to think this is in some way neglectful? bit long and ranty :/(4 Posts)
Stepdaughter who is 10 has had behavioural issues at home (with mum) for almost 3 years now. Her parents do not communicate since this started (there was only ever tense, ineffective communication prior) and then mum basically started to inform us of the bare minimum and eventually stopped keeping us in the loop at all. When sd is with us she is fine, so this went unnoticed for quite some time until mum eventually prevented her from visiting, as sd's behaviour upon returning from us was apparently so bad. SD now sees us as and when she chooses so as not to place any pressure on her (she has an issue with her parents being separated, although she remembers no differentand feels as though she is upsetting mum when with us and vice versa). The last visit involved sd disclosing that she had been with a counsellor for nearly a year (we thought it was only 8 weeks) and that people started to "worry" about her so she was rerefered through school and was seeing the counsellor again before Christmas but has since been referred to child's mental health services. She also disclosed that she hits, nips and bites herself when she is too stressed. We have been told none of this by her mother. There have been times when she has gone upstairs to have time alone whilst with us and could well of been harming herself and we would have no clue If there were any triggers or warning signs that could make this happen because her mum just does not want us involved with this. SD may of asked her mum not to tell us, but surely something like this would requirea sensible parental head and think "hher other family need to be aware of the severity", we don't need anything that sd wants to be kept private but this is an issue of safety. We can't keep her ssafe if we don't know the full extent. Pre kids I worked in mental health, so have huge insight into how thesebites/nips and hits can eescalate to cuts or burns. Am I wrong in thinking her mother should of put all issues with my oh aside and said "look, you needto know this, you ddon'tneed to do anything/worry/talk to her but this is the situation". Sorry for the rant. Classic caring for a child who isn't your own but not exactly fangirling other people's parenting choices.
Yes, but it's possibly never going to happen, unless family therapy is suggested and she agrees.
Your DH can make an appointment with her School and CAHMs and can be kept upto date, via them.
He could fill in all parties on the difficulties that him and his ex are having communicating, which they can explore with your SDD.
I am going to sound harsh here, I don't mean it to be a reflection on you OP as I too am a step mum of two HUGELY dysfunctional parents. (Really they are as bad as each other and all that matters is scoring points of each other). Your OH needs to step up. Start being an involved parent. Stop waiting to hear stuff second hand from his ex. Get to school, have meetings with CAMHS, go to progress meetings. Stop leaving it to mother. He is an equal parent. He needs to start taking responsibility, stop waiting for mother to drip feed (or not as it seems) and most of all, stop blaming others for the little information he knows about his child ! His ex is under no obligation to tell him anything. It is up to him to have all the info first hand !
Thanks guys. I know everything you are saying is correct, especially you Marilyn (like banging my head against a brick wall at times with him). I used to get on alright with her so felt like I could approach until I asked for more detail on what she was experiencing this end as we didn't see any change in her, too which she thought I was accusing her of lying and lost her mind (and the last of my patience). But having never experienced a need to have an ex lurking in your life somewhere, I can't really empathise with the "I just can't talk to them!" But being a parent, I can't empathise with (his!) ability to part time parent so professionally. I just see a (more than first thought) messed up kid, trying to get help, in the middle of a cold war and knowing how I would deal with it is not how it is being dealt with, purely because 2 people can't get over themselves. And for their own fking kid at that.
P.s. I have no one in real life to say this to, so thanks for reading my pent up dry January induced rage!
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