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Topic : 08/30 Step Monster

Number of Replies: 531
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Created on : Friday, May 18, 2007, 12:43:14 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 05/25/07) Cinderella and Snow White are fables of women with wicked stepmothers, but what happens when your child’s life starts to resemble those fairy tales? Keri says she’s sickened by the way her ex-husband, Ken’s, fiancée treats her children. Keri says that Cari buys her kids cheap clothes, and is so strict that Keri’s kids become physically ill when they have to go visit. Ken says his ex-wife is using their children as pawns in her twisted game. Is Keri just jealous of Ken’s new life? What’s really at the core of their tug-of-war? Then, Julie says her 8-year-old son, Erik’s, stepmother, Melony, is trying to take over her motherly duties. Melony and her husband, Scott, say they have to intervene because Julie is an unfit mother. The couple says last Christmas, Erik came over to their house with what looked like cigarette burns on his body. Julie denies this, saying her son was burned by holiday lights. Is Scott and Melony’s allegation of physical abuse founded, or are they trying to make Julie look like an unfit mother? Talk about the show here.

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May 19, 2007, 3:27 pm CDT

Being a Step parent

It always amazes me when people whine and complain about step-kids.
It's simple people if you don't want to be a step parent and you know it from the get go, lose the guy or gal, helloooooo it's a Package Deal , you can't change him or her and the kids won't go away, ever! Don't tell yourself it will get better if you are having issues while dating the person, it won't. You will begin to re-sent one another, so if you aren't into someone else's kids, move on! I know, I am a step-parent, but I never resented my stepsons, we married when they were 9 and 10, they are now 21 and 20, and are good productive human beings. I just let them know from the beginning I would care about them ,worry about them , probably get mad and make them clean their rooms, but I also told them I will never be your mom, you will always have your mom and dad and me the stepmom. Heck lots of times they come to me before dad, and ask whatever it may be. I am proud of them both.
I also know the other side, I have a friend that is a step parent, she hates her step kids because she hates his ex wife, I have told her repeatedly, it isn't the kids fault what the mother does, she always blames the kids, personally I think she is jealous and makes her husband constantly pick between her and them, I am amazed they are still together. To me is is sad all around. I always remind her it was a PACKAGE DEAL!!!!!!!
 
May 19, 2007, 8:37 pm CDT

I too am a stepmother

I am a stepmother to a seven year old boy.  In the beginning it was wonderful.  I feel as though I was suckered in.  I just had my first biological child six months ago.  About a year ago is when it started to go downhill, and I am not sure why, though i believe it is due to my stepson's bio mom and her constant bashing of us and everything that takes place in our home.  His bio mom is bi-polar.  You never know what you are dealing with with this woman, if it is a medicated or non medicated day.  She has told my step son he is not to show me affection, he is to lie to us about various things, and so on.  I am at the end of my rope.  He is now acting out towards the baby, and it makes me nervous.  I do not trust him to not do something to hurt her so I have her with me all of the time, I am scared to turn around if he is in the room with her.  I caught him squeezing her head the other day, it took all I had in me not to squeeze his head right back.  The fact that he was not my son never was an issue until he startedhurting my daughter.  Then it became blatent.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have been long gone by now.  I love my husband and my daughter with all I am, but truthfully, I am beginning to hate my stepson.
 
May 19, 2007, 9:23 pm CDT

always remember the children

First it so hard to combine two families together but I do agree if you meet someone with children you better be prepare to take on their children and their ex.  In my situation I call her the x factor.  My husband has custody of his children and I have custody of my child.  We are finally getting married after 3 years of dating and I would think by now she would give up trying to sabatoge our relationship and her childrens relationship.  It seems that everytime my stepchildren and I start becoming close then this is when they come home from their moms with something negative to say about someone in the house.  It saddens me that she has to be that way cause the only ones she is hurting is her children and herself.  This causes me to pull away from my stepchildren not wanting anyone feeling they have to choose.

 

Personally I would accept a extra mom in my daughters life.  To even make things easier I would let my ex's new girlfriend after I know she was going to be around awhile know where I stand on things with my daughter so she wouldn't feel like walking on eggshells like I feel.  Why do parents have to be so self centered.  Always think of how this is going to affect my child now or later before taking actions. 

 
May 19, 2007, 9:53 pm CDT

Victim of a Step monster

Boy this one touched a nerve or two. My stepmonster (yes I called her this even before the show) has done all the things listed and more to me. her reasoning for her abuse was that I was" just like my mother".  I could not eat food in the fridge ( I am 5 ft 5 in and weighed  a "hefty" 101lbs while living in her home), was the housecleaner, had to pay for my own clothes at the age of 13, rediculed me, emotionally, mentally and  physically abused me every chance she could get away with. Luckily I had a boy friend whose parents saw right through her and in this day and age she would have been arrested for child abuse.  I will never talk to my father ever again-ever.  I truly blame him for the abuse as he was supposed to protect me. My question to all of you is-why do men let this happen to their children? Are they thinking with their penis?

Michele Tunstall Turney

 
May 19, 2007, 11:20 pm CDT

step family

Am I the only one who sees through these games and wanted the best for my family?  My ex remarried, and his wife was not perfect.  Yet I appreciated her and respected my ex's choice.  I did my best to make these transitions easy for my children.  They are grown and doing well.  I take much credit for making the choices that enabled these blended families work out.

 
May 20, 2007, 12:09 am CDT

This is Exactly what is wrong with this world!

Most of the family homes theses days are made up of blended families and parents are forgetting their responsibilities and demanding their RIGHTS, Guess what folks, with rights you have responsibilities! It angers me to hear someone say they are starting to HATE a child in their care, communicate with them. Maybe they are confused, or angry or jealous (which is normal with a new sibling) they may even have a mental issue that requires intervention.    If someone is turning to hate, that is were they want to be in the relationship. Positive words to a child (or anyone for that matter) is like giving an inhaler to an asthma patient it opens up the pathways and can save a life from misery and pain. THINK about someone caring for your child, can you imagining leaving them in the care of someone who hates them? Communicate, try try again! IF that doesn't work there are intervention and mediation set up all across this country set up for things like this not to mention mental professionals.   Children remember their childhood, if you treat them poorly because of some pitiful reason (all reasons for treating a child poorly is PITIFUL I don't care with it is) They remember! Children are like lumps of clay, you mold them with every moment and shape the way they think and respond to this world. Parents and step-parents have the responsibility to provide their children with all the materials they need to turn their lives into a work of art.   My family is as blended as they come, My Husband was married once before and I was widowed at a young age raising my daughter as well as my sisters child then remarried and divorced before I met my husband of 10 years with this BLENDED family. He has a daughter now 21, I have two daughters, My sister's child and a son. We are also now raising another member of our family and she is two years old. GOT that! In case you are wondering that makes six children.    Understand we have Five fathers, four mothers, and my God I can not even add up the grandparents and other family members. I would just as soon shoot myself in the head then to belittle anyone of them in front of these kids. I have had my sister's child since birth and never put down her mother even though I have a million ways I could have, my step-daughter in her teens was difficult to say the least and her mother was pretty much the same to start but I slowly and surely broke the ice for the sake of the child. We plan visits for these children in three different states and believe me it take patients and biting the tongue many days but it's worth it to know we are building successful and happy children.       If we think of only ourselves we will have children who think nothing of themselves. Communicate, participate and appreciate the roles you have in theses children's lives. If they come to you with issues talk them out in the child's level. If nothing works with the EX or the new parental figure communicate positive with the child regardless of the issues with the adult.   And one last thing if you suspect child abuse for GOD sakes REPORT it! If you are abusing a child even verbally get help! Please don't use these services for revenge or spitefulness you could be causing a child in crisis to go without or delay in getting help .  
 
May 20, 2007, 1:11 am CDT

He is a child his mother is an adult.

Quote From: daunie78

I am a stepmother to a seven year old boy.  In the beginning it was wonderful.  I feel as though I was suckered in.  I just had my first biological child six months ago.  About a year ago is when it started to go downhill, and I am not sure why, though i believe it is due to my stepson's bio mom and her constant bashing of us and everything that takes place in our home.  His bio mom is bi-polar.  You never know what you are dealing with with this woman, if it is a medicated or non medicated day.  She has told my step son he is not to show me affection, he is to lie to us about various things, and so on.  I am at the end of my rope.  He is now acting out towards the baby, and it makes me nervous.  I do not trust him to not do something to hurt her so I have her with me all of the time, I am scared to turn around if he is in the room with her.  I caught him squeezing her head the other day, it took all I had in me not to squeeze his head right back.  The fact that he was not my son never was an issue until he startedhurting my daughter.  Then it became blatent.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have been long gone by now.  I love my husband and my daughter with all I am, but truthfully, I am beginning to hate my stepson.
You wrote "In the beginning it was wonderful. I feel as though I was suckered in." These two sentences contradict each other somewhat, How do you mean you were suckered into what seemed like a wonderful relationship with your husband who had a son?   THEN your wrote "I just had my first biological child six months ago.  About a year ago is when it started to go downhill, and I am not sure why, though" It seems to me ABOUT a year ago you were just starting to show in your pregnancy, and started talking about having your first child right? On top of that his DADDY was having a "NEW" baby right? What happened to Daddy's old wife when he got the "new" one? um didn't work out to well for his mom did it?  Kids see things in a whole different light than adults. Not to mention his bio-mom is Bi-polar with all this happening in the last year it seems instability is the only thing he seems to have that is stable in his life right now.     Then you wrote "She has told my step son he is not to show me affection, he is to lie to us about various things, and so on. You and your husband have the power to effect how he responds to you and him in your home. YOU have the power, COME ON give the child a little, tell him it is ok if he doesn't want to share his feelings BUT be positive until he does. Tell him when you are in our home son it's ok to feel any way you want to feel BUT when you express it in harmful ways to me or YOUR baby sister there will be consequences to your actions. Make clear simple rules he can follow and praise him when he does and communicate and punish when he does not every time. Your step-son is reaching out for boundaries and proof that he still belongs to YOU and his Dad.        Then you wrote "I caught him squeezing her head the other day, it took all I had in me not to squeeze his head right back.  The fact that he was not my son never was an issue until he started hurting my daughter.  Then it became blatant."  First off it is perfectly normal for children to feel extremely jealous about a new sibling. Second It has been six months has he not bonded with the baby yet? Do you let him play the "big brother" roles or is it more like, keep away, don't touch, stop you might hurt her. THIRD IF the fact that he is not your son became blatant at that moment to you IT was clear to him long before that moment. I have four step-children and they have all at one point or another fought, hit, argued, tricked and belittle all of my natural born children, That is what children do when they are learning how to express themselves. YOUR job as a co-parent of this child is to correct the behavior without harm or hurt.  I never look at it as mine, hers, yours I became a co-parent of this child the moment I said I do. HIS behavior is a reflection of you! Good bad or indifferent, You are responsible for how he learns to react to his environment. You already said his bio-mother is unstable he is craving this from you and up until you began imagining your wonderful new baby he was probably getting it from you. The timeline matches up perfectly. You may be the exact same person but he is looking through a child's eyes and all of this is confusing, scary and it all started happening when baby sister showed up.      The fact that his is NOT your child and SHE is was expressed to him long before he started squeezing her head that day. I am sure he is getting it from bio-mom but you are reaffirming it in his mind with your actions.   Lastly you said  "I love my husband and my daughter with all I am, but truthfully, I am beginning to hate my stepson." Your daughter could be and very well maybe (you talked about being long gone by now) in the same shoes your step-son is in now. Imagine what you would feel, think and do if your read the words you just wrote about your son but it was about your daughter. He is SEVEN, he is clay for molding. If the bio-mother is causing  so much harm to him that he is attempting to harm other people TURN her in, TALK to her, Hate her (not were the child is effected) Communicate, Attempt to gain full custody but for GOD's sake find it in your heart to completely fall in love with this child and fight for him! Fight for a normal loving childhood, because YOU may end up hating him but in the future theses two children will love each other and children remember their families actions and their childhood. You can cause them to be close as children or hate each other as children but no and as adults they will be brother and sister.
 
May 20, 2007, 1:14 am CDT

He is apart of your husband and daughter always

Quote From: daunie78

I am a stepmother to a seven year old boy.  In the beginning it was wonderful.  I feel as though I was suckered in.  I just had my first biological child six months ago.  About a year ago is when it started to go downhill, and I am not sure why, though i believe it is due to my stepson's bio mom and her constant bashing of us and everything that takes place in our home.  His bio mom is bi-polar.  You never know what you are dealing with with this woman, if it is a medicated or non medicated day.  She has told my step son he is not to show me affection, he is to lie to us about various things, and so on.  I am at the end of my rope.  He is now acting out towards the baby, and it makes me nervous.  I do not trust him to not do something to hurt her so I have her with me all of the time, I am scared to turn around if he is in the room with her.  I caught him squeezing her head the other day, it took all I had in me not to squeeze his head right back.  The fact that he was not my son never was an issue until he startedhurting my daughter.  Then it became blatent.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have been long gone by now.  I love my husband and my daughter with all I am, but truthfully, I am beginning to hate my stepson.
You wrote "In the beginning it was wonderful. I feel as though I was suckered in." These two sentences contradict each other somewhat, How do you mean you were suckered into what seemed like a wonderful relationship with your husband who had a son?   THEN your wrote "I just had my first biological child six months ago.  About a year ago is when it started to go downhill, and I am not sure why, though" It seems to me ABOUT a year ago you were just starting to show in your pregnancy, and started talking about having your first child right? On top of that his DADDY was having a "NEW" baby right? What happened to Daddy's old wife when he got the "new" one? um didn't work out to well for his mom did it?  Kids see things in a whole different light than adults. Not to mention his bio-mom is Bi-polar with all this happening in the last year it seems instability is the only thing he seems to have that is stable in his life right now.     Then you wrote "She has told my step son he is not to show me affection, he is to lie to us about various things, and so on. You and your husband have the power to effect how he responds to you and him in your home. YOU have the power, COME ON give the child a little, tell him it is ok if he doesn't want to share his feelings BUT be positive until he does. Tell him when you are in our home son it's ok to feel any way you want to feel BUT when you express it in harmful ways to me or YOUR baby sister there will be consequences to your actions. Make clear simple rules he can follow and praise him when he does and communicate and punish when he does not every time. Your step-son is reaching out for boundaries and proof that he still belongs to YOU and his Dad.        Then you wrote "I caught him squeezing her head the other day, it took all I had in me not to squeeze his head right back.  The fact that he was not my son never was an issue until he started hurting my daughter.  Then it became blatant."  First off it is perfectly normal for children to feel extremely jealous about a new sibling. Second It has been six months has he not bonded with the baby yet? Do you let him play the "big brother" roles or is it more like, keep away, don't touch, stop you might hurt her. THIRD IF the fact that he is not your son became blatant at that moment to you IT was clear to him long before that moment. I have four step-children and they have all at one point or another fought, hit, argued, tricked and belittle all of my natural born children, That is what children do when they are learning how to express themselves. YOUR job as a co-parent of this child is to correct the behavior without harm or hurt.  I never look at it as mine, hers, yours I became a co-parent of this child the moment I said I do. HIS behavior is a reflection of you! Good bad or indifferent, You are responsible for how he learns to react to his environment. You already said his bio-mother is unstable he is craving this from you and up until you began imagining your wonderful new baby he was probably getting it from you. The timeline matches up perfectly. You may be the exact same person but he is looking through a child's eyes and all of this is confusing, scary and it all started happening when baby sister showed up.      The fact that his is NOT your child and SHE is was expressed to him long before he started squeezing her head that day. I am sure he is getting it from bio-mom but you are reaffirming it in his mind with your actions.   Lastly you said  "I love my husband and my daughter with all I am, but truthfully, I am beginning to hate my stepson." Your daughter could be and very well maybe (you talked about being long gone by now) in the same shoes your step-son is in now. Imagine what you would feel, think and do if your read the words you just wrote about your son but it was about your daughter. He is SEVEN, he is clay for molding. If the bio-mother is causing  so much harm to him that he is attempting to harm other people TURN her in, TALK to her, Hate her (not were the child is effected) Communicate, Attempt to gain full custody but for GOD's sake find it in your heart to completely fall in love with this child and fight for him! Fight for a normal loving childhood, because YOU may end up hating him but in the future theses two children will love each other and children remember their families actions and their childhood. You can cause them to be close as children or hate each other as children but know as adults they will be brother and sister.
 
May 20, 2007, 1:21 am CDT

It's not just men...

Quote From: horseraser2

Boy this one touched a nerve or two. My stepmonster (yes I called her this even before the show) has done all the things listed and more to me. her reasoning for her abuse was that I was" just like my mother".  I could not eat food in the fridge ( I am 5 ft 5 in and weighed  a "hefty" 101lbs while living in her home), was the housecleaner, had to pay for my own clothes at the age of 13, rediculed me, emotionally, mentally and  physically abused me every chance she could get away with. Luckily I had a boy friend whose parents saw right through her and in this day and age she would have been arrested for child abuse.  I will never talk to my father ever again-ever.  I truly blame him for the abuse as he was supposed to protect me. My question to all of you is-why do men let this happen to their children? Are they thinking with their penis?

Michele Tunstall Turney

Women do it to trust me. You should blame your dad for not protecting you but give some blame were it is due... That woman deserves for you to say every bad thing you need to say to her, then watch you have a happy fulfilling life in spite of her and her actions. Happiness is the best revenge to a vengful and hateful person.
 
May 20, 2007, 5:17 am CDT

It can be tough

I am also a step parent of 12 year olds as well as a parent of children who are now adults.  When my husband and I first started dating, I noticed he was basically a Disneyland dad because he saw his children so little of the time, he wanted to do anything to make sure they continued to love him.  Yet his visits with them made him anxious and angry a lot of the time because he didn't like what was occurring.  His ex refused to go by the divorce decree and she had full control over when / where he saw them. She would not tell my husband about school activities such as band concerts or even the fact that one of the children was failing school (and had for several years). He never knew when his children went to the doctor (unless the children slipped and made a comment in front of him)  As our relationship got stronger and we eventually married, I showed him and expressed my concern about his relationship with his children.  They now have chores when they come over, established bedtimes,  he doesn't take them shopping every time he is with them, let them only to eat fast food, we have taught them table manners (they didn't even know how to use a fork and knife to cut meat. They picked it up with their hands and tore it into pieces) and he doesn't allow them to talk to him rudely.  We notified the schools that he is the father (imagine our surprise at one school meeting a teacher told my husband "Its been a long time since I've seen you.  You've changed.  My husband had never met that teacher in his life.  However his ex's live in boyfriend is the same size/stature of my husband.  This also happened at a ball game and my husband introduced himself to the coach.  The coach looked at my husband and back to the boyfriend.  My husband had to reiterate that he in fact was the father, not the boyfriend.  The boyfriend isn't the problem with us.  He has been around the children for 9 years and treats them with love and respect.)  My husband also started following the divorce decree regarding visitation.  Last year was the first time in NINE YEARS, he had his children for 30 days in the summer and had them during Christmas break as declared in the divorce decree.  It made his ex extremely angry.  She even wanted to do family counseling which we happily agreed to do because it would better the situation.  After the first initial visit with the counselor, (which she wouldn't allow us to attend), she refused to go back because she "didn't like what she had to say."  My husband's ex is verbally abusive to him during phone calls IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN by telling the children "your dad does this, your dad does that." .  (We will put her on speaker phone and can hear all of them in the conversation.)  My husband has never talked down his ex to the children no matter how angry he has gotten.  I have told the children, I will never be your mom but I love you, care about you and hopefully someday you will see me as a friend.  Guess what....all of this is MY fault , according to the ex-wife, simply because I validated my husband's position as his children's father and I support him while he tries to establish a better relationship with his children.  He has expressed to his ex-wife that we all get together for family functions like birthdays, holidays, etc. and his ex has told the children "you know I do not want to be around your dad and wifey."   My own ex-husband and I don't have this relationship with our children.  From the day  we divorced, we made the relationship with the children ONLY ABOUT the children not about our personal feelings towards each other.  He would come to my house for their birthdays and holidays because we didn't want them to feel like they had to choose or hurt one parent's feelings.  We would buy them their gifts together so there was no competition.  As we told our children, we divorced as spouses but we didn't divorce as your parents.  Was it hard to do this when we first separated/divorced?  Oh yeah, but we kept in mind the constant mantra, "this is for the kids, this is for the kids" and its now easy and I consider my ex a friend.   If there is a competition, school function, ex. we sat together. (Still do today at the college functions.)  My husband accepted this and now my ex comes to our house to eat dinners, etc. when the kids are in town or he will take all of us to eat. When my youngest graduated from high school, he took everyone (extended family of his and mine as well as us) to dinner one evening and we had the same group over to our house the next day for BBQ.  The celebration was my son's not ours and it wouldn't be fair to be torn between two families. I sat between both men when my oldest got married  and I danced with my ex during the parents' dance portion of the reception.  All 3 of us paid for the honeymoon as a wedding gift.  (By the way, ex and I are both from divorced families and we know how it is to feel torn.)   My husband and my ex get along fabulously and my children constantly tell all 3 of us "THANK YOU" because of the way we handle the relationships.    All parents need to keep the lines of communication open, play/fight fairly and ONLY think about the children when it comes to dealing with an ex.  It isn't about who can make the children love them most and love the other one the least as punishment for a broken relationship between the parents, it's about letting everyone be a part of the children's lives. 
 
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