My Daughter Is Calling Her Stepmom "Mom" Instead of Me

Family & kids
2 months ago

A mother’s worst nightmare is feeling her child grow distant. That’s the reality facing Joy, whose teenage daughter is increasingly seeking less time with her. Joy took it upon herself to investigate, only to discover that her ex-husband and his wife are influencing this situation. Seeking guidance, she’s turned to us to share her story and ask for advice.

This is the letter that Joy sent us:

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Joy! We’ve prepared some tips that we hope can be useful.

Communicate directly with your daughter.

Sit down with your daughter in a calm and non-confrontational manner. Express your concerns about her recent behavior changes and the impact it’s having on your relationship. Let her know that you love her unconditionally and that you’re always there to listen without judgment.

Encourage her to open up about her feelings and experiences at her dad’s house, emphasizing that you’re not trying to pry, but rather to understand her better.

Seek family counseling.

Consider engaging in family counseling sessions with your daughter and possibly even her dad and stepmom if they’re willing. A neutral third-party therapist can facilitate constructive conversations, help all parties express their emotions, and work towards solutions collaboratively.

Through counseling, you can address underlying issues, such as feelings of neglect or the use of material possessions as a means of affection, and find healthier ways to navigate co-parenting dynamics.

Foster quality time and meaningful experiences.

Instead of dwelling solely on the materialistic aspects of your daughter’s relationship with her father and stepmother, prioritize cultivating emotional strength in both yourself and your daughter.
Equip your daughter with emotional tools and coping strategies to navigate complex relationships and maintain her sense of self-worth and identity amidst external influences.

Plan activities together that allow for genuine connection and conversation, such as cooking together, going for walks, or pursuing mutual hobbies.

Seek legal consultation.

Consider seeking legal advice to understand your rights and explore potential legal avenues to address the situation. A family law attorney can provide guidance on custody arrangements, visitation rights, and any legal recourse you may have regarding your daughter’s well-being and upbringing.

They can also help draft formal agreements or modify existing custody arrangements to better reflect your concerns and ensure your daughter’s best interests are protected.

It’s not uncommon for tension to arise between mothers and stepmothers. Sonia was enraged when her 7-year-old daughter was evicted from her beloved room at her dad’s house, all because of her stepmom. Dive into her full story here, and share your thoughts on what you think.

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