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Thread: getting to know your step-kids

  1. #1

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    Default getting to know your step-kids

    we've just started legal proceedings to get access to my partner's 2 children, I know we've started down a long and stressful journey as their mother has used them as a weapon against my DH, has refused him access to them for 4 years (nothing has been lodged with family court to support this). With the change in legislation, I believed it was time for him to try to see his children. I need him to heal the hole in his heart that not having his kids around caused, before we start our own family. I want the kids to be a part of our family.



    I'm wondering how to get to know them, when I do finally get to see them, there will be a lot of anger and resentment there, I know that they will start off meeting with DH at a family centre for short periods of time and then build on that until we get proper access.

  2. #2

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    I'm not sure what advice to offer you, I'm a single mum and have been so so extremely lucky that my DD and partner hit it off immediatley and are very good friends. It was easier though cause she is younger (almost 5) and there is no bad past history except for the issues we've had with her dad and his current gf. We have been together almost a year now and they just keep getting closer and closer.

    I really just wanted to wish you the best of luck with everything, having been through the custordy and access stuff i can tell you now it can be frustrating and depressing and make you angry and everything else, but hopefully in the end you get the best outcome like i have

    I know how hard it is for kids to understand the complexity of the 'adult issues' in the past and how hard it can be for kids to let a new partner and in your case their own dad get close to them after everything thats happened, i know myself then even in my mid 20's i found it hard accepting my mums new partner.

    I really do wish you and your partner the best with everything

  3. #3

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    Being on the opposite side - I have children who's father was abusive, we live in another state and he has basically no interest, he doesn't ring, he writes sometimes and visits for a day about once a year.

    He has no individual relationship with my children, that was his choice, I haven't stopped anything, in fact I tried for months to push him to do different things, but eventually he told me the truth, he didn't want the responsibility financially or otherwise. He showed a limited interest for a time when his girlfriend came to live with him, i know it was her pushing it and I know she didn't know anything about the situation of how his kids felt about him.

    If he were now after a couple of years, to try and have a relationship with the kids that would be fine. But personally I would have direct problems with him bringing a partner straight into it when my children don't trust him as it is. He talked about bringing his girlfriend to visit before with them, the reacted very fearfully, since they didn't trust him, why would they trust anyone he chose to be with.


    In my personal opinion, the kids emotions are going to be what you have to completely listen to right now. They must have been told some awful things about their father, might not have any good memories of their own, and this may be very frightening for them. They may reject you in particular, from my experience kids tend to divert the negative emotions that they feel toward the live away parent onto their partner, it's easier and less scary to be angry at them.

    Going very very slow would be a great start, and probably respecting at a distance that they need time to develop that relationship with their father before you may get too involved.

    That's just my opinion anyway, due to my experience with it and advise I have been given by a few child counsellors in my own situation.
    Best of luck! Children are worth it.

  4. #4

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    thanks for that tara. We know she has "damaged them" (to quote our solicitor) with what she has said, and that it is going to be a long slow journey. As the solicitor has said to her in the letter, this is about the kids only, not what each parent thinks of each other. DH is happy that she has moved on, he just wants to see his kids again, that is what he has wanted since we started going out together.

    I have told him that our kids (when we start ivf) are not being brought into this world to "replace" his other kids, that he needs to resolve his issues with the kids, that he needs access to his kids to help heal the hole in his heart where they should be.

    I know that it may be more than 6 months after DH gets to see his kids that I meet them for the first time. I am prepared for this, I'm also prepared for the hurt man that will come home to me after the visits, coz I know it will hurt him if they sit there during the visit just glaring at him.

    I want them to be a part of our lives, my father died when I was 6 and I always said, if he was to go away I would have prefered him to have divorced my mother so I would have been able to have some relationship with him.

  5. #5

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    Hi Schaz.

    Although I'm not in a similair situation, I was/am a 'step-child' from around the age of 10
    (Different circumstances though)

    Maybe your DP could write each of his children a letter about how he feels about them, memories of them etc.. Or perhaps keep a journal, starting from now to until he actually gets to see them. He could share it with them when he does get to see them.

    One thing I remeber from my parents divorce, was that Dad never said a bad word about Mum. I don't think Mum said really bad stuff about Dad, but you could feel the negativity, even though she left him!

    Good luck with everything!

    Now that I'm a parent I have heaps more compassion for step-parents!

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