Suspicious of my three stepkids, any advice?

MonaSparksApril 11, 2012

Hi everyone, well for reasons that I don't want to bore you with, I first met my step-kids on my wedding day, 5 years ago and now after not seeing them since the big day, all three have decided to stay with my husband and I in our home in London for the week (but it looks like it could be longer than that...) They have been here three days and I feel like i'm going crazy; They are slowly bleeding their way into my household and slowly pushing me out whilst manipulating me and being sickly sweet and attentive to me and my daughter, Alice(their half-sister whom they adore) My husband doesn't know what i'm talking about and says that they are just trying to settle in and make a good impression but although on the outside, there is no reason to dislike them (well 2/3, Ace is like a firecracker at times) I just feel that something is not right with these kids and I already feel like Marina (19) has taken control of my household, and has become a second mother to Alice to "take the stress off" which is concerning me as I am the one who runs my household as my husband works long hours. Then there's Anno (21) who is probably the most charming man you'll ever meet in your life, but I suspect he is also a master manipulator and then there's Ace (17) who is the textbook disruptive teen who will ONLY listen to either Marina, Anno or Tony (Their Dad, my Husband. but only sometimes, he's like Marina's lapdog, she says jump, he says how high) I feel that something is seriously out of place here although my best friend thinks i'm either jealous or going crazy. I need some opinions here, Do I have reason to be concerned? or should I be more accommodating to his kids who are just "trying to settle in"?

Thanks,

Mona.

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justmetoo

Hmmmm, it's a week or so and so far nothing really pin pointed just an uneasy feeling?

You really don't know each other, it's likely a bit uncomfortable for all and nobody quite seems just how to behave around each other or what to expect. As they are half way through the visit, I'd just keep your fingers crossed and hope the remaining part of visit goes as well (or at least as uneventful) as the first few days.

Heck, if Marina wants to 'run the house' to take the stress off, let her. Take the opportunity to relax, enjoy your day and maybe even do something you don't usually get to do.

if Ace only listens to Marina, well then tell Marina what it is you desire of/from Ace and Ace will likely do it. If he jumps when sis says 'jumps' put it to your advantage.

They are leaving soon. Your house will get back to normal shortly.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 9:20PM
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DFWmom

I don't really see anything in your post that would concern me. Like pp said, it's probably a bit akward right now because you don't really know each other.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 5:01PM
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stepmomofthree

Mona,

you're not crazy. I've had a little experience with what you're feeling. Older teen and young adult stepkids will sometimes feel threatened by a new family structure and they will try to assert control over activities and meals to "recreate" the old family structure. Often, Dad will pander to them because he's keen to maintain their interest in the family. However, kids can't run the family and we've had a few conflicts over the years, especially on vacations, when the big kid doesn't get her/his way. We've also had some problems with the big kid pressing Dad to spend money that he can't afford.

You can solve some of this problem, to some extent, with advance planning. Prior to a visit, make sure that you and your husband have a plan in place for important meals (like Christmas dinner) and activities (like visits with relatives). If the big kids balk, be sure that you have an "out" for them so they won't cause problems (i.e. "We're taking baby to see Santa today at noon. You're welcome to tag along, or you can stay home and get some homework done"). Also, have a few pre-planned jobs in mind to keep them busy (i.e. they make cookies, wrap gifts or do a craft that you've purchased with the little kids).

However, there will be times that you will just have to grit your teeth and bear it. That happened to me on Easter weekend when I was snafu'ed with an activity on Good Friday that I wasn't informed about and hadn't planned on. It didn't adversely affect my weekend, so I just smiled and went along.

Rest assured, that the problem becomes less frequent as the big kids get older, and become occupied with their own careers and relationships.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 10:06AM
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