How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask proexpert37 Your Own Question
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
proexpert37 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a full-time stepmother and my husband has full-time custody

Customer Question

I am a full-time stepmother and my husband has full-time custody of my 2 stepdaughters. His ex-wife is an anorexic, bulimic and is addicted to prescription drugs. She has been bingeing and purging consistently for 9 years. She is emotionally and verbally abusive to everyone. The oldest stepdaughter, who is 16, has moved out of our home and in with her mother because she bribed her with things and she has no rules there. SD is very rude to us because she thinks living in a home with structure is horrible (obviously stepmom;s fault). Nobody eats meals there, money is no object, it's always a slumber party and friends are constantly over staying up until all hours of the night. Their mother provides absolutely no supervision or parenting as she behaves like a teenager herself. Whenever my youngest stepdaughter goes there (13) she comes home thinking the same thing. We do not want her going anymore and we have the ability to make that happen. Our concern is that she will be angry at us later for not letting her see her mother. Her mother makes no effort to see her. She lives in a different town an hour outside our city and we are always doing the work. She has not even once visited her daughter. I feel like when she goes there we are basically saying that it's ok to live like that. What balance should there be?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the lack of rules and boundaries for your stepdaughters when they visit with their mom. However, when the 13 year old is at your house, enforce the rules and boundaries that you and her dad have established. She must realize that there are consequences for her inappropriate behavior someplace. Otherwise, she will mature into an adult thinking that she rules the world and her actions may cause her to go to jail. Of course the 13 year old may become upset and angry due to the fact that she has to follow your house rules, but you are the parental authority figure and she lives in your house. However if she wants to see her mother, allow her to see her though not so often. I think she should not be deprived of seeing her own mother unless she is only going to visit with her to participate in the constant party scene that seems to be happening at the mother's house. If that is the case, lay low with the visits because the 13 year old is at a very influential age. Her sister is already going down a negative path. If you have the ability to guide the 13 year old onto the right path, then do all that you can to do so. Thank you. Have a great day.
proexpert37 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Well that is exactly what we did with the first one and she ended up leaving, being rude, failing school and doing drugs, screaming and swearing at us if she didn't get her way and hitting our dog when she was unhapy. She viewed our house as the horrible "rule" house and her mothers as the "best place on earth" despite her mother calling her fat and ugly and hitting her. I am not exactly sure how else to proceed. We have seen tons of counselors.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.
Try to keep her away from her mom then as much as you can because the influence is so negatively strong. When she is 18, then she will be an adult and be able to decide for herself what to do. The mom at the other house may be very neglectful which is not what your 13 year old needs. Try to keep your stepdaughter involved with as many activities as her schedule permits and surround her with good and decent people who are doing the right things in life. If you even go to church, continue. Have a great day!!!