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Forum: Blended Families


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  • 2 Post By Keakie
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June 17th, 2012, 11:18 PM
teacherinlove's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,388
We have dss [6 years] every other week. At moms house there is no discipline. At our house we have boundaries/rules/other children to consider. Lately dss has become quite a handful and has really cause a strain in our relationship and parenting. He yells/talks rudely to me on a regular basis and has been hitting and kicking his older brother. When we talk to him he, he always forgets what we are talking about and continues the same behavior. I am really concerned for our marriage. I am frustrated that it takes about 4 days before he is back on our house routine. This happens every week and it is exhausting. I understand that there is nothing that can be done at her house, but I feel like he thinks he can treat me like he treats his Mom, which is not a healthy parent/child relationship. I really feel a difference between the weeks when he is here and not here, our house has less tension. I am not sure if this is a venting post or if anyone can offer advice?


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June 18th, 2012, 07:18 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near the land of cream cheese
Posts: 5,617
It's so frustrating when there isn't consistency between both houses, especially when kids get away with A LOT more at one of the two. My dsc's bm doesn't enforce any real boundaries either.

Are there any consequences for your dss when he's rude or violent (aside from having to sit and talk with you and dh)? Around here, if someone is not able to keep their hands off another child we separate them and there's a good chance they'll lose screen time for awhile. If someone is grumpy and rude, it usually means they're hungry or tired and we'll make sure they're in bed a little earlier than usual. Persistent rudeness usually means a loss of screen time, too. I'm not sure about your dss, but with us, that kind of thing tends to mean they've been playing video games or watching TV for too long.

Yesterday, for example, we took screen time away from my 8 yo dss because he pushed his 3 yo brother - hard - into a couch. When dh asked why he did that, 8 yo dss said that it was because his brother was blocking the TV and he was trying to watch a show. My oldest dss (he's 12, almost 13) has had behavioural issues for his entire life and has a long history of violent outbursts and rages, and bm tends to think nothing is a big deal until he's already screaming and pushing over bookcases. 8 yo dss seems to have picked up on some of that aggression (as he's most often the child my 12 yo dss beats up on) and we're making sure to intervene the second someone gets hurt in our home.

I'm not sure that there's anything else that can be done. Unfortunately, there's no way to force someone not to be a lazy parent. I'm sorry that it's causing issues with you and your dh - can I ask what, exactly, you and he are fighting about?
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June 18th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Ugh I'm sorry

What we deal with is much more subtle and cerebral but just as bothersome! My oldest goes to her mom's in Texas for breaks and when she is down there they treat her like she walks on water and an adult and they let her talk to them like she's an adult. Her mom is VERY condescending and it shows whenever Chloe spends time with her. Eric usually talks to Chloe when she comes home and gives her the "You're home now" talk and reminds her to remember what is expected (being nice to her sisters, listening, ect.) It usually takes a couple weeks for her to fully get in the swing of things again but it's not a fun couple of weeks. She usually talks to Julie (who adores Chloe) like she's an idiot and orders her around.

Like I said to another gal here recently, you have to trust your marriage and it should come first in your home because all the other relationships strengths will eventually be built on the solidity of yours and his. That said, it should be dh that intercedes on your behalf!

Rudeness on your dss part has nothing to do with your marriage and isn't your fault so don't punish yourself even more by turning it into a deal breaker in yours and dh relationship. Kids can be crappy whether blended family or not. Hang in there and take it one day at a time when things get overwhelming. You're not alone!
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June 18th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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I also want to add that until the behavior improves privilages are taken away in our home. For us that means no TV, games, or dessert and early bedtimes are used. We usually have to do this when the girls get caught in big lies. Until your dss can get through a day without disprespecting his [step]mom, he doesn't need to get to do what you consider privileged activities either.
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June 18th, 2012, 11:26 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,684
Originally Posted by .Katie.;26178322[B
]I also want to add that until the behavior improves privilages are taken away in our home.[/B] For us that means no TV, games, or dessert and early bedtimes are used. We usually have to do this when the girls get caught in big lies. Until your dss can get through a day without disprespecting his [step]mom, he doesn't need to get to do what you consider privileged activities either.
This. All of M's toys are currently in the other room locked away. Can't get fun stuff when you act like a brat. It motivates them to learn quickly believe me.
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June 18th, 2012, 12:59 PM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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I agree with Katie! ((hugs))
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June 18th, 2012, 01:18 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9,310
I know it isn't easy but I wonder what it feels like for the kids. My parents are still married - soon to be 49 years. I can't imagine what it's like to go back & forth between 2 completely different environments & have to remember how to act in each.

It surprised me when Dh's oldest dd 1st came to stay with us. We have very a different lifestyle from her mom. While we have rules & boundries, it's more on what's the right behavior for any human being vs "because I'm the boss & make the rules" Bio mom is very, very rigid and dictates every movement the girls make. We had pictures taken last year with the youngest who was then 12 & she asked me how I wanted her to wear her hair. I was like However you want to! It's your hair. Anyway, I expected dh's oldest to love having a bit of freedom & being able to make her own choices - she was 11 at the time. She totally freaked and couldn't deal with it. It was a total surprise to me.

Perhaps some reminders ala Super Nanny style - a white board or chalk board with the family rules. Have all the kids come up with them together so he doesn't feel singled out. Then talk about what happens if anyone breaks those rules. Then remind him of the board every time he comes into your house.

Also, your dh has to be on the same page. He needs to have the discussion with dss on how you are to be treated. It sounds like you need your dh to back you up.

Good luck!

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