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Sm/bm issue: At what age do you tell your kids your side of the drama?

My sd is at the age where she wants to know what is going. And she is not stupid, she is in the midst of all the drama (the minimal dramal). Her mom has always been the person to release her feelings on her daughter. Tell her everything going on, even going to the point of sharing our texts with her. We've always been the ones to keep our mouth shut and let things go. But lately, I, the sm have been telling her myside when she says... or when she asks..."Why can't you and my mom be good friends?" She is 12 and wants the best of both worlds. For the most part, it is. But she wants that one last final step of everyone being friends. Her bm and dad typically do not talk but maybe twice a month at the most. Things usually run smooth, or sd tells us when she has apts or things going on. My sd and I have a good relationship, but I have mixed feelings about talking to her.

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:54 PM on Oct. 29, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (12)
  • If you hold things back from her, especially when she asks, she's just going to resent you for it. Tell her what you think she's mature enough to handle (and in a mature way, let her see that you can be the "better person"), and if she does well with that, then keep going.

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 11:58 PM on Oct. 29, 2009

  • I agree with Dragon, but make sure to keep in mind that she's only twelve. She might seem like a little trooper, but that last thing you need is her mis-understanding things and making them worse. I'm sure you don't need the drama. Being the bigger person and just letting it go, to me, would be better because at the end of the day, she will KNOW that what you're doing is healthier for her than knowing all of your issues. Sometimes things are better left unsaid, ya know?

    Answer by SinCitiChick at 12:05 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • Honesty is always best, but remember she is still a child so don't freak her out to much.

    Answer by BooBear666 at 12:15 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • i think if you tell her your side and try to make it look like her mother is wrong in whatever the case may be it will only cause more problems between you and her mother because then she will just go to her mother saying "well my stepmom said" Kids often like stirring up that kind of drama just to get the attention...not to have the best of both worlds. I would just tell her you would like to have a friendship with her mother and if she asks you your opinion just tell her you need to think about it...maybe you and her mother can talk.. express your opinions together

    Answer by shay1130 at 12:35 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • The thing is, you Are meant to teach her life lessons. You are her sm and like it or not she is coming to you and you gotta step up and teach. You became a teacher once you became a sm to her, so just take it slow, don't reaveal all of your feelings when you talk, but do let her know how you Are feeling about certain things. and if something her mom says bothers you, just skirt that issue with a "well, i'm not sure..." or "that's kinda between me and your mom" and then when you can, have a real talk with her mother about any issues that do come up. She obviously looks up to you, otherwise she wouldn't come to you and trust you to tell you these things. Enjoy it now! Teen years are around the corner! lol

    Answer by mom2BOYZnDad at 12:58 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • Take the high road, and leave your personal drama out of it. First and foremost because it gives a much better example of 'how to handle personal conflict with grace and maturity.' That alone will end up with her mother looking like a twit, which is fun in its own way...

    If you need to answer a direct question (and I don't agree that a question asked is a demand that must be answered on pain of death--lots of questions are nosy, impertinent or obnoxious and answering them just agrees that they're valid to ask, which is a problem making a problem worse, imo), but should you decide to answer a direct question, you can use one of the old-style polite answers that can be used for nearly anything:

    Now, how would it be kind to go into that all these years later?
    Why would you want to know that?
    Oh, that's all over long ago, let's not go into that now.
    I'm sure that can wait until you're older.
    Another time, dear.

    Answer by LindaClement at 1:15 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • never tell her that her mother is wrong. If its something she wants to do maybe you should say "Well what did your mother have to say" I think the mother will respect you more having the daughter ask her first. If the mother said no then leave that to be the final answer. If she asks your opinion give it to her but dont make the mother look like a bad guy. If daughter still don't like the answer tell her its something to discuss with dad

    Answer by shay1130 at 1:36 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • why cannot you pretend to get along for the sake of the kid?

    Answer by AmaliaD at 7:51 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • you don't. Despite watching the drama the children have no right to be drawn into the pettiness of the adults. Just like with ex spouses you have to pretend nice around the kids and not bad mouth each other. The kids will learn on their own exactly whos doing what without your influence.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 8:09 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • My first respose was "when they ask" thinking that she was a lot older, but I agree you should probably first and foremost don't make her mom look bad (it will bite you in the ass later, I am sure!) second always back Dad up, and if she corner's you wanting to know something in particular, I would give her as much as you can without giving her EVERYTHING. She knows if her mom is a good mom or not and it sounds like she trusts you enough to talk to you about it. KEEP THAT DOOR OPEN at all costs. I think what I would do (I have a stepson who is almost 7, and then two more boys of my own, no girls! :() is take her to the nail salon to get her nails painted or take her shopping, out to lunch. Whatever you do, just keep talking because like someone else said teenage years are coming up and she may not talk to her bio mom like she talks to you.

    Answer by MamaRoberts at 9:12 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

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