Teenage DSC changing plans last minute...(12 Posts)
After some advice or perspective.
My DSC are 16 and 13. DH has contact EOW and ad hoc during holidays etc and sometimes on the in between weekends for events etc. Its a relaxed arrangement, never went through courts etc and maintenance is arranged privately too. DH arranges our weekends directly with the DSC as they both have phones and has done for a few years now.
As they are now older the time they spend with us is less and less, as expected, we live 25mins away, their friends and social lives are based around where they live and that's totally fine, we respect that and just ask that we see them at least once over 'our' weekend if not the full 2 nights.
The only thing that's bothering me (well, us, but me mainly) is that often they will change their minds at the last minute about coming over. Or DSS (16) will just not let us know that he's not coming, he just wont be there when we arrive to pick him up.
We now have a DS who is 15 months and utterly adores his brother and sister. We talk to him about them, he has photos of them that he points to and shouts their names (too cute!) and when he sees them he is SO excited. This weekend just past we were going to a birthday party for our nephew and DSC were coming. So we spent the morning talking to DS about them and saying he would see them. Until DSD text to say she had gone out instead and told us that DSS wasnt coming either.
It upset me, because I felt bad for DS. Stupid really because he is so young but it made me think about as he gets older and understands more, what can i do to stop him feeling let down if they change their minds about visiting at the last minute? I dont want him thinking they dont want to see him. He is rapidly approaching the age where he will understand if they havent come when theyre supposed to.
We dont want to force them to come to us, but at the same time I dont want DS growing up never seeing them and I dont want to be telling him he will see them and then have to explain that he wont. DH said maybe we shouldn't tell him that he will see them but I dont know if thats the right idea either. I dont want to stop talking about them to him, regardless of whether he's seeing them regularly or not.
Should DH broach it with them? They're very mature and could handle a grown up conversation - we have a good relationship and I know they would listen but at the same time they're not adults and I dont know how much of it would go in.
Should we mention it, or am i overthinking it?
You don't say how old DSD is. I think at 16 you should not enforce DSS coming to see you on contact weekends. However you should speak to him about making plans and sticking to them.
Meant to add by the time I was 16 I saw my Dad as and when really. I had a part time job on weekends.
It's a tough one, because teenagers' needs are very different from those of tinies. You can't expect a teenager to stick to every other weekend, and their plans do change at the last minute. The best you can do I think is ask them to text and let you know, and try to manage the toddler's expectations.
Yea I am probably overthinking it. DSD is 13, I did mention their ages at the top of the post but didn't specify who was what age.
I know they will only see us as and when, tbh it's pretty much that way now, its more the last minute change of plans that is annoying. If they didn't want to come to the birthday party that's ok - it was a 2nd - they would have been bored brainless! It was just annoying that DH got the text an hour before we were meant to leave to collect them. Frustrating more than annoying really.
I will have to just not tell him when they're coming from now on until we're actually in the car! It's no big deal, we'll still talk about them to him. I am wary of him not knowing who they are if he goes a long time without seeing them but hopefully it wouldn't come to that. Thanks all!
My DSC are also 13 and 16 (DSD 13 and DSS 16 too!) but our DD is 5.
She's so used to the situation - and I think it's probably a little easier for us as they DSC are only just starting to change their minds about coming (whether coming for extra time or doing something instead) - but she sees it as completely normal, though she does sometimes get sad when they go.
Sorry, not many answers there but just wanted to let you know that your DS will probably be so fine with it - when they are very little it's a bit trickier mind you (DSC have two younger brothers from their mum and her new DH and the littlest one does get a bit upset when they come to us sometimes) but it's so their 'normal'. We do make sure we don't mention they're coming until we're sure they are - though that's hard if they're just not there when you turn up, mind you, I'd be asking for that not to happen - a text a couple of hours before at least!
Am inclined to agree with Derek. My teens who are of similar age go back and forwards between me and their dad as they like . It is difficult when siblings are very far apart in age as the younger ones usually want to engage more than their elders. I cant imagine teenagers particularly wanting to go to a kids party though. Both of mine would quietly vanish if faced with that.
What I would say is that it is perfectly reasonable for you to ask them to let you know in advance if they are coming over or not . It is fine for them to want to pursue their own interests, it isn't fine for them to leave you hanging and mess everyone around.
Thanks everyone. I think we will just hold off telling him he will see them until we know for sure and have a word with them about last minute plan changes because as much as they have better things to do with their time, its quite rude!
When we had this situation DH got into the habit of making a quick phone call on the Thursday night or Friday morning - an actual call, not a text - where he broached DSD's plans. It was never a problem if she wanted to do something else, but we had a very small DS at the time who doted on her. So the odd conversation about manners and sticking to your original plans, plus actually checking in and reminding her of previous commitments worked for us.
Its fine for them to want to pursue their own interests, but it isn’t fine for them to leave you hanging and mess everyone else around
Expectations from step children often seem to be set far lower than for children from ‘together families.’ I’ve often argued with DH, that DSS should be expected to exhibit manners and considerate behaviour, the fact that his parents separated when he was 10 can’t be used an excuse forever …..
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