I just don't like my stepson

(68 Posts)
windmilltimestwo Sat 14-Mar-09 14:20:37

Suppose I just wanted to get it off my chest....it makes me feel an awful person and also really sad but I just don't like him - he's spoilt and demanding and rude and grumpy.
I would imagine I could cope with/tolerate/overlook all of those things (though often feel quite powerless as a step-parent to work at behaviour change) if I actually enjoyed his company but I rarely, if ever, get any pleasure out of being with him.
His behaviour/attitude doesn't endear me to him of course but the basic fact is that I just don't find him a charming or interesting child at all (he's 12 but i've felt like this for the 4 years I've known him really so it's not just an'approaching teenage-hood' thing.)
Sigh...

cornsilk Sat 14-Mar-09 14:30:54

Does he live with you? Does he like you?

I don't think you have to like your SS. As long as you are kind and considerate when he is there and treat him as you would any other 12 year old then that's fine.

It's probably better to distance yourself emotionally and not get involved in the disciplie/ decision making/ responsibility 'parenting' sidde- see him as your husbands son rather than your ss.

You may find in time with the obligation lifted that you become quite fond. You equally may not but thats ok. You can't click with everyone!

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Sat 14-Mar-09 14:44:31

Agree with CD.

You don't have to like him, you just have to make sure he never knows you don't.

He didn't ask you to come into his life. Maybe he doesn't like you eihter. Tough. You both just have to live with it as best you can and seeing as how you're the adult, the onus is on you to make more of an effort than he does.

Treat him with kindness and courtesy - you don't have to tell him you love him every day or anything, but be considerate of his feelings, don't criticize him or make him fel excluded: you're the grown up and he's the child, so it's your job to be the better-behaved one. He may well improve with maturity anyway.

marie1979 Sat 14-Mar-09 15:27:02

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

windmilltimestwo Sat 14-Mar-09 15:42:24

(Sorry, esay coming...) I do all of those things. And of course I don't let him know how I feel. And yes, he does like me. I drive him crazy at times but so do his dad and his mum.

He lives with us half of the week.
I know that leaving all of the decision making and discipline is often cited to be the best way but it is hard on several levels (aside from the basic practical one that I am often the one at home with ome after schools). To me the basic premise that if I ignore what is demanding/spoilt/rude behaviour, leave it unchecked (and as I said this isn;t just an 'almost teenage developmentt, he has always been like this) there are two negative sides: One is more selfish in that I'd like to see it change because I have to live with it half of the week and it isn;t pleasant. The second is that if it isn't addressed then I feel I will have let him down in that he will go through life with this unpleasant bahaviour, which will not do him any favours, and I wonlt have tried to help him address it. I would never let my own child continue in this vein for my or their own sake.
His father (my husband)does address it but not wholeheartedly or consistently in my opinion. (And as far as we ca see he's jut allowed to get away with it at his mums.)

Like I said, if I found him interesting and charming therest of the time then it would be easier to overlook his behaviour - just ignore it and get on with the enjoyable sides.
So maybe the best advice to follow is just to keep my opinion to myself but often it doesn't seem in mine or his best interests! And to do that I would have to totally emotionally detach I think, so how do you detach emotionally withoit giving the game away?!
And the whole other kettle of fish is that I don't want our two daughters to copy his negative beahviour...
Sigh again!

windmilltimestwo Sat 14-Mar-09 15:44:40

Dear Marie1979, I shall ignore your diatribe as I hope you can see I do care very much and am kind and considerate to my SS. My confession was that i find him hard to like not that i am unpleasant to him...

marie1979 Sat 14-Mar-09 15:48:46

yeh u ignore it just like my ex did typical puttin ur head in the sand

Coldtits Sat 14-Mar-09 15:52:00

I don't really think you have to like him ... you do have to be nice to him though, and try to treat him like your other children, and as littlebella says, you must make sure he never knows you don't.

As he lives with you so much, I'd get your partner involved with his discipline more, so that anything you do implement will have full back up.

You can't like everyone all the time

Its hard being a SM as it is without feeling evil/guilty

Obv you do care or you would not be asking the question

Just never let him know that you don't like him
Your DD's will not pick up on his behaviour if they are brought up well, and if they are impressionable/start to moan about being treated differently (he gets awaaaaaaaaay with everrryythiiiing waaahhhh) send them to DH with their 'concerns'
Hopefully then he will address them.

Good luck with this BTW

marie1979 Sat 14-Mar-09 15:52:45

im sorry if u didnt like what i said if u feel like this towards ur ss i asure u he does know feeling like u do is impossible to hide and has picked up what u feel about him and u probly treat ur daughters diffrent i feel so sorry for him poor little lad

Coldtits Sat 14-Mar-09 15:52:50

marie, you aren't making a huge amount of sense .... care to elaborate?

Lulumama Sat 14-Mar-09 15:55:32

i think most parents regardless of being step parents or not, struggle to like their children all the time, and certainly have issues with their behaviour and liking that. i thikn pre teens are really difficult anyway.

do agree that you have to be polite, courteous and kind though to him.

Marie i'm sure the OP understands your feelings and well done for putting your kids first and getting rid.

But she is asking for advice not to have bits bitten out of her ass

How about some input into what the OP COULD do to improve the situation that may be helpful ?

FiveGoMadInDorset Sat 14-Mar-09 15:57:41

How do your DH and his ex get on? Can you all sit down and have a reasonable discussion on discipline so that it is equal at both homes.

Don't worry about your children, my brothers children from his first marriage were horrendous when they first came to live with him and it hasn't seemed to rub of on his boys from his second marriage. Although the first 3 are now lovely.

And marie I don't think your comments are hellpful at all.

MsBeauregarde Sat 14-Mar-09 15:58:21

Marie, she's not putting her head in the sand is she?? She's discussing it?

The op isnt like your x, so don't let your own experiences make you think the worst of everybody.

Windmill is being a much better adult. She's not just trying for an easy life, she's also thinking of the child's own path through life, and that;s why she's calling him out over selfish behaviour. If she were 'sticking her head in the sand' she'd just let him be a selfish git, become more and more selfish with every passing day and not care enough to do anything about it.

I admire the op. Challenging rude or selfish behaviour when you'd rather just have an easy life is selfless on your part. You're doing a hard and thankless part of parenting with none of the rewards.

The only thing to say is that the boy may look back on his childhood and see you with respect,, many years down the line!

marie1979 Sat 14-Mar-09 15:58:28

right listen carefully what i am simply stating is that windmill doesnt like step son correct = wind mill said the son doesnt know the child knows! children are clever if we are reading the same thread it is not hard to understand if you read my replies

MsBeauregarde Sat 14-Mar-09 15:59:34

Sorry to talk about you as though you aren't here windmill! You can argue your own points I know.

Lulumama Sat 14-Mar-09 16:00:02

you clearly have your own personal feelings on this , having been through similar

the OP is not burying her head, she is asking people for strategies and advice, quite the opposite of burying her head

perhaps you are projecting your own take on this on to her situation, which is understandable.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sat 14-Mar-09 16:00:18

Windmill you may not like him but you obviously care enough to make sure that he turns out to be a descent human being.

marie1979 Sat 14-Mar-09 16:01:23

stercusaccidit u are right sorry it must be so hard for her to dislike a child im sorry im leaving the thread its winding me up to much. cause i know how it feels. sorry if i have been rude to anyone

MsBeauregarde Sat 14-Mar-09 16:01:36

Yes, loving other people's children can't be forced, but it can be faked. And she is doing that.

noavailablename Sat 14-Mar-09 16:05:40

There are two sides to this. He is still very young - 12 - and you say this has gone on for 4 years. So he was 8 when his father got together with you? That is a very vulnerable time in a boy's life, when they first start to move away from mum and rely more on developing a male bond with their father.

That must have been very, very hard for him. It must have a lot of bearing on his behaviour and attitude.

It is hard for you to develop a relationship with a child who is not your own.

I am sure you do your best to be knd to him, but, if you do not like him, you can be sure he WILL know it.

Perhaps the best thing would be for all the family to agree on "house rules" on behaviour etc. Perhaps he can earn some rewards or treats for good behaviour?

His father needs to step up and present a united front on this.

You need to sort it out now, or it will only get worse.

TBH, I feel really sad for him. I remember what my own boys were like at this age. They are so vulnerable and they need tons of affection and love and reassurance.

windmilltimestwo Sat 14-Mar-09 16:06:30

Thanks you lot, keep the useful replies coming! Part of my guilt/sadness is that he obviously doesn't know how I really feel. I try to be kind, considerate, I show interest in all his activities hobbies etc. He knows I find some of his behaviour unacceptable but I nor his dad have a problem with him knowing that. And yes I do think sometimes I am choosing the hard route - it would be far easier to just leave him to be rude and arrogant and let his mum and dad deal or not deal with it but I seriously worry that he will alienate himself (his friends do seem to get bored of it after a while...)

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