Feeling heartbroken for my stepson

(13 Posts)
rosieposies Thu 02-Jan-20 13:35:33

Going to try and be brief but not drip feed.

I have been with DP coming up to 6 years. DSS is 7 and we have DS8mos.

DP's relationship with his ex has never been good, they are extremely different people with very different parenting styles.

Exw has very bad mental health issues, meaning ss have been involved in some way for a couple of years. It was decided in June by ss that it was better for DSS to live with me and DP full time. We don't know exactly what he has been through whilst being with her. He is very protective of her. She sees him for one overnight a fortnight and a few hours in the week nights.

Sometimes DSS misses her so much he cries himself to sleep. He's a very sensitive soul and things affect him deeply.

He is happy here, he is extremely close to his dad and me and adores his baby brother.

I just don't know what to do to help him feel better. I can't even imagine not being able to see my mum, no matter what she may have done (he was never abused, it was more neglect). Does anyone have tips for how to help him heal from this? It will be a long ride to recovery for her, and this needs to be done right as he is at such an important stage of his life.


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stuffedpeppers Thu 02-Jan-20 14:32:29

I am, sure there are reasons for the decision but he get so little time with her - it does seem cruel. He has gone from every day contact to 2 nights per month.

Has anyone asked him what he wants within the bounds of this is his permanent home.

Poor kid - whilst done in his best interests, does he actually understand why it has happened and that he has not lost his Mum.

Intensicle Thu 02-Jan-20 14:36:57

Is it possible that he’s worried about his mother being alone? Children can end up feeling responsible for their parent’s wellbeing. I’d try to reassure him that his mother is getting support.

Pipstelle Thu 02-Jan-20 14:38:03

I think you need a proper child psychologist to help him. That's a fairly traumatic life change for a 7 year old. I don't think any of us can help you or more importantly him. I think you need a therapist. Lots of play therapy is very effective.

Intensicle Thu 02-Jan-20 14:44:10

If SS are still involved can you get a referral through them?

rosieposies Thu 02-Jan-20 15:06:36

He has play therapy and ss see him once a fortnight as he is on a child in need plan. I'm
Not sure how long the latter will continue as now he lives here he's not really seen as 'in need' physically.

1 in 14 is what has been decided by ss and then the courts. There really is nothing we can do, the onus is on her to get help and improve her mental health. Until she does that we can't up contact time. I can't go into details really but she really isn't able to put dss first.

It is best for him to be here I know that but it's still v upsetting.

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rosieposies Thu 02-Jan-20 15:09:06

I think increasing play therapy is a good shout.

I think what is frustrating is that we can't change the facts, only support him through this. We can't make any promises about when he will be able to see her as sometimes she's just not able, or she makes arrangements on days she should be seeing him. It's such a rollercoaster.

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Isadora2007 Thu 02-Jan-20 15:10:22

Bless him. It sounds like you are supporting him as best you can. I would try to frame it as his mum being very poorly- very ill- and that she just cannot manage to look after him and herself at the moment- similarly to if she was dreadfully unwell with cancer or the like. Such a shame all round. Let him talk about her as much as he wants to and feels able to. Let him voice his concerns. Such a sad situation but at least he has you guys.

rosieposies Thu 02-Jan-20 15:11:42


Has anyone asked him what he wants within the bounds of this is his permanent home

He wants to see mummy and daddy equally. We really hope that one day this is possible.

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averythinline Thu 02-Jan-20 15:19:55

I would increase the therapy but also maybe look at some counselling/support for you and dh as well if not family counselling as it is likely to go on for a while- maybe SS or mental health services can suggest ... to give you as parents the words /ways to help him...
some organisation like Mind? maybe able to help...... you may need to be careful with the illness approach..... as she may not get 'better' or well enough to look after him all the time ever.......but she may
hard as you almost need to reduce the level of 'fuss' so his expectations are lowered so he gets upset less when she lets him down........but still enable him to talk about things......

on a practical basis can he do any extra social clubs types stuff eg cubs/sports activities/chess/coding/martial arts... keeping him physically and mentally active so he almost has less time to think if you see what I mean...

rosieposies Thu 02-Jan-20 15:46:11

Thankyou @averythinline that's a really great suggestion, I didn't think about us having family therapy.

We've signed him up for a couple of new sports for this coming term so are hoping this will help him! He's often at school until 5 doing activities.

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fuzzledface Thu 02-Jan-20 20:46:13


I’m sorry your DSS is going through this. Could I possibly DM you please? I’d like to ask something about this process but perhaps not so publicly.

rosieposies Mon 06-Jan-20 22:17:44

Of course @fuzzledface sorry I've only just seen this

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