Help with step mum!(22 Posts)
I'm sorry but this one is going to be a long one but I need some advice so please stick with it.
Context: I am 17 years old and in 6th form.
The problem: A few weeks ago I got caught, I was up at around 10:30pm on my computer, my step mum went ballistic. She believes that I have a gaming addiction and has banned computer use until after my exams this summer (That's 4 months complete ban). To begin with I deny that I have a gaming addiction (I'm not in denial I swear xD) I have researched the subject and found I fit none of the symptoms and I have always made sure it does not affect school work completion. The second part is that I go to a school 25 miles from where I live, this means most (All except during the holidays) my social contact with friends is over the internet, this ban is frustrating to keep social contact and is slowly stopping me from talking to friends. It also means that I have basically no way to relax after school stress and I feel school work may be slipping slightly, still a bit too early to tell.
Am I the one being unreasonable? Is my step mum right to ban computer use for 4 months? I asked her if weekend use would be ok and she only said she would think about it. A week later nothing.
What does your father or mother have to say? It does seem excessive based on catching you once, are there any other factors or history that could affect the severity of the punishment?
He is going with it because he will be bollacked off if he does otherwise
It was the first time she's caught me but for some reason she's got it in her head she has before.
Don't you need the computer for schoolwork?
I think it sounds drastic. Can you compromise with no games on the computer you use, and none at all after 10pm? Maybe agree to timed internet access too.
Why does she think you're a gaming addict? Do you play games? On a console or laptop?
And yes, what does your dad think? Although if you live with sm presumably she has taken on a parenting role- there will be people on here who say as she's not your biological parent it's not her business, it's down to your dad alone.
Offer to see a doctor to seek his opinion on the so- called addiction? If she is wrong she needs to be reassessing the punishment imo. .
And your df needs to grow a pair. ...
Can't you put enough social media on your phone to keep you In contact?
I did play games on my computer, i didn't think it was excessively. The problem she had was that she thinks whenever I'm in my room I'm playing games which is definitely not the case, most of the time I'm doing work.
The other problem is that she starts screaming and shouting so easily i don't have the guts to say much to her
I think that at 17 years old that you are old enough to monitor your own screen time don't you think, it seems like controlling behaviour, you are legally old enough to move out!
I do live with my dad full time however he's a doctor so i don't see him till late evening so the house is very much run by her
I think you need to speak to your dad privately and tell him how she is when he isn't there and what she is doing. Tell him you really aren't gaming when she says you are. Are your grades in school good? Is he interested in that? Is he involved in that?
I've not had a great relationship with my mum. Also cereal, i may be old enough to move out but i wont be able to go to sixth form, I'm kinda stuck
Ask your SM if you can have your pc for 1hr 30 mins each night then you will return the controller to her after the time is up.
Continue to prioritise your education - that's one thing you won't regret - plus if you succeed and get a place at uni you will be able to escape her!
Are you allowed your phone to keep your social media contact? I thought I was pretty strict. DS is 15 - no electronics in bedroom after 10pm, tv and console downstairs. Even as the worst ever punishment it was no electronics inc phone for one week.
Explain you need it for study. Ask if there is something to earn back the privilege? Try to speak to Dad again.
I hate seeing people immediately resorting to step-mothers are always wrong. We are certainly not all poisoned apple wielding monsters.
But, you are a young woman OP at 17 and do think your step-mum, your father and you need to have a sensible discussion. Can you all sit down together and calmly explain your position? Everyone needs downtime and maybe you can come to a reasonable compromise.
Given the limited information, she may very well just have your best interests at heart. She may be concerned for your well being and want to make sure your giving your all to your studies. I'm sure many mums who are not step-mums have the same or similar rules, although at 17 it seems harsh to me.
Without more information it is difficult to say if she being unreasonable, because she might be a very devoted step parent in other areas IYSWIM and we all dislike our parents or step parents at one point in our lives.
Greystars, unfortunately she is not the kind of person who is easy to talk to, she takes every challenge as a personal insult, she belittles you screams and shouts. She is the kind of person who sets rules where she is the exception.
Do you think a 4 month punishment for a 17 year old who knows he was in the wrong is excessive?
As I said in my original post, I do think it's harsh for a 17 year old, and I think you need to work out how you can communicate effectively with both your step-mum and dad, so they see your point of view. It does seem harsh to me for all the points you raise. However, you are on the Internet right now.
If she is genuinely awful then perhaps you need to discuss with your dad first.
It's incredibly difficult to advise as of course I'm not your step-mum, my children see me and my husband as their parents but then I don't scream, shout or belittle my children and everyone's opinions count although collectively as parents we have the final say.
I am sorry it is hard for you, communicating calmly and retaining the high ground is the only thing I can suggest.
Her reaction is excessive. Is there an expectation from her/your dad that you should achieve very high marks and she (and your dad by proxy) are concerned that these won't be achieved?
Clearly you need to speak to her, the question is how do you go about it without it resulting in her taking control of the conversation. It is important that you should be able to express your feelings and be listened to.
I would suggest waiting for a time where things are not too tense and say to her that you respect her rules, but you would really like to speak to her about it and can you agree a time to do so when there is no distraction. Then say to her that you understand her concern about it taking over your studying, but explain what you've said here about social interaction. Then show her a timetable that you've devised to show her when you will stick to studying and when you'll do games/interact with your friends. Agree that you will leave your tablet/phone etc... in another room after 10pm. If you show initiative in dealing with the issue, it will be harder for her not to agree to a compromise.
Saying that, are you really never interacting face to face with your friends? I understand you live further away, but what about after school, and what about week-ends? It still much better to socialise with friends face to face as much as possible.
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