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to have told DSS it is OK to lie to his mother?

(228 Posts)
mmrred Sun 11-Oct-09 18:46:56

Wasn't sure whether to put this here but do want genuine opinions...

My DSS has just spent the w/end with us and my DH took him swimming, a fairly regular activity. This morning before they went, DSS was on the phone to his Mum (we have to make him phone morning and night) and I heard him say he was going swimming and then somehting about arm-bands.

I was confused as he hasn't needed to wear arm-bands for over a year, so I asked him about it - it turns out his Mum was telling him he had to wear arm-bands and not go in any water deeper than his chest and not to go on the water slides...and he was blithely agreeing with her and telling her what she wanted to hear.

I told him I didn't like him to fib to his Mum (or at all) and he said he didn't want to upset her. So then I didn't know what to say. I told him I understood how difficult it was for him and that bottom line he was making that decision (to lie) but that I didn't want him to lie to me or his Dad.

And now I'm really confused and not sure if I did the right thing.

PeedOffWithNits Sun 11-Oct-09 18:48:31

how old is he

poppy34 Sun 11-Oct-09 18:49:53

How old is dss? Fwiw sounds like you did right thing pulling him up on the fib but it was him that instigated it as wanted to swim without interference.

poppy34 Sun 11-Oct-09 18:50:48

And do sympathize as being a sm is worst of all worlds

diddl Sun 11-Oct-09 18:51:10

How old is he,and how come his mother doesn´t knowhe can swim?

I think his father & mother need to sort it out.

JeminTheDungeon Sun 11-Oct-09 18:51:12

Agree- how old?

Goblinchild Sun 11-Oct-09 19:10:18

She's a worried helicopter parent type, and he's telling her what she wants to hear so he doesn't have to argue.
She wants him safe when he's out of her vision. Fibbing is often used as a strategy by children who feel their opinion will be discounted and over-ruled by adults.
Perhaps you could invite her to come and swim with you all, so she can see for herself that he's acquired more skill than she thinks he has.

piscesmoon Sun 11-Oct-09 19:26:49

Children do it all the time when they have an over controlling parent. I was having an interesting chat with some teens the other day and they said 'the stricter the parent the more devious the child'. There are 2 ways to go-either they argue directly or (the most likely)they agree and ignore.
His mother was trying to keep control when she isn't there.To ask a DC to go to a pool with slides and keep off them is silly-they will want to go on them if they are capable. He doesn't need arm bands if he can swim. She would have been much better merely sticking to the one sensible thing-to keep in his depth.
I would have pretended that you hadn't heard any of it.

thesunshinesbrightly Sun 11-Oct-09 19:35:34

Really?? you have to make him phone is mother hmm

piscesmoon Sun 11-Oct-09 19:37:01

I would imagine that she would have to make him ,if he knows that the mother is trying to have control when she isn't there!

thesunshinesbrightly Sun 11-Oct-09 19:38:23

Aslong as he doesnt lie to you or has dad, i think you are forgetting who is really his mother

FABIsInTraining Sun 11-Oct-09 19:39:13

I can understand why you went along with it but if he can swim, why doesn't his mum know this?

His age is relevant.

Rindercella Sun 11-Oct-09 19:41:50

I can well imagine that the OP and her DH have to make her DSS call his mother. We used to have to persuade my DSS to do the same (otherwise we'd get his mother calling the house having a go). Boys quite often fail to understand the importance of letting their parents know all is ok.

Agree we need to know how old he is though re the fib smile

Surfermum Sun 11-Oct-09 20:00:53

You're a stepmum, whatever you do it will be wrong, haven't you realised that yet grin.

mmrred Sun 11-Oct-09 20:04:17

He's 7. His Mum does know he can swim - DH has been taking him to swimming lessons for nearly two years and we made copies of all his swimming certificates for him to take home. Although we had to stop the lessons quite recently, as the court order specifies the times of his weekly evening contact and when DSS got moved up a group the lessons were on at a different time and his Mum refused to change it.

Although she doesn't take him swimming, he is allowed to swim without armbands and go on slides when they are on holiday.

The phone calls are also part of the order, at set times, and yes, sometimes it is a bit of a struggle to get him to do it as pisces moon guessed, because there's always a problem with something and as he phones her at 7pm and then again in the morning at 9am, very little has happened in between for him to tell her!

I hope I am not forgetting who his mother is, thesunshinesbrightly, but if I interpret your comment correctly (as critical of my actions/attitude)what should I have done?

I spoke to DH about it and his response was 'well what else can he do?'

prettyfly1 Sun 11-Oct-09 20:09:47

The sun shines - back off. She may not be his mother but she is an adult of influence trying to do the right thing knowing her step son lied. She said nothing negative about the boys mother, has not been cruel and made no indication AT ALL of being anything other then a caring step parent.

OP - You told him not to lie - best thing you can do. Let it go for now - he is reassuring her in his own way - talk to his dad and suggest if it gets worse that he has a convo with mum.

P.s Join us on step mums. Its a friendlier place with some great non step mums giving realistic advice about how they feel and none of the "step = witch" attitude of some very naieve people on this board.

Goblinchild Sun 11-Oct-09 20:11:51

Yes, she's his mother and she's put her child in a tricky position.
Unless, SSB, you are advocating that he wear his armbands to please her, even when she's not there and he doesn't need them. And she has been given copies of certificates so she knows that a neutral authority has assessed his level of competency.
So he has two choices, try and reason with a seemingly unreasonable mother or tell her what will please her.

FABIsInTraining Sun 11-Oct-09 20:33:37

It is so sad that at such a young age he is stuck in the middle of his mothers power games.

mmrred Sun 11-Oct-09 21:23:24

Thanks Prettyfly - is step mums a different forum, then? I'll type it into the old google...however, I would genuinely like to know what people who think I've overstepped the mark think I should have done or how to handle it, particularly in terms of supporting my DSS who has a tricky time of things generally.

alwayslookingforanswers Sun 11-Oct-09 21:27:18

step-parenting topic here on mumsnet smile.

Haven't got anything useful to add other than the link to the topic on here

prettyfly1 Sun 11-Oct-09 21:30:08

hiya mmred - it is just a different area of mumsnet - as linked to already above

onadietcokebreak Sun 11-Oct-09 21:31:07

Mmred...prettyfly means the seperate talk topic stepfamilies... have a look at the top of on topic, being a parent and stepfamilies.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Oct-09 21:35:46

Message withdrawn

Rindercella Sun 11-Oct-09 21:36:21

mmrred, I do not think you have overstepped the mark and nor do I think you should have handled it any differently.

It's bloody tough being a step mother - I know from experience. It sounds like you have a good relationship with your DSS, which is great.

Tbh, I get a tad fed up with some posters on here assuming that the mother in these situations is always right - often that is not the case. I could give you 100 examples of where my DSS's mother was most definitely not right in the raising of her son. I could also give you 100 examples of where she was absolutely right. None of us is perfect and we all do get it wrong at times, especially when emotions come into play.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 11-Oct-09 21:41:55

Message withdrawn

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