That's the weird thing- she's been rebelling against her Mother so much (mostly when she's at our house, which puts us in the middle) that her relationship with her Mother is crap right now. It bothers me that she's losing her relationship with her Mother because her Mother won't let her have a relationship with everyone else. I'm not sure my stepdaughter believes very much of anything her Mother tells her these days- she talks very scornfully and disrepectfully about her Mother, expecially when it's just me and her.
At least consider the possibility that since this type of talk is how sd knows pleases her mother, that she is doing it with you now trying in a sick perverted way to connect with you. This is what she knows and she is so very young.
My Hubby's cell phone. Repeatedly. My stepdaughter is "trained" to ask who's calling whenever it rings. And if it's not picked up each time, or called back within 10-15 minutes, she calls again. And again. And again.Come on now, numbers can be blocked and cells can be put on silent mode. You are allowing her mother to harass the daughter on her visits. This one is easy to handle.
My hubby supports the classes. That's not the problem. Her Mother was given an option from the Religion school of, I think Mondays, Tuesdays or Sundays. It would have fit into her schedule, no extra work on her part, for my stepdaughter to be brought on the bus to the classes, and then they ended after her Mother got out of work, so she could've just picked her up then, but she insisted on Sundays. The court papers state that "the child shall be raised by the Catholic religion", and since my Hubby's Christina but not Catholic and her Mother is Catholic, apparently it meant that she had ultimate control over her religion.Refusing Sunday class is not refusing to allow her to be raised Catholic. Since there is clearly another easy option I would simply refuse classes on your visitation schedule. She can't accuse you of preventing instruction if there were two other completely viable days available.
Only birthdays have happend, keeping her away from our home. Birthdays, weddings AND funerals have happened at our home that she's been kept fomr, on "our" days as well as "her" days. We haven't denied my stepdaughter birthdays at friends houses on "our" weekends, but we have had to change plans many times, because her Mother told the brithday child she's be there.
The woman does not own the keys to your car. You are not required to take her to anything her mother sets up on your time. Just stop doing it. Dad can explain to sd that you are trying to make his time with her free from pressure to please mom and that on their time together he and she will make their own weekend plans.
This hasn't happened yet. It's more along the lines of a phone call telling my Hubby that my stepdaughter "has other plans".SD is to young to refuse visitation, mother doesn't have right to refuse visitation. Get police and courts involved.
We don't. That's why we "lose" all the time. "Daddy took you campiing for three days? Wow, that must've been uncomfortable sleeping on the ground and getting bit by bugs! Remember how I took you to Disney World for a week? The rides, the massage parlor, the nail salon, all those gifts I bought you? And remember how much fun we had with blah blah blah blah......" And then my stepdaughter can't remember how much fun she had with us. Nonsense, of course she remembers it. And better yet, she will remember which home was low stress and took the pressure off her and let her be a child. Trust me, I had a father just like her mother. The competition, withholding, all of it. I saw through the BS even as a child as young as your sd. Just be the best most loving family you can be and put a bubble around her at your home away from discussing/engaging/complaining about her mom. It WILL work.
I would know, because it's been mentioned by her Mother repeatedly for the last five years. At our house, unless my stepdaughter is going straight to sleep, or straight outside on a cold winter day, we don't blowdry hair. My Hubby's way of thinking, as well as mine. Her Mother thinks if you don't blowdry hair immediately after it's wet, even on a 90 degree day in the middle of the summer, you'll get sick and die. That's fine... for her house. But why should we be forced to go by her rules at our house? That's actually been under one of the "neglect" accusations- we don't blowdry her hair every time after her bath.
It's a pain in the butt. The person blowdrying hates it, the person getting her hair blowdried hates it. Why should my stepdaughter's Mother get to dictate how my stepdaughter is parented in our home?
She can't dictate anything about your home. Again you are giving her power she doesn't have and can't enforce. Don't engage. Say to sd, "thank you for giving me the message" and then do what you always do. IF sd says, "we have to blowdry my hair." Say, "do YOU want it dried". If she says no, then you say "great, lets go get lunch, go out,..." If she says yes then dry it for her. There is not a court in this land going to remove custody cause you didn't dry her freshly washed hair.
That feels kinda creepy, I'm not sure if I could do that or if my Hubby would even agree. She saves most of it for me- we have alot of "girl time" (hair, nails, clothes, etc), and she jabbers the entire time.
Just redirect her, ask about friends, school, what she did at religion class. She is not of an age where its impossible to keep her preoccupied and off non-safe topics.
It bothered me when she was believing everythingher Mother told her about, now it bothers me that she's been ripping her Mother apart for my benefit, it feels like. I've found myself actually having to defend her Mother to her alot in the last several months and that can't be healthy for my stepdaughter, either. It's almost like, she's used to ripping me apart to her Mother, that she thinks she has to rip her Mother apart to me, but I've never, ever (even when it almost killed me not to!) said anything negative about her Mother in front of her or where she can possibly hear it. I'm afraid it will permanently emotionally mess her up or something.
I wouldn't defend her mom. I would just sympathize with her in a reflective way, "You sound very frustrated", "that is a tough situation". Don't support, defend or destroy her relationship. Its not your relationship to fix. Just support HER and love HER. And try to eliminate discussion of mom from you entire visit by redirectly/distracting. All three of you sound wrapped up in this woman's neurosis. Disengage!!!!
That's exactly it.
Is this gonna screw her up bigtime? Even with me and my Hubby trying out best?
This is why I am saying she and dad should see a family counselor, sometimes together sometimes her alone.
My Hubby lost his Mother when he was young. He's a firm believer of "don't take a child away from her Mother at any cost". Unfortunately, not letting his daughter talk to her Mother when her Mother calls, falls under this catagory. I'm not sure at what extent we can go with limiting it.
SD should be allowed to call her mother any time she wants to. Mother should not be allowed to keep intruding on your visits whenever she wants. Honestly, your big problem here seems to be your husband as much as the mother. He could use a counselor to help him see what appropriate boundaries he NEEDS to set to help his dd.
I think that's a big part of the problem there. My Hubby tries to keep peace, for his daughter's sake, but I know for a fact that I've (unintentionally) intiminated my stepdaughter's Mother.But, his daughter HAS NOT PEACE. His actions are not bringing peace at all. He needs to change tactics.
That was about the time where she started getting very upset with my involvement with my stepdaughter. If it's just me and her, she backs down. If it's just my Hubby and her, anything goes. If it's me, my Hubby and her, she tries to ignore me, because I'll tell her (nicely, because my stepdaughter is always there) exactly what's on my mind.As I said, seems bigger problem is your husband. She clearly backs down and if you were a united front this would greatly reduce this situation. If he is letting her dictate you not coming to events, her brother talking to her ( this is abuse of your minor child preventing the sibling relationship and I bet a judge would NOT like that).
That's the problem. My Hubby is mostly untouchable, by her standards, and things are said to me or to my stepdaughter for me to hear, that a female would get, but not the average guy. Like asking how was vacation with DADDY, what did she do with DADDY, did she have fun with DADDY, okay, hug DADDY goodbye now" while physically standing between me and my stepdaughter and then trying to bring my stepdaughter into her house without letting her say goodbye to me, never mind completely putting into my stepdaughter's head that she's only been with us to spend time with DADDY and not the rest of her family. My Hubby doesn't pick up on it and making a fuss would just make me look like a petty fool to him. Know what I mean? Suggestions?[/QUOTE]She is baiting you. Stop taking it. Let her say what she says. Hug/kiss dd before you leave for drop off. Say verbal goodbye even if she is being hustled away. She has all of you on leashes and jerks them at will. Disengage.