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Old 07.03.2021, 16:19
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? 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
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  #2  
Old 07.03.2021, 16:29
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Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice

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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.
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Old 07.03.2021, 16:51
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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.
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Old 07.03.2021, 17:05
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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.
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Old 07.03.2021, 17:09
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Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice

Grand parents do NOT have rights.

End of!

Tom
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Old 07.03.2021, 17:18
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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...
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Old 08.03.2021, 14:20
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Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice

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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.
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Old 08.03.2021, 16:11
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Re: ? Grandparents guardianship rights vs. juvenal justice

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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.
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Old 07.03.2021, 17:05
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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.
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