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How can I help my step kids cope with their mom moving to a different state?

My step kids(15 and 12) mom moved across the country, back to her hometown in Florida about 1 1/2 yrs ago. Their dad and I believe that they havn't truly coped with her move. They do have regular contact with her through texting and phone calls. They also go and visit her on school breaks for the holidays. Before her move, the custodial split was 50/50 and my husband and her lived about 10 houses from each other. She was a "everyday" part of their lives. Her then live in boyfriend had broken up with her and she told her kids she needed to move back with her family in Florida and didn't want to be in California anymore. She "ask" the kids to go with her and they told her no, that their home and friends were here. She left anyway and the kids say they are happy for her that she is finally happy back home. Our concern is that they never seemed to grieve her leaving or get mad or sad. No show of any emotion. Just very matter of fact that she made her choice to still leave. We would ask "How does it make you feel?" and their answer is always. "we are happy for her, she's happy now back with her familly and new fiance" My husband and I wonder how to break through to their emotions behind it, get them to start a grieving process. We wonder how they can truly be ok with this. For all intent and purposes, their mother made the decision to leave them and start a new life without them.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 3:24 PM on Jan. 13, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (3)
  • Well, maybe they honestly understand the situation and are genuinely pleased that she is happy. They stay in contact with her and they see her, so she hasn't abandoned them. With the technology available today, they may be in contact with her every day. It sounds to me like they are mature, well adjusted kids. You should be proud of them for putting their mother's needs ahead of their own.

    Answer by Marwill at 3:33 PM on Jan. 13, 2011

  • I think you have to let them cope in their own way, but I would watch for signs like anger or depression that might just suddenly appear. Sometimes, there is a delayed reaction, and if that happens, they may not even make the connection between their emotions and their mom's departure. Children tend to gloss over feelings of disappointment where their parents are concerned, so I think the best thing you can do is to be supportive and very watchful for changes in their demeanors. You should also take into consideration that they might like the new arrangement better than they did the old one. That is a possibility!

    Answer by NannyB. at 3:39 PM on Jan. 13, 2011

  • Teens are not as deep as we think. They just may be okay with it.

    Answer by rosetoes at 12:05 PM on Jan. 15, 2011

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