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Thread: Helplessness

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    Default Helplessness

    How do other step moms deal with the helplessness? I am feeling very helpless latly. DSD (8) has started banging her head off the wall when she gets a time out. DSS (10) is reading at a grade 1 level. I am dwelling on this. Mom has refused tutoring through homework club and refused to allow us to take the kids to councilling. She encourages the kids to lie to us or not tell us anything DSS wont even tell us what he did on the weekend for the most part. I can't help but dwell on all the emotional damage this causes. DH plays with the idea of going back to court for custody but has yet to make the leap and he is a momma's boy and she keeps saying wait till after this or that so right now it is wait till after Christmas then it will be wait till they are done this school year.

    I wish I could do everything in my power to help the kids but I can't we do all that we can to help DSS with schooling when we have him but its not enough to make a substantial impact. They are drowning in their emotions with no outlet because they fear mom to much to talk to her and have been repeatedly told not to talk to us to the point where DSD hurts herself when she gets a time out.

    Called CAS and kids are to scared to talk so they did nothing. There are pile sof other issues but nothing serious enough for them to do anything about it and if I wrote it all out I would have a novel.
    What am I to do?
    Last edited by Kylee; 12-04-2012 at 10:46 PM.

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    I really don't think there is anything you can do unless your DH goes to court and tries to get more custody.
    Tough spot to be in. He needs to do whats best for the kids though.








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    Document everything.
    Also check and see what the teachers are saying (Have DH call the school and see what's up). He has rights too when it comes to his kids to get them help. Sitting down with teachers and getting a firm grasp on what's happening in the classroom vs what's being said at home is a huge step in the right direction. If the teachers share your frustrations make sure to ask if there's a way to somehow get proof of the help the children would benefit from to present to a lawyer if needed.
    What is your visitation like? Can't you schedule something within 'your' time to help the kids out? I know some parents don't get much time for visitation but booking a tutor for an hour or two a week may be more beneficial than doing nothing at all. IYKWIM The kids will remember later in life who stepped up and helped them.
    It doesn't seem like that now but as someone who had an active stepmom as a child (I had two different step moms, one who I adored and one who was never actively involved with myself and my brothers) they'll remember and appreciate it later on!
    My mom didn't realize(or care) I had a math problem and just ignored it. My step mom/dad called the school and got me lunch hour tutoring to help with my marks. My mom had full custody and was my custodial parent, but that didn't mean my dad had no rights. If you get what I'm saying...
    Feel free to drop me a PM if you want

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    Honestly I think at this point just make the best out what you have.

    Does it suck to have to watch the kids do with out yes but really you don't want to force or pressure dh into going to court either becasue I can tell you judges can always tell when people are there becasue they made choice and when they are there becasue they felt pressured.

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    Growing up I had what I considered an evil step mother. She was always nit picking it seemed and always correcting us and at the time I hated it. She never said it to us, but there were things she felt my mother wasn't doing and because my mom wouldn't do anything to help or change specific behaviours my step mom took it upon herself to do it. I was so resentful as a lid. But as I got older I realized she was doing it for the better. I appreciate everything she ever did, because its made me a better person now. She isn't with my father anymore, but I still have a relationship with her and all of my aunts and uncles I inherited from her side of the family.

    Do the best you can. If it feels like you're not making a positive impact on their lives, its not the case, because in the long run they'll love you for it all the more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quackinboots View Post
    Do the best you can. If it feels like you're not making a positive impact on their lives, its not the case, because in the long run they'll love you for it all the more.
    I totally agree. That 20 minutes reading you do with him all adds up. That big hug and kind smile you give to her will always be remembered.

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    My mom had full custody and was my custodial parent, but that didn't mean my dad had no rights. If you get what I'm saying...
    I am the FULL CUSTODY parent to my older DS, and his DAD has NO RIGHT to his school records at all or ANYTHING. HE is not even on ANY school, doctor records. His dad can call all he wants BUT they will not tell him anything. His dad cant even STOP me from crossing the boarder with my DS. But he does have visitation only.

    So what I am getting at is check first to see if dad is on paper work first. BUT if dad has joint custody and kids live with mom he has all rights to kids info.
    Last edited by simpsongirl; 12-05-2012 at 12:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simpsongirl View Post
    I am the FULL CUSTODY parent to my older DS, and his DAD has NO RIGHT to his school records at all or ANYTHING. HE is not even on ANY school, doctor records. His dad can call all he wants BUT they will not tell him anything. His dad cant even STOP me from crossing the boarder with my DS. But he does have visitation only.

    .
    hate to correct you but so long as the court order says that he has access by law he has a right to copies of every report medical and school.

    Access

    (5) The entitlement to access to a child includes the right to visit with and be visited by the child and the same right as a parent to make inquiries and to be given information as to the health, education and welfare of the child. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 20 (5).
    Children's Law Reform Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12

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    hate to correct you but so long as the court order says that he has access by law he has a right to copies of every report medical and school.
    My court order says he DOES NOT have access to ANYTHING. well he can see he that is it. He had to check with me if he want to take him anywhere.

    My order is 16years old.
    Last edited by simpsongirl; 12-05-2012 at 01:26 PM.

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    DH's court order says he has a right to make inquiries and be told about anything regards to health, education, religion and welfare.
    So he can ask questions but she never responds to his questions. I know it is contempt but how do you prove someone ignored your text messages and/or email? She has also made a big deal about us dropping off $5 for the kids at the school. So now we are out school co-operation even though they have a copy of the court order. To save face.

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    I think the only thing you can do is help them as much as you can while they are in your care. If you have them on weekends or every other weekend perhaps try scheduling counselling or Kumon on those days. It can be hard to see a child you care about struggling but really it comes down to they are someone elses kids.

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    I can't respond to the stepparent part, but I agree with others that since you can't do anything right now that I would document. But I would also work with the 10 year old on reading or writing. I would get a read aloud novel - Percy Jackson or Hunger Games or The Hobbit (especially since movie is coming out). Each night you read him a chapter (heck read to both), and then have him write out a summary of what happened and draw a pick and label it. Have him verbally tell you what he remembers before he writes. I would get one of those books that has a paper cover and has a blank top and lines on bottom Staples or Walmart have them, so picture can be drawn on top and words on bottom. If his reading is low then I assume his writing is low also.

    I would then try to find stuff for him to read. Check at Scholars Choice they have some books (well stories in a book together that could be photocopied as they are for teachers) that are geared to lower level readers - so it will say reading level 1.4-2.2 (mid grade1-early grade 2) and interest level (gr 7-8). As it can be hard to find books at gr1 level that a 10 year old would want to read. Then just have him read and just spend 10-15 minutes doing it and always praise any amount he does. I would read the same story for 2 weekends -then have him read a paragraph and record each word he struggled on or was stuck on and what part - then you can see what to teach. Maybe he is stuck on words ending in long e, or words with “ou“ or “oa“ and you can study these word families the following weekend and post them on his door/mirror/closet or even a cardboard science background to make a wordwall he can see when he is there.
    I would also order him some magazines (probably music for a 10 year old) and buy some graphic novels - these are high interest yet have few words on each page.

    For the 8 year old I would perhaps stop time outs - it may be that you need to step back and see if she needs unconditional acceptance for even horrible behaviours - and can't handle any punishment at this time. Normally, I wouldn't suggest that but perhaps she is going through so much that she needs to feel safe and valued more than anything - so you need to value her and not punish at all. Then later when she is calm (maybe 1-2hours later) explain why you didn't like what she was doing and what you would prefer her to do. I would call a professional (merrymount) and explain her situation and ask for help on what parenting technique would be best for her.

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