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Stepchildren not wanting to see their bio mum

(61 Posts)
lulustepmum Wed 05-Jul-17 15:01:56

Could really do with some helpful advice. My step children only see their mum every other weekend. It's come to the point where the kids don't want to go over to hers at all due to how she acts around them. She never listens, talks about herself, doesn't take them anywhere (these are the things the kids have told me) Recently their mum wanted to take them away on holiday to Spain but the day she wanted to take them is the day we fly back from holiday ourselves. She messaged my SD whilst at school (to ask about the dates we go away on holiday even though my other half had told her the previous day) She kept calling and texting my SD and found my SD rather rude which she was not, she only text her to say she is at school speak later.
The whole thing got even more heated after school and in the end her mum disowned her, told my SD that she had had enough of her disrespectful attitude, that I am her mother now and she shouldnt bother to see her ever again. My SD just text back "fine"
It's been 3 weeks since then and my SC are meant to see their mum this weekend. She messaged my other half yesterday to make sure they are coming over but my SD doesn't want to go due to what was said 3 weeks ago and she hasn't received an apology. Also her mum blocked her number and from all social media channels too!
Myself and my other half have been trying to solve this and informed her the kids don't want to see her because of what happened but she thinks that my SD should apologise to her.
I have no idea what to do! Whatever we suggest my other half is met with abuse, she is very unreasonable and thinks everyone else is in the wrong but not her.
Advice would be ever so helpful!
Thank You x

lulustepmum Wed 05-Jul-17 15:06:10

Just wanted to add, I will always want my SC to have a good relationship with their mum. I would never stop them from seeing her.
Unfortunately she has "made her bed" as such and it's all come to a head. Both SC are growing up they aren't 6 or 11 anymore they are 11 and 15 and my other half and I wouldn't force them to see her if they didn't want to.

Somerville Wed 05-Jul-17 15:11:39

However bad a parent she may seem, she's their mum, not their 'bio mum'. That's a term for a parent of a child who has been adopted.

Why can't she take the kids on holiday? It seems such a shame to let her have even less time with them when their relationship is already suffering. It sounds like a holiday together might help - they probabaly feel some insecurity at seeing their mum a lot less than let kids do.

As for this weekend - if it is court ordered then I think the 15 YO has to go anyway? Goodness knows how that could be enforced though. But don't stop your other step daughter going to her mum just because her sister fell out with her.

Styleangel Wed 05-Jul-17 15:27:03

Why do people get so cross at the term 'bio mum'? Yes she's the mum op isn't trying to belittle that fact! If the dcs don't want to go away with their mum I don't really think u can enforce it, also they can't really if it's the same day as u come back! All you can do is say it might do you good for your relationship with your mum but we won't force you either. Sounds like she's a very angry lady

lulustepmum Wed 05-Jul-17 15:30:49

She could if we weren't coming back at midnight the day she wanted to take the kids away. I would never stop them going anywhere with their Mum. I've always encouraged them to see her.

Neither myself nor my other half have ever stopped them from seeing her.

There is no court order in place it was agreed verbally when my other half and his ex got divorced.
My SS has said he doesn't want to go unless his sister goes.
So shall I send them kicking and screaming?
Are you a step parent?

lulustepmum Wed 05-Jul-17 15:32:40

Thanks Styleangel, really appreciate your comments.

My SD has said going away with her mum for two weeks is the last thing she wants to do! I can't force them to do something they don't want to!

Somerville Wed 05-Jul-17 15:38:36

People get so cross at "bio mum" and 'bio dad', because it is both inaccurate and offensive to use them about an actual mum or dad.
OP do you call your partner their 'bio dad'?

You keep saying that you'd never stop them seeing their mum - well, of course you wouldn't/shouldn't - it's clearly in kid's best interest to have relationships with both parents, except for in abusive situations, and that doesn't apply here or she already wouldn't be allowed contact with them.

I find it confusing when you criticised her parenting for not doing anything with them, then said in next sentence that she wanted to take them on holiday. It seems positive that she wants to do that, and it should surely be encouraged/supported? Did she know your holiday dates already? Can she move her dates, or you move yours?

DancesWithOtters Wed 05-Jul-17 15:39:26

I think let SD decide herself. She's too young for the decision to be made for her.

If my mum spoke to me like that and blocked me I certainly wouldn't want to go to see her, and don't blame your SD one bit.

AltogetherAndrews Wed 05-Jul-17 15:54:28

I think that actually all this stuff about a relationship with parents at all costs is rubbish. Sounds like DSD is making her views clear and is old enough to understand the cosequences. Forcing someone to have a relationship with someone who is verbally abusive is not a good life lesson for a young woman. DSD will have a relationship of some type with her mother all her adult life. It needs to not be built on the idea that she has to take the abuse and put up with it. We wouldn't encourage our children to have this kind of relationship with anyone else, we would teach them how to protect themselves.

Styleangel Wed 05-Jul-17 16:05:01

I don't know what's wrong with Somerville, trying to make you the bad one! I have similar with my sc mum. Does she tend to avoid parental responsibility and then want to take them on holiday on her terms?

lulustepmum Wed 05-Jul-17 16:22:11

one thing I would like to point out to Somerville is that I only put bio mum as none of you are in my life so I was trying to make it easier and if I am speaking to someone about my life I would refer my other half as their biological dad - which I am not wrong.

Also it's the first time since I have know the kids ( 5 years ) that she has ever wanted to take them away, which is great! but it's just bad timing when she wants to take the kids. We have all our flights booked and accommodation and have done for the last 4 months. If you must know...She was actually sorting out her own holiday at the time so I am sure she could change her dates but was too stubborn not to and she knew our holiday dates as we checked when we booked ours.

Do you have any helpful information for me to find a way of helping my SC and their mum have a relationship?

lulustepmum Wed 05-Jul-17 16:27:28

Thank you AltogetherAndrews, Styleangel and DanceWithOtters - I really appreciate your thoughts and help.

Over the years their mum has wanted to see her kids and even when it has meant to be her own weekend has decided to go out on the town or has other plans and tells us she can't have them - so like I said she has "made her own bed"

Also my SD is acting so adult about the whole thing deciding if her mother is to be like that then she doesn't deserve her or to see her.

I am the type of person that wants to make everyone happy, even their mum as I do know she misses them and wants to see them but unfortunately they dont want to see her - which is ever so sad. We have tried to ask if SD, mother and my other half meet up to discuss my SD's feelings in the hope for an apology from her but I just can't see it happening sad

Somerville Wed 05-Jul-17 16:37:52

I'm not making anyone the bad one. Quite the opposite - I think adults should try, as hard as it can be, to keep the focus on what's best for the kids. Part of that is using temperate language - and 'bio mum' really, really isn't. With insults like that flying about then no wonder tempers are fraying.

I think the holiday should be the focus here. Both agreeing on this one - (can either dates be changed without financial penalty? Or meeting at airport to hand kids over?) and coming to an agreement about the dates so that a double booking doesn't occur again (splitting school holidays down the middle?).

15 year olds often catastrophise - "I'm never seeing her again!!" or whatever. She'll probabaly calm down. If she doesn't, or if her father, as the resident parent, really thinks her mother has become abusive - then the agreement about contact might need to change. Unfortunately that will probably result in CAFCASS and court and all of that hassle and trauma for the kids. So it needs to be considered carefully by their dad.

7thInningStretch Wed 05-Jul-17 16:49:05

You can't force the 15 year old nor should you. I would make the 11 year old go. People jumping up and down about the use of bio mum are missing the point and projecting. These kids have two mothers a stepmother and mother or biological mother. It's simply an accurate description and nothing more. Their mum hasn't exactly covered herself in glory. Your SD needs to feel loved and supported by the parents she lives with a majority of the time. I'd gently encourage her to speak to the mum and see if it can be sorted but not at the cost of being treated poorly.

DancesWithOtters Wed 05-Jul-17 16:49:15

her mum disowned her, told my SD that she had had enough of her disrespectful attitude, that I am her mother now and she shouldnt bother to see her ever again. My SD just text back "fine". It's been 3 weeks since then and my SC are meant to see their mum this weekend. She messaged my other half yesterday to make sure they are coming over but my SD doesn't want to go due to what was said 3 weeks ago and she hasn't received an apology. Also her mum blocked her number and from all social media channels too!

But what about this? I don't think that's a 15 year old overreacting. I would find that very hard to let go and would be in no mood to go on holiday with anyone - mother or otherwise - who spoke to me like that.

Somerville Wed 05-Jul-17 16:50:15

I x posted with you OP.

It's good to hear that you don't usually use 'bio mum'.

You could suggest your partner tries to set up family counselling for his daughter and her mum. Or if her mum won't attend, then counselling for your daughter would be helpful. It must be confusing to see so little of her mum, and for it to often be hostile. I think that could help.

Styleangel Wed 05-Jul-17 16:55:27

Somerville op was using that term on here to make it clear who she's talking about not to insult anyone I'm sure she's not using the term to the mum or the dcs. The adults seem to be doing what they can but they can't force them to go! Maybe even the mum is trying to cause trouble deliberately booking her holiday the same time, I know most mums wouldn't do that but some do! I never thought a mum could be actually like that until I experienced it myself. It's up to the dcs to pursue the relationship yes with the help of the adults but you can't force a 15 year old to do anything believe me!

lulustepmum Wed 05-Jul-17 16:55:41

What makes you think I am not thinking about what is best for my step kids? I always give them the option to see their mum, go out on a day with her, on holiday, they choose.

I haven't insulted anyone by saying bio mum - maybe just you!

You are not in my life and the discussion of a holiday has already been done. Both kids do not want to go. That is their choice.
This is the first time their mum has wanted to take the kids away, she has never asked to see them in any school holiday until now, which I think is really nice but it just hasn't worked out this time. There are a lot more issues to it than you realise of changing dates, ours would incur a lot of financial penalties as we are also going away with my parents to a timeshare apartment where we have been taking the kids to for a long time now and they love it there. They want to go there. The kids are also taking friends too.

Believe me when I say my SD has not catastrophised her reactions, she has been more adult about things than her mum.

Their dad has today been trying to sort all of these issues out with their mum but has gotten no where with her to even solve anything.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 05-Jul-17 16:57:37

So she booked a hol for the day you get back but your flight isn't coming in until near midnight? Was she made aware of that fact? It is not easy or cheap to change dates

At the end of the day the only person being harmed and damaged here is the kids. Yes mother might be hurting at the rejection but all too often people lose sight of the children.

Focus on the child

Somerville Wed 05-Jul-17 17:05:23

What makes you think I am not thinking about what is best for my step kids? I always give them the option to see their mum

Do you really not see the issue there?

It's not for a step parent to give them the option to see their mum. It also sounds very stressful for you. You need to step back and leave it to their dad.

Bio mum doesn't insult me personally - my children don't have a step mum. They have a step father (my husband) and although my situation is different to yours, I'd be furious if he or anyone described their father as bio dad. I've also witnessed friends and others on here being upset by the term - it's something that is often said in a goady way (not saying this is your intention), to undermine a parent.

Janeismymiddlename Wed 05-Jul-17 17:08:30

I haven't insulted anyone by saying bio mum - maybe just you!

It is insulting and plenty of people have told you just how insulting and rather than take that on board, you lash out and say utter shit like the above. And yes, it is possible to be a step mum and have an issue with referring to a child's mother as 'bio mum'. And please don't lie and say you refer to your parthner as their 'biological father' because you really don't or if you do there are way bigger issues at work here Are you this obtuse in real life? I can only imagine how difficult that is for your step child if so. You can't force a teenager, no. But you can recognise that you are playing a part in the mess and change things.

lulustepmum Wed 05-Jul-17 17:14:27

Thank you 7thInningStretch - really appreciate your comments - I have encouraged my SD to speak with her mum and my other half has contacted her about that today but she still thinks he r daughter should apologise- It's a long shot but I think it's something my SD and her mum need to sort out together as feelings and thoughts coming from my other half probably makes the mum think he is making it up - which isn't true.

My SD has been treated poorly by her mum for many years and now she is older she is finally finding her voice to say "i'm not taking it anymore"

Thanks again for your help.

and Thank you Somerville for your advice on counselling, my mum is a counsellor and I did actually call her for some advice. I too believe SD needs counselling and she even suggested it last night between her mother and herself too so maybe that's another thing we can look at. Thank you.

Styleangel Wed 05-Jul-17 17:18:41

Take no notice to the people putting you down op, your doing a fantastic job and sound very caring. You can't win on here sometimes 😘

lulustepmum Wed 05-Jul-17 17:23:08

Well there I was thinking Mumsnet was a really nice place to get advice from nice people. - I was wrong.

(janeismymiddlename) - I think you are missing the point that I made and I apologise if I upset anyone but no one has told me before that saying that has upset them. Not even their Dad or their Mum or even the kids. I am a second mum to them and have a loving and caring relationship with them.

Also how do you know I am lying. I don't know you.

DancesWithOtters Wed 05-Jul-17 17:26:06

OP you sound like a very nice person.

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