To be annoyed with my dss (12) for "treating the house like a hotel"?(29 Posts)
Ridiculous I know, but I find myself thinking of this phrase now, and I thought it was just for OLD people!
My DP's son stays over (houses only 5 mins apart) 2 or 3 nights a week. Sometimes he comes after tea, sometimes before, but as long as I know which then I don't mind. What I DO mind is him rocking up at eight or so after we've all eaten and saying he's hungry because he's been playing out with his mates and missed a meal. He never answers or even takes out his mobile phone (grr), and doesn't seem to think of letting us or his mum know what he's up to.
I hate feeling like a short-order chef, and even though my DP happily goes off to make him something, I can't help but feel irritated - he's getting treated like a slave, but he doesn't seem to mind...If dss said something like "Can I make myself some cheese on toast?" it wouldn't bother me at all - it's the expectation of being waited on that really rankles.
I find myself thinking things like "What did your last slave die of?" and "You've got legs haven't you, so use 'em!"
So AIBU, or have I really turned into a middle-aged fart?
No, you are not unreasonable. Every old fart thinks like this, it's normal.
He is 12. Every 12 yr old acts like this, it's normal.
My mum used to yell "For crying out loud, are you in or are you out?" and I thought she was mean. Guess who's yelling it now?
When he rocks up starving and wants something to eat, just point him in the direction of the breadbin and toaster. He'll soon get the hint.
I think you let him know what time tea is and if he coming toyour he has to be in for then or no tea.
and at 12 why is he allowed to be turning up at 8 without you know ing a where he is, b when he is returning?
every 12 year old does not just turn up at 8pm - my kids have rules - I know when they wil be in and where they are
It's what they do.
No harm in suggesting to dss that he makes himself some cheese and toast or whatever but if your dp doesn't mind making him something then it's not really a problem is it?
If you don't want your dp to make him something that's the problem and you need to speak to your dp about that not silently seethe at dss.
sorry but it is not waht they do!
eating at all hours - yes
turningup at 8 - no
What he appears to need are boundaries. Sounds like nobody's told him what the rules are and he's only five mins from his Mum and five Mins from his Dad when he's playing out.
He's not the one making the rules up... The adults in his life need to guide him so he's not playing out 'til 8pm without having had a meal.
Your not unreasonable in minding - what is unreasonable is expecting HIM to know better
Thanks for the feedback guys (lol@ Hecate)
I think 12 is ok myself for playing out with your frinds in the park or at your friends' houses, but I see your point Beetroot. The thing is, if his mum or dad are ok with him having that level of independence, I don't see that I can undermine that. Although I do think my DP is far too soft, but that is another story! I don't want to argue with him about it though, it's just a difference in approach, I guess...
Hmm, read some more there after I wrote the last post - you are right wabbit and juule, something for me to think about!
I certainly think you have a tea time and after that he makes toast
However, i do think he has to be told he comesinfor tea at a certain time - even if he goes back out again
On the days when he is turning up late, are you expecting him? If yes, then tell him when you are eating and that, if he turns up after that time, he'll be expected to get something for himself. If no, is his mum expecting him in for a meal? In which case, won't she be pissed off that he's eaten at yours when she has a meal ready?
If he generally flits between his mum and his dad, then I do think some rules need to be laid down so that one of them knows to expect him. After all, how would they feel if something happened to him whilst he was playing out and neither did anything because they each assumed he'd gone to the other??
I do sympathise, ds1 is 12 and can go off playing with his friends for hours and we do have rules but sometimes he flouts them and for some reason develops a hearing loss specific to the frequency of his mobile phone ( and yes, he does get grounded for it but it doesn't stop him "forgetting" the next time!) I think there probably isn't a whole lot you can do about it if your dp is relaxed about it although if it were up to me, cheese on toast would be on the cards!
I do agree with Freckle that it would be better if everyone knew which house he was supposed to be having tea at.
I have two stepsons and it is a constant battle to have them contribute to family life rather than just be "at a hotel" when they come here. This behaviour isn't really their fault at all - at their mother's house they have always had a full-time nanny to wait on them hand and foot, plus their mother thinks that we are some kind of hotel-cum-childcare to take care of her children whenever it suits her.
You first of all need to sort out the issue of not having fixed days/times at which your DSS comes round to you. You must know in advance when he is expected and at what time - no child should be free to roll up at his/parents' home whenever it suits him. Arrangements must be agreed mutually, and kept to.
anna why shouldn't children just roll up?They are teenagers and programmed to be selfish and take everything for granted.
I didn't treat my parents like that as a teenager, nor did my partner, and we were both happy teenagers who loved our parents. It really isn't a given to behave like that.
I particularly find it annoying with my stepsons as they aren't really being selfish at all - they have been brought up to be waited on.
I think the only issue here is about him not letting his mum or you know what he's up to! Just on the basis of his safety really.
Other than that it wouldn't bother me at all TBH. I think the re-constituted family CAN be very hard for children (I admit as a SW I only have seen the worst of it really) but I think having you all so close, and being able to come and go between the two within five mins, and feeling comfortable to ask for food when he gets in after a play - that's what childhood is about.
TBH I think if it bothers you HOW he asks, or that he doesn't make something himself, it is your role as the adult to show him the boundaries and rules and encourage him to sort himself out.
Thanks for your thoughts everyone - I think you are right that there needs to be more communication and consistency between us adults really. Luckily the school term starts next week so we should have some more structure back. I have just been talking with DP about it, and we have decided to be a bit more vigilant and get together with ds's mum so we know what he's up to. I don't want to be worrying about him getting into trouble etc next summer, and although we want him to feel comfortable coming between the two houses, we do need to know where he is.
How do other step-families deal with this? On the plus side, we are all amicable with each other, but maybe we are taking our eye off the ball too much and letting dss play us off against each other. It kind of reminds me of a case of a social worker in France I read about once who worked at two sites and got paid for SEVEN years without ever showing up at either place because everyone thought he was at the other one, lol!
Cor, why didn't I think of that? Now that is a clever SW!!!!!!
I think you're very wise to show a united front as he goes into his teenage years...If he is able to use the 'going between two houses' thing to disappear off who-knows-where, that just can't be a good thing for him. Obviously I don't mean police him, but I think it will be good for him to know that someone always knows where he is etc!
I think it's also good for him to know that people care where he is - even if he might find it a bit irritating sometimes.
very true juuule - that's a good way of putting it.
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