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step children stressing me out!!

(22 Posts)
exoticfruits Fri 02-Aug-13 22:08:40

The first step is talking it over with DH and working out how you go forward together. If it can't be sorted then you need outside help.
Sensible post from brdgrl.

nkf Fri 02-Aug-13 21:01:37

Dear oh dear. You don't like them much and they can probably tell. They probably don't like you much either. The thing is you all have to make it work. Some outside help perhaps. Some deep thinking and talk with your husband.

brdgrl Fri 02-Aug-13 20:59:56

OH! and congratulations. smile

brdgrl Fri 02-Aug-13 20:58:53

Also? What andro said.

brdgrl Fri 02-Aug-13 20:58:15

Kakey, I am also married to a widower and stepmum to his two (teenage) kids.

My DSCs do have issues arising from the loss of their mum, of course they do. They also have learned how to fall back on the loss of their mother as a strategy for getting what they want. Both things are true. Sure, people are going to tell you that you are heartless for noticing that, but it happens. Children of divorced parents do it too. It is pretty simple, really - kids notice if something works. What I have tried to do consistently with my DSCs is to accept their feelings, but not their behaviours. Kids also need to understand that many people have hardship in their lives, and terrible losses, but that they can use this to develop their empathy and kindness towards others.

Children who have experienced a bereavement need clear boundaries and limits, as much as other children do. It doesn't do them any favours to allow them to define themselves, or be defined by others, by their loss alone. I think it is probably also important that the roles in the household are clearly defined - my stepkids needed to know exactly what role I was going to play in their life. DH and I could honestly have done better at communicating that from the beginning, and establishing just how much of a "parent" I would be. I don't think there is necessarily a right answer to that, but I do think it needs to be made clear to the kids. (Like exotic says, maybe the answer in your family is that you will play an equal parenting role to the kids. In my case, the kids were older, and my role therefore was different - and a bit different with each kid, actually - so I am more involved in the 'parenting' of my DSS than of my DSD - because of their ages, needs, and temperaments, and the chemistry that we have between us.)

We had some behavioural problems with DSS last winter. In the end (and it was rocky getting there), DH and I agreed that we needed to address both aspects of his behaviour - the emotions behind his actions, and his actions. He'd refused grief counseling after his mum's death, and DH and the counselors said there was no point in pressuring him to go if he didn't want to - but after he started acting up, and justifying it to us by bringing up his mum's death as a principal cause - then we told him that we expected him to talk to a counselor. He went for a half-dozen sessions and no more, but I think it did help, and I feel that now he would be more likely to go again if he feels he needs it. We also gave him consequences for the rules he had broken.

If you want to talk about this, you can always message me. I know what you are up against.

exoticfruits Fri 02-Aug-13 19:20:42

It seems to me that you are not equal parent and it all goes through DH. I think that you need to change the dynamics to having 2 equal parents and 3 equal children.
My first DH died and DH2 is step father to my DS. We have 2 further DCs between us. There is no difference-DH acts exactly the same to all 'our' children. The grandparents, uncle, aunts etc, on all sides, treat them all as the same family and equally.
e.g it doesn't have to be DH who phones the school for a meeting-it could just as easily be you.

Ledkr Fri 02-Aug-13 19:13:00

Great point andro

Andro Fri 02-Aug-13 18:33:36

^the issues that can crop up when children suffer a bereavement

Andro Fri 02-Aug-13 18:32:33

My dc are adopted, their parents were killed in an accident so I'm familiar with many of the issues that can crop up. What strikes me though is this:

any attempt to talk to hubby results in a row.

That is unacceptable, disrespectful and counter productive. Do you pull your SC up on the way they speak to you? How would your husband respond to it if you did? The two of you need to be on the same page with regard to rules, having the security of both parental figures having the same expectations is something that my DC have found (infuriatingly!) important - it helped them feel safe.

Your SS might be playing on his mother's death, but equally it might be that he never really came to terms with it (something he might not fully realise himself). Professional help may well be beneficial for him, even if he believes he's fine.

Oh, and if your SS isn't doing his work in class, then the school isn't managing his behaviour appropriately and your DH needs a meeting with his head of year/head of house/whoever is the appropriate person to discuss what intervention and/or support is needed.

Ledkr Fri 02-Aug-13 14:32:44

Imagine if it were your children being raised by a step mum who hated them after you had died when they were tiny.
I'm sad just thinking about this happening to mine.
I'm trying to be objective op because my dh is my dds step father and she can be really mean ti him at times.
I've tried punishing her and long chats and threats but she just see s to dislike him.
He is amazing with her too.
I will continue to support dh by chastising my daughter but at the end if the day she didn't ask to be out in this situation anymore than any child.
Maybe you can start again with them, it's git to be worth a try rather than so end god knows how many years like this.

Lackedpunchesforever Fri 02-Aug-13 14:23:23

These two small children have been through a horrendous experience. The loss of their mum at such a young age is bound to have impacted significantly on them. When did your issues with their behaviour start ? Have you always disliked them ? What sort of support did they have before and in the aftermath of losing their mum ?

My advice to you is to look at your own behaviour at this minute in time. You seem to have become locked in a circle of mutual contempt and as the adult, it's up to you to start to break the cycle because these children do not have the emotional maturity to do that. If your husband is not open to listening, then try writing down your issues with the childrens behaviour and your feelings about the impact it is having on you.The school sound as if they need to be involved more.

Look into voluntary organisations locally who provide support for bereaved children. There are also national organisations such as

Suggest ways of opening up dialogue with the children. You are incredibly defensive so I really would suggest getting outside help in the form of some sort of family therapy , or even a third party friend/family member.

Petal02 Fri 02-Aug-13 14:05:43

Kakey, I'm not sure how to advise you, but there are some fab posters here who will be able to help.

Petal02 Fri 02-Aug-13 14:04:05

Dearth - if you can't offer any constructive advice, then please go away.

kakey19 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:08:39

and you think he can go through life making one excuse after another? ? you are probably one of these parents who go through life making excuses for their own children who make these situations for step parents in the first place.

kakey19 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:06:21

the excuse part is an excuse when spoken to by a trained person at his college he admitted outrigt he didnt want to do his maths test the first time amd he hadnt done his homework the first

kakey19 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:04:57

excuse me but try readong before you make a comment I DID NOT at any point say I hate them if you were disrespected every day of your life you'd be pretty upset to

they are not young children anymore and they have called me mum since I have been married to my husband and do you really think I woukd show them any different treatment to my child??? they are all treat the same I came on here for advice not criticism

dearth Fri 02-Aug-13 13:03:14

To say that someone is "using [grief] as an excuse" is so invalidating.

kakey19 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:01:21

dsd is now 8 and dss is now 12

dearth Fri 02-Aug-13 13:01:16

I'm not surprised they treat you with disrespect. You can't stand them. Do you know how much that hurts? Dead mum and SM who hates you. Sounds like the boy is really struggling. I think you need family therapy and probably individual or couples therapy, too.

kakey19 Fri 02-Aug-13 12:59:48

its probably just me found out I was 6 weeks pregnant yesterday.
I just cant see things ever changing we get by most of the time.
and I do get that losing their mum was hard and that it must be difficult but to use it as an excuse is a no go for me I find it very disrespectful to her memory.

LoveLaughingLots Fri 02-Aug-13 12:37:20

You have the difficult situation of being a step-mother to children who's mother is no longer around unfortunately.

I really don't have much experience myself but perhaps try setting some time aside to talk things through with DH? Let him know how stressful the situation is, try and put together a plan if possible.

It is possible that they're maybe only just able to understand that their mother died and it's having an effect now as they get older. Could you perhaps see about getting some counselling?

No real solutions, just my thoughts!

Hope you're ok.


kakey19 Fri 02-Aug-13 08:51:57

ok so I met dh when dsd was 3 and dss was 8 we since got married and habe been together in total 5 years they both live with us as heir mum tragically died (before I met them)

I feel mean saying it but I cant stand to be in the same room as them, its at the point I now work and dh stays at home to look after them! if they wont listen to me why should I be in the house, dsd knows how to twist dh round her little finger and can do mo wrong, I hate that he letsbher speak to me like s* yet of she spoke like that to someone else hes quick to tell her? ?
and now dss has turned 12 he's realised a few tears about his mum and he gets a day off school his report from school was awful he never does his work in class or homework but dh blames the school? !?
I used to keep on the sidelines but we have a 2 year old boy together as well and I have gotten to the point I dont want him near them hes learning their bad attitude and I don't like it. any attempt to talk to hubby results in a row.

sorry rant over!!!!!

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