The journey of building a new, blended family may be both gratifying and difficult. Sadly, families do not always get along; adjusting to new family dynamics can be challenging, and difficulties can arise. Read the story to know what happened in this blended family and what would you do in such a situation where the kids were bullied by their step siblings?
I (30f) have custody of my niece who is 9 and my nephew who is 8. My brother is their father. Their mother died when my nephew was born. My brother stayed single for two years and then met a new wife and married her a year later. His wife had children who despised the fact their mom remarried and did not want my brother’s children around. They treated them horribly. They were cruel bullies and my brother’s wife was more focused on pretending she could mother all the children and ignore the fact her kids hated my niece and nephew. When my niece and nephew asked their dad if he would leave his wife so her kids wouldn’t be so mean she changed. She thought they saw her as their mom but I suppose hearing over and over from her kids that they weren’t, alongside knowing they were in their lives because she was, made it hard for a true bond to form, given the extent of the bullying.
I had spoken to my brother on a number of occasions. I even spoke to his wife. I tried everything to get them to open their eyes to the fact my niece and nephew’s lives were being made hell by the older children. In the end I started to call CPS for concerns, and once the kids were both in school and concerns were brought (my nephew begged to stay in school and not go home repeatedly and he was only in kindy) and they reported it, CPS intervened. They went to the therapies suggested but the kids were still bullying my niece and nephew. The case worker requested they separate the kids for a period of time until the older children could treat them better. But my brother refused to move out of the house or have his wife leave. He said his marriage was just as important as the kids and so they looked for a kinship placement which my husband and I agreed to. The only reason things got to this stage is because of the level of behavior and hatred the older children showed my niece and nephew. Kids not getting along in the home is not a reason for CPS to take this action. But the level of this paired with the negative impact on my niece and nephew is why this came to be.
My husband and I still have custody, because nothing has changed with my brother’s family. He no longer sees the kids and the kids have not wanted to see his wife, while she out of guilt I think, wanted to remain part of their lives. My parents understood that no contact would be made outside of any court ordered time. They stopped talking to my brother for a time. But now they are acting all friendly with him and they invited him for Christmas. I only found out because my sister told me. So I called and told them we would not be going. They made a point of saying reunification was important/good and how this would be Christmas going forward. So I told them we would not spend Christmas together again. They’re angry and told me I’m being too aggressive in how I handle things. That I am throwing away my niece and nephew’s family when they need family the most. Am I Wrong?
Here are a few comments on the story where it was originally posted: