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Author Topic: disciplin and step kids  (Read 28227 times)

jessica78

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disciplin and step kids
« on: Apr 22, 2009, 11:55:51 AM »
So my husband (of almost 7 yrs) has had custody of his twins (12) for 8-ish years now.  They have known me and my daughter( almost 12 also) since they were all about 3yrs old.  I am having a VERY hard time with respect from my 12 yr old step son.  they visit their mom everyother weekend.  he doesnt seem to want to do anything i ask of him.  He actually told me that doing dishes is what the girls are to do.  He doesnt want to help with any chores- even tho both girls help even when they dont want to.  I have taken away all his privliages from him, and told him he earns them back as he does what hes told and can respect the adults in this house.  but he doesnt seem to care at all... their dad works 10 hour days 5 days a week- and isnt much help. i can NOT and will NOT ignore the situation...

PLEASE help me!


Kitty C.

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #1 on: Apr 22, 2009, 12:53:36 PM »
Unfortunately, this situation will not change unless the father gets involved, and in a big way.  In a blended family, the biological parent should be the one laying down the rules (previously agreed upon by both parents) and the one to enforce.  In this case, the father needs to put his foot down and remind the child that you both are in agreement on discipline and assignment of chores.
 
Even if the father steps up to the plate on this, I can guarantee you that it will get worse before it gets better, because the child will push back just to see how far he can go.  When he hits that 'wall' of unity that you and the father put up and realizes that he can't go any further, he will start to come around.
 
But if the father fails to step up to this, either things will stay the same or continue to get worse.  An alternative in this case would be family counseling, primarily to get everyone on the same page and working together.  But since he is not your biological child, you cannot be the primary disciplinarian or the child will resent you for a long time, if he doesn't already.  He may feel that you're trying to take the place of his mother....not that you are, but that is how he may perceive it.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

Davy

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #2 on: Apr 23, 2009, 09:20:43 AM »
In a VERY practical sense... and I started way back in life over many many years.
 
 I have determined that twelve year old boys DO NOT WASH DISHES.
 
Not me, not my sons, not my friends and none of their friends.  In essence, NOBODY.   
 
I think it is wrong to use language with an assumption that Dad should agree with step mom ram-rodding the entire household and family.   

Kitty C.

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #3 on: Apr 23, 2009, 09:43:06 AM »
Davy, I said nothing about 'ram-rodding'..........what I said was that bio dad and step-mom have to be in agreement in discipline and assignments, but the biological parent has to be the primary disciplinarian, or the whole structure of the family could be eroded.

I witnessed this in my own family, between DS and DH.  Until DH learned that he had to take a step back and we show a united front, there were a lot of problems between the two.  There is still a distance between them, for the simple fact that DS wasn't able to establish much respect for DH, since DS felt that DH was trying to 'take over' as his father.  Nothing could be further from the truth, but it doesn't change the fact that it was the way DS saw it through his eyes as a child.

As for chores, to each his own.  Some families require one and all to chip in, regardless of the chore.  DH learned early as a kid to do many domestic duties.....he had seasonal allergies and since he couldn't help in the fields, his dad said he had to help in the house.  (He has more domestic skills than I do!)  And we've taught our boys that no one is immune....as I'm fond of telling them 'Who's going to do it when you're on your own?'  Apparently in this particular family, they operate the same way.  If that's how they want to teach and bring up their children, that's their perogative.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

tigger

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #4 on: Apr 23, 2009, 12:11:20 PM »
In a VERY practical sense... and I started way back in life over many many years.

I have determined that twelve year old boys DO NOT WASH DISHES.

Not me, not my sons, not my friends and none of their friends.  In essence, NOBODY.   

My brother washed dishes and I dried until he was 15 and I was 12 and we got a dishwasher.  Then we alternated between one of emptying and the other filling.  Until he got a job and it was left up to me.  Oddly, our younger siblings weren't required to do such things.
The wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!


Davy

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #5 on: Apr 23, 2009, 02:57:55 PM »
[HIGHLIGHT=#ffffff]FROM Jessica :
[/HIGHLIGHT]

I am having a VERY hard time with respect from my 12 yr old step son.  they visit their mom everyother weekend.  he doesnt seem to want to do anything i ask of him.  He actually told me that doing dishes is what the girls are to do.  He doesnt want to help with any chores- even tho both girls help even when they dont want to.  I have taken away all his privliages from him, and told him he earns them back as he does what hes told and can respect the adults in this house.  but he doesnt seem to care at all... their dad works 10 hour days 5 days a week- and isnt much help. i can NOT and will NOT ignore the situation...

PLEASE help me!

Read the post and weep !

EOW this child feels his mother's love while his father's wife takes away all his privileges and tells him he has to 'respect' the adult (children) .. do what he's told...he doesn't care at all ...
but, come hell or high water, the situation can/will NOT be ignored ... please help ME

I'm trying to explain that twelve year old boys DO NOT WASH DISHES under duress (b.t.h...) with a false sense of discipline and an absence of love.  l betcha the boy LIKELY jumps in and does the dishes at his mother's house without asking.

I was domesticated growing up and both Dad and I spent time in the kitchen when we were not working.  My place at the dinner table was next to the refrigerator in case my sisters needed anything.  They were prima donna Loretta Young types ... flowing bath robes and all.  They spent most of their time in front of the mirror admiring themselves.  When I started to pack my .410 to go to college...mom said that's staying here.  I said it's a big city and when I looked at her I got that look ... don't you dare talk back to me look.. I carried the .410 back to my room.

It came to a point in life with a Drill Instructor who claimed he was our mother now.  Once he gained our respect ... believe me I would do almost anything but I still DID NOT DO DISHES and he loved us enough to train us to save our own ass  and our buddy'd ass.

Now that my best friend ever ihas been gone a long time I could go on about my mother's control freak husband..... puke ! 

My sons would jump in and do the dishes without asking when they lived with me and weren't working  while their sister that lived with her mother and mother's abusive husband would be saying "if you think I'm bad now ... just wait".   

I strongly suggest, and I sincerely hope BD is explaining the same, to get off the boy's back.

Discipline and respect is earned with love.  Not by demands. Maybe then the twelve year old boy wiill wash the dishes.....

ACTUALLY I would like to know why you won't stop looking at yourself in the mirrorr, get off your .... onto your feet and WASH THE DISHES yourself.
That's probably what the boy wants to know as well he just hasn't mature enough to say it.

jessica78

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #6 on: Apr 27, 2009, 08:39:12 AM »
ALL of the kids in this household will do chores- the chores that either me or the father ask.  I think it's pretty sexist to say that boys don't need to do dishes...why don't they?  I could really careless what you wanted to bring with you to college.  That has nothing to do with the topic I wrote about.  AT ALL! 
Each child has chores to do- and they know that if they won't do them- then there will be a consequence.  he has NO problem doing dishes usually- he was just feeling irritated for whatever reason that day- and thought his other siblings didn't helo with dishes either... after me explaining to him that they did what they were told to do already- then he did them.  It wasn't about not doing dishes...it was about it being "fair" .  If ANY of my kids here don't help- then they don't get to use MY tvs or my gaming systems...and actually- they have NO chores at their moms place...except keeping their rooms clean.  What is that going to teach them as they get older?  that if they don't wnna do something they are told to do- then thats ok?  i dont think so.

jessica78

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #7 on: Apr 27, 2009, 08:40:53 AM »
And as far as not doing the dishes my self...I do the laundry, cook all the meals, make snacks for all the kids, help with homework, clean the rest of this house without their help...and so on.  I think the kids CAN help with dishes- regaurdless of what sex they are.  If they can't do that then they can go get their meals elsewhere- and then there'll be less dishes to take care of.

shaden3

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #8 on: Apr 27, 2009, 09:10:04 AM »
Jessica78, your posting has taken an unfortunate turn. I hope you know that there is much consideration and support for you out there. Whether or not the children in your home do dishes is up to you. If you believe it's an important chore, then you have made your decision. We are charged, as parents and stepparents, to instill responsibility to and respect for others. While there is a heirarchy in the home (role models are, by default, the top rung of the family ladder), there are ways to bring the kids in to work together to create guidelines that work for everyone. If there's no negotiating on WHETHER or not a child does chore, there can be some discussion on HOW these chores are done. For example, saying, "The dishes are a shared responsibility. Let's figure out who does them when. IF they're done isn't up for discussion, but I'm open to being flexible on WHEN." Getting the kids in on fine tuning the rules, asking for input when you can, brings them closer to being more compliant (because they feel more respected). I repeat, however, you don't need to "compromise" what's important to you, but collaborating is essential.
Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Thou shalt not be a victim. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

jessica78

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #9 on: Apr 27, 2009, 05:46:16 PM »
Thank you for that idea having to do with chores.  That was the kind of advice i was looking for...not telling me that boys do NOT do dishes...
thanks again!

ocean

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #10 on: Apr 27, 2009, 05:55:04 PM »
Why not have a family meeting when your husband is home and come up with a chart with chores and days and who does what. Have you husband do the talking for his kids and say that when he is not here that it is just understood that there is to be respect in your house. Underneath, come up with consequences if they badmouth or refuse to do the chore.( like no tv, comptuer, early bed that night) You can do it the positive way too...if they do them they get xyz that night.

shaden3

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #11 on: Apr 28, 2009, 04:28:38 AM »
Ocean, great idea! Another thing that improves these matters is to take stepson aside and offer him a private conversation, always open door, always a good ear - without giving advice unless he asks. If you say, "I'm always here to listen to you when you have something on your mind. I won't tell you what I think unless you ask. If you have something you can't talk to me about, I will find someone for you. I won't judge you or share your secrets, unless there's a danger to you." This helps the kids know we're not the enemy, but a support system for all the difficulties they face. Another thing to do is to let them off the "blame hook" by telling them that we know they don't mean to make things difficult, but that's the result of their lack of cooperation. Tell him you can put your heads together to improve things, that the rules are for the betterment of the family as a whole and for the individuals, and that chores make us important, contributing members of a family.
Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Thou shalt not be a victim. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

jessica78

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #12 on: Apr 28, 2009, 08:22:53 AM »
thanks for those last two posts about what i should do- and i will try both of those.  the thing is tho- at this point- my step son knows its a game.  and knows that when we go to dairy queen or go shopping- he thinks he will still the things the others get.  We've started saying no to those extra things for now.  We have told him when he does things without an arguement or being disrespectful- he will surely get the things too.  He of course gets mad and says it isnt fair that the girls get things but he doesnt....UNTIL he is reminded of his behavior earlier that day- then yea he understands.  he actually told me, he knows that he can be disrespectful to me and nothing will happen.  I get mad- and then feel bad for giving him his consquences so then i take it back and he laughs and did in fact tell me- its his game he likes to play...Great huh?  But we will definetly sit down and make a chore chart.  HE actually wrote out what conseqences should be for not following the rules(which he also wrote down).  so he knows...but like he says its a game to see how mad i can get at him...

shaden3

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #13 on: Apr 28, 2009, 10:42:49 AM »
He may just be pushing you to see how far he can go before you stop loving him and/or abandon him. Just keep hugging him, letting him know there's nothing he can do to get you to go away. He isn't developmentally mature enough to have that good a grasp on why he's doing what he's doing in the home. It's usually a cry for positive reinforcement. So, to that end, taking things away (rather than earning rewards) tends to reinforce a kid's insecurities about what he's worth. Good to see you're doing that good work, where "when we're done with our chores we can go out for ice-cream," replaces, "we all get ice-cream except for you because you didn't do your chores." This may make him resent the goody two shoes in the family and act out more.
Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Thou shalt not be a victim. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

Sherry1

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2009, 11:32:50 AM »
The problem I am seeing is that you are the one trying to enforce the rules.  The rules need to be enforced by dad, not by stepmom.  I have been doing the stepmom thing a long time and stepmoms need to take a back seat to the disciplining, chores, take away privilieges, etc.  Dad needs to be responsible for doing this.
 
This will not get better.  If you keep engaging and pushing he will engage and push back. 

jessica78

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2009, 07:51:07 AM »
I would totally take a step back being the step mom...BUT these kids live here full time.  It's not like they are just here every other weekend and thats it.  My daughter and my step daughter all follow the same rules... they have NO issues with it, sure they may not LIKE it, but they do it without giving me a hard time, or being rude about it.  They know that if they want the "special" things that they gotta help out around here.  I'm not going to just not be a parent to my step son cuz his dad isn't here.  That doesn't make sense to me.  I mean I get that dad has to step in and take part in the parenting.... BUT.... when he isn't here- what then?  The kids don't have to do chores?  What will that show to my daughter?  That it's ok not to listen to her step dad then? 

And I've told my step son...when he said he thinks if he behaves like this- he thinks he will get to go live with his mom.... I told him nope.  That, to me, would be taking the easy way out... almost like abandoning him.... that is what their mother did 8 years ago and why their dad got custody.  We won't be doing that, ever!
To me, when parents have rules that kids have to follow- that means they care about them and what happens and how they grow up.
I will definitly try some of those suggestions... but as far as me not doing anything- it won't happen.

Thanks for the help!

Kitty C.

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2009, 09:36:50 AM »
When he's not there, then you back up what he has established with them (and mutually agreed upon with you first).  We're not saying you can't do anything when Dad isn't there, but you can't be making all the rules, either.  Like I and others have said, you and Dad need to come to an agreement on what the chores should be, for whom (I recommend rotation so no one gets stuck with the most unappealling chore all the time ), and the consequences if they are not done.  Then you BOTH sit down with the all the kids and lay out the plan to them.  Showing them a united front is the first step.
 
There are two issues that are important after this step.......one, you absolutely have to follow through on everything you say and two, Dad absolutely has to back you up if you have to impose consequences while he is gone.  If either of you sway, the child it directly affects will latch on to that like a dog with a bone and will try to get you and/or Dad to be more lenient or go back on what you originally planned.  If that happens, then you're back to square one again.
 
I hope this helps........
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

Sherry1

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2009, 11:35:34 AM »
Jessica, I was a custodial stepmom too, skids lived with me 365/24/7.  If you keep trying to be the disciplinarian things will continue to go downhill.  You will get more and more miserable and your SS will get more and more agressive on his rebellion.  You can't do it.  You aren't the parent.  Unless your DH is the disciplinarian and backs you up 100% this is going to spiral out of control more and more as time goes on.  He isn't your child.  You didn't give birth to him.  You were not responsible for how he was raised for a long time.  You can't just become mom.

jessica78

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2009, 08:02:01 AM »
I don't want to be his mom- but i have been  the kids' step mom for just over 9 yrs.  they've lived full time with us for 8 of those years.  so.... me and their dad will set down the rules and consequences together.  there are 4 kids total in this house and i will not take a step back with the step kids and have different rules for the others.  so rules will be made and things set with both me and the dad and the concquences will also be set.

thanks again for all those who posted...even if i didnt like them... it was still good things to hear.

Kitty C.

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2009, 12:26:07 PM »
I agree.........there should not be different rules for different kids.  If you and your DH are even-handed across the board in regards to doling out chores and discipline/consequences, then I think you both will get a lot more cooperation from all of them.  As long as your DH is seen as the primary parent for his kids and you are the primary parent for yours...and you back each other up, showing a united front......I think things will go a lot better in your home.
 
I hope you are able to work these issues out........DS still has so much resentment towards DH for this very same reason that I don't know if they can ever come to terms with it.  I sure wouldn't want to see another family go through what we've gone through.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

gemini3

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2009, 05:11:51 PM »
Jessica -
 
I understand where you're coming from.  When the kids are living with you there has to be some repsect and control of the house on your part.  I understand that you can't take the place of their mom, but I liken the roll to that of a close aunt.  For example, I stayed with my Aunt for 3 months out of the year when I was growing up.  When I was at her house she was the boss.  I didn't get a free pass because neither of my parents was there to enforce the rules.  She and her husband were the adults, it was their house, and they enforced the rules.  I see the roll of step-parent as being the same.  The thing that is important, however, is that I knew my Aunt was backed by my Mom.  So it should be with your step-kids and your husband.  Your husband should be backing you and the kids should know it.
 
We sometimes have a similar issue with our step-kids, especially the oldest who is twelve.  We had a family meeting and talked about what qualities we want embody as a family.  Then we made a sign together with those qualities and posted it on the fridge.  At first the kids were hesitant, but after they said that they thought it was a good thing to do, and that every family should do that. 
 
At our next family meeting we made a list of chores that needed to be done and had each child pick which ones they wanted to be responsible for.  They get paid allowance based on their work (each chore has a dollar amount assigned, so if they want more money they can do more chores), and they pay "taxes" which go into a savings account.  If they want "extras" like toys, candy, etc, they purchase these things with their allowance.  We also institued a system for "negative reinforcement" - we have a list of house rules, which are also posted on the fridge.  There is a punsihment listed for breaking each rule.
 
This helped a lot because they have a constant reminder of what is expected of them, because having two houses and two sets of rules can be confusing for kids.  They also can't complain of things not being "fair" because the rewards and consequences are the same for everyone, and it's all laid out for everyone to see.
 
One caveat - if you break a house rule they WILL call you on it, and you could end up sweeping the kitchen.  :o)
 
Good luck!
 
 

Rave

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #21 on: Jun 18, 2009, 06:27:28 AM »
jessica,

I really liked ocean's idea for a family meeting.  Sounds like the elephant in the room needs to be addressed.  You say he thinks making you mad is a game.  That makes me think this is less about the actual dishes he's refusing to wash, and an indicator of a bigger problem.  I mean, IF the only problem was that he doesn't like to do the dishes, I could see changing that out for him.  Have him scrub the toilets instead.  And plenty of men have scrubbed toilets in basic training, so no gender specific chore list is an argument for toilet scrubbing.   In fact, every time my 12-yr-old says the "s" word, he earns the honor of scrubbing a toilet.  Keeps our toilets and his mouth clean.

I suspect your DH hasn't given an indication to his son that chores are important.  If your DH doesn't really buy stock in the idea, it's doubtful that his son will either.  Makes me wonder what your DH really thinks.  Does he really believe you should be doing all of the chores?  That could be key, finding out what he really believes.  Not just what he's saying when under pressure.

Sherry had some good input as well.   It doesn't sound like your DH is teaching his son to respect you.  And that has a potential for big problems in the future, oddly enough with consequences that will be felt mostly by your SS.  Once he learns from an early age that it's okay to disrespect adults, to do what he wants and to balk at authority...  guess what will happen when he gets pulled over for a speeding ticket.  Guess what will happen the first time his boss reprimands him (and the 2nd time and 3rd time as he starts a career of job hopping when his boss pisses him off).  You can imagine what sort of decisions he'll make when he doesn't worry about anyone but himself.  He'll make unilateral decisions when he's married and wind up divorced.  About the best thing that could happen to an unruly, disrespectful young adult is basic training.   He'll need some training instructor in his face, retraining him that he's not the king of the hill, when his life could have been so much easier if his parents had taught him that from the beginning. 

But you can't do it alone.  And your DH won't do it under duress.  He has to believe that he has valuable instruction for his son, which his son needs, to become an asset rather than a draw on society.  Lessons that will help his son have a happy life instead of continual disappointment.  Counseling may help in this regards between you and your DH.

As for the dishes, since your DH works to much, I'm guessing you do plenty for your SS.  When my SD lived with us, she relied on me for rides to the movies with her friends, trips to the mall, supervising her and her friends, doing her laundry, hosting her parties, feeding her friends, etc.  I didn't look at our relationship so much as a stepmother to stepdaughter relationship.  Basically, if she scratched my back, I scratched hers.  When she stopped scratching, I followed suit.  Didn't take her long to figure that out.  Sounds like you're already doing that.  But it also sounds like you may be allowing your emotions to get sucked in. 

It takes two to play a game.  Sounds like your SS wants to play.  Do not get mad, and do not play.   

Kitty C.

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #22 on: Jun 18, 2009, 07:13:30 AM »
VERY well put, Rave.....couldn't have said it better myself.......
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

Davy

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #23 on: Jun 18, 2009, 08:50:51 AM »
The differences between a SM and a DI is that the DI earned respect and they loved us enough to train us to kill people so to increase our chances and those around us to return home. 
 
Those that refer to scrubbing toilets, washing dishes, "getting in their face" are simply  talking out of school.  Kinda of telling why females of those generations were not drafted into the military like their male counterpart.
 
Hopefully you get my drift, especially as it pertains to family life, without going into detail.
 
My three kids were raised to function in life without chores ... they just did things and were honored and respected.  All three could do a good "dying cockroach".
 
When they were presented with the "we're from the government and we're here to help"  philosophy ... forced to be stepkids they did'nt do to well with someone with a vacuum cleaner drinking a beer barking out orders............................

Rave

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #24 on: Jun 18, 2009, 09:13:05 AM »
The differences between a SM and a DI is that the DI earned respect and they loved us enough to train us to kill people so to increase our chances and those around us to return home. 

Those that refer to scrubbing toilets, washing dishes, "getting in their face" are simply  talking out of school.  Kinda of telling why females of those generations were not drafted into the military like their male counterpart.

Hopefully you get my drift, especially as it pertains to family life, without going into detail.

My three kids were raised to function in life without chores ... they just did things and were honored and respected.  All three could do a good "dying cockroach".

When they were presented with the "we're from the government and we're here to help"  philosophy ... forced to be stepkids they did'nt do to well with someone with a vacuum cleaner drinking a beer barking out orders............................

My TI's were doing their jobs.  They got paid to train me.  I think you're projecting here a bit from your own experiences.

In basic training I scrubbed toilets.  The job needed to be done.  Likewise, in a functioning household, the job needs to be done.  Everybody uses the toilets.  There's no reason a 12-yr-old can't pitch in.

I seriously doubt any soldier given menial tasks in basic training would be given those tasks if there wasn't a purpose, like learning about responsibility.  It's exactly why most parents give their children chores.  Being a parent is about preparing our young children for life.  Part of that is be introducing them to responsibility.  Think that's an insane idea?  I challenge you to take it up with any child-rearing authority.

Now, if you allow yourself to assume that every stepmother is Disney's version of the one from Cinderella (convenient and stereotypical)....  where she's off "drinking beer" and turning her innocent stepchildren into slaves, than of course you could demonize the whole scenario.

You said your children were "honored and respected", yet had no chores.  Some could paint that scenario to appear as if the children were "spoiled and catered to".  Typical of the majority of youth today.  Think I'm making it up?  Try googling, "y-generation" or "entitlement generation".

As for your comment about the draft.....   I served during the Persian Gulf War and I'm a female.  Belittling and divisive comments regarding any race, sex or variety of persons who serve our nation is low.  Seems like more entitlement.  Wanna come clean my toilet?

And...  when your children get married and think doing chores is beneath them, and subsequently assign all those tasks to their spouses...  bet that "dying cockroach" will come in real handy.

ksmarks

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #25 on: Jun 18, 2009, 09:54:18 AM »
Step children and disipline is tricky business.  I did not want my husband telling my kids what to do, and like wise felt it was his responsibilty to parent his children.  However, as we were both asked to do things for each others children, we each had an expectation that if we asked one of the kids to do something, ( i.e. take out the trash, we expected it to be done)
 
Reasonable requests were to be complied with simply becasue they were reasonable.
 
 It was okay to say things like If you want a ride to practice you will have to help me out by taking out the trash, (one hand washes the other.) However, I did not tell them when to clean their rooms, or even run the vaccum I left that up to their dad, in part becasue he and I had very different expectations and parenting styles.  Each of us were also convinced that our own ways were the best.
 
I agree with the previous posters, it takes two to tango, I simply would not dance.  I treat you with respect, I demand the same from you.
 
Good Luck, as other posters has already said this is an issue that can make or break relationships.
KSMarks

Rave

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #26 on: Jun 18, 2009, 10:11:52 AM »
Step children and disipline is tricky business.  I did not want my husband telling my kids what to do, and like wise felt it was his responsibilty to parent his children.  However, as we were both asked to do things for each others children, we each had an expectation that if we asked one of the kids to do something, ( i.e. take out the trash, we expected it to be done)

Reasonable requests were to be complied with simply becasue they were reasonable.

It was okay to say things like If you want a ride to practice you will have to help me out by taking out the trash, (one hand washes the other.) However, I did not tell them when to clean their rooms, or even run the vaccum I left that up to their dad, in part becasue he and I had very different expectations and parenting styles.  Each of us were also convinced that our own ways were the best.

I agree with the previous posters, it takes two to tango, I simply would not dance.  I treat you with respect, I demand the same from you.

Good Luck, as other posters has already said this is an issue that can make or break relationships.

Would be so nice if more couples could see early on how important it is to truly be working together.  I think opposing theories, beliefs, agendas, goals, etc. just get in the way.  But if a couple is truly looking for happiness, the only way to really have it is to have a mutual goal.  I've come to the conclusion in my own marriage, that there is hardly anything I want to the exclusion of what my husband wants, that is worth fighting tooth and nail over.  If I give a little, he gives a little.  I bet he'd say the same.  In the past, we dug our heels in and fought.  Fought over what, stupid stuff.

People have different philosophies on how to raise kids.  Where do they get their information?  From their childhoods?  I think most people should operate on the theory that they know very little, and be willing to seek out professional input.  Afterall, our children are our greatest investments.  We wouldn't just jump into the stock market without doing a little research first........ or would we......

The bottom line for most, is that they want to raise happy, healthy, independent children who become great people as adults.  If that's everyone's goal, then why is it so difficult for couples to agree on how to get there?

When guilt, money, divorce, remarriage come into the picture....  now the recipe really gets messed up.  The goal gets lost. and that's a really good time to get counseling.   

Waylon

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #27 on: Jun 18, 2009, 10:19:06 AM »
I have determined that twelve year old boys DO NOT WASH DISHES.

Not me, not my sons, not my friends and none of their friends.  In essence, NOBODY.
Well, I have to say your personal experience isn't true for the rest of the world.    

I washed dishes when I was 12 and my son washes dishes too, since he was about 8 or 9. He's 15 now and yes, he he washes dishes...doing so is simply part of the agreed-upon chores that we all have responsibility for in our household.

Saying that "twelve year old boys DO NOT WASH DISHES" is akin to saying that it's "women's work", or some such notion. I don't agree with that on a number of levels.
The trouble with reality is that there's no background music.

Davy

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #28 on: Jun 18, 2009, 11:34:23 AM »
Is that the problem ... washing dishes.

What I'm trying to express is that there is a way to raise children without barking out like a drill sergeant.   

For one example, I never once had to tell my children to do homework.  Because it was their responsibility.  If the diswasher needed to be filled or unloaded they knew it was their responsibility to help out.  If the dog needed to be fed...it just got done.  If they made a mess they knew no one else was going to clean it up.  When they were toddlers and their toys needed to be picked up 'We' made it a fun thing to pick up their toys.  And we always had good communication because I was interested in them and what mostly goofy things they had to say.  That is all I knew to do.  The kids honored and respectd me as I honored and respected them.  We valued each other.
 
Generally speaking my kids were instructed to take care of matters and to have fun doing it... it was not a chore ... to give 110 % and if they couldn't to that then sit down and think about it.  As adults, I believe things are peaceful in their homes.

Needless to say I don't do very well with chores, curfews, bell-ringing systems, division of labor, preferental treatment, PC, or being abused because I'm a male.

Oh .. and when the DI said he was our mother now I was already disciplined to know that he was our mother now.

Giggles

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #29 on: Jun 18, 2009, 11:41:47 AM »
I have a 12 y/o boy and you better believe he does the dishes as well as laundry, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning toilets and I'm starting to teach him how to cook.  A parents (Be it Bio or Step) JOB is to TEACH their children how to take care of themselves for when they do leave the nest.  My SON as well as my Daughters will be well prepared...just as I was!  Same goes for my BROTHERS...Mom and Dad even made them take "Home Economics" in school and us girls had to take "Shop".
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!

Waylon

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #30 on: Jun 18, 2009, 12:06:05 PM »
Is that the problem ... washing dishes.
Well, that was what you referred to specifically, so that's what I commented on.


What I'm trying to express is that there is a way to raise children without barking out like a drill sergeant.   
Different strokes for different folks....and not all children are as self-directed or as responsible as others. Some kids need a little more aggressive approach than others.

Needless to say I don't do very well with chores, curfews, bell-ringingsystems, division of labor, preferental treatment, PC, or being abusedbecause I'm a male.   
Because you're male, or because you're human? I don't think that this is necessarily a gender-based thing. At least not in my experience.
The trouble with reality is that there's no background music.

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #31 on: Jun 18, 2009, 12:10:42 PM »
jessica78, please contact me via the system.  I'd like to share with you an age-old SM theory.  In the meantime, you are not the disciplinarian to your SS, you *are* however to your own kids, so that's the difference if your kids decide to start behaving like your SS.  It's up to dad to parent his child and he can do it even he he's not physically there. 

ksmarks

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #32 on: Jun 18, 2009, 12:57:09 PM »
I agree you can't be expected to be the parent, however, you are the adult in the house and the primary care provider of the children.  If step sons actions would not be accepted as reasonable at a childcare providers then they are when he is with you.
 
If it is a reasonable request I expect that there will be compliance, just like the kids expect that money they have asked for to stop after the game for something to eat of whatever.
 
I demaded respect from all of our kids, his as well as mine, however, that is about as far as I went with his children, they have a mother, and a father, there was no way that I was going to win.
 
So I spent my time and energy on my own children, and I raised my kids with the life isn't fair, get over it, approach.  So even though I made my children do certain things that my step children didn't have to do, they knew their father and I had the belief that it was our responsibilty to raise them to be self supporting productive members of society.
 
My kids knew what the expectations were as well as potential consequences for non compliance, they also knew that dad & I were the adults and we did not negotiate with terrorist.
 
Dad should support your request for respect and compliance to reasonable requests, but after that he needs to make his kids responsible adults, you can do it for him.
 
Good Luck, goodness knows that this is a tough issue.
KSMarks

Rave

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #33 on: Jun 18, 2009, 01:01:15 PM »
ACTUALLY I would like to know why you won't stop looking at yourself in the mirrorr, get off your .... onto your feet and WASH THE DISHES yourself.
That's probably what the boy wants to know as well he just hasn't mature enough to say it.

davy, it's obvious that you have been exposed to dysfunction through your entire life, from childhood to the present.   My guess is that you've developed quite an armor of defense to help you cope.  I'm also guessing, however, that your armor occasionally fools you into thinking your experiences justify the kind of summation you offered above.

It doesn't.  Hope that helps.

Waylon

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #34 on: Jun 18, 2009, 02:17:56 PM »
ACTUALLY I would like to know why you won't stop looking at yourself in the mirrorr, get off your .... onto your feet and WASH THE DISHES yourself.
That's probably what the boy wants to know as well he just hasn't mature enough to say it.

Okay, I'm baffled. Why shouldn't male children be expected to help with household chores? What am I missing here? I know you well enough to doubt that this is your actual position on this subject.
The trouble with reality is that there's no background music.

Davy

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #35 on: Jun 18, 2009, 03:33:19 PM »
Rave,  Way to go.  You are exposing yourself.  Are you jealous of my upbringing or my child rearing capabilities.  All three of my adult children are in "caring" professions...an RN, a missionary, a pastor turned Lawn care/Landscaper with a Masters degree.  All three are independent and the two with children are loving and nuturing to their children.

About the military draft.  Ding Ding.  Men of the draft generations (my dad and me) scoff at that craziness of women in combat and it cetainly doesn't compare to a female enlisting during the Gulf War.  Somehow I can not (and never did) invision my mother being drafted or my wife or sisters or girlfriends.  You must really be off your rocker.  I frequent a VA hospital regularly.  There is a few WWII around yet and plenty of Nam vets with missing limbs.  Funny how I have yet to meet a Gulf War vet.   

Oh and speaking of girlfriends ... our high graduating class is trying to organize a 60th birthday celebration and there was dysfunction among the committee.  A couple of the girls contacted me to intervene (miles away) to bring peace and stability to the group.  They thought I to be the only one that could do it graciously.  Thing are much better and will be great.  We all grew up together.  Is this the dysfunction I've been exposed to my entire life.   

This world is far apart of a step taking away a child's privilges, brow beating, etc then wondering why a child is rebellious, on drugs, in trouble at school and in the community and thinking they need a psych.  Most of the ones I know this happened to are either dead, homeless drunks, or in prison.

You might consider listening rather than reguritating you rude and obnoxious remarks.

Davy

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #36 on: Jun 18, 2009, 04:34:04 PM »
Waylon.  You are so right it's not my actual position.
 
My sons worked in the kitchen and later in life became pretty good chefs (a lot better than me but that's not saying much).  All because they wanted to and not because they were told.
 
My daughter mowed the yard, washed the car, shoveled snow, etc  all because she wanted to.  And she usually did a better job than her brothers but they might want to argue that point.  Her brother (a yr younger) broke numerous state track records (8th grade) but he did'nt hold a candle to his sister ... and she was all lady to boot.  I was blessed.  Let me say that again cause I miss her so much.... she was all lady to boot.
 
The context to the previous posts enlightened my post (as I'm recalling ) because posters were, IMHO,  hammering the boy and his father because he refused to do the dishes when that was a symptom of the problem and not the cause.
 
Waylon, I'm not trying to criticize  parenting styles but I am asking for awareness, especially with step children ... my children's mother did a big about face in life and did nothing about the DV at the hands of the Step that resulted. They were not accustomed to "orders".  Once they were with me they started to function normally again.  I think it was the note I put on the frig :  remove all guns and ammo from your room, no blowing smoke in any body's face while they are eating, home every night for supper, no over night guest without advance notice and then only if I talk to their parents first, no drugs or alcohol in the house, etc.
Hope there is an understanding.   
 
 

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #37 on: Jun 19, 2009, 11:29:46 AM »
I think we all need to remember that it's not necessarily accurate to project your experiences on everyone else.  IOW, what you experienced is not always what everyone else is going through.  Not all women are out to hurt their kids, and neither are all men, every situation is *different* and none of us are in a position to pass judgement. 

You might consider listening rather than reguritating you rude and obnoxious remarks.

I'll respectfully ask you to consider your own role in this. 

Davy

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #38 on: Jun 19, 2009, 01:44:57 PM »
What say you.  Female posters jump up and belittle the father while hammering his son because the 15 yr old boy says washing dishes is for women and you think the hammering  is great and necessary.

Then rebuff a male poster for his child-rearing success or the way he was raised.... so what say you.

What to you want ??  Any questions ?  Please ask if you need advice.
 
OH !  Wait a minute .  I got it.  You think men and fatherhood is trivial.

ksmarks

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #39 on: Jun 19, 2009, 02:15:33 PM »
I am so lost.... no one said anything about "men and fatherhood being trivial"
 
 
KSMarks

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #40 on: Jun 19, 2009, 02:38:04 PM »
Davy, you need to get a grip. Seriously.

...while hammering his son because the 15 yr old boy says washing dishes is for women
I'd hammer my own son if I heard him spouting nonsense like "washing dishes is for women". 


Then rebuff a male poster for his child-rearing success or the way he was raised....
Maybe I missed it, but I've not seen anyone rebuff you for being a successful parent. (??)


You think men and fatherhood is trivial.
I've also not seen anyone make this claim, either.
The trouble with reality is that there's no background music.

ksmarks

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #41 on: Jun 19, 2009, 03:18:09 PM »
Davy I am all for venting, yet maybe starting a vent topic would be better?  Just a thought, that way we could stay on topic. ...
 
 Have a Great Father's Day Weekend!
 
K
KSMarks

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #42 on: Jun 19, 2009, 04:51:48 PM »
Waylon .. as you should..because you are his father.  That is not the issue in this case. 
 
Or maybe it is because the father authority is not mentioned except to say he's hardly at home while the SM appears to be ranting and raving making demands handing out penalities, removing privileges, all while lacking respect.  Posters here joined the frey.
Perhaps the father has the full picture and is trying to find ways to bring peace and tranquilty to his household. 
 
Here's my strong opinion.  SM is an adult and the boy is being raised up and, I suspect, loves / misses his mother who he sees EOW.  Tough place to be for a 15 yr old boy.  SM is losing with her approach ... no doubt it works with the females in the household (they like it) ... all the yelling, etc but it is making this boy resentful, rebellous, etc.
 
What we should be doing as adults is to be loving, nuturing, encouraging, comforting, and letting the boy know we have an understanding for his station in life while maintaining a dignified but respectful authortarian position with the child.  We as adults should leave our egos behind and demonstrate warmth ... all the dysfunction will go away and then tranqility and responsible behavior will become the new life style.  Being heavy-handed, griping and complaining only makes matters worst.  My concern is for the child not the adult SM.
 
As for the posters that join SM frey's and look for ways to jump ugly on "Davy" you're simply not helping SM or anyone else that may be reading the post.
 
Do you realize how much more pertinant responses become when someone (like Waylon) interjects rationality ??

gemini3

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Re: disciplin and step kids
« Reply #43 on: Jun 20, 2009, 11:29:37 AM »
I have to kind of agree with Davy's point about the kids wanting to help.  I mean, you can only "make" children do things for so long.  Eventually they get old enough to put their foot down, and usually do so with a vengence.  No one likes to be told what to do like they're servants in their own homes.
 
With my step-kids, we made a list of chores, responsibilities, and house rules.  They get marbles for doing the chores (more or less depending on the job), they lose marbles for breaking the rules.  The marbles can be cashed in for rewards.  They choose how much to do, and how much they want to make.  When my husband and I need help with something we ask for a volunteer.  Sometimes the volunteer gets marbles for helping, and sometimes they don't (the whole pavlov thing).  They climb over each other to volunteer because they know they might get rewarded.
 
If they want something big and a birthday/christmas isn't close they can choose to earn the money on their own.  We help them make a plan of how much they want to earn, and then what chores they will do to earn the money.  They do the chores because they want to, not because we make them.  But, if they choose not to participate in the household duties they don't get "extra's" - like playing video games, money for allowance, candy, etc.
 
As they get older some things that they get paid for become things that they get decutions for if they don't do them.  For example, brushing their teeth.  When they were little they got a marble if they brushed their teeth without being reminded.  Now they lose a marble if they don't do it.
 
We believe that this mirrors life when they leave the home.  We all get to choose how hard we want to work, and be rewarded (or suffer consequences) accordingly.

 

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