Re: HELP! Raising a 18 month old and 3 yr old girls that are not mine!
- From: Ericka Kammerer <eek@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 16:35:24 -0400
Me and my boyfriend have been together for 16 months now, and I am
raising his kids. When we first moved in together their mother had full
custody of the girls, and we had them every other weekend and every
Tuesday. Well in the beginning of January she decided that she didn't
want to live with her mom any more, dropped the girls off one Friday,
and then called and said that she wasn't going to come pick them up.
Ever since then she just picks the girls up whenever she feels like it,
and I have been raising her girls. I am only 23 yrs old, and I am
having many problems with all of this. When they first moved in they
had absolutely no discipline, so that was the first thing that me and
their dad started on. But now I am the only one that ever disciplines
them. They are home with me all day 7 days a week, and I know that they
get sick of me, but I just don't know how to make things easier for
them. They miss their mom, but she shows no signs of taking them back,
and besides my fiance wants custody of them any way.
The 18 month old is now not only throwing temper tantrums on a regular
basis, but she will start screaming and crying if you try to tell her
what to do. Any suggestions on how to stop her of that?
Some of that is normal, and just requires patience
and consistency to work through. However, given all they've
been through, there might be more and it might benefit from
some professional help.
She also will eat her breakfast and her lunch, but when it comes to
dinner she wants absolutely nothing to do with it. If you tell her to
eat she starts screaming and crying again.
This is very common with toddlers, especially if
you're having a later dinner. Many of them simply aren't
hungry that time of day. They tend to eat most of their
food at breakfast, lunch, and snacks, which is why you
have to make sure they get good nutrition at those times
so that dinner is largely optional nutritionally.
The 3 yr old listens to absolutely nobody, but she is getting better.
She was however for a long while constantly going to the bathroom in
her underwear. I know that she was just trying to get attention, but
she normally only did it when she had to come home from being with her
I think "getting attention" is a rather uncharitable
view of the situation. The poor thing has been through a
lot. Can you imagine what it's like at that age to be
essentially abandoned by your mother and have no security
that she loves you, wants you, and will care for you? I
don't think it is at all surprising that they're going
through some serious challenges. I know that's hard on
everyone, but truly, I think it's pretty expected under
the circumstances. Obviously, that doesn't mean you can
ignore it or live with it. You have to work on changing
those behaviors, but I think they warrant a great deal
of compassion and patience (though I know that's a very
I don't know what their mom says about me when I am not around, but the
type of person that she is suggests that it is nothing good. She has
blamed me for everything that has happened since her and my fiance has
broken up. She packed up her and the girls and left HIM, but it is all
my fault. My fiance talked to her about the 3 yr old pottying her pants
and she told him that it was my fault because I yelled at her all the
I wouldn't get into it with the mom, nor would I
worry about what she says. Kids are great at seeing through
the BS. They'll judge you far more by what you do than by
what she says, especially in the long run. *IF* you are
yelling at them (especially for accidents), then mom will
have a foothold to make snide comments. If, however, you
are patient and kind and consistent and supportive and
loving, the kids will realize that and respond positively.
It might take a while, but it will come.
If you find that the challenges of dealing with
their issues push you over the edge sometimes, consider
getting some professional help for them and for you. There's
no shame in that, and no shame in admitting that you aren't
instinctively sure how to deal with these sorts of situations.
That doesn't mean you're a bad mom. You might be just
great dealing with kids under normal circumstances. Some
of the best moms I know have sought counseling for themselves
and their kids under special circumstances, and found it
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