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Was I out of order

(41 Posts)
HormonalHeap Thu 16-Jul-15 13:33:44

Dsd 16 staying for 2 wks over hols. Has never got on with my ds 15. With no provocation last night she called him a c..t. Dh said he told her off but he never does. So I told her if she ever spoke to ds again like that she'd be on the first train back to her dm.

Dh went mental with me. Says I had no right to say that. I know I was wrong but I've often said it to my own, and I'm just so sick of the way dh never calls her on anything because she threatens to not see him.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Thu 16-Jul-15 13:50:59

How awful that she said that to you. I'd have reacted the same. Not sure if right or wrong though. my dp would back me up on it though. Xx

HormonalHeap Thu 16-Jul-15 14:00:08

Thanks Always, she said it to my ds not me. I reckon what I said wasn't right. I have never seen dh lose it with me like he did. I am so sick of having to tiptoe around her though while she gets away with mutder

HormonalHeap Thu 16-Jul-15 14:00:40


catsmother Thu 16-Jul-15 14:03:08

Assuming you gave him the opportunity to deal with this, (and are confident there was no provocation) - but he chose not to - then I don't think you were wrong to say what you did. I can't think of any sensible or reasonable excuse for her to use that term and it'd send a very poor message to your DS if no-one said or did anything and he therefore thought you were effectively condoning what she called him.

In an ideal world, then yes her dad should have dealt. But where they refuse to it's not fair that our children should become scapegoats. I actually think you were quite reasonable - you made a 'threat', but a perfectly acceptable one IMO, and didn't send her home straight away and/or impose some other sort of repercussion.

If your DH doesn't like you disciplining his child, then he should bloody well man up and get on with the job. Or does he think his daughter's choice of language is acceptable and your son's feelings are irrelevant?

Refusing to do that is, I actually think, pretty selfish because it's all about his fear of not seeing her. He's being emotionally blackmailed in effect if he allows himself to think like that. I always wonder why a 'relationship' (of sorts, any sort) trumps all else in situations like this - i.e. he'd rather kid himself they have a relationship even if it means the child calls all the shots and has carte blanche to behave badly towards other family members. Obviously, no-one wants to be in a situation where their child refuses to see them but this is one of those 'tough love' examples where, in the long run, it's better to impose some boundaries/expectations/rules now - even if it does result in a short term huff - rather than let them grow up completely selfish and inconsiderate of others.

You are doing nothing wrong in standing up for and protecting your child - it's what we are told, as parents, we should be doing all the time - letting them know we have their backs etc. And yet, so often, in step families, this simple and instinctive behaviour is frowned upon if it means 'upsetting' a non-res child whose behaviour is undeniably unacceptable. My personal rule of thumb, as you've also mentioned, is that if, hand on heart, I can honestly say I'd have dealt with my own children in a similar fashion, then I'm doing nothing wrong in treating my stepkids the same.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Thu 16-Jul-15 14:06:52

Use of that word is so forbidden in our house.

I've said/done lots of stuff to stepjids it always comes back to bite me in the arse as they tell mum who goes ballistic.

Always a drama in our house usually over nothing.

Seriouslyffs Thu 16-Jul-15 14:27:52

Is he taking leave to look after her?
Reading between the lines you weren't there when it happened and DH told you about it later. He really needs to step up and discipline his child without running to you. Does he discipline your son? How do you feel about that?

HormonalHeap Thu 16-Jul-15 17:31:17

Thank you so much catsmother for taking so much time to reply. Dh says it wasn't the fact I told her off which is out of order, it's that I threatened to send her home which outraged him as our home should be her home. Point taken. I'm happy for him to discipline my son, in fact he has done recently- but didn't threaten for him to go home, as he lives with us.

HormonalHeap Thu 16-Jul-15 17:36:21

And no he's not working whilst she's here, and when he's had the odd meeting he's given her money to go out

CandyLane Thu 16-Jul-15 18:56:05

I can see it from both sides.
I would have said exactly the same tbh, it's a horrible thing to see your child being picked on or abused by another child in their own home, where they should be safe and happy, it makes you very protective of your own child when something like that happens, I know..I've been there MANY times unfortunately!
Regardless of whether your DH had disciplined her or not I think you're still within your rights to tell your DSD that you won't tolerate that behaviour or language in YOUR home and especially when it's directed at YOUR son.

If I'd said that as a kid my mum probably would have packed my bag for me and kicked me out! Or at least threatened to. And that was my permanent home.

But I can also see it from your DH's point of view.

MsColouring Thu 16-Jul-15 19:07:51

I hope your dsd wasn't around when he went 'mental' with you.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Thu 16-Jul-15 19:20:31

I don't think there's anything wrong with telling her it was unacceptable and that she was never to say it again. However, I think it perhaps crossed a line when you said about sending her home. How would you have dealt with this if it were your DS saying it?

I'm not judging, I have used that line on my own DS, that he will go to his dad's if he doesn't behave better. But I know that's not right. It's easy to say in the heat of the moment, but I think it's important that teenagers especially know that their home is a safe place and by showing your DSD that this is not her home, it could be unsettling and make her feel insecure.

I appreciate that when she's acting up you don't want her around, but perhaps a more temporary exclusion would have been more appropriate.

Canyouforgiveher Thu 16-Jul-15 19:49:02

it's that I threatened to send her home which outraged him as our home should be her home. Point taken.

I think this is the point. I would go mental if anyone told one of my children that they would be sent out of their home. It is ok for you to tell her off but not say that. still you were angry and didn't think specifically about what you were saying and you do get his point so I wouldn't stress too much about it.

Am I the only one who would not be that shocked at a 15 year old using the word? Obviously it shouldn't be condoned but it wouldn't be the thing to push my buttons that hard.

hesterton Thu 16-Jul-15 19:52:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yellowdaisies Thu 16-Jul-15 19:52:17

My DH had a big row with his DD a few years back which culminated in him telling her that with that attitude she could go back to her DM's sad She promptly stormed out and punished him back by not retuning texts or calls for a few days, whilst he tried to apologise. Thankfully they managed to patch things up in the end.

Neither of us have ever had such a bad row with any of the DSC before or since but I think we both leaned that telling them to "go home" effectively is the nuclear option that you just shouldn't ever use.

So yes, your DSD was clearly out of order in what she said to your DS, but you maybe need to think of ways of dealing with it that treat her as a (misbehaving) member of your family, not a visitor whose presence is dependent on good behaviour. Maybe sending her to her room might be a better way of giving everyone time to cool down.

CandyLane Thu 16-Jul-15 20:16:29

Am I the only one who would not be that shocked at a 15 year old using the word?
I would be livid! Even if an adult said it I'd be shock
Crap/bugger/shit is one thing but c..t or f..k I wouldn't tolerate from anybody in my house, especially directed at somebody rather than just being said in a passing comment.

pickles184 Thu 16-Jul-15 20:29:44

I think you already know that you were wrong to use the threat of sending her 'home' for bad behaviour, as you quite rightly pointed out you wouldn't have used the same threat on your son.

It is understandable to discipline her for her actions and right to defend your son if you are completely sure there was no provocation. Not that there would be justification if provoked, but it would make me a little more lenient in punishment.

I would be inclined to apologise to both DH and DSD for your particular choice of threat, but explain that such behaviour is unacceptable and agree to a suitable punishment with DH for any future incidents. You need to both agree on a set of rules and consequences that both teens have to live by and both you and DH need to implement as necessary.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Thu 16-Jul-15 21:26:33

At the end of the day we all say thigs we don't mean when we're mad. I've done it. Hell I once said in frustration can we go before I knock the pair of them out (kids had been nippy all day and acting up at their grans) no one even batted an eyelid.until they told mum who quite rightlywent ballistic. But I have to stress that under no circumstance would I have ever done that or even thought about doing it. It was morea vent of frustration. Do never responded to mum. But I did speak to the kids and apologise because it could totally be upsetting. (But mostly I think it was relayed to mum for a reaction)

I also asked dss if he was stupid. Again caused mum to go bonkers. Das was acting up in the morning as I was trying to leave for work and drop them off as a favour to dp and their mum. (I also apologised for my use of words on this one) I have also since refused drop offs and picks up because of this and I can't handle the stress of nippy children that are not mine.

But the thing is it's all heat of the moment. I bet if she said it again you wouldn't send her home at all. She would get sent to her room with no tv or phone etc.

Canyouforgiveher Thu 16-Jul-15 23:08:19

*I would be livid! Even if an adult said it I'd be shock
Crap/bugger/shit is one thing but c..t or f..k I wouldn't tolerate from anybody in my house, especially directed at somebody rather than just being said in a passing comment.*

Well I'd be more upset if an adult said it than a teen. And of course I wouldn't tolerate it. But I wouldn't be livid or lose my temper either. Just cross and determined to make sure they knew it was unacceptable.

It is kind of funny though that the adult told a teen that she'd put her out of the house and we all (me included ) give her a bit of a pass because we know how it is when you get angry/heat of the moment etc. But maybe the teen used the word cunt in exactly the same way - heat of the moment/overcome with anger?

CandyLane Fri 17-Jul-15 00:03:48

Well I'd be more upset if an adult said it than a teen
Really?!!! I'm not talking about an adult saying it To a child/teen, just an adult saying it in general.
It's the lack of respect that so many teens seem to show these days. There's not a chance on this earth I would have dared say the C word in ear shot of my parents at 16, if i had said it I would have had to run bloody fast!
Even now at 33 I would never say it, ever.
Maybe it depends on the circles you mix in but in my books it is not ok to use that word and it is never in a million years ok for a 16 year old to direct that word at their step sibling whilst in front of her parents!

Canyouforgiveher Fri 17-Jul-15 01:01:24

The circles i mix in smile

I'd be more shocked at an adult because I don't know any adults who use that word and I would regard it as very aggressive and anti-woman.

I have teens. None of them have ever used that word but I don't generally react to them (I certainly don't lose my temper with them) based on what I did as a teen. I think that would be a fairly frustrating way of dealing with teens.

HormonalHeap Fri 17-Jul-15 01:06:59

Pickles I have often threatened in the heat of the moment to send my own ds to his dad, so no difference there- however I will probably apologise to my dsd for saying that- which was very much in the heat. Always and Pickles, if she said it again of course she wouldn't be sent anywhere, but neither even to her room unfortunately as dh refuses to give any consequences to his children no matter what, so there's no point in agreeing any as we would just look daft when nothing happened.

Good point Canuforgiveher, maybe she said that in the heat too.. Thing is it's not the first time she's Used similar language to ds. Candy I too would never have used language like that within earshot of my parents.

mynewpassion Fri 17-Jul-15 02:46:52

Would you go mental if your DH threatened to ship your son to your ex and not allow him to visit?

FortyCoats Fri 17-Jul-15 03:03:36

I've watched this thread for a while and it's really upset me but, until now, I decided not to say anything because my experiences as a child are mine and I thought if I said something I'd hurt HH or someone else who's been in her shoes...

I don't mean to do that but I really would like to say, it hurts a lot, as an adult reflecting, on the same thing being threatened to myself and my younger brother as children. More so when it was said to my brother because I was older than him by almost a decade so I felt 'motherly' towards him and it used to hurt to think how it must have made him feel inside. I'm 37 and still ache from those memories and whilst I know every family is different, I'd like to think that you're open minded enough to think of the possible damage you can do in the heat of the moment. I hope in the heat of the moment you can hold your tongue and remember, that's just a moment... Rejection and fear of abandonment are longer lasting.

She was wrong to say the C word.
You were standing up for your ds.
Ultimately, she is not responsible for your dp's shortcomings in matters of discipline. If she's never had rules, what do you want her to do? Make them up herself?

He needs to support you and you need to try never say that again to your dsd or your ds.

Just MHO

Canyouforgiveher Fri 17-Jul-15 03:14:54

Hormonal, I think you are being very open and thoughtful about this incident. Just a few thoughts

1. The main issue here is your DH's lack of discipline. I know it is hard for the NRP because the teen always has the hold of "well I won't come to see you" but his daughter deserves more from him - more guidance, more thought, more setting of boundaries. I often say to my teens "well it would be a lot easier if I didn't insist on xyz - but I do it because I love you". your dh and his daughter need to sort this out.

2. teens are hard. honestly I think there are many intact families who have to deal with one teen calling the other a cunt. It is shocking/awful etc (although not as shocking awful as cutting/eating disorders/depression. school refusal/violence/ bullying/drugs/drink/shop lifting or any of the other crap you may or may not have to deal with as the parent of a teen. but it is worth remembering that the teen person is not the real complete final adult person.

3. I say this as gently as possible but if you sometimes lose your temper and tell your ds you are sending him back to his dads and do the same with your dsd then I think you may want to start thinking about how you deal with the stress of teens and living with children of divorced parents. because honestly I think that would be the equivalent of me saying to my children "you are so bad I'm going to head off and leave you". Honestly it just isn't on to say that -even if you apologise after. i think you need to find better ways to express your frustration and anger.

best of luck. the teen years can be hard but also just great. We have a lot of fun despite times of stress. you sound like a really thoughtful parent.

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