My 7 year old step-daughter spends every other weekend and rotating holidays with us. My husband didn't know she was his until she was 5. She has now been spending time with us for over a year. We are called Mom and Dad, as is her real Mom and Step-dad. She's had a rough time adjusting to have siblings (my two kids from my previous marriage) as she has been an only child until a year ago.
When she is with my husband and I we deal with a few little issues here and there, mainly little girl drama of sharing etc. She is sometimes emotional when we pick her up and cries for a while about missing Mom etc. After a while it stops and she's fine the rest of the weekend.
We are hearing some very disterbing things from her mom. She is MASSIVELY behind in school and is going to fail first grade and we are being told she is barely at a pre-school learning level. In most cases she is refusing to do the work all together. She is acting out at home now with Mom, and very emotional. She has started to show some aggressive behavior, and talking back. This mainly seems to be when she is at school or with her mom.
My husband and I help her with school work on the weekends we have her, but it's no where near the time she needs. We are not sure what the patterns are when she is with Mom. Her real Mom is a great Mom, so this isn't us questioning that at all. She seems very comfortable to come to me (Step-mom) of all people to talk too and ask questions. She responds well to me, but I'm not sure how to help her or the situation at hand. She is in a very large school, with minimal funding, and extra resources. She is also far enough away from us, that taking her a night or two durning the week is just not going to work. Full-time would be one thing, but the extra trips back and forth I think would be very hard on her.
How as the Step-Mom can I help her, help her real mom, and just the situation in general? Any ideas or suggestions would be a great help.
There is a limited amount you can do, since your time with her is so limited. The most important thing right now is that she be evaluated at school for the purpose of determining special needs. The parent has to request such an evaluation. This will determine if she displays learning disability and, if she does, special services can be instituted.
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