Faith Focused Dating. Create your Free Profile and meet your Match! Sign Up for Free
A place to learn, mingle, and share

This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.

Saint Rita is known to be a patroness for abused wives and mourning women.
Learn More: Saint Rita

Jun 23 new
(quote) Lauren-927923 said: Dear Connie,

It is good that you are able to help out. I am sure your brother is overwhelmed as well. First of all the little ones need stability and boundaries, and most importantly love.

I would also suggest that they need to be in counseling right now, not if their dad divorces their mom. They are not stupid, they know things aren't normal and aren't right, but they don't have the skills they need to cope with them.

I would not try to take away Allie's blanket at all, nor would I make comments about her giving it up. It is literally her security and brings her comfort. And, she needs that right now.

I would suggest that you figure out how to get a table and chairs. I say this, because my kiddos who are all grown now, still talk about dinner at the table. For awhile we didn't have one, because our table wouldn't fit in the dining area. My kids really missed that. When we do family dinners now, they want to eat at the table. And, I can say, growing up we always ate together at the table and it was a time of bonding and sharing and we often spent hours at the table afterwards or on the front porch if the weather was nice. Kids need this and they need to see normal.

Allie may see you as usupring her mother's place, and no matter how dysfunctional a mother is, they are the mother. She may also be expecting you to "abandon" her as well, so they push it along, trying to make it happen by being unruly and rude, etc. Easier to push you away then for you to walk away. She's angry and confused and needs you to be there, unconditionally. Correct her yes, but don't let her see you disapprove. Does that make sense? Gotta love her no matter how badly she acts out. Find some way to bond with her, keep trying something will work.

I never worried about kids being in the fridge either and had a basket of snacks on the table that anyone could access at any time. I never did make separate dinners, if the kids didn't eat, they didn't eat. I suspect it is mostly a control battle at this point, not having anything to do with whether they like the food or not. Perhaps you could ask each one to pick out a meal, and no matter how odd it my sound go with it, sometimes the best meals are a hodgepodge. Can also try the brownie bite rule, you don't have to eat it all if you don't like it, but you do have to take a brownie bite -- because taste buds change :-) so something you don't like might become something you do like later.

Her roles are out of whack and she can't allow herself to be a child, until she knows the adults in her life can be adults.

I will keep you all in prayer. You can do this. And, those babies need you. Hugs, Lauren
Chuck and I have talked about getting the kids therapy. Boys Town is helping his family and they are offering therapy for all the kids. I haven't heard whether the kids have had a session yet because I forgot to ask him.
You are right about Allie's blanket and bear. They are her security and she definately needs that right now.
I really feel that I was put into this situation to help me be a better person. This is all new to me too actually. When I divorced my husband, my daughter was 2 and a half. We didn't have any contact with him for three years due to his drug addictions. Then, I had to go along on his outings with Melinda until she was about 12. It was rough on me then as well but I only had one child to help get thru it, not three.
Allie loves making bracelets and necklaces so maybe I can use that as a way to reach out to her to bond with her. just thinking a bit here.
Jun 24 new
(quote) Wendy-387654 said:

Maybe I didn't read carefully enough, but what is your brother's role in all of this? I'm guessing he's working full-time? But what about when he's not working? How long has this all been going on? I mean, they don't even have a kitchen table....when did that happen? Why hadn't your brother gotten something to replace it?

Speaking as a single mom of 3 teens (ages 14, 16, and 18), but who started being a single mom when they were 2, 4, and 6 combined with me being an elementary teacher (mostly grades 4, 5, and 6) you won't gain control if you can't work out some serious rules with consequences (positive ones, when they adhere to the rules, and negative ones when they don't) if your brother isn't a part of the process, and follows through. Can you share more?
you know what, his wife has this problem of not having any clutter around, including furniture. He told me she put it out for the garbage one day so he told her he wasn't buying another one. He did overlook the fact that the kids were missing out on not having the sit down dinners with their family. My brother has been through many negativities and it's been a roller coaster ride living in that house for the past ten years. At least now that she's in Rehab he realizes how much he doesn't want her to come home. He told me recently that he can't believe it's been ten years that he has had to live in this horrible situation. I'm proud of my brother for taking the courage to make a change for the better for him and for his kids.
Jun 24 new
(quote) Marge-938695 said: 1. Where is dad?
While he must rely on you, he also must be the leader of his family to the greatest degree he can, even if it's not much. He needs to shore up his role as leader -- and he needs to make it clear that YOU are the leader when he's not around.

2. The little girl sleeps with a blanket? GOOD.
She's a child. Let her be a child. Kids in a situation like this need as much normalcy and continuity as possible.

3. Don't sweat the small stuff.
Whether you eat at table or on the floor is not important. Kindness to brothers and sisters (and aunt) IS.
I personally never had a problem with kids going to the fridge whenever. I always figured, at least they are eating.

4. You say, if he divorces mom the kids will need a therapist.
IMHO, they need a therapist NOW.






thank you for your reply. I am getting a different perspective on things from reading your posts. Shoot, I told Aunt Jane today that when this is all over, we are going to a therapist. She agreed. It is so hard taking care of the three kids for both of us. Jane ignores most of what they do because she sends them outside to swim while she stays indoors according to the kids. I cannot do that because I have to keep an eye on them, especially while they are in my pool. I have always been over protective therefore I get the brunt of all the stress.


I do let the kids get the fruit from the drawer in the frig but when they get the gallon of milk out that's when I have to intervene. Maybe I should let them help themselves to the milk and juice but it seems like more work for me when they spill it.
Jun 25 new
Depending on which child is getting the milk and juice out -- I'd let it stand. This is a small thing that you can allow them to have control over, a choice you can allow them to make without dire consequences -- a spill isn't a dire consequence! Especially if they must clean it up themselves. And they should, by the way. It teaches great life skills. You might have to stand over them and remind them to wipe, not spread the mess around... but everyone needs to know how to clean up a spill and you might as well learn it at a young age!
Jun 26 new
(quote) Connie-17641 said: ... He has told the kids in front of me that they will behave for me or they will be spanked by him.
You'd have more clout (literally) if he told them that you had his permission to spank. Otherwise, you are merely a tattletale with no real authority.
First thing my mom told my kids when she babysat them was, "Grandmothers can spank". She never needed to.
Jun 27 new
(quote) Marge-938695 said: You'd have more clout (literally) if he told them that you had his permission to spank. Otherwise, you are merely a tattletale with no real authority.
First thing my mom told my kids when she babysat them was, "Grandmothers can spank". She never needed to.
Hi Marge,
He did do that. One incident I had with Allie several months ago, was after she did something very wrong I went for her to spank her but she got close to Connor on the couch then was laughing which angered me even more. In the end, she felt badly when I lost control and yelled at her. Honesty, I thought I was going to have a stoke. I know it's not worth it because she is going to outlive me for sure. She is going for therapy on July 3rd. I told chuck what she's been saying and doing so he can bring thoes things up to the therapist. I'm sure she'll be on her best behavior tomorrow night since I told her dad how she's been acting. I'll be surprised if she doesn't behave.
Jun 27 new
(quote) Katie-822269 said: Depending on which child is getting the milk and juice out -- I'd let it stand. This is a small thing that you can allow them to have control over, a choice you can allow them to make without dire consequences -- a spill isn't a dire consequence! Especially if they must clean it up themselves. And they should, by the way. It teaches great life skills. You might have to stand over them and remind them to wipe, not spread the mess around... but everyone needs to know how to clean up a spill and you might as well learn it at a young age!
yes, I know you are right. In the school I work in when the kids spill their milk or drop their trays during lunch they are to clean it up. The adults supervise.

I'm glad we're having this discussion so I can wake myself up to see what I'm doing wrong with them.
I have them trained now to bring their dishes to the sink when they finish eating. Thank goodness for that. Matt, the little one runs over to the sink to help me do the dishes but the older two sit back and watch TV. I was so tired that night so I took the sponge and dishcloth to the table and told them to wipe it off. They ignored me so when I saw that I reminded them they were told to clean. Allie came back with "you never told us to do that". Of course, she wanted an arguement. Little Matthew started cleaning it. I told him to stop. Then Connor took over but again, I had to tell him that Allite was to help him. She put up a fight but eventually did it. I am going to tell them what their duties are before and after dinner from now on.
Jun 27 new
My brother called me last night to tell me that his wife wouldn't be coming home for another year. I asked him if he was going to get help to take care of the kids from the agency but he said no. A few hours later, I got really depressed. this meant that I was going to go back to work, pick the kids up from daycare every night, cook dinner,get them ready for bed then keep them until 11 P.M. then try to go to work by 6:30 A.M the next morning. I know I am not able to do this for an entire year.
My mother told me he called her to talk about this situation later that night. She told him how I wouldn't be able to do it. The latest is that he is going to see if she can come home now and he will supervise her. For the first time today I felt totally relaxed with this entire situation. I certainly hope his wife gets to come home to take care of her kids.
Jun 27 new
(quote) Laura-857740 said: Hi Connie. I have seen many of your posts in the past and enjoy your comments. Bless you for helping. Now I have read some books on a topic similar. The truth s the children are to have discipline from their parents, not step parents, nor others. To not get confused, they must understand that dad is the disciplinarian, not you. Not sure hoe much time is able to allocate here, but if my babysitter cannot get a hold of me, she calls their dad and he talks to the children on the phone. Then you follow his recommendations if they don't behave, and the kids know the recommendations or consequences came from their father. It makes them less confused ov roles since their world is not the same anymore.
Thanks for your nice reply. I love writing in the forums.
Jun 30 new
Today and tomorrow are my days off so I took my lovely mother out for ribs and steak tonight. It was a lovely evening, just the 2 of us.
When we got home we watched a movie what was to be funny but turned out to be rather stupid. Never buy Seriel Mom. dum, dum, dum.

Tomorrow I'm taking her to the Casino, mainly to see if I won the car but she likes the penny slots so we'll stay for an hour. Then, we have to plan out what dinners we'll be serving the kids for the rest of the week.

As soon as my brother gets the OK to start working part time which will give him more time to spend with his kids I'm going to take mom and my daughter to Kentucky. I've got my cat sitter already alerted to his upcoming job. we haven't been up there in several years so we are going to love it.

The 4th of July will be fun spent with the kids this year. Mom loves firework displays too. I think I shall plan a picnic for us!
what surprises have you found out that really made your day?
Posts 11 - 20 of 23