to get up and take care of her child as I know you realize. You are a pro mama with five kiddos, I would treat her like number six. What would you do with your own child who was sleeping in all day, shirking responsibilities, staying up super late and making noise so no-one could sleep? She may not be your child but she is under your rule while she lives there. It sounds from her schedule that she has no job. So is she paying any rent etc? This young woman has found herself in a tough situation being such a young mom and has to learn responsibility fast. No-one is doing her a favor letting her get away with things because at the end of the day you will all go on with your lives and she will be left a single mama without the skills she needs to handle life. Some tough love is really in order for her sake. I mean she could work at a local gym in the childcare facility and take her little one with her, I knew lots of moms who did that when I was going to a local gym. Then she could pay a little rent, have a little money and she would have to get that boy up but he would have some playmates etc. Or working at a daycare is an option as well, somewhere where she could take her little one and not have to pay childcare. Anyway, I think I would have a heart to heart with her and tell her that if she wants to live with you she will be expected to attend whatever parenting classes you find, get a job, have baby on the schedule of the house and pay x amount of rent by x date. Then I would give her suggestions on how to accomplish these things because she is young and does need help, but if she didn't do it, she would have to go. This isn't your child and she has to step up and take responsibility for him or suffer terrible consequence later. I do think it is great that you have opened your home to her and I don't think this problem is horrible, I think it is typical and with some guidance it can be solved. Best wishes, and merry christmas!