How would you handle this?

Lacieann - posted on 02/28/2012 ( 61 moms have responded )

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My step daughter (she's 5) recently spent a day telling me that her mom told her brother (he's 3, almost four) "I'm sorry I'm not good enough."



The back story is that my step son was upset and wanted to come back to be with his dad and me because his mom had to go to work and he didn't want to be at a baby sitters.



I ended up telling my step daughter that I'm sorry her mommy said that. I was kind of in shock at the time, but I think I gave a good response. I'm curious how you all would handle it, or if you would bring it up to the mom at all?



Their mom doesn't have the greatest self esteem or make the wisest choices in her life. Should I bring up that her negative self image will directly impact her kids, or should I let my fiance' do it, or should I just try and do damage control on my end and hope that my and their dad's influence will be enough to give them a good self image.



Their mom and I don't exactly get along, and I try to not involve myself directly with her, but this comment has been weighing on my mind a lot, and I don't know what to do....

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Jenni - posted on 02/28/2012

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Personally, I'd stay out of it. You said you already don't get along with her, how do you think she's going to take the criticism coming from you? She's definitely not going to carefully consider it and reevaluate her behaviour.



As much as it hurts to know your step children are experiencing some not so positive behaviour. There's really nothing you can do about it. You have little to no control over what goes on at the other parents house.



I live by three simple rules in my blended family:



1. I parent my step daughter when she's at our house.

2. I don't concern myself with what goes on at her mother's house (with the exception of suspected abuse/neglect). And remain as impartial about her mother as possible, if the subject comes up.

3. I leave all serious matters up to the bios to discuss.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/28/2012

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Let the father do it, and give the children as much love, and wonderful support when you are with them. Tell them how special they constantly are, and make a big deal out of everything they do. Be the best step mom you can be to the children, but have the father deal with the mother. It is not your place.

Terri - posted on 03/01/2012

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I am not part of a blended family, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I don't see how it would be harmful for you, as a second mom, to put your arms around the child and encourage her with something like "You know, honey, all grownups sometimes feel kind of sad." Find something nice to say about their mom. It will build everyone up. There is life in your tongue.

Jane - posted on 03/02/2012

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I would recommend you read a book that was passed on to me by my daughter. It is called NUTURE SHOCK by Po Bronson. It updates all the research done in the past 40 years about children and specifically addresses a child's self esteem issues. To condense what was said is that a child's self esteem comes from how you inter-relate with them and not just telling them how good or smart they are, but how they handle situations and tasks. I would say that the child should be told what a good thing he did in communicating this information to you, and how does it make him feel? I think keeping the lines of communication open will at some point lead him to see that these issues are hers and that adults have problems too. How you relate with them will win out.

Kay - posted on 02/28/2012

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Jenni's rules are a great guideline. I don't think I have ever put mine in such an organized fashion, lol.



I would definitely stay out of it. And honestly, as parents, we have probably all slipped and said something in front of our children that later on we wished we hadn't. I imagine she was probably hurt over him seeming to prefer the other parent (when we all know how fickle kids are, lol) and said something she may not have meant.

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Chasmodai - posted on 03/16/2012

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To Brandy: I'm sorry about what you went through, but the OP didn't mention abuse. The child was upset about being left with a babysitter while the mom had to work. The child wanted to go to the dad and stepmmom's house, and the mom said, "Sorry I'm not good enough.for you." That's not abuse at all. It sounds more like a sarcastic comment and an unfortunate slip from an exasperated mother. All moms get exasperated somethings, even moms that are "good enough." The OP went on to say that she doesn't have good self esteem or make the wisest choices. She didn't elaborate on the choices, but again, she didn't say abuse. It could be that she eats too much junk food, buys too many pairs of shoes, or has loser boyfriends. I think it sounds like the mom needs a break and a little support. It's very common for the children in these situations to take their cues from the parents and play them off each other for sympathy and attention. In those situations all the parents need to stand united instead of letting the kids divide them.

Brandy - posted on 03/16/2012

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Being a step child here's my 2cents. Love your step children and try your best to make them feel like they matter. I would definately discuss what the child(ren) have said with their dad. I'm sure the children are at least a little confused with going back and forth and different rules and dynamics at different homes ( I know I was). As for butting out even when their is neglect. Don't let that go on. If you know their is neglect or even suspect it be a voice for the children who don't know what's going on. CPS can provide services to help the mother they are not always the bad guys. I was abused for many years in many different ways and situations and nobody spoke up for me, even people and adults who knew exactly what was going on. If you are a prayer I would definatly pray I out it and ask others to join you, you don't have to give specifics just ask them to pray for children's mother. As so many others have said you don't know what's going on exactly with the mother, but you can definately do all within your control to help your stepchildren, and protect them. Even if it's from their mother. Saying a prayer for all in this situation. God's Blessings!

Ronda - posted on 03/12/2012

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Lacieann, I am sorry hun, but I think you should ask your husband to deal with this. I have been in both positions and I know what both feel like. His ex is most definitley feeling jealous, and feeling insecure FOR her children. He needs to talk to his kids, yes your their step-mom, but this is their father. Look at it this way, if say in five years you broke up with their father, he would still be in their lives, and you would not. It's not disrespect, it's just the way it is. He should talk to his ex too. There are real feelings of insecurity here that NEED to be addressed for the children's sake! Otherwise, they are going to suffer with the insecurity issues and then relationships will start to break down. This is coming from a woman who tried to be all to my kids when their dad left, it's just not possible. Th4e kids need both parents.

Nicole - posted on 03/06/2012

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Grandma Donna, was your last post to me? If so, thank you, but I WAS that mom, I am not anymore. When my oldest daughter was young I struggled with being a single mom, working hard but never seeming to be doing enough. My oldest is now 20, and a very beautiful, smart, independant young woman. She has an appreciation for hard work that a lot of girls her age do not, and I like to think that is from my example. I am now married to a wonderful man with 2 more children, 11 and 7. The point I wanted to make was that its easy to judge, but until you have been there, you can't know what that mom meant by what she said to her child, or how she felt at that moment.

Grandma Donna - posted on 03/06/2012

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Nicloe,i certainly hope it was to you also.I beleieve what i said was true and you deserve better.It took me 37 years to wake up and leave,but i would do it again today if i had to.I am a stronger person today because i took a special persons advise that one person was my daughter.Never before did i think i was better than who i was.Pleas don't let yourself be brought down or punished by this guy/or whoever they are not worth it honey.Just try to be happy and id you have kids be there for them and no one else."HE" is not worth your time of day.Love yourself and those close to you(kids etc)and move on...I wish you all the luck,if ever you need to talk please let me know we can do it privately also.......Donna

Grandma Donna - posted on 03/06/2012

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Thanks,i sure hope it help you a little bit.I know how much i could have used the encouragement back when i was going through those tough times.Good luck!

Chasmodai - posted on 03/06/2012

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Another thought - it's not fair to the kids to teach them to expect their parent to be 100% perfect all the time. They'll grow up thinking that every time a well-intentioned parent slipped up, they have something to gripe about. Better to teach them how to gracefully handle the little awkward situations in life, and to teach them to be loving and accepting of their loved ones, even when they make little mistakes. It's not like she did something truly unforgivable. Some people have family members who do things that are so harmful and toxic that they have to cut off contact for their own self-preservation. Since that isn't the case here, it's something to be thankful for. Kids need and deserve their families.

Amanda - posted on 03/06/2012

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It's hard to be a working mom and have to deal with kids and house stuff all on your own and it's like getting punched in the heart when you are doing everything you can for your kids and then to hear them say they want to go to there dads. It's upsetting to any parents to have to feel like there children would rather be anywhere but with them and as long as there is no abuse I think you need to not judge her and mind your business

Carrie - posted on 03/06/2012

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Every parent at some time or another has felt that they are not a "good enough" parent? This young woman just said it out loud. The children are just concerned because, of course, they feel differently. Your job is to love on the kids, and assure them that their Mom loves them too. She just said that because she wishes that she could spend more time with them.

You can even contradict their comment with "Oh, your mommy was just having a sad day. You really know that she is good enough. Have you ever had a sad day where you said things that you did not mean?" Use it as a chance to build a relationship with the daughter, not stir trouble with the gown-ups.

Vanja - posted on 03/06/2012

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I think that mum's low self asteem is a result of the divorce and she feels guilty that the kids are suffering... Her 3yo son is behaving like any other 3yo. My son sometimes wants me to put him to bed, or want only me to "kiss him better"... And that's little kids stuff. But in that case, mum is taking it too personaly and thinks she's a bad mum cause kids want to be with their dad. From your end, you're realy considerate and maybe try to fix things for them. I don't say stay out of if, but just don't do it too directly. Give the kids as much reasurance and care as you can. And speak to your partner. See if he can talk to his kids about it too... All compliments to you for being so caring !!! Not an everyday thing any more, in today's world !!!

Lisa - posted on 03/05/2012

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I would stay out of it for the most part. I don't agree with any of the responses of "the kids could get hurt, the mom needs help" and all that non-sense. We are all guilty of having off moments and none of us have ever won the award for parent of the year. We are all guilty of mistakes in choices we make and in things we say. I am a married mother of three children, all of which came from my first marriage. There have been times when the kids came home from a weekend at their dads ( they live full time with me and my husband) and for the next week or more went on non-stop about their dad this, their step mom that. It sounds to me like maybe she did feel inadequate at that moment and more than likely hurt too at the thought that her child wanted to be with someone other than her. Should she have made that comment? No. Does it make her a human being to have those feelingss once in a while, that horrible thought or feeling that her child may love someone more than her? Sure. Like several other posters have said, the best thing is just to love those kids and treat them right and make sure you show them that you do respect their mother, that she is their mother and that while she isn't perfect neither is anyone else. Do damage control on your end if you feel it necessary and help them to understand that sometimes mommies feel sad and confused just like kids do and that it's ok.Be the best role model that you can be and leave the small things alone.

Sara - posted on 03/05/2012

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I would stay out of I..Im also a kinda step mum to my partners child who is 5 and I also have my own son who is 2. Being a step mum is nots easy,I've had some difficult times. I also don't agree with things his mother does,it's your partners child speak to him with any concerns and let him deal with it. That's what I do.

Kari - posted on 03/05/2012

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As a Step Mom as well,you are better off being a friend and staying out of everything.Let the Dad handle the very vital things and the other very minor things,such as this comment,let it go.

Chasmodai - posted on 03/04/2012

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Another thought - this could be a huge misunderstanding. When my oldest child, now 23, was three, I left my ex for good and filed for divorce. He went through a lot of confusion. When he was five, he told his caregivers that he went to his mom's work and "helped." It wasn't true. After I got off work, I took him to the restaurant to eat a hamburger so he could see where Mommy went on Saturdays, (my second job,) but would never take him to work with me. The caregiver got judgmental, accused me of taking him to work with me (the restaurant had a bar,) instead of placing him with a caregiver. Point is that sometimes kids can misunderstand things, or even innocently tell stories. Kids also are capable of pitting the grownups against each other for attention. In the best interest of the kids, it's best not to start a bunch of drama.

Melissa - posted on 03/04/2012

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talk to their dad because the children can end up hurt here. Mom needs to get some help, and dad needs to talk to their mom in a helping way, not one to judge her because she is already hurting anyways. He needs to talk to her in a way that it's approaching her as you know the kids hear that you are hurting, and they want to find a way to help you. Maybe some counselling will help her out too, even some with the kids too, so they can see she's getting help later on down the road once she is improving! However, do it in a loving approach to her since she is hurting because obviously she is seeing he's got the perfect life, she may not have what she wants right now, but if he approaches it as more of a approach of do it for the kids, it may help and be more positive and not end in an argument

Chasmodai - posted on 03/04/2012

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How would I handle it? What a great opportunity to teach kindness and compassion to your children by modeling that behavior? I've had to be a working mom before - there is often a lot of guilty feelings, a feeling of being torn, trying to do the right thing. Cut her some slack. In age appropriate ways, show the kids that you have faith in your step children's mother. Teach them understanding. The best thing you can do for these kids is to help them feel safe and secure. They aren't going to feel that way if the adults they love can't get along. How would you feel if the shoe were on the other foot?

Elizabeth - posted on 03/04/2012

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I think that you need to realize that no matter how intelligent she is, she is still 5 and may not understand exactly what is said. I have been a Kindergarten teacher and have heard a multitude of stories. No matter what, as long as you stay constant in your love and confidence with her, no matter what happens with someone else, she will grow up knowing that she is sweet, beautiful, strong and intelligent. Those are the most important characteristics a girl needs to hear as she grows up.

Margot - posted on 03/04/2012

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I want to know about the father? We are so quick to judge women. What is he doing to helP?

Kathleen - posted on 03/04/2012

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I don't quite agree - She could be using this as a guilt trip on the kids... Never a good thing.

Gail - posted on 03/04/2012

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Regardless of what you may think? This is still their mother!!! Nothing supersedes a MOM!! She carried those children in her belly for 9months, she pushed them out. Who are you to say what constitutes negative/positive role model?? Children at that age perceive things to be what they believe not what they usually are. I say stat out or else you may find yourself out.

Susan - posted on 03/04/2012

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It seems to me that the little girl was sad and concerned for her mom. I think it's important to point out to the child that her mom is "great!" By saying that you are easing her worries and imparting self esteem to the child as well.

Leslie - posted on 03/03/2012

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Laciann - I have been the "other" mom. And in reading some of these posts, it's easy to sway one direction or another. But here is what I think will have the longest lasting benefits. Somehow find a way to show their natural mother some respect. Now I know that this sounds impossible, because her recent actions seem shady and irresponsible. But it sounds like she's trying to get back on her feet, and having a tough time of it. The last thing she needs is the "New Mom" reminded her of her own inadequacy, which she is most likely acutely aware of (even if that reminder comes to her via the channel of the father).



What their mom needs to know is that you respect her rules are her rules in her house, and that you would appreciate if she would uphold that same message to the kids: different households = different rules. (Avoid judgment words like "better"). This includes language choices too.



Eventually, she will begin to feel that it is safe enough to be herself, and that she isn't in competition with you for their love. And when she relaxes on this point, she'll be less defensive and will actually be able to be a better Mom to them.

Jenni - posted on 03/03/2012

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Laciann, it's great to have a good vent on neutral ground. Blended families come with their share of stresses. It IS pretty much impossible for both households to be on the same page completely. It's sometimes hard enough for both parents in the same home to be on the same page completely.



There are plenty of things I don't agree with that goes on at the other parent's home. But I'm also sure that she may not always agree with how we parent here. No one is perfect, we all make our share of mistakes and poor choices as parents and we all parent differently.



My husband and her are pretty good at talking out differences. Her and I are pretty neutral; we share birthdays, babysit for one another. Even though I've been in my SD's life since birth (she's now 4.5 yrs) I still play a supporting parenting role. I love her and treat her the same as my bios when she's here. I may not agree with all the decisions her mom (even my husband) makes for her. But truth be told they are not my decisions to make. I may voice concerns/opinions to my husband... but in the end, it's up to him and her mother to decide what's in her best interest.



My SD is just starting to share all the dirty gossip from her mom's house. (As I'm sure she's sharing our dirty gossip to her mom ;). I think the best way to handle it is to listen but take a child's translation with a grain of salt. I think another poster warned about children learning to use this "gossip" to play sides. So you have to be cautious of how you handle it. Stay impartial. Be there for the child. Listen. Ask questions to help them figure out how they feel about it. Be careful that you're not giving too much positive feedback for gossip. If you are very concerned with something the child has told you, definitely discuss it with their father.

Jane - posted on 03/02/2012

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Never underestimate what a child can decipher. They know sarcasm and they know often when they are being teased. They are fine-tuned,BUT they are tuned! My kids caught facial gestures and attitudes at a a very early age. To underestimate what they pick up is to limit yourself.

Lacieann - posted on 03/02/2012

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Thanks again for the advice.



In response to some of the comments I feel I should add that right now there is no "weekend" parent, custody is 50/50 with an exchange done weekly. Hopefully that will change and she won't make us go to court when it comes time for the kids to start school. Since she has no way to get them back and forth since she has to work, and because she works an hour or so away from where she lives/where the kids would go to school so if there's an emergency she wouldn't be able to get there quickly. (My fiance and I live three blocks from the school that they would go to with us and we each have a car so getting them to/from school wouldn't interfere with my work schedule at all.)



Also funnily enough, we are the stricter household. They only have limited T.V. or XBOX time with us, (5 hours per week, maybe). I know that at her house the T.V. is on all day as background noise at her mom's house(the kids' grandma's)where she lives, because she moved out of her own place to live with a guy she had been dating for a few months and when that didn't work out (a couple months later) she had no where else to go. So now the kids don't even have their own space.



We also make them nap and have set bedtimes for them. My stepson will usually pass out after 10 minutes of being in our van because he is so sleep deprived every time we pick them up and she has told us that "they don't need naps now."



I probably should just stay out of it, if I brought it up I would probably make her feel worse because I'd bring up all the other crap that she does. Like my son's gums bleed everytime they come back because she won't brush his teeth..... It does feel good to do some venting on here though.



Thank you all for listening. ^_^

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Oh, and another point, children do not pick up sarcasm, I would expect if the mother made that comment it was made heavily laced with sarcasm, not as any admission of inferiority....

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Personally, I would tell your step daughter and son that when they are at their mother's house their mother is in charge and her rules and habits must be obeyed and lived with, without her comments. Yes things will be different there, because their mother is not the same as you. Don't begin to offer advice to their mother, your input will not be accepted and no, don't engage your husband in the battle.



When my children were your stepchildren's ages they would bring home tales about what happened at their father's, and I would say that they are at their home here now, what their father allows does not apply in my home, it's my rules and I don't want to listen to any comments they've overheard or been told by anyone in their father's house.



Children are excellent at playing one set of parents against the other. Don't fall for it! Be the adult and put a halt to tale carrying now.

Jennifer - posted on 03/02/2012

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I am the child she is talking about. I know for a fact if the three adults do NOT get their act together and work as a team parenting those children then they WILL be just as damaged as the mom is acting. I do not care how much you tell those children they are special, they will see the behaviors of the parents (all 3 of them) and be insecure. Parents, married and divorced, must work together to get well rounded children.

Stacie - posted on 03/02/2012

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I think that it is best to not talk to their mom. It could only make things worse, and that is not healthy for the kids. I think that while they are with the both of you, you can surround them with positivity and make them feel important. You can't control how their mom parents, but you can control the way you parent, and that is something I believe you you are doing well at. It sounds like you care, and that is what is important for the kids.

Crystal - posted on 03/02/2012

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Nicole,

That was very well said!!!! I can remember being a single mom and having my daughter come back from her Dad's where it was a very similar situation. Since I was doing it all when I had her, I was always to worn out to be able to give her quality attention. I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. I did feel like I was a terrible mother, and since my ex put me down to her, that just made it worse.

I never got to have a bond with my daughter due to alway being the one to take care of her needs (by working long hours and hard days because he didn't pay child support like he was suppose, and in the state we lived in he still had legal rights to see her regardless how far behind he was.)

There is so much more to my situation. However, the point I'm trying to get at, is easy to have an opinion that's negative about what a child's biological mother does when your the step parent. It's also easy to think we KNOW what's best, when we're not seeing all sides of the situation. I made the reply earlier that I think she can help her, and I meant it. She can help her by being a friend and NOT passing judgement. She can also encourage the daughter to have a positive relationship with her biological mother. EVERY parent regardless how great they are, says and does something that may not be considered grand in someone else's opinion.

Nicole - posted on 03/02/2012

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I have been this mom. Put yourself in her place for a moment (without judging why or how she ended up where she is in life). As a single working mom she has to do things the kids don't like, like putting them in daycare or sending them to a sitter. Then they get to go visit dad and his new girlfriend, where things are fun, the rules are most likely more relaxed and they dont need to be cared for by somebody else. Now these kids come home from a fun weekend and its back to reality, and they don't like it, dads house is better, they have more fun, the new girlfriend doesn't go to work (because its the weekend, but they are young and don't understand). Yes, appologising to her children because she "isn't good enough" may not have been the best approach, but how many times can you be told you aren't good enough, made to feel that way weekend after weekend before you believe you really aren't good enough? Remember, its easier to be a "weekend parent" then do it full time.

Amanda - posted on 03/02/2012

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I see many people on here giving you the butt out speech. Honestly, i am not with either of childrens fathers, and have a great relationship with my seconds dad. We dont always agree, but we do keep involved in eachothers lives. We intervene if there is need. He even calls me to make sure if something is ok. My sons father doesnt like my husband, but we get along unless i find stuff out. My son sometimes tells us stuff and my husband will get furious, but first i call the father, talk to him, and judge the reaction before moving forward. We invite both dads to partys for the kids and even over for picnics in the summer. For the most part, i play damage control for my 7 yr old son. His father isnt much of a daddy, but i let him get it out, then tell him it will be okay, daddy is missing out. He will grow up one day and see the amazing person you have become. So my advice, if the re lationship between the 3 of you can improve, i reccommend it. Always be there to support the little ones. Good luck sweety.

Joanna - posted on 03/02/2012

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Be delighted that the kids come to you openly. Encourage that wonderful connection to stay strong. Little else matters. There is nothing wrong with being strongly aware of how their relationship with their mum is affecting them as much as you can be. However use this information to support the kids needs only. Anything else is highly likely to quickly become wasted negative energy. You are lucky -focus on that.

Crystal - posted on 03/02/2012

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I'm sorry but I have to disagree with you. Her self-esteem can be passed on to those kids, and while I don't think SHE should address it, the father should. Anything that can be detrimental to the children's emotional health should not be left open like that.

Margot - posted on 03/02/2012

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Maybe you could offer some help. It is very hard raising children alone. Especially when they are that young.



Don't judge her, I was her and it was the hardest 5 years of my life being alone with little children. I am proud of myself for surviving it and for managing eventually very well but you need all the help, support and friendship you can get.

SHEREE - posted on 03/02/2012

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The mother is not the problem nor you or the ex concern .... He need to have a talk with his children about showing their mom some dog gon respect and we he finish with them he need to tell you because obviously you don't know that.... I'm sorry but you going to far ... There is nothing to be handled here .... Take care of the kids and let momma take care of herself she don't need u for that or your man that is why he's her ex.....

Anna-Maree - posted on 03/02/2012

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Look at it from another angle. She could be hurting and she could be reaching out to the people she loves - her children. Unfortunately for her they are way too young to do anything to help her. If that is the case, you can stay away like everyone else says you should or you could reach back to her and try and help her. Try helping your stepchildren do nice things for her. Maybe she needs reminding that even though things between her and her children's dad did not work out, she can still be a good mother. And that even though her son wants to be with dad, she is still his mommy and he still loves her very much. You don't have to be her best friend to help her or maybe point her to someone who can. Low self esteem and depression can be a killer and she wants to be the best person she can be for her kiddies. You all do.

Melanie - posted on 03/01/2012

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Hi Lacieann...



Considering that you do not see eye to eye with the kids mother..I think it best that you do not bring this up with her as she will see it as you trying to cause trouble and bring her down in the eyes of her children..(especially as she has self esteem issues) it will only add to her inadequecies and more than likely make it hard/harder on your partner and the children...(I would hazzard a guess that she would begin -if she doesn't already?- to poison their minds against you...)



My feeling is that she feels quite alone and just doesn't know where to turn or what to do...and as of this..she behaves the way she does.It's not so much her fault..she has alot of underlying issues undealt with...



I believe that by you being there in a loving and caring manner with the children..re-assuring them that all is well..they will come through all of this unscathed :)



It is VERY important to NOT denegrate their mother in front of or to them (I don't feel that you will or have) :) as this involves them in things that are not of their concern and causes worry they need not experience..They will one day grow into adulthood and be able to make their own informed minds up about their mother.Until then..just BE there for them :)



And who knows..maybe one day she will realise the error of her ways and take the steps to correct it...? :)))

Jennifer - posted on 03/01/2012

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Well, first you should bring it up to their dad and request he say something to her. You could also send mom a note saying she is good enough and to not let her having to work get her down. You did fine telling the little girl what you did, but mom somehow needs to know it bothered her daughter. You, mom, and dad need to come to a middle ground where the kids are concerned. If you marry this man you are marrying her and his children as well. You will all become a family unit and need to parent together as a team. Yes, it will be hard, but the children are well worth it.

Grandma Donna - posted on 03/01/2012

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Nicole,the "ex" and this is why he is the EX, always tries to make it seem likes it you that has cause the sitution.I know i have been there and i know exactly what you are saying,i have been the blame for all the wrong doing in either the marriage or bringing up the kids and i have no right to say what happens in my kids life one way or another.I was told i am still a child myself.But this bastard just thought as long as he had me under his control he would make it my fault.I took this for 37 years and one day told this guy to stay awake at night because i would either kill him myself or have someone do it for me.I got tired of having some treat me like a child for all these years and have fear to what would happen to me because he had me in control and i was afraid of him.But i also had no self esteem and had no courage to be the one to bring up my kids my way ,Please don't let him or anyone els tell you how to raise your children,get a grip and pull you and those kids together and live your lives as one happy family.You don't need any "EX"!!!!! any questions let me help you.Been there and has gone through it!!!!!!Let me help you.

Karen - posted on 03/01/2012

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Let her father speak to her. You can keep your distance that way but still hopefully help.

No her self esteem is not your business but as your husbands childs mother, he can offer support to her or what have you.

Working together as parents they can, and should, make sure everyone is getting what they need to ensure the child physical and mental health

Nicole - posted on 03/01/2012

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Stay out of it you are not these children's mother and never will be u will cause more upset if my children's dads girlfriend came up to me telling me how to bring my kids up I think I would go mad

Crystal - posted on 03/01/2012

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Wow, I have a lot to say on this topic. ONLY because I've been the Mom with the low self-esteem at one point in my life. My ex-husband (without meaning to--at least that's my impression now) made me feel like I was lower than low as a person.Unfortunately, I too, made similar statements to my first born daughter. I've talked more about our relationship in my blog, but I did end up giving her up for adoption to my first husband and his wife because I NEVER could be the type of mother she deserved and needed. Now, I'm a mother of three kids with the man that I should have married the first time, and am honestly a lot stronger person and feel that I'm a pretty decent mother.

One NEVER knows what someone is dealing with until they get to know them personally. Every person's relationship is different with different people. She MAY honestly NEED you to help her see things in a different light, but you have to be careful how you deal with it.

Grandma Donna - posted on 03/01/2012

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Personally, i think you are a very smart and loving step mom.Not many step moms would even care to ponder this type of situation,they would tell the child's father handle it.I think you have the children wanting to be with the two of you because you are showing and giving them the unconditional love that they may be lacking with their mother at home.They can sense the love from one home to the other and they know where they would really want to be verses the other, and it seems like the little boy wants to be with his dad because this is what he is missing at home the "father" figure.Just my opinion!

Kimberly - posted on 03/01/2012

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Speaking as an adult who has grown up in a situation of divorce, with a dysfunctional mother, I applaud all the advice. I loved my mom, because she was my mom, but we had very many difficulties. My stepmom loved my sister and I as if we were her own. We knew it. We'd complain about my Mom, but my Stepmom never spoke ill of her to us. My Dad and Stepmom would always be there to listen, and we grew up pretty normally considering all the negativity we received from my mother. My Dad and Stepmom were great examples, and when now parenting my own 5 year old, I draw from the experiences I received from my Stepmom. Continue as you are. Being a stepmom is not easy, but the effort and love you give those children WILL pay off in the end. Take it from one who knows first hand. God bless you!

Naomi - posted on 03/01/2012

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I think that your response was correct. I'd say to stay out of it and do your best to provide a positive and enriching environment when the children are with you and their father.

Darcel - posted on 03/01/2012

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children don't always convey what happens accurately so you don't really know why she said that... the 5 year old may have only heard one part of a conversation... stay out of it and parent the child while she's in your home...

SHEREE - posted on 03/01/2012

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This is not about helping, abuse, self esteem or any of those things... It's about hurt.... She is hurting she is raising .2very young children on her own ...obviously working her butt off to do it and then your ungrateful child says what????????...... That hurts!!!!!!!!!!!! She may need to turn that corner to forgiveness.... I don't know how this story played out.... And how short she felt her stick was.... But there is something here ...and it hurt her really bad and her sons statment ..... He might as well said that... Because she was doing the best she could... You going to start babysitting for her ... Because she won't need one day and she's going to need someone dependable because she didn't marry tiger woods

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