How can I get my bonus childs mom more involved?

So, my husband, I have custody of his oldest child. Her mother has every other weekend but isn’t very involved in many activities or the child’s life at all, outside of court-ordered visitation. Doesn’t involve herself in the child’s sports or school, hardly holidays. There’s a lot of questions being asked recently, like, “Why do my friends live with their mommy’s and I don’t?” Or “Why doesn’t she attend my sports or meet my teacher?” It’s hard to explain in a child-friendly, and I truly believe the issue is me being the Step-parent, and it is not accepted. I (and he) have reached out regarding what concerns we’ve had or questions asked but no response or told: “Stay in your lane” when I do the day in and day out motherly duties. I know you can bring a horse to water but can’t make it drink… but it’s also damage clean up and breaks my heart. Suggestions?


Have your daughter invite her mom.

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Have the child invite mom or make mom feel welcome in what u do with the child.


First I will say that is absolutely devastating to see somebody who does not want to be a parent and be involved but as you said you cannot make someone do something. Have you tried to invite her with you guys to do stuff? Not sure if that would be too awkward or not but the best you can do is put all the opportunities on the table

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The hardest lesson I have learned is, when a mother doesn’t want to part of a child’s life, do NOT force them to be. Heartbreaking, but just keep doing what you’re doing. When God gives you babies, you just take care of them.


You can’t force anyone to be in her life- even if it’s her own mother. They have to want to be there. Have her start inviting her- but know sometimes it’s better without them super involved.

Are you willing for both of the parents to go with the kid ( only them not you ) to school or some thing … because how she answer you I don’t think you both get along


There is a lot of well meaning advice here but im going to give you advice from the child’s perspective:

The child knows, the child is asking questions not for answers but out of anger. Continue to be a loving supportive person in their life. Children see more than we know. As some one who went through something very similar I always saw my step moms efforts to have my mom involved and to this day appreciate them. To this day (im 28) I call my step mom, mom, a title she earned over many years. That woman has loved me since I was 3 and continues to love me and is involved in my life to this day even though she doesn’t have to. It is hard to watch children go through those emotions, just be there and always show up. It means more than you will ever know.


Try for them to go only the child n mom…

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Counseling… family counseling for you guys (dad/stepmom/kid) and individual counseling for the kiddo.

I had a mom like that. She game 3 days week an every other weekend. She her did anything. I ended up with my dad. She still could come/be involved/was invited. My dad tried making her. So she would but I could see she could care less. I didn’t matter and it hurt more knowing she was there/involved became she had to be. If she wasn’t there looking bored I never gave her another thought. I wouldn’t force it an risk hurting your bonus child. Just give her extra love/support/encouragement on your time. My son dad took off, was forced to be involved and it broke my sons heart

Have the child invite mom but if mom doesn’t want to it won’t happen. The child will learn who is there more for her.


You cannot make a parent be involved. My ex husband sees our 3 kids a few hour a week or sometimes every other week. When we have split custody. He just has no interest to being a dad or a man. Our oldest sees it, it’s just a matter of time before the other kids grow up and understand. Its heartbreaking but you cant make someone do something they dont want to. Just try to be the best parent you can and support her even more. She will realize later in life.

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You can’t make her and trying to force it is only going to cause more heartache for the child. Be honest and just say you don’t know why her mom doesn’t come, sometimes people can’t because they’re busy. If she wants to details. Also be honest and ask her to ask her mother because you don’t know exactly why she doesn’t. You can tell her that there are many different families and that some parents need more help than others and that’s okay. I’m the step parent and also have a child’s father who doesn’t do anything unless it’s his time and sometimes even then doesn’t unless we make a big deal out of it but forcing him has only made things worse. At some point we just stopped reminding him to call or text or show up because we all get the same emails and calendars from the schools and coaches. He knows when her recitals, competitions and first days of school are. If he isn’t there and he forgets. That’s on him. It’s been 13 years and my kids knows who is there when she needs them and she don’t call her dad that’s for sure

You can’t make someone be a parent! Keep offering and letting mom know about events and such. That’s all you can do. Baby girl will understand more as she gets older.

Let him know that you will be happy to stand in for his mom when she cannot make it. Do not offer an explanation why not. Tell him the truth: Just say I don’t know, she didn’t tell me. But I am happy to be there for you. That’s all he needs. My biological father did the same thing when I was 6. Chose to walk away and never look back. My stepfather became my dad. He was the one who was there to teach me to swim, ride a bike, attend plays. It hurts at first, but you rapidly let the other go.


Some parents are just selfish, narcissistic assholes that NEVER change, just do the best you can on your side.

Maybe you and her Dad need to sit down and explain to her why the parents relationship did not work out. Let her know that you love her and will be involved in her life no matter what. She needs to ask her mom to answer those questions. Just love her and be there for her. Eventually she will see you as the one who was there for her.

I told my children that their father loved them the best he could but no one taught him how to put others before himself.


Maybe the child’s mom feels like she would be stepping on toes or getting in the way of your all’s family life if she were around too much. Maybe she’s trying to be polite or she just feels extremely awkward with the situation. There’s always at least 2 sides to the story. Just make sure it’s understood by all parties involved that the mom is invited to an event or holiday gathering. That’s really all you can do as the step parent. It seems like there might just be some miscommunication or a misunderstanding going on

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If she doesn’t want a relationship with her own child, on her own, nothing can fix that.

If it’s court ordered she can’t just show up

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Coming from personal experience, I have full custody of my bonus daughter (bio mom and my ex husband have chosen their “priorities”). My bonus daughter has been in my life for 8 years and I have been the only constant parental figure…it is only going to hurt your kiddo more to know that their parents don’t wanna come to support them…especially when they don’t care…support them in any way shape or form you can, it is her loss and remind your kiddo that it isnt their fault and tell her you’ll always be there to support her! My ex husband hasn’t seen my oldest (11 year old ) in 3 years and has only been “around” for 2 months (14 to 16 months old) of my 6 year old and never met my 4 year old (left just after finding out I was expecting…but I refuse to allow my girls to believe they’ve aren’t “good enough” for their dad/mom (with my 11 year old). They will eventually get that their mom isn’t worth the heartache and it is ok to be hurt, mad, angry. My 11 year old journals about her feelings in a private locking journal that no one else can read (unless she wants someone to). It is very hard…stay strong and remind her you’ll always be there for them! Also if they are old enough, have them ask her…put her on the spot at visition and see what mom has to say…and remember to be there …best medicine ever…support!) Good luck!

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I would just tell the child, "I don’t know honey. But we are so glad you’re live with us, and I love being able to go to your events. "
It’s not really a question I think you can give an answer to as far as why mom doesn’t go.
Poor kiddo.

I was this child. I am an adult now and love my stepmom as my mom. I know when she tells me it’s ohhkay, it’s gonna be ohhkay. It wasn’t always that way, but her consistency and availability proved itself to me over time. Not once has she ever talked badly about my mother, she just explained she wasn’t ready to be a mom, and she’s got her own struggles within herself all you can do is take what you can get, and don’t expect much. She also grew up with an absent mother. She knew the hurt I was going through. She just gave me time


What’s a bonus child?

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Just continue to be there for the child. Unfortunately, unless bio-mom wants to do these things, it’s not going to happen no matter how much you guys beg and plead with her. Your bonus child will eventually see for themselves about bio-mom. Yes, it’s heartbreaking to see the child hurting. Just keep reassuring him/her and showing that you love him/her.


I really doubt a judge granted you custody of another woman’s child without you adopting him. Your husband has custody. YOU do not. Your husband should be taking care of his child. Did he seek custody just to take him from her? If he’s leaving the responsibility upto you then yes.

Anyway she may feel awkward attending his school activities & such with you around. No woman wants to watch another woman pretend to be their child’s mother. Your husband should invite her to everything & tell her you won’t be there. The child wants, to your own admission, his mom to be involved. Take a backseat & let her be the parent he wants.


My mother was the same way. My dad and step mom raised me. I resented my step mom and held out hope my mother would be a mom. But I got my heartbroken so many times. She never really wanted to be a mom… .
I realized as I got older my step mom was My Mom. She raised me, loved me and was there for me. Took me years.
It wasn’t till I had my own son that my Bio Mom started to take interest in me but it was a little to late. She spent more time with my son then she ever did me…

“I don’t know, sweetie. Ask mommy if she will come to ____ on ____. She is always welcome.”

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I would highly recommend therapy for the child. It is very helpful.


The best advise ever given… EVER

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I wouldn’t even force it, just be there for the child as you can tell you have. She sounds like a toxic person that I personally wouldn’t want invited along to stuff but each to their own. If she was nice, who just wanted the best for her child then I would invite her but she sees her every other weekend and can’t be bothered in-between by the sounds. Your bonus daughter may be asking questions out of angry now but she knows who’s their for her :slightly_smiling_face: xx

There’s nothing you can do that you haven’t already tried. Let it go. Stay in your lane is right.

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Your doing everything right you step child will see this when he/she gets older… just keep loving him/her :heart:

Sadly you can’t force her bio mother to do that. It’s going to hurt the child for sure.
Just be there for her. Let her know you and her dad are there.
Maybe suggest her mom get on the school website or send over her event schedule inviting her to her stuff. Maybe she don’t know when that stuff is.

You’re a Rad Step Mom! What a blessing :raised_hands:


I let my sons father be exactly the parent he wants to be. Unfortunately that’s a pretty shitty one but my son knows his mother and step father will always be here for him. :woman_shrugging: my father tried to force my mom to be in my life for years it never worked

Dont listen to the people saying you need to step back. My kids have a step mom and the last thing I would do is stop being involved simply bc she’s in their lives. I go to all things school related, we do birthday parties together, holidays, fun outings etc. You are NOT the problem. She is. She’s just using you as an excuse to back out. Keep doing what you’re doing.


Some people don’t know how to be parents. Their parents might not have been the exact role model they needed to even try. All you can do is offer a good support system and stability that is needed for her understanding. It will take some time as she is going to continue asking about her mom, no matter how much love and support you give. Just make sure you’re understanding and open minded with her so she knows she can come to you without criticism. Even though it seems as her mom doesn’t want to be there, it is still her mom in her eyes, so remember to handle it with care (no bad mouthing mom) to not make it worse for the child.

You’re a great step mother. You can’t force someone to be more involved in a child’s life. I tried. Just don’t say anything bad about the mom and the child will come to their own opinions on things

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Honestly you can’t force a relationship between bio mom and chikd she clearly lost custody for a reason. I woukd keep being there for the child and still always invite the bio mom and let her know she is welcomed to come to those things but if she doesn’t then dont force it but. Therapy might help aslo

Just keep loving that child. Keep showing up. Keep instilling in that child what a GOOD mother is. If the child’s biological mother cannot put her selfish needs aside (if she has a problem with you or whatever) for the sake of her child, nothing will change her or the outcome. Have the child’s father explain it to his child that their feelings are valid but there is much to be thankful for. As time goes on and the child grows, they will recognize who was truly in their corner. God luck!!

As a mother of a child who’s father is not involved in her life, here’s my answer: You can’t get her more involved unless she wants to be. Trying to force it, or entice it, or guilt it will do more damage bc the minute you stop, they’ll go back to not being there and the child will be let down. Unpopular answer: leave it alone. If the mom wants to be gone, let her stay gone

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Two sides to every story, leave her alone.

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The mommy is the one who does the mommy things, and that sounds like it is you.

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It sounds like she doesn’t fully want to be a mom. And you can’t force her. That little girl is lucky to have you. Just keep loving her like you are, that’s all you can do momma :heart:


As a mother on both sides of the fence i would have a heart to heart with the mom ask her what’s keeping her from joining in on the child’s life does she need help doing this ? Like a ride or something?is she willing to sit down and talk with you and have a chance to say what she feels maybe she feels jealous or maybe she’s bitter get to the root and squeeze that heart string you will know what to do in the end
Idk y’all’s situation but maybe she needs a voice maybe she’s still upset with him idk but I would find out

Extend the invite. If she denies it then that’s that. Sometimes it takes some a lot longer to grow up and realize certain things. Good luck to you.

The father can ask her to come to his practices or let her know your step son wants to do more stuff with her but ultimately it’s up to her. You can’t make her do these things.

Been there. My step kid’s mother is the epitome of selfish. I was beating a dead horse for years trying to get her to be more involved, but emotionally and mentally I believe she was checked out before she even had kids. I got those same questions too and finally started saying… “those are really good questions that you should ask your mom.” Let her have to explain why she’s a shit mother.

You can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do. My dad wasn’t involved at all and chose another family. Just keep doing what you’re with the daughter

Do what she says and stay in your lane, I mean that for your sake, not hers. I know it hurts when someone isn’t as involved as they should be and that tells me you truly love that little one. As time goes on, she will see who was there for her and that’s not on you. Just be the there for her and give her a shoulder to cry on, that’s all you can do. You sound like you are doing a great job

Switch to 50/50 parenting and let her be an equal parent instead of weekend parent

Step moms are great and if it works why be mean and sabotage? This is barely relating too this post but you see more and more step moms on these pages demanding like they made and carried these babies and pushed them out. If she doesnt want to be involved thats on her your doing everything you can it sounds like her way of coping is isolating. Keep being a great bonus mom she needs it