spoiled or is it just me?

ll77May 19, 2009

I am new to this site and I love that I can read about other peoples lives with stepfamilies and feel sane. I have an issue which may not be a big issue but I feel annoyed and I dont really know what to do. Me and my 13 yr old son live with my fiance and his 15 yr old girl and 9 nearly 10 yr old boy that he has full time. They both are a big challenge. But his son takes a shower in our shower when theres two more that are available in the house. His dad shampoos his hair and dries him off as well. He says he does it to get him out of the room quicker. In the beginning I just let it go, seeing maybe his dad would eventually direct his son to the other showers to have him be more independent. But nope! On top of this, he has temper tantrums at least 4-5x a week. He demands play time with his dad daily. The shower thing is just bugging me. I have to usually stop what Im doing so he can come in and shower. am I being overly insensitive? or just silly??? I dont know what to do and if its my place to say anything? thanks

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Nope. If there is a designated kids shower he neds to be using it. I wouldn't want to clear out of my bedroom everytime the kid wanted to bathe.

He's ten and dad is still washing his hair? Seriously? Is he special needs or something? The twins are five and they now wash their own hair. 10 is awfully old. It's almost to the point of being innapropriate. If he were a girl he would be starting to develope.

No need to make the kid hurry if he's in his own wash room. Thus no need for dad to still be washing his hair. EEW.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 4:51PM
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I would not be okay with my bio DD or my SS using our master bathroom on a regular basis. Occasionally, a bubble bath in our big tub is one thing, but for the most part--that is OUR adult space.

The kids have their own bathroom where the tub is filled w/bath toys, kid shampoo, etc.

I think your fiance needs to stop jr. from using your shower. It is a respect/privacy issue.

I also think if he were using his own shower, then Dad, like Doodle said, would be less likely to go in and wash his hair.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 5:08PM
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Im glad to hear this. his son does not have special needs. i just think hes really spoiled. Im going to give this approach tonight when its shower time. thanks so much. we'll see how it goes....

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 6:08PM
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I dont think he is spoiled - - or if he is, his bigger prolbme is he does have special needs. I'm sorry, to me spoiled is not cleaning up room, eating ice cream and leaving dirty dishes, etc. This showering with dad is wierd. Has some one discussed this with his pediatrician, as a start?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 7:54PM
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his dad brings breakfast to his room every morning and he never cleans up after himself. so hes definitely spoiled. his dad doesnt shower with him in the shower, but just washes his hair and dries him off when hes done. i do think he does have a problem. he once pee'd in a empty water bottle and left it in between the couch and thought it was ok to do that. i was appalled.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:50PM
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I think the kid needs some form of evaluation. I think by the time most kids get to 10 they are very protective of their own body issues and privacy. I would suggest an eval for SS and then if nothing shows up family/parenting classes. I would say for Dad, but it might be good to go togehtor. I woulld hope even a pediatirican would tell dad this isnt normal and SS will have problems unless this behaivor is changed.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:03PM
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i totally agree kkny. I do feel his son does need an eval. Ive brought it up before that maybe he needs to see his pediatrician. I think family counseling and parenting classes would benefit as well. thx for all advice. it really does help to get things off my chest.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 10:05PM
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I think a good pediatrician is a good first start. Even if your insurance plan doesnt require referrals, they likley know a lot of practiitoners and can discuss with dad in a very matter of fact health issue discussion.

Its not unusaal for a 10 year old to have a bathroom accident -- but this situation in totoal seems like he needs help.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 10:21PM
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Wanting to play with dad every day, all day is normal, IMO. Wanting to take a shower and have dad do all the work... sure. My dd wants me to wash and dry her hair every night too. She's seven. I sometimes do in the interest of saving time but most often tell her to do it herself so she can learn to care for her own hygiene.

Boundaries need to be set. What is appropriate, what is not appropriate. Dad should give him a lesson on washing hair, then decline to help again. Maybe he needs a clear definition of "big boy". As in, big boys get to do ______ with dad (something fun). And make him make the choice of staying a baby or being a big boy.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:10AM
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My 10 boy would let me do lots of things but give him a bath is not one of them. My 10 year old is attention starved and wants as much of my time as possible. Any kid that lives in a house with as many as we have would be. He would NEVER let his dad or SD in the bath room for love or money. Jr needs to be doing that himself. DH might start by putting him back in the kiddy bathroom. Maybe buy him some JR. Shampoo and then for a week or two go "check to see how you did... Smell his hair tell him he did a great Job and leave." No need to fuss over him like that. Temper fits need to be treated like a acting out thing and deal with it seperate. Reinforce good things you ask of him and don't give into bad behavior.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 10:18AM
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My son is about the same age and literally screams if someone enters the bathroom while he is showering! There are times when I make him go dry his hair and body again after he comes out dressed because he is still sopping wet. But I do not do it for him. Many times I have to smell his hair because he showers too quickly and he smells like a wet dog! LOL And then he has to go back in and rewash his hair. He is finally improving and starting to take showers that seem to never end.

As for the peeing in a bottle and leaving it out....thats gross!! Seems kind of lazy to me....didn't want to stop watching tv to pee???

Sound like your boyfriend just wants to "baby" his youngest and that is a normal feeling. The breakfast in bed is cute. But at that age he should be taking care of his own hygeine with some check-ups from dad. And he should have some minor responsibilities around the house...starting with cleaning up behind himself.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:07PM
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Kids that don't have chores or responsibilities when they are young, are unlikely to suddenly discover "contributing" later.

My ex actually said she didn't expect kids to do chores apart from cleaning their rooms, and they pretty much got off doing those too (they just didn't get done) - I was pretty adamant they should do more, and not just 'to get their allowance' but just because you need to contribute in a household.

My ss grew up that way too, or more - his grandmother is quite traditional and does everything domestic, and he spent a lot of time with his grandparents. Consequently all 3 kids are not into housework at all, and contribute little. My eldest is living out in a share house now, she's overseas so I have not been able to see how it is. According to her, mum has been trying to get younger sister to help out at home which has been singularly unsuccessful.

SS moved out a few months ago, had been with us a couple of years or more. We/his mum gave him pretty explicit instructions of what we expected him to do around the place, unfortunately he did virtually nothing. I tried many times to get him to 'step up' - I don't know what sort of mindset he had that told him he didn't need to do anything.

I understand people have different ideas of what's clean or not and to some extent I can understand that, but doing NO cleaning goes outside those boundaries. The share house he's in, and lived in before he moved in with us, is disgustingly dirty....they seem ok with it. I know his mum really doesn't want to set foot in it, and I don't blame her. He knows she likes a clean house, so his not contributing to that I thought was disrespectful not only to his mum, but to a fellow human being.

The topper probably was him emerging from his basement lair to say something sarcastic about the lack of dinner, (he often criticised his mum's cooking too) - that was too much for both of us, we told him he was more than welcome to cook any time. He did on a few occasions, but very few.

Towards the end he started to buy groceries etc on the odd occasion, I wish we could have worked things out a bit more, but I as a stepdad didn't seem to have much currency to ask him to do things - he would say "just ask me when you want something done" which I think he thought meant it was covered, but at age 25 I think you should be more proactive and do what you know needs doing, or make something up. He would mow the lawn sort of when asked, but did not seem to grasp it's something that needs to happen every week! Same with snow shovelling.

Subtle hints like going out and doing what he'd been asked to do didn't work either. I was sometimes tempted to start vacuuming around him while he was watching hockey! I think it's especially tragic in boys, who seem to be treated as princes by many mothers these days (maybe more so in the prevalence of single mothers? - and the lack of positive male role models) and then grow up with a sense of entitlement, looking for a woman who will be a mother substitute. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming mothers, but for the most part, they are the first line in our moral education.

In the movie Fight Club, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) states, "we're a generation of men raised by women. I don't think another woman [wife] is really what we need."

It is easy for us to go too far one way or the other, but I think boys do need to learn how to be men, from men. Unfortunately, from discussions I've heard before that seems to exclusively focus on being selfless providers/warriors, work work work work, deny thyself. I think that's a mistake for any parent, and creates resentment, which was the cornerstone of issues with my ex and her own mother, it's one thing to CHOOSE to sacrifice all and martyr oneself (that's how both saw it) for the kids et al, but quite another to resent them for it. If you choose to be that way, you should live with your choice, but really, it just highlights how negative self-denial and sublimation are.

I am similarly saddened by my own girls' shortcomings, unfortunately their mother did not believe in presenting a united front and frequently contradicted me in front of them.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:45PM
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Dad's the problem.

Dad is a big, major, creepy problem.

Please get this boy some guidance & help.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 1:06PM
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I discussed shower situation/issue with dad lastnight and he agreed. he took jr to the store and broke it to him but tried to make it seem like he needs to be a big boy. they got him his own bathroom stuff, ie.shampoo,soap,etc...jr took a shower and it wasnt in ours:) and now...since im 5mos pregnant, hes saying baby will be taking his room next as well as the shower. ill be asking for more advice VERY soon.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 3:41PM
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II77 -- please get family counseling soon. Its not unnatural for any child, step or bio, to feel threatened by the new baby. Dad needs coaching in how to deal with this. It might help to come from a neutral party. JMO.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 8:46PM
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