How are you supposed to counter this?

I just saw this tweet from a fellow step mother:

Bm [birth mother] tells kids they stink when they get dropped off; makes them shower first thing, even if they’ve just showered at our house.

What kind of a message does that give to the kids? How do you minimize the negative effect of that on the child? My heart just breaks….

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  1. You don’t counter that, not really. You can try to make the children feel loved and accepted, but you cannot undue the damage to self-esteem and such that their mother is doing. Those wounds may eventually heal, but you cannot undue them, and like most wounds, it will take a lot longer to heal them than it did to inflict them.

  2. lady lock and load says:

    Maybe someone smokes at the step mom’s house? I know my sister’s ex smokes and the kids and their clothing have the cigarette smoke on them.

  3. kisarita says:

    can’t undo it but you hug them put your nose in their hair and tell them how nice they smell when they come back

    my guess is the mom is really dissing the step mom and her home, who probably really really does stink to Bm’s nostrils. it’s not fun to see another woman raising your kids. But her comment shows that it’s necessary.

  4. fille says:

    “How do you minimise the impact on the children?”

    Make that the will really need a shower when they get home and say “she was probably right” (i.e. not have them shower right before they leave).

    Perhaps we need some further precisions: Is it a child who does not like to shower? Are there smokers/animals etc in father’s household but not in mother’s? Has the mother a specially sensitive nose?

  5. fille says:

    PS It is true that every home has its own carecteristic smell.

    So I think there is nothing wrong with not liking the “natural smell” of a different home. It’s part of the mother’s freedom.

    Don’t take it as an offence. Just take for granted the children will shower when they come home, so do not shower them right before they leave.

  6. Rebecca D says:

    In a situation like this it is better to ignore it, don’t confront the bm.
    Try and bear it. I think that the comments will go away if the child is told that they could never stink to you. Then let it drop. If it is brought up again tell them once again they they smell wonderful to you and never stink. Don’t engage the other woman through the kids. Keep your comments to the ‘I’.
    Most importantly remember that they are your kids too and they need your support and love. Don’t dis the other mom and you always be the lady which makes you a REAL mom, because mothers always put their kids first and by someone saying a child stinks is not very mom like!

  7. Z! says:

    I think if it’s plural children who ‘stink’, then no one is being “singled out”. Therefore, it is surely a backstab at the stepmom. The kids will probably not notice it and/or roll their eyes at their ‘crazy’ BM who thinks they stink, when they KNOW they both don’t since they keep clean and shower!
    The BM doesn’t realise this ploy will only backfire on her.

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