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DSS is now 18 - surely things must change ......... ?

(513 Posts)
Petal02 Tue 04-Sep-12 16:16:25

So DSS has now celebrated (he didn’t have a party, he just wanted to go out for a meal with DH and I) his 18th birthday and starts back at 6th Form College (for his second year of A levels) next week. I’d like some honest opinions, especially from those of you who know the background details.

We’ve been operating flexible-ish visiting for the last few months, with some minor resistance from DSS, and on the whole it’s worked OK. DSS now works on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, just round the corner from where he lives with his mother. DH had (unsuccessfully) tried to ferry DSS to/from his workplace during his alternate weekend stays with us, but given the distances involved, it just meant DH spending Saturday and Sunday on the road, whereas if DSS had been based at his mothers, it’s literally a two minute walk. So DH has had to concede that it’s impractical to keep DSS with us beyond Saturday lunch time on access weekends.

DSS is very keen that he still has the same amount of time with his Dad, even though DH works Monday-Friday and DSS works Saturday and Sunday. Even DH had reluctantly agreed this is impractical. However as access weekends used to run from Thursday 4pm til Sunday 6pm, and now they’re shorter because they finish at lunch time on Saturday (before DSS starts his afternoon shift),DSS wants to shift his visits so that they run from Tuesday 4pm til Saturday lunch time. I understand that he’s losing two weekend days with his Dad, as he’s now working, and wants two extra week nights to compensate.

But having an “access weekend” that starts on Tuesday (!!!!!!!) even though it finishes on Saturday lunch time, seems ridiculous for an adult. And that’s what DSS is now, he’s an adult. It surely can’t be realistic to maintain the same amount of contact hours that he had when he was 11, not when he’s working at weekends, and it’s logistically very difficult for DH to bring him over to us on a Tuesday night, because that means he needs lifts to/from college on Weds/Thurs/Fri which impacts greatly on DH’s work. Not to mention that DH and I often do stuff on weeknights. Should we stop these things because DH has an adult son?

In my opinion, things surely have to change ………. I don’t see why (although tell me if I’m wrong) DSS can’t be OK with Thursday 4pm-Sat lunch time? Yes, it’s less time with his Dad but he’s 18 now. Of course they still want to see each other, but I’m amazed that an 18 yr old wants so much rostered time with a parent. I’m also worried that DSS may cease his weekend job if he can’t maintain the same amount of contact with DH.

DH hasn't given DSS an answer on his Tuesday-Saturday request yet. I want to talk to DH about it tonight or tomorrow. But before I do, I’d like some opinions from fellow SMs. I don’t want to spend four consecutive weekend nights hanging out with DH’s adult son, just so that “ x” amount of weekly hours can be achieved. I think it’s all insane but I suspect I’m too close to the situation to see it clearly.

Bonsoir Wed 05-Sep-12 10:14:19

My DSSs (15, 17) spend masses of time with DP - why not? They go to the gym together, to tennis together, shopping together, ski-ing together, to restaurants together, do homework, chat. They get on brilliantly. It doesn't stop them becoming independent. In fact, our children are unusually independent.

pinkbraces Wed 05-Sep-12 10:14:55

I agree that he should be more independant but that doesnt mean he cant see his Dad as much as he wants to, does it?

If he is unable to move independently around both of his homes then I can understand why he want to have specific hours. I would ensure driving lessons are undertaken as soon as possible, as soon as he has the option of accessing his Dads home easily Im sure the situation wont seem as rigid.

Make him send off his licence this weekend.

This wont be forever, he will be off to uni soon enough

glasscompletelybroken Wed 05-Sep-12 10:16:09

But Bonsoir he shouldn't have such a highly structured routine at his age and that is where the problem lies. It is not helping him to stick to such a childish rigid routine. He is an adult and needs to learn some independence. petal & her DP will help him best by encouraging this.

Petal has never said she doesn't want to see him - just that the current system, which may be suitable for young child, is not apporpriate for an adult.

However much you seem to want to dispute this - HE IS AN ADULT!!!

pinkbraces Wed 05-Sep-12 10:19:21

No, he isnt an Adult.

He is a boy who still wants to spend time with his Dad. If you visit some of the teen threads on here there are many posters who would love to be in this position.

Bonsoir Wed 05-Sep-12 10:20:05

No, he does not have the freedom and independence of an adult because he is constrained by the structures and routine of school. Petal02 just wants rid of him, in this, his crucial year at school. Frankly, she should be ashamed of her attitude - ashamed to the core. And it is a silly, short-sighted attitude because if she really wants her DSS to leave her alone, she needs to ensure he gets the very best exam results possible to help him on his way.

purpleroses Wed 05-Sep-12 10:20:37

How's he going to drop in ad hoc style if he's relying on his parents to transport him? He can't. He can only come to his dad's if he agrees in advance when he wants to do so and his dad makes arrangements to transport him. That seems to be what he's doing isn't it?

Give him a kick to get his provional liscence sent off.

pippop1 Wed 05-Sep-12 10:21:39

Can't you go out with your DH when he is staying with you? He's not a visitor, he's a member of the family when he is with you and should be treated as such. This could be a condition of the Tues to Sat arrangement in that you are free to go out with your DH (and not him) if you want to.

boredandrestless Wed 05-Sep-12 10:22:23

I'm with Bonsoir on this.

He sounds desperate to maintain the dad time he has, and you seem desperate for him not to. I feel quite sad for him. sad

Yes he's 18 but he's also still in sixth form, getting an education, doing school hours and a part time job. That's perfectly average for an 18 year old. Most 18 year olds at sixth form are still living at home, the only difference for your DSS is that he is used to shared time between 2 homes.

He may be scared to learn to drive? A lot of people find it daunting! Has his dad spoken to him about it recently?

Petal02 Wed 05-Sep-12 10:25:22

Petal has never said she doesn’t want to see him – just that the current system, which may be suitable for a young child, is not appropriate for an adult

YES !!! Thank you. That’s my point entirely.

Bonsoir Wed 05-Sep-12 10:27:33

You don't say you don't want to see him in so many words, Petal02, because you know that you will get a massive slating on MN because that attitude is unacceptable. So you dress it up in "clingy" "lacking independence" bla bla bla in order to cover up (frankly not very effectively) the fact that you want DSS to spend less time with his father.

And then you have the gall to blame your DSS for keeping track of hours etc - of course he does, with a stepmother like you who wants to prevent him seeing his father.

pinkbraces Wed 05-Sep-12 10:28:24

But, your DSS wants it to be appropriate for him and I fail to see why you would object

Bonsoir Wed 05-Sep-12 10:30:33

Frankly, you need to be prepared for your DSS to have regular visiting times until he has completed university and is in the working world. So you are four or five years off that, Petal02. Get used to it.

Petal02 Wed 05-Sep-12 10:32:59

Bonsoir, so you’re suggesting we stick to the access rota until DSS has finished Uni??????? What planet are you on? There clearly isn’t much oxygen up there.

Bonsoir Wed 05-Sep-12 10:34:22

Yes, he will want to spend half his holidays with his father (or more) and will need to work this out in advance. This is NORMAL.

glasscompletelybroken Wed 05-Sep-12 10:34:58

Bonsoir do you make a habit of trolling through peoples posts, rubbishing what they are saying and coming to your own bizarre conclusions about
what they actually mean?

Surely as parents it is our duty to produce independent, self-sufficient and useful adults - capable of running their own lives, respecting other people and making and nurturing their own relationships.

This hanging on to the idea that an 18 year old is a small boy and treating him as one is so harmful to his future ability to do these things.

procrastinor Wed 05-Sep-12 10:35:16

I'm sorry I'm with Bonsoir on this too. My dsis has an adult stepson and she accommodates her life to facilitate him spending every weekend as a family together (and he's 18 too). I think it's actually really sad that he writes down the contact hours with his dad - it just seems that he's really insecure that unless its a scheduled formal thing that he won't spend time with him.

More importantly, what is your DH's opinion? Because if he's willing and wanting to do this then I think that it really does seem as if you just don't think he fits in with you as a family and want a distant vague idea of a stepson rather than a member of family.

Bonsoir Wed 05-Sep-12 10:36:09

I feel deeply sorry for Petal02's DSS. Deeply, deeply sorry. She is trying to prevent him from seeing his father. This has absolutely nothing to do with fostering independence.

glasscompletelybroken Wed 05-Sep-12 10:37:55

"Frankly, you need to be prepared for your DSS to have regular visiting times until he has completed university and is in the working world"

OK - I have just read that and realised that Bonsoir is joking.

I mean, that's not a serious comment is it?

I think it highly unlikely that he will ever progress to the working world if he continues to be treated as a child.

Bonsoir Wed 05-Sep-12 10:37:59

It is also not a stepparent's role to foster their DSCs' independence. They might support the parent in fostering independence, but that is not what is going on here.

boredandrestless Wed 05-Sep-12 10:38:17

Yep, you will have a skint student coming home for the hols with his laundry to see his mum, AND to see his dad. His parents.

I don't see why you are so resentful of the fact he still wants to regularly see his dad?

I would leave your DH and DSS to come up with a plan that suits them logistically. Maybe your DSS could study at the library until your DH finishes work for example? He shouldn't have to change his working hours to do sixth form run, surely there would be some way to work it out? But if there isn't he is a parent and that's what parents do, work their lives around their kids.

procrastinor Wed 05-Sep-12 10:38:54

psssh stopping him seeing his dad is hardly going to magically turn him into an adult. Arbitrarily assigning an age to which someone should just become an fully fledged adult is ridiculous. Some people just take time to get there. Wanting to see your dad is hardly wanting to have dinner cut up for him and served on a spoon.

Why don't you encourage him to get a driving licence and work towards him coming and going independently rather than just expecting him to be there instantly seeing as 18yrs have passed since he popped out the womb.

glasscompletelybroken Wed 05-Sep-12 10:40:00

Bonsoir I am fascinated now to know what you think a stepparents role actually is.

Bonsoir Wed 05-Sep-12 10:43:39

And why do you think I should want to answer, given that you have been quite so rude and dismissive of my ideas on this thread?

ArtexMonkey Wed 05-Sep-12 10:45:06

I agree with bonsoir (and I NEVER agree with bonsoir). Your dislike of your ss shines through every single one of your threads petal. The more you rage and rail on here about how clingy he is, the harder he and your dh stick together.

What is that famous quote about the definition of madness being doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Maybe it's time to make a real effort to change your thinking on this.

OhChristFENTON Wed 05-Sep-12 10:47:12

Bonsoir you make it personal against Petal - every time you post on a thread of hers.

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