Step children want to move in...(10 Posts)
I don't really know where to begin but feel you need some background information.
Been with my DP for 3 years, I have a DD and he has 3 children all under 11. They are with us every weekend.
Their Mum left my DP for another man who she is still with now. The children don't like this man, he shouts, overrules their Mum, and in their opinion treats his children better than them. They often come to us on a Friday, hungry, tired, in worn, badly fitting clothes and spend the first hour or so telling us of all bad things that's happened in the last week. For example this week their Mums partner had lost his temper at breakfast and poured cereal and milk over the children's bowls, spilling majority on the table and pushed them in the children's direction. Their Mum allegedly told them all they don't deserve parents and they're animals also. We have tried to be as helpful as possible, offering to buy uniform and pay for school trips as well as the maintenence she already recieved from DP, but she often gets defensive and says she's capable herself, or that they haven't behaved well enough for the trips etc.
Over the past few months the youngest two espcecially have stated that they want to move in with us, the eldest is quite loyal to her Mum and said as much as she prefers it here, she'd like an equal amount of time between both of her parents. Now apart from them being at a different school to my daughter, we have no other issues with these requests. It can be done, whilst it wouldn't be easy by any means, any problems we could definitely sort out together.
So my question is, where do we go from here? Does my DP confront their Mum of their wishes or is there another path he should take?
I just wondered if anyone had been in a similar situation?
Any advice is appreciated, we just want what's best for them.
I would start by talking to their mum and go from their but be prepared for court and things to get nasty
Yes, your dp should talk to his ex and really, really try to remain calm. Your op said 'confront' but I'm not sure that's what you actually meant.
Has this ever come up before? Is it going to come as a big shock to mum?
As long as you both remain really focussed on the children's best wishes, then you can avoid being accused of 'point-scoring' etc.
Good luck. Fwiw my dh and I were successful in gaining a RO for his son when he was 7.
The children may want the aggressiveness at home to stop and see moving to yours as the solution.
The reason I'm cautious is that dsd has a turbulent relationship with her mum and step father.She often told us things that happen at home that had us worried but later she forgets about it.I would suggest your partner speaks with the ex and says the children are asking for this.Or is there a counselor in school that they can access who they be happy to talk to? A 3rd party would it more neutral.
The conversation maybe enough for the ex and step dad to change their parenting which long term would be the best solution.
Of course you all want the best for the DC.....but, even though you're used to them being with you at weekends, really think carefully about all the implications for your household and your DC!
If it happens, and they come to you, make sure you have a full and frank discussion with your DP about everyone's needs and expectations....before they move in!
You both need to agree rules, behaviour codes, what you will and won't expect/accept...you'll both have to be on the same page for this to work!
Two of my DSC have been mostly living with us since January on what is in theory a temporary arrangement. Like you we previously had them every weekend. I'd second what wdigin has said about thinking through what a change it will be moving to weekday contact. Having them with us in the week feels very different to just at weekends. It means we're much more involved in their everyday school lives. Issues such as what to do if they're ill, communicating with teachers, homework, late night phone use, morning routines have all been things we've needed to resolve. We also have a set up where my DH works longer hours than me so in reality it's me not who is in charge of feeding them etc each night. DH had also been used to being in family mode at the weekends and work mode in the week. He's tried hard to find a better balance but it's not always easy.
This has been good in a way too though. The DSC's relationship with their mum had become quite weak (cause of never seeing them at weekends i think mainly) and previously neither she nor my DH were really on top of their lives, so it's better now that we are a bit more.
The most difficult issue we've had has been working out when they are going to spend much time with their mum. She's had years of child free weekends and hasn't wanted to start having her kids with her at weekends Your DSC will need to keep up some sort of contact with their mum, and moving to something less often might help their relationship, or could weaken it.
In theory it sounds fine...albeit probably difficult to negotiate...but a word of caution.
Having DSC living with you is VERY different from having them visit, even every weekend; suddenly it's about going to school and discipline and a fully-blended family, rather than the more "holiday" feeling which prevails when it's just weekends. We've just done this with my DSD, and the change in approach has been very marked - granted she is a teenager, but we have gone from the loving best behaviour we saw on visits to a full-on stroppy and un-communicative young woman, acting out the same behaviour that was (partly) making her relationship with her mum difficult.
I'm not saying at all that your DSC are telling tall stories, what they are coping with sounds awful, but it is very common for DSC to up the ante between estranged parents, often more in the vein of saying what they think each parent wants to hear about the other than telling actual lies; it's a way of feeling they have control in a situation where they have very little.
So by all means explore them spending more time with you as an option, but just be aware that it does change the dynamic fundamentally - my DH has struggled to be a real everyday Dad rather than a Disney one, and it has hugely affected our relationship, and my relationship with DSD.
It is not easy but it can be done if you and your DP work together. I have a totally blended family all now adults and a sea of wonderful DGC who are an absolute joy. We worked hard as a team and have always been there to support each other.
my advise would be speak to the mum and the step dad. My DSS used to visit with huge tales about being neglected and what his SD would say and do to him. We used to listen and be outraged and it caused all sorts of drama until one day the four adults sat down and discussed what was being said. He was going to them saying WE were neglecting him, making him work in the house, cook,clean and I would verbally abuse him. Exactly what he was saying about them. Once he realised he could not play one against the other and that we communicated it all settled down
If Purplerain is still about, it would be interesting to hear how things worked out!
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