Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Stepmom Central Stepmom Central

Attitude before and after visits with BM, vent

Posted by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM
  • 17 Replies

Back story: BM is CO'ed EOWE but takes one weekend a month generally. In January she took one over night of about 20 hours total with SD. BM lives about 5 minutes away in the same city, she's not involved with doctors, therapists, school, etc for SD but has CO'ed joint legal custody.

SD is 12, but developmentally about 9 or so. I do a majority of the day to day care for SD as well as our other 3 children. I've been in SD's life since she was 1 1/2 and we have a pretty good relationship, much better than most SMs/SDs and better than some BMs/DDs.

90% of the time she's a great kid, which is saying something as she'll be 13 in a few months :) The only time we have attitude problems is right before a visit with BM or after a visit with BM. BM emails DH and says, "I'd like to take SD on this weekend. Please let me know if that works for SD's schedule." And he either says yes or no given whatever SD's schedule is for that weekend. He's not said no to any visits yet.

SD sees a counselor/therapist every week as the last few visits with BM have been a bit intense. SD came home from her visit in December an emotional wreck after a lot of issues with BM, BM's boyfriend, and BM's mom. BM and BM's mom were using SD as a pawn between them. BM threatened BM's mom with never seeing SD again if BM's mom didn't do what BM wanted. Our understanding of the situation is that it was all really nasty, and all took place in front of SD and SD was brought into the fight a few times. This is not new behavior for BM and BM's mom.

Anyways, the issue here is that every time SD is set to go with BM she cops a NASTY attitude for the 3-4 days before and then for 3-4 days after she gets home. It's the only time she has this attitude, and it's mostly directed at me. All last week SD was great. Friday night she went to a friend's house for the weekend and came home Sunday morning. She was great all day Sunday. Sunday night DH was talking to her about going to BM's Friday. Monday morning the attitude hit. All Monday afternoon, all Tuesday, and all this morning she's had a wicked attitude with me. When asked about the attitude her response is always, "I don't have an answer."

It's really frustrating for me and it's hard for me not to have a nasty attitude right back (not the best reaction, I know). I don't think it's me, so much as I'm the "mom role" here, and it's frustrating for her with her mom (even when SD's with BM SD spends a majority of her time with BM's mom). And this week at school is half days all week for conferences, so it throws our regular schedule right out the window (which doesn't help SD's special needs)

I don't really need advice, unless someone has a cure-all for 12 year old attitude :) I just needed to vent. 

by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Panda113
by Bronze Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 1:22 PM
I feel you. My SD is pretty awesome 90-95% of the time but can be a huge jerk the day after spending time with BM. It happens like clockwork. Just be calm and be the adult.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
LovingMy2x4
by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 1:56 PM

My DD gets this way when she sees her father. It is only once about every 4 months for a few hours. She doesnt know ahead of time (in case he cancels) but after the visit, all hell breaks loose. She acts out at home and school. Not listening, ignoring, crying, facial twitches (from the stress), she is like a whole different kid. The visits are so stressful on her and honestly do more harm than good. I would just be patient with your SD. 

pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 2:07 PM

First of all,I must apologize, I have no cure all except a good sense of humor, sex and gin.

second of all, keep in mind that transitions are hard even when both households are healthy and functioning.  Granted, yours seems extreme, but still sort of normal behavior.  I might try having a family meeting about what is observed, explore if she has issues, let her know her behavior while frustrating to the point you might sauté her in a pan it is still normal, get specific about what you observe and problem solve how to help her learn a different way to deal with it.  She is old enough to take some ownership as long as she doesn't feel blamed or attacked.

mamaslove11
by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Just be as patient as you can with her. Like you said she is 12 but with the mind of  9 year old so you really can not think of her as a 12 year old in concern to all that is going on. I do not know a nine year old out there that could handle that kind of stress. Since she only goes to her BM once a month maybe hte week before or the week after you could pull her out of school a couple of hours early and go do something special with her. I dont know what because I do not know what she is interested in and what is in your town but something to help her relieve the stress of the visit. She is jusy acting out from the stress before and after. I feel for both of you because I know it is stressful for you too. The older she gets mind wise the better she will be able to handle it so hopefully the less of an attitude that will be there. Good luck mama!!

Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

With her speical needs it's hard to know cognitively how much she does understand. That's one of the most frustrating parts.

DH has sat down and talked with her about this, I've sat down and talked with her about this, we've sat down together... We don't get anywhere with fixing it. She says she's frustrated with BM and hurt that BM doesn't want to see her more, but the same behavior continues. She's also not being completely honest with her counselor, granted it's only been about 2 months with the counselor so it's still new. 

It's just ridiculously frustrating for me to deal with the nasty attitude every freaking time. She's GOT to learn that regardless of why and/or who she's upset about/with she doesn't get to treat others like crap.

I'm not much for gin, but I'll totally drink some rum :)

Quoting pdxmum:

First of all,I must apologize, I have no cure all except a good sense of humor, sex and gin.

second of all, keep in mind that transitions are hard even when both households are healthy and functioning.  Granted, yours seems extreme, but still sort of normal behavior.  I might try having a family meeting about what is observed, explore if she has issues, let her know her behavior while frustrating to the point you might sauté her in a pan it is still normal, get specific about what you observe and problem solve how to help her learn a different way to deal with it.  She is old enough to take some ownership as long as she doesn't feel blamed or attacked.



whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 2:16 PM

I am wondering if SD is feeling defensive of her mother (wants to defend her). 

But it's compounded by her mental disability. It's hard to say. Does she talk about her mother? Do you encourage her to talk about her mother, in casual conversation? Just wondering if she feels comfortable sharing thoughts about her mother with you.

macbudsmom
by Silver Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Do your best not to take it personally.  The child is probably dealing with a myriad of emotions at this time and is frustrated her self.

Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Unfortunately she already misses too much school for therapy and appointments, so pulling her out early isn't really an option. But, we do try to do special things just for her :) 


Quoting mamaslove11:

Just be as patient as you can with her. Like you said she is 12 but with the mind of  9 year old so you really can not think of her as a 12 year old in concern to all that is going on. I do not know a nine year old out there that could handle that kind of stress. Since she only goes to her BM once a month maybe hte week before or the week after you could pull her out of school a couple of hours early and go do something special with her. I dont know what because I do not know what she is interested in and what is in your town but something to help her relieve the stress of the visit. She is jusy acting out from the stress before and after. I feel for both of you because I know it is stressful for you too. The older she gets mind wise the better she will be able to handle it so hopefully the less of an attitude that will be there. Good luck mama!!



mamaslove11
by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 2:19 PM

How old are your other children?

Quoting Tinkerbellmama:

Unfortunately she already misses too much school for therapy and appointments, so pulling her out early isn't really an option. But, we do try to do special things just for her :) 


Quoting mamaslove11:

Just be as patient as you can with her. Like you said she is 12 but with the mind of  9 year old so you really can not think of her as a 12 year old in concern to all that is going on. I do not know a nine year old out there that could handle that kind of stress. Since she only goes to her BM once a month maybe hte week before or the week after you could pull her out of school a couple of hours early and go do something special with her. I dont know what because I do not know what she is interested in and what is in your town but something to help her relieve the stress of the visit. She is jusy acting out from the stress before and after. I feel for both of you because I know it is stressful for you too. The older she gets mind wise the better she will be able to handle it so hopefully the less of an attitude that will be there. Good luck mama!!




Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 2:28 PM

We do talk about her mom in normal conversation. I don't ever want her to think or feel as if her mom is a taboo subject or anything like that. And she'll mention negative things to me about BM. SD will say, "I'm really mad my mom didn't _____" And she'll say call me, show up at an event at school, etc. 

Part of me was wondering if she was feeling defensive about BM as well. She won't say anything negative about BM to her counselor, and gets REALLY upset when she talks to BM's mom and BM's mom says something negative about BM. Spefically about a month ago BM was supposed to take SD to see BM's mom,  but never showed. BM had promised SD they'd go and then just never confirmed with DH about it and never showed up. SD was SUPER upset and spoke to BM on the phone. BM told SD that she had worked all weekend and that SD should call grandma (BM's mom), so the next day SD did. Grandma told SD that BM didn't work all weekend, and she was mad because BM could have taken SD to visit her.

It seems to be common for grandma to talk to SD about BM like that.

SD never makes an effort to contact BM or grandma, and neither of them make an effort to contact SD. SD has a cell phone that BM bought for her and it's rarely gets used. They never call or text SD and SD never calls or texts them. 

Quoting whatIknownow:

I am wondering if SD is feeling defensive of her mother (wants to defend her). 

But it's compounded by her mental disability. It's hard to say. Does she talk about her mother? Do you encourage her to talk about her mother, in casual conversation? Just wondering if she feels comfortable sharing thoughts about her mother with you.



Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)