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AIBU by restricting ss 14 access to the house?

(34 Posts)
ohyikes Fri 22-Feb-13 23:04:59

Dp's son 14 was trusted with having a key to let himself in to the house on the weekends that he visits. SS had lost the house key the first time and Dp cut him a new one without consulting me. I was upset by this but decided to keep quiet. Ss lost the key again and same story, Dp cut him a new one again without consulting me.

Ss is careless and always loses things. Once he left his phone on the bus and Dp's solution was to buy him a new one. I didnt think that was ideal so I advised Dp to ring up the transport authority to see if they had it in their lost property section which they did. Same story with the sports shoes Ss left on the bus. We went and collected them from lost property.

I don't think he deserves another key because he is irresponsible and knows that his father will replace anything he loses. It's also our safety he's putting in jeopardy. What if someone picked up the key and followed him home? They would know where we live and have easy access to the house.

I am pregnant and have a ds of my own and it annoys me that dp has no regard for this by handing out keys everytime his son loses them. Ss is only here every fortnight. We are here all the time. If someone were to break in to the house, we are the ones who will be most likely at risk.

AIBU for not wanting ss to have a key until i'm satisfied that he has learnt some responsibility?
Dare I say anything to dp because it'll end up into an argument like everything else to do with his kids. I'm pregnant and I really don't need the stress right now so I really don't have the luxury of arguing until he gets my point.

theredhen Mon 25-Feb-13 13:49:18

My DSD who lives with us a third of the time aged nearly 17 doesn't have a key. The reason behind this is she is ALWAYS picked up by DP or myself and driven to our house. Therefore, she doesn't need a key.

Petal02 Mon 25-Feb-13 14:00:51

I’m in the same situation as Redhen – DSS18 spends two nights per week with us, he’s always collected by DH when he visits, so he doesn’t need a key.

But as regards making someone feel like a visitor by not giving them a key: (just bracing myself for a flaming) DSS is a visitor. He doesn’t live with us. He lives with us mother, and visits us each week. Most children with separated parents live with one parent, and visit the other. It’s just the way it is. It’s quite artificial to pretend that the child lives at each address, because the majority of such children don’t see it that way. DSS is quite relaxed about living with Mum, and visiting Dad. I wouldn’t insult his intelligence by trying to convince him that he lives at two separate addresses.

theredhen Mon 25-Feb-13 14:15:16

If my ds never ever had a need for a key to our house, he wouldn't have one and he lives with me full time.

My ds isn't a visitor, it's his (only) home.

If a kid doesn't need a key, they don't need a key. Step child or resident child.

Petal02 Mon 25-Feb-13 14:50:49

I agree, Redhen.

However whilst it seems quite acceptable for a bio/resident child NOT to have a key, if you dare suggest that a step/non-resident child can't have a key, then you're making him/her unwelcome.

We should be used to these double standards by now!

freddiemisagreatshag Mon 25-Feb-13 14:58:15

I don't have double standards confused

purpleroses Mon 25-Feb-13 14:58:56

Petal - Can only speak from experience I guess, but neither DP nor I have ever had to do anyting artificial to "convince" our DCs that they have two homes. My DCs are 5/7 with us, and his 2/7 with us. If anything the reverse was true with my own DCs who have repeatadly correctly my use of langage if I say "home" when they think I should say "my house" or "dad's house" - they tell me quite firmly that they have two homes so find it an unhelpful word for me to use.

And DP's DCs very definitely feel that our home (which they stay at at weekends) is their home as well as their mum's. We've not forced this, but we have tried hard not to send out signals that it's not really their home. They each have a bed, space that is their own, some posessions, wash things, etc. Not the same as at a house they go and visit.

DSD2 was given a key recently at the same time as my DS (same age) even though she doesn't actually need it, but she wanted it. She asked for it, she enjoys having it (thankfully, she looks after it), and it's clearly important to her in the message it gives out. I'm personally quite happy with the feel of things being that they live here at weekends, rather than they've come to visit - makes it feel more relaxed and not like we have to entertain them all the time, or always be in to greet them. We live in a town with lots of places within walking distance, so it's easy for everyone to come and go if they have keys.

Ds1 lost his house key several times when he first went to senior school, and after the first couple of times, we dealt with it by changing the lock barrel (which is cheaper than changing the whole lock, but means a new lock so the house stays secure), and making him pay for the replacement out of his allowance.

I would recommend you say to your stepson that, if he loses his key again, you will be forced to change the locks, for the sake of everyone's security, and he will be bearing the cost. And tell him your children will be facing the same penalty as and when they are old enough to have keys, if they don't look after them. That way, you are treating them all alike, and not making him feel like a visitor to the house because he doesn't have a key, iyswim.

Scootee Mon 25-Feb-13 15:13:47

I would allow one last key to be issued on the condition that it is clipped inside a bag with something like the thing suggested up thread. With the warning that this is the last key.

AllDirections Mon 25-Feb-13 19:25:15

That's very reasonable Scootee

Mmmm, maybe I should let DD1 have one more chance! But it's the fact that she's not at all remorseful about losing two keys already and the fact that she wouldn't take any more care with a new one.

I agree though that if a bio child has a key then so should a step child. It's about more than needing a key, it's about a sense of belonging.

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