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Ungrateful step son?(13 Posts)
OH and I have been together for 3 years and expecting our first baby together. He was divorced when we met and he has two children from his previous relationships. They are with us every other week-ends plus some of their holidays.
The older (13 years old) does ask his dad for stuff like blackberrys etc, which I guess plenty of children his age would ask for.
What I see as a potential problem is that he doesn't seem to show any gratitude to his father, not even a thank you! It bothers me because I think it is wrong. OH works extra time on Saturday so that he can afford to treat his sons (in addition to paying for their activities and paying the CSA), and it seems to me the children don't appreciate it and don't even murmur a simple thank you Dad.
Am I being over the top here?????
Have you ever watched kevin and perry....
I don't think you are, actually. Leaving aside any of the maintenance, CSA, stepchildren etc parts of the issue, it is simply polite to thank people. That's it. It doesn't matter who is giving the gifts or treats, saying thank you is important. Does he ever say please or thank you for anything, or is it just his dad to whom it apparently isn't worth showing manners?
With me, he does say please when he stays over the week-end and when he forgets to say thank you I make a joke of it like 'have you forgotten the magicc word' etc. and then he says it. It just annoys me because I know OH works so hard and wants to give them what he feels he missed out growing up.
I've spoken to him, explaining as diplomatically as I could that as a father, he must say something too, otherwise, the little boy won't change his attitude. He reminds him sometimes. I would personally be tougher on that, but I don't want to appear to be the nasty step mom who manipulates her OH with his children from a previous relationship.
I'm wondering whether I should have a word with the little boy next time he comes over? Otherwise, I often emphasise that 'that was nice of dad to do that, let's say thank you to him' and things like that. I would do exactely the same with our new child together.
What I know is that OH is not spoken about in good terms in their mum's house and she has used disrespectful language to him in front of the boys during pick up times and drop off. Their divorce was acrimonious.
He definitely sounds like a typical teenager! I would be very careful how you approach this - there can be a lot of bitterness in teens whose parents have split up, and the situation is unlikely to be helped by his mum being less than discrete in voicing her own feelings about your OH.
When my parents divorced I watched my mum really struggle to keep us going so the odd gift from my dad seemed like empty gestures to me and I wasn't particularly grateful for them. With hindsight I was pretty unreasonable but then teenagers aren't really known for their empathy. It sounds to me as though you've been doing the right thing - in your position I think I'd stick with gentle reminders and not go any further.
tbh you've spoken to your OH and it really is up to him to enforce it, not for you to stand as the bodyguard for your DH's feelings by reminding him to say thank you. "that was nice of dad, let's say thanks" your OH has a tongue in his head, if he wants thanks from his son he needs to ask for it himself. if i was your DSS i'd be sniggering about how you speak to him.
also, you realise this is a 13 year old not a 3 year old? there is no magic word at 13, you just say "where are you manners?" and he isn't a 'little boy' he is a teenager.
and FWIW, i scrimp really hard to buy treats for my dcs, they dont always remember to say thank you and they have no clue the monetary value and how long it takes me to save or how much i have to go without in order to do it. they wont realise until they are earning themselves the value of money. it isn't a step child issue or separated parents issue, it's just a thing that happens between children and parents. it's normal.
It comes across to me as if you are over-egging it a bit. He's doing what all parents do by working and providing for them. Doing overtime for extras is something I'd expect dd and dsd to be grateful for, but not so much in a overtly saying thank you directly to me way, just by showing gratitude in a general way for the things they get and do as a result of it. I'm not sure if I've put that across too well . I wonder too if you are expecting him to see things from an adult point of view, which at 13 I wouldn't be expecting yet.
Agree with everyone else - he's a teenager, and they take everything for granted. And probably also don't realise the value of things, not having to earn the money themselves.
All of which doesn't excuse not saying thankyou, but they do often need prompting.
The situation is made more difficult when the DCs only see the father every few weeks, and compounded if the mother slags off the father, so I think you need to tread carefully. You're not the parent, so it's not really up to you, but comments along the lines you say you are already making seem fair enough to me. I suspect that your DH feels guility enough for not being able to be with his DCs more often, so he overlooks things like manners when he does see them.
There's no excuse for bad manners, but Teens are like that, generally self centred and very much like Kevin and Perry.
It is up to your OH to set discipline and boundaries- and that includes getting them to say thank you. As a step parent myself, it is not my place to tell my step son to use manners or tell him what to say, that's DH's role as a father.
Parenting children is generally a thankless task anyway.
Thank you all for your valuable views and opinions. There are definitely things for me to take on board.
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