What to do when dss doesn't want to come with us? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-23-2005, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello-

I am step mother to a son who will be 3 in Dec. My dh and I were dating when he found out that he had a child on the way. I have been around since before birth. Anyway, once paternity was established at dh's insitance he was awarded joint custody, visitation, etc. We see him regularly ever since he was about 5 mths. old. We actually see him more than that. We do more than standard visit minimum. For about the last 3 to 4 months he has been of and on doing this thing where he cries or says he wants to stay with his mommy. I feel that this is normal. I have had extensive experience w/seperation anxiety and this is a mild case IMO. However, the prob is that his mommy won't make him come. She sort of makes it worse. We are considerate of her and make sure to call about 5 min after we leave to let her know he's already calmed down and fine when he does this. So I normally pick up and I just take him rather he's crying or not. Again, this is normal and is probably brought on by the fact that she has a live in boyfriend who she's on again of again with. This creates turmoil and leads to feelings of insecurity and clingyness IMO. But dh went to pick up today and they were having a get together and about 25 ppl were there, so what happens. Same scenario "Me want to stay with my mommy, me not want to go with you." Blah Blah Blah Don't mean to sound insensitive, but I experienced this w/my dd at that age and we established a routine so we could move through it. Dh didn't want to cause a scene so he caved after we drove 40 miles. BTW this has happend to me before too. Mother says she doesn't want to see him cry. I understand again, I've been down the road with my dd. Fact is 2 yo aren't old enough to decide not to visit. Especially when its motivated by the fact that they just want to stay and play with the kids they've been having fun with all afternoon. I mean can't blame the kid for wanting to stay and have fun. But the line has to be drwn somwhere or things are going to get out of hand. Any advice from others who have had this experience?

TIA
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Old 10-24-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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If you have a decent enough relationship with mom, why don't you ask her to meet you somewhere to do the exchange when she knows he's feeling clingy. I've experienced with my neices and nephews that it's a lot easier for a child to transfer at a place like McDonald's, etc. While the child is playing mom says by and dad takes over.

Another would be for her to hype the child up about 45 minutes before you or dad show up to get him. She could make it sound very exciting that he gets to go have fun with you. A 3 year old is very easily amused and will follow along with mom if she sounds real happy that he gets to go have fun. She could tell him she's just going to clean house, etc while he's gone so he doesn't think he'll miss out.

My son loves to be at home. Sometimes it was very difficult for him to leave his daily routine and go with dad. I tried these approaches and they worked. It didn't take long before he was out of that stage.

Also, it was around 3 that he became extremely close to my mother and actually called her mom and me by my first name for about 6 months. That was hard on me, but I put my money on it being a stage.

One other note. I think it was a bad choice for mom to make to have this get together knowing how the child has been feeling lately. It's not good on him, you, mom, dad or the guests that had to watch him cry. Mom should have walked him to the car to avoid a scene. IMO

I don't think there's anything you or dad can do to help this situation without mom's help.

Good luck.
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Old 10-24-2005, 04:24 AM
 
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My dd just turned 3 and we do the hype up thing. She is fine 5 minutes after leaving, and even crys and says she wants daddy when he brings her back. I think its just a phase too. At first it bothered me, and I thought I was doning something wrong by making her go, but then when she would come back and not want to come back, I realized its just something she is doing right now, nothing really about how she feels about the other parent or anything. And DP's kids do the samething too.
Maybe your dh can call before he gets there and talk to him on the phone and try to hype him up, if his mom isn't willing too. Just a thought.
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Old 10-24-2005, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When we got there and I saw what was going on I said "Here we go". I told dh toet her bring him to car b/c I knew what was about to take place. She didn't so he finally went over there. Bottom line is that he cries not to go back alot too and she feels threatened. Also he calls me mom and we haven't discussed it,but he told me she said I was not his mom. I understand how she feels, but our other kids call me mom so he wants to and I'm not going to tell him"i'm not his mom" I am one of his mom's. We will never replace our relationship with the one they have so that goes w/out saying. I guess dh is going to have to bite the bullett and say something! He is so non-confrontational is not even funny.
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Old 10-24-2005, 02:43 PM
 
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Sounds like what I'm going through. Mom feels threatened that if the children love me they'll stop loving her. Dad doesn't want to say anything because he hates confrontations with her more than dealing with her.

I finally told him, "Do you want a confrontation with her or with me?"

He could speak to her without the child present.
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Old 10-24-2005, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just hope that this situation resolves itself soon. I usually pick him up, and I just take him crying. He doesn't scream and cry or throw a big fit. He rather whines and crys. Similar to what he does when he doesn't get his way anytime. Now that dh is caving to this, I feel uncomfy picking him up. I think the best way is to just take him quickly before he has a chance to start up. Usually she prolongs the exchange to like 10 min and after about 3 he start this. I've learned to go to the door say hello to her or whoever she's left him with that day, say hello to him and hug/kiss tell him what we have planned and that everyone is anxious to see him, that we've missed him and scoop him up before he can respond with the whining or saying he wants to stay with whoever has him. It also doesn't help that no matter what time we say we are going to be there, early or late, he either needs a nap badly or is taking one. Never fails. Or he's in the middle of something no kid would want to stop. Also she lets him do whatever he wants so I understand that he may not like being in a structured environment at our house. All in all though he is and has always done great, and like I said when she comes to pick him up from us instead of us dropping him off he runs away from her. But my mommy strings do get pulled when he's upset for his momma b/c I'm a momma and I would never want my kid's to be crying for me and not have access. SO I don't know. That was quite a little rant I just had. Sorry! TIA for listening though.
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Old 10-24-2005, 08:49 PM
 
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I had the same problem with my ds when he was 5. He didnt want to go with his dad. He'd be so excited to go then once his dad picked him up, he wanted to stay. At first, I kept him home, but deep down, I knew that wasnt right for a couple of reasons. So, we started doing the hyping thing. My ex would call the nite before ask real excited, "are you ready to come over tomorrow? We're gonna have fun!" Then he'd call before he left to pick him up. "I'm coming now! Be ready for me! Bring a movie we can watch!"
It really did help alot. I would also get him excited early in the day.

But if you're not counting on mom to help, than maybe you and dad could try calling alot before? Maybe plan a movie nite that first nite? I agree to a neutral meeting place too.

Good luck!
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