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Thread: Lazy kids
09-29-2010, 05:10 PM #1
I'm new here and I'm not a stepmom, but a stepdad and I need some suggestions. We have two kids at home, a 10 year old girl and a 15 year old boy. They're generally good kids, but have totally not been taught life management skills.
Things are a bit better with my stepdaughter, but she often has to be supervised to get anything done. Back at her father's house, where she goes every other weekend, she has no responsibilities whatsoever. She gets to eat chips, watch TV all day, and basically do whatever she wants. She usually also comes back with money, and it always burns yet another hole in her pocket so no financial management skills there. I do have to admit I'm new at this, and we have a baby on the way.
Things were more or less okay with the stepson, but my fiancee has become increasingly lenient towards him in fear of him rebelling. His room looks like a pig sty, his chores are:
-Dishes twice a week
-Vacuum his room once a week
The above were settled between him and his mom after he walked out on me and left the house.
The situation gets even more complicated because he has a different father than my stepdaughter and his father has a lot of money which he uses to buy him things all the time. Earlier I was able to make him do things by limiting his access to the computer, but his dad recently bought a laptop for him and he comes home happily saying "Now it's my computer so I can use it all I want." I should mention that his dad kicked him out of the house a year ago because he and his stepmom didn't get a long and she said "Either he goes or I go." So his father said, "you're going to live with your mom."
Now as I said, generally he's a great kid, but I will only go so far in terms of keeping the house clean. I have a business to run as well and it's becoming increasingly difficult.
The problem is I don't feel I'm getting enough support from my fiancee. She can be wishy-washy at times, especially towards him and of course she's a mother so she probably feels the need to protect him and make his life easier because it's been pretty tough on an emotional level, given the total lack of stability. He's never learned to take care of things and so now he's shocked that someone might expect that of him. Any ideas on what to do?
09-30-2010, 02:44 AM #2
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think you need some more 'serious' communication with the s.o.
09-30-2010, 08:08 AM #3
I think the mom needs to handle it. Just curious, how long have you and the mom been together?
As for the computer use, you can set the router to shut down the ip at certain times you specify of the day and/or night -- so he can't use it online anytime he wants. (I didn't know if your battle with him was for online use.)
Oh yeah, that's another thing -- choose your battles wisely.
But again, I think mom needs to handle it.
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09-30-2010, 08:11 AM #4
- Rep Power
How old are the kids? I'm a step-mom. I know what it is like! It can be very frustrating at times.
09-30-2010, 09:38 AM #5
since it already appears she has had a few guys in her life who didnt stick around to be father figures - i wouldnt expect any say in anything until after you are actually married .
Fiances can come and go much easier than married partners and thats how she and or the kids may see it .
alot of times i see people get engaged just so they can live together with out their families dissapproval or with less of it ( if you have old school type of families ) and many times those engagements never come to end in a marraige.
It may not really be a lack of respect for you it may be a
way they are protecting their emotions and feelings .
Let the mom handle it - IF she complains then say to her well you allow it to happen .
09-30-2010, 10:39 AM #6
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unwanted Step-child here.
Both my sister and I had problems with my Step-Father. We were always clashing. Our real father was not in the picture. Step-dad was constantly being told what a good person he was for raising someone elses children.
Nothing I can do to help with their lazyness, but I will give you some advice that really helped us. Make sure you are ALWAYS the better man. Make sure you routinely tell them that you love them and do things to show it. Step-dad did little things for us that made a difference. There was always a water fight at the end of the year on our school bus, one year he bought us new water guns.
This is traumatic for you, but HELL on them. Have them do what you do and not what you say. Because you are a step-dad they hold you to a reamarkably higher standard than if you were their natural father. Once they learn that they can trust you and your judgement, they will naturally fall in line.
Their father seems to be hell bent on making you and your SO the bad guys at the cost of his children. Seems like a total jerk, but he may think the exact opposite. At any rate, he isn't being the father the children need so its up to you.
I wish you luck and do not envy you in the slightest, you have a very hard road ahead of you, but extrememly rewarding.
My Step-father and I have a great relationship now. He ends every conversation with "love you" and begins them asking me how am I doing and whats new with me. Whenever I need anything I just have to ask and vice-versa.
09-30-2010, 01:04 PM #7
As far as computer use goes, he has his own laptop now and I've set the router to block internet access from it and told him that he needs to clean up his room first. Well, he left home and said he'd be back at 6, but did add that he did the dishes. A halfhearted and half-assed (excuse my French) effort as he left the pots dirty, but better than nothing.
I've had arguments with my fiancee about it, and even told her that she's being totally unfair because she's much stricter with her daughter than she is with her son. My stepdaughter's room is in a constant state of mess, but she usually does what she's told. She doesn't really do much by herself, but I do feel that there's a good chance for her to start being more responsible, whereas with the 15 year old going on 16 I really don't want to give up on him but frankly I'm tired.
09-30-2010, 01:13 PM #8
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I think it would be a good idea for you and your fiancee to sit down together and come up with a list of reasonable daily/weekly chores for both children. But let HER be the one to introduce the chores to them. She should probably also do the majority of the enforcing in the beginning, as well.
09-30-2010, 04:58 PM #9
If she wont go to the parenting class or if schedules don't allow you both to go, go yourself for some great tips on how to handle stuff like this. They also have a website if you google "love & logic". They have a book for teens that I found at my local library, they have classes (sometimes free) offered at churches, etc. You can't fix her but you can give yourself some deflective statements.
09-30-2010, 10:24 PM #10
11-04-2010, 04:47 PM #11
You are not the father or the step father. I think this is a problem for mother to handle.I have no experience with divorce, but in my teen years,I would not have taken kindly to mother's boyfriend telling me what to do.
11-04-2010, 06:06 PM #12
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My hubby has been a DAD, but is the step-dad to my two oldest and has been for almost 22 yrs..
As I said, he has been a dad, never once treated them as or referred to them as his step-kids.. They have always been his kids.. Even after we had 2 kids together, he still never treated our oldest any different, loving them, discipline, standing by them, backing them up, he is the same with all 4 and has high respect from the oldest two (26&25) for all that he did..
The way I handled it was ~ He took the dad roll immediately and so I didn't step in and ever say, hey their my kids back off.. He has always been a good dad and as my oldest daughter has said, for many reasons he has her respect, mostly tho', because he stepped up and never turned away from her and her brother, even in times when most men (step-dads) would of, "not my kid, not my problem" (which we have seen). He'd go to the school when there was problems and get things fixed, legal problems with our oldest son, etc. He was dad..
We stay in full communication over the kids, never made a decision without the other... You need to have a sit down with their mom and give her your side and her give her side, maybe that would help.. You need to get together to raise them, not you just being the bad guy.. Your not trying to replace their dads, but just getting the home under control and respect as an adult in the home..
The one thing that really needs to get under control is the inconsistency that is going on between homes.. They should follow rules everywhere.. The simplest one is dad makes daughter clean up after herself when at his home..
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