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I have a dilemma and either I need to change my thinking or things needs to change.

 

I am a stepmom of 2 children who actually live with us plus my 2 children. My ds7 (adhd/dyslexia/speech) goes to his dad's for the weekend and he has a stepmom there.

 

What is the hive's thoughts on this?

I do not discipline my step-children other than time-outs, loss of privileges. There is no spanking, no yelling. My ds7 keeps telling me that his stepmom yells and spanks him when he visits on the weekend (a total of about 36 hours time spent there).

 

My ex tells me that his wife hates my son- his words, not mine. I've already talked to ex about how she treats ds7- apparently he has done nothing. She has reached out to me in the past about how to discipline ds7 and I shared with her what we do.

 

Is it my place to tell stepmom to stop yelling/spanking my son in their home? My ds7 has already told stepmom that his mom doesn't spank and that she shouldn't- ds7 stood up to her and I think it made it worse.

 

What do I do? If anything?

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I haven't dealt with this situation, so I may be off base. I would make arrangements to meet with all the adults in ds's life, together, ASAP. The behavior of your ex's new wife would so anger me that I would likely be pushed into a confrontation at a time when I was not super rational.

 

I'd gather all my non-spanking resources, and make the case that consistent, non-physical discipline is best for the whole family (can't imagine DS wants to visit a place where he's often whipped). I'd be prepared to be attacked for being lax or too soft. I'd be prepared to discuss behavioral expectations.

 

If the wife hates your son, she should never discipline him, unless there are clear guidelines set out that she can adhere to. I'm sure it's super difficult to send him away to someone who hates him and seems to enjoy punishing him. If its not addressed soon, I would guess that the whole thing will come to a head and explode in a non-predictable way.

 

:grouphug:

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Jessica,

 

I really don't like spanking but wouldn't even have much issue with her spanking him if she was doing it appropriately within a loving parent-child relationship; but that isn't what you describe. I assume you've talked to your ex about this? What does he say?

 

I don't know what you *really* can do though. Assuming it isn't abuse, just stinky discipline, I doubt you can make it stop unless your ex will back you up.

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Honestly, I would seriously consider taking xh to court to have visitation changed. In the long run your ds will come to really dislike (possibly hate) his father for allowing this. It might have to be you that protects that relationship by whatever means necessary.

 

I can't believe anyone would marry someone who hates one of one's children. How odd.

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It's not like I don't know what challenges my own son presents at times but as a step-parent myself...I cannot fathom why she thinks spanking her step-child is appropriate. It pains me to hear ds7 say that she yells at him and spanks him.

 

Unfortunately, she will not be open to talking about this because it draws attention on her behavior. I'm asking whether to address this or leave it alone. If I leave it alone, I will keep my eye on ds7...I call him while he's there just for this very reason.

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He just says they are having problems. He's not a take-action, be involved type. He takes the path of least resistance in parenting which infuriates stepmom (she's said it many times to me). I don't know if she is spanking him appropriately, I have a strong feeling she does it out of anger and frustration- which is never right.

 

I'm in a pickle.

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We would be talking to the lawyer. I would be freaking out. I don't know what would make anything in any universe OK with this. I would go to my lawyer it is that simple. I would want supervised vists especially since you said you have heard she hates the kid. I wouldn't play either.

 

I don't think there would be a talk it would be me making it very clear that she does not hit my son at all. That is not up for discussion.

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Jessica, my heart aches for you and your ds.

 

I was raised by my dad and stepmom. Mom had visitation which she just gave up after a while. Stepmom openly hated me. She was verbally and physically abusive. I'm 34 now, and it still has a great impact on my relationship both with her *and* with my dad.

 

As you can see from my siggy, I'm a stepmom, too. Stepkids were 4 and 7 when we married. I didn't spank them. I just wasn't comfortable with it. Not because I'm anti-spanking. But because I knew from childhood experience that it was a bad idea for stepparents/stepkids. It's different when dad spanks you than when stepmom spanks. The kids have a strong lifelong bond with dad. They trust him; they KNOW him. Stepmom? Not so much. I'll be honest, they didn't like me so much at first. I was just someone taking up dad's attention on their weekends. :tongue_smilie: I used my experience as a kid to shape what sort of stepmom I wanted to be.

 

I don't really know what you can do. Having to co-parent with dad and stepmom when you don't agree on discipline is HARD. I mean, you and dad aren't married for a REASON, you know? :D I know that even to this day, there are issues that come up (nothing nearly as important as what you're dealing with) where dh and I just are not in agreement with the stepkid's mom and stepdad on how to handle something. It sure can be tricky.

 

I don't think LEGALLY there's probably much you can do, so long as stepmom is not being abusive (per the legal definition) in her spanking. But goodness, if I were you, this would be a constant topic of conversation with exh, the stepmom, and you son until stepmom stopped spanking. Your ds's dad needs to understand that this IS impacting his relationship with his son, because dad is the one allowing stepmom to spank. What's your ex going to do when your ds starts refusing to visit dad because of this?

 

:grouphug: to you. I do believe in most situations it is your DUTY to NOT send your ds there if he IS being abused. There'd certainly be no harm in speaking to your lawyer about this.

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I agree, legally it's tricky. Ds7 has shown signs of protecting himself- he doesn't want to talk to ex (his dad) on the phone much anymore and last night step-mom called herself and ds7 pretty much hung up on her. I ask him why he doesn't want to talk to them on the phone anymore and he doesn't give a detail answer- most of the time it's "I want to do this instead." It's sad.

 

I appreciate everyone's input. It isn't a clear cut answer and I'm a Golden Rule type but when it comes to my kids... :)

 

I will continue to pray about this and will try again to speak to ex about my concerns.

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I'm not a step-parent, but really? She can't find another way to redirect him or deal with him other than yelling and spanking him? She only has him for 36 hours (and I'm assuming he's sleeping for part of that time.)

 

Not sure I'm making any sense - I know I'm definitely not helping b/c I have no advice - but it just hurts my heart for you and your little guy.

 

BTY - welcome back!

 

Blessings,

Angela

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I'm not a step-parent, but really? She can't find another way to redirect him or deal with him other than yelling and spanking him? She only has him for 36 hours (and I'm assuming he's sleeping for part of that time.)

 

Blessings,

Angela

 

I feel the same way. Is he so challenging that she can't go 36 hours without assaulting him?

I'm a stepmother and a stepchild. I hit my stepmother as a teen, she defended herself but she didn't hit back. Spanking has never been necessary in either relationship.

I would be talking to my lawyer.

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My ds7 keeps telling me that his stepmom yells and spanks him when he visits on the weekend (a total of about 36 hours time spent there).

 

My ex tells me that his wife hates my son- his words, not mine. I've already talked to ex about how she treats ds7- apparently he has done nothing.

 

Is it my place to tell stepmom to stop yelling/spanking my son in their home? My ds7 has already told stepmom that his mom doesn't spank and that she shouldn't- ds7 stood up to her and I think it made it worse.

 

What do I do? If anything?

 

Yes, you should tell her to stop yelling at and spanking your son in their home. Absolutely. I'm :confused: because, especially as you describe your DS's resulting behavior, you are basically describing bullying. If this was any other bully, you would know exactly what to do. Get it stopped. Talk to her, firmly, as you would a bully or as you would expect the teacher/principal at school to talk to a bully and if that doesn't get it stopped immediately, talk to a lawyer.

 

Your son is telling you about it and if you don't protect him, and keep sending him back for more, he is likely to end up resenting you for it.

 

I agree, legally it's tricky. Ds7 has shown signs of protecting himself- he doesn't want to talk to ex (his dad) on the phone much anymore and last night step-mom called herself and ds7 pretty much hung up on her. I ask him why he doesn't want to talk to them on the phone anymore and he doesn't give a detail answer- most of the time it's "I want to do this instead." It's sad.

 

I appreciate everyone's input. It isn't a clear cut answer and I'm a Golden Rule type but when it comes to my kids... :)

 

I don't see how it's not a clear cut answer. She might not like you but let her hate you, not your son. I agree with the pp who said if she hates him, she shouldn't be disciplining him at all. He shouldn't be in her care.

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Yes, you should tell her to stop yelling at and spanking your son in their home. Absolutely. I'm :confused: because, especially as you describe your DS's resulting behavior, you are basically describing bullying. If this was any other bully, you would know exactly what to do. Get it stopped. Talk to her, firmly, as you would a bully or as you would expect the teacher/principal at school to talk to a bully and if that doesn't get it stopped immediately, talk to a lawyer.

 

Your son is telling you about it and if you don't protect him, and keep sending him back for more, he is likely to end up resenting you for it.

 

The thing is that so long as dad and stepmom are within legal bounds of discipline, there's nothing the court will do about it. At all.

 

My dh was not at all pleased when dss and dsd were being left home alone by their mother when they were 9 and 11. He felt they were too young, and the neighborhood was not good. He had spoken with their mother about not leaving them home alone, but she thought it was fine. So he called the local non-emergency police number to discuss it. The officer told him that there's NO WAY they'd get involved in that situation. Since mom was within legal limits (there's no set age in our state for being left home alone), that the courts/police do not want to get involved in parental disputes between separated parents. Basically they have to work it out like adults between themselves if everyone is acting within the law.

 

It's hard. I get that. I can imagine it tears Jessica up to send her son there. But it's also the reality of divorce. I'm sure she knows that. The best you can do is keep communication as open as possible with everyone. Yes, Jessica should express to the stepmom that spanking the boy in anger is an awful idea. But I disagree that Jessica's son will come to resent JESSICA for it. I'm sure the boy understands that Jessica is required to send him for visitation at dad's house, and that Jessica has no say on how the boy's dad and stepmom parent. The interactions with the boy and his stepmom will reflect on his relationship with stepmom and dad, not Jessica.

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But I disagree that Jessica's son will come to resent JESSICA for it. I'm sure the boy understands that Jessica is required to send him for visitation at dad's house, and that Jessica has no say on how the boy's dad and stepmom parent. The interactions with the boy and his stepmom will reflect on his relationship with stepmom and dad, not Jessica.

 

Well, I didn't like saying it but I stand by it. And I didn't mean that he would resent her for continuing to send him. I meant that he would resent her for continuing to send him in the absence of speaking up to the stepmom on his behalf. He came to her for help, told her his feelings. If she doesn't speak up, she'll be letting him down. That is truly how I see it and I can't imagine a 7 year old feeling differently. It's our job to speak up for our kids to protect them. Sometimes we can't change much but our kids still need to see us speaking up.

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Honestly, I would seriously consider taking xh to court to have visitation changed. In the long run your ds will come to really dislike (possibly hate) his father for allowing this. It might have to be you that protects that relationship by whatever means necessary.

 

I can't believe anyone would marry someone who hates one of one's children. How odd.

 

:iagree:

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:grouphug: its hard.

 

i do think you need to say something. if anyone else were spanking your child, you would say something..... you are his mom and its your job to look out for him.

 

you are right to be hesitant though. divorce and relationships with x's are fraught with peril. how you do it will matter.

 

going to see a divorce councilor yourself and asking for help in developing an approach may be a good idea. it might involve meeting with the councilor and your xdh (and maybe spouses?) to discuss a parenting issue with ds. it will help if you have concrete and specific observations about when things happen and the observed fall out.

 

:grouphug:

ann

 

ps. my oldest at age 11 asked for her own lawyer to help her deal with my x's behavior towards her. the end result was that she was told she didn't need to go on visits unless she wanted to, and that if she went and there were a problem she could leave. it did not alter xdh's behavior over time, and she ended visits. the legal system supported her choice. it was not fun, it was not easy, but it was very empowering for her. 7 is different than 11....

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Honestly, I would seriously consider taking xh to court to have visitation changed. In the long run your ds will come to really dislike (possibly hate) his father for allowing this. It might have to be you that protects that relationship by whatever means necessary.

 

I can't believe anyone would marry someone who hates one of one's children. How odd.

 

This.

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Honestly, I would seriously consider taking xh to court to have visitation changed. In the long run your ds will come to really dislike (possibly hate) his father for allowing this. It might have to be you that protects that relationship by whatever means necessary.

 

I can't believe anyone would marry someone who hates one of one's children. How odd.

 

I agree - and I'd just be concerned about him being with someone who your ex says hates him. That's very troubling.

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I went through the exact same thing with my girls' stepmother. I refused to send my girls there for their visits and promptly took my ex to court. The Judge ordered stepmom to immediately and forever cease & desist from ANY physical discipline of my children.

 

I'm sorry, but I don't play that "within the legal bounds of discipline" mess. I don't care WHO you are, if you touch my child, you've got a fight on your hands. Period.

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I'm going to take ds7 to counseling first and go from there. Jumping into court wouldn't benefit ds7. I need to get to the bottom of what is actually happening. Ex is not the most reliable communicator. Then if we need to go to court I'll have the counseling sessions as evidence instead of word vs. Word.

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I'm going to take ds7 to counseling first and go from there. Jumping into court wouldn't benefit ds7. I need to get to the bottom of what is actually happening. Ex is not the most reliable communicator. Then if we need to go to court I'll have the counseling sessions as evidence instead of word vs. Word.

 

Treading lightly as I can here... Think carefully about how you are presenting counseling to your DS7. I can see him feeling like the "problem" when it is not his fault to be put into a situation where someone who hates him is his caretaker on a regular basis. The feeling of being a blamed victim is a hard one to recover from.

 

:grouphug: I know this is hard. Try as hard as you can to put yourself in the shoes of your 7 year old. Try to see it from his perspective. I imagine that could be the reason you're initiating counseling but he may not understand that.

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I'm not a step-parent, but really? She can't find another way to redirect him or deal with him other than yelling and spanking him? She only has him for 36 hours (and I'm assuming he's sleeping for part of that time.)

 

Blessings,

Angela

 

I was sort of thinking that too...but perhaps she has no experience with children and is a little immature, views the child as an intruder to her relationship with his father.

I have never experienced step relationships but I don't think I could tolerate another person spanking and the father looking on.

I would see a lawyer or mediator (don't know to whom you would turn) and get this straightened out. Have you asked xh if he is willing to just meet his son on neutral ground for a day and restructure visits to days only instead of overnight? Do you have other children and if so, and are they being treated the same way by stepmother?

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Honestly, without observing the interactions, the stepmom could be dealing with your ds as best as she can since it sounds as if his father doesn't take responsibility. It sounds like your ds is her responsibility for the weekend and your ex is pushing everything on her. Could you have a meeting with both of them at the same time and discuss it, maybe in front of a counselor or lawyer?

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Honestly, I would seriously consider taking xh to court to have visitation changed. In the long run your ds will come to really dislike (possibly hate) his father for allowing this. It might have to be you that protects that relationship by whatever means necessary.

 

I can't believe anyone would marry someone who hates one of one's children. How odd.

 

 

:iagree:

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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE call stepmom first and talk to her! I am the stepmom to a 9 and 11 year old. Do not use your ex as the middle man...they are ex's for a reason and often the communication becomes such a game of telephone. Acknowledge your DS's stepmom as an adult in his life and that together all of the parents in his life need to be on the same page. You are concerned about what your DS has told you about her and her actions and would like to meet with her for coffee and discuss DS. Allow her the opportunity to express what she is seeing, observing or dealing with in regards to your DS. This is a very tough step to take but your family will be better for it.

 

I am also stepmom the scapegoat and am blatantly lied about and misrepresented on a weekly basis by step-kids to their mom. (50/50 joint physical and legal custody) I have out of frustration yelled at my stepchildren am I proud of it...no. Do I love me step kids, yes. Are there days I hate them and wish they weren't in our home, yes. Does that make me the evil witch of west? Yes and No. I hate myself and how trying the situation becomes but thankfully the kids mom after 5 years has realized that the stories she used to believe wholeheartedly (they are her children after all) was in fact only 20% correct. I have started e-mailing kids mom every time that I raise my voice to them or get frustrated and yell. I explain the situation that occurred, my feelings and how I reacted and then proactively dealt with the situation. This also no longer provides the wiggle room for step kids to change or misrepresent what occurred.

 

There is much more going on here than meets the eye. I just last night had a breakthrough with my step daughter, she was lying about me, blaming me for breaking her things while she wasn't at our home, purposely ignoring any instruction or direction that I gave her. Purposely leaving me out but would invite dad and step-dad together to events with her.

 

When I finally got through to her with lots and lots of calm discussion she admitted that if she included me, loved me or showed she cared about me that she would be hurting her mom. Her answer to ensure that she did not hurt her mom was to always make me the bad guy. By treating me badly she guaranteed that she was not betraying her mother or hurting her mother's feelings.

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Honestly, I would seriously consider taking xh to court to have visitation changed. In the long run your ds will come to really dislike (possibly hate) his father for allowing this. It might have to be you that protects that relationship by whatever means necessary.

 

I can't believe anyone would marry someone who hates one of one's children. How odd.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

And it isn't that it is or is not "your place" to tell the stepmother how to discipline your son. It's that (1) she won't pay attention, and (2) it is his father's job to see that his own son is well taken care of, for crying out loud.:glare:

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We had a friend that recently went through this. Stepmom and step-grandmother didn't like him. They treated him pretty badly. Mom took ex to mediation, and visitation was changed to contact with father only. No more contact with stepmom or gramdmother, or visitation would be terminated.

 

I agree to reaching out to them as a couple, and you have to advocate for your son. He's only 7.

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Well, I didn't like saying it but I stand by it. And I didn't mean that he would resent her for continuing to send him. I meant that he would resent her for continuing to send him in the absence of speaking up to the stepmom on his behalf. He came to her for help, told her his feelings. If she doesn't speak up, she'll be letting him down. That is truly how I see it and I can't imagine a 7 year old feeling differently. It's our job to speak up for our kids to protect them. Sometimes we can't change much but our kids still need to see us speaking up.

 

Just my own anecdotal experience here, but I was not protected from a bully of a step brother and it was a parent that was not doing the protecting even though they knew it was going on. It has serious consequences. As his parent, I feel you must be his advocate if his own father is unwilling to do so. It will not only damage his relationship with his father, but it will absolutely undermine his faith in your ability to protect him.

 

I can't tell you what to do or whether the legal route is the best way to go, but do something.

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Just my own anecdotal experience here, but I was not protected from a bully of a step brother and it was a parent that was not doing the protecting even though they knew it was going on. It has serious consequences. As his parent, I feel you must be his advocate if his own father is unwilling to do so. It will not only damage his relationship with his father, but it will absolutely undermine his faith in your ability to protect him.

 

I can't tell you what to do or whether the legal route is the best way to go, but do something.

 

:iagree:

 

There is zero chance I would put up with a stepparent laying a hand on my child.

 

You don't need an attorney to go to family court.

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I'm going to take ds7 to counseling first and go from there. Jumping into court wouldn't benefit ds7. I need to get to the bottom of what is actually happening. Ex is not the most reliable communicator. Then if we need to go to court I'll have the counseling sessions as evidence instead of word vs. Word.

 

Thank you for not taking offense to my post! Upon re-reading my response, I think I came across as a bit harsh and judgmental, which was not my intent at all, I promise!

 

Of course you know your situation better than anyone, and my particular situation was much more involved than I indicated. It wasn't just a one-time return-from-daddy's with an evil stepmother story that I immediately flew off the handle about and raced to court, kwim? I could write a book based solely on the immature, idiotic exploits of my ex and his wife, but I will spare you ;)

 

I sincerely wish a peaceful and speedy resolution for you and your ds.

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Is it my place to tell stepmom to stop yelling/spanking my son in their home? My ds7 has already told stepmom that his mom doesn't spank and that she shouldn't- ds7 stood up to her and I think it made it worse.

 

What do I do? If anything?

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

I was in a similar situation when my dd was that age. I talked to her dad, and the spankings stopped.

 

No, it's not your place. His dad should be saying stop. I'd talk to your ex again. He needs to be the one to say that not only are the spankings not an effective way to parent this child, they are interfering with the relationship between stepmom and child and (therefore) between him and the child.

 

What you can do, if your relationship is in a place that's safe for you to do so and it won't make things worse for ds, is let stepmom know again how you deal with behavior problems and *why* those steps are better choices for ds. Not why she shouldn't spank him. That's likely to get a "you can't tell me what to do in my house." Approach it from a standpoint of working together to create consistency, and focus why particular discipline choices work best with him.

 

With ds7, I'd problem-solve, with his dad if possible, about polite and appropriate ways to communicate. I'm not saying he was impolite, and it is great that he stood up for himself. But it is, as you may know, difficult to hear, "My mom does/doesn't, so you should/shouldn't," and may be especially so if his stepmom doesn't like him or is insecure in the relationship. I don't know what might be the best responses for him because I don't know his stepmom at all. I'm thinking something like, "Please don't yell at me. It scares me." Or "Can we talk to Dad about this?"

 

:grouphug: I still remember feeling sick to my stomach over sending my dd to that woman. I will pray for your ds and that you can find a workable solution that really protects him.

 

Cat

 

ETA: To clarify, when I say it's not your place, I mean if you go in guns a-blazin' and say STOP you're like to meet opposition. If she locks into place ("I can spank him if I want. It's my right to do so,") you are far less likely to see a change in behavior. Your ex needs to be saying STOP because that is his place as her husband. But you definitely aren't helpless, and as Mom, you should absolutely be stepping in to protect your child. Approaching his dad by showing him how it's affecting the relationships at Dad's house and encouraging his father to step up and trying to approach stepmom from a standpoint of working together is more likely to produce a positive response.

Edited by myfunnybunch
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Step up to the plate and protect your son.

 

I don't understand why you are so reluctant to make waves when this woman is hurting your child. :confused:

 

Tell your ex that you want to meet with him and his wife to discuss the spanking issue, and let the two if them know, in no uncertain terms, that the wife's method of discipline is not acceptable. Period. If she says she can't handle your son's behavior in any other way and that your ex won't take responsibility for dealing with him, let her know that she should not have to discipline your ds and that you understand her frustration, so perhaps the terms of visitation need to be changed until your ex is willing to do his job as a father.

 

I truly don't understand why you didn't speak with your ex the very first time your ds told you he was spanked, and if he wasn't helpful, why you didn't confront the stepmom immediately. I'm not saying you had to go in with guns blazing, but I think a serious discussion was definitely in order.

 

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but your ds is just a little boy, and you need to defend him and stand up for him. Now. Even if it's uncomfortable for you. Because your his mom and it's your job to protect him.

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Step up to the plate and protect your son.

 

I don't understand why you are so reluctant to make waves when this woman is hurting your child. :confused:

 

Tell your ex that you want to meet with him and his wife to discuss the spanking issue, and let the two if them know, in no uncertain terms, that the wife's method of discipline is not acceptable. Period. If she says she can't handle your son's behavior in any other way and that your ex won't take responsibility for dealing with him, let her know that she should not have to discipline your ds and that you understand her frustration, so perhaps the terms of visitation need to be changed until your ex is willing to do his job as a father.

 

I truly don't understand why you didn't speak with your ex the very first time your ds told you he was spanked, and if he wasn't helpful, why you didn't confront the stepmom immediately. I'm not saying you had to go in with guns blazing, but I think a serious discussion was definitely in order.

 

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but your ds is just a little boy, and you need to defend him and stand up for him. Now. Even if it's uncomfortable for you. Because your his mom and it's your job to protect him.

:iagree:

 

 

There ir really nothing that can be done legally? Is is acceptable for a step-parent to spank?

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Step up to the plate and protect your son.

 

I don't understand why you are so reluctant to make waves when this woman is hurting your child. :confused:

 

Tell your ex that you want to meet with him and his wife to discuss the spanking issue, and let the two if them know, in no uncertain terms, that the wife's method of discipline is not acceptable. Period. If she says she can't handle your son's behavior in any other way and that your ex won't take responsibility for dealing with him, let her know that she should not have to discipline your ds and that you understand her frustration, so perhaps the terms of visitation need to be changed until your ex is willing to do his job as a father.

 

I truly don't understand why you didn't speak with your ex the very first time your ds told you he was spanked, and if he wasn't helpful, why you didn't confront the stepmom immediately. I'm not saying you had to go in with guns blazing, but I think a serious discussion was definitely in order.

 

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but your ds is just a little boy, and you need to defend him and stand up for him. Now. Even if it's uncomfortable for you. Because your his mom and it's your job to protect him.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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Jessica--it's good to see you here, but I am sorry for you and your son.:grouphug::grouphug: I don't have much helpful to add, but I personally would not be okay with continuing to send him. How does your ex feel about ds? Does he want regular visitation? It seems stepmom does not. It seems your ds does not. So that leaves your ex. I'm just wondering. Is it possible this can be solved more simply? If exdh is open to less or no visitation could you at least temporarily avoid court?

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Step up to the plate and protect your son.

 

I don't understand why you are so reluctant to make waves when this woman is hurting your child. :confused:

 

Tell your ex that you want to meet with him and his wife to discuss the spanking issue, and let the two if them know, in no uncertain terms, that the wife's method of discipline is not acceptable. Period. If she says she can't handle your son's behavior in any other way and that your ex won't take responsibility for dealing with him, let her know that she should not have to discipline your ds and that you understand her frustration, so perhaps the terms of visitation need to be changed until your ex is willing to do his job as a father.

 

I truly don't understand why you didn't speak with your ex the very first time your ds told you he was spanked, and if he wasn't helpful, why you didn't confront the stepmom immediately. I'm not saying you had to go in with guns blazing, but I think a serious discussion was definitely in order.

 

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but your ds is just a little boy, and you need to defend him and stand up for him. Now. Even if it's uncomfortable for you. Because your his mom and it's your job to protect him.

:iagree:

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I personally would not put the primary focus on the spanking (although I don't think she should be spanking him). For me, the issue is that once a week a seven year old boy is forced to visit the home of someone who hates him. If his dad sees it, he sees it...sees it, feels it, takes it to heart (or rejects it if he is very lucky and/or unusually strong-willed and confident but, regardless, it is a nauseating, all-encompassing stressor to be put repeatedly in this position). Every single week, going to the home of someone who hates you and is in charge of disciplining you? This will not have a good outcome. And it goes way beyond "mere" spanking.

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I personally would not put the primary focus on the spanking (although I don't think she should be spanking him). For me, the issue is that once a week a seven year old boy is forced to visit the home of someone who hates him. If his dad sees it, he sees it...sees it, feels it, takes it to heart (or rejects it if he is very lucky and/or unusually strong-willed and confident but, regardless, it is a nauseating, all-encompassing stressor to be put repeatedly in this position). Every single week, going to the home of someone who hates you and is in charge of disciplining you? This will not have a good outcome. And it goes way beyond "mere" spanking.

 

:iagree:

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All else aside, I would not trust someone who hates my kids to punish them at all.

 

I didn't even realize it because it wasn't something on our radar -- we don't spank -- but our family court judge automatically enters a "no corporal punishment" clause in every custody order. You might look yours over to see if it's there.

 

If you do take this to your ex (and I think I would), you might want to start with a lot of sympathy and qualifying, saying, "this is awkward because I don't want to overstep bounds," and, "I realize your wife needs to be able to maintain some control in her own home, but..."

 

Good luck. So sorry you have to deal with this.

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