Times Get Tough

I am stepmom to a wonderful 6 year old boy. His parents split up when he was 3 months old and I came into his life at 8 months. He lived with his mom full time and my husband had every other weekend access until just over a year ago. His mother has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I won't get into all the gory details but we took custody of him and won in court. We have spent the past year making sure he feels secure and happy in our home and on a whole he does. His mother moved 7 hours away before the court case was settled and has every other weekend access. She had another child during this time period as well.

Due to the move she has not been making it here for her visits as scheduled and it is starting to take its toll on my stepson. He doesn't fully understand what is upsetting him but his behaviour changes drastically if he doesn't get his regular visit with his mother. As it stands right now he has not seen his mother in a month and she just informed us we will not be coming for her visit this weekend either.

As you can probably guess, I am usually his punching bag when this happens. I understand why he is doing but that does not make it any easier to deal with. I have tried killing him with kindness, being firm so he knows that it's not acceptable behaviour, trying to remind him of what is acceptable and nothing really seems to work. And the worst part of it is that there is nothing further we can do to protect him from this pain. We just have to be here to pick up the pieces.

If anyone else is in a similar position and has found something that helps I would welcome any advice or suggestions!
harris2010 harris2010
1 Response Dec 3, 2012

That is hard. :( my stepkids' mom died. They're older and were thus better equipped to not act out. It took a while before they were somewhat comfortable talking to me about missing their mom... I knew I wouldn't be their primary resource ever on that front but I try to show them that of course I know they miss their mom and they'll never really be ok with losing her. What I'm getting to is -- I know your ss is young but can you make it ok for him to be angry about it? Can you tell him in an age appropriate way that you can guess he might be sad and mad and you understand why? Teach him it's okay to be mad at the behaviors (ie not the person). Tactically if she misses a weekend maybe spend more time doing vigorous outdoor stuff with him. Good luck!