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Step-Mom Troubles

Posted by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 11:50 AM
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My ss is 6 years old. He comes to stay with us 6 weeks out of the summer because he lives in Texas. He doesn't come for a consecutive two weeks, just 3, 2 week periods.The BM is not a Christian and hates that we take him to church. Usually we take him to church and pray with him because he likes to go with us. But, this visit has been totally different. He told us that his mom does not want him to go to church or pray. So, yesterday we were at Taco Bell eating lunch and we all prayed before the meal. My step-son seemed apprehensive at first, but then he said okay. Later on that night the BM called to talk to him and it was like his whole personality changed. He told her he wanted to come home and he didn't like being with us. He told her he wasn't having fun and that he was sad. (He was talking on speakerphone through all of this). Then he said, "Mom, I want to tell you something." He took her off speakerphone and held the phone to his ear and said, "Tell Dad to stop making me pray." She couldn't understand him because he didn't want us to hear him and he was speaking quietly. He then put her back on speakerphone and said, "Tell my dad to stop making me pray." Then she said, "Oh of course I will tell your dad that. It is your choice to pray and if you don't want to pray then you don't have to. Don't let your dad do anything that you don't want to do." My DH took the phone after my SS said bye to her.  My DH argued with her and told her we weren't making him do anything that he doesn't want to do. What makes me mad is my SS has no clue why his BM tells him that he shouldn't go to church. He told us that multiple times yesterday. She is so manipulating and making him feel so pressured to do what she says. She then e-mailed us and told us we were hurting him and making his visits really bad because we are making him pray. I want to take her back to court because religion isn't in the court order, but I don't know. Any advice?

by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 11:50 AM
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by Member on Aug. 9, 2012 at 7:03 PM
As someone on both sides of this (I was a COD and my dad "found God" in some questionable ways post divorce-- turned me off church, Christianity, and Christians for years-- and am now married to a Christian man), back off. You guys can lead by example-- but you can do that without making a scene. He probably feels like you're judging his mother not just on the merit of her parenting-- but as someone who can't be a part of the kingdom of God, and as someone who is going to hell. That's an awful lot to understand as a kid. And he probably doesn't. He just knows that when he's with you, he's got a whole different world view. When he's older, you can talk to him about your faith in a real way. If he's still needing his mom to tell you he's uncomfortable, he's not old enough for that yet. He's with her more-- it's just not worth pushing the issue. (For the record: I stopped talking to me dad for two years after the whole church thing started. He later left that church (so many good reasons) an remarried my mother. It's pretty complicated emotionally-- as it is for any COD with inter-faith parents.) It sucks, but it's just six weeks.
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by Member on Aug. 21, 2012 at 4:51 PM
I agree that stepping back from anything that he would see as "making" him pray is a good idea. Every child needs to come to faith on their own, and in this case more than usual. I still think you and your husband should pray before meals, but make sure he knows that it is his choice to join in or not. It must be so hard to have someone you love so much and be unable to have the influence you would have if he lived with you full time. This is a time in his life when your prayers for him are really important. God can use your prayers to help him to see the truth and to bring other people into his life that can tell him more about what Jesus and Christianity really is as opposed to what he has heard.

I don't have the influence I would like to have on my step children because I married their Dad when they were almost adults and set in their ways. So although my situation is different, I can feel some of your pain.
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by Member on Aug. 22, 2012 at 12:06 PM
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Does BM have sole custody? If there is split custody then she has no say on what's going on at your home. She cannot tell you not to live your faith in in front of your SS. You should tell SS that you always pray before a meal and he's welcome to join you if he wants to. Since he's only 6 years old you should also explain to him that you are going to church and it's part of your family life and he has to come since he cannot stay home by himself.

Also how often is he talking to BM? I understand that he has to talk to his mom who he lives with most of the time, but you only get very limited parenting time over the summer. I think phone calls of the other parent are always an interruption of the routine you are trying to establish. So if she calls every day (maybe multiple times) your DH could explain it to her nicely to respect his parenting time with his child.

by New Member on Oct. 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I agree with Vicky! Sounds like an attack from the enemy and I would urge you to continue going to church and praying not only at meal time but all the time. Explain that you're not judging the BM and include praying for her as well! Too many times we compromise our faith to "keep peace" that God will take care of that just keep doing what you do!

Train up a child the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. ~PROV22:6

by New Member on Dec. 19, 2012 at 12:20 PM

I would explain to him that this is your house and have certain rules he must follow in your house. If yall pray tell him that he doesn't have to join in but he must be respectful and at least bow his head in silence. 

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