My Step Son’s Mother Has Been Coaching Him to Dislike Me!

This question was submitted to our community via our Facebook page and/or our Answers forum. Responses are also taken from the community. If you have your own parenting or relationship question you would like answers to, submit on Facebook or Answers.


"Mostly because I parent differently from her. This weekend a situation occurred and my spouse and ex had a meeting where they spoke of me and made assumptions that were very untrue. This has all happened one week before our wedding plans. I know what’s in my heart and how I’ve treated this child as one of my own since I’ve been in his life for last 4 years…. But now I am broken by some of the things I’ve heard. My spouse kind of supported me but did not handle this situation at all in my best interest. I also suffer from depression, anxiety, ptsd…. And I’m really having trouble. I’d summed up a lot of details but this is the most important ones I guess. This also isn’t the first time she’s done this with me. But this is the worst time I’m supposed to meet w her and speak about all of this in a few days and I’m having trouble not being completely hurt and irate. Any suggestions-on how I can handle this situation, esp while dealing w my mental health disorders I feel really triggered"

RELATED: Kailyn Lowry Admits That She and Her Son Lux’s Father Are Not Co-Parenting, But She’s Hopeful For the Future


The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"Sadly the ex is not going to stop slandering your name and poorly influencing your step son of you. She’s bitter and trying to ruin your wedding day.
There not much info to go off of here but seeing how your getting married in a week, might be that ur fiancé wanted to calms things down before the wedding. I really don’t think u should speak to her about it prior to your wedding. If it’s not an urgent issue then it can wait."

"If he doesn’t stick up for you even though you say you’ve treated his son like your own, get out of there. He clearly doesn’t respect you either, he can’t expect for you to be a another parent to the child and then meet up with the mother without you being there(to talk bad about you) That’s what I would do, but then again im petty, I wouldn’t tolerate that shit."

"I can’t really give you any suggestions because you’re dancing around the truth.

  1. You didn’t say how you found out your stepson was being coached by his mother.
  2. You didn’t say how you parent differently. Maybe you believe in corporal punishment and she doesn’t. I don’t really know because you didn’t mention anything.
  3. You didn’t say what type of situation occurred that required a meeting.
  4. You summed up everything but said a whole lot of nothing really.
  5. Maybe you should talk to a therapist. Make sure you tell them EVERYTHING that you did NOT tell us. This problem will never be resolved until EVERYONE is honest about their wrongs in this situation."

"Keep the conversation about the child, not about you and your mental problems. You seem to want to be a victim here, and if you go that route, it won’t end well. Your concern isn’t her or what she does or doesn’t do, until and unless it affects the child directly. The rest, is adult problems that can’t and shouldn’t be dealt with or talked about around said child… You haven’t given anyone any details about what happened to give much of any advice."

"you stated you have a mental disorder and feel “triggered “” irate” could you’re health issue be negatively impacting the child? Perhaps you should all go to family therapy, childs mother included"

"All you can do is sit your child down and talk to them. Also let them know it’s not right for an adult to put them in the middle like that. But most of all let them know you love them. It’s hard I go though it to but my daughter knows better however not my boys. All u can do is pray they see the truth."

"I would be honest with her on how you feel hurt, discus that you treat her child like your own, and love them as your own, and only want what’s best for them, acknowledge that your not the mother but a bonus mom who just wants them to grow up to be the best person they can be. Let her know you do not appreciate some of the things that have been said and don’t get mad, just keep your cook even if you dont agree."

"That’s a whole lot of words that give almost no information at all. You have mental health issues and should be speaking to a therapist about that and not trying to use that as a pity party. This is about the kid and not about having YOUR best interests in mind but the KIDS best interest. If your husband didn’t back you up as much as you think he should have, it’s probably because he agrees with the mom and not you. Your doing something wrong in both there eyes if there had to be a meeting and now a 2nd one with you."

"You really need to stop making this about you. That’s litterly all I’m hearing. Poor me, poor me… And parents and co parents SHOULD BE CO-PARENTING THE SAME WAY for the child. Go seek therapy for your mental health issues, instead of using them to make the suitation about you. It’s petty and ridiculous"

"Write down what you want to say beforehand and keep the tone neutral as possible. Take notes so you can work on/rebut/think about what she said at another time. As hard as it is, try not to react to what she says or be defensive or snarky. Exercise, talk to a therapist, meditate—do whatever you need to do to lessen your anger and defensiveness before the meeting. Rehearse with your fiancé and decide beforehand what you both will and won’t budge on. Ask the bio mom—kindly and gently—why she is so angry at you and what you can both do about it. That will put her on the spot and put the focus back on her behavior. Are you misinterpreting her behavior? Does she have a valid reason to be worried about her child with you, like suicidal ideation, no supervision while you’re depressed, letting the child run wild with no discipline or too-stringent or unrealistic expectations? Do you leave medicine out within reach? Do you have angry outbursts?

Maybe reassure her that she will always be seen and loved as the child’s mom, that she is doing a good job of parenting under the difficult circumstances of being a single mom. State that you are all a team that should support each other and always focus on the good of the child, not adult emotions. See if over several meetings you can all come up with rules and schedules to follow at each house that you can all agree upon. There will be differences of course, but there should be plenty you can agree on. No corporal punishment, no letting the child run the household. Agree on similar chores at each house: pick up toys, dishes in the sink, homework completed and checked, be ready on time for day care/school, bedtime, etc. You can differ slightly on how often to bathe, what you insist be eaten (3 bites vs. 1, snack & dessert policy, etc.) The more your chore charts look alike the better. Befriend the bio mom. Assure her you’re not her enemy but her ally & your presence can give her time for self care and dating when she’s ready. Remind her that love can expand infinitely and the more people who love someone the better. Reassure her that she will find someone who will love her, stay with her, and treat her like the queen she is. Most anger comes from fear. If you can lessen her fears of abandonment, undesirability, losing her son, feeling second best or worse, you will defuse the anger.

I recommend individual and family therapy for you all. After you all have hammered out the rules, give the child (assuming they’re old enough to have opinions), ask the child what she/he thinks of them, and possibly suggest rewards and punishments (often not needed, positive reinforcement is always better) for various actions/inactions, and any other suggestions. See what you can modify or incorporate into the rules. Kids behave better when they feel they have a say and some control (as do we all). Have frequent all-family meetings, like when you switch houses, to air grievances, and keep things on track. It’s also a great idea for everyone to say something they are thankful for and a word of praise for everyone involved. You end on a positive note and encourage each other, and it’s a great habit to form."

Have a response to this question? Leave it below to help a mama out! Or leave your own question and get responses from real moms!