AIBU and expecting too much(305 Posts)
I know step parents get flamed on here - I love my DSDs but have just had quite a "trying" weekend with them. I have three DC of my own who are in their teens and only one DD so I genuinely want to know if my DSDs are perhaps a bit immature (which I am really struggling with tbh as it means I spend the whole weekend feeling like an evil bitch telling them off and then go back to my FTJ on a Monday feeling totally stressed) and what do I do to maybe help them improve their behaviour a bit when with us
Have my DSDs every other weekend - we have 5 kids here.
DSDs just do not seem to be growing up since I met them 7 yrs ago. They are 11 and 9.
11 yr old wets the bed, walking round supermarket pulling down each other's trousers and knickers (11 yr old has hit puberty - I felt a bit mortified), spitting in each other's faces while unsupervised this afternoon, while trying to bake cakes with them they squabble over number of "stirs" and who cracks which egg, completely incapable of amusing themselves without us entertaining them or watching TV, talking to each other in "goo goo gaga" language and pretending to be babies, every single time they go to the loo not flushing, leaving a trail of bog roll and not washing hands and needing DH to sort out their clothes to wear - these are just a few examples - when they are playing together it just reminds me of the tension I felt when mine were toddlers - they cannot be trusted to be left in a room as they play fight and rip up paper (letters etc) or knock into things and break stuff or will pick up a load of clean laundry and throw it round the room.
Am I just stressed and tired and out of touch or are these behaviours a bit childish for these ages - and what do I do? OH struggles to put in any consequences as he says "they are only here for 4 days a month" yet expects me to be stringent as with my DC - another thread TBH. They often totally ignore me when I nicely ask them to stop a behaviour. My DC do not do this to me they respect me.
I know as a step mum it's trying sometimes but this feels so stressful every other weekend.
Don't let them ignore you. Are they that naughty in school? I doubt it. Tell them off when the need it but I wouldn't sweat the other stuff, kids grow up too quickly these days! Keep trying to do the fun things like baking to keep them occupied
OH struggles to put in any consequences
there's your answer. They sound very trying as does your DH. But I'm guessing that you already know this...
Ouch. That does sound stressful and age-inappropriate.
But what struck me when I read your post was: Are these children damaged emotionally (by the separation?). To me, if kids are acting out younger than their age, WHY are they doing that? Are they going back to a 'happier/safer' time? what happened to make things better when they were younger that isn't there now?
Do you see where my mind's going?
It sounds like there's a lot going on tbh.
I think they are damaged emotionally possibly - their mum has had about 7 serious boyfriends since I have known her all ended really badly (we have been supportive of her where possible) - they don't remember me not being with their dad but he goes away a lot with work.
Agree with Fatmomma.
I think op external help is needed here x
These children have regressed and sound desperate for stability .
I know - that's what I think but their mum will not hear of it - it's really delicate.
I just thought I was being a bit of a grouchy bitch.
I also worry for DSD1 as she starts secondary school this Sep and she's going to get eaten alive
The trouser dropping needs to dealt with, as does the spitting. Beyond inappropriate.
DH clearly needs to instill some discipline, they are taking advantage because he's weak with them.
I am assuming that DH deals with the wet sheets etc etc and would suggest that the DSC that wets the bed at 11 is seen by a doctor, if they haven't been already.
I think a few 'house rules' being put in place would probably help massively, just simple stuff like 'make your beds', 'dress yourselves', 'flush the loo' etc. Not much you can do about squabbling to be honest other than keep an eye/ear/both on them and ensure that DH steps up to the plate when they get out of hand. Whatever you do though, don't pick up after them, make them go back and clear up/flush.
I try my best to have a good routine when they are here etc and have them as much as we can in the school hols (they live in a different town) and I try to be consistent but it's not enough and I just feel I am failing them (everyone) they always have nits but it's impossible to keep on top of it once a fortnight.
Yanbu, my dd is 10 and not only would she not do most of that stuff now but she would never have done it ever, pulling down trousers and spitting in particular is just bold, the rest is childish the bed wetting is worrying. Not much help though I'm afraid but for your sanity you definitely need your dh to start parenting properly
She has pills for the bed wetting but has had them for over a year. OH took her back to the GP and asked for referral to specialist but they moved and his ex didn't give forwarding address so they missed the letter.
They get told the rules every single time but just don't seem to have any awareness. This is TMI but the blanket in the lounge smells like someone has had their fingers somewhere intimate and wiped them all over it.
Yes OH deals with the sheets but he lives away too in the week so only so much he can do - I worry for her though really as she's big for her are and will start her periods soon coupled with the bed wetting
They sound extremely damaged and regressed.
I would report them to social services tbh. I know they are your husbands kids but the bed wetting and trouser play sound like symptoms of sexual abuse. Even if not they need professional help ASAP. Your husband needs to step up big time.
Maybe you need to consider having them with you?
I know, HUGE deal
Nits need to be dealt with too-a chat with their Mum as regards treatment-perhaps a nitty gritty comb handed over by DH so she can 'keep an eye on' post chemicals?
If they are emotionally scarred then DH is doing them a disservice by being wishy washy when they're with you. Clear boundaries and structure will make them feel safe and secure and help stop either you or DH getting shouty through sheer frustration at it all.
After all, if there are no rules children's logic dictates that you can't be breaking them
Cutecat that TMI combined with the wetting makes me fearful there's more to this than is immediately obvious and I think that specialist help is probably appropriate at this point.
I'm so sorry to say it but alarm bells are ringing for me re potential emotional and/ or sexual abuse.
You need to get these children help. Something's clearly not working at their primary home.
I too would be getting specialist help, I read it initially and thought they were bold/annoying but actually I feel for them and you, none of that is right at all, if you acted now maybe the older girl might ease into secondary school easier too
I am fairly confident there is no (sexual) abuse.
It's just immaturity.
Ex is very defensive over any suggestions of help. It's difficult to suggest.
You can't know what goes on with all those transient boyfriends and God knows who else in their lives. Don't turn a blind eye to this.
Ok that's not just immaturity, as a mother of three can you honestly say your own kids did any of what you have said (bar the bickering etc), I know my dd or any friends dd's haven't. This needs outside help, even for no other reason but to stop them "being eaten alive" in secondary school
Bed wetting at 11 is not normal. It just isn't. There is more to this than a simple case of divorced parents.
He airs are standing on the back of my neck, reading this, OP. I really think you need social services involved with these children. Something has went seriously wrong in these children's lives and I don't think it's the breaking up of their parents.
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