How can I fix the situation with my stepson?

I have a stepson who’s life I’ve been in since he was 4. He’s now going to be 10. At first I wasn’t able to be with him much due to the court order and my husband not getting much time. We went back to court and were able to get more placement time with him but, we do miss out due to not getting him a lot during the school year. Over the years we did grow a stronger bond and he would tell me all sorts of things. He would feel comfortable talking with me more so than his Dad(my husband). I would say within the last year our bond has gone down hill. I am thinking a lot of it has to do with his Mom because she hates me. She’s even told him this and he told me. She told me she keeps my number blocked eventhough I dont text her. I have no reason to unless there was an emergency of course. My husband is the one who communicates with her. Well we decided to go back to court because the time we got just isn’t enough. Now that we are going back to court things have gotten worse. In the court papers it says to not discuss anything with the child. We haven’t talk to him or said anything about this matter. However, he would come home and tell us what cool things he did at him Moms house this and that. Now he barely talks or says anything. Which does make me hurt because he would get so excited when he would tell me about the fun things he got to do. Instead it was more so, “when I go back to my mom’s I get to do this and this!” Our lawyer told us to prepare for the worst I just didn’t think it would get so bad to the point where he doesn’t listen to us or acts out. It has gotten so had where we have to tell him something 5 times. Hes also said before “My Mom says I dont have to listen to you”. Has anyone been is this situation? Looking for some helpful tips!


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How can I fix the situation with my stepson?

"Define not to discuss anything with the child"That is an extremely vague statement.
Generally this type of statement is supposed to mean adult topics, disagreements between parents, or slanderous statements about the other parent.
Not communication with the child in general.
This should not affect your ability to positively discuss things that happen on his mom’s time. If this was the case you’d never be able to ask how school was going which is ridiculous.
If that’s exactly what that sentence meant…you may need a better lawyer.

It sounds like other things have happened between the point where you had a good relationship with this child and now.
You’re going to have to take those events out, examine them yourself, and figure out how to fix the situation.


Just be there for him…he’s only ten…I feel he’s been put in a adult situation at his mums that he dont know which way he’s going…he will work it out in his own mind…and things will be better once he knows who is there for him…my mother always said never mind what happens it will come out in the wash…for the better.

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Unfortunately what she does and says in her household is out of your control but when he is in your house he’s to respect your household rules and show some respect he’s a child not an adult, nothing wrong with him talking about what he does at home with mum thats good he can communicate but crossing the line telling u he doesn’t have to do what he has been told to do in your house because he doesn’t have to do it at his mums is crossing the line.
Head up stay strong and be firm with Ur rules in your house.


Parental alienation is not okay. Make sure the lawyers know about that. She keeps that shit up she can lose custody completely

This is what happens when adults can’t handle their own feelings and their own lives the kids get ripped to shreds and all the adults are saying well it not fair to ME/US what about that kid that has to deal with the adult bs that has nothing to do with them and being torn in half because in THEIR heads they’ve done something to cause this oh then we get to get hauled to court and ya know how fun court is for kids that little boy is HERS what goes on at her house isn’t your business and Daddy needs to contact a therapist to see how to go forward they will actually have a conversation with him and give him advise this isn’t your child husband is kid isn’t and you need to stay in your lane and if you need advise a therapist is who you call not strangers in facebook


I know you said you’re not supposed to talk about it with him, but I think a sit down and explaining you guys just want more time with him, not to take him away from his mom. And I think 10 is old enough you should be asking him if this is what he wants as well, I know at that age I hated going to my dads just because all my friends (because you make your friends in school) were all at my moms house.

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The mother is the problem she is telling him to not listening and probably telling him that you trying to take him away and bribing him with cool things

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Being a stepparent is a tough job. Your role is supposed to be that of an extra friend by way of your husband the parent, substitute caretaker, and some time advisor. If you get to do any bonding that’s a rare bonus because the other parent is usually bitter over the breakup of the original relationship and definitely not happy about you. And the norm seems to be that if they can undermine any closeness between stepparent and stepchild, they will. This is sad because the child is a pawn in a power struggle and misses out on a lot of closeness and unencumbered love on all sides. I don’t know how to advise you to approach this. I was in such a situation and it didn’t seem to matter how much I cared or how carefully I stepped, or how firm I had to become toward the end, it all blew up in my face anyway. I tried to stand in their father’s shadow, but that got my children from a previous marriage hurt, and the stepchildren hated me regardless of what I did, and my children too. You didn’t say if you had other children. If not, you might have a chance, once this child is old enough to see what his mother is doing. Try to keep your head down till then. Good luck.

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Yup what yoir lawyer said. Happen to us, it hurts but focus on yourself, and your family first. Prepare for the worst

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You sound very patient and understanding of him and his feelings. I think - especially with you guys having a bond before, and being in his life for years - I think you should take a softer approach with him. Let him know y’all’s house is his home too and that you both love him and will always be there for him. I can’t imagine having a mom whispering in the child’s ear giving him negative thoughts towards his other parents. I can’t imagine the battle he feels between everyone. Let him know the rules come from love, not to punish

I think you’re going a great job given the situation! I can tell you genuinely care, and one day soon he will understand that too


A forensic child psychologist would determine if the mother is overstepping boundaries of a court order, that states not to discuss anything about the order of the court!

Request a Guardian Ad Litem. Then request a psychologist examine everyone, even the child.
They’ll report to the court what they’ve found & suggest a path forward that’s best for the child.
Also, get involved in Father’s Rights groups. What you should plan for kinda depends on the state. Be ready to fight for 50/50. That should be the goal.
As for him, just remind him you aren’t giving up & you are on his side.
I used to tell my SD, You deserve your own opinions bc you’re your own person. It’s ok to disagree with ppl. Her mother was the same way & it drove me nuts bc my son’s stepmom & I get along great.


Ask the court to send her to counseling

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She probably has talked to him about you wanting more custody. I wish my parents had talked to me when they went to court. It would’ve been better than things changing on a dime without any time to prepare myself mentally for changes. I’d talk to him in a non-influencial way. He probably feels like youre trying to take him from his mom. I know I did. That’s prolly where the anger is coming from. Ask him questions like would you like to see dad more or are you happy with the amount of time you have? What would you like to do with dad? Etc remember this is about your husband parenting his child. Not for you to play mommy or for him to sit on his devise at a different house. That what pissed me off. I was ripped from my home, stuff, pets, mom etc just to sit in another room to do basically the same things I would at home or even less. If your husband isn’t going to spend time with him he should drop the case. Why do that to the kid?


He has a mother and you are doing too much.


My mother would say horrible things about my dad, yet he never said one bad thing about her, even though he had a lot to say about her, She was not in our life’s after she left us (my siblings & I ) alone after she ran away with us from my dad. But thankfully my dad got custody of us, So as a grown up I would say, NEVER say anything that you guys are going thru, Some day he will really see what is going on, Plus, after 12 or so he can decide just whom he wants to live with, But when you do see him, never push him towards that. Just be there for him & tell him you miss him,

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Just remember that his mom is behind his behavior so do not take it out of him / do not be so hard .
At 10 he still pretty much very manipulative so be careful what you say to him, try to take him out somewhere he likes and have a conversation, tell him how much you miss talking to him, explain to him that you are not trying to be his mom but that you can be friends.
Show him with your actions that his mom is wrong

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Counseling if you are allowed. Go through the courts
House rules are house rules
Promise son that you will not talk or ask about mom and bless he. Wants too. Remind him this is family time and you love him it’s not a competition
Fan ly conference time

Why would YOUR attorney say “prepare for the worst”?
Are you and your husband unfit to be parents?

Its called parental alienation and it definitely is frowned on by the court, basically she is telling him that she is the only parent he needs and needs to listen to and she’s pissing around the fenceline by trashing you

Doesn’t sound like going to court is helping anyone that has to live in the situation. Let the battle go for his sake.

He’s only 10 yrs old .he will realize his mum hadn’t been very honest with him as he mature.i wouldn’t worry to much.your a great step mom keep it that way.:slightly_smiling_face:


IMO probably feels like no ones asking him what HE wants in all of this.


Sounds like she’s telling him your trying to take him away from his own mom and he’s scared so she’s building up hate in him so if the court asks if he feels safe, comfortable or happy living with y’all he’s probably say the worst things and it’ll help the mom keep him more

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He’s TEN. Punish his ass. He’s well old enuf to know respect and the difference between mom and dads house and how to follow 2 sets of rules. Stop making excuses.

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He only needs to do what his mom and dad say! Putting another adult in the middle will confuse him. Let them parent him! You don’t need the aggravation. The mom probably feels you are taking him away from her. Putting a wedge in their relationship!


He is a child that probably feels like he has been put into the middle of his parents feud. I don’t see where asking him how his week was is problematic. I think saying negative things about mom or dad and asking specific questions about mom or dad is a problem.
The courts can have a psychologist meet with the child and parents. A report can be given to the judge to help with their ruling.
I just think that everyone needs to remember that there is a child caught in the middle here. He is the one that seems to have the weight of his parents burdens placed on his shoulders and that is not how it should be.

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Yes we are going through something very similar. I tell his daughter that just because her mother thinks and says hateful things it will never change how much I love her. That brings them back a little, back to bonding again and pushed forward. It’s sad and mean. Be the better parent.

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Let him know you love him, at the same time making sure he knows you are not his mom. Talk about his feelings and yours as friends.( be prepared to be hurt ) . He is a very confused young man. Talk about how he can controll what happens at your home by his actions. If he does good you will get to enjoy more goodtimes. If he acts bad it won’t be as much fun .

In my opinion…he has been going through alot of changes already and being 10 he doesn’t know how to adjust to changes Soo much. I get you guys want more time but the child also has a life that he keeps gettting changed around in. (Speaking from a kid that had that thought her childhood) Let him be a kid or have a life! Friends!! When he gets older he will come around more just be patient with him.

He needs to know that he does need to listen to and his dad, regardless of what his mother says. Perhaps the judge can tell him this. She’s a terrible person to put her son in the middle of all this.

She sounds hatful and angry…I hope she’s in therapy. I feel sorry for your stepson, he’s stuck in the middle. He needs therapy so he can learn to express himself