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Step Parenting

I married a Frenchman and was living In France for 3 years until his stepdaughter's rages against met added to my sense of feeling culturally alienated and I fled a few months ago ...My stepchildren were madly in love with me (reciprocal) for the first year; the little boy, now age 9, still is. The little girl, age 10, wavers between love (I wish you were my real mother) and hate (hysterical crisises in which she lashes out physically at me). Her mother is mentally unstable and violent and has attacked me. (The French courts rarely give the father custody unless the mother is in a mental institution or jail-- terribly legal system). The daughter is not mentally ill but angry! But in the end her crises and violence against me 'got rid' of me. I am returning this summer to give it another try. My husband who is heartbroken says she has changed. Well, she cannot even come Skype to look at me. He refuses to acknowledge that the problem remains and I am afraid of going back into a bad situation. How is the best way to handle my returning for the summer, without this anticipatory anxiety? thanks!


Asked by StepMomFrance at 10:01 AM on Apr. 7, 2011 in Relationships

Level 3 (16 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • If the child has dealt with an abusive situation she may need some counseling to learn to deal with these emotions, they often feel you are trying to take the place of their Mother - assure her that is not the case, that you just want to be there for her - however the physical lashing out must cease and I agree that DH must "stick with you" and agree to what discipline you both feel is appropriate and be consistent and you must have his ageement before you go back and make sure he is aware that if he doesn't follow through with your agreement that you cannot stay. My former DH let his son do anything he wanted to do without discipline, while my son two years younger was always in trouble for something - it just doesn't work - I only had his son for two years and though I was angry with him for leaving as I had been the best Mother to him I could be, I was glad when he was gone.

    Answer by mamamel61 at 12:23 PM on Apr. 9, 2011

  • go with an open the child no matter what you love her...thats what seems to work them most with most children

    Answer by cara124 at 10:06 AM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • When you go back have a good long talk with your husband and let him know that his daughter has issues. Maybe she needs some counceling. She has a mom who basically abandonded her and she has hate in her and now you left too. That has to be hard on a 10 year old child. Your husband needs to step up and be a father and a husband. He needs to fight for custody. I don't know the laws over in France but he needs to do something to help his daughter. Her being around her mother is not a good cituation.

    Answer by Mom1127-0125 at 10:35 AM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • I agree with the above also your dh has to have your back and not allow her behavior. Have specific rules in your home and be consistant... Both of you
    I am in a similar situation where my sd's mom is violent. The kids see how the parent copes and learns from example. She is just doing what she sees and thinks it's "normal". Not that it makes it easier. If there is poor behavior there needs to be concequences. Teach her what a loving healthy enviornment is when she is with you..,

    Answer by Elysium927 at 10:40 AM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • Take it from a stepmom who has 2 stepchildren with a lot of issues-patience and love is the key. Lashing out is normal, but you have to put a stop to the physical lashing out. Discuss with your husband your feelings and where your boundaries are. Make sure he is comfortable with you disciplining the children and DO IT. Be firm and show them you're not there to be abused but to love them and help them through any issues they may have.

    Answer by Kari727 at 10:43 AM on Apr. 7, 2011

  • everyone is so wise, thank you thank you. hugs to all, jude

    Comment by StepMomFrance (original poster) at 9:00 AM on Apr. 10, 2011