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Will had a field trip to the Maryland Zoo on Friday. We gave him $10 to get a souvenir. We knew that he wouldn't get much for $10, but we didn't want him blowing more on crappy stuff anyway. When we talked about him getting money, I specifically said "do not buy food with this". He was getting a bagged lunch from school, but I also told him to take a bunch of snacks from home (fruit cup, string cheese, yogurt, etc.) with him in case the lunch wasn't enough (which I knew it wouldn't be). He forgot to do that.
Well he was talking to his mom today, I overheard him talking about what he did with the $10. I interrupted and asked him what he bought and he told me that there wasn't much in the shop that he could get so he decided to get more food with the money. Not only that, but Friday his dad asked him what he spent the money on and he said he got a $10 worth of quarters and used those little telescopes ($.50 a pop) to get a closer look at the animals.
I am just... I don't know. It shows a serious lack of respect for me and I really really don't even want to be near him right now. Neely is just as angry as me, but not really sure what to do.
Oh he's hit the lying stage. Doni has been there for a while now and we can't stand it. Thankfully we both know when she's trying to pull a fast one pretty quickly with her. I hope you two can figure out a way to get him to stop.
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Tiana (16) Doni (14) Lil Kev (8) Ethan 7/23/12 Lil Roo 10/29/11
What is triggering you so badly with this - is it the lying?
No, it's the defying me. Him doing exactly what I told him not to do. I explained to him that I didn't want him to waste the money on junk food (don't really want them eating junk anyway) and that the money was specifically for getting something tangible that would remind him of the trip later.
It feels as if he's saying "screw her, I can do what I want. She's not my boss."
Honestly, I probably would have done the same thing as a kid. Not saying what he did was right or that he should have lied about it, because I'm not. As a stepmom, I know it's easy to go to the "they are doing this to show I'm not their boss" mentality, but we need to remember that there are somethings they'd do even if their bio parents had stayed together and had a happy relationship. I struggle with this myself sometimes.
I agree. Kids are going to push boundaries no matter who's in the authority role. My DSS actually pushes less boundaries with me than he does anybody else, but that's because he knows that I'm onto his crap and I don't let him slide when it comes to the rules I have in the house. I don't think that it's really a stepparent thing, just a normal thing that all kids go through, no matter how irritating it is.
I'm sure there's more history with this. Do you think he would have listened if Neely had told him the same thing? Is he pushing for his indepenance or falling into peer pressure or is he defying you? You know him best.
It feels like he's defying me because this is not the first time he's done exactly what he wanted to do, despite me telling him otherwise. Neely was in on the conversation about the money/food so I guess he defied him as well. I know it's not just me, but it feels like it's just me. I guess that's because I end up spending more time with the kids than their dad does because of his work schedule and mine (working from home).
I have a suggestion that may work depending on his age. First I'd sit down with him and both of you (so it's not you attacking him, KWIM?), and ask him what he spent the money on and ask about what you heard him telling biomom. He spent the $10 on something he shouldn't have and was forbidden to spend it on. Similar to taking school lunch money and blowing on whatever & not eating lunch. Have him work it off. Maybe some extra chores at $1 a chore or something like that. It can be simple and age based like folding some towels, wiping down the kitchen table, sweeping, etc.
We know what he spent the money on, food. He admitted it after he got off the phone and he admitted that he knew he wasn't supposed to buy food with the money, but he did it anyway.
It's NOT about the money. It's about doing what he was specifically told not to do.
Oh and no one pays me to sweep and help around the house, I'm not gonna pay a kid to do it either. I believe every single member of the household should help maintain the household. I don't ever pay kids for doing that.