Next step please(10 Posts)
I am a step mom to 3 kids. Not my first stint as step mom. I have two others I'm still in contact with and I'm grandparent to their kids. (I also have 5 of my own 4 adults and 1 x 16 yr old - I started young)!
However; I have never had such an experience with a bitter twisted ex as my husbands. She left him to live with the man she's now married to. There is such acrimony you'd think it was my husband that'd had the affair. 6 years of this so far. I'm lucky my step kids are really good kids but are so mixed up and well and truly caught in the crossfire. Mom appears to be unable to separate her relationship and negative feelings for her ex (my husband) from the relationship the kids should have with him. She wants them to feel the same way as she does towards him. It's been a constant battle. Their step dad emotionally bullies and has completely shattered the confidence of the youngest boy. Mum is blind to it and says he lies to us for our attention but this boy is broken. I'm at a loss as to what to do. We've gone as far as we can through court cafcass with section 7's. Can anyone shed any light on how we can deal with this as I honestly think these children need outside support as its a bigger issue than I can cope with and it really isn't what I signed up for but I love them and can't turn my back on them but I am really struggling to stay positive and I don't want to start slating and ranting about mom and step dad. My husband hasn't always reacted in the right way, I get his motives are good but communication is dire. How much should I just turn a blind eye to and not get involved in. There are days I dread them coming because we just don't know what we're going to get and what mess we have to untangle.
Help and advice greatly appreciated.
How old are the DC and what is your relationship with their school? How is their behaviour elsewhere?
I'm sorry I'm not sure of the terminology. Is DC dependent children. ? They are 12 and 9 yr old twins. School relationship isn't great as mom works there (off sick at the moment)! and it's been difficult for dad to be treated respectfully. Their behaviour is ok. They're not having breakdowns every five minutes But they're not coping. Their responses to simple things are so extreme. The 12 yr old and 9 yr old girl both have anxiety issues about leaving mum. She's been unwell for quite a while so they don't like leaving her. The 9 yr old boy has just 0 confidence and does not value himself. He thinks he's worthless and stupid. We dont have enough time with him to undo the damage
it wouldn't be unreasonable (or unusual) for children not to want to leave an ill parent - how ill has she been? has it been prolonged?
is the boy able to express why he feels worthless?
Have you tried speaking to the school?
Mom has mental health issues. It's not going to change. She cries when they leave and sends them texts saying she's missing them. My stepson has been completely demoralised by his step dad telling him he is stupid he's a liar he lazy etc. We are going into school on Monday.
I think all you can do is raise your concerns with the school and perhaps the DC GP?
Presumably contact will not increase because the Ex will fight it?
At this point is really isn't about increasing access it's about the mental health and emotional well being of the kids. How far can we go what else can we do. We've made a referral to a support network for them and we are awaiting a Response
Yes I understand that but I can't see what support they will be given
Dss had a bit of this with his dm and step dad. We got him counselling via the school, but he is older.
You can get private counselling. Dss had that when the parents split, he was about 7 I think.
Dss also himself called social services about his stepdad and they spoke to dp and the school - are you in contact with social services?
I think if you can offer than an ear that will listen and manage to do without providing any judgement to your responses, then I think that's the most valuable support you can offer them as this is most likely what they need the most.
There is nothing worse as a child of separate children to be stuck in the middle of two parents who are trying to discredit the other, especially when one is ill. Your OH might not think this is what he is doing, but by involving authorities, this is what he is doing and they will feel it. Kids are much much more perceptive to it all then we think.
It sounds like they are very lucky to have you as someone they don't have to be watch they do and say around by fear to be used against the other parent. Stay neutral and be there for them. Help them by teaching them coping mechanisms.
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