How to help my child fit in with his dad's blended family

Leela - posted on 08/08/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )




I have a 11 yr old son whose dad is now living with his gf and her 3 kids (2,11,13). My son is an only child and the transition has been hard. These are some of the issues:

- He now has absolutely no private time with his father. When his father tried to do something alone with him it turned into a shouting match between him and his gf in front my son. His gf says this is favoritism, although he takes her kids out alone all the time.
- When he's there and asks his dad to play with him, the gf will tell him that his dad no time to do it.
- My son has a room he shares with the other kids but they have absolutely no clothes for him. I was told he outgrew the clothes they had.
- they have insisted that everything must be done equally between the children. This includes outings with my son's grandparents. They are my primary support and are very close to my son. i leave him with them when I travel for work and they want to continue watching him but my ex has said that unless they also take the other children all the time instead of on a couple occasions this cannot happen.

My son is no longer the happy kid he's always been and I don't know how to handle this. he misses his father and visits him but doesn't want to stay there. Any guidance would be appreciated.


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Raye - posted on 08/10/2015




First and foremost, the girlfriend needs to be knocked down a peg and realize she doesn't get a say in the boy's relationship with his father. The father should try to give equal time to all the children in his household, but that doesn't have to be equal time during the only days that his son is there. If he has the boy two or three days a week, then that leaves four or five days he's spending with the other kids. The GF needs to get a grip and back the hell up.

Next, the son should be able to pack a bag with a change of clothes and either bring back the dirty clothes or else have a drawer at their house where they can put his clothes (after washed) and not have the other kids get into them. His father needs to make sure his son's stuff remains available to him and not confused with the other children's items. Accidents can happen, but for the most part he should not be afraid to leave personal belongings at his father's house.

Thirdly, the father's parents have no obligation to take the GF's kids. Your son is their blood grandson. There will be favoritism, sorry. And just the fact of their age, they should not be put through that strain. But that's really up to him and them. If they allow your son to come over, then you should totally do that. Let them work out the details about the other kids, and tell your ex that they want it this way and if he doesn't like it to take it up with his parents.

Leela - posted on 08/08/2015




Hi basically he's by his dad 2 days during the week and every other Sunday. Right now that's not happening. Either my son doesn't want to go or my ex has classes. We've always been flexible with each other so our son can come and go as he pleases.The grandparents are actually his parents. They've been wonderfully supportive but they're both close to 70. They've indicated that they are slowing down and they don't have the energy to run after kids, particularly the 2 yr old. They've never disciplined my ex. He's adopted and they always felt they needed to make up for that ie he's spoilt. So they want me to talk to him on their behalf....yes very very messy! My son stays with them when I travel as they pick and drop him off to school as my ex has to drop the other kids who go to different schools.
The children are not my ex's bio kids. There father is very much in their lives and he spends time with them. He even takes the oldest boy on these father - son camping trips which my son always talks about. I have spoken to my ex about these issues but nothing seems to be happening. You all are right - he feels very torn but I can't consider his feelings when my son is hurting. Re: his clothes. I packed clothes for my son to use at their house only to find out later that my son's clothes were used by their son and then sent by the bio dad. To make it worse I found out that when my son goes by there house they have him bathe then put back on the same dirty clothes to come back by me. That doesn't make sense. my ex also told me that he expected me to purchase clothes for our son for all 3 homes. So if I don't provide clothes they don't plan on buying any for him. Their daughter told my son he doesn't live there and isn't entitled to anything and that's because he doesn't have one single personal item there. im actually ok with him having step siblings so he can learn about sharing etc. But no one is sharing with him!

[deleted account]

I'm wondering what your divorce agreement or CO says? Other than this I agree with another poster that really there is not much you can do to control what goes on during his visitation with his father. I must agree that he should be able to have some time with his father especially if the other children are the gf's kids and not their bios. Their demands on the grandparents are a bit much though. Four kids all at once? How old are the grandparents? but, that's for them to sort out together.

How is your relationship as far as talking with your ex? Maybe you can voice your concerns and see what he thinks about it? He, like most in his position is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Meanwhile try to support your son the best you can. You said he is an only child. Maybe this is why it's so hard for him to adjust to the other home arrangements? He needs support, but he does need to adjust to it. It will be good for him in the long run. More social contact, resilience and he needs to keep contact with his father and (?) half siblings.

Jodi - posted on 08/08/2015




I am mostly in agreement with Shawn. There is very little YOU can do to change things for your son at his dad's house. Can I ask how often he is there? At this point, you need to talk to your ex about these concerns, but only he can resolve them. Your son definitely needs some one-on-one time with his dad, but dad needs to stand up to his gf about that, and not do it in front of the children.

With regard to the clothes, if your son is not there a lot, at his age, he grows pretty quickly. I can understand if they don't have clothes for him. You could perhaps just resolve this by making sure he packs a bag to take. He is old enough to make sure he brings his things home again.

I was also confused as to which set of grandparents you were talking about. What do THEY say about it. Your ex can't dictate to them what they choose to do. Also, why is your son not staying with your ex when you travel?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/08/2015




As far as the first 3, you, and your ex need to sit down to discuss this without his girlfriend. Get orders amended if necessary to specifically outline his private time with his son (mainly so that he can shove that at gf and get her out of his hair)
However, the last one, with his grandparents...are these YOUR parents, or your ex's? If they are YOUR parents, your ex and his gf have absolutely zero say on how much time your son spends with them. If they are HIS parents, and his parents want to spend time with his son (and not the gf's kids), then his parents need to work with him on that. Don't stint your son on time with his grandparents, regardless.

As far as 'sharing equally between children'. Are these other children also your ex's biological children? If so, then, yes things should be shared equally, but if not, and it is something that is your ex's responsibility for his son, he cannot stint that simply because his girlfriend says to. What are your court orders in this regard?
It may be time to bring the attorneys back in for amendments. The first one I'd work on is that gf has no legal authority to dictate anything. That needs to be in writing, and it needs to be presented to her.

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