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Questions about being a stepparent. Letters fromCyberParent readers.

StepParents’ Letters

Step Parenting

My husband and I are both non-custodial parents,of two children each.
His son is 11,his daughter is 8. My daughter is 8 and my son is 5. We
have access every second weekend, and every teusday. Mine stay
overnight,his have to be home by six. I have a good relationship with my
ex-husband regarding the children. My children have no battle scars,you
would never even know they were children of divorce. His two children
however have more battle scars,then Monica Lewinsky has dresses. There
mother liked me at first but now has told the children she is afraid of
me. She uses & manipulates these children to such a degree that it
should be considered child abuse.Her ultimate goal is parent alienation.
This I’m sure of as I’ve been a children’s advocate for 8years. My
problem is this: Both children lie.It is so bad with his son that I
don’t trust him period. He snoops, they both eavesdrop and report to
their mother about everything. Don’t get me wrong,I’m there for them in
every way possible,and treat all four children the same. But I’m quit
tired of having to be on guard in my own home (previously my husbands
home). I’ve started hiding things and locking things up,I’m even
considering a lock for our bed room door. This seems ridiculous. My
other problem is of course lack of respect from his son, and waterworks
manipulation from his daughter. I think moving to a new home may help
set the stage for respect.Because this would not just be Dad’s house.
But I have to be honest, I don’t like this house or neighbourhood. My
husband feels like I have it out for his son. The last thing I need is
to start arguing about children.I grew up in a blended family full of
arguments.My husband also keeps saying there is nothing I can do from
here.He may be partly right,because of his ex-wife’s influence on the
children. I know I sound like I’m rattling on,but please help if you
can.And please reply as fast as you can.
Greatfully yours,
PM, Canada

Answer

I read a good book called StepMothering: Another Kind of Love by Pearl K.Prilik.
There are a couple of pages about setting limits in the book that might be helpful,
pages 81 and 82. There is also a chapter on stress. My stepson was stealing
from me but it finally worked out.
Good luck.
JW, Texas


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