crberry86 asks:

My stepdaughter's mom is a part time mom and a full time headache, what else can we do?

Hi, blended family here. My DH has a 5 y/o, I have a 5, 3, and our newborn. We are the first ones up and the last ones to bed taking care of all 4 kids. That's meals, school, homework, housecleaning, activities. My DH works, I do not, but I do it all because that's my job. My SD is with us most of the time. We focus on getting her to school because her mother does not. My SD does not know right from wrong and her mother lies a lot, so she lies too. We catch them both all the time and try to correct it. SD told mom, twice now, that she is being "hit" over here. We discipline, we do not hit. The first time her mother pulled her from us for a week, told her family she tried calling my DH, but we never heard anything until the next week. She kept her out of school the whole time. She did text my DH on Monday saying my SD was sick, but on Wednesday, grandma called and told us my SD said we were beating her the last Friday. When we confronted the mom, she lied and said grandma was crazy, but then kept adding to the story, and eventually got angry and started hollering at us for disciplining her daughter. What she does often is get fed up having her kid all week and then calls us to ask us to come get her again. It's happening more and more and she is missing more and more school. Accused us again last week, missed 2 days of school. Called this morning for my DH to come get her real early, couldn't, mom didn't take her, mom lives 10 minutes away. Not sure what to do about SD.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges, Blended families
> 60 days ago



May 21, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

This is a tough situation, and you can't control what happens at her mother's house.

It's important for your family to maintain as normal as possible a lifestyle as you can. State your family rules and expectations to your step daughter and all the kids and then enforce them with positive and negative consequences.

If the bio mom takes her, then your husband shouldn't run and pick her up, unless it's the normal visitation schedule.  Be consistent and provide the best care possible when she is with you, but don't rearrange your world when she arrives. She is a member of your blended family, not a guest.

I recommend co-parenting counseling for all parents involved.

I hope that helps.

Kindest Regards,

Shirley Cress Dudley
Founder and Executive Director of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center.
Author of the book, Blended Family Advice
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