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Do stepchildren ever learn the ropes in the NRP home?

(14 Posts)
ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 05-Aug-13 19:53:53

I understand its hard for DCs who spend time in several different homes to learn the various routines, expectations and consequences in each - and I've tried my hardest to be tolerant but......aaaaaggggghhhhhh!

DSS uses his inability to remember what happens in our home to justify everything from not being able to help with chores to needing his own breakfast made for him. When his Dad pulls him up on something, he even says that he cant remember that he shouldn't lie/snoop or whatever at our house. Nightmare!

It's not like its new; he has been coming to his Dad here every other week (except a short period when Mum withheld contact) for 5 years (hes 10) and DSS never remembers a time when his Mum and Dad lived together - but he also can't remember which cupboard he was told the breakfast cereal is in only last week!

We've tried talking to him, asking him if he forgets the rules at school, or how to play his sport at club - but he looks blank because he clearly doesn't see them as the same thing.

mrsravelstein Mon 05-Aug-13 19:56:53

sounds normal for 10 year old boys regardless of whether they're in their own home or not :-)

Petal02 Mon 05-Aug-13 19:59:44

DSS is nearly 19 and chooses to be unable to carry out basic domestic procedures at our house. DH has always infantilised him, there are no expectations and no consequences.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 05-Aug-13 20:04:58

mrsravel Really? So if I had my own 10 yr old boy, he would claim he forgot that he shouldn't look through my desk, or didn't know that lying makes me cross?
He'd stand in the middle of the kitchen every single damn morning waiting for someone to tell him where the cereal and milk are kept?

Thank goodness DD is a girl!

mrsravelstein Mon 05-Aug-13 20:13:45

well my 12 year old ds is a bit like that. and he turns up that natural tendency by about 100 when he's with his stepmother smile

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 05-Aug-13 20:42:47

well my 12 year old ds is a bit like that. and he turns up that natural tendency by about 100 when he's with his stepmother

Oh, this isn't my problem - I'm just a frustrated bystander - DP does all the parenting of his own DCs.
Good to hear a mum admit that their DCs do play up for their Stepmums though - the general theme on the Stepparenting boards seems to be that DSC are innocent victims; your post is a refreshing change smile

ChasingSquirrels Tue 06-Aug-13 18:31:12

I have no idea what my boys are like at their dads, but I can't for 1 minute imagine my 10yo waiting for someone to get him breakfast if he had been told to get it himself, or claiming he didn't know where things were in a place where he spends 2 nights every week.

I certainly wouldn't be pandering to it, my response would be along the lines of "well you better remember or you are going to be hungry aren't you".

I'm not saying he does everything for himself. but if he wants something and I tell him to get it himself, he does - or goes without.

Kaluki Tue 06-Aug-13 21:21:07

That is just trying it on and I dint pander to it. Like when DSD 'forgot' that she isn't allowed to war sweets in bed before anyone gets up or when DSD 'forgets' to change his pants or clean his teeth. If you believe that you will believe anything!!!!!

ChinaCupsandSaucers Wed 07-Aug-13 11:33:56

I have to admit, I'm sceptical, but what can DP do?

DSS stoically accepts any consequences; will go hungry rather than 'remember' where things are for breakfast and accept confiscation of electronics if he forgets that he's not allowed to snoop or gets caught lying. If he's asked to 'grab a tea towel' and help dry dishes, he'll take hours to dry one plate to avoid having to put anything away!

I forgot seems to absolve himself of any responsibility - as if its totally outside his control and that DP is unjust by expecting anything different!

ChasingSquirrels Wed 07-Aug-13 18:27:10

how long would he go hungry for?

mrsravelstein Wed 07-Aug-13 18:36:30

is there history of DP letting dss get away with stuff? i only ask because ds1 had a very 'disney dad' relationship with his father for years until his stepmum came along. when i asked for the same rules to be applied at his dad's as at home, i was told to mind my own business and that exh would do what he liked with ds for the brief time he saw him. this set up the situation where ds1 would take the piss. then stepmum came along with a bunch of rules not dissimilar to the ones at home, but ds1 understandably didn't want to play ball by that point as was used to dictating his own bedtimes/being waited on/eating chocolate for breakfast etc. i'm not projecting, by the way, just asking whether it's a recent thing or a longstanding problem?

(also ds1 is one of those unbelievably stubborn kids who would rather go hungry than admit he knew how to make breakfast, hard to deal with i agree)

ChinaCupsandSaucers Wed 07-Aug-13 19:09:14

chasing He has, in the past missed breakfast and lunch (breakfast because he 'forgot' where things were (DP ang i both had flu so told the DCs to make their own) and lunch the same day because he didn't want to ask my friend who was babysitting and she assumed he'd eaten) - which has only come to light when he shovelled in his dinner in record time.

No, DPs not 'disney'd' him, but he does problem solve for him a bit more than I would. DSS is 'the baby of the family at Mums though; his mum, grandma and (6 years) older sister tend to 'mother' him!
I wonder if he knows where things are at his mums, thinking about it - I know his mum or sister make his breakfast every morning, cos DSD moans that when mums not there in the morning, she has to get up to give DSS his breakfast!

Even if he doesn't though, surely after several years he'd have picked some of the routine here?

ChasingSquirrels Wed 07-Aug-13 19:16:44

but he didn't complain that he was hungry, he just missed the meals..mmm

must be difficult, I would go with natural consequences of (lack of) actions as far as possible, along with pointing out (again and again) where things are, what to do, how to do it - but not actually doing it for him.

But other things - like not remembering he shouldn't lie, well he clearly shouldn't lie anywhere, but almost certainly will lie on occasion when he can get away with it - he is 10, testing boundaries, doesn't always want to comply etc. Again, consequences of lying etc, explain what they are (whatever your DP decides) and enforce them - if he isn't bothered then maybe they aren't the right consequences.

Sounds infuriating though.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Wed 07-Aug-13 19:57:33

if he isn't bothered then maybe they aren't the right consequences.

Funny you say that, I just don't know what is "high value" to him, or what motivates him!
He is the most stoic child I know - we discovered recently that he is being bullied at school, but he believes that it is something he has to put up with, he doesn't think adults "should have to bother" to sort it out. He's said similar about the need for social services involvement with his sister - it's a lot of fuss to go to just for a child!!!

DP says that he was the same as a toddler - he had dreadful ear infections (hospitalisation required) but he never cried or displayed any distress - the only indication they had that he was unwell (and presumably in pain) was when he is temperature went up and he fitted.

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