I dread our time with his kids

free2bunmeApril 3, 2009

I'm a 1st timer here and I'm at my wits end.

A little background. I'm a 2nd time around SM and the 1st was nothing like this! I have 2 BS (17 and 13) and a 11 y/o BD. He has 2 girls 11,9.

Younger SD is a joy to be around. My only complaint with her is that she will defend her sister even when she knows she is in the wrong. I don't blame her for it but it makes getting to the bottom of issues a lot more difficult sometimes since it is usually the 3 girls together when something happens.

Older SD makes me crazy. She is extremely dramatic and can be downright nasty and rude when it suits her. She is loud and embarassing when we go out. I'll admit that there is a bit of resentment as well about the disciplinary double standard between my kids and his. And the fact that we end up spending well over budget when we have his kids (to the tune of $100 Sushi dinner because SD was having a "meltdown")

I'm just looking for some advice on how to handle situations when his kids are with us. I don't want to lose my cool with her but it is definitely getting to that point.

Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks for letting me vent :)

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How long have you and DH been together? How often do the SD's come over? Did everyone get sushi or just the one SD? Do you resent more the girl's personality or that more money is spent when the SD's are over? Does the one SD's personality remind you of the BM's, and is there any issue between you and BM? How does your DH feel about the things that bother you? What solutions have occured to you to improve the situation? The answers to these things will clarify stuff a bit more for any discussion here.

One thing I will go ahead and say off the bat, though, is that I wouldn't count on being able to get 'the straight story' 100% from ANY kid, step or bio, about any behavioral incidents. That just ain't gonna happen. And it would seem pretty natural that full-bio-sibs would defend each other, especially when they don't live in the same household as the other sibs full-time. There is very much a natural predisposition to "look after one's own", especially in stepfamilies. The adults do it perhaps even more than the kids, like when they compare how their bio-kids are disciplined vs. the step-kids, or how much of any given resource (time, attention, money) their bio-kids are getting in comparison to the step-kids, etc. This is natural, but it does help family harmony when everyone (kids and adults) tries to be mindful of not overdoing it and tries to embrace the "other" family more.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 2:28PM
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Well 11 years old for girls is the beginning of some tough years!! My 14yr old sd is wonderful...but she was very testy around that age. She pushed us to the limit at times. My sd who is 13 was also pretty testy...at times she still is!

My 13yr old sd will most of the time defend her sis to the end. Other times she will be dying to tattle. Sometimes she will be sweet as pie to her 6 yr old brother and my 11 yr old son. Other times she is evil to them!

I think that is all natural in any family.

As for the meltdowns, well those can't be rewarded. My 6 yr old ss used to have these meltdowns for my dh. He was 4 and would refuse to get dressed, throw himself on the ground, refuse to go to the store, etc. I would almost laugh as I saw him on the floor kicking and screaming as my dh attempted to dress him. When dh was not home ss would never do those things to me! He did it because he knew he could get away with it with dh! And he got all that one on one attention during the whole tantrum!

Once I finally exploded on my dh for it and me and the other 3 kids all pointed out to him that ss only acted that way when he was home. I think something about all 3 of the other kids pointing out what a sucker he was sunk in! Plus me and the other kids began walking away during these fits. If we were in the store we would leave dh with ss and go on shopping or whatever. At home we would go take out a board game and enjoy ourselves while dh was coddling this behavior! Sometimes I would actually start rewarding the other kids for behaving in front of ss after one of his fits.

DH got mad finally and stopped giving into this behavior.

Your dh needs to stop giving in to this behavior and rewarding it with expensive dinners...or the teen years will be horrible!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 3:04PM
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To clarify DH and I have been together for a little over a year and have lived together for about 4 months. We have them weekly sometimes more.

I don't necessarily resent the money spent, as long as we can afford it, which we can't right now. We all had Sushi when we went out but that was only 1 example...this happens all of the time. She won't eat what's cooked etc. and we have to order in or go out. I refuse to re-cook dinner. The rule with me has always been if you don't like what was cooked there's good old PB&J!

I know he feels guilty about not spending alot of time with them when they were younger (he worked alot and put BM thru college to be a nurse) I'm just trying to get it through his head that he can't buy their affection and that kids NEED discipline.

SD's behavior is nothing like BM at all. SD walks all over her and she puts up with it. There are some issues because they live with BGrandma and that's a whole other post. I feel bad for her and I know she has her hands full But she is a grown woman and I wouldn't want her to tell me how to raise my kids/live my life so that is one I will stay out of!

He and I talk about this alot and the problem is that he has good intentions, but caves all of the time with her. My ex had 4 daughters that lived with us for 7 years. I "survived" 7 kids in the house 24/7 and made it through the terrible teen years with them but this is making me crazy. I think what I'm asking for is how do I approach (and help him follow through) with ways to make sure the behavioral expectations are the same for all of the children all of the time without driving a wedge between us?

I feel awful about feeling this way about her but I want my relatively peaceful household back!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 4:25PM
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I think your relationship is young and 4 months living together is still fresh. So the only advice i can give you is what i usually do with my husband. I constantly tell him that if he treats one child like that he must do it as well to the other and if he doesn't then he doens't have my support what so ever.
My dh does this to his kids ALL the time. He will always favor his daughter over his son. and even our biochild over his son. He has this negative attitude i see with his own son andi dont like it.
Example: he wnats to take his daughter out ot a museum. Wheni hear it said over the phone i assumed it was a family thing...silly me.....he only wants to take her out. We had a scrap out about it htis week. He says i'm jealous...HAHHAhlalllol...i told him im not an insecure woman and in fact i usually encourage outtings alone with both kids. My problem is that he only wants her to go and to leave his son at home iwth me. This will create feeligns of abandonment and jealousy and anger towards my dh. I told him...you want go ahead..but you are dissing your own son yet again! 'oh he wont like the museum' i told him doesn't matter. Your taking her and not him. I've already seen the exhibit...can go again anytime, my son is way too young and would just be trouble...but at least ask your son if he wants to go....its awful.
My sd is demanding too of attention and yes my hubby does fall from tie to time. The only thing you can do is talk to him and remind him...but in the end...its him.
There was one instant , i wanted to 'teach' them both a lesson, father and daughter...so i took my ss out with me the entire day even though his sister protested and my husband came crawling to me in the kitchen (this was 6 years ago) telling me , maybe its best if i take both kids as a treat...i said sorry, no room, and choose your son...you can have more time with your daughter. Oh boy....were they huffy puffy and every once in a while i would do this.
Another suggestion is to make more group time and also alone time with Sd and him. That way she doesn't always take control of the situ.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 12:27PM
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