Step up mom needing advice

Candy - posted on 09/08/2016 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hello,
I am a step up or step in parent to two wonderful children whom will be 7 in just a few weeks. Their father and I have been together for 2 years now and for the past year the girl has been calling me mom. Well her new mom and she calls her mother one of two names either by her full name or she calls her "my old mom". Here more recently the little boy has started to call me mom also just not as frequent, but more and more. I truly love them like they are my own even when they make me angry! Their father has done everything he knew to do and really has done much better than his mother, but the children were out of control do to the lack of discipline. I cannot blame him too much because he was trying to assure that he got the children, but now we are trying to turn things around and it has been a tricky road. I could really use some other mothers, step mothers, or anyone who can help, help, and or just listen.
Thank you for reading this whole thing.

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Jodi - posted on 09/09/2016

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Thanks for clarifying. Because they have had a lack of discipline for some time, it is going to be hard work to bring them back. Make sure your consequences are swift and consistent - find their currency and use it. It may be loss of privileges, but try to ensure the punishment fits the crime, and that it is super consistent. Every single time, they need to have a consequence that will deter the behaviour. Also, reward positive behaviour. Reward the behaviour you want to see. Praise is often enough. Catch them doing great things, provide them with some positive feelings, and they will want more of that. The reward does not need to be material. It does not need to be expected. You could, for instance, tell them they have been so great this week that you are going to organise a family movie night....or something like that.

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Jodi - posted on 09/09/2016

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Hang in there, and keep up the consistency. It is really important that both you and their dad are on the same page, because otherwise, it won't work.

Is the waking up and screaming because of insecurities and nightmares? Would counselling for the children be helpful?

Candy - posted on 09/09/2016

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Thank you! That is what I have been doing. Their dad has gotten on board now too thankfully. The boy has done a complete 360 over the past three weeks, but now his sister is loosing it bad. She hasn't slept a full night in a week. She wakes up and screams for two hours every two and a half hours. That has got to be the hardest part right now.

Candy - posted on 09/09/2016

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Yes they see their mother, but that is a bad situation in its own. She lost custody of all 5 of her children because of abuse and neglect. That is why my boyfriend got the children. She has 3 adult children (now) and the two younger ones. She has weekend visitation even though the children reputably state that they do not want to go up there because of her and her abusive boyfriend. As far as the lack of discipline, my boyfriend was in fear of loosing the children and let the fear take over his parenting. He thought (and it is not unusual for men to feel this way, even though it is not rational) that if he disciplined them and they complained to her that she would use it against him and he would loose them. After we had been dating for a while I went to the attorneys with him and made sure to set that straight with the attorney. In the end that reassured him. Where we live it is not common for fathers to get custody of children (even when the cards are stacked against the mother).

Jodi - posted on 09/09/2016

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Where is their mother? Does she see them? And what does lack of discipline have to do with dad trying to get custody of them?

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