How do help my son deal with a deadbeat mom(biological)?

Tiffany - posted on 06/03/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I have a step-son whos mom is less then desirable. She rarely calls when she says she is going to,(has gone almost a month between calls sometimes) she is almost a year behind on her child support,(has actually never paid any child support, and has never had a job for more then a couple of weeks, one time told him that she got fired for using too many towels to clean tables, I had to tell him that you don't get fired for something like that) she promises him that she will send stuff, like x-mas presents, and things that he has left at her house, and never does. My son is 8 and he is old enough to know that she is letting him down, but too young to want to think bad of his mom. I think that it is really confusing for him because of coarse he misses her and loves her but she is so undependable. And I don't want him to learn to let people walk all over him, to demand respect from people, even his own mother. What am I suppost to tell him when these issues arise? He rarely looks forward to her calls now because he knows she probably won't call. She promises him big things like a phone and a PSP and something always happens to where she is telling him why she could not send them, being 8 and being promised these things is really hard for him. How do I help him cope with a bad mom?

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Taryn - posted on 06/03/2010

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I am in the same situation except I have 2 step kids 10, and 13. I have raised them for the last 5 years. The Biological mom went over a year without calling my oldest. The youngest moved in with us over a year ago, She didnt mind at the time but when her boyfriend left her she decided she wanted him back, we went through a nasty custody battle and agreed to let her have the youngest every other week. The oldest refused to see her at all but the youngest dont understand things like my oldest, he loves his mom and he should but he shouldnt have such high expectations. She got the youngest every other week for about a month then the phone calls stopped, she told him that her car was totaled and she didnt have a ride. Since January she has only seen him 8 times total and thats after he calls and begs her. It is so sad but all you can do is be there for him. My oldest says all the time that I am his mom. He will realize everything you do for him and how little she does when he gets older, I cant wait until my youngest sees through all of her lies. I try not to put my 2 cents in because he tells her everything that I say and she told the Judge that I am the one turning them against her, so now I just keep my mouth shut and my arms open! Hope everything works out! Being a step mom is one of the hardest jobs ever and we just dont ever get enough credit!

Tiffany - posted on 06/03/2010

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In our family we say truth is the most important thing even if its hard to say. I always tell him the truth no matter what. And we tell him that we would never lie to him about anything. Like all kids he went through a stage of trying to get away with lies and at this same time his mom promised him she had sent a box with the PSP and a dog that he sleeps with every night that he left at her house, 1 week went by, 2 weeks went by, he asked her about the box and she told him that from where they live mail takes longer to get to us. 2 more weeks went by still no box, he was at the mail box everyday waiting for it. finally His father called his mom out on the lie about the box and we made her tell him that she had lied about sending it. That was last summer the box is still not here. We do, and I do tell him, and he knows he has lots of family that love him and see him often. He even sees his moms father (his grandpa) more then he sees her. She has had another baby and gotten married in the last year or so, so telling him she has problems is hard for me because she is there for his half brother and I think that is hard for him to understand right now too. I will try harder in telling him more often that of coarse his mom loves him but maybe doesn't know how to show it all of the time. He keeps alot of this stuff to himself, but I know it bothers him. I also tell him that we will never let him down and be there for him always, and that when we tell him something that we will do it everytime. She borrows money to get him up to her during her alotted visits with him, but he sleeps on a chair because they are in a studio apartment and my sons father and I have a hard time letting him go up there for any length of time. She also doesn't even go to the airport herself to get him or see him off she sends her new husband. I am glad to hear others have some of the same problems, I just feel like this is going to get even harder the older he gets.

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Ashley - posted on 06/24/2013

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I have sorda the same situation. Except its my stepdaughter and stepson. Although my father in law pays their mother's phone bill she never calls the kids, never tries to get a job let alone send us a dime. But she has the nerve to write me on facebook about how the kids are not mine and are hers(yet I'm raising them and not her) and writes how much she misses the kids but never attepts to call the kids but calls my father in law everyday asking for money. What I been doing is whenever I see the kids are about to get upset over their mom I sorda distract them from it by suggesting that I do something for them like read them a story or whenever I have the money take them out to eat or to the park (unless its late). You can't stop your son's mother from breaking promises (especially since the court says phone calls have to be between the child and the parent and that parent still haves rights, but thats in my state) but you can show him that you and your husband are there for him and you two are keeping your promises and love him with all your heart and when your son is graduating high school and turning 18 he'll know it was his dad and his stepmom that were parents to him. You'll be standing as his mother at his wedding. His children will call you grandma. And (probably) not her.

Sarah - posted on 06/03/2010

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I completely agree with Patricia. In my post-mommy life, I worked at a counseling center that dealt a lot with children. It would be very beneficial for your son to have someone to talk to about his relationship with his mother. Leaving this an not delaing with it can have consequences for him long term, making it difficult for him to have healthy realtionships. There are Lots of agencies that work on a sliding scale and some even will see kids for free. A good therapist will also help you and your husband learn the best ways to help your son.
BTW, you are a wonderful woman for taking on a step-child with love and integrity! Good job!

PATRICIA - posted on 06/03/2010

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Have you thought about sending him to a counselor? My mother in law is one and she talks to a lot of kids and teaches them coping skills and talks to them in ways parents cant or don''t know how. It might be a good idea and if money is an issue I know there are places that have funding for it. And also dont worry yourself so much, it sounds like he has a lot of people who love and care for him and it looks like you are making up for where is biological mother is lacking. He is lucky to have you and she may have gave birth to him but your his mom

Schyla - posted on 06/03/2010

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it breaks my heart to hear this, I am sorry your little man is going through this I hope you keep being a good mom and that one day he will look back and know you did everything for him. People have good and bad in them and I'm so sad that your son is having to learn this lesson so early. Give him lots of love and support and maybe find him a person to talk to that's not involved a religious leader or a coach or a therapist someone he trusts who he won't be afraid will hate his mom if he vents that maybe why he dosen't talk to you and his dad about how he's feeling.

PATRICIA - posted on 06/03/2010

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I think you should be completely honest with him, I did not grow up with my dad and he was I guess a "dead beat" as well, But my mom always made one thing very clear to me " that my dad loved me very very much" but he had problems and that is why he could not be in my life.
So I dont think you should sugar coat things or tell him things to make him feel better that are not true. I think just say I know your mommy loves you very much, I know that she is not around all that much and sometime lets you down, but she has problems and that is why she is not around.
I grew up knowing that my dad was not going to be around but I always kept it in my heart he loves me dearly, then when you grow up and become an adult and realize how adults have many battles in life, you are more forgiving. I also think that your family should tell her that if she does not start keeping her promises she will not be seeing or talking to him at all. Its better to not have her in the picture is she will continually let him down.

Holly - posted on 06/03/2010

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I was recently in a relationship with almost the same issue. Only, it was my partner that was the problem. He wouldn't call his kids, we never saw them, he'd miss their birthdays...it was pretty bad. I know that the kids were really disappointed. Now, I'm not sure what was said to the kids by their mom, but I do know that if it were to happen to my son, I would just let him know that no matter what, he's got so many people in his life that love him. I tell my son (who doesn't see his father, by the way, sorry I forgot to mention that) that he is my entire world and remind him every day that he is the center of my universe. Now, he's only 4, so for now I'm getting away with it. For an 8 year old, I might just let him know that every person is different. Some want to spend all the time they can with their friends and family, and some might not be able to. Maybe suggest that his mom is at a place in her life right now where she needs to work on some personal stuff? I'm sorry I hope this all helps, I realize I'm not exactly "knowledgeable" in this area, but I feel for you and your son as I'll be there in the next few years myself. Good luck.

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