Sofa Wars!

(32 Posts)
CountryGal13 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:05:12

I was just wondering where you all sit when your step children come to visit , who sits next to who or do you all just mix it up happily?
If I'm not already sat there, my step teens make a beeline for where they know I like to sit the minute they walk in the door. Not sure why but it feels like an intrusion of my personal space. I think the eldest (16) does this because she sees it as the best place to sit in relation to the tv (and possibly coz she like to be queen bee) and the youngest (12) does it coz she doesn't want me and her dad to sit there together. Sometimes she'll sit with me, not because she likes me, but to stop her dad being able to sit with me.
No matter how many times we ask them to move they alway do the same on their next visit.
On one hand I think I should just be the adult about it and go and just sit elsewhere but on the other hand I already feel pretty awkward sharing my home with two teenage girls who seem to like pretending I don't exist and I don't want them to think they can just come in and take over. Any advice would be appreciated.
Maybe I should encourage my husband to sit on the other couch with them so that they don't feel left out...
The fact that this is such an issue for me makes me feel a bit pathetic, haha, but I need to be able to still feel at home when they're here.

NotYoMomma Tue 08-Oct-13 13:24:02

can you watch the big bang theory with them and make a joke of it? but like a joke that is totally serious kinda like Sheldon?

maybe if dh Sat on the other sofa, but then he might feel the same way as you about his spot?

it seems like a non issue really I would be inclined to pick my battles but be a bit 'here we go again, shift out my spot' etc

SnoopySnoopyDoggDogg Tue 08-Oct-13 13:29:50

I can see how a seemingly small thing like this must be a bit upsetting if it's clear to you, or feels to you, that it's being done to deliberately get at you. And I would imagine at 16 the eldest is certainly capable of thinking like that. However you are the adult so I think you do have to rise above it, give them absoloutely no indication that you care or even notice where they sit and the wind will be gone from their sails.

I hope feelings improve between you all.

Mueslimorning Tue 08-Oct-13 13:30:20

Feel brave enough to ask them to move.
We had this for over a year, dsd would in "queen bee" style spread over our only sofa, blocking it for everybody else, including ds and dss.
Or she would remain on our only armchair for hours (yes, v small living room) texting etc, but in both cases with control over the remote...
She has calmed down now and ds and dss can insist on programmes of choice, xbox etc.
I just wish dh would have parented her from the start.
Sounds like you are also waiting for dh to sort something out?
Now that we are all,talking openly to each other we are now on the next level, adult alone time.
In couple counseling, dh was told to make his dc aware of adult alone time (much the same as letting them have own tv time) and although dss can be reminded, dsd once stormed out! And then sulked in the kitchen until we went to bed (our bedtime is wayyyy before our kids).

CountryGal13 Tue 08-Oct-13 22:30:59

Thanks for the advice everyone! I know that it should be a non issue but whether it's right or wrong this is the one thing that really gets my back up.
I just came into the lounge, put a drink next to the chair and my mobile on the arm, left the room to get some thing and she's hopped in my place again! I asked her to move and she's gone to her room so I feel bad now.
In total we have 6 seats in this lounge but maybe all four of us should sit in this one place. Could be good for family bonding!... smile

ChinaCupsandSaucers Tue 08-Oct-13 23:09:00

As a fully paid up member of the WSM Club, I'd have a bit of fun with this.

Next time, put your phone/drink/remote on the arm of the least comfortable, worst positioned chair - and before you sit down, pop out of the room. It's fairly likely that DSD will have commandeered your chair of choice by the time you get back; leaving your preferred seat free for you to enjoy!

Kaluki Wed 09-Oct-13 10:10:26

Say excuse me can I sit there?
You are the adult, she is the child.
Easy!
grin
We have a rule in our house that if there are more people than seats the kids will sit on the floor. My DSC think I am totally awful for making them sit on the floor but I won't have an adult sitting on the floor while a child is sprawled across the sofa.

DSS, in fact all of the children know my place on the sofa, over the years Ive trained them all so now I just have to do a little flap thing with my hand and they instantly move, they`ve turned it me into a joke now grin I dont think you should feel bad at all about making them move, if they then go off to their room so bit it.

yy we did the floor thing when we were younger as there was so many of us, you had to do a run and a jump thing to get a seat.

CountryGal13 Wed 09-Oct-13 14:17:46

OneStepCloser, I'm going to have to master the 'hand flap', it sounds very effective ;)
Thanks ladies. I'm guna tell my husband that if the youngest wants to sit with him then he can move and sit with her elsewhere x

louby44 Wed 09-Oct-13 18:08:58

When my DSD (used to) come to our house I d/dido feel a bit put out when one of them sits in the place I usually sit in.

But I just sit somewhere else as I know their dad likes a cuddle. They all tend to move and swap places anyway!

purpleroses Fri 11-Oct-13 18:47:53

We have 8 of us here most weekends, and a lot of sofa wars. It does feel like a big deal if you don't feel comfortable in your own living room, and took me quite a while to pluck up the courage to turf DSC off their favoured seats (eg sprawled across the entire couch) and assert that the adults get the first choice of seats. But was definitely better once I did. I think this is one area where you need to find your own way of gaining authority, without calling on your DP to tell his DCs what to do every time. For me what has worked is being both assertive and light-hearted. Depending which DC it is, I have tried:
- "Oy you, off my seat, that's my cup of tea already sitting there next to you"
- Grabbing their phone and placing it at the other side of the room, then jumping in the seat when they get up to get it
- Squeezing in next to them so they get squashed and decide to move
- Anticipating their arrival and getting in first (along with custody of the remote control)
- Tickling them grin

It is mostly light hearted fun now, but it really wasn't easy at first, especially with eldest (15). I've also compromised on no longer sitting next to DP most evenings, but do insist on my favoured spot with the bench to put my drink on next to it. They know it's my spot now.

If we're all watching, there isn't enough sofa space, so we usually get the youngest two to fetch their duvets from their bedrooms, as a treat, and make themselves nests on the floor. But sorting out the squabbles between the DCs over who sits where is something we're still struggling with.

Caramelia Sun 13-Oct-13 17:51:02

My SDs did this when I was new on the scene. I just said "Would you jump into your Dad's seat when he goes to the kitchen? Then please don't do it to me either." It nipped it pretty quickly. I guess I didn't really care if it ticked them off - I'm an adult in the house, not one of their siblings. I felt like I had to mark my territory a bit.

Nellie72 Tue 15-Oct-13 19:56:26

eldest stepbitch tried this last time she came to visit. I reacted the same way as if it was my son sat in my seat whilst hogging the tv; told him to shift and put something on that I wanted to watch. When he's got his own house, own sofa and own tv he can sit where he likes and watch what he wants.

It didn't go down brilliantly - she didn't like moving from my spot on the sofa one iota

ProphetOfDoom Tue 15-Oct-13 20:00:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kaluki Wed 16-Oct-13 10:57:32

stepbitch? shockshockshock
Did you really just call your stepdaughter that?
How disgusting!!!!

looknow Wed 16-Oct-13 11:10:54

Nellie. Why do you call her stepbitch?

I can't imagine a scenario where that would be helpful.

givemeaboost Wed 16-Oct-13 11:16:47

wow nellie, that's outrageous, does your dp know that's what you call his daughter?!!?

Onebuddhaisnotenough Thu 17-Oct-13 10:29:20

Lovely turn of phrase Nellie hmm

Nellie72 Thu 17-Oct-13 14:11:04

if your 16yr old stepchild had physically assulted your own child (who's 4 years younger than her) countless times, verbally assulted him every time they met, encouraged her younger sibling to do so also, lies to you, swears, steals and kicks your pets, reduced their grandparents to tears on three occaisions, scribbled all over the walls of MY spare room, you'd call them a damn site worse than stepbitch.

Mueslimorning Sun 20-Oct-13 10:13:59

WTF? Came home from hospital after minor invasive surgery, still groggy from anasthetic, dh had fixed me a spot on the sofa as walking upstairs was not on for the day and I'd even asked him to text dc (meaning dsd, 16) my problem before their eow visit so they'd be mentally prepared!
Dss, 12, a real sweetie with loads of sympathy and "poor you"s, dsd, however, couldn't wait to slip into my spot as soon as I'd needed to use the loo!
Next day, I'm actually feeling worse, she came home with a really bad cold and insisted on sitting next to me, again just waiting to snag my spot.
I'm staying in bed today waiting for dh to drive her home (only because I'm not supposed to be infected, not a punishment).
I'm extra disappointed at her inconsiderate behaviour as I had thought this selfishness was behind us. Seems she had just changed tactic, i.e. Feigned politeness, to thwart dh honest tries at finally parenting her.
At the v great risk of sounding old fashioned and sexist, but AIBU for expecting a 16yo girl to be able to show a modicum of consideration when even the younger boys here, dss 12 and ds 15, act with kindness and thoughtfulness?
It makes me sad and perplexed to think a girl so pretty, smart and talented is going through life a bully.

AlyssB Sun 27-Oct-13 11:18:06

We have this with DSD (7). DP will shift her out of his spot, but she thinks my spot is the arm chair as this is always where I sit as DP will never move her out of my spot.

This sounds so ridiculess now it's written down, but I know how much the little things can wind you up!

B00t5 Mon 28-Oct-13 09:20:59

Oh my god do I recognise this!! It seems such a little thing but it feels like SUCH an invasion.

I don't feel like my sanctuary is my home anymore, it is so important for me to feel comfortable at home but it feels stolen from me when skids walk through the door. The sofa thing bugged me so much that I lost it, called everyone in and had a rant.

"THIS is MY seat. If I'm not here, fill your boots but when I come in here you move- I sit here. I don't ask for much from you all but THIS matters to me". It's the one time they have listened to me! If they forget I just say excuse me and they even apologise and it's no longer a big deal. I agree with kids giving up seats for adults but DH thinks I'm old fashioned and mean when it ask them to move and they huff and puff. Same goes for front seat in the car! Adults first, kids as a treat if no grown ups travelling. This is also lost on DH!

My advice fwiw is just to demand your seat and demand DH's support- you deserve a seat for taking them on at the very least!

are you sure your not all reading something into this that isn't there?
my nine year old son always jumps into my seat as soon as I leave the room and hes certainly not a step child trying to be 'queen bee'.
I just tell him to move his backside from my seat.
any kid will try their luck on when it comes to getting the best seat in the house not just a step kid and all it takes is a few years of training!

NorthernNanny5 Tue 29-Oct-13 16:18:53

I agree melon man, whether a step family or not, why would you feel awkward or guilty asking them to move!
My parents had their seats both in the lounge and at the dinning room table and that's just how it was. I'd often sit in one of their seats if they were not there but if they came in it was a given I'd have to shifty.
Same goes now in my house whether its my DC or DSC, they get out of if they don't 'I do the 'hand flap' grin with a shifty your bum comment but its never a big deal, just the way it is...as for the front seat of the car wtf!! Who on hell expects a adult to sit in back whilst a kids is in front, only time I have known this is on a long journey due to car sickness

We have a rule in our house. If you are sitting in a seat it is rude for someone to ask you to move as we are all as important as each other and should all be respected.

Unless you are a granny or grandpa or have a reason my you need that space above someone else then I think it very odd to behave like this.

And you know what the more you make an issue of it the more they will to piss you off.

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