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Stepchild moving in???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I am in need of advise, my 12 (almost 13) year old SD is wanting to move in with us. The problem is we live 6 hours from her current home and her mother and my husband never had relationship and we have only seen her 3 or 4 times a year. Now the mother says that she doesn't want her to live with us right now because she doesn't know us very well. How else is she going to get to know us if she doesn't just move in, we can't go get her every other weekend because of the distance. What should we do? She loves us and our sons and everyone gets along really well when she comes and stays on summer, fall and spring breaks. Any advise would be appreciated.

post #2 of 7
Sounds like the 'grass is greener' syndrome. Kids in step-families often fantasize that life will be so much better in the other household. The problem is, sometimes the parents start thinking that way, too. I got sucked right into thinking that the kids' bio-mom was a horrible parent (okay, I still do) and I could do so much better for the kids. Often the kids would purposely mis-behave to get their bio-mom to agree to let them move in with us. They figured if they were enough of a bother then she wouldn't want to put up with them anymore. Well, that started an ugly cycle and as the kids got further into their teenaged years we just ended up with trying to clean-up the 'problem child'. It was terrible, really; including drugs, gang activity, promiscuity, running away, etc.

My advice. Don't start the cycle. Dad (not you) should tell the child that she isn't allowed to come to live with you until she can prove that she (1) has a great relationship worked out with her mom, (2) she is getting really good grades at school and (3) she isn't having any behavior problems. If she is willing to work to EARN the privilege to come live with you, then you can consider it. Of course, in this day and age, that might mean going back to court to work out a new child support and visitation arrangement plus getting physical custody transferred to your husband. If she is willing to move in with you, then everyone involved has to make a commitment to it being for a long time because those court costs gets expensive if the kid is moving back and forth on a whim.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you!!
post #4 of 7
Could you split the driving with her mother? You both drive half way? Maybe you could wait until summer then have her come at the beginning of the summer and see how it goes. If she still wants to stay after being there all summer, then I would think it would work out. If she's not going to be happy living with you, then I would think you'd know that by the end of two months.

I personally would not tell her she can't come live with her dad. I think it's a good way to make her feel very unloved. No matter how you present it, she'll take it as rejection. So I would tell her "sure, we'd love to have you, but let's wait until the summer". Plus then you wouldn't have to move her in the middle of a school year. JMO
post #5 of 7
Just a sotry.. I've got a 16yo dss and he has never wanted to move in w/us despite major issues w/his stepfather. We now have 2 dd's ages almost 6 and 2 and I think that's why. He gets along GREAT w/them and they love him to death and we couldn't ask for a better, more cooperative and understanding big half brother, but he is used to being the only child w/all the attention at home and we struggle when he comes over 2x/month to give him the utmost in attention without shutting out our own kids. I agree with the summer trial, that's a great idea. Maybe you could take a trip once a month nearby her house and visit or every 2 mos and stay at a hotel? I do know that my stepson has expressed concern when we talked about moving across the country even stating we'd never see him. (that was kind of a test to see what he'd say-so we will wait to move any distance away until he goes off to college). hth in some way!!
post #6 of 7
Interestingly enough I could be the bio-mom in your story. My 13 yr old daughter has decided (and is actually going to come the end of this month) that she want to go stay with her dad and his family. They live 700 miles away. She has always gone there for all her school breaks including summer. I think if your sd already visits you all these times (as long as its for more than a week) then she knows you enough but like someone else said I would make it under the condition that she can not just decide that she wants to run back to moms as soon as she doesnt like something. That is what we are doing with my dd. Otherwise it will become a battle between the adults. Kids this age sometimes think they know what they want and need to unfortunatly find out for themselves which is exactly why I am letting my daughter go.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

Thanks for all of the great advise. My DSD has decided to stay with her mom & stepdad (he's the one that she has always called Daddy, not my husband) I think that this is the best for everyone. She finally told us that someone at school had been picking on her and now all of that is resolved she's happy! Thanks again!!
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