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Question
Posted by: Yollie | 2003/12/18

Step kids and ex wife

Hi,

My step kids stay with me for the last 8 years. Their mom decided that they were in the way and just didn't bother fetching them after a weekend's visit. The mom is now married for the forth time (hopefully this will be the last). We talk about the kids on the phone and I wish that she will really settle down.

My problem is that whenever the kids go and visit their mom, they refuse to talk to me on the phone or even refuse to mention my name, not even mentioning whenever I tell them I love them, they don't respond. It feels if they are influenced negatively whenever they go and visit. For the last 8 years the mother didn't contribute anything towards the kids. They are now 15 & 13 years old.

I feel as if I'm a terrible mom, although she influence them negatively, they should be old enough to realise that I need some respect from them. Other than this problem, we do have an excellent relationship.

So, am I just being childish? I hurt so much inside and whenever this happens I just focus more on my work and studies.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Yollie,
Good grief, you're anything except a terrible mom --- you've been a terrific mom to kids that aren't yours, while a wholly irresponsible and truly terrible mom, their own, has exploited you shamelessly. And there's nothing childish about expecting consideration, kindness and love, as well as appreciation, from these greedy and selfish kids, who shouldn't even be open to any influence to treat you less than excellently for all that you ahve done with them.
Maybe, as she may have been giving them misinformation, it's high time you sat down with the kids and explained the situation, that their mother abandoned them, and that you have gone to all the trouble and expense of raising them ever since, while she flits from husband to husband, and only sees them for short visits --- and be happy to make it clear that you expect consideration and some sincere signs of appreciation from them, and that their relative neglect of you is hurtful and undeserved.

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