How do you not sweat the small stuff?

(29 Posts)
chocolatesaltyballs22 Thu 20-Feb-20 09:35:27

Genuine question. I am fed up of being irritated by my 12 year old stepson's thoughtlessness. He walks round the house looking at his phone constantly and has no awareness of his surroundings whatsoever. I find myself getting irritated by him leaving lights on all over the place, not flushing the loo, not cleaning it after use, forgetting to take his lunch to school, you get the picture. He has lived with us part time for nearly two years and my husband constantly reinforces house rules and tries to make him accountable for doing stuff but I feel like it goes in one ear and out the other. I know that none of this stuff really matters in the grand scheme of things so how do I stop myself from being irritated all the time?

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chocolatesaltyballs22 Thu 20-Feb-20 10:10:50

Sorry, double post. Admin can you remove please?

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sillysmiles Thu 20-Feb-20 10:15:56

I know that none of this stuff really matters in the grand scheme of things

you remember this

Londongirl07 Mon 24-Feb-20 23:46:42

It’s normal behaviour of a pre teen you just have to grin and bare won’t last forever.

I can honestly say you have described my 12 year old to a T lol!!

Just breathe lol

HappyStep1 Wed 26-Feb-20 16:39:09

I feel your pain!!
Let his Dad try to re-enforce, be cheerful when asking for him to do stuff, easier said than done with dirty toilets I know grin.
Give yourself space to seeth quietly.

Theworldisfullofgs Wed 26-Feb-20 16:42:15

This is just normal 12 year old stuff.

strawberrylipgloss Wed 26-Feb-20 16:53:23

If you had a 12yo they'd be doing a lot of the same things.

I think that accepting it's annoying and hoping that it's a short phase is the only way to cope.


chocolatesaltyballs22 Wed 26-Feb-20 20:55:10

My child was once 12 and they never did any of these things.

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rubyblue40 Wed 26-Feb-20 20:58:34

It is not normal 12 year old behaviour, they have been brought up without any discipline

rubyblue40 Wed 26-Feb-20 21:00:02

# meant to add in unless they have been brought up without discipline

Haggisfish Wed 26-Feb-20 21:02:09

I think ‘what was I really pissed off about a year ago today, specifically’. Turning lights off makes fuck all difference to global warming or electricity bills in the big scheme. Not cleaning loo after use?! A step too far for most people, surely? I was never expected to clean the loo after use when I was a teen. It sounds to me like you are at the upper end of the bell curve in terms of cleanliness expectations and your ss is towards the other.

strawberrylipgloss Wed 26-Feb-20 23:16:37

My 12yo flushes the loo but he can be quite daydreamy and leave the lights on, need reminders to take stuff to school, carries his phone around the house and is often unaware of his surroundings and talking too loud on a gaming headset or whatever. By cleaning the loo do you mean wiping wee off the seat? Or scrubbing shit stains?

I don't see how discipline is related to being in their own world. Am I supposed to punish it out of my son?

chocolatesaltyballs22 Thu 27-Feb-20 08:45:57

I feel sorry for you lot if you spend your lives cleaning up after your pre-teens when they're old enough and capable enough to do it themselves.

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Londongirl07 Thu 27-Feb-20 18:35:23

I think you are expecting too much from a 12 year old then...they’re not adults. Ok they’re not babies but they’re not perfect.

Of course you’re going to lose your shit. I do! Because we want them to do what they should be but in time that does happen. It’s not about being raised with discipline. My son is well mannered and disciplined but he’s just an airhead at times. It’s not out of malice.

Haggisfish Thu 27-Feb-20 18:42:00

Your stepson has a step mother problem.

OhWellThatsJustGreat Thu 27-Feb-20 18:42:41

I don't think he's doing it to irritate you, I think it's genuine teenage boy thoughtlessness.
If he forgets to turn a light off, ask him to do you a favour and run upstairs/pop into the kitchen and turn the light off. Or if he hasn't flushed the toilet, ask him if he can b try to remember next time. Get your oh to have a chat with him too to remind him that toilets need flushing, if he splashes he needs to wipe and lights need to be turned off.

Don't get angry at him over it, like you says in your op it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things

readitandwept Thu 27-Feb-20 19:29:29

Post after post about these step kids. And always, always, compared to your daughter.

Poor boys.

chocolatesaltyballs22 Thu 27-Feb-20 21:41:51

Oh I'm sorry, I was under the impression that this was a step parenting forum where others can maybe help those who are struggling to adjust to a different family life. I also didn't realise that there was a limit on the number of posts - my mistake.

Why 'those poor boys?' I'm not nasty or unkind to them, and I do an awful lot for them. The reason for my post was that I wanted help with the fact that I get wound up internally by these things.

Interesting that opinions are split on whether a 12 year old should be expected to flush a loo and leave it clean.

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Feedthispiggychoc Thu 27-Feb-20 23:39:19

My DSD has started doing niggling things to me to - not flushing the loo, dumping clothes in the hall NEXT to the dirty clothes bag, lights on, dirty tissues just left wherever to name a few. I've started turning it into a bit of a joke in ours as it goes in one ear and out the other so, clothes on the hall floor go into her room and on her bed. She first asked why were they back in her room and now, she just goes 'sorry I'll put it in the clothes basket' or drops them on the floor but corrects herself before fully walking away. I put the tissues on top of her toy box & as she didnt like moving them because they are 'yuck' she now just automatically puts them straight into the bin. Still working on the flushing of the loo so as we can hear if it's been done, DP now says 'have you flushed the loo' after she has walked 1/3 down the stairs; queue a huff because she hasn't and has to walk back up. Then he waits til she's 2/3 of the way down before saying about her hands being wash so back up she goes and then lights off when she's at the bottom. Took a while but we've had her not do it probably 1/2 times a day over every time!

Anuta77 Fri 28-Feb-20 15:08:57

What I was telling my 11 year old who was forgetting to flush or clean the toilet is to imagine that he does it in his future girlfriend's house, how embarassing this would be and of course, repeating it and making him come back and clean. He learnt. I don't know if you're close enough for him to do it or his father can do it (you can give him this example if he's not motivated).
Unfortunately the phones and social media makes all of us more distracted...

chocolatesaltyballs22 Fri 28-Feb-20 17:29:57

Thanks, useful tips!

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Meneenamenana Sat 29-Feb-20 16:17:57

Your children might not have done these things as teens, but I guarantee you that they did things that would have irritated a step parent.

SuperMeerkat Sat 14-Mar-20 17:39:46

The not turning lights off thing is my pet peeve and my two step kids are awful for it. I now just go and tell the offender to go an turn the light off in the bathroom (or wherever) even if they’re sat in the sofa. It took me years to get DS(17) out of the habit and he still does it now (and will get the same treatment 😂)

Getting the rage just thinking about it!

Qwertygert Sat 14-Mar-20 21:15:22

My 10 year old knows to clean up after herself. I get her to help clean with me and make her own bed etc my SC know now I am not here to pick up after them now. Still SD will tell her dad she has rubbish and he used to take it and put it in the bin for her. Now she knows to do it herself coz her dad realises at 7.5 she is old enough to start cleaning up! She has also been taught to get cereal and make sandwiches. Her mum treats her like a little baby and has no rules. She is adapting well. SS is also learning to be tidy at ours. My job is not to pick up after everybody else. I clean the whole house and work full time. I am not their slave!

Breatheandrelease Sun 12-Apr-20 04:32:27

Remove yourself from it. You don’t actually need this in your life if it’s irritating you so much. Make a cup of tea, cook YOURSELF some scones, grab a book and disappear into your room. Take photos and reveal them at his 21st. You are not a slave so stop immediately doing others chores.

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