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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience:  I have my bachelors degree in psychology. I worked with children. Since then I have raised and still raising 3 wonderful boys.
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I have a step daughter that is 7 years old. We have 50/50 custody

Customer Question

I have a step daughter that is 7 years old. We have 50/50 custody on a standard 5 on 2 off, 2 on 5 off schedule. Whenever we bring her home after our time her mom grills her about what she did at our house. Last weekend for example, I dropped her off at 1:00 and by 2:20 her mom and called and knew every movie she watched, what we did, what she ate, if she showered. It was crazy. She is having a very hard time having another woman in her daughters life and is constantly questioning everything we do. It has started to create major anxiety in my step daughter. Is there anything you can recommend to help stop this beahvior? I cannot imagine it is healthy for her daughter.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 2 years ago.
You are correct that it does have an affect on your step daughter and is not positive. It is understandable that her mom is worried and curious. However, seems like may be a bit too much. There is nothing wrong with asking question, but sounds more like she is drilling her and not just asking in a normal natural conversation. Unfortunately there is not much that you can do. If you say something it will just cause tension and possible issues. She is her mother and has the right to do that even though it may not be the best way to handle the situation. She would need to handle any consequences that may result in the future between her and her daughter due to this. Really since you are concerned the most you could do without making things worse is talk with your husband about your concerns and if possible maybe he can have a talk with her mom about the concerns. But it is best if he does not mention you as it would just cause more tension. It would be best if he let's her know that he is concerned about the behavior. He can let her know that he does not want to tell her what to do and it is certainty okay to ask her daughter questions, but is concerned of the way she is going about it. Have him let her know he only wants the best for their daughter. This approach would avoid her from becoming defensive. Unfortunately this is probably the most you both can do. The rest would be up to the mom to change. I hope this was helpful and hope it all works out.
Jen Helant, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience: I have my bachelors degree in psychology. I worked with children. Since then I have raised and still raising 3 wonderful boys.
Jen Helant and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I can definitely understand your concerns, and I agree with the previous professional that there is not much that you can do to change her mother's behavior other than what was suggested. I do however think that there is something that can be done to help your step daughter with her anxiety. There are youth counselors, therapists, and groups who deal directly with these kinds of issues in children who's parents have separated. Perhaps you could suggest to your husband to seek out a such therapist or group therapy with other children in similar scenarios, that can help your daughter cope with the difficulties of living separately with both parents. Good Therapy.org (http://www.goodtherapy.org/) is a website that can be used to search by zip code (they are international as well) and do an advanced search for the specific therapist of your needs. This can be suggested to your husband for the benefit of your step daughter, and maybe he can be successful presenting it to her mother, simply in regards XXXXX XXXXX general concern for her learning to deal with her parents not being together, as opposed to it looking as though she (her mother) is being accused for the anxiety of your step daughter. If you have any questions or comments about my answer, please message for "earthsister," I will be more than happy to help. I wish you the best!

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