Does it get easier as SC get older or the opposite?
Generally children get more difficult as they get older. I wouldn't get hung up on whether or not they are SC or not.
OMG, don't know what to say...we're onto DGC now, and boy do they play us!
I've found it got harder. When my DSCs were younger, it felt like they had a direct relationship with me, responded to me.
Now they are older it feels like they view me through a veil of other people's attitudes, and the barrier is palpable.
I've found it easier as DSS gets older. But it could also be because I am learning more and more about how to be a good stepparent the more I do it.
We have less to do with DSS now he's 16. He would rather be with his mates/computer than at daddy's entertaining his SSiblings! None of us are hung up on anyone not spending time with anyone else. He knows he can call his DF if he needs to/wants to see him.
Much easier now they are older teens - it's almost the opposite of bananasinpyjamas1 in that they seem to have realised that the "veil of other people's attitudes" was unfair and untrue.
Mine were all grown when I met their DF, so I never had the weekend visiting etc. But that has never stopped one of them, expecting her life to be financed by us!
I have found that it does get easier, but I'm not sure if its because of their age or my experience.
I can reason with them easier now and they see me less as Dad's girlfriend and more as a stepmum.
We still have our tricky moments though
I think it's easier for us now dss is 14 but tbh he has never really been any kind of hard work!
He is polite, eats anything, quiet.
We see a little less of him now as he will sometimes want to see his mates instead of coming here, but as far as dh and I are concerned, that is normal and healthy.
It hasn't made much difference here. At 17 he doesn't talk to me, help around the house, respond to direct questions (or even respond to a 'hello' or 'goodmorning') or say thank you when I have cooked or bought him a present.
He's like an overgrown child. His father still picks him up from his mother's, takes him guilt shopping and then brings him home where he will sit in front of the X Box drinking a litre bottle of lucozade until I have finished cooking dinner, he will then take his dinner to his bedroom. When we have gone to bed he will return to the xbox, where he will stay until 4:30am (munching on anything he can find - usually to the tune of 6000-7000 calories). He will rise at 1pm expecting lunch and then return to his pit.
And nothing much has changed since he was 14. Life before 14 wasn't much better tbh.
I think the relationship with exes is probably more difficult when SC are younger. But that is probably replaced by a more difficult relationship with teenage SC. As others have said though, all teenagers can be difficult, step or not.
Harder until teenage, then easier. 13 was probably shit peak.
flippychick I totally agree with your 'overgrown child' comments. I met DH when DSS was 11, and by the time he was 18, he was still treated/infantilised in the same way. Nothing had changed, he hadn't grown up, he was just taller, nothing more. Manchild.
flippy - that's really quite shocking, and more so that your DH doesn't take him to task for his appalling manners to you in your own home! Am really and sad for you.
I think it depends on the difficulties that you have when they are younger. If it's on the lines of babysitting then teens can be left on their own so things are easier but if the difficulties are because of the parents then things are not going to change unless it's something that the teen child wants changed.
In my children's case, they immediately bonded and thought highly of each teacher that they had in primary school so it wouldn't be hard for a step parent to win them over but in secondary school, they have become more picky about which adults they like and which they don't. They have no relationship with their stepmother.
Don't want to hijack OPs thread, but I think there are bigger problems with SS than rudeness in our house. From what my really very lovely adult SD says he's the same at his Mums - his Dad just facilitates it more.
I can deal with a bit of rudeness. I'd rather his Dad tackled his personal hygiene and unwillingness to study or work. Apparently he keeps telling his Dad he wants to find a part time job (usually when he wants something), but then doesn't follow-up. I'm told he's an intelligent boy, but he failed all his GCSEs, and looks on track to fail the resits.
His Dad is lovely btw (wouldn't still be here otherwise), but has a guilt complex and I suspect doesn't really want him to grow up.
I think shared care is definitely harder as they get older - because parenting young children is mainly about being the person in charge of them - so either that's not you (because their dad is around) or it clearly is you, because you've been left in charge for a bit. And when they're back with their other parent, then it's definitely not you.
But parenting teens is much more about building the relationship that you can hope to influence them - which is harder to do on any kind of timeshare basis. I find it harder parenting my own DC as teens with them being away at their dad's some of the time, unlike when they were younger, and it was very useful for him to have them for a bit to give me a break. Now there are things I need to discuss with them and they're not always around. With the DSC it's harder because I'm not necessarily the right person to have the discussions they need to have, though with the kind of shared care we have (very little leisure time with their mum) then it's not always clear who is the right person. I lot more things fall through the cracks than with younger DC.
If your DSC were with you all the time - or alternatively if they live entirely with their other parent, and just visit a bit in the holidays, then these issues wouldn't really arise I guess. But a lot of step chldren are living with some sort of shared care between two homes and I think that's harder as they get older.
That's a good point cloudy - as my DSCs got older I became more invisible partly because they needed less 'basic, obvious care' like minding, feeding.
I had two DSCs 50% and one 100% - yet for their older teenage years I think that they all 'fell through the cracks' of an unscheduled, free sharing of mum and dads house. Who was aware that X child was seeing a dodgy boyfriend? (Me... ) Who knew that Y child was avoiding homework?
So I think for my step children, their disassociation grew as they got older because there was no clear relationship for them anymore from either me, their step mum, or indeed their own parents.
Bananas it's been a similar scenario with step-grandchildren, we looked after, had weekend stopovers, babysat, and took the eldest on holiday, we rarely see them now they're teens. The youngest is still at the taking care of stage, which I have no objection to.....but fully expect things to eventually go the same way as the eldest!
It's a bit of a shame isn't it wdigin. I understand that to some extent it's natural for teenagers and young adults to pull away, be independent. However I think the feeling of being a bit 'used' can be quite extreme if there is a steak of selfishness from them/their parents.
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