BM brain washing step son (long)
My step sons mother is trying to play with his head. He is only seven and she spoils him and gives and buys him what ever he so chooses. For example he has gone through two hermit crabs because he doesn't take care of him and she forgets so they die. Instead of installing responsibility in him she buys him two more and recently another one had died. I explained to him how to take care of them and how having a pet is a big responsibility and he seems to soak it all in until he goes to her house (where they are kept) and continues to neglect them because "my mom will buy me another one if they die". She also buys his love and he is completely materialistic. When he is with us he will say that we don't ate because we don't buy him what he wants or we buy things from goodwill. No it has to be name brand or else he doesn't want it. Which he does have a lot of toys and he doesn't play with them or respect his things because everyone can just buy a new toy to replace the broken one (I do not do this ). I always tell him when he acts out when we won't buy him things that money can't buy love and ask if he rather go to the park and play with the family and hike or if he want a toy that will probably end up in his toy box of old things that bore him and are old. He answers that he rather go do things and he loves it but after he comes back from his mothers he goes back to his old ways as soon as he sees her everything just flies out the window he starts acting aggressive and being mean calling names etc. Recently she has been telling him that he is old enough to choose who he wants to live with her but there is a 50/50 custody order in place. He says he loves it at our house because we go out and do things and spend a lot of time with his family but he starts saying these things when he gets back from her house. He also says things like my mom says your going to go to jail because you love my dad. She also asks him inappropriate questions like if I wear sexy clothes (which I dress conservatively) that is totally crazy to ask a seven year old that. She also does his homework for him and doesn't help him apply himself and tells him that his dad doesn't care about him because she buys him nicer things. He has everything he could possibly need. Yeah they're second hand but they are dirty or broken. He also goes to a counsellor and come to find out his mom was waning to know if she was a real counsellor and did a background check and called her on her personal phone asking her about what he has been telling his counsellor (that's just beyond crazy). He is a sweet child when he is here but her presence brings out the worst in him. Recently she found out she is pregnant with another child who she doesn't know exactly who the father is and he is used to being moms only baby boy and I am scared of how he is going to react to her being a single mother and him not getting as much attention and things as he used to. I just want to get ideas of how to handle this as carefully as I can to make this adjustment as easy as I can for him. I have been trying to do what his counsellor said and when he says that is mom did or said something bad about us to him to just say "that is not nice" and carry on about something completely different to get his mind off of it. I don't talk bad about his mother in front of him and I think that because I am more hands on and attentive to his needs that aren't materialistic that when he gets older he will be thankful and recognized that his father and I have been doing everything that we could do to raise him the best way we could because we cared about him as an individual and not a a pawn in a game of favorites because I think it is absolutely horrible to make children to choose sides and feel like they have to side I just want peace and clarity with him.