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Not Good Influence(22 Posts)
My stepson is 9 and my bio son with husband is almost 2. We see stepson EOWE. His mother is a permissive parent, so gives him whatever he wants (a big source of argument between DH and his ex). Stepson isn't a totally bad child. It's not his fault how things are. I see that a lot and we try to be encouraging and positive with stepson, as he does question how we raise our son over how his mother raises him. He eats lots of junk food at home, TV, Xbox and iPad he plays for hours at home, grades are poor (his mother says it doesn't matter) and while he wants to do more activities, she gives up after a lesson or two because as she says,"she can't be bothered." She also has stopped trying to push him to do even one chore a week. I see that in two ways. She's a mother on her own with two kids and working full time. It cannot be easy at all for her. I struggle with one and I have a supportive husband. As a result, while on the whole, he is an all right child, he really believes the word revolves around him and that he should get whatever he wants. He doesn't treat people nice, which can be embarrassing in public at times, but he says he doesn't have to treat people nice and that they have to do what he wants. His diet is so poor that his teeth are rotting and he has to take three medications for his stomach and sleeping. What my concern is is how that will affect my own son. We do our best to be a positive influence in my stepson's life. I try and find activities that he can do, so he gets the same as our son when he is here. My DH has to be a little relaxed on his son because he can't just be criticising his son the whole time, so some bad behaviour is not dealt with, and we try to encourage healthy eating, but again there is a compromise when stepson is here. However, with our son, there wouldn't be as much compromise. So, my question is, has anyone had this and not had it affect your residential children? I just don't want my son thinking that school doesn't matter or that he should eat junk food or look up to my stepson when he treats people so badly. I know we will always be explaining that these behaviours are wrong, but kids always look up to the older kids. Also, any more advice on encouraging my stepson to be kinder to others would be great. We tried lots of discussions of how would you feel or the benefits of being kind, but he still doesn't think being nice is good.
It won’t affect your son as he has, to put it bluntly, two parents who live with him and aren’t trying to ‘one up’ him.
If you are concerned about your DSS there are things you can do to help, like taking him to the dentist regularly during your visits (even if it’s more often than every 6 months) and arranging your schedules so you pick and drop off your DSS for a class he enjoys. Like anything parenting takes work and your DSS does have 2 parents so I can’t see why your DP can’t plug the gaps left by DSS’ mum.
You can’t control what the mum does and what she does on her time. But you can control what goes on on your time.
Your OH needs to parent and set boundaries.
I wouldn’t have a 9 year old child question how I parent - he needs to learn who’s the adult and who’s the child.
Your OH needs to deal with this.
I think there's a big enough age gap between the two of them that the influence of DSS's attitude to school etc will be minimal. DSS will be 16 and leaving school when your DS is still at primary school.
But poor DSS doesn't sound like anyone is really caring for him. Why can't your DP take him to the dentist if his mum is failing to do? Ours does Saturday appointments, and it's not like a GP in that you can make an appointment with one dentist (eg convenient for you) without de-registering him at another one. Likewise with clubs and interests he could be encouraged to do activities at the weekends when he's with you. Or maybe your DP could have him one evening in the week specifically to take him to something he's keen on.
Healthy eating can be a struggle with stepkids who haven't been brought up to eat healthy stuff in my experience. It tends to be about compromises and focusing on the few healthy things they will eat. But you (you and DP in agreement!) can certainly ban or limit junk food in your own home. You can't control what DSS eats at his mum's but that won't affect your DS at least.
Teaching him to cook may help.
He only sees your SS 2 days every other week. That's not much of an influence compared to other kidd he'll be around at school. You will get the 'but X friend's mum allows him this and that.
As you've said it will be a case of explaining things. You dc might not look up you SC or even if he does it doesn't mean he'll want to be like him.
She is a dentist and pharma agent. That's the scary thing, but now the poor child has to have two teeth taken out because he wasn't brushing his teeth at home. I'm afraid the commute is 5 hours round trip, so only EOWE.
We did try teaching him to cook, but he doesn't care and won't eat it. He ends up walking away and watching TV.
Btw, thank your for the advice and help.
Why doesn't your dh try to be more of an influence in his sons life if the neglect is so bad? He can't just put all the blame onto his ex here.
He actually does try and be a good influence. He calls him twice during the week, does his homework with him over FaceTime once a week. He tries to teach him lots of stuff when he's with him, he does cook his son healthy meals that he prefers as he's a chef. He does insist on all of the things to combat this, but SS goes back home and everything is unravelled again. DH takes him to an art class and swimming. We were the ones that taught him how to swim, tie his shoes, how to red etc, so it's not like we don't encourage this at all.
And he sees him only every other weekend, so it's really not much.
I'm not trying to place blame on bio mom. Like I've said, I do see her side. Two years ago, I might have done, but I found that facing this with love and compassion and empathy was a better way to deal with everything. That's why I'm just trying to see how to convince SS that being kind is better. My DH is an honourable guy. He may not be the best father, but he always tries to do what's right.
Your DH needs to have his son more, has he fought for more time? I just can't imagine leaving my children with someone for 90% of the time who neglected them.
Your DP only sees him every other weekend and - he won’t be able to influence him with just weekend contact. DSS probably views your house as a bit of a holiday. Why can’t DP have him mid-week too?
And he sees him only every other weekend, so it's really not much.
It is a lot though because it is showing him that there are different ways to run a family and gives him exposure to something else than he has with his mum.
In reality, he might get the benefits of the best at both homes. I hope my kids will see it like that. One thing they definitely got from going to their dad is the exposure to proper family meals, something they haven't had with me. I'm pleased to say that both of them, now teenagers, love cooking and tasting different flavours and they do enjoy family meals, so that influence they got only 2 days out of 14 has paid off.
bio mum - seriously his mother.
His father lives 2.5 hrs away, sees him 2 days per fortnight and facetimes twice per week. So in 2 days his dF teaches him very little and no it does not unravel when he goes home. I take it he moved away of he is doing all the children.
she is doing 85% of the child care - yet you have pretty well slagged of everything she does.
You are blaming his bio mum, from a father who really does very little to help bring this child up. he needs to re examine his parenting, level of involvement and then work from there.
Sanctimonious people who feel free to criticise in a situation they do not understand get my goat.
Northern - I think your posts get more anti step kids and Exs all the time.
My 10 yr old questions parenting styles and that is part of growing and developing. His best friends father wallops the kids when they are in the wrong- he asked me why I never hit him or his father.
I am happy that he questions differences. It was also how I found out his SM was feeding him a food that makes him violently ill. He asked me why I never cooked said food - I explained and then asked if his DF and SM knew - which they both did.
Some questions just get - because I say so in my house, but it is not wrong to question.
for the bio mum comment. It’s every easy for you to sit back and blame the mother who is doing 90% whilst your dh gets the fun bits!
As for the teeth situation I have a 9year old he is more than capable of brushing his teeth. She is most likely past herself asking him, do you expect her to physically do it for him? You aren’t party to what goes on in their household it could be completely different scenario than the one your describing. Why do you live 5hours away? How can you be an involved parent seeing your child 4 times a month.
I also agree with PP northern spirit you seem so anti ex partners and Step kids. Not all are bad in the same way SM or SD aren’t all bad.
@Dancingmonkey47 & @takeittakeit - not against ex partners and SC at all.
In fact if you read my post i’m sticking up for mum!
Also not against SC. But I don’t have a 9 year old questioning how I parent. Questions fine, but not questions my actions. Because i’m the adult and they’re the child and I set boundaries.
Poor kid EOW - not much is it?
As a side maybe his teeth are crap for other reasons - e.g acid reflux (is that was his stomach meds are for?)
Think OP has explained why it's only EOW a 5hr round trip isnt really practical during term time.
I do hope you get to spend more time with him during holidays. Like a PP has said any amount of time showing him there are different ways to parent will be good for him.
@Takeitit - I think the OP understands the situation perfectly well. She sounds genuinely concerned. You were a tad harsh in your post.
you are entitled to your opinion!
Bio mum, gives up, permissive parenting, diet poor, not nice child, questions differences in parenting, selfish,unkind etc etc