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AIBU to be annoyed with DStepSon and his attitude?

253 replies

SummerHolidayStress · 24/07/2015 20:20

NC because I've seen the judgment and flaming some Stepmothers get for having any issue with DSChildren. Some advice would be really appreciated.
I've been with DP for 9yrs, 3DCs together, 1 DsS from his previous rship. DsS (age 12) lives with his Mum.
All children have always been treated equally, I love them all equally, and treat them the same, as does their DF.
The issue is, how to deal with DsS at the moment. We moved away 18months ago because of work and university situations (work for DP, Uni for me- commuting 4hrs daily was physically and mentally exhausting), so it made sense to move. DsS was aware of this from the start, that a move was the only way we could keep our heads above water.
We've tried our hardest to see DsS in this year, to the point we travelled the 3hrs back to our old town as arranged, arrived at his home and was told, "he's out, doesn't want to see you".
He ignores us all of the time, despite is really trying to talk and arrange to see him. He doesn't talk until until a week before his birthday, when he tells us what he wants...and then a few days before Xmas, and tells us what his DM is getting him, so we can " decide what else so he doesn't get two of the same".
He's largely ignored our calls and texts for months now, until Lo and Behold, a text three days ago, saying "It's school holidays now, when are you coming to get me?" followed by "You can take me to place, as it's near to your new house. And, "Mum wants to know when your coming, and where you're going to take me. Answer me"

We have always treated all four children to have respect and manners, and if he was here, he would be told off for blatant brattish attitude.

I'm just annoyed. He ignores DP and me for 11 months of the year, but when he thinks treats and presents are involved, he wants some contact and issues demands. We wouldn't take that from the 3DCs at home, are we meant to from DS who isn't here? I don't know.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

OP posts:
SurlyCue · 24/07/2015 20:25

Is there no contact agreement between DH and exW? Surely they had planned what was happening over summer hols and contavt through the year?

saoirse31 · 24/07/2015 20:31

Well yabu clearly to think he felt anything but abandoned tbh. you seem to have told him you had to move for monetary reasons. perhaps he's repaying you with the same attitude ie money is more important than you.

Cabbagesaregreen · 24/07/2015 20:33

Poor kid.

BettyCatKitten · 24/07/2015 20:38

Repayment for feeling abandoned I guess.

MrsTerryPratchett · 24/07/2015 20:38

We have always treated all four children to have respect and manners, and if he was here, he would be told off for blatant brattish attitude. I'm going to assume the other three are younger. Wait until they are through the tweens and teens before you assume they will be angels...

Florriesma · 24/07/2015 20:39

So are there any contact arrangements supposed to be in place ot is it ad hoc arrangements?

It sounds like he was 10 or 11 when the move happened. And agree with pp he seems to have felt abandoned. Unfortunately with young dc it sometimes doesn't matter how rationale the decision is, it still doesn't make sense through their eyes.

Given that you have moved 3 hours away what have you done to bend over backward and make him feel he is included?
(I speak as a step mum btw, )

SurlyCue · 24/07/2015 20:40

What prompted the move? I know you say work and uni, but one will have happened first, which was it?

BlueBlueSea · 24/07/2015 20:41

Sounds like his mother texting. He is probably hurt and punishing you and happy to stay away.

He is becoming a teenager and then they change completely so you will get rudenss and complete shelfishness, but you should not have to take it.

Get his father to phone him and discuss what he wants to do over the summer.

PtolemysNeedle · 24/07/2015 20:42

You should have expected some fall out from moving so far away from him, and it think it's time you stopped comparing how you parent your other children to how you parent him. The situations are not the same so you shouldn't be treating them all the same. Apart from anything else, he's just getting to that age where hormones kick in and they become completely unreasonable, especially when they have difficult parenting situations to deal with.

I think you need to forgive readily, and move forward. Let your DH go and get his son and make the effort to let him know that he is just as important as he always was.

And stop trying to convince him and everyone else that you love him as much as your biological children. You don't, and that's ok because he isn't your biological child, but he is equally important and you need to make sure he knows he is equally valued. Your DH also needs some contact with his ex, because children shouldn't be making their own contact arrangements.

IJustLostTheGame · 24/07/2015 20:45

Moving for monetary reasons are more than valid. And you didn't just move for monetary reasons.
I am a stepmother in a similar situation.
Dsd turns up when treats are on offer or when she wants something. Although she isn't difficult or surly to deal with, if she doesn't get what she wants she simply doesn't come. Dh's ex delights in him being snubbed, or extracting as much money as possible.
Our approach is 'our door is always open' and she's always welcome. But family life isn't all treats all the time. And she shouldn't be treated as an honoured guest when she is here.
Unfortunately this means she comes but rarely anymore.
Some of it is almost certainly hormones.
At least I'm hoping it is.
Stick to your guns. Refuse to rise. Don't equal love with money. And refuse to allow yourselves to be wound up.

cuntycowfacemonkey · 24/07/2015 20:46

12 year olds don't really understand financial decisions, he just knows his dad left and moved 3 hours away. He's punishing you with the only control he has. Doesn't mean you have to accept rudeness and shower him with gifts and days out though

cuntycowfacemonkey · 24/07/2015 20:49

Also why weren't contact arrangements in place with your dh's ex about the holidays already? I'm confused that a text would just come out of the blue from your dss.

UnsolvedMystery · 24/07/2015 20:50

He doesn't have a brattish attitude, poor kid has been told he's not that important. Of course he doesn't understand why you had to move - he doesn't have adult understanding, he has child understanding.
His behaviour reflects his feelings.
He's also at a difficult age. Show him a bit more understanding. He needs to know that he still matters and telling him is not enough.

Oswin · 24/07/2015 20:51

You say you wouldn't accept that attitude from your children but I doubt you would move three hours away from your children would you.
What was the plans for contact?
You make it would like you have only made the journey once.

redgoat · 24/07/2015 20:53

Been there, done the same - moved away from DSD for financial reasons and she behaved in exactly the same way. Your DSS feels abandoned and is treating you accordingly.

Upsetting (and it was for us too) but there you go.

wannabestressfree · 24/07/2015 20:59

I think the op is getting a hard time here. If contact is not encouraged by the mother eg they are going to collect and he is refusing/ out what are they supposed to do? I am not a step parent but I make sure my sons don't just go for the good times and they are teenagers. You can't complain about children not being Intergrated if they are cherry picking.
I would tell him when to come as he has asked but not be drawn on 'what's happening'. Keep the same time available eg eow throughout the year.
Hopefully it's just a rough patch.

ghostyslovesheep · 24/07/2015 21:02

he is hurt and he feels abandoned - you can explain the economics all you want he is a CHILD with the feelings and rational of a CHILD

Mistigri · 24/07/2015 21:09

I think some of the responses here are very simplistic tbh. He's 12 and he's communicating by text, young adolescents aren't very tactful at the best of times and texting tends to exacerbate this. It's important not to read things into a short text that may not be there.

It sounds like some proper arrangements for regular holiday contact need to be put in place, and that is up to the adults involved, especially as the distance is far enough that adult involvement will be required for any visits.

SanityClause · 24/07/2015 21:10

I'm not usually all evil step mother on MN, but really? You can't see that he feels abandoned?

His dad leaves, and throws him some crumbs, and he's accused of being brattish for not acting eternally grateful?

What other contact is there, apart from the one 3hr journey? FaceTime? Skype? Emails? Letters? Texts?

Have you and his father acknowledged his feelings of abandonment? I'm guessing not, as you don't even seem to understand he might have them.

Basically, you have given him all your reasons for leaving, and expected him to be happy for you. There's a thread on here about a mother doing the same thing, and the poor kid has been given counselling at school, and his step mother and father are constantly having to pick up the pieces. No wonder he and his mother feel angry with you (and your DH)!

IonaNE · 24/07/2015 21:22

Sympathies, OP. DSS's behaviour is not acceptable - but I would step back a little and let your DH, DSS's father take the bigger part in sorting it out. There needs to be a contact plan, DSS needs to be made aware of it.

As for DSS feeling abandoned: as far as I can see, he is cared for adequately. Yes, his father moved away - some people's father moves countries. It is worth listening to some of the stories the young people not much older than OP's DSS trying to get onto lorries in Calais tell reporters.

SurlyCue · 24/07/2015 21:27

It is worth listening to some of the stories the young people not much older than OP's DSS trying to get onto lorries in Calais tell reporters.


Why? How will that help OP's DSS?

textfan · 24/07/2015 21:28

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SurlyCue · 24/07/2015 21:28

As for DSS feeling abandoned: as far as I can see, he is cared for adequately.

They arent mutually exclusive. It is entirely possible he is being "adequately cared for" and still feels abandoned.

ilovesooty · 24/07/2015 21:32

I agree he probably feels abandoned.

That comment about lorries and Calais is just weird.

HoldYerWhist · 24/07/2015 21:34

It is worth listening to some of the stories the young people not much older than OP's DSS trying to get onto lorries in Calais tell reporters.


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