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To make DS take DSS along again

(77 Posts)
MaryCoco Sat 20-Aug-16 09:30:40

Name changed as this very identifying.

My DS and DSS are both 13, DH and I have been together for 7 years but because we both have every other week arrangements, the boys rarely see each other.

So DS would stay with us for a week and at this point DSS would be at his mother's then DS would go to his Dad's the following week and DSS would stay with us. So they only really see each other during the holidays.

They have very seperate lives, go to different schools, have different interests etc but they've always been friendly with each other.

The past year DSS has had some horrible bullying at school, it's been such an awful year for him and it's really changed him, he's not as out going as he use to be, more quiet, doesn't like to go out anymore

He's starting a new school this September and it's quite close to DS' school, lots of DS' friends attend the school.

DSS has spent most of the holidays when he's with us in his room, DH and I have managed to take him out a handful of days and he hated going out with us.

Two weeks ago DS and all his friends were going out to the cinema/arcade/lunch it was quite a large group and a number of the kids attend DSS new school, so I asked DS if he could ask DSS to join them

I had lots of complaints from DS, DSS is apparently too boring, too quiet, lame, would embarrass him etc but I wasn't taking no for an answer.

They both had a great time and DS said that DSS wasn't that bad. Which was pretty much code for you were right Mum.

Tonight DS and a large group around 12 other kids are going bowling, he was telling us over dinner last night and complaining about the odd number so they couldn't have a proper match.

DSS asked if he could come, it's the first time all summer that DSS has actually asked to do something and DS instead of saying yes no problem, said he'd have to ask.

When I asked him after dinner away from DSS and DH who exactly he had to ask, he said he just didn't want to take DSS as he'd embarrass him hmm

I brought up the last time DSS went with him and how he wasn't that bad and he just shrugged, I told him he'd have to take him and he just rolled his eyes and went up to his room.

They're both still sleeping whilst I'm sitting here annoyed, I don't get it, is it really that hard to show some empathy and take DSS along, AIBU?

Eminado Sat 20-Aug-16 09:35:11

Totally understand where you are coming from, I really do, but i think the level of empathy and consideration you are expecting from a pre-teen/teen is not realistic sad

Hockeydude Sat 20-Aug-16 09:37:56

The boy who won't take the other boy doesn't understand what it's like to be bullied and excluded. You need to find something online where a bullying victim has put it into words and make the boy who is lucky enough to be accepted understand the despair of the other one.

Helmetbymidnight Sat 20-Aug-16 09:38:45

I think pp is right...

Your ds is not being very kind- but I wouldn't expect much else of the average 13 yr old. He has his own fears and pressures to deal with too.

Missgraeme Sat 20-Aug-16 09:39:15

Better he 'asks' tho then more chance dss will be accepted than if he gate crashed! Hope it goes well!

HermioneJeanGranger Sat 20-Aug-16 09:39:53

You can't force them to hang out or get on, OP. It's not your DS's job to make sure his step-brother has friends to hang out with at all. Having your step-brother tag along changes the dynamics completely. If they want to hang out, it has to be under their own steam. Your DS is too old to have his mum tell him he has to play with his brother.


Sofabitch Sat 20-Aug-16 09:40:06

Yes YABU teenagers need to form their own identity and peer groups are an important part of that.

They are different children and should be allowed different friendship groups and identities.

I'd never make my Dcs take their sibling out on a group trio with friends.

I woukd perhaps encourage them to do something with just themselves

VioletBam Sat 20-Aug-16 09:40:12

Make him take DSS. 13 is WELL old enough to have empathy. I had to take my cousin along with me at this age because she struggled. She fitted in...she ended up quite popular in the group.

HermioneJeanGranger Sat 20-Aug-16 09:41:29

I don't think DS is being unkind confused

He's a teenager who wants to hang out with his friends without having to take his step-brother along with him. I think that's fairly normal. It's not his fault DSS was bullied and it's not his job to fix it either. He's a 13 year old kid, not his step-brothers' protector.

NapQueen Sat 20-Aug-16 09:44:26

It's not the responsibility of one child to have to essentially look after the other.

Away from dss I'd maybe have a chat with DS about how he would feel if the shoe were on the other foot. It may spark something in him to want to do some stuff with his step brother or bring him along to certain things.

However growing up I was never expected by my parents to include my siblings in anything I did with my friends. And I really appreciated that.

Ireallydontseewhy Sat 20-Aug-16 09:45:07

You sound like a lovely kind person! I think at 13, a lot of dteens can be very concerned about their 'social standing' with their friends, and your ds may be worried that his position in the friendship group will be jeopardised if he takes someone along who is 'uncool' - (reading between the lines?).

So it may not be so much lack of empathy - more the fight for 'social survival' that's motivating him.
It's nice of you to get ds to take dss along, but i wouldnt do it every time. - so your ds still has the chance to socialise with friends alone. It might even be counterproductive if it means ds gets fed up and his friends realise his view of Dss.
I think by later teens many (not all!) become kinder and more empathetic - early teens is a very insecure time for many.

Everytimeref Sat 20-Aug-16 09:46:23

I was in a similar situation as a child, except it was my dd. I was made to take her with me and it was hard. She was extremely shy and would literally be my shadow. However my friends where fine with it and as an adult I can see why my mum did it.
Personally I would insist the DSS went.

Everytimeref Sat 20-Aug-16 09:48:16

Posted too soon.
this time as DSS has asked , but not every time.

Jizzomelette Sat 20-Aug-16 09:49:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ireallydontseewhy Sat 20-Aug-16 09:52:23

Could you suggest a compromise - that if ds takes him this time you won't ask again (tricky i know because you may want to!) but ask if he would occasionally do things one to one with dss in the future. Going to a film isn't too difficult, and is good to do with a quiet friend - no need for conversation!

Meanwhile, i wonder if there are other things that you and dh might be able to do to boost dss' confidence - encourage him to take up a sport, maybe martial art (cliche but it really does seem to boost self confidence), guitar, a group like scouts or air cadets?

sonjadog Sat 20-Aug-16 09:54:11

I would have another chat with him about DSS´position and how it would be a nice thing to do. Maybe this time I would push him to take him. But I wouldn´t make it happen too often in the future. It might be if DSS goes out with him a couple of times, he becomes one of the gang and it is natural to include him. But if he doesn´t become part of the gang, then I wouldn´t force him into it.

MaryCoco Sat 20-Aug-16 09:55:09

Really mixed views more leaning towards the side that Aibu, which is really surprising.

I've only ever asked DS once two weeks ago and it was DSS who asked this time and both are large groups situations, I'd never expect DS to take DSS every time, I just figured that since DSS is going through a rough time, that he wouldn't mind as much but I may have expected too much of a 13 year old

NapQueen Sat 20-Aug-16 09:57:07

Your own social circle is king at the age and whilst ds is lucky to have one he won't want to jeopardise that (as adults we can see how little this matters in the big scheme of things but this is his world).

Introducing a new person into an established group is a challenge and he may not feel up to it. Respect that. It shows he has some insecurities himself - it's not just dss who has them.

Nanny0gg Sat 20-Aug-16 09:57:15

.I think because DSS has asked himself this time (which must have taken a fair bit of courage) I think DS should include him.

I also think you should maybe change the arrangements so that they see more of each other in term time. I know it's hard to 'blend' families but your arrangement seems to be going in the opposite direction in keeping them apart.

VodkaValiumLattePlease Sat 20-Aug-16 09:57:17


So it's not unkind to call some one 'too boring too quiet and lame'??

I wouldn't want to be subject to what you consider unkind then!

Wellywife Sat 20-Aug-16 09:57:51

I'd have another word with your DS and get him to actually tell whoever he perceives to be the group 'leader' that he has good news, his stepDB is available to make up the numbers. 13 is not too young to learn to be inclusive.

DD is 13 and has started 'reaching out' (her words) to a girl in her class that she has noticed is a bit lonely. She's a sweet person, just not the life and soul of the party, just happy to tag along.

MaryCoco Sat 20-Aug-16 10:01:14

DS doesn't have to ask anyone, it was a cover up so that he wouldn't have to reject DSS to his face and could later on say so and so said no, it seems to be a free for all arrangement, everyone inviting whomever they please.

Mum2Pea Sat 20-Aug-16 10:01:33

You sound lovely
After last time going so well, i would be inclined to 'make' ds take dss - hopefully it'll be the same outcome (should hopefully also give dss to know some children from his new school.
On the offchance it doesnt go too well, i think ds dfs will forget about it come sept anyway

Mycraneisfixed Sat 20-Aug-16 10:02:12

How can DS and DSS get to know each other well enough to have a brotherly type relationship if they don't spend time together?
Plan things to do as a family with both boys.

Witchend Sat 20-Aug-16 10:02:26

I think it is hard because actually I have seen situations where similar has ended up with the ds just dropped from invitations too.
It's not all that much different from a parent asking if a sibling can go to a party, which I think we're all agreed is not fair on the hosts.

As an adult I find it awkward if I am with two separate groups that only have me in common. I'm not brilliantly sociable, so I may be unusual in that though.

I used to have to take my dsis,sometimes. She was shy and not part of my friendship group. I had a very good and unselfish friendship group, however they did treat me differently if dsis was there. I was definitely more on the outside.

I don't think it's fair to keep asking him and you will end up with him resenting dss.

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