Need a rant(7 Posts)
I just need a rant where hopefully other step parents might understand.
Now let me start off by saying I am in no way saying I don’t love or care about my step son because I do very much. I am actually quite concerned about him which is why I need to just get it off my chest.
He is 4, always had issues with his mother. She’s very bitter. I’ve been on here a few times because of her. Recently married dh - her ex.
Have dss every weekend. I have a daughter who is 7 and dh has another child from a previous relationship who is 13. The 13 year old is great by the way, no issues, have a really good relationship with her mum. To the point she came to our wedding.
The problem is dss. Yes I know he is only 4 before anyone starts and his parents being not together is confusing for him. However when he comes, he is horrible. He spends his time trying to get my child and his older sister into trouble. That’s literally all he does from the moment he arrives to the moment he leaves. He is rude to them, snatches everything off them, constantly says they have hit him/kicked him - which they haven’t as he is constantly watched. It’s getting beyond a joke now. Both me and dh agree and dh is now getting quite stern with him. He literally cannot go 5 minuets without moaning about them.
Anyway Saturday I took them to the park, it was fine and I ignored dss’s behaviour until the point he tried to push my child off a the top of the slide. Then it was time to leave.
Went home for lunch, dss said he wanted jacket potato and beans which I know he likes so I made it. He sat down to eat and said ‘I hate beans, I’m not eating it’ dh said that’s what you asked for, that’s what you eat.
At that point dss mum (bitter ex) rang. Dss spoke to her on the phone and said ‘they are making me eat beans mummy, I don’t like beans do I?’
Her reply: ‘ no darling you don’t like beans, don’t you eat it my sweetheart, don’t eat anything you don’t like. Just leave your lunch baby’
I was fuming. Then she continued: ‘ I know you will of been a good boy today won’t you so make sure dad gives you loads of sweets’.
So that was that, no dinner and he just constantly demanded sweets.
Anyway yesterday I took my child out for the day and we didn’t see dh until he returned after dropping the children off with their mothers.
Later in the evening he got a call from the bitter ex to say dss had a bruise on his leg and either my child or my dsd had ‘punched him really hard’
Not true obviously. Now the ex is going mad saying how the other 2 children do not treat her son properly. Dh went absolutely mad and said how dss clearly gets no disapline except when he is with us.
Bitter ex response: ‘my child should never be shouted at, he is a good boy and you must never shout or be cross with him as he never does anything wrong’
This is her only child.
At this point I had to leave the room, I was in tears. There is no way my child would ever harm another and she’s been accused of hurting him when the whole weekend she put up with her step brother being horrible.
Dss really does get so much love from us both, I’m in no way trying to make him sound like not a nice little boy. He’s lovely and I care for him so much. But I’m at my wits end and so is dh.
So now what do we do? Bitter ex has said no disapline or he stops coming. He’s a little angel and can’t put a foot wrong in her eyes but he’s being brought up spoilt and constantly getting his own way.
It’s bringing our weekends down so much. And to be honest, why would he be like this with his sisters? He used to be so excited to see them.
I’m starting to wonder if the ex does have something to do with it, maybe she’s saying things at home to him about us?
Or could it be jealousy? Though he is always centre of attention.
I just don’t know but last night to have my child accused of something she hasn’t done because he’s telling tales yet again was just the last straw for me.
When dss is here on his own he is fine, but when the girls are here it’s a different story. Dh does make sure he gets one to one time with dss as we know that’s important - that’s why yesterday we did our own thing - but we can’t do that every weekend.
Really difficult OP I feel for you. As you have worked out for yourself he is jealous of his step siblings and it does sound like his mum is not helping matters and possibly contributing to his behaviour. It sounds like she enjoys the drama
I would not be answering the phone to her during visits - the beans conversation was ridiculous
He is still little so plenty of time to turn it around you may have to try a few different tactics for his behaviour
Shouting at a 4yo is not the way to go
Blaming other siblings and trying to get them into trouble is common . I remember doing this as a child, quite relentlessly.
Your perception of it is probably magnified due to him not being there all the time. You are also taking it as a personal slight on your child which of course it isn't. Its just common behaviour you need to modify.
Sounds like he is seeking attention so I would keep rewarding any good behaviour, with bad behaviour resulting in withdrawal of attention
If he fibs to his mum about another child hurting him personally I would close that conversation with something like "I was there and it didn't happen." And don't get drawn in
That'a really tough one and I feel for you.
You and OH are doing the right thing but I'm wondering if this boy, used to a lot of attention at home, is acting up with you because he is learning to share his dad's love and attention (and maybe yours too) and therefore acting up to get that attention. The lunch issue is such a typical example of this. Although it was right to tell him that that's what he had asked for and therefore he wouldn't have anything, it might have been good to give attention in terms of talking, saying that you're confused since that's what he asked for and asked why he changed his mind, talking about the things we like and dislike, how we can sometimes want something one minute and then realise we don't, but we still need to eat because it's been prepared etc...
As for the mum, nothing that can be done but ignored. Your OH can't act on threats as he knows that stopping disciplining his son wouldn't be for his benefits. It will need to be done, but again, there are ways to make it clear to kids that adults rule the roost but without them thinking that every no is a punishment, so maybe there is some room to discipline in a more interactive way?
Thanks for both understand replies to this, I was expecting to get some criticism if I’m honest so I’m glad people understand what I’m saying.
Can I just ask, what is the jealousy of? What can step children usually get jealous about? Just because of his step sisters in general?
I do totally understand that this is just normal behaviour, I mean I used to do the same to my sister. I was also a teaching assistant before my daughter so I was used to dealing with this stuff everyday. But this just feels so extreme.
We will keep going with it. I’m glad people say to ignore the behaviour as that’s what we do. That’s what I did at the park until it got to the point where he tried to push my daughter off (not down) the top of a slide. So then I had to raise my voice at him but we really do try and ignore that attention seeking/telling tales.
I just feel for my dh as when it gets to Sunday evening he is always so down because of how the weekend has gone.
Thanks fo the replies x
I think it is as simple as he is his mum's little prince at home and one of three at yours. At his age he might struggle to adjust to the different dynamics.
Well first of all can I just say that 4/5 age was fucking hell with both of my Dc. I swear it was worse than toddlerhood by a mile. Horrible age behaviour wise. You have huge sympathy from me.
Secondly, all I can say is that you and DH need to be consistent consistent consistent. Both on same page and presenting a united front to him. Same consequences every time. Shouting doesn't work, it just escalates the already stressful situation. Easier said than done but cool and controlled discipline is the key here. His mum doesn't get to control the discipline in your house. TBH I would stop answering her calls when he is with you. She doesn't need to speak to him other than a text to say goodnight before bedtime. He is only there for two nights. And I speak as a mum whose DC used to go for overnight contact with dad and I never called. That was their time with dad.
He's jealous of the fact that the two other girls see more of his dad than he does.
He's also probably noticed that they're lovely and good and not in trouble all the time like he is. Trying to get them in trouble is way of trying to get attention and also bringing them down to his level and making them seen as bad like he is.
I expect that at 7 & 13 they also get to do more things and have things he's not able to. Especially a 7 year old, she's young enough to still be a proper kid in his eyes, but I bet she's better at playground things and talking to grown ups etc.
A four year old has lots of reasons to be very jealous of his sisters.
Also get your DH to ensure that access is through the courts/legally binding. That removes his ex using the sword of no contact from your heads.
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