My children manipulate their stepmother….

by Rod Smith

“My son (12) and my daughter (14) don’t like their stepmother but when they play their cards right for her she buys them stuff. I don’t like to see my children manipulating to get things from her. Should I step in and say something? We are not really on good terms with each other.”

Let then be...

Let then be...

I’ll be the first to admit that the challenges I will place before you are most difficult to achieve – but I repeat: parenting is for grown ups; successful co-parenting is for saints. So…

Do all you can to get on good terms with the other woman who is co-parenting your children. I am not suggesting you become bosom pals but “cordial adults” would be a helpful arrangement for all concerned.

Avoid stepping into the mix with your children and their stepmother. All three have a lot to teach each other. Approaches from you will hinder the process. While no parent wants to see his or her children develop manipulative habits, this is a matter for you to directly address with your children. Your children will manipulate if it works, and will not, if it doesn’t. Take care of how they treat you, and allow their stepmother to discover her own unique relationship with her stepchildren.

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