Step child is like a reporter


#1

Janine,

If you find a reasonable resolution to this, I would be interested in it. My 13 y/o stepson does the same thing, except most of what he relays is incorrect. We haven’t quite figured out if he tells his mom the truth and she twists it or if he just twists it to make his mom feel better so she has something to gripe about. It is extremely annoying because outside of the lies he does tell her everything of the day, and he tries to ease drop to get more information.

What to do? what to do?


#2

Maybe setup something like you and your husband talk up a storm in another room, when she comes in, stop talking. She asks why you stopped talking, tell her it’s because she likes to gossip with her mom about things that go on in your house.

go from there.


#3

Oh my…I feel better that someone else has this problem and ours is the same. We do not know if the child twists the truth or the mother. It’s like this game that is played back and forth and it is true I fall into it. Oh We have stopped her from being allowed in my bedroom at all because I told her that I am tired of her running back and making stuff up about me and that my bedroom is my space and I will not have my space invaded by her or anyone else. I have very much so been straight out honest to her face that there will be no more vacations with us and that we go in our rooms to talk because she is a story teller. Its just frustrating because I am not sure if the mother is pumping her for information or she is just spilling her guts when she gets home. The last time we put her on the spot she cried like a baby and wouldn’t tell us anything. I know that the one time her mother called her in the her bedroom alone for a “personal discussion” and this entails asking her if we talk about her mother and her mother’s new husband and at the time the problem was that the mother met this guy, invited him over and he never left then 5 months later they were getting married. I’m so upset I have basically decided that I am going to have to pay an attorney just to find out if my husband is obligated to discuss any of this with her when she calls and says this stuff.

Thanks for responding guys.


#4

We also had this same problem at first. What we figured out was first, the ex’s was questioning the kids to find “dirt” on us to use in court (This didn’t work since there wasn’t any to find)or to have a reason to scream and curse my husband. Second, the oldest child was playing both ends against the middle, when he’s in trouble with Dad, he will tell mom something that I said to him and tell her that it hurt his feelings so that she’ll get mad at Dad and the focus will be off him. Most kid’s will do this given the chance, especially if they know or think that the parents aren’t talking to each other to be able to find out. My husband’s ex called one day screaming and cursing him for something his oldest told her I did and said only to find out that he had also told his father some things about her. Children don’t understand that they are the one’s that lose when they try to play parents against each other. The same advice others gave me…have your husband talk to his ex. I would make sure that the child knows that she has lost your trust. Your husband doesn’t have to discuss anything with her that doesn’t include, medical, religion and schooling for the children. You don’t have to be included in ANY of those discussions. I’m figuring out myself what his ex has a right to be upset about but what goes on in our house is not one of those things. My husband has more or less told her that most of that stuff is none of her business whether the children are with us or not.


#5

Thanks again for your replies. It really does help. My sister told me this morning that she went through a bunch of this and that whatever goes on in our house my husband should not justify with an explanation or an answer except to tell her it is none of her business. She said if I have a donkey ringer on my phone when she calls… so what and if whatever I do is not illegal or hurting the child that it is none of the mother’s business and that if she does take us to court for “whatever” the judge will not care about things like phone ringers or what time we sleep till or if my husband works on Saturdays and the child stays with me. The child spends plenty of time with her stepfather and just because the mother has issues with me does not mean she should be able to stay with me. I just hate arguing but it really hurts me that my life is being picked apart by a 10 year old. My only concern is that the mother is pumping her and maybe even bribing her for information and the child cries very easily so she just tells the mother what she wants to hear and the child is not being trusted by us and has lost a lot of privelages at our house. The mother is very jealous of what we have and even tried to discourage me from being with my husband when she first found out about us 3 years ago but I told her every woman may have the ability to bring out the best in some men. They were separated 8 months when I met my husband and it has always seemed like a competition between her and I over stupid things like who has a nicer house or car and again I am definately not innocent in all this I allow myself to get dragged into it and I have to stop that. Thanks again.


#6

We also have the same issue with my 5 yo step-daughter. But, she embelishes or just flat out lie to her mother at times. We also have a gossiping respite care worker that was fired because of relaying info back to mom.
Also the baby was being 3rd degreed. This past week an issue arose out of all the lies and gossip, but after a meeting with my hubby’s attorney, we got the children.
We then…hehehehehehehehehe
Talked about mom like an angel, within earshot of the 5yo[:D][:o)][}:)] so now when the baby is questioned maybe she’ll tell mom Exactly what we said and mom will get tired of hearing all the wonderful things we say about her!


#7

That is the best way to deal with it. I’ve never said a negative word around the children about their mother, though at times I’ve wanted to at the very least state my opinion. Mom is under the impression that I’m not to have an opinion where her children are concerned. I’ve learned the hard way. She’s stood outside the vehicle window cursing me and using hand gestures. The children were in the backseat at the time, so I just kept telling them it didn’t matter, didn’t bother me and they didn’t need to worry about it. Just let the children learn on their own. Eventually, they do realize that there’s no reason for those actions.


#8

How hard it is to be a step?
Right now I am not one yet. But I can feel what is going on here I just got today my divorce GR8 lol but the now EX has a boyfriend before this he asked her to marry him and what do yo think? YES but he never asked the kids nor did she ask the kids I hope this has not happened to you.
I am old in my ways but today its not. He nor she showed nothing to the kids when they did this, and he was staying there before well before today so there is no respect he is a loser and now the EX is.
The childern is first then next I hope all had done this and that you understand that you are new and they are new find out what they are like and you. Hey I know I can I love children and more please do the same and they will show you.
Thank you Arthur


#9

That’s not an even an easy question to answer. At times it’s very difficult, at least for me. Other times, it’s a breeze. They are not my children and though I love them very much, I have to constantly remind myself that I am not their mother. They have a mother and I do not want to nor have I tried to take her place. But it seems, at times, that it’s more important that the children love her than for her to love them. (If that makes sense)In my world,(where everything is right[;)]) I know that the children will do things and say things that will hurt your feelings and that’s when it’s very important that you remind yourself that they are children. The way they truly learn how to behave and feel towards anyone is by example. If they constantly see mom’s new boyfriend talk down to her, they will do the same to her and to their own girlfriends. Or expect their boyfriends to do that to them and they will look for that type of person. If they are always seeing mom or dad angry and taking it out on their partner that is how they will be or the type of person they will look for in their relationships. They have to understand that it’s alright to be upset, angry, happy, excited, hurt, and afraid. It’s how you deal with those emotions that matter. They have to understand what it means to respect your partner and to treat them as you want them to treat you. Their emotions are not developed enough to understand that you don’t really “hate” your brother, you just don’t like him right now. Or that you can love someone and still be angry with them. My stepchildren think that if your mad at them that you don’t love them anymore. We think that’s from their mother because she uses those guilt trips on them. I’ve actually heard her say that they didn’t love her anymore because they didn’t want to go to her house on one of their father’s nights. Basically, it boils down to that the children need to know you’re not their father or mother but a whole separate person with different experiences, opinions and ideas. Don’t be afraid to let them get to know you. My stepchildren were fascinated the first time they saw me cry and amazed that I knew jokes that were actually funny.
You have to treat them with respect but also keep in mind that you are not on of their little friends, you are an adult. During the first few weeks I was around the children they would do stuff when their father wasn’t around that they thought I wouldn’t tell him about. Like taking change from his vehicle. They figured out pretty quick that I wasn’t being mean to them but I wasn’t going to let them run over me and get away with stuff that I know their father would be upset over.
I know that if I could prevent something happening to one of them I would do it in a heartbeat. But I also know, that no matter how much I feel for those children, it will never be the same as if they were mine. I try very hard to make sure they do not see that though. It also makes me a little more objective when it comes to punishments or guidelines for them, I don’t set those guideline for them but my husband discusses every situation with me to see if I have a better or different way of handling it.
My stepmother and father were married when I was 3 and my sister was 6, it was an odd and almost unheard of situation at that time that my father had custody of my sister and I. So in essence, my stepmother raised me. She couldn’t have children of her own. I know how delicate a relationship with a stepparent can be and also how much work it is, but I also know how much of a blessing it can be. I can not imagine where or who I would be now had it not been for her. I also regret now a lot of the things I did growing up that I know hurt her feelings. I feel that I was raised in that situation so that I would be prepared for where I am now in life. Since I can’t see the big picture, that’s what I’m going with. Good Luck!


#10

It seems to me that you are probably in a better situation than most. I never met my stepdaughter until I had been in a relationship with her father for 7 months because we both that it would be best. Imagine my surprise the Saturday I came home from work and there she was and that when her father phoned her mother she said “sure she can spend the night,if that’s ok with your girlfriend”. NOW here is a woman who allowed her child to stay with a stranger sight unseen. This child talked my ear off for the first couple of months that we had her about how she had been abused by her grandmother & her sister and how the mother dumped her off on someone every weekend and when we picked her up she was dirty (dirty hair, dirty clothes) and her clothing was too small and I felt so bad I tried to make things right. I bought her new clothes and send them home, I was patient and kind to the mother. We arranged to watch her anytime she needed us to either in the evenings or days she was off of school. Imagine if you will that my husband raised his daughter’s sister from the time she was 3 months old when he met her mother until they separated when she was 9 and up until that time the child did not know he wasn’t her father but when they separated she was told “sorry, he isn’t your daddy he’s your sister’s daddy only and you can’t see him anymore”. My husband being somewhat spineless at the time never attempted to fight it because with the backing of the grandmother (his ex mother inlaw) he probably couldn’t have afforded it, so he walked away leaving a heartbroken child who had to try to understand that her sister went with their father every other weekend but she couldn’t. Then the ex wife finds a new man and she doesn’t need us anymore so she becomes nasty, argumentative and nosey. She becomes all of a sudden jealous over my cars, my home and that the child has more at our house than she does at their house. So NOW that all this occurred, the child who I have cared so much for, who I bought entire wardrobes for every season, winter coats, gloves, boots, took the Florida for her birthday and made sure she had an entire new summer wardrobe and a newly remodeled bedroom in my home with all new furniture, television, video games and a computer she turns into a spy. This child is grilled and questioned when she goes home and in order to make mommy happy she makes stuff up and elaborates on what goes on. Am I a saint, NO! I hate that woman I hate the the things she did to my husband when he was married to her and it takes all the willpower I have when I look at the scars on his back and hands when she stabbed him not to go over to her house or drag her out of her car when she comes to my home and beat her like she beat him. YUP she used to hit him all the time and he stayed because of his daughter, until believe it or not she decided she had had enough. It’s a weird long drawn out story but I will tell you before you become the STEP parent get a detailed history and be sure it is something you can handle. It is a huge part of the relationship between my husband and myself and sometimes he is torn because he sees how much it hurts me when she does these things.
I even had a conversation with my step daughter last weekend while we were outside alone and she said “I just have a big mouth and I can’t keep secrets”. I explained to her how much it hurts me when she makes things up about me and that she can always tell the truth and she just said she was sorry. She won’t discuss with us how her mother knows stuff she doesn’t need to know or why but I have made rules in my home to protect my privacy. She is not permitted in our bedroom since that is “my private space” and there will be no more vacations out of fear she will make up something that could really be bad. So again all I am saying is be careful if you are going to be becoming a step parent.


#11

I am beside myself at this point I have cried over this more than I care to. For the past 7 months or so it seems my step daughter goes home every weekend and reports back to her mother what goes on each and every moment in our house. Although I have nothing to hide I am a very private person and my home has always been my safe place to be able to be me and not have to have my guard up in any way. About 7 months ago the child went home and told her mother that me & my mother were sitting at my dining room table talking about her mother and we said bad things about her. She said I said her new stepfather was a liar and things of this sort. The case was that I told my mother that the exwife and I had a brief argument because she likes to call and scream at me about my husband on the phone and she told me her stepfather told her that he could buy a 2001+ jaguar for 20,000 and I said I didn’t know if that were true. Unfortunately it caused a huge argument between the stepfather and I on the phone for 45 minutes and apparently she goes home and tells them everything I say and do in my house and when she is with me.

So to try to make a long story shorter we used to have the child from Wednesday night to Sunday night for visitation. Recently the older child smashed the younger child in the head with a can of Off and sent her to the ER. The is the second time the younger child has been injured badly enough to go to the ER in the past 6 months by the older child. Well someone called social services on them and she thinks my husband did it which he didn’t so since the divorce papers say our visitation is only Friday to Sunday she is now making us adhere to that even though we have been taking her from Wednesday to Sunday for over a year.

Right after the head smashing incident the child’s mother purchased her two children (only one of which is my husband’s child the 10 year old) cell phones. You know to reward them for their behavior. The children are 10 & 12. I do not feel a 10 year old needs a cell phone so in my house she is not permitted to use the cell phone. The mother has always said whatever rules we have in our house the child is to adhere to and whatever rules she has at home the child has to adhere to there. Well when she tried to reach the child Friday night and Saturday morning on her cell phone only to discover it was off she called my husband at work. During this converasation she advised him that the child told her I have a gun in my car (this is true and legal) which upset her because one of her co-workers shot his son in the head by accident with a shotgun. He advised her I have the safety on and it is unloaded and it is not anywhere the child can get it. she advised him that she feels we are closed minded because I do not like cheerleaders and the child was afraid to tell me she wanted to be a cheearleader (even though I have made it perfectly clear that we support her in anything she wants to do within reason whether we agree with it or not - hey I have a child who has piercings all over her face, I don;t agree with it but she is 18 and it does not change the way I feel about her) she told him the child said I have a donkey ringer on my cell phone when the mother calls me(I’m pleading the 5th on this one) and that my husband sleeps till noon on sundays (not true). This is all very upsetting to me that the mother even knew all this stuff and this is only the tip of the iceberg. We tried to ask the child how her mother knew that and she said “I don’t want to talk about it.”

I don’t know what I am supposed to do these are not the only things the mother has called and said. She is now telling him she thinks since he works on Saturdays during the day that maybe he should pick up the child on Saturday after work so she doesnt have to be with me all day Saturday. I am not perfect in all this and sometimes I probably slip and say things I shouldn’t but again I am just not accustomed to having to not speak my mind in my house. But I also feel like I should not have to answer to this woman for what I do and it’s always me she attacks never my husband. It’s always Janine said this Janine did that Janine did this. When does it stop. My poor husband is so upset over how upset I am and that this child is like reporting back to her mother that he wants to practically cut off all visitation and that is wrong too.

I really have been very good to her since the first time I met her. I did not meet her until my husband and I had been together for 9 months because I just thought it was wrong to involve a young child in the relationship until we knew where it was going. When I first met her her mother was having financial problems because she had to quit her job because she was sleeping with her boss. I bought the child all her winter clothes, boots and new coat and sent them home with her then I bought her all new summer clothes and bathing suits. We took her to Florida and SeaWorld for her birthday and we did everything we could to help her. We watched the child for her when she was working and she was off of school and whenever she needed us. She has since remarried and now since she doesnt need us to help her she has been a hateful towards me.

I guess I just needed to vent because I don’t know what to do.