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problem w/son and his birth mom

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a problem with my (step)son... his birth mom is raising him differently then my husband and I would like our children to be raised. She disciplines him by shouting or asking 'do you want a spanking' when we have been redirecting him with positive reinforcement... now he hits us when we ask him to do anything and will scream ouch when we pick him up to redirect his attention to something else. He also is developmentaly 'behind' from my 2yr old daughter who I raised as a single mother... his mother just did not take the time to teach him anything, so now it's like he just doesn't care to do the things he has learned w/us because she doesn't follow through...

I'm not sure what to do if anyone has any suggestions please feel free to help...
post #2 of 7
I'm sorry but I'm a little confused as to why you are calling his mother his birthmom? Aren't you married to his father therefor the step-mom (parent) and his mom is just his mom?
post #3 of 7
We went through something similar when we first entered the world of the blended family. All you can really do is what you've been doing...just make your house as consistent as possible, and it will do your DSS a world of good. Worrying about what happens at biomom's house isn't going to do you any good. You can't control how she does or does not discipline her child, all you can do is control what happens in YOUR house. The sooner you can let go of being upset that she does things differently and can just focus on what IS in your power, the better for everyone.

In fact, my girls' biomom asked to spend the day with us a couple years ago so that she could see how we get the girls to listen so well, as they refused to listen to her and she was at her wits end. It worked. She started listening to the girls instead of demanding things of them. Among other things, but that was the big change that helped her relationship. Now, after 3 years, the kids are much happier and there's a lot more stability. They know what happens here, and they know what happens at their mom's house, and "never the 'tween shall meet" so to speak.

It's okay to have different parenting styles, and while spanking is not a good way of getting anyone to do anything positive, you really have no control over it. If you are in a position where you can talk to biomom, maybe ask if she minds if you guys sit down together so that you can voice your concerns. There's no harm in trying, after all, if it means a happier, safer child.

Good luck!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
"I'm sorry but I'm a little confused as to why you are calling his mother his birthmom"...

He calls me mommy and I consider him my son because I am the one who is raising him with respect and in a positive household. I have him 75% of the time, so I am able to work with him alot however I really can't live with him getting spanked everytime he doesn't finish his food or if he won't sit down. It really breaks my heart that everytime we go to touch him to talk to him about something he starts to scream...

Thank you sehbub for the suggestion we will try that... she also feeds him junk food ALL the time (i.e. fast food, candy, chocolate milk, soda, chips, etc) and considers them meals, I have sent him with a 'lunch pack' before and explained what I've been feeding him for that day in hopes that she will 'catch my drift' so to speak, my husband and I don't want to say straight out "stop feeding him junk food" but I'm not sure how to explain to her that her dining habits are causing him to loose interest in the 'good for you foods'
post #5 of 7
Again, I totally understand your frustration, but at some point you have to let it go.

Junk food is not the end of the world. Yes, it may cause poor eating habits, but again, all you can do is worry about what is in YOUR CONTROL. My girls ate HORRIBLY in the beginning. Now, if we don't have veggies in the house, the girls insist we go to the store and get some. Just don't offer the junk at your home. Simple fix, you know? Biomom will do what she wants to do, no matter what, and getting upset about it and frustrated isn't going to do you any good. Unless she's physically harming your (step)son - and I don't consider junk food to be physical harm - then you really just need to let it go, for everyone's sake.

I totally understand where you're coming from. I don't know how long you've been a stepmom, but while these issues FEEL like a big deal, they're not. She will feed your son differently. She will discipline your son differently. She will dress him, bathe him, medicate him, and overall care for him differently, and all you can do is accept that as the nature of the beast.
post #6 of 7
oh sorry that you are going through this. pp is right though, you have to learn to let it go, as your son gets older he will be able to differentiate between the two households.

the same thing is going on with us and we have a special needs son. we did take his bio-mom to court and were able to order certain things that she was doing or not doing due to his SN. but she is still allowed to spank him, and medicate him and feed him differently even when the evidence shows that consistency is key for children.

its a tough subject to challenge another parents parenting choices.
post #7 of 7
It is really hard, but as the others said, you just have to stop being interested in what's going on over there. Unless it is illegal, there isn't anything you can do except deal with it on your end. When he is a little older, he will clearly understand the rules and routines of each house. You will have more influence because he is with you more. 25% of the time isn't all that much. Older kids are around their teachers 1/2 of their waking hours and they don't seem to be all that much influenced by them! A hard thing in blended families is that we have less control over their influences. We have to let them be around people, in situations, and exposed to things we don't approve of. It turns out ok.
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