What age is old enough to say when Step Child doesn't want to see NRP?

(13 Posts)
HerondaleDucks Mon 13-Aug-18 15:05:39

Posting on here for advice as I'm a step mum but a RP.
Dsd has come back from a holiday with Nan saying she does not want to see her mum anymore.
I'm really conflicted as she comes to me for advice about this. Her dad and I try and get her mum over to see the children as much as we can but she went 8 months without seeing them regularly, I think she saw them once each in that time.
Mum is currently pregnant with a dd and dsd has been expressing increasing feelings of unhappiness about her mum for a variety of reasons.
I've been pushing them to see her as much as I can. Set up as once a month at first and I set up activities for them to do and cook etc.
When it went well I started pushing for twice a month.
It's floored me that dsd is now saying she doesn't want to see her. What can we do to help repair this before dsd decides this course. Will mum blame us? How do I support this child in the best way? My heart hurts as I want her to be as happy as I can, whilst not replacing mum and helping her to have a happy life. My own mum encouraged me to see my Dad until I was 14 and then I said enough was enough and I didn't want to anymore and if I did it would be on my terms.
She is 12. Dss is disabled and does not have an opinion on this and struggles with her when she visits. So it's more a question for dsd.

OP’s posts: |
ohreallyohreallyoh Mon 13-Aug-18 16:18:29

She’s old enough for a court to take her seriously, perhaps not quite old enough for totally her own decision. Do you understand the reasoning behind it? My eldest started mumours about not seeing dad at 12 but he is still going str9ng at age 14. We talked a lot about it, I gave him money he keeps in his sock drawer as escape money in an emergency, upgraded his phone to contract so he would always be able to call me, taught him to immediately delete texts to me, bought deodorant for him (because dad won’t confused), talked about dad loving him but hating me more and not letting that worry him, assured him he didn’t need to protect me or be outraged on my behalf.....it has worked. I do ‘t think it will for much longer but I am confident the ex would accept it now because of his age whereas he wouldn’t have done 2 years ago.

ohreallyohreallyoh Mon 13-Aug-18 16:21:29

Sorry, posted too soon...what I was going to say is if you can put in place plans to help deal with any distress or anguish or just get rid of the issue altogether (like the deodorant),she may feel happier. I do think if a relationship can be maintained, it is for the best in the majority of cases.

rainingcatsanddog Mon 13-Aug-18 16:36:13

She sounds scared about the future and having her heart broken even more. Poor girl sad I'd also worry that mum would use baby as an excuse to be flaky again.

As holiday with nan was the catalyst, I'd worry that she (nan) would get the blame too. (I'm assuming paternal grandmother )

Like a PP, my son started saying that at a similar age. I also had to help him have a "get out of Dad's house" plan. He knew which taxi company would accept me paying by credit card and he sent me a Google Maps screenshot of his Dad's house. He knew he could bail (with his siblings) whenever and whatever time of night.

In the end he never had to make an escape but he has ended up going NC with his Dad a couple of years later. I feel more confident that the decision was right at 14 but not quite at 12.

swingofthings Mon 13-Aug-18 16:52:00

Same here, starting to express an unwillingness to go at 12 but encouraged to keep going. Decision was made at 14 to go NC and I couldn't have forced it.

You sound like an amazing SM.

PrettyLovely Mon 13-Aug-18 17:05:25

I think as her Mums flakey anyway I wouldnt want to push her into going. I would want to have a heart to heart with her though to find out why although I think its pretty obvious why.
Flakey parents arent good for children they need consistency.

HerondaleDucks Mon 13-Aug-18 17:11:51

It's a bit complicated but the gist of it is Mum has a boyfriend which flagged up on social worker's radar at the end of 2016.
Mum had been secretly having him around dsd when the overnight contact happened for 2 months after a long court case for dp to have residency. Mum took 6 week course at the time regarding safeguarding her children, putting them first and making sure that new bfs were introduced slowly at dsd pace.
As a result dsd told her Dad he was there, social worker flagged it and under Clare's law dp had a disclosure. Contact was in the community and unsupervised. And then dsd revealed mum had been taking her to his house.
Dp told her contact centre under social worker advice.
Bf grew violent and threatened us and to take dsd from school and to beat us up etc.
Mum refused to go to contact centre at all because of him.
By January I'd had enough and set it up at home so she could see her kids. So far this has worked.

It's the baby that's clinched it. Dsd was
Ok up until the sex was revealed. When she found out from her mum she cried as soon as she saw me come in from work. I told her her mum will always love her and I said no matter what happens she's always going to be our number one girl.
I said that contact with the baby was her choice but it would be lots of fun having a sister.
But since then she's said that she feels her mum doesn't care about her and always puts the bf first. She thinks when baby is born she will see her even less as she always is short on money and does not work so has a limited income.
I was trying to get as much contact in as possible and got dp to offer for her to come round at least once a week when dsd was back from nan's. But I am floundering now.
Nan is maternal side btw. Nan is very concerned as well.
We've had a difficult year as a family and it's been tough aside from the issues with mum.
I see that 12 is a common age to start having doubts about this though. Any suggestion to ease her worries?
We already have counselling in place and she does work with a family engagement officer about her mum and the family.

OP’s posts: |


lunar1 Mon 13-Aug-18 17:23:14

Is the mum even going to be able to keep this baby if the bf is in the picture? I'd perhaps let the contact slip back a bit, so it becomes less frequent. It sounds like nobody else will get round to sorting it. And this woman is going to become more and more chaotic as the baby is due.

HerondaleDucks Mon 13-Aug-18 17:25:49

I have no idea about the baby. I believe she is already under CIN though. I have very little to do with the woman. But organise things from behind closed doors. Dp is the spokesman.

OP’s posts: |
HerondaleDucks Mon 13-Aug-18 17:28:09

I worry if we take it back to once a month again they will become abusive again.
I also worry that we'll be accused of denying her access.
Bless dsd little heart I want to protect her but it's so difficult to know what the right thing to do is when you're just the step mum.

OP’s posts: |
juneau Mon 13-Aug-18 17:29:51

She only saw her DM once in 8 months, the DM has a violent new DP and now she's pregnant with a baby girl? No wonder your poor DSD is upset and pushing her DM away. I don't know what the answer is, but I think 12 is a bit young to totally reject her DM. Can you get advice from the SW? What is your relationship with the DM? Could you have a word with her and ask her to reassure DSD that she will still be her mum and still want to see her when the baby comes? I also wonder if she'll be allowed to keep the baby if the violent DP is on SS's radar.

HerondaleDucks Tue 14-Aug-18 07:19:15

Dsd has given me more info now. Apparently when she was at Nan's, mum called Nan and was abusive on the phone and she overheard her saying that her nan was stopping her from seeing her kids and lots of nasty things.
Dsd says she doesn't want to see her for a while.
DP wants it to go back to once a month. I think I agree.

OP’s posts: |
PrettyLovely Tue 14-Aug-18 11:57:01

Your dsd is probably sick of all the abuse now op, shes getting older now and has found her voice dont ignore it.
Her Mum is clearly selfish, and abusive dont make her see someone like that if she doesnt want to.

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