I'm not this kids mother but... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-21-2011, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay. I'll get straight to the point without telling you the whole back story.

 

My boyfriend and I have residence of his son Ant who is 5.

 

The kids mother comes around whenever she feels like it but is obligated to every other weekend mostly because the kid is in school.

 

Recently Ant has gotten the idea into his head that he doesn't have to be good any time other than the Friday before the weekend his mother comes to get him despite having the opportunity everyday positive enforcement and reward for being good at school. This is because whenever he's with his mother she does even more of whatever she wants by giving the kid a video game controller or dropping all her mothers money on taking him to Chuck-E-Cheese or something else that would be amazing to a small child.

 

So my question is how do my boyfriend and I cope with his mother's bribery? How do we provide damage control and most of all how do we get through to the mother without taking this back to courts (this is not the worse she's done either)

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#2 of 5 Old 12-21-2011, 12:02 PM
 
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You will not change the mother.  If that were possible, your BF would've accomplished it in time to save his relationship with her and not have to split up with his kid's mom.  The more you tell her how much her behavior displeases or inconveniences you guys - esp. if you tell her the kid behaves worse for you guys - the more she's likely to stick to it...partly to show you guys she doesn't take orders from you, and partly to relish the idea that she has a better relationship with the kid, even if he doesn't live with her.

 

The truth is, YOU guys have the better relationship with him.  Kids test boundaries and act out with the people they trust to always be there for them, no matter how rotten they are.  Kids act like angels when they think the person they're with might quit coming around, if the kid isn't enjoyable.

 

Just hang in there.  Have consistent expectations of and consequences for his behavior.  He's little and he will change...over time.  Know in your mature, adult hearts that you don't have to make life a constant Disneyworld, to be a good parent.  It's better for this kid that the majority of his time is spent in normal life, rather than "Mommy's-job-is-to-provide-a-thrill-a-minute" life.  It's not always fun to be right, reasonable, responsible and grounded.


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#3 of 5 Old 12-21-2011, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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His mother actually does a lot of 'challenging'. For instance, Ant's 5th birthday: the bike his grandmother on his mom's side bought him was run down with a flat tire and the hand grips had been ripped off. The only time we saw this bike come to our house was when it was in need of some sort of repair and my boyfriend actually does a lot of BMX riding so fixing it wasn't a big deal but god forbid we asked for it at any specific time to which she'd say 'maybe you can buy him one' (for the record we were in the process of moving into our first house so we were low on funds to buy the kid another bike when he already had one) SO for Ant's birthday we chose to end the sharing battle by purchasing Ant a bike for our house. Well, we made the classic mistake of telling her our plans (things were civil, we didn't think it'd be an issue) to which she then purchased the same bike just a different color.

 

We also made the mistake once again regarding Christmas because we wanted to get Ant more involved with snowboarding (the kid is quite obsessed) to which she then decided she wanted to buy him a $400 snowboard. Mind you she complains about paying for the gas to come visit her kid the 2-3 times a month she comes down to see him. After confirming the purchase she just assumes the board will come over to her house. Which in theory would be fair but guess she'll just have to wait til a binding breaks or his snow gear rips....

 

ANYWHO, the point to that is we have great relationships with Ant. I'll butt heads with the kid from time to time. I'm still trying to get used to hearing 'but my mommy let's me' and 'you're not my mom, I don't have to listen to you'. But it doesn't phase me as much as her actions. I mean we have the kid for 2 weeks straight before she gets the opportunity to spoil him. We realize she's always going to test us because she doesn't have him but my patience are wearing thin when it comes to his mother's choices.

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#4 of 5 Old 12-21-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justalexis View Post

ANYWHO, the point to that is we have great relationships with Ant. I'll butt heads with the kid from time to time. I'm still trying to get used to hearing 'but my mommy let's me' and 'you're not my mom, I don't have to listen to you'. But it doesn't phase me as much as her actions. I mean we have the kid for 2 weeks straight before she gets the opportunity to spoil him. We realize she's always going to test us because she doesn't have him but my patience are wearing thin when it comes to his mother's choices.



When he says that, your DH could step in and say, "No, but I'm your dad, and the these are the rules at my house."

 

And while you probably don't want to go over the top, you could do some type of reward system at home for good behavior. A sticker chart, a special outing after he gets 10 stickers - there are any number of ways to try and push him in the direction of better behavior. You don't have to be disneyland every day to reward good behavior.

 

Your DH might also want to look into ways to validate his feelings about being away from his mom so much. My ex is a regular presence, and never misses a visit - so that is different in my situation - but the book Two Homes has been very reassuring to my son, as well as the book, "The Invisible String" (it describes a string made of love that goes between people who love each other - very cute). You can also talk to him about missing his mom, offer phone calls or skype frequently (my almost 3yo LOVES skyping with his dad who lives out of state), and see if that helps. Validating his feelings about missing her might help a ton, making her a regular topic of conversation, making him comfortable talking about her in your home (because he's unlikely to talk about her if he feels that she is disliked by you or your DH - and even if you try not to show it, you need to be very proactive about talking about her so that he feels comfortable), so that if the problem is that he misses her he will tell you rather than act out.

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#5 of 5 Old 12-22-2011, 03:43 PM
 
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When dealing with him saying you are not his mother, I would just replly that you are an adult/member of the household and that he is expected to respect you as such. If he goes to school, maybe remind him that he is expected to listen to teachers/coaches/whatever depite the fact that they are not his mother and father.

 

As for the issue with his mom, try to remember that you cannot control his mom's actions, but you can control how you react to her. Parent your stepson how you feel is best and try not to get into a contest with mom, which seems to be what she wants .I still struggle with this after 6 years or so of stepparenting :)

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