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I don’t know my role(13 Posts)
Hi all, apologies I am very new to this and do not know the etiquette. I was after some advice really. I have been with my fiancé for 4 years and he has twin daughters from a previous relationship who are due to turn 16 soon. They are well behaved girls but are far too emotional and far too childish/timid for their age. I thought I would assist in their development and confidence such as suggesting a part time/Saturday job to get some sense of money and the world, to help them more confident in speaking with people and not cry on cue when nervous which is 90% of the time but that back fired with my fiancé as he believes I am forcing them which I certainly am not, mere suggestions. I’m beginning to feel like I cannot be involved in anyway even though my intentions have always been to try and make them be confident because this world at their rate will swallow them up and spit them out.
I wouldn't marry this man. It will always be you against them, and your partner will always be on his daughter's side.
They have two parents who know them best who get to advise and support them with confidence, emotional resilience and job prospects. You clearly look down on them with your judgements about them and I’m sure that comes across to them and their father.
You’re engaged to your fiancé, that’s your role. You’re not these girls parent and it’s really not your place to share your criticisms of their personalities - they’re the products of their upbringing so judge your partner more than them - or to tell them to get jobs.
I’d back off a bit, or a lot. Leave parenting to their parents.
How did you suggest it and who to? There's a big difference between having a quiet chat with their dad and making them feel bad about themselves.
What is your relationship with them like normally?
Hi @KylieKoKo I suggested it when we were all talking about how old their dad and I were when we started working. I asked them how they felt about getting a Saturday job too? Their reply was to giggle and say ‘I’m too nervous’ relationship with them normally is very pleasant
That doesn't sound like you're forcing them as your fiance says. I don't think they're reaction seems like they were upset either.
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I have a 17 year old dd and sometimes circumstances dictate that I try and push her out of her comfort zone. For example last year she started to take the odd taxi because I'm a single parent or the time she wants picking up is inconvenient. If she said no then I'd back off but she is off to uni in autumn 2021 or 2022 depending on when she has a gap year so having that sort of skill just in case is handy. We were going to go to London this summer so she can crack getting around on the tube. She's fine taking a train to London without me but wants to be able to get around.
It sounds like you asked gently and didn't apply any pressure so I don't understand where you partner is coming from? If you met a friend with a 16yo then it's perfectly reasonable to ask if they had a part-time job. Mine both did at that age.
I agree with you about bolstering the confidence of kids in a safe environment for their sakes. It's how I raise my kids and they are al really happy when they achieve new skills.
My oldest was ready for uni when he went and had lots of stories about people who can't cook, have their parents collect laundry/deliver ironed clean clothes and put in a duvet cover because they don't have a clue and are too lazy to watch a YouTube video and give it a go. It is funny that he was so ready for uni when he was not school ready at all apart from not having toilet accidents)
As the stepmother you have to fill the role that your partner wants and work out if that's right for you. It sounds like he wants you to be quite hands off and nod along to what they say. The
All you can do is make the suggestion but don’t take it personally if it’s shot down (easier said then done!). I used to be more forthcoming with making suggestions to develop my DSS but I don’t really any more. I just think that their immature/lazy/entitled attitude is no reflection on me as I’m not their parent and I will do things different with my DS. DH is well aware of this as well.
If they are over 16 I don’t think you should try to parent them. Just try to be a trusted older friend and maybe try to get an understanding of why they are the way they are. Sometimes girls show a totally different side of their personalities to one parent / relative over the other (for example DN likes to come across as loud and boisterous with me but is a timid little mouse with her other aunt). So you may not have the full picture. When things get back to normal why not try to organise regular coffee dates with them- just you and them. Doesn’t have to be weekly.
I think you've done very well to suggest this OP. My DSD used to struggle with confidence ana by the age of 16 wouldn't buy a bottle of water in a shop alone. She was rapidly approaching 17 when she'd start driving and we all wondered how she's ever fill her tank with petrol.
3 years later she has two part time waitressing jobs (currently furloughed) and she's totally different.
I disagree that her influencers should only be her parents, my stepdaughter has a use for me in that there are problems she'll come to me with that she won't talk to her parents about. She also admits now that I've contributed well to her desire to work hard and buy nice things for herself
I think you should talk to your partner again about what his take on the conversation was again. He's being overly protective in a way that mothers usually are but he needs to think longer term
I can see that you and your fiancee relationship is unclear.
This is about you two and are you a team or not. Your role in his life is unclear.
@Keys666 so sorry that some of these comments are so tough on you, especially as you are new to the forum.
I am a stepmum to two girls aged 12 and 10, and I am quite hands-on with regards to them. The main reason that it works is because my husband lets me. He trusts me and he has seen, through the years, that when I suggest something it comes from a good place.
This is what I see in your suggestions too. I understand completely that you are trying to help them and I can feel in your words that it comes from your heart. I also believe that it is our job as adults (and not only as parents) to give children around us the best tools to face the world.
I agree with @Dollyparton3 in that parents are not the only influence in a child's life. Thank goodness for them, otherwise what perspective would they have on life?
Maybe your fiancé is over protective, and I can also understand that. You need to find a middle ground to make it work. Maybe you should discuss things with him first and then you can suggest these new ideas to the twins as a couple. What do you think?