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to feel undermined

(70 Posts)
fizzingmum Fri 13-May-16 19:56:05

DP has a son just shy of 7. He is with us 3 days a week. I have two girls aged 9 & 12. Both my children are expected to complete age appropriate tasks (sorting washing, clearing plates etc). I don't think this is too much to expect of SS either. As it stands he won't do a thing. Doesn't make his bed or help. He literally just plays on his X box the whole time he is with us. I discussed this with DP and we agreed that when he arrived today, before heading for his X box he would have to join us all in sorting washing (we have all been on holidays separately so there is a lot this week). He grabbed a couple of his own things and started for upstairs. I said hang on mate, we need to sort it all out and then take it to our own rooms. He came back in the room and rolled his eyes and pulled a face. I said to him "you can roll your eyes and pull your face as much as you want but until the job is done there is no X box". Nothing different than I would have said to my girls. DP immediately jumps to his defence and says he didn't do it. I said he did. SS then pounces on the opportunity to get out of helping by crying. DP was furious that I had told him off and made him cry. DP then proceeds to take SS away and comfort him. My girls then go on strike and say if SS doesn't have to help ever why should we. A fair point. However I said to carry on and if it was finished before SS returned to help, his punishment would be no X box for the rest of today. I explained this to both DP & SS. DP then takes SS side and says to me that I handled it badly as he is upset. All this in front of the children. I feel like he completely undermined me in front of kids and made it clear to SS that a few tears will get him out of any job. TBH I am far more courteous and patient with SS than my own Dds as I feel like I am walking on egg shells with SS. God forbid he should have to do anything for himself or the family. We Had agreed beforehand between us that the kids would do this job tonight. AIBU to feel so undermined. I feel like all the work I have put into having a relationship and establishing boundaries and balance with SS has been undone in one fell swoop. If DP didn't agree with me it should have been done in private surely? I'm also 7 months pregnant and bouncing between being extremely upset to extremely angry.

Jelliebabe1 Fri 13-May-16 23:13:42

Yanbu but you know that! DP should be backing you up

wannabehippyandcrazycatlover Sat 14-May-16 10:26:35

YANBU at all. You need to speak to DP in private away from the children and explain how you feel.

You need to be on the same page in how you deal with the kids and should not walking on egg shells in your own home.

FuzzyOwl Sat 14-May-16 10:35:42

Your DP should have backed you up especially as you had discussed this and agreed beforehand.

Your post to me reads like you don't really like your step son or have affection for him. Perhaps he can tell this and resents taking instructions from you. Next time would it help getting your DP to tell him what is expected and to ensure he sees it through?

PPie10 Sat 14-May-16 10:38:21

Yanbu, you know this is how it will be though. Sounds like a battle as long as you are with him. The fact your Dh didn't even see the need for all children to pitch in equally in the first place says a lot.

GreaseIsNotTheWord Sat 14-May-16 10:41:51

YANBU and he should have backed you up, except...there is a big difference between a 12 and a 7 year old IMO. I wouldn't expect SS to have to do 'the same' as your older DD's in terms of chores.

Mine are 8 and 6 and they get the same chores ish, but I do expect more from ds1 than ds2. He's fine with that too - he gets to do some things that ds2 doesn't yet (like sleep over at a friends house, cross the road on his own)...and he knows that to be given extra freedom, he needs to prove that he's due it by proving his maturity at times and helping more - that sounds bloody awful written down but hopefully you know what I mean!

Witchend Sat 14-May-16 10:45:25

I agree with you, but he would be doing less, because of his age.

But it's not totally a blended family one. My db rarely was asked. To help, usually refused and if pressed would puck a fight sand goo off crying.

Witchend Sat 14-May-16 10:46:10

Aahhgg! Pick a. Fight. And go off crying.

He was youngest with two big sisters too.

RaeSkywalker Sat 14-May-16 10:52:32

YANBU. A 7 year old should be able to help with that task.

Does your DP discipline DSS at all? I don't mean to be rude, I'm just genuinely wondering.

RaeSkywalker Sat 14-May-16 10:54:43

Maybe draw up a chore rota with all children? DSS should do less if he's or with you full time, and because of his age. But he should be doing something. He might buy into the idea if he's part of the planning, rather than having it sprung on him.

RaeSkywalker Sat 14-May-16 10:55:14

That should be "less if he's not with you full time".

kittybiscuits Sat 14-May-16 11:00:49

He is 6 and you wanted him to sort other peoples' dirty washing? I think your expectations are inappropriate and you don't like him very much. If he's on the xbox all the time why isn't his Dad doing stuff with him? I would also be furious if you did this to my child. You and your partner need to sort your shit out well away from this poor boy.

FancyMakingMeABrew Sat 14-May-16 11:03:25

I think your expectations are inappropriate and you don't like him very much.

Why do you get the impression that she doesn't like him very much? Because she wanted him to put a few socks etc in a basket?

kittybiscuits Sat 14-May-16 11:05:42

Pretty much by the language and tone of the whole post tbh

wannabehippyandcrazycatlover Sat 14-May-16 11:06:27

I think people are being a bit OTT with the 'you obviously don't like DSS', I don't think this is implied in the post at all?

I think age appropriate chores are a good thing and he should be helping. I agree with pps who have said he should be doing less as he is not with you full time and he is only 6 but sorting laundry as a family isn't inappropriate!!!!

kittybiscuits Sat 14-May-16 11:06:33

Not put a few socks in a basket. Help sort through the washing of a whole family. Stop minimising.

BillSykesDog Sat 14-May-16 11:15:03

I agree with you that he needs to be doing age appropriate things. To me that would be making his own bed, putting his plates in the sink or dishwasher and putting his own clothes in the right place for washing.

Expecting a six year old to sort out other people's dirty holiday washing is completely inappropriate though.

BillSykesDog Sat 14-May-16 11:18:08

I also think that formulating a punishment to satisfy your daughters and telling them to mollify them rather than speaking to him is not on either.

It gives the impression that your DDs are allowed to demand he is punished and you will satisfy that for them. His punishments don't concern your daughters.

VodkaValiumLattePlease Sat 14-May-16 11:22:04

'Sort the stuff out then take it to our own rooms' do you take dirty washing to your own room? No you take clean washing. So I'm guessing it's just folding clean clothes - which my 4 year old does so...

acasualobserver Sat 14-May-16 11:23:53

Expecting a six year old to sort out other people's dirty holiday washing is completely inappropriate though.

I understood they were sorting clean laundry for distribution to respective bedrooms.

Lemonade1 Sat 14-May-16 11:24:07

It totally depends on the way you talk to him and ask/tell him to do things.

If you ask him nicely and speak to him respectfully YANBU. If you start off arsey/aggressive/pissed off/angry then YABU.

While 7 is not too young to help, my kids did very little to help at that age as I think kids should be kids. But I appreciate we all have our own views on this.

FuzzyOwl Sat 14-May-16 11:24:34

Pretty much by the language and tone of the whole post tbh

^ This was the same impression I got from the post as well. The OP knows abbreviations well enough for DP and DD but refers to her partner's child as SS and not DSS etc throughout. I do understand that this may have been written whilst still angry about what happened, but I found it telling that even afterwards the partner is still DP.

I also agree that the arguing should not be in front of the children.

I think you were rather mean. He's 7 and it appears this is the first time he's been asked to do this. Was there any need to be so harsh on him? He got his washing sorted and went to take it upstairs, brilliant!

And why on earth did you think it was suitable to tell your daughters that if they finished before he came back to help he would be punished? WTF?!

BillSykesDog Sat 14-May-16 11:28:58

Surely clean washing would be pretty much sorted anyway though? confused

And if he's doing clean stuff, it should just be his own stuff. Sounds like he did his own stuff then was expected to start sorting other people's? If that's the case it all sounds a bit Cinderellaish and expecting him to maid servant for other people rather than doing a fair whack of his own jobs.

And besides that, it really sounds to me like this little boy is being a bit ganged up on, and I'm glad his Dad stood up for him.

AndTakeYourPenguinWithYou Sat 14-May-16 11:36:16

I don't see why a six year old boy should be expected to sort the washing of his dads girlfriend and her daughters. You could have picked a more appropriate chore for him to do, like clearing the table or tidying away.

But your problem is you and your dp are not at all on the same page with how to discipline children, how to talk about and in front of children etc etc. Which you should have sorted out long before you went and had a baby together. If you think this is bad its going to get much worse.

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