First proper bump with DSC.(12 Posts)
So my DP and I have just heard DSC telling mum about a fairly minor thing that happened at the weekend, and apparently she was upset. DSC didn't say anything at the time and acted COMPLETELY normal, as she has done today. If she'd have said something we could have sorted it out there and then. I know it's only one incident but I'm guessing mum gets told a lot of what goes on in our house. Same DSC also recently let slip about something mum had been told, and also said what mum had said, which was disparaging about my DP. No need for mum to have said anything.
We have had a conversation now but the upshot is that now I'm going to have to step back, quite hard when they live with us and I regularly look after them on my own.
It's a fairly small thing but I think this is going to change things quite a lot.
How much time do/will they spend with you, stepping back is not easy when you are all are thrown together 24/7? But I think you're right to attempt it anyway, and you'll probably be needing to think about everything you say in front of them! It's a hard job isn't it?!
That's difficult Nerdy, sorry you're going through this. What has your DP said about it, are you both on the same page?
DSC live with us and see their mum EOW Friday eve to Sunday eve. I usually have them monday before and after school and thursday evening. Plus if DP is out at any other time. So it will be quite hard.
DP says he understands but he is not a step parent so there is a limit. He and DSC spoke some more yesterday and apparently there are more things they're upset about. Typical child things like I tell them not to do stuff. DP has said we'll try and explain more when we do this. I already explain when I'm telling them no, they just don't listen. I do feel now that I will always have to watch what I say. DSC really did give no indication ANY of these things were bothering them so unless they choose to tell DP I will never know.
If you have them that much i'm not sure how viable stepping back will be - you can step back from major decisions or disciplining, but not the day to day stuff, that sounds like it's causing much of the gripes. My DSD has come to stay with us more recently and i'm finding similarly that I'm having to do more of the nagging side of parenting, which is a lot harder with a DSC than with your own child.
Maybe just try to develop a thicker skin? And to be fair to your DSC's mum - if the only way the things she says are getting back to you is via your DSC relaying them to you (or overhearing them?) , then I don't think she's really doing anything wrong. And you may even be getting a partial version of what was said via your DSC anyway - they're not likely to tell you "actually my mum said you were probably being reasonable about XXXX and I should let it drop..."
Maybe your DP could have a word and encourage DSC to tell him what's bothering them, and also make it very clear that you have his complete backing when he's not around? Or would it work to try to clear the air yourself? I find you also need a good balance of nice times with DSC if you're going to do the nagging stuff. Otherwise you become a hate figure.
I'm not sure you should 'step back' - it sounds like the kind of gripes kids have anyway, it's 'normal parenting' telling a child not to do stuff, and it's going to be different in your house than at their mums. If there is a serious miss match, then fair enough but I bet it'll just be everyday stuff. My DPs kids were often complaining about rules their own mum set, I think it's just what kids do. But you wouldn't expect DP to be running around telling their mum to back off, so why should it be like that for you?
Does their mum live nearby? If so could they go there on Monday and Thursday after school?
It sounds fairly "normal" kid stuff that goes on in non step families. Your house is their RP house so that is their home. It could be they are relating stuff to their Mum as they don't see her much and they know she will take step issues seriously
I speak from experience
I too don't think you need to back off. It sounds that your husband has managed the situation well, having a talk with them. As long as you are not being excessively strict then carry on as usual. Most children don't like being told not to do things!
How old are your DSC? Young teens tend to see the world as revolving around only them, so what they tell people will usually be slanted to reflect their feelings/point of view!
If they are resident with you, then yes it will be difficult to back off, and you and their DF really do need to present a united front with regard to house rules, behaviour and your role in their lives. If there is any suggestion they are upset/annoyed with anything that happens at your house...get in first and deal with it straight away!
As for what they tell their DM, you just can't control it so you probably need to develop a tough skin, just so long as your DP supports you all the way!
I also agree it depends what the stuff us. But wonder if you might benefit from a family worry jar or book. Somewhere where the kids can write down things that are bothering them.
Thanks everyone for your messages. I think the being told not to do stuff is probably very common. So I think it will be about balance. I get the impression they get away with more at their mum's house. She is not Disney, but obviously weekends aren't going to be the same as the daily grind. She moved away so they can't go there during the week. DP and I are generally on the same page and he is supportive. This DSC is tweenage, so perhaps that does come into it, I don't know. We have encouraged them to speak to dad and explained that in a family people can upset each other by mistake but you need to talk about it. I hope they do that. So far we have changed things a little so DP does more of the stuff he was leaving to me (which I was going to have a word with him about anyway) so I haven't had to do much nagging or telling what to do and such. We'll see how it goes. I am still rather on my guard though. It has helped posting here as I have no-one else to talk to about this stuff.
You sound like you are doing a good job OP.
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