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Author Topic: disciplin and step kids  (Read 28228 times)

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!!

 

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