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  • How much information is too much

    We have joint custody of our 6 year old son. I rarely have any knowledge of my son's where about while he is with his father. Most recently, his father picked him up from my home on Tuesday and left him at the family deer lease with his grandfather until Saturday morning while he worked. When I spoke to my son on Thursday, he told me 2 different times "I'm here with grandpa and my cousin". I figured out his father wasn't with him when I saw him driving down the road on Friday.

    I have 2 issues/questions....

    1) Do I have right to any information about my son outside of my visitation/custody?

    2) My son has told me and recently told his father (in my presence) he didn't want to kill anymore animals. He shot a buck during Thanksgiving and it shook him up. On that day, he called me and told me he got "buck fever" then explained, he got the shakes and chills after shooting the deer. I could hear his father in the background telling him "it's normal". I've told his father on several occasions that I object to our son handling a gun at this young age, my concern for his safety not to mention he is too young to comprehend the act of killing an animal. Despite my objections, his father continues to take him to the deer lease and gifted him a gun this Christmas.
    Where is the consensus in raising our son when I have no influence of activities while he's not with me?

  • #2
    I'm sure you are going to get a lot of conflicting and heated responses to your questions. Please know that I understand your concern for your child's safety. I do have personal experience with this as I have joint custody with my daughter's father and I was raised by a hunter.

    First, the question of control over / knowing about your son's activities when he is with his father. These are likely activities that he would allow your son to participate in whether you two were together or not. Whether or not his father was working during his visitation time or not, it is not up to you what your son does during his father's time unless it is blatantly dangerous to the child. Your child's father entrusted your son to his grandfather's care during the time he was working. I'm sure you would not like it if he left your son with a stranger. It is good that your son is spending time knowing his whole family during his "dad's time", just as I am sure you allow him to spend time with person's in your family on "your time". He has the same rights as you in this regard.

    Second, in reference to the guns. It is scary to have guns around children. The danger lies in how these weapons are handled and stored. Do they have trigger locks? Are they stored in locked cabinets or out in the open? Most of the danger in regards to having guns around children are when the guns are used and stored irresponsibly. This danger is dramatically lessened if the adults supervise all activity with the weapon and secure them when they are not in use. A child's curiosity is the most dangerous thing when there are guns involved. If your son, even at the age of 6 is being taught about the responsibility of handling a weapon in a conscientious manner, the danger to him is much reduced.

    When I grew up there were guns (hunting rifles) everywhere. This was before the time of trigger locks and locked gun cabinets. We had a gun rack in the house, in the garage, in the barn, and in my dad's truck. None were ever loaded and the ammunition was locked in a cabinet or case depending on the location. My father taught me to respect the power of the weapon and know it was not for play. I hunted with him on many occasions from a very young age (probably the same age as your son now). These experiences, and yes the killing of an animal included, made me understand the dangers of what a gun could do. It reinforced for me these things were not for play.

    There is a huge difference between a gun hidden in a box, a drawer, or under a mattress........vs ones that are used in the manner that you describe. As long as the proper measures are taken to protect your son, I think he will be okay. Call his grandfather and talk to him. Don't be argumentative, just let him know your concerns and allow him to have an opportunity to ease your fears. If this does not happen, if he is argumentative or does not try to ease your concerns, then go through the courts or ask children's services to make sure your son is safe.
    Don't listen to a word I say because ya know I've gotta be crazy to be a Brown's fan.

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