Step children moving in with us - FamilyEducation
Step children moving in with us
01/28/2009 at 17:00 PM

Hi all
I have two children aged 11 (girl) & 13 (boy) and from 20 Feb, my partners children - 2 girls aged 10 & 12 will be coming to live with us permanently. My partners daughters are upset about this as they had settled where they are and the move here takes them 80 miles away. However, it is necessary as it is unsafe for them to say with mum and her bf.

I'm worried about how this is going to work for us. My partner works very long hours so most of the time it will be up to me to care for them, make sure they do homework, feed them, look after their practical and emotional needs.

Right now, this feels like a really daunting task.

My son is, I guess, a typical teen - currently growing his hair, grunting a lot and tomenting his younger sister (there is a fair bit of sibling rivalry even just with the two of them). My daughter is fairl easy going but tends to try to wind her brother up too - I guess fairly typical kids.

My eldest step-daughter is currently being treated for depression - under a psychiatrist and has been taking 20mg fluoxetine/day (for last 2.5 years). I sincerely hope that she will be able to come off this when things have settled down. She seems to have coped pretty well with the shock and upset that she is moving here.

My youngest step-daughter is fairly quiet and withdrawn. I worry most about how she will cope with being away from mum as she is very attached to her still.

Anyway - I'm worried about so many things. How am I going to cope? How will my own children cope (they know the situation and why stepkids are moving here and they get on ok though son, being the only boy, is a bit of an outsider).

I don't think humans were designed to have 4 nearly teenagers all at once - they are currently 10, 11, 12 & 13!

Should I become an organised mum and do rota's and schedules and things?!?!

I don't know how my relationship with my bf will survive. Until now, I have been in charge of my kids, and when his kids were here at the weekends, he was in charge of them. That is all about to change!

I'm frankly terrified about this though I did agree to do it. Social services are involved and it really isn't safe for them to stay with mum and her bf as he poses a risk to young girls.

Any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

Be proactive. Find a family therapist or someone who can help your family work out these issues and help you all cope. This will be a difficult and challenging transition for all of you. Blended families do not just magically work out, it takes a lot of real work and commitment from everyone involved. Get help from family members and be realistic that there will be issues, especially when and if Mom pops back into the picture, which will probably happen. With a united front, parents being in control and lots of patience, it can be done. Good luck!!!

Pick your battles. The worst thing you can do is try to make everybody fit together and make everybody get along and make everybody love each other. Pick your battles

Thank you both for your replies. 2xstepmom... Their mum is in the picture though she's willingly agreeing for them to come and live with us - there is a concern that the girls will get settled and then her and her bf will split up and she'll want them back - maybe - and upset the girls again. We're going to try to ensure that that doesn't happen. I'm going to contact social services in our area tomorrow and let them know the situation as social services where the girls live are not going to do it until after the next child protection conference which is mid-March ( have truly been rubbish to the point of negligence imho). I'm hoping that in this area they may be a little more involved at least giving some support initially. We visited the school last week - my bf, girls mum, both girls and me and it went pretty well, though awkward. Both girls liked the school and seemed fairly ok with things. I'd spoken to the head beforehand so he was aware of the situation and was able to give the girls the names of the staff-members they could talk to if they needed to talk about any worries in confidence. As for getting help from family members, my family live in South Africa and my bf's family live 300 miles away. We're pretty much on our own! I know it will take time and sometimes I think it will all be ok and others I think oh my god I just can't do this.

acitez - I'm becoming fairly good at biting my tongue. my kids and my stepkids are so different in many ways but similar enough for there to be a certain amount of rivalry in others. It's just going to take time to sort it out and will be a delicate balancing act.

I found myself in the same situation as you at the begginning of july the only thing i can say is, it is hard ajusting your whole life to what has been the norm.......I really love my partner, he keeps me sane...and sometimes I do think why me? The children know that i will support them in every aspect. From when they arrived till now though they have come on strong and are getting to know my ways, the way i like things done as much as i am not there mum i am there friend............