step son doesnt like our house

mommy2girlsJuly 27, 2010

Ok, I have an 11 yr old step son. Until he was about 3yrs old never seen my husband because his mother kept moving so my husband couldnt contact her. She let him call her husband "daddy", then she decided that she wanted to file for child support thinking that my husband would just give up his right since i was prego with our own child, and she could let her now husband adopt him. Well my husband being the man that he is has always sent her money when he could find her and wanted to pay child support so he could see his son. Well my step son has had a cell phone since he was 5yr old, and is constantly calling his mom and telling her everything that goes on at our house expecially if it is something he doesnt like for example, he doesnt like the food we fix ( because his mom gets mc donalds everyday)_ and if we dont go somewhere everyday stuff like that. Is it wrong if i take his phone away while he is here? Another thing he calls her for is when he is here during the summer for the month of July he calls her constantly wanting to go home and he knows that if he crys enough that she will call my husband and beg for him to come home. My husband works out of town a lot and usually im the one holding down the fort and his mother tells my husband that she doesnt think he should have to be there when he isnt home, but he has two sisters that love him to death but all he wants is material things like his mom gives him, should i hold my ground and make him stay and egnore him crying just to get his way, two mins later he is fine. I just dont know what to do anymore, this has been going on for around 6 years already!!! HElp please!!!

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I think your DH needs to make some changes, like to be home more when his son visits, otherwise it sounds like your SS has visitations with you not his dad. of course he wants to go home to his mom. why isn't dad around? if SS does not see his dad during visits why is he visiting? it is nice he sees his sisters but it is just not enough. i understand his mother calling your DH and asking him to come home be with his son. I think if she tells the court that dad is never there, visitations will be reduced.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:05PM
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Ugg and Harumph. Totally agree with FineDreams, the visitations are with you and not this boys father. Annoying and frustrating for everyone involved. Solution seems simple although of course I don't live in your visits from stepson unless his dad is there, who he is really supposed to be visiting. If dad had an out of town trip, that means SS will have to wait for him to reutrn as EVERYONE involved had to wait.

Let him and his ex-wife know this new rule. The BM will probably agree with it enthusiatically. You and SS will feel better. Your DH, well, since he is ducking responsibility already who knows? You will feel better though, SS too.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:42PM
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ok maybe i need to clear this up, my husband isnt gone like weeks on end, he is on call in the oil feild service and has been gone maybe a 5 days out of this month while he has been here. The problem i am having is everytime he comes for his stay summer, spring, and either christmas, or thanksgiving, he always wants to leave after being here for a couple of days because we dont have an xbox, or expencive toys for him to play with. His mom spoils him with ipod touches, he jsut got an iphone 3 days ago, and he is only 11! Oh and another thing is he doesnt call his father "dad" because his mother let him call another man dad. He doesnt think of my husband as his father. We have tried to explain it to him but his mother tells him that my husband is a mean and bad person and he is the greatest father there ever was! She never gave him a chance because they didnt get along when they were dating. He needs to learn that he isnt going to get his way everytime he crys like he does with his mom.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 10:13PM
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you said your husbands is out of town a lot then you said it is just 5 days out of the months, which isn't a lot..oh well...

Your SS clearly does not feel at home at your house and does not connect to his dad, he does not even think of him as his dad. i think it is adult's job to build a connection, dad clearly failed here and mom possibly contributed. it certainly is not kid's fault.

it is possible to have a connection even if one lives far away. i see two solutions. Either dad works harder to build a relationship with his son or mom and dad go back to court and reduce visitations. no need to make everyone suffer. so far everyone is miserable.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 7:39AM
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I agree with what lamom and finedreams are saying, but I'm getting the impression that mommy2girls may be stuck in the middle in this situation. If m2g is the one who is home all day with her SS while DH is at work, even if DH is in town, it is she who is getting hit with the brunt of any bad behavior on the part of SS - and she cannot agree to custody mods!

Mommy2girls, I do not envy you. I think you need to sit down with your husband and go over the rules by which SS is expected to abide. If the phone is going to be taken away, it is your husband who should do it, certainly not you. If SS is 11 he is old enough to understand that he doesn't get to choose when he leaves, but this should be explained by your husband, not by you.

Is the real problem your SS or your husband? And by that I mean is your husband being fully supportive of you, and understanding of how hard this situation appears to be on you, or is he blithely off at work while you are at home dealing with an unhappy SS?

If an unhappy SS is being basically dumped on you all week long, that is a very unfortunate situation and I just don't see how you on your own will be able to resolve it. BM doesn't want him there to begin with so she's certainly not going to be supportive of you, Dad sounds too busy working to be much help, SS doesn't really view any of you as family anyway.....are you supposed to work miracles?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 9:43AM
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See the thing is we do do stuff with him, we even get a babysitter for our two daughters. To go spend time with our ss, but as soon as we get home he is on the phone with his mom wanting to go home, he is only happy whhile he is doing something. He isn't the usual kid, most kids play by theirselves or or at least go keep themselves entertained but for some reason he can't dind anyhing to do, even when he plays with his cousins here, they come to our house and he will still want to go home, we just don't know what to do and we don't want him to think that we are going to constantly buy him stuff just to keep him happy, my kids have to cry because we don't spoil them all the time. My husband is very suportive for me but we r both at witts end as what to do, he is tired of the mom calling everytime he is bored or doesn't get his way and wants him to come home. She doesn't want us to have him when we r supposed to as a matter of fact she had him lie to us so he could go home a week eairly, she said he had football camp but I called him yesterday because my nephew wanted to know what he was doing and he told my nephew he wasn't playing football

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 8:46PM
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Mattie that's a good post. FD it seems like you have a point, but why do you have to write it in such an attacking way? This is a new poster who probably gets a bit of a shock when she sees your answer. It's the same thing every time with you. You entice her to start explaining/defending herself. Then you find something that looks inconsistent (like in this case the husband staying away for a long time or not so long after all) and you start picking at her even more. And before you know it the real question for help is forgotten and the OP is left explaining but she'll never be ablo to do so sufficiently because the more she explains, the more info you have to find the next 'inconsistency'! People who come here don't need that FD, they really don't.

I wonder why you feel the ongoing need to do this. We all have an opinion, but the way you attack people is really unnecessary. JMO.

You give people who ask for help a hard time, and you're not even a stepmom yourself.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 8:46PM
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Maybe it would help you to read the book Divorce Poison by Richard Warshak. We've talked about this book often on this forum and it has been really helpful for me. The book ishelpful for people who deal with PAS (Parenting Alienation) but also if it's less severe (bashing etc).
It was a big relief for me to find out more abuot it and it has helped me cope with a difficult situation a lot better. There's lots of practical advise like how to talk with the kids involved, or how to approach the other parent. Really worth getting.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 7:19AM
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He isn't the usual kid, most kids play by theirselves or or at least go keep themselves entertained but for some reason he can't dind anyhing to do Ha! Not anymore. I am astonished by how many kids (relatives, neighbors, SS' friends) are completely incapable of any self-directed activity. I think they're so used to being plopped in front of a television/video game that is pretty much thinking for them and they're just reacting to it that they cannot function without someone/something telling them what to do.

It sounds to me like BM may be the problem and SS's behavior is the symptom. There is no reason for her to be calling asking if he can come home early because he's bored, and to lie about his activities is disgusting. I haven't read the book yabber recommends but it sounds like a good start. And DH needs to disengage from her: If she calls to ask that SS come home early a simple "No, he'll be here for his court-ordered visitation. Gotta run!" is sufficient. I wouldn't be surprised if the reason SS is really calling his mother all the time is because he knows that it pleases her to hear what a "horrible" time he is having.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 8:14AM
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Mttie, I do believe she is the main problem, I mean he is 11yrs and weighs about 95 to 100 pounds already. All him and his step dad do is play video games. His mom had to bring his xbox to our house which is a 45 min drive away and wjen she got here all she did was hug and kiss all over him and say " are u ok baby?" And when she used to call him she would ask if he was going to cry and if he said no she would say why don't u miss me and love me. I'm going to go to the book store and find that book, thanks for ur advise!!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 11:12AM
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Yep sounds like a plan :-)

We've had similar experiences with my (now) SD12 and SD14.
It's exactly what Mattie says: SS knows it pleases BM if he has a bad time at your place. BM has done the same thing to my skids. By saying: "Are you ok babie?" in a worried voice and hugging the kids excessively they pick BM's anxiety up. "Something must be wrong, my mummy is so upset to leave me here". It doesn't take long to work out what the desired response is. And then there's the reward afterwards which seals the deal.

SS's loyalty will be with BM simply because he lives with her and she's his main caretaker. It might make you feel better knowing that it's a normal and healthy response for SS.

When I realised how it works I felt a lot better, knowing it's not personal. Because it's not. All you have to do is be supportive of SS when he's with you. I would stick to the court ordered time, as suggested by the other poster. And when he needs to call BM, or when she rings him and he feels bad after, have a chat to him. You can say "I understand you love your mum very much and it's ok to miss her. I'm sure your mom knows how much you love her, but we are happy to have you here too.

I know how hard it can be, most of us do. Our BM does very similar things. She'll drop the kids off and keep them in the car in our driveway for a minimum of half an hour. Just to bring the 'goodbyes' and 'love you's' and 'miss you already!' to a hysterical level. Once that's achieved they can come into our house. Pfff. And (on a bad day) she'll call them 2 mins later while she's driving back, just to check if they're ok.. Again, pfff.

You did say SS gets over the crying pretty quickly after he gets off the phone, so all is not lost! If you can comfort him and distract him a bit after then my guess is you'll be fine.

Another thing I've learned is not to try and 'save' the skids anymore. My skids can do as they please at BM's, eat what they want, go to bed when they want, stay home from school, watch movies all day etc etc.

At our place there are different rules, we eat meals together, they can't just grab what they want, when they want. We have a set bedtime and we don't rent 10 movies a week. But, it's unreasonable to expect the kids to totally change when they're with us. They are used to hanging in front of the tv, they don't play outside much. If this is what BM lets them do, we can't change that. Of course it's not great, but I can't save them from it either in the short time they're with us, you know what I mean? So we have to compromise. You could have a talk to SS, include him in the decision making. He'll feel more in control and less victimised. Also, he's more likely to accept the rules if he feels included in the process. For example tell him that you realise it must be hard for him to come to your place where there's different ways of doing things. And that you understand he sometimes wants to go back to moms because of it. Then tell him that you want to help him with this because you want everybody to be happy. Yyou could ask him to think about what he finds most difficult ("Do you miss your X-box, your friends, your favorite food/mums cooking etc"). Encourage SS to share what goes on inside him (hopefully he will). Then it's time to comprimise. For example you can tell him that the set bedtime is not negotiable, but maybe you can rent him some dvd's and he can watch one a day in the holidays. Or an extra hour of tv to what you'd normally do. Ask him for his favorite meal and if that is McDonalds maybe have it one day in the holidays, for lunch or dinner. Take a little and give a little.
Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 7:14AM
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Yabber, thanks for the advise. My ss follows ther rules that I have set, he is allowed to do more things here like ride his bike on the street or walk to the store with a group of friends, which he is not allowed to do at moms. Also he has friends over here which he doesn't at home. I do try and talk about how he is feeling but he dorsnt talk about them, he is like his dad in that way, and right after he calls his mom to tell her. Hopefully thing will get better, but it has continuely getting worse, I think because his mom knows that if he likes it more over here there is a chance of him wanting to stay here when he is old enough to choose. Thanks for everyones advise it has helped me.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 10:32AM
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