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-   -   ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice (https://www.englishforum.ch/family-matters-health/303033-grandparents-guardianship-rights-vs-juvenal-justice.html)

arz 07.03.2021 16:19

? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Hello All


My wife and I came to Zurich for work 20 years ago, with two daughters, 9 and 12 years old at that time.

Now we are grandparent of 5 lovely girls.
Both my wife and I work full time and hope to continue this for as long as we can - we just love our jobs and find it a very important part of our lives.

No much problems with my younger daughter's family, but a lot of misunderstanding with the younger one. The first child of hers was born in the family that didn't last few months, and the baby lived with us grandparents till the age of 5, while her mom was busy organizing her private life. This ended with a successful marriage four years ago.
Now the this granddaughter got two more sisters, 4 and 2 years old.
There are several problems that I am seeking advice and help for.

First, the lifestyle of the these young parents is quite different from what we are used to, and even from the good examples that we see around here. They are not very interested in work, and they can afford it, since the son-in-law comes from quite a wealthy family. Unfortunately this doesn't make much good, at least for the children. Non-stop parties, over-regular ski weekends totally breaks the children's schedule. Quite often they go to bed after 11pm, of just can't fall asleep because are over-excited. All 3 children spend most of time with the nannies that change every few months and sometimes appear quite suspicious.

The school complains that the elder girl is noticeably degrading in concentration ability, is becoming disobedient with teachers and aggressive with classmates.
All our agreements about weekend sleepovers at grandparents house and regular extra-school class activities, though formally agreed with the parents, are being regularly broken.
For the elder girl, these rare days at grandparents house is the only chance for rehabilitation and restoring her self-confidence. My wife has Masters in piano teaching and pedagogics and runs a private piano school, she really knows how to motivate the children and make them enjoy hard work. And the girl has perfect music ear and extraordinary abilities, at least in music, she can cover a standard one-year program in few months. And she starts feeling it, and this brings her real joy. Not the like the party joy. She can be successful and proud. She could. If the parents would let her.
She comes to our house unawakened, hungry, irritable and aggressive, unable to concentrate on a 5-minute math or reading homework. Has a good evening walk, and a sleep with all windows open, and next morning is a totally different child - singing, laughing, curious and inquisitive, ready for an hour and a half to understand a complex music piece and patiently grind it to perfection.

Unfortunately, next regular lesson in the middle of the week is being cancelled for whatever reason (like visit of friends with some other children, or just friends who want to see children - party, anyway), ballett is cancelled too, math is learned on the run, school is complaining again and suggests a school psychologists (who looks and talks like needs a psychologist much more), suggests AHDS treatment, etc..

You thought this was a problem? No, it's just a scene for a problem. A real problem starts when the child asks to go to grandparents instead of the party. Or silly grandparents try to carefully hint to young parents that there is no point in irregular lessons, and broken regime is the main reason for aggression and lack of concentration.
That's when the young parents start taking revenge. Lessons and sleepovers are cancelled for no reasons at all. Children are told nonsense that the grandmother is too busy and does not want to see them. Combined with unlimited cartoons on TV, videogames, toys from the nearby shops and, yes, parties, this works like a charm. Until the next sleepless night and painkillers for migraine.

The school is not aware of the situation, and I am not sure whether it would be a good idea to inform them. I was told many times that if juvenal authorities decide that they can find a better family for these children, we may not see them anymore. What's much worse, the children won't see their parents. Anyway, the procedures, criteria and practice of authorities in such cases are not published anywhere and are even more scary therefore.
I've done my homework, by reading all I could find on the topic on official Swiss websites. That, unfortunately, didn't help much to understand what may happen if I start escalating the case.

Any thoughts and tips are welcome.

Thanks for reading

Elu 07.03.2021 16:29

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by arz (Post 3282861)
Hello All


My wide and I came to Zurich for work 20 years ago, with two daughters, 9 and 12 years old at that time.

Now we are grandparent of 5 lovely girls.
Both my wife and I work full time and hope to continue this for as long as we can - we just love our jobs and find it a very important part of our lives.

No much problems with my younger daughter's family, but a lot of misunderstanding with the younger one. The first child of hers was born in the family that didn't last few months, and the baby lived with us grandparents till the age of 5, while her mom was busy organizing her private life. This ended with a successful marriage four years ago.
Now the this granddaughter got two more sisters, 4 and 2 years old.
There are several problems that I am seeking advice and help for.

First, the lifestyle of the these young parents is quite different from what we are used to, and even from the good examples that we see around here. They are not very interested in work, and they can afford it, since the son-in-law comes from quite a wealthy family. Unfortunately this doesn't make much good, at lease for the children. Non-stop parties, over-regular ski weekends totally breaks the childrens schedule. Quite often they go to bed after 11pm, of just can't fall asleep because is over-excited. All 3 children spend most of time with the nannies that change every few months and sometimes appear quite suspicious.

The school complains that the elder girl is noticeably degrading in concentration ability, is becoming disobedient with teachers and aggressive with classmates.
All our agreements about weekend sleepovers at grandparents house and regular extra-school class activities, though formally agreed with the parents, are being regularly broken.
For the girl, these rare days at grandparents house is the only chance for rehabilitation and restoring her self-confidence. My wife has Masters in piano teaching and pedagogics and runs a private piano school, she really knows how to motivate the children and make them enjoy hard work. And the girl has perfect music ear and extraordinary abilities, at least in music, she can cover a standard one-year program in few monts. She could. If the parents would let her do it.
She comes to our house unawakened, hungry, irritable and aggressive, unable to concentrate on a 5-minute math or reading homework. Has a good evening walk, and a sleep with all windows open, and next morning is a totally different child - singing, laughing, curious and inquisitive, ready for an hour and a half to understand a complex music piece and patiently grind it to perfection. Unfortunately, next regular lesson in the middle of the week is being cancelled for whatever reason (like visit of friends with some other children, or just friends who want to see children - party, anyway), ballet is cancelled too, math is learned on the run, school is complaining again and suggests a school psychologists (who looks and talks like she needs a psychologist much more), suggests AHDS treatment, etc..

You thought this was a problem? No, it's just a scene for a problem. A real problem starts when the child asks to go to grandparents instead of the party. Or silly grandparents try to carefully hint to young parents that there is no point in irregular lessons, and broken regime is the main reason for aggression and lack of concentration.
That's when the parents start taking revenge. Lessons and sleepovers are cancelled for no reasons at all. Children are told nonsense that the grandmother is too busy and does not want to see them. Combined with unlimited cartoons on TV, videogames, toys from the nearby shops and, yes, parties, this works like a charm. Until the next sleepless night and painkillers for migraine.

The school is not aware of the situation, and I am not sure whether it would be a good idea to inform them. I was told many times that if juvenal authorities decide that they can find a better family for these children, we may not see them anymore. What's much worse, the children won't see their parents. Anyway, the procedures, criteria and practice of authorities in such cases are not published anywhere and are even more scary therefore.
I've done my homework, by reading all I could find on the topic on official Swiss websites. That, unfortunately, didn't help much to understand what may happen if I start escalate the case.

Any thoughts and tips are welcome.

Thanks for reading

Thank you for sharing. In switzerland you need a certificate, exam or diploma for everthing, except for gettin a child :/

I am not sure there is anything you could do legally speaking, except you could prove severe neglect. Wether that would be beneficial for the children is another story as you apparantly well know.

jazh 07.03.2021 16:51

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
This sounds like a really tough situation... I can think of several things you could do, but each would have consequences...

1. You could continue to try to be a positive influence in the children's life and try not to endanger your influenece in any way possible, but never critisizing the parents and never challenging them about anything and neveg giving them a reason why you, as grandparents, shouldn't see the kids.

2. You could decide that the children are 'in danger' and notify the KESP (the child protective services - link in german - and adult protectice services, but child is relevent here) that the children are in danger. According to the website, anyone may make such an official notification. I am sure KESP will investigate somehow, but there is a chance that the parents will be deemed fit and they'll find out you made the notification... and I'll assume you'll rarely see the kids again after this.

3. You could notify the school psychologist or the school directly that you are worried and you think that perhaps a KESP notification is the right step and hope that the school makes the notificatoin.

4. You could pay lawyer with experience in such issues to advise you of anything else I haven't thought of.

MusicChick 07.03.2021 17:05

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
OP - you sound like a really caring grandparent and that is a big chance for all your grandchildren. I also agree that routine is good for stability and attention problems. Music is great but not a medicine for all.

I sense a lot of criticism towards the grandkids' parents. I would be very careful in your judgement, they might not welcome it nor continue to expose their children to your environment. She is afterall your daughter, needs love and support. Your open disapproval probably makes things worse. You comparing your children and having one "pass" your judgment and other not pass - could be something that contributes to those toxic patterns.

I hope you can find your trust for your daughter and that your grandchildren know that you will always love and support her even if she doesn't need you the way you wish for. Guardianship because kids' watch TV, skip your magnificent piano classes and don't open the windows isn't something that I can see happening. Btw - I agree with providing routine, quality sleep, O2, music and regularity, I am completely with you on that page! One should think about the babies' future too though, parents will be here longer than you, they might need help adjusting their parenting ways but taking kids away would not be a way to fix it, nor something emotionally easy for the kids, not now nor larer. It is better to grow up considering your parents doing their best as oposed to being so bad that grandparents had to intervene. Maybe you don't, maybe you just think that you have to intervene.

I think you have to take that leap and let them parent their way. You are blessed with 5 grandkids, what a chance! Use it to spoil them rotten and not have to parent them. Anymore.

greenmount 07.03.2021 17:05

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Such a pity your grandchildren can't spend more time with you, OP.

Unless it is a serious case of neglect, I'm afraid you can't do anything. If you report the situation to the school or any other institution the chances are you're gonna lose both your granddaughters and your daughter.

Try to win them over with patience, infinite patience and love. It's all worth it. Forget about reproaches, bite your tongue. Just convince them it is in their interest too to let their kids visit you regularly, offer to pick them up. Don't give up. Even if it's not for as much as you want, it's important to have you in their lives. When they'll be older, they'll have more independence and could decide more.
Your life philosophy and discipline seems to clash with their parents' and probably the young ones have a misguided pride or something like this, so maybe it's worth trying to forget about "educating" them too, just focus on your goal i.e. spending time with grandkids and not on anything else. I'm pretty sure it's any parent's nightmare, to see how your values and education go down the river, but such is life. Sometimes we can't do too much.

st2lemans 07.03.2021 17:09

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Grand parents do NOT have rights.

End of!

Tom

AbFab 07.03.2021 17:18

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Easy to say and tough to - disengage.

Your children are adults and although you don‘t like to way your grandchildren are being brought up - and this is very different to how you brought your children up - interfering will only cause deep rifts in your family.

Stand back and be there if asked...

arz 07.03.2021 19:39

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Thanks to all who replied.
May be I've put the accents wrong in my chaotic post.

Standing back would be an option, if the ones who suffer were only us grandparents. But when the child suffers and don't understand why grandparents (who actually have been parents for the first 5 years of life) don't help, standing back is not an option.

I hope I understand all dangers, but still have to seek for a most non-intrusive but effective solution. The child expects help, not patience.

NotAllThere 07.03.2021 19:58

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
As a grandfather myself, I do sympathise. But you have no legal right to intervene. If your children choose screw up your grandchildren there is nothing you can do except try to reason with the parents. You must be there for if/when the grandkids need you.

Unless there's actionable negligence there are no solutions. No authority you can turn to. No law to help you.

st2lemans 07.03.2021 20:06

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NotAllThere (Post 3282954)
As a grandfather myself, I do sympathise. But you have no legal right to intervene.

This.

Tom

smackerjack 07.03.2021 20:06

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
You sound like very caring grandparents and there are lots of interesting points that you raise, but maybe your granddaughters behaviour may not be due to the lifestyle but about her position in the family.

What is her relationship like with her half siblings? Does she feel "different" because they don't have the same father - does she see her own biological father? Is she jealous of them and how is your relationship with the other 2 children. Although the lifestyle is wild there might be other issues in her life that are troubling her

For what it's worth - my neighbour critisised the parenting skills of her daughter and she ended up not seeing the grandchildren and her daughter as a result for a long period.

MusicChick 07.03.2021 20:12

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by arz (Post 3282938)
Thanks to all who replied.
May be I've put the accents wrong in my chaotic post.

arz - I don't find your opening post chaotic, I find it well intentioned.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arz (Post 3282938)
I hope I understand all dangers, but still have to seek for a most non-intrusive but effective solution.

Ask your daughter how she needs/wants you to help.

AbFab 07.03.2021 20:18

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by smackerjack (Post 3282959)
You sound like very caring grandparents and there are lots of interesting points that you raise, but maybe your granddaughters behaviour may not be due to the lifestyle but about her position in the family.

What is her relationship like with her half siblings? Does she feel "different" because they don't have the same father - does she see her own biological father? Is she jealous of them and how is your relationship with the other 2 children. Although the lifestyle is wild there might be other issues in her life that are troubling her

For what it's worth - my neighbour critisised the parenting skills of her daughter and she ended up not seeing the grandchildren and her daughter as a result for a long period.

This...

doropfiz 07.03.2021 21:50

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Rights of the Grandparents and Grandchildren to Contact with one another

Essentially, as others have written, there are no such legally defined rights.

However, if it can be shown that the child's well-being is jeopardised by not being allowed to have contact with a grandparent then, in some cases, a ruling for visitation rights may be made by a Court. This is, however, extremely unusual, as the following three articles (in German) set out.

https://www.beobachter.ch/familie/tr...ur-grosseltern

https://www.swissmom.ch/familie/geld...uf-ihre-enkel/

https://www.familienrechtsinfo.ch/so...t-grosseltern/

doropfiz 07.03.2021 21:57

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Removing the Children from their Parents

This is a very serious step and not usual. Whenever authorised by the KESB, it is because the parental care is deemed to be so veryinsufficient or detremental, that the child is in significant need and would be better off placed away from its parents (which may, or may not, be with the grandparents).

Here's some background and a framework to try to assess how important and how urgent the child's un-met needs are, i.e. an aide to work out whether a grandparent, or any other outsider, just doesn't happen to like the style of parenting or whether the child is in real danger of not having it's basic needs met.

This brochure from the Canton of Solothurn, https://so.ch/fileadmin/internet/ddi...hulen_KESB.pdf (dated 20 September 2019) provides a summary of the kinds of deficits that would be assessed, if KESB were called upon to get involved. The degree of any deficit, if proved, would be weighed up against the likely consequences were the parents/carers to continue in that way, e.g. it is clearly life-threatening if a parent ceases to feed a baby, whereas letting the children party and eat bags of sweets every afternoon in front of the TV (while not very healthy at all!) is a less urgent matter.


Voraussetzung für jede Kindesschutzmassnahme ist eine Gefährdung des Kindeswohls

Gefährdung des körperlichen Wohls, bspw.
  • körperliche Misshandlungen,
  • sexueller Missbrauch,
  • Fehlernährungen,
  • mangelnde Körper- und Gesundheitspflege,
  • Verweigerung ärztlicher Behandlung oder präventiver Eingriffe (z.B. Impfungen),
  • fehlende Hygiene bei Bekleidung und Wohnung.

Gefährdung des geistigen Wohls, bspw.
  • Erschwerung der Kontakte mit dem besuchsberechtigten Elternteil oder nahestehenden Personen,
  • fehlende Zusammenarbeit mit Schulbehörden oder Ausbildnern,
  • fehlende Erziehungs- bzw. Durchsetzungsfähigkeit,
  • fehlende Bereitschaft zur Förderung bei schulischen Schwächen,
  • soziale Isolation,
  • gefühllos-rohe oder überbetont fürsorglich-verhätschelnde Behandlung,
  • unzureichende Überwachung zweifelhafter Beziehungen des Kindes zu sektenähnlichen Organisationen,
  • wahnhafte religiöse oder haltlose sittliche Einstellung der Eltern,
  • Vermittlung des Gefühls wertlos, ungeliebt, wertlos etc. zu sein.

Kombinationen physischer und psychischer Beeinträchtigung, bspw.
  • wo Eltern abwesend sind, ohne für die Betreuung des Kindes gesorgt zu haben,
  • wegen Alter oder gesundheitlicher Gebrechen für das Kind nur ungenügend sorgen können,
  • bei ungeregelter Fremdunterbringung mit wechselnden, unzulänglichen Bezugspersonen,
  • oder bei zu Unrecht beschnittener wirtschaftlicher und persönlicher Autonomie des erwerbstätigen, vor der Volljährigkeit stehenden Kindes.

Bei der Beurteilung der Kindeswohlgefährdung ist die Frage nach dem Verschulden der Eltern irrelevant.


Translation thanks to deepl.
The prerequisite for any child protection measure is a risk to the child's well-being.

Threats to physical well-being, e.g.
  • physical abuse,
  • sexual abuse,
  • malnutrition,
  • lack of physical and health care,
  • refusal of medical treatment or preventive interventions (e.g. vaccinations),
  • lack of hygiene in clothing and housing.

Endangering mental well-being, e.g.
  • impaired contact with the parent entitled to visit or close relatives,
  • lack of cooperation with school authorities or educators,
  • lack of ability to educate or assert oneself,
  • unwillingness to cooperate with school authorities or educators,
  • lack of assertiveness,
  • unwillingness to help with academic weaknesses,
  • social isolation,
  • callous and crude or overly caring and pampering treatment,
  • inadequate monitoring of the child's dubious relationships with sectarian organisations,
  • delusional religious or unsubstantiated moral attitudes of the parents,
  • making the child feel worthless, unloved, worthless, etc.

Combinations of physical and psychological impairment, e.g.
  • where parents are absent without having provided for the care of the child due to age or health impairments,
  • inadequate care for the child,
  • unregulated placement with changing, inadequate caregivers, or
  • unjustly curtailed economic and personal autonomy of the employed child who has not reached the age of majority.

When assessing the risk to the child's well-being, the question of the parents' fault is irrelevant.

doropfiz 07.03.2021 21:58

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Swiss advice centres

This one offers (for a small fee) an assessment in French, English, Italian, and Spanish, for grandparents experiencing difficulties in maintaining contact to their grandchildren:
https://www.etregrandsparents.ch/fr/...ologique-.html


This is a self-help group or a nationwide network of groups for grandparents separated from their grandchildren:
https://www.selbsthilfeschweiz.ch/sh...hweizweit.html

Urs Max 08.03.2021 14:20

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 3282873)
Grand parents do NOT have rights.

End of!

Tom

But the grandchild does. The problem being that they can't fight for themselves at that age. It's not about the grandparents, it's about the grandchildren; going by post #8 OP is well aware and willing to let go if only it were helpful.

smackerjack raised an excellent point.

arz 08.03.2021 15:26

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Urs Max (Post 3283194)
smackerjack raised an excellent point.

Exactly. An essential point.

Quote:

Originally Posted by smackerjack
Does she feel "different" because they don't have the same father - does she see her own biological father? Is she jealous of them and how is your relationship with the other 2 children.

The elder child does love half-siblings very much. And is jealous, too.
May be I am prejudiced, but to me it looks like the adoptive father tries his best to treat all girls equally, but unconsciously gives the younger ones noticeably more warmth and weasel. And I know for sure that the elder one not only feels, but understands it.
As she grows elder (9 yo now), she is being involved more and more into looking after little sisters. Which I find great opportunity for mental and spiritual development... But not in the situation when she is tired, nervous and falls behind the school program. The small ones give her no minute to relax, they run after her all over the house like ducklings for a duck... And yes, sometimes they kick, bite and pinch each other for no apparent reason - much more often than I have seen in other large families.
Also, she is the only member of that family who has a different last name, from the biological father (she never met him, and never asks us. My daughter changed her last name to the name of new husband). The girl introduces herself with new family name and uses it in all her kids diaries etc., but in the school she is called differently. No idea what her mom told her about the reason, and she never asked us grandparents. We also prefer not to discuss the topic, but it definitely adds to kids frustration. The younger ones were born and raised in this environment from the very beginning. I would be very glad to see that the elder one feels there at home as well, but she clearly doesn't. And she is regularly deprived of the opportunity to visit a place that she considers home.

For the weekend sleepover, we take the middle one, too (4 years old), the 2 years old has been too small so far, but will start joining soon. We love the little ones too, but really as grandchildren, whereas having raised a child from breast to 5 years old, it is very difficult to get rid of the feeling that this is your child, and not your grandchild. And a big problem is that the "ducklings and duck" picture repeats again in our house - the elder one has no chance to relax, unless we take the kids for a walk separately, in different direction, and put them to bed in separate rooms. Which they both object, of course, especially the younger one.

greenmount 08.03.2021 16:11

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 3282873)
Grand parents do NOT have rights.

End of!

Tom

Might be true from a legal perspective, but you can't deny there's a strong bond between grandchildren and their grandparents. It is easy for you to say but OP cares a lot about those kids, like most grandparents do. C'mon...a little empathy please. I'm sure you mean well but you do sound so harsh sometimes.

arz 08.03.2021 16:30

Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice
 
Like I said, I've done my homework and agree that there are no legal ways to change the situation. Thanks alot to greenmount for sharing the links, I'll study them, probably post my questions there as well. Unfortunately, the situation doesn't get smoother, rather the opposite.


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