Nearly lost my temper :-s(22 Posts)
Me and my partner have a child together and he has 3 other children that come for tea 3 days a week, stay over every other weekend. We have a great relationship and they are good kids.
One of the children is quite challenging at times but we usually get on as I rarely get involved.
Tonight though I got upset.
We were all sat on the sofa watching a family film & the children were taking turns sitting next to daddy. the child that is challenging child A wouldn't move for child B so daddy made space for both. A got in a strop and stormed off. So I said 'come on mate go and sit next to daddy as well.' His response was to stamp his feet and poke his tongue out at me. I told him to sit on the stairs. He didn't move. So I moved him onto the stairs. He got up again and tried to fight me whilst I was trying to put him on the stairs again. I got him there. At this point I'm stressed and annoyed. Everyone else still sat just listening. My partner said just stick with it. He went out to speak to him so I went outside to 'cool' down.
Only to be shouted at for having to cool down as I got angry. It's his son and I shouldn't get angry as I don't with our son. ( my son never behaves this way). My partner said 'if you think I'm having another child with you then you've got another thing coming.
I try my hardest with all his children and the are treated like my own. I am lost with what I can do or say. He wants me to discipline them and accept them as my own. I feel defeated.
And your son is living with both his mother and father - child A is not.
He got up again and tried to fight me whilst I was trying to put him on the stairs again. I got him there.
You mean you physically restrained someone else's child and wrestled him into the position you wanted him in.
You should never go there! Never. If he won't respond to your verbal request to go to the stairs then you hand over to his parent to discipline him. You don't ever get physical with other people's children.
Child A is 8. I picked him up and put him on the stairs whilst he was wriggling. So I should have left him and if he didn't do what I said asked his dad to carry on from then?
I agree that you shouldn't be manhandling children and wrestling them into sitting on the stairs whether they are your own or not. Sounds very over the top treatment for a child that was just feeling a bit put out. If you'd ignored the tongue poking it would have blown over.
I should have left him and if he didn't do what I said asked his dad to carry on from then?
Err yes! Why would that be a problem? He isn't your child. Why would you want to put your hands on him like that? Why would you want to get yourself so worked up to the point you had to walk out and cool off with someone else's child? His parent was there, you interfered needlessly and created a whole situation that didn't need to happen.
Fwiw, if I was your partner and had seen you "moving" my son to the stairs you would be out on your arse.
I understand. I definitely won't get involved now. I'm just going to leave his dad to deal with it.
Myself and child A do have a loving relationship and get on really well. Im not a bad person but now know that I will keep out of it.
You really have to. They're his children, you're saving yourself a shitload of drama and arguments if you keep the boundaries clear and consistent. Let him discipline his children.
Thank you for your help. You have made it very clear to me. I'm going to have a talk with him tomorrow.
And I know this wasn't the issue but personally, having been there, I would rethink your method for the naughty step. It doesn't work. It creates angry children and angry stressed parents who (as you discovered) have to go off and cool down. It becomes a battle of wills rather than what it is supposed to be - a chance to calm down and diffuse an incident. If you're having to wrestle the child into position and hold them there then it's about you winning rather than getting them to think about what they did.
Most parents getting angry at times, and have to rethink how to do consequences.
It's normal. Don't be too hard on yourself; focus on the fact that you've built a loving relationship and then work out a plan with your DP for next time.
marierose511 I just wanted to congratulate you, as boy ' did you get TOLD on here* and a lot of posts when they don't get the reaction they expect on Mumsnet, storm off in a strop. But you didn't.
The advice you got was spot on. His three children have gone through a lot and they are just children. They are deserving of a lot of foreberance and patience.
An 8 year old is very young and by their very nature immature. Also kids can be horrible and irritating and not open to reason because they are young. It is, unfortunately your job to behave like a mature and patient adult even when you feel like wringing their necks. We have all been there.... I have, so I hope you forgive yourself and move on. We all make a hash of things after all.
I think you are great for not flouncing off.
Tbh 8 is too old for the naughty step.
At that age it's about being sent to bed early, to their bedroom until they behave etc...
All that said, being a SM is a hard gig and whilst I have no hesitation in enforcing "house rules" with DSD (like putting plates in the dishwasher, making your bed etc) specific discipling comes from DH.
Reading your posts I think your issue is with your DH. Being a SM is like walking a tightrope. You are a responsible adult and they are in your care. However you are not a parent.
I love the very bones of my DSD - but I'm not her parent. When she is with us my expectation is that she behaves according to the same rules as my DS (age adjusted though).
When she doesn't - it's DH's job to enforce that and not mine and equally decide the punishment.
I work very hard to make sure they all feel happy and have fun. We have really great times and I love them all to pieces. I'm still learning, I actually feel like a beginner a lot of the time. Being a step parent is the hardest job.
I am grateful for any help and appreciate advice from anyone.
I will bring all your advice up with him tomorrow.
1 simple house rules are good to enforce and I will keep that up.
2 any discipline is for him to decide and for him to action.
The problem is that your action which was meant to be a disciplinarian measure to start with, which it would seem your OH supported, turned into an act of anger, and that's where you cross the line, especially as the cause of it was totally disproportional.
As others have said, if my OH had acted like you did, I too would have been furious with him. It's true that it happens to parents, and yes, I will admit that I have at times discipline my kids in anger (and felt bad about it afterwards), but it's bad enough when a parent does so, much worse when it is a step-parent.
You need to discuss with your OH the limits of your disciplining his kids, but frankly, if you cannot control your anger in such minor misbehaviour, than I think you should avoid it all together. In this instance, the misbehaviour wasn't even directed at your but your OH, so you had even less reason to get involved.
It happened, it's not the end of the world, but you do need to accept you handled the situation very wrongly and provide reassurance to your OH that you understand that it was and that it won't happen again.
And by the way, if you had to go outside to cool down, you did 'nearly' lost your temper, you lost it completely.
Your DH should have got up from the sofa and left the room until the child was willing to take turns.
I'm not convinced about the naughty step either. It makes kids behave through fear of punishment rather then true reflection.
Being a Parent is hard but I think being a Step Parent is harder. I have several friends who are divorced and remarried. They each have children from previous marriages. The children are all grown up now, some with children of their own.
I listen to my friends moaning about each other's kids. It is almost the one bone of contention and stems from jealousy and insecurity. They make it difficult for each other's partners and they are constantly thinking about the time and more importantly ( to them) money the other ones children are getting. It is really sad for the children involved in all this wrangling and bad feeling.
It takes special effort to be a really good Step Parent and I don't envy you post, but at least you are a decent person and are willing to take advice. Well done.
Join the discussion
Please login first.