I don't love stepson

goodwrench3May 25, 2010

Is this normal? I don't love my stepson. He's not a "bad kid". He is a total tyrant at his mom's house (who has custody) but is polite, etc when he is with us. I don't feel close to him. We have nothing in common. He is nothing how I want a kid to be. There are things that piss me off so much when he is over. They are simple things that I want AND expect out of him when he is at my house. Here is the list of things that I expect, and my reasons he has given me for these expectations:

1. Put clean clothes on every day and shower. I blew up over this one, after working fri, sat and sun. Come home from work sun. He is in the SAME CLOTHES he has worn since fri at school. This is UNEXCEPTABLE. Husbands responce was "he's a 12 yr old boy". My response is he needs to learn personal hygenie which at 12 he should already have.

2. Brush teeth after breakfast and after dinner. My husband and I both have full insurance for us and stepson. Cleanings are covered 100%, so is filings, x-rays, etc. We have GREAT insurace and are very lucky. He doesn't brush his teeth. When I tell him he needs to, he says "ok" and does not do it. His dad says, I'll talk to him, but he never does. He doesn't seem to get it that this is IMPORTANT and he needs to have regular check-ups done, and anything that he needs done, needs to be done now since we have on insurance before he's an adult and it's too late.

3. Don't eat after 8 pm. Stepson is 12 1/2. 5 ft 5. Weighs 190 pds. He is a large frame kid, but he is overweight. When he is at our house, my husband says he doens't want to "deny him of food". I said, "it is our responsiblity to teach him good habits."

4. Drink water and juice, snack on healthier items. All he wants to drink is root beer and mtn. dew. I have told him in the past that he needs to drink water, juices, etc. I have bought fruit punch crystal light. He will not touch it. He will not drink water or juice. He'll go in and drink a gallon of milk in 1 day.

5. Don't sit down and proceed to eat chips and salsa or whatever 30 mins before dinner is ready. He eats all the time. He eats 1/2 hour before dinner, he eats 1/2 hour after breakfast, he eats cereal, or ice cream or whatever 2 or 3 times after 8 at night.

6. Only be allowed a certain amount of time on computer. I don't know, maybe 1 or 2 hours. He plays some game online. My husband picks him up on fri. As soon as he comes in the house, within the first 10 mins, he is on the computer, and REMAINS on the computer til we go to bed, and then until he falls asleep. All day sat, and all day sun til his mom picks him. My husband says, "well, he doesn't have internet at his moms house." I say this is unexceptable and there are ALOT of kids that are NOT allowed to be on computers for that amount of time.

7. Go to bed at a decent hour. I understand that it is during the weekend that he is with us, but he is staying up til 4, 5 6 o'clock in the morning then sleeping til 1 or 2 in the afternoon.

8. Mowing the lawn. I feel that since he doesn't have ANY chores or responsibilites (I don't think he should have alot to do, and I feel better if I'm the one washing dishes cause then it's done the way I want it). I think that when he comes over, he should mow the lawn. It is a small yard within city limits. Maybe 7 minutes max to mow. My husband thinks he should get paid for it. He said $20. I said no way. He can get a monthly allowance of $20 for mowing the lawn every week. SS has only mowed the lawn once. He goes about 50 ft, then has to "stop" because he's tired. It took him 1 and 1/2 hour. It takes my husband maybe 10 mins if he starts and stops. SS wants to mow other peoples yards for money. I said he needs to do ours, completely done in 1 session, not stopping and starting.

10. This goes with the mowing the yard. Last year, 2 weeks after the one and only time he mowed the yard, I come home from work on Fathers Day. My husband is outside mowing the yard. SS is sitting on his butt inside playing his computer game. I told him that it was fathers day and that he needed to go out and finish the yard. My husband sent him back in because ss was "busy" with his game.

11. He played socceer for 5 years. He DOES NOT run after the ball. He stands there. He does not try to go for. We're having to pay for this. The other kids and parents make rude comments because he doesn't try. The kids seperate themselves from him because there have been quite a few times that they lost because of him. When asked if he even liked playing, he says, "I guess, I don't know" His dad says, well he's a big kid, he doesn't like to run. Then what is he doing playing socceer and why are we paying for it when he doesn't want to try.

12. We have had to pay for Unicylce club for the last 2 years. All the other kids practice at home and can ride the unicycle. At parents, all the rest of the kids are on the unicycle, when he just walks with it. The coach talked to us last season about how he needs to practice and learn to ride it. I tried to explain to him that if wants to do things, he needs to practice at home and keep practicing, then 1 day he'll b able to do it. He says he won't do it at home cause he gets tired after 5 mins. My husband says, "if he wants to do something, he should be able to do". I'm not saying he shouldn't, I'm saying, he needs to be taught that you need to try, practice and have patient with things to be able to go farther and excel.

Stepson is overweight. He needs to become active, ride his bike, get outside. It is nice outside, it's summer time. He NEEDS to be outside instead of sitting on his but inside on the computer, stuffing his face.

All these things irritate the crap out of me.

At first we got along. We still do, but I feel like everytime he comes over, I get in such a bad mood. I don't enjoy him being there. I don't think that my expectations are ridiculous.

I don't feel close to him. I don't feel like we have anything in common. I feel like he only likes to come over because he can stay up all night, play computer all day/night, and eat whatever and whenever he wants.

Like I said he is a nice polite kid. He has no guidance though. He needs to have guidance so that when he is an adult, he'll be a better person.

Because of these things, I just feel myself get so pissed and annoyed that he is there.


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I don't think you are ridiculous either. Those are reasonable expectations. The problem is that the parents do not have the same expectations.

My advice: Do not have children with the father of this boy. You are getting a firsthand lesson in his parenting style & it greatly conflicts yours....

As for how to not get so pissed and annoyed... well, being pissed at a kid that is doing what his parents have given the great big nod to do... well, he's not going to want to hear your rules.. he likes the ones his parents laid out. He lives with mom, visits dad. If it were me, I might take a class or find a hobby to keep me occupied during the time he is there... leave him to spend his time with his dad. You don't have to have a relationship with him, or have anything in common. If you can let it go so you are not in a bad mood every time he comes over, that would be best for you. As for your husband and his ex, they are the ones that will pay the price if they don't give their child guidance or boundaries.

You aren't going to change the boy, so the chances of you having a relationship with him are not good, unless you can forget all the irritating things his parents allow him to do that you disagree with.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 1:40AM
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Ditto Ima. I don't think your expectations are unreasonable. BUT this is not your child and you also pointed out, his MOM has custody. So I am assuming he is visiting at your home EOW or something along those lines, correct?

It is very difficult for YOU, as a stepparent, to dictate anything when the boy doesn't even live primarily with you. Sure, you can have basic expectations, but DAD needs to be the one to set and enforce them to his son. NOT YOU.

And it sounds like Dad is not on the same page as you.

My advice? If you think DH isn't going to change his parenting, then you cannot do anything but change how you deal with the situation. Back off and make yourself scarce on weekends when the boy is with you guys. Let his dad do all the work and let him spend time with and enjoy his son.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 9:06AM
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I'd be pissed off too - but at my DH, not my SS. It must be really hard for you to watch your SS (or any kid, for that matter) being allowed to settle in to such bad habits which will affect his health and the rest of his life, and no one but you seeming to notice or care! The poor kid sounds depressed to me (not making an effort, not taking care of hygiene).

I agree with love and ima; there's not much you can do rather than try to distance yourself emotionally so that your bad mood doesn't affect him. The only other possibility that I can think of is if you and DH are the kind of people who go hiking, biking, etc. yourselves then maybe try to schedule an outing while he is visiting. Leading by example can work well.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 10:48AM
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