While I can't imagine doing this with my dd and don't think there are many AP parents that would, our last visitation with my 2 dsd, 16 &14 for two weeks (we only see them for 2 weeks in the summer) went so awful that Dh is considering this might be the last time they come. It's not that we would say don't come, but rather Dh said if you don't want to come, don't feel like you must. Normally they miss their mom, step-dad, and siblings, but over the past several years the tension has built, coinsiding with the birth of my dd oddly enough, to the point that they would retreat to their room and not come out till Dh went to bed and do all they could to avoid Dh the rest of the time. They refused to write a card for father's day or do the craft they picked out at the store for father's day as well. Never said "Happy Father's Day" either. I caught a peak on their mom's web site of them begging her to come get them. All in all, I have no real clue why they are so upset. I think the only reason the step-dad doesn't adopt them is the thought of loosing child support.
my sis and I know that the teen years are not the easiest of time but in most situations "families" pull back together. We're not their "family" and don't see a reason for them (besides $) to ever want us in their life.
What makes it worse is that they adore their "family" calls them several times and day, always looking for gifts for them and constant internet conversations, yet nothing towards Dh.
Originally Posted by chel
While I can't imagine doing this with my dd and don't think there are many AP parents that would, our last visitation with my 2 dsd, 16 &14 for two weeks (we only see them for 2 weeks in the summer) went so awful that Dh is considering this might be the last time they come. It's not that we would say don't come, but rather Dh said if you don't want to come, don't feel like you must.
What a tough situation. I'm sure it's difficult for your husband to even contemplate such a move. I don't have any advice, really...but I might have some insight. You say that you only see the kids 2 weeks in the summer - which I suspect means that you all don't live near your stepdaughters. My ex lives on the east coast; I live on the west coast. Some years he takes the kids for 3 weeks, other years he comes here to visit his parents and sees the kids for a week or so. While he is good to call the kids twice a week, that is really the extent of his involvement in their lives. The kids love their dad - but because he moved away years ago they really haven't had a chance to bond with him. My ex would get upset with me because of my frequent contact with the kids while they were visiting him. Now that they're older, and because I try to respect his wishes, I contact them less when they are there - but I have tried to point out to him that parents HAVE frequent contact with their children. A person cannot have a meaningful relationship with another person without frequent, meaningful contact. My kids love their dad...but he's definitely more in the category of "cool uncle" than dad. Like I said, I don't have any advice...and perhaps my situation isn't like yours at all...but if it is, it might be worth trying a new approach with your stepdaughters. What I know for sure is that kids NEED their dad. My dh is a WONDERFUL parent to my kids. In fact, most people don't realize he isn't "Dad" - and yet the kids still really want and need a relationship with their biological father...it is probably worth working at...especially where your step daughters are so close to being 18. That's just my $.02.
I don't have any advice (DH and I both have 50/50 custody of our kids), but I didn't want to read and not respond. That sounds like an incredibly painful situation and I'm so sorry that things are hard for your family right now.
I so hear you on needed more time. The mom moved 2 states away first and Dh didn't know he had the right to contest it. Life was good when we saw them once a month. I guess being the "cool uncle" was working. We always camped when we saw them as it was too far to drive back to Dh's home and we couldn't afford a hotel. I had my dd the first summer after we had moved too far to continue the monthly visit and went to 2 weeks in the summer, the ex wouldn't allow more time and Dh wasn't sure the dd would want to give up their jam packed summer for more time with us.
On a side note, Dh isn't the bio father of his oldest dd and the bio father has been involved with the oldest for the past 7yrs. The girls haven't called Dh "dad" in 10yrs as their younger siblings were calling their father by his first name. So alot going on to "undermine" Dh's father status.
Has anyone experieced a decrease in visitation in the teen years? With the girls getting older, stuff like part-time jobs, church, sports, friends, and boys are all taking up so much of their time.