How to still have fun...

Krystyl - posted on 12/06/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My Husband and I have my stepson, Tristan, (3 [4 in a bit more than a month])
3/4 weekends in a month ... and lately we are having a hard time enjoying our time together. I feel as though most of the time he's here, he's being punished for being naughty (or wasting our time together by taking a Ludicrous amount of time to doing things like eating, or cleaning his room ... )
generally, we do something fun, together as a family, at least once every time he's over (Hockey game, going to the movies, going out to community events, having friends over) But it's getting to the point where doing these things is turning more into a chore and is getting to be less and less fun ...
and I feel bad simply 'punishing' him for not being as agreeable as I would wish him to be ...
I don't want him to feel like 'our house' is an unpleasant place, but neither do I want him to get away with his constant shenanigans...
it's not every weekend that he's like this, ... we generally have a 'good' weekend or a 'bad' weekend... however, the 'bad' weekends are becoming more frequent. and I really don't know what to do about it? ... any Suggestions ?
Please and thanks, :)

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[deleted account]

Ok I think this needs a twofold solution- at leats this is what worked for my SS's. Yes it is appropriate to punsih them in whatever way you agree upon, if they are doing the wrong thing. I do not spank my SS's but I have chosen punsihments that are specific to each of them in terms of it being unpleasant, like no Xbox/TV etc for increasingly longer periods- this is mainly because I found that time-outs didnt work with them because they dont have this punishment at their other home and it just made things worse.
The other thing is counselling- sometimes kids deliberately act out to get attention because negative attention is better than nothing. i know you dont have alot of time but we found that after the inital 'outlay' of extra time, SS's got so much better and then we had better quality of time together and we all learnedbteer ways to express ourselves so there is less tension and 'naughtiness' in general.

Betty - posted on 12/08/2009

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I don't think "hiding" is even an option these days especially not for step kids. If I ever spanked my SD we would be in a heap of trouble for it and rightfully so. Just doing a time out should be enough to show that you are serious. My SD doesn't understand our emotions, when we're angery she thinks we're happy and when we're happy she thinks we're angery. When we tell her to stop doing something she thinks we are playing around until she hears us say "time out". We have to warn her about time outs all day long. I couldn't imagine how she would feel if we were constantly telling her she was about to get spanked. That would be so sad.

Krystyl - posted on 12/07/2009

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Thank you for the comments ladies,
I suppose staying at home is the most obvious thing to do :)
We don't 'Hide' (I've never heard it called that before? ...)
sometimes a light swat on the bum, if he's being especially terrible, but that very rarely ever happens, it's mostly standing in the corner. Other times it's "go take a break and watch a movie in your living room" but he puts on such an incredible show.... he acts like it's torture,...
I feel bad at the way he reacts to punishment... he even used to flinch whenever we got upset with him! now he just gets a huge pouty lip and cries... it's tiresome but it also breaks my heart .... even though I know it's a little game.
sometimes the outings are unavoidable, this weekend, we had to decorate the tree, visit grandparents, see Santa ( we ended up skipping this because of his behavior - and even told him so) and then the boys went to a hockey game, for which tickets were already purchased :s - it should have been incredibly fn & Exiting for a 4 year old...

[deleted account]

Authority born of love will give you obedience out of love.
Maybe I'm just old fashioned , but nothing beats a hiding. BUT they need to know the difference between a proper hiding and just a whack on the bum. Soon , you can just ask , "Do you want a hiding ?" They'll know exactly what you're talking about and stop their bad behaviour.
Ignoring doesn't help !
If you're in a public place other people get inconvenienced because you're ignoring your misbehaving child. Sort the child out and let him / her know it's unacceptable.
After the hiding, I tell them that when they're done crying, they must come to me. Then I explain why they got the hiding and that I still love them. This gives the child the oppertunity to apologise.
Also , the child's room should be a place of safety and comfort. If your way of handling bad behaviour is time out , it should be in a neutral place where there are no distractions. Surely in his / her room all the toys are readily available ? Where's the point in that ?

Betty - posted on 12/07/2009

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If it looks like you are going to have one of the 'bad' weekends just take it easy. Just hang out together at home playing video games or something more low key so he can't spoil any big plans. At this age kids seem to have just as much fun at home anyway. It's Christmas time so you can make plenty of great memories together at home just making ornaments and gingerbread houses. A four minute time out won't ruin the day but with less pressure to get tasks done quickly he may become a little easier to have fun with.

We got tired of doing crazy fun things with my SD every weekend so we just have fun doing whatever is clever right at home most days. With the frequent public meltdowns we have with her it's just more fun for everyone when we stay home. We are bonding very well and I'm getting to know the real girl instead of the crazy shy manic child she transforms into whenever we take her somewhere 'fun'. She is also 4. I think it's just the age but sometimes I wonder.

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