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Not a Good Weekend

Posted by caphillsm (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 31, 10 at 11:04

So, my DH's 2 boys visit every other weekend. I work hard to plan activities for all to enjoy. But this weekend I have made up the excuse that I need to go to the office to get extra work done, just to avoid them all. I hate to admit it, but its true. They are nearly 18 and 16, and are terribly immature, and clueless about the real world. Lazy is an understatement. So, their MIDTERM exams are tomorrow. Guess what? They FORGOT their books to study for the tests (train to us is 4 hours....would seem they could have used that time to study) So, the senior who supposedly wants to go to college FORGOT his study materials for these VERY IMPORTANT midterms tomorrow? He admits it will likely cause his grades to drop. Their train home has been cancelled because of a blizzard, and they are not "stuck" without any school books, and might even not make it to the tests if the roads arent cleared. What absolutely is driving me CRAZY is that they dont care. I suggested going to a local library, or asking a classmate to fax or email them notes, and their eyes literally glaze over when I say it.

I am going to say it here because I cant do it anywhere else: I DONT EVEN WANT TO BE AROUND THEM. They arent even the least bit intersting to me. They dont care about their future or want to do anything. They have no plans, ambition, or interest in trying new things. They are boring as heck, and zone out. My DH actually thinks they are "typical". They get everything handed to them and there are no consequences whatsoever for their behavior.

OK, so I am sitting here freezing in my office typing this because I just cannot sit at home anymore and watch them do nothing. My lack of respect is intensifying. DH doesnt seem to think anything is wrong.

So, why do I care? I guess I shouldnt. But I dont even enjoy cooking for them anymore. I resent lifting a finger for such indolence.

SOrry for the rant on a Sunday.....


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Unfortunately, I have to agree with your husband, they sound 'typical' to me. I think it's more typical that kids are given everything and have very little consequence. (parental and/or societal)

That doesn't make it right or any better. My kids have driven me crazy from time to time because they have this unrealistic view of how the world works. They don't seem to and probably won't 'get it' until they have been knocked down a few times. I have a nephew & niece that are in their 20's and think the same way. I see young people come into my business to apply for jobs and think they 'deserve' a higher wage and are picky about what they will or won't do for it... kids that think their world will implode if they don't have the latest gadgets/phones/computer... think that they are 'out on their own' just because they have their own apartment, even if their parents pay all or part of the rent or give them money.... it goes on and on.

Now, before everyone with perfect, wonderful, well adjusted, not so selfish, nor entitled kids chime in to tell me that what I see every day is not typical... I would like to respectfully disagree and say that if you got one of those kids that has not been 'spoiled' in any way... Congratulations! I have not met one yet. (that's not to say there aren't any wonderful kids out there that make their parents proud.. my kids make me proud... but they have had their moments when I shake my head and wonder "wth!")

However, I think it's horrible that you feel you have to escape from your own house when they are there. Is there more to it than that?


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Do you think your husband would be willing to do a "Your effort is dirrectly related to my investment" speech, tying the cost of college to the amount of effort (and results) achieved by the boys?

We had a very frank talk of that nature with my now-18 year old son (who acted that same way, by the way) and it seemed to help. We even went so far as to type up a table that tied SAT scores to college costs (tuition, room & board), had him sign it and posted it on the family bulletin board. From then on, we didn't (visibly) sweat the small stuff, and just said to him "You know the consequences and it's your decision to make."

If you have a good track record of backing up your 'threats' -- it may help.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

They sound exactly like my 16 and 19 year old sons and 90% of the other teenage boys and girls I know. They are unmotivated, forgetful, believers that everything will work out with no or little effort on their part. It can be terribly annoying/frustrating to be around these kids when they are your own but when they are step children I think it might be almost impossible. Keep in mind, though, that they will likely grow out of it. My oldest has and he was just as bad as his brothers. He now finds their actions irritating. In fact, his reaction to them when he comes home from university to visit is something like your reaction to your SSs.

You can't change these boys or their father. Maybe they will never match your idea of how people "should" think or behave but remember that your beliefs are just that; "your beliefs". They are not the rules of the universe. No one ever promised that the world was going to be full of people just like you. Many very functional and worthwhile people have had different values than yours; some of those have even been sloths like your SSs.

I guess I'm saying that if you can let it go, do so. The boys are almost grown. They don't live with you full time. Avoid them if you have to but you would probably be much better off if you can adjust how you react to them. Right now, you (and maybe your DH) are the only one who cares about the situation; they are teenagers who have no interest in improving their relationship with you or living up to your standards. They are pretty self centered; it's their nature at that age. So if you want the situation to change, the change will have to be accomplished by you. And since you can't force anyone else to change (in my experience) you have to change how you behave or react to them. Minimize the time you spend with them. Change your expectations. Be grateful they are not drinking, selling crystal meth and beating up old people on the weekends. Focus on anything they do even half way well. Video games, maybe? Sports? Are they clean? Sometimes you have to search for the positive with a teenager but it's worth it. And remember, some of it they will grow out of. Just another year or two or three or....

Good luck.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Sweeby: thanks for the "investment linked to effort" idea. In fact, we all had a nice and peaceful evening, and I had some alone time with DH (next to fire with glass of wine!) and I mentioned that idea to him. He was very appreciate and receptive and had clearly been thinking along the same lines. Only problem is this: DH pays tons of child support now and these kids have never known otherwise. To try to explain a scenario that might mean less given to them....I am not sure they will even understand it. They dont know what it means to have to pay for anything themselves. Dad paying 25% vs 75% based on effort isnt going to really sink in right now, I am afraid. My sense is they need to graduate from HS and pay some bills before the get it.

Furthermore, whether they go to Harvard to a local community college makes no difference to them. When I was in HS, I really understood the A list vs B list vs C list schools. These guys dont have a clue about that. To me, that says that their HS just isnt focusing students in that direction.....

MarySDottir: I loved your post. Thank you! I chuckled at your last question about finding something they do even half way well. YES, all they do is play video games. But I detest the idea of approving of that. Sports: NONE! Both boys are over 6 feet tall, very well built, and dont participate in ANY sport whatsoever. No type of exercise unless we force them. Your last question, "are they clean"...is an issue for me. I need to tell them to take showers. They strip their beds when they leave our home, and recently comments that they "never do that at home". I dont want to comment on BMs home, but I do believe we have wildly different standards. In our home, the boys must respect that.

Do you think it is normal to have to tell an almost 16 and 18 year old to take a shower?


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

"Furthermore, whether they go to Harvard to a local community college makes no difference to them."

Oh.
Well...
Uh...

OK - Harvard's certainly not the best school for every kid, there are plenty of great schools that don't cost a lot, and it's possible to get a great education at most universities if you're motivated. But if they truly don't care whether they go to Community Central or Ivy League, you just don't have much leaverage over them at this point. Do they really not care?

"When I was in HS, I really understood the A list vs B list vs C list schools. These guys dont have a clue about that."

Are they at all competitive?
Status-oriented?
Materialistic?

Not that status-orientation and materialism are good things, but they can be powerful motivators... In fact, I think that's what finally got to my son -- The idea that he'd have to go to a B List college and post that on his resume for the rest of his life if he didn't get his act together.

Princeton Review, Newsweek and several other sources publish various 'Rankings' for colleges. Might reviewing those stimulate some competitiveness? A bit of desire to go there rather than here? And do you know what they are capable of doing if they were to really put forth some effort? And can BioMom and Dad get on the same page as to what they will and will not pay for?


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Sweeby, rendered you speechless, eh? :-) (welcome to my world!)

They dont have any reaction to one place over the next. They truly dont care, I believe.

They are not one bit competitive (remember, NO sports whatsoever, EVER)
I dont see them being status oriented. They dont seem to care about their appearance. They certainly like to play with good technology (they like our flat screen, and they love their I Phones)

The idea of a B, C, D, or E list college makes no difference whatsoever. When I talk about it, they just stare at me and shrug.

I have two theories:

-- BM doest want them to leave home. She has told them they can get jobs and live with her and her five dogs forever. Or, she has told them that without them, she may have to move, since she cannot afford her rent once the CS is gone (which is a fact....she doesnt want to work);
-- Older SS has taken on a role with BM that makes him feel guilty to leave, even for school;
-- BM never went to college and they spend most of their time with her, so there just isnt much of a push.

And what does it mean when a teen boy lacks any kind of competitiveness?

About financing: BM won't ever be contributing anything (except maybe giving him a ride to class) It will be 100% us, combined with any financial aid, loans, work study, etc he can get.

If I were a betting person, I would be right now that he won't get in anywhere, will take a couple classes at his local community college, and will go back to working at a fast food store so he can support mom.

The only way to turn this ship around, in my judgement, is to get this guy into a campus dorm situation so he can see what life is like outside BMs house.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

caphillsm:

What is your DH doing about it? At this point, they have made up their minds to not care... why should YOU waste YOUR energy caring about something you have no control over? It's a power struggle you will lose... if their parents can't do anything about it, you aren't going to do anything about it.

You cannot change his co-dependency if he feels the obligation to take care of his mom. You cannot change the dynamics of his relationship with his mother by moving him into a dorm. She will still guilt him... he won't be able to study & concentrate on school if she does.

Quite honestly, it's not your problem. If she wants them to continue to live with her and they have no ambition for a future... that will be very sad for them. They will either live with her forever or they will eventually want a life of their own (including a relationship with someone that won't date a 30 year old living home with his mama and working at McDonalds) but that is not your problem. It is HERS. She is creating the monster and all you and your DH can do is make an offer to them for something better and if they choose to make their own path, then let them. Refuse to let them move into your house. That is your right. They are nearly grown and should have a relationship with their dad, but that does not mean that you should be so frustrated that you have to escape when they show up. All you can do is lay down your house rules... the things they do that really irritate you.... like cleaning up after themselves & personal hygiene. And yes, I needed to remind my teen son's that they could really use a shower.... of course, when they were interested in a girl I couldn't get them out of the shower... gotta smell nice for the girls.


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clarification

"At this point, they have made up their minds to not care.."

Just to clarify, the "they" I am referring to is the kids, not the parents. (although it sounds like mom doesn't care much)


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Caphillsm, I think Imamommy is on the right track here. It's not your problem. You didn't create it. You can't fix it. Like Steven Covey says in his 7 Habits book - it's in your circle of concern, not your circle of control.

It does seem odd that they wont shower at that age but, like Imamommy said, once girls come into the picture, that will change at least if they will see the girls while staying with you. Otherwise then yes it's completely normal to have to remind them to do everything except eat and play video games. Which you might want to explore even though I understand your resistance. I too hate most of them but there are a few that have good story lines and are more than just "shoot 'em up". Simply sitting with a kid who is playing can create some connection to them and who knows you might find something to value in how well they play. Maybe that is where their competitive urge lies. It would give you something to build on, assuming you decide to keep fighting this battle.

But remember this age wont last forever. Take care.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

You are all so very helpful. Not having children of my own, this makes me realize what "normal" is today. I have a younger brother, but remember his teen life 20 plus years ago isnt what kids face today.

I WISH there were any interest in girls! The nearly 18 year old expresses no interest at all. The younger one does a little, but is akward (he is 6 foot 4 inches tall at age 15!) And again, no sports.

You are right, we will get past this age. I am taking up former hobbies that I love which provide happiness and allow me to "escape" if I need to! When I say escape, what I mean is....it is better to go do something else than to sit and fume in front of them. I dont even want to risk saying something I will forever regret, so I just extricate myself and let DH handle it, which he generally does.

My mother thinks that DH is embarrassed about the state of things. I think frustrated, yes, but I never considered embarrassed before. I'll have to give that one some thought.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Not your problem?

Well, no, not technically. But if the boys don't start moving forward and remain in a drifting limbo state, it will certainly impact your own life negatively.

"My mother thinks that DH is embarrassed about the state of things. I think frustrated, yes, but I never considered embarrassed before. I'll have to give that one some thought."

Sounds reasonable to me. I mean, if he's a successful professional, he probably aspires to a similar level of success for his sons, and knows what it generally takes to get there.

What about a gap year or two or three? If he's not motivated enough to go to college, then DON'T LET HIM GO. Save your money for when he IS ready and tell him that's what you're doing. You'll know he's ready when he takes a few classes on his own dime, takes the SAT's (and prepares for them!), and has a general direction for his life.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

I like natural consequences. you don't do well in high school you do not get to decent college and your future will be what you set yourself.

i rarely got upset over DD's grades at high school, yes they could be better, but oh well there are natural consequences. She did OK but she could do better, she was lazy, but her life her consequences. she is in good college, but could be better, but oh well

they forgot study material...they will do poorly on a test, they will fail, they would get bad grade, they will not get to best college, then they will get to worse college, or community college or maybe will have to work first year and then go to college etc. it is not helping to be frustrated.

if they are smart enough, they understand natural consequences re grades, college, future career. if they are somewhat slow and do not understand natural consequences then you are dealing with a different issue here,


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Forgive me if I am mistaken but I have only heard criticisms about your stepsons - you can't even tolerate being in the same house with them. So why would stepsons, DH or BM think to take your advice? If, perhaps, you had a teeny tiny ounce of like for them, then maybe they would be open to your suggestions, etc. However, as things stand, if I were BM or DH, I would tell you to butt out and keep your opinions about my children (their futures included) to yourself since they "aren't the least bit interesting to you."


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Well, DH and I have the same issues with SSs, and I have never communicated once with BM, so why would you think she even knows my advice?

For two years, I have worked hard to integrate lessons, trips to the theater, internships, and cultural activities into their schedules every time they come. They havent responded positively to any of it. I'm not criticizing, I am stating a fact that they just arent interesting. Yes, a subjective term, but nonetheless, they don't do anything. Nothing. There isnt one hobby, sport, or interest.

DH is facinating. He is brilliant and successful and tries in vain to instill a spark, even a wee little spark, in his sons. I adore DH and feel bad for him. But I believe that ultimately they will find their way, and maybe even look to us for some direction when the time is right.

lonepiper, you try sitting and watching paint dry all day sometime and see if you find it interesting. Then talk to the paint as it is drying and offer ten great ideas. When you get no reaction, after talking till you are blue in the face, see how interested YOU are!

You can lead a horse to water..........

At some point, you have to just go do your own thing!


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

unfortunately they are who they are, they are this way because they were raised this way. it is pointless at this point.

i wonder that when you met your DH and saw how he raised his children you still decided to marry him. it would tell me a lot about him. of course BM plays her role but you didn't marry her. if he is such unsuccessful parent why did you decide to stay with him and now you see how bad it is, but didn't you see it a year ago?


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

"There isnt one hobby, sport, or interest. "

"When you get no reaction, after talking till you are blue in the face, see how interested YOU are!"

I know this may sound a little harsh but perhaps some of the problem is that you have said that you refuse to discuss or show any interest in the one thing they are insterested in. Talking to them about things you think are interesting will seem like watching paint dry to them. If you want to engage them, you have to meet them where they are, not where you wish they were or where you are. If it's video games, then it's video games. Only you can decide how badly you want to get to know them and develop a relationship with them. Putting down your foot and saying, in effect, "I will talk to you about things that are worthwhile but not about video games." is your right but the consequence of that is not developing the relationship. If that matters to you more than getting to know them on their territory, that is fine and just try to disengage so you don't have the stress from their lack of interest. If getting to know them matters more than your disapproval of video games, then give it up, at least when they visit. You never know; you might find something to like about both the games and the boys.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

"i wonder that when you met your DH and saw how he raised his children you still decided to marry him. it would tell me a lot about him. of course BM plays her role but you didn't marry her. if he is such unsuccessful parent why did you decide to stay with him and now you see how bad it is, but didn't you see it a year ago?"

FD, of course this would be more important if she wanted to have children with him. He may have the right qualities in him that make him the man she wants to grow old with, not have children with.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Imamomy, you are RIGHT! Not ever having wanted children, I found the perfect man for growing old with. I didnt marry him for his parenting qualities, as that wont matter. He is an attentive, loving, loyal, supportive friend and lover. I will never co-parent with him. That isnt on the table, and never was.

I ADORE my husband, and am SO lucky. his adult children will always be part of our lives. Hopefully they will find the path that makes them happy.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

I've been thinking a lot about these posts (this one and the one with the 'Thank You note' -- Probably because my son is happy and doing really well in in a great college and my one-year-older niece's wedding is coming up next month. And I'm comparing their two paths, and shaking my head that my dear niece gave up on college so quickly and is getting married SO young --19!

And where I'm ending up is that both kids are heading off to lead the lives they expected for themselves -- the lives they saw their primary parents living -- the lives they know how to live. While my niece seemed excited about going to college, I don't think she ever really bought into the idea for herself. The whole "go off to college, get a great job, have a rewarding career, live a great life" plan just never really made it past the dream stage and into the 'expected reality' stage, despite my best efforts. Yeah, she did the prep stuff (when I led her), but when it came down to the wire (filling out the applications and visiting schools), she took the easy and 'safe' way out, and drifted into a nearby school she ended up HATING. I think she even knew she was making a mistake when she chose that school, because it met only two of her top 5-6 criterea -- but she applied there and only there. (And left after 2 months for those who didn't read my post on the other thread.)

So now her life is back on a familiar and 'emotionally comfortable' track. She lives with her fiance in an small older home in a 'not great' neighborhood, works as a waitress at a cafe and takes courses online. If she's lucky and sticks with it, she'll be able to graduate from a no-name college in six or seven years. And if she does, we'll all be proud of her, because honestly, I think the odds have tipped against her. But she seems comfortable and satisfied. She knows how to lead this life. I think she may have felt she didn't really belong in that other life -- the one with private colleges, graduate degrees and internships. This life -- the hourly wage job, the 'gotta work for it' if it's going to happen (probably won't happen) future -- this life she knows.

Does this sound like this might be the case with your SS's Caphillsm?
That they don't EXPECT the type of future you're hoping they'll have?
And are instead drifting into a future that's more 'comfortable' for them emotionally?


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

sweeby... I agree it's their comfort level as you say.. how they are raised and what their aspirations are. My nephew that dropped out after his first year recently went to test as a potential air traffic controller~ because he heard they make lots of money & he thinks it's an easy job. (like I said, he's always been a good student) Well, he wants to get to point B without the space from point A. He does not want to do the work involved in getting to the goal, just wants the goal.

Also, my niece got married at 19. She talked all the time before that about going to college & what she wanted to do with her life... then broke up with her HS sweetheart & within 6 months, she was pregnant by her new boyfriend & married him. A year later, they split up (basically both too immature) but they ended up together for a New Years party & a drunken reconciliation that produced a second child... and they stayed together another year and half... she is now 23 and they just split again. Now, she is 23 with no college education or work experience and two small children. (her parents have been married for 24 years, so I don't know if their modeling had anything to do with her choices but I do know her parents have been enablers)


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Sweeby: YES, I think that SSs will revert to what is comfortable for them. they likely do expect that. When DH and I talk to them about all the opportunities available, and ways to get there, their eyes LITERALLY glaze over (especially older SS) Younger one still shows some interest, but then rolls his eyes when you outline the steps needed to be taken.

I think that these teens are caught between two dramatically different worlds, and BMs will be the natural one to follow. They live with her, and only see DH every other weekend.

I think after they are on their own for a while, whatever form that takes, they may take a second look at DH and maybe even take him up on his offers to assist.

Right now, everything is easy. they dont work, and they get tickets to DH's handed to them every other week (it is a 3.5 hour train ride) They get airline tickets to my parents handed to them for vacations and enjoy receiving gifts. Everything is fun....why change it.

SS1 turns 18 in 4 months.....


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Even with the best of intentions, why are you trying to force your views on your husband's children when they are obviously not interested in what you are saying (i.e., "their eyes LITERALLY glaze over (especially older SS) Younger one still shows some interest, but then rolls his eyes when you outline the steps needed to be taken."). And personally, I don't feel your interference is intended to be in their best interests - more like you seem to enjoy complaining about them and belittling their parentage. Why do you care about their futures when you can not tolerate being in the same house with them (at least every other weekend that they are there)? I wonder if they can feel your distaste for them... How sad.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

"Even with the best of intentions, why are you trying to force your views on your husband's children when they are obviously not interested in what you are saying (i.e., "their eyes LITERALLY glaze over (especially older SS) "

I've seen that happen in my BIO children -- So do I give up? Not if it's important. Switch tactics? Probably.

Do you have teenagers Lonepiper? (Or have you?) It IS distasteful when they do nothing except eye-roll and stare blankly at a TV or computer. For a while, many teens are barely tolerable -- even for their bio parents. Does that mean you don't care about their futures? Of course not!

OP is frustrated and concerned about their futures. Why and how is that a bad thing? Or is it just that she allowed her frustration to show and didn't smother it in a glaze of "I'm so worried..."


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Sweeby, I am a big fan of yours!

I researched sites before coming to this one, and chose this one because of the wide range of opinions. You all are truly trying to deal with a multitude of situations and do the right thing.

I was widowed at 30 years old. DH #1 had a massive heart attack in my arms and died instantly. I found an amazing site after that for widows. I benefited so much, combined with actual therapy, I dont know where I would be without it. That was 11 years ago, and I still thank that site and all the support. It doesnt mean I have to agree or LIKE what I am hearing all the time, I understand that people pointing out my own potential deficiencies is also important.

So, what you hear me say DOESNT mean the SKs or DH hear it. Lonepipers "distaste" comment doesnt really apply. I let you all know thats how I feel, but I am very careful about what I say and do around the family. I know that certain things cant be taken back easily. That's why I express it HERE. It is a method of venting and protecting others. But it also doesnt mean I dont really feel what I am telling you all....its just that I am learning to deal with it in a safer environment.

No, I dont think they sense anything like distaste. they know I want them to succeed, and might feel some pressure to get things on track, but Dh is doing that too, in tandem.

The blank stare in response to basics is truly intolerable. Very hard, and likely much worse for SMs than BMs.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

The blank stare in response to basics is truly intolerable. Very hard, and likely much worse for SMs than BMs.

I think intolerable is a harsh word, bordering on overdramatic. You may not like it, but intolerable?

Why do you think it is worse for SMs? Teens can be tough on mom's too.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

I think everyone is aware of how people feel about them, especially children. Regardless if you say something or not most people have a clue. And that may just be why you are getting the reaction that you are. Throughout all of your postings you seem to concentrate on everyone else and are hyper-focused on Mom. Seems kinda backwards to me, worry whats growing in your own garden. You've got an issue with your relationship with your stepsons? Figure that out instead of worrying about x, y, z.

I think if most people put themselves in the shoes of the boys parents...they are going to want someone who truly likes the boys to help guide them. I think it is disingenious to present a helpful face to someone than have less than kind things to say about them. If someone was in my childs life that was like that...my advice to her would be to politely humor that person. I think it is a mistake to think you're fooling anyone with what you say vs. what you don't and they don't know etc. Most people do.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

"Very hard, and likely much worse for SMs than BMs."

How so? you only see them 4 days a month, and you can't tolerate blank stares? How is it harder for you than BM?


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Cap, you're venting, right? I think it's easier to tolerate one's own children more than those of another because we know them better. I can see how you wouldn't want to tolerate such apathy. And sometimes an outside perspective on how our children behave is very valuable. I think parents often have a false perception of their kids (ability, intelligence, kindness, behavior) and it can be a rude shock to those kids when they discover people in the real world don't think they're as special as mummy and daddy have led them to believe.

Have you considered being honest? Tell the kids you have a hard time with the choices they are making and explain why, and also that this is your problem, not theirs, but that you want to be very honest with them because you want them to be successful and happy. Their problems are going to start when the repercussions of their decisions start to affect their ability to buy what they want, do what they want, etc.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

"Do you have teenagers Lonepiper? (Or have you?) It IS distasteful when they do nothing except eye-roll and stare blankly at a TV or computer. For a while, many teens are barely tolerable -- even for their bio parents. Does that mean you don't care about their futures? Of course not!"

I am a full-time stepmother to two teenage stepdaughters. That's right - TWO TEENAGE GIRLS - so I am pretty used to eye rolls and blank stares! Of course you should care about their futures, however, people usually care about the actual person before they start a crusade to force their viewpoint down another's throat. Do you like your biochildren? I may not like what my stepdaughters are doing/acting at a given time but ultimately I like them. I like their personalities, sense of humor, quirks, intelligence, etc. If I did not like them, why would I care what happens to them, especially when my efforts were met with resistance? It seems very backwards to me.


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

I am willing to help any young person who either comes to me and asks for help, or is a part of my life in such a way where their 'failure to launch' would hurt someone I care about. I don't think I'm at all unusual in that regard...


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Thank you Sweeby. Their "failure to launch" will ultimately hurt DH. My role is to support him. I will do whatever I can to inspire a healthy and productive "launch".

I get letters and emails from youth on a regular basis asking for internship opportunities. Many that I have helped have asked me for recommendations to colleges, law schools, and medical schools. I always do what I can, assuming I have seen evidence of potential. I dont KNOW them, but realize that some adults with credibility need to vouch for them so that they get opportunities. These are our future leaders, and we need to encourage and help them grow.

It isnt about me forcing my "viewpoint down their throat". Its about encouraging growth, creativity and resilience. Many of us with successful careers had a moment, or two, that we can point to with a significant adult that changed us forever. I remember that happenening to me one summer, and I walked away from the conversation knowing I was going to strive to be a success. I never saw or spoke to that person again. But they had a lifelong impact.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said "Do something every day that makes you uncomfortable"

Getting a teen a bit out of their comfort zone sometimes, if you are lucky, promotes growth. They won't know it at the time, but they likely will down the road.....


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

Cap, I still would like to know why you think the blank stares, etc are easier on moms, v SMs?


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

because at the end or beginning of the day you as a BM KNOW YOUR KIDS LOVE YOU.... as a SM ... its most likely the seed for a neverending cycle or how can I pi$$ off SM today and start a fight between her and daddy so I can get my way!!!

But of course thats just MY experience!

:)


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RE: Not a Good Weekend

pseudo mom, you hit the nail on the head with that one. I also know from experience that the effect we have on the stepkids can make a difference way down the road. It just takes a long time to see it. I was married my first time to a father who had to have me prod him to be interested in his son's life. Now that son is married and has a child of his own. I can say that I see him being the parent he saw me being, not the example he saw from his father. It can be one of the most wonderful experiences to see a child change- in the long run- from an influence you know was yours. I have since divorced his father and remarried, and you know, my new dh and I see more of him than his own father. Trust me, even with glazed eyes, some of it still sinks into those ears. LOL. Just wanted to let you know it doesn't all end up bad.

peanutmom


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