Sofa Wars!(32 Posts)
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.
so if you hobble in on walking sticks to a sofa full of children, you should expect to stand all night? What a blinkered foolish attitude which will only serve to develop children "wot nose there roiyts innit"
You're right, it's not an issue anymore but thank you everyone for your replys
its not an issue.just tell them to move.
Kids trying to sneak into the adult's seat when they're not there is not a step issue, but working out how to deal with it very much is a step issue for me at least. I've never had any difficulty turffing my own DCs off a seat - they shuffle up, move to a different seat or whatever and that's how it always been. My DP's DCs were similarly always aware of where his seat was and would expect to give it up for him. But for me, getting to know them as pre-teens, coming into their house as a new adult, I was polite and careful at first to behave like a guest and not intrude. It's been far from easy in turning the situation round so that I feel like I'm the adult of the house and they are the children.
I think it probably does have a lot to do with how you're raised. My mum and dad always had their own places in the lounge when I was a kid so I suppose that feels 'normal' to me. Possible my dsc see it completely differently as do some of you, which is fair play
The phrase in our house, and in my parents when growing up is 'on your feet, lose your seat'!!
Tbh it dosnt bother me much these days - no one wants to sit next to me when I have my knitting out anyway!
It really bothered me at first though. The way I try & see it now is I get all week with DP, DSD only gets the weekend with him & wants to spend time with him (she's 7) so I really can't begrudge her a few hours snuggled on the sofa can I?!
omg the front seat of the car thing!
my sister always used to let my nephew have the front seat even though I suffer from awful car sickness and it really got my goat so I started telling him myself to shift.
it was always understood when I was growing up that you gave up your seat for your elders but today some kids just don't get taught this.
its not a step-kid issue imo,just different ways children seem to be raised nowadays.
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.
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' 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
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
Lovely turn of phrase Nellie
wow nellie, that's outrageous, does your dp know that's what you call his daughter?!!?
Nellie. Why do you call her stepbitch?
I can't imagine a scenario where that would be helpful.
Did you really just call your stepdaughter that?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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 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.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.