Why can't my stepson can't call his dad "dad"

I have a stepson who I have know since he was 3-years-old. My husband's relationship with his mother was not good. Her parents were always getting involved and it just didn't work for them. She took my husband to court and was sweet talking him into signing papers over custody. Her parents provided her a lawyer and my husband had nothing. Well she told him that she would give him more time as long as he signed the papers. So he did. At first she let him over to see him and they tried to work things out some. Well it didn't work out and she turned on him. She went strictly off the court order which was 2 hours of visitation a week. He ended up meeting me and she ended up meeting her now husband. We took her back to court when he was 4. Throughout that time she turned their son against us. She told him that her boyfriend at the time was his Dad. Of course him being young and us fighting in a custody battle he was so confused. We started getting more time with him and he would call his biological Dad my husband by his first name. Then would call his mom's boyfriend Dad. It didn't help that his mother called my husband by his first name. She used to refer to my husband as "Dad" after she met her new man he was the "Dad" and my husband his actual Dad was a just a man. Over the years it got alittle better. He calls my husband dad, but won't do it around his mother. Hes is not allowed to because she will yell at him and then tell him that his step-dad is his real dad. He is 9 years old now and is so confused. He even sees a therapist, but she said it won't get better until his mom fixes it. I still do not fully think he understands why he comes here and that my husband is his dad and he has sisters and a a step-mom who loves him like her own. We have talked to his mom about it and her reaction is to my husband "your not my dad so I won't call you dad"... We explained to her that he is their sons dad and that we don't call her by her first name because it's disrespectful. Anyways to this day he has to call his step-dad Dad and his biological dad by his first name. I'm called by my first name and then his mom is mom(obviously). So today we were looking at videos and I had a video of when he was younger and his mom said "listen to your dad". He instantly said "that's weird" I asked him what, why? He said "my mom saying that". He then went on and said "I wish I was younger" I asked him why and he didn't want to say. Then awhile later he asked me what biological means. I tried to explain it in the best way I can. Explaining that his mom and dad made him and that me nor his step-dad did. I then went on to say like your Nana and papa made me. Those are my biological parents.. His mom tries to make her husband out to be this "great" guy when in reality he sent his daughter from another relationship to go live with his parents because his wife my stepsons mother didn't like her and they were always fighting.. He chose his wife over his child and then tries to act like hes my stepsons dad. Not saying we aren't grateful because he does take good care of my stepson there just are a lot of unanswered questions. We also don't agree that its right for him to take over my husbands position when hes not his actual father.. Anyways I felt my stepsons pain when he was talking to me about it. My heart hurt seeing his face and him feeling like he was lied to. He told me he was upset. Like he was betrayed. Now him and I have a very good relationship when it comes to him opening up to me. I asked him if I should try talking to his mom about the situation because this has been going on for so many years and we are all tried of it. He told me he wanted me to leave it. What would you do? How would you handle the situation?

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Why can't my stepson can't call his dad "dad"

Document everything and keep fighting in court. Keep telling your stepson that you love him and so does his dad.

Leave it if you say someone you will betray his trust. You both have a special bond it could be ruined if he found out you went behind his back. He’s very lucky to have a loving family.


Leave it. He already trusts you


Leave it

See if he wants to call his father something else special to the two of them-might be easier and more special to him that way🤷‍♀️

He already is seeing his mom for who she is-her actions through the years and the coming years are not going unnoticed by him-petty and passive aggressive deeds will shape his relationship with his mother unfortunately for her-he cannot make many decisions because of his age but when he is of age-he can make a decision on how he proceeds with his relationship with her-hopefully she will see a light before that time because he may not forgive her when the time comes and she will loose her relationship with her son because of her actions


Absolutely do not betray his trust! Keep fighting for him tho! When he gets older and realizes his mom was a liar he will know that you and your husband(his father) loved him enough to fight for him no matter what! Even knowing at times that your husband was hurting because of it. It will mean the world to him! I know this from personal experience! Feel free to message me if you want the story!


I would listen to your stepson and leave it since you have a great relationship and he trusts you! Maybe later down the road he will come to you and change his mind!!


I grew up calling my step dad “dad” and I couldn’t ever call my biological dad “dad” it made me uncomfortable since he wasn’t around as much and was very in and out of the picture. He caused me a lot of trauma but I think this is a controlling situation. My mom never told me not to call him dad but she did always call him Justin. I remember them arguing he made me uncomfortable especially how he treated women so I didnt respect him as much as my step-dad. I think its really up to the child too when he wants to call his dad “dad” one day I finally called him my dad after he was persistent in ny life and made an effort. Actions speak louder than words my friend


The actual stepdad needs to man up and be honest to the boy about his bio dad. It’s ok to call both men dad if that’s what the boy feels like doing. His mom is playing mind control and it’s a horrible abuse on a child.


Leave it, don’t betray his trust. But like others have said document when you two have a conversation like that. When he heard his mom say “listen to your dad” when she was referring to your husband/his DAD - he caught that - kids always, ALWAYS find the truth out… don’t betray his trust… it’s clear how much he trusts and loves you :heart:


Don’t break his trust. If you go to her after he asked you not to, he won’t trust you again.


Leave it.
I basically had the same situation growing up and it was so difficult.

She’s creating her bed… don’t say anything. Keep that relationship open with your stepson… he’s going to turn on his mom on his own as he gets older. My heart breaks for the stepdads daughter that was sent away. That woman is screwed up.


Leave it he is growing up and will soon work out that his real dad never gave up on him even though he had so many hurdles in the way. Don’t think he does not know? He knows he is just trying to please everybody and is being pulled in all directions… just let him be a kid and have fun at your your house.
Open and honest will help him work through it all in his head and in time he will probably resent his mum for not not being mutual and fair

Nothing wrong with having two dads and two mums … it takes a village to raise a child - sounds like the mum is very controlling and bitter .
Don’t talk to his mum let it play out


Seriously the courts can give you more custody if you tell them about the emotional abuse the mom is doing to not only the kid but the father as well. Thats not okay

Leave it. He asked you to leave it so do as he asks. Interfering will just make it worse for him.


Don’t say anything to his mom about it because you don’t want him not to be able to come to you and talk to u


N ethereal fkr him as you have. He will need someone to trust becUsevhe cannot trust his mother to be honest with him.

Leave it. You just continue being open and honest with him and explain things to him and he will learn about his mom on his own. You talking to her will only make it worse. Because she’s going to be drilling him why he’s talking to you and shes gonna be mad. And he’s going to be mad because you did something after he asked you not to.


I feel sorry for the kid. Quit fighting over shit.

Leave it. He will see the whole picture someday and see how toxic mom is. He trusts you and that is an awesome feeling. Good job mom :blush:


Leave it alone. He has trust in you & you don’t want to break that trust


As my therapist would say… that’s not your problem. All you can do at the end of the day is support your husband and be there for him and your stepson as they need you… he will learn the truth about his parents eventually… all kids do. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.


He trusts u leave it alone but document if necessary

Kid said leave it. You have a good relationship with him and names are just names. Your kiddo will thank you for it when he gets older I think. And if he questions you, tell him honestly you didn’t want to go against his wishes.

I am a foster mom. Some kids call me mom and their mom mom. Some call me barb. Some go back and forth. One calls me fake mom. Huge joke behind that one.

Treat that kiddo like he is yours.


This whole situation is RIDICULOUS.
TBH, you really don’t know what went down PRIOR to you coming in the picture. You’re just taking your husband’s word for it even though there’s 3 sides to every story. His side, her side and somewhere in between you’ll find the truth.
First of all, why would he turn over custody? If she had to “sweet talk” him into signing papers that means he had a good chance in court. What made her go to court in the first place? Was he providing any financial support for his son? Was he a responsible father? Why did it take you coming into his life for him to get more visitation rights? See something tells me you’re leaving out parts that makes your husband look bad. But I digress. Next ALL of y’all need to stop saying :poop: about the other parent to this poor child. Something tells me that you showing him that video of his mom saying listen to your dad was done on purpose. Like you wanted to prove something to him. All of y’all are going to mess around and this boy might have some type of meltdown one day. I mean he’s only 9. I have a 9 year old son and couldn’t imagine him going through something like this. If he trusts you and HE feels like confiding in you LET HIM. Without adding anything to it. You talking to his mother will NOT help the situation. He asked you to leave it alone and that’s EXACTLY what you should do. :woman_shrugging:t4:

Leave it and let God work it out.

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Don’t please please DO NOT break this kids trust. Say nothing to his mother. He’s realising and learning who is who. He may rebel, perhaps chat to the therapist about this new development so she can talk to him.


You can record these exchanges and keep all text. Show the courts your concerns and maybe get custody of him. This is psychologically damaging to this boy. Its illegal. The courts would look at this as abusive to the boy. I had to go through parenting classes for my divorce. They always require it. Anyways they point these things out and how it messes kids up and is seen as abusive especially if she yells at him for calling his dad dad. Just don’t do this in front of the boy. Keep all this under wraps while you get your evidence. Yes someday this boy will see the truth but is it worth waiting and hoping it won’t mess him up?


Nasty people child will be a nervous wreck . kids should be learning and playing .not playing immature grown up.games…how many are reflecting their own childhood lives…I think they need counselling to get over their own messed up lives .

Don’t force the issue with the boy. He’s young and is probably afraid of his mom. He will learn the truth later on


Omfg you lost me along time ago…just give up!


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Why can't my stepson can't call his dad "dad"

I would personally wait to speak to the mother. It clearly doesn’t do any good. It’s good he can open up to you so you don’t want to loose that. I would carry on keep answering any question he may have and be there for him… He will soon be able to make up his own mind on what he wants to do and and who to call who.


Respect the boy’s wishes he’ll realise when he becames an adult who the good parent was. Also I feel like it’s between his biological father and Mother it’s not the boys fault he’s mother is using him as a pawn and it might jeopardise your relationship with him. Just comfort him.


If the mother just won’t listen and dosnt care. Personally I’d be getting social involvement. What she’s doing is emotionally and psychological abuse. He’s confused and traumatised on who is who. He dosnt even know who he is and it will get worse


You be that boys safe space and keep what you know to yourself. He will open up about it when he is ready and he will always remember that you kept your word in a world where all it has been is lies xx


His mother needs a slap for being so selfish and confusing her child like that for her own selfish gain! How you gonna let your child grow up see there real dad but your gonna tell your child he’s gotta be addressed by his first name and step dad is really his dad! It’s unfair on the kid, she needs reporting as her child is clearly scared of her now! You get 1 Mum and 1 dad, it’s a child’s choice to call a step parent by there name or call them Mum or dad, not no one else! I loved my step dad but he was called by his first name but that’s coz I didn’t feel comfortable I have a dad, didn’t mean I loved him any less! She’s a loon and needs stopping as it’s not fair on the boy why you’d want to do that to your own kid is beyond me!

She’s obviously mentally unstable to put a child through that, my heart breaks for him, well done to you both for keeping your cool I certainly wouldn’t! I would definitely get social involved as it’s emotional abuse and can be fixed very quickly now before it’s to late x

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Why can't my stepson can't call his dad "dad"

This is a very difficult situation. He asked you to leave it alone regarding you speaking with his mother, but that doesn’t mean that you and your husband can’t try other avenues. The therapist that you’re working with said that until the mother clarifies things, it won’t get better. So, my advice would be to speak with your lawyer about what they feel could be done court wise. I have never been through divorce or custody but I know many that have, and I know there is a lot of gray area in a lot of things. It is solely based on the state you live in, but in the eyes of the court, her refusal to acknowledge that your husband is indeed the father, and demanding that her husband is the father, COULD be some kind of violation of something. At the very least, her doing this is not in the best interest of the child, and something could possibly be done legally about it. For example, something may be able to be drawn up in custody papers regarding her doing this, and if she doesn’t abide by it then she could be held in contempt. I wish you and your family luck, and prayers that your step son make it thru this in one piece.


Let me say this!! It is about the best interest of the child no matter what! Put the kid(s) first. Think about their feelings. No matter what feelings the parents have towards one another.


He has a good relationship with you. He respects you, and sees you as some one he can trust. So don’t break that trust by brining it up, he’s asked you not to, so don’t.


100% leave it. The most important thing is that he is coming to you and opening up. You can’t ask for anything better. :clap::clap:
Just by doing what he asked, you will become his rock. Stay honest with him. You got this. I cannot even begin to say how proud of you I am.


Leave it alone, the child will eventually understand and resent her for doing him that way


Respect the child. He said leave it. So leave it. He has learned now that if y’all talk to his mom about anything. He will deal with the wrath of it. And he shouldn’t have to.


Just remind him that love has no name. Love is love no matter what you’re called. He’ll understand when he’s older.


Children aren’t stupid. He will eventually put it all together and make his own decisions about the situation. Just keep loving him and leave it at that. He won’t be little forever and he will soon come to understand what is happening. Just keep loving him and it will work itself out.


Yes leave it. This happened to my stepson. His mother sleeps around and made them think every man she dated was their father. Eventually when they reached the age of 12, they turned against their mom (nothing to do w/us). She has done things to her children that are illegal. They want nothing to do with her and stay with us.

If he says “leave it” It means he is going to deal with it on his own, and I promise you he will. My stepkids love their mom, and have gone to therapy. Eventually they began to rebel against her, and it bit her in the ass.

She goes around saying my husband won’t let her see the kids. Truth is, they want nothing to do with her.

Let nature take his course, love him and always remind him that he is welcome in your home


Egg donor is vindictive and is in the process of ruining this child’s life poor little boy


It may not be helpful but it took until my stepson was 10 before he started figuring out who was being real with him. Waiting sucks but truth will prevail. I would also respect your stepson’s wishes as you don’t know what his bio mom would do if she got mad that he was opening up to you. Document everything and keep your bond with your stepson. It’s so hard to bite your tongue when you see them struggling emotionally but you being a solid person in his life will help him navigate. This is a personal experience where my stepson shut down after we tried confronting his bio mom. She went off on him made him feel guilty about talking to his dad and me. It took time for him to trust we wouldn’t say anything after we knew how she reacted behind closed doors. Good luck, mama. It’s not an easy job but he’s lucky to have you!


Sounds like the mom would have told the son not to call his bio dad dad instead call him by his name

You should sit in on one of his therapy sessions and try to help him open up about this with the therapist. Don’t coax him, just encourage him to be honest, as you’ve been doing. He obviously trusts you and feels that he knows he has your support. I think he is also aware of his mothers behavior and there is probably others things going on that are not being said. She may also be telling him that he can’t tell anyone about it. Its common in abuse situations like this. Use the therapy sessions in court. Use all of the evidence you have in court. Print screenshots of her manipulating him into signing the paperwork with false pretenses. Show evidence of this abusive behavior from their side and all the work and therapy you’ve been putting in on your side. You obviously have the child’s best interest at heart. You and your husband need to fight for your son. I grew up in foster care because of having terrible parents. You’re aware of the situation, shes gone against court orders, and you have enough undeniable proof just from honest statement that you could help him if you get it all together. I also am a stepmother and my youngest stepchild is not taken care of properly by her mother. I tried to befriend her mother for the best interest of all the kids and at first she pretended to be friendly. Then I started taking good care of her baby and I posted a picture of her and my girls together on my Facebook and she totally flipped. Saying it wasn’t my baby and that my man is abusing me and so im not allowed to be around the baby. She has a lot of mental health issues. I am working with my man to get everything in order to do whats best for this baby. It doesn’t always matter what the parent wants. Its whats best for the child. Even if its tough. This little boy needs a savior, and that my dear, is you.

Do not violate the child’s trust in you. He will figure it out as he gets older and realize who was acting in his best interest.

Please read resources from Tina Swithin, Founder of One Mom’s Battle (despite what the name is it isn’t just to support moms) There are so many red flags :triangular_flag_on_post: in this situation regarding bio moms behaviors that would incline me to think her behavior is narcissistic, she may be NPD and that’s I am sorry to say is a whole other beast to deal with. You talking to her would only make things worse for your step son. I highly encourage you to check into these resources mentioned above ASAP.

He will realize just like my bonus son ( my son as his good for nothing whatever). Don’t push, keep him in therapy. If anything go back to court n have a GAL involved. She will be having to explain herself alot when he’s older.

The baby will out grow it. My oldest called my husband dad and his bio dad by his first name for the longest…he out grew it when he got a little older…now he calls them both dad

If he asked you to leave it, then leave it. He is getting older and he will understand at some point. I don’t agree with forcing a child to call a stepparent anything they are not comfortable with. As long as dad and you stay in his life and love him, it doesn’t matter what he is called. Don’t cause an issue between the child and his mother (even though what she’s doing is upsetting you). That will just create drama for the boy and she isn’t going to back down. It’s hard having blended families. Just love him and let him know how much you enjoy your time with him.

Leave it. Eventually he will figure everything out for himself. My 2 oldest children (my step children from my previous husband) called me by my first name for the first 3 to 4 years until they decided for themselves what to call me. They now call me mommy (I’ve had them since 1 and 3) and I have now officially adopted them completely on my own. I’m very straight forward with them about their biological mother and now they’re 10 and almost 12 and they’re very well adjusted. I don’t care if they call me Santa Claus or Mickey Mouse…society will ultimately teach them the importance of the role I play in their lives.

Plain and simple… She is not putting the child first. That right there, will reflect when he’s older, and he can fully understand the whole situation.

Child should be allowed to call his biological father ‘Dad’ if he wants to. But I don’t understand why his Mom would be expected to call his father ‘Dad’, he’s not her Dad& by age 9 the child should realize everyone has a name other than Mom or Dad& should know their parents& step parents real names… This post is confusing! I feel bad for the child

He wants it left alone so do so. Don’t make it harder on him. You don’t have to deal with the aftermath of him or you saying something to mom, he does. Respect his feelings, because that’s what gains trust. He will grow up and get older and see things for what his moms done. Also you and dad can just be honest with him and explain things the best you can when in your care and help him with the confusion. You can’t make mom agree or change her ways.


Sorry mama, document it and leave it alone. Pray that she finds peace within herself and works on bettering herself. Pray for your bonus son overall. Stay strong for your family :heart:


Child gave you your answer. He knows the truth. And as long ad his father stays in his life,as it seems hes gonna, he will figure it out in the end

I would leave it alone, in years to come, his mum and him will sort it, it will go either way resentment or he will forgive her, if you step in now you will undo all the good work you have done, he sees you as someone he can trust, and believe in, if you go against that, God only knows what might happen down the road.

Respect his wishes. He trusts you enough that is what this child needs. He saw with his own eyes and heard with his own ears and knows how much of an upheaval this would be not only for himself but the adults. Bio mom needs counseling, but until she accepts it, nothing will change for the rest of you. Just keep being there for him and be thankful that the child does know the truth.

Wow the mother needs therapy for sure she has damaged and corrupted thier relationship very ugly counseling for sure at the least

This is mental abuse. What she is doing to him is not OK. He will realize it one day, and resent her.

I’d leave it alone with the mom. But when he’s with you guys just let him know your husband is dad and that you both love him. He will learn more as he gets older and probably resent his mom for lying to him. Just keep your end of communication open with him and if he doesn’t want you to talk to her about anything just keep it between the two of you.

My relationship with my daughters father is damn near non existent cause his girlfriend made him block me- but when telling her something about him or that she’s going by him I do refer to him as her dad. Not by name. Just talking to someone about him I will use his name, but usually it’s “____ dad” if she’s around or the person I’m talking to doesn’t know/hasn’t met him.

Leave it he is slowly understanding. He will get to a point it will all click just be there be supportive and show him kindness and love it is what he needs.

This poor kid. I will NEVER understand how people can do things like this to their child. It’s bad enough that he is growing up in a very unstable environment let alone confused and hurt.
This “mother” sounds so bloody immature and insecure.
I feel sorry for your husband the bio dad , she is taking away he’s rights as the father.
She should be ashamed of her behaviour and of course the boy is going to have mental issues with this. Sounds like he is being bullied by he’s mother. :unamused:
Really make sure this boy is loved and feels secure around you and he’s dad he will eventually realise what’s going on and unfortunately turn against he’s mother and stepdad which will be sad. But they are creating this problem. :cry:

Let the boy make his own decision who his dad is you don’t have to be biological his father all he need is love

He’s right. Leave it. You’re not going to be the one to change her feelings or behaviors. This whole situation is difficult for every person involved. Keep doing the best you can to make sure young man knows he is loved.

The BEST thing you can do for him, coming from a child who was raised to hate her father*. Is Be there for him. And just let time show him the truth. It will be painful at times, but you can’t undo that kind of damage once it’s done. All you can do is be there, and let him know that’s Someone has HIS back, period.

It seems like that the boy thinks his father didn’t want him and feels resentment or his mom filled his head full of lies about his dad

Leave it until he’s old enough to understand. He’ll eventually figure out that his mom is a whack job.

Leave it alone and be there for him. He will in time see thru it all and u will be in a better position w his real dad by just being his friend and confidant right now. Let him do this on his own its the only way for his mother to finally see the damage she’s done. :heart:Ive been here I was the bio dad. Just be there for him and u already have a silver lining to the dark cloud that will just have to hang for a bit longer :heart: he’s gotta be ready to fave her himself. Until then don’t push him

Leave it be. As he gets older he will find himself resenting her for what she has done. Show him love and true guidance and always be there with a listening ear. Things have a way if working themselves out. Around 13 is probably when he will start resenting her. Just love him more and try to help him not to hate her for what she’s done.

Leave it. He already is beginning to lose trust in his mother, don’t make him not trust you too! :heart:

Leave it! His mother may take it out on him. Sounds messy to me-poor kid. Do the best you can when he’s at your house. He’s starting to see things!

Leave it alone. It happened with my husband and his kids. When the kids turned 8&6 respectively they realized the wing and started to call the stepdad by his first name & their biological father “Dad”. Same thing happened with my daughter. My ex insisted daughter call stepmom “ mom “ but of course I said something.

That’s evidence of bad faith and ground upon in most courts. As for being step mom it’s your husbands place to be talking with his son, his sons mother in regards to any issues regarding their child. What he allows will continue.

Leave it alone but hls father should have said something in the beginning

Leave it alone. You asked him & he said leave it alone. Respect him. He will realize one day the truth & who he can trust & who he can’t


There is probably more to the story that you dont know.


Just ride it out. Kids definitely see through the BS and in the end he love and respect you so much more❤️

Buy keepsakes for him every holiday. Continue reaching out to him and eventually he will be old enough to see the truth for himself. :pensive:

Leave it alone ! He will find the answers… honor his wishes!

His Nana and Papa made you? You’re going on about who is not his dad and who is his dad and you’re telling him that your parents are his Nana and papa? Poor kid no wonder he’s confused.

Catch the mom on the low w/no one around or cameras and whoop that trick :rofl: But seriously, keep an open line of communication w/the step son. He’ll figure it out as he keeps getting older. That’s horrible that his mother is doing this to him smdh

Leave it. That’s what he wants you to do.

I’d leave it. Sounds like the mum is crazy. Just support him and hopefully when he is old enough he can choose to leave that narcissistic piece of shit.

Respect his wishes & leave it alone. Kids are smart & resilient. He’ll come through this.

I think you need to stay out of it and let the child’s parents work it out because he isn’t your child even though you love him as your own. You didn’t make him so you need to stay in your lane. Your husband willingly signed over custody so he can deal with the consequences of putting the control in the Mother’s hands and she obviously put a real man in his place. He signed the paper!! He is a dead beat for doing that regardless instead of fighting for his child… the coward took the easy way out. I don’t care if she did have an Attorney… it’s your husband’s fault that he didn’t have one. He should have worked and saved money to hire 1 or get a court appointed. In my opinion he should have NO rights to the child since he was so willing to give him up. I said what I said.


This poor baby is scared of this mom that’s why he is telling you to leave it. Sigh
Calling his daddy by first name is absolutely disrespectful but I can’t even blame this baby because he’s simply following his mommy’s instruction
The only person to be blamed is the mother

Mothers please desist from these kinda things
It’s not nice and it ends up hurting your kid in the end

Yall just saying leave it shame in you. This boy is in a mentally abusive household, “leaving it” will create so much mental issues and will ruin the kid in the end. If it hasn’t already. Take her back to court let the child speak depending on age, hes 9 right? Some judges listen mine did when I was that age when I spoke up and said who I wanted to live with

I would have the therapist write a statement for the courts and have it on hand for when/if he would like the issue pushed. He is getting old enough now that it will be just a few more years until he can have a say in custody arrangements in most states. Just stack your evidence for a time when the child decides that he’d rather live with his dad. The time will come and then you’ll have documentation to back it up. What she’s trying to do is parental alienation of affection and judges don’t take kindly to it in most cases.

Who just signs their kid over during a custody battle- isn’t that the reason you’re there, there’s not an agreement? Think you’re missing holes even you don’t know about.

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I’d take the mom back for sole custody even the therapist can see shes mentally abusive to that child.