Posted by: Karen | 2018/01/22

Neglect and emotional abuse to a toddler

Good day. How does one deal with the situation of neglect and emotional abuse by step-children when partner won't listen and it results in a rift in your own marriage. The wife got her masters degree before thr child was 6 months and then told me she missed the child rolling over because she was studying and missed sitting up as she was talking to friends. The child 13 months is told it is being irrational and dumped into the cot to scream for half an hour - all he seems to do is cry. No-one sits on the floor with the child to play with him. The mother is impatient with the child and screams at him when he cries. Made me so sad to see and to experience the screaming was devastating

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2018/01/22

Hi Karen, 
It sounds as though your husband's Ex is exceptionally immature and self-centred, and hardly rational in what she expects of a child.  The child won't have suffered in any way if her bio-mom was so busy chatting or taking selfies, or whatever, to notice the kid achieving developmental milestones. but it does indicate her own childishness and lack of interest in trying to be a real mom.
Expecting an infant to be "rational" is in itself a totally irrational point of view. If she was capable of recognizing that she is out of her depth, or if her own parents had the sense to recognize this, she could seek parenting coaching and improve her barely existing skills.  I'm guessing her master's degree wasn't in child psychology.
What is the custody / access agreement, based on their divorce settlement ? If I were the father I'd take legal advice about gathering evidence with which to approach the court for a revision, to take into account questions of this woman's actual fitness to be a mother to the child.
But this brings us to the question of your husband's attitude and concern ( or lack of it ). Because he has legal rights and moral duties towards the child ; you position is less clear unless there is evidence of potentially serious harm to the child.  Maybe he has had a nasty experience of her before and during the divorce, and he may feel reluctant to engage in anything like that again.  But the primary concern for any responsible parent has to be the best interests of the child. 
When you try to discuss your concerns with him, choosing a suitable calm time, and asking for his opinion about her unreasonable treatment of an infant, and her fury towards him, and ask his views on how best to protect and help the child, what does he say ?
If you'd like to respond directly to me again on this, do post a fresh question, as I don't see questions again once I have responded to them.

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