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Step-Parenting Ask other step-parents your questions about being a step mom.

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Old 03-31-2003, 06:42 AM
lism32's Avatar
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Location: NY
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Need help with Step kids/biological mother

I am new to these boards, but so desperate for help! I am engaged to a man who has 2 children from previous marriage. Lot of bagage came with it. We have been together for 4yrs, and just found out that (wife) didn't sign divorce papers that were filed in 2003. I had no clue. Problem is, he has always voluntarily payed child supprt in the amount of $700 a month, plus bought whatever children need for school, ect. We also, I might add, have his children every weekend from Sat-Tues. Ex to be feels she still calls all the shots, even in our home and is a very manipulative, controlling person, and the children are now starting to do the same thing. They are 5 & 10 These kids run the show at moms house, doing whatever they want and telling her what is going to go on. When they come to our house, they have rules to follow, and get in trouble when they do something wrong here. The newest thing is, they are now calling mom at work, before and after school if they don't like what is going on at our home. She in turn is encouraging them and acting like the "savior". Calls us to find out what is going on if they get in trouble here, etc. I don't know what to do!!!! I am at my wits end and ready to just go! Anyone with any words of wisdom before I lose my mind????????
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Old 03-31-2003, 10:01 AM
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I think your husband needs to lay the ground rules and stick by them. You really didn't go into a lot of detail. Maybe take away phone privledges if they're going to bother their mom at work. Encourage them to talk about what they don't like is going on before calling their mom. Especially the 5 year old, you'd think you'd have some more control over that one. Don't loose control!!! What are their genders? Maybe if the little one is a girl, when things get out of control, you and her could go for a walk and let the older one do something with the father?
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Old 03-31-2003, 10:06 AM
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Oh boy you have my sympathies. One of my dh's brothers went through a similar situation with manipulative ex and kids who played both ends. His new wife told him it was them or her so he chose her. I do NOT condone this however. He helped bring those kids into this world and owes them his support.

I know it's somewhat chiche' but I suggest you get counselling BEFORE you take the huge step of getting married. You, df AND his kids all need to go so that you can work this out before hand. You need to set down some ground rules and the earlier the better.

BTW I don't know aobut there but in North Carolina even when it was voluntary, the courts will usually set a child support amount of at least the minimum of the lifestyle the kids are used to so the $700 would be the least he would be required to pay in this state.

Good luck and please consider the counselling. Even if you have to go alone.

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Old 04-05-2003, 05:22 AM
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I guess I was so caught up with thousands of things running through my head, that I must have sounded jumbled. To clarify a few things. My sig. other filed for divorce from her 3 years ago! The kids are a 10yr girl and the boy is 5. Mom is doing her best at what i grew up as knowing as trying to "buy" their affections. She treats the daughter like a girlfriend instead of what she is, a child. Confides in her with the most in-appropriate things. Things you just don't tell to a child. The 5yr old has become a "MASTER" of manipulation. Let me just tell you that he does NOT sleep in his own bed at moms, he sleeps with her. Has for the last 4yrs. When he is here, he has his own room and we have never had problem with him sleeping.
I myself came from a divorced family and know first hand how hard it is. First and formost, I have never, nor has my sign. other ever talked about the mother in front of the kids. I don't believe in it as I think it is wrong. She(mother) however, has no problems in saying awful things about dad in front of and to the children. But that in itself is a whole other story.
I guess I just need to know that I am not alone in what I am dealing with and other people have the same.
I have always treated these kids like my own, and I know they are not. But after my own experience, I vowed that if I was in a situation similar, it would be different.
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Old 05-03-2003, 01:30 PM
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Step Kids

You are NOT alone! I am married to a great guy (almost 10 years) He was married before and his daughter is almost 16. His starter wife (LOL) was and is like your Sign others. She treates Meghan like a buddy and does not enforce any rules. I love her dearly and had treated her like my own for the first 9 years. Now she is showing all the signs of being like her Mom. I know it is rotten but I have started counting the days until she is 18. She can fail school, run off and be gone 24 hours, drink and have sex and other things but we are not allowed to say anything about it. DH is at his wits end and we have laid down the law but there is nothing we can do. We saw a lawyer but were told after 11 they will not take the child away from her mother unless she neglects them badly. Their idea of neglect is no food or no roof over their heads.
So first off- You should sit down with your significant other and law down some rules. (not a ton) . Then together you both sit down with the kids. He needs to make sure they know that they are to treat you with the same respect they treat him. Also have a list of what will happen if they do not listen to the rules. We had a set thing about using our phone when Meghan was little. One call per day and it is not to be done until after dinner.
ope this helps a little bit!
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