I have my step kids full time, I am lost what should I do?

Amber - posted on 10/06/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )




I am 25, I have been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years..... I went from being a young single 23 year old with no responsibilities to (overnight) a 30 year old man with soooo much baggage (a crazy ex wife and ex girlfriend). He has 2 little girls (10 and 9), a dog and 2 cats that I am severely allergic to (I am sick everyday because of these animals). We have lived together for a year now but his 2 children walk all over me and disrespect me 24/7. There is not a day that goes by where I do not fight with them constantly or cry because of how they treat me. My boyfriend travels for his job so he is away 35% of the month so that leaves me as basically a single mom of two kids (that are not even technically mine) because the BIO mom is not involved. My boyfriend is awesome and the greatest man I know and the most wonderful man I have ever met. I have been in really bad relationships and he is perfect. I have talked to him about the issue with his children many times and although he is on my side and has tried everything he could, there has been no change when I am left alone with them.. I gave up my life and youth for this man and his children but I am reaching my breaking point..... What should I do? Leave him or try harder? I am lost because I cannot discipline them with spankings (that is all they respect). What do I do? A good man is hard to find but is it worth all this? I do everything for them, what is a girl to do?


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Ariana - posted on 10/07/2012




I guess my main questions are :

Does your husband discipline the girls for the same rules you discipline them for when he comes home? Has he told the girls they need to follow HIS rules when you're in charge?

I would make sure your husband is the one disciplining them when he comes home and that he disciplines them for the same rules you do. He may want to create a rules list and talk to his daughters about it with them. Even though you are now basically their main caregiver unfortunately you are not their mom and you came into their life at an older age. They need to know that you are enforcing their fathers rules and when they don't listen to you in turn they aren't listening to him.

If they have been acting out when you take care of them their dad needs to speak with them and tell them it is unacceptable for them to treat you negatively. He needs to make sure they respect you while he is around as well as out of the house.

You want to be more specific with the problems that you are talking about also. What is it they are doing? Do they yell at you? Refuse to comply to requests? Make a 'behavior blog' of how they act for about two weeks and see what specific behaviors they are doing that are bringing you down. Work on the two most important behaviors with them (so making them brush their teeth would be less important than yelling at you etc). I would take control of things they like (television, internet, game consoles, etc.) and explain to them that those things are privileges and when they do 'x' one of these things will be taken away.

If they are speaking to you in an inappropriate manner I would tell them 'you are not allowed to speak to me like that' and send them to their room. No more arguments/bartering, if they disrespect you they need to go away to calm down. If they refuse to go to their room I would take a privilege away and then walk them to their room, if they leave walk them back WITHOUT SPEAKING. Even if it takes you an hour to get them to stay in their room they need to know you are in charge. This is different then a timeout because they need to go to their room to calm themselves down until they can speak to you respectfully, but this will only work once they realize they must go to their room or a privilage will be taken and you will make them do it.

I would really do a behavior log and come back to ask for more specific things you can do for specific behaviors.

You also need your husbands full support and consistancy. If you are sending them to their room if they do 'x' and taking away tv he can't come home and allow them to do what they feel like. If anything he has to take over some of the discipline to show they need to act this way with you and him.

If there is something specific that you request, like the going to your room thing, that they frequently ignore you should get your husband to tell them this: "When Amber is here you must comply with her request to go to your room, since you are having trouble with this I am going to practice having you go to your room multiple times while I'm here so that you will be ready for when Amber asks you when I'm away. Now I'd like you to go to your room right now. " Have him do this 3 or 4 times and then ask if she thinks she will listen when it's just you. She may keep testing it but ultimately decide that she'd rather listen to you then have to deal with having to do things over and over with her dad. You can use this for other things that are applicable.

If all else fails I would talk to a family councellor who can possibly help you and your family out. There may be something going on that none of you even fully realise.

Good luck!

Lacye - posted on 10/06/2012




Couple questions:

1. Does your boyfriend know that you are allergic to the animals? If he does, what has he done to prevent you from having an allergy attack?

2. Does he support you in all disciplinary actions or does he get mad when you get onto them?

If you really want to make this work, you are going to have to deal with the kids. They are a part of him and he's going to let you go faster than he will them. I understand where you are coming from. I have a stepdaughter who has a crazy mother (although this BM is still involved and SD doesn't live with us, yet).

I'll be able to give you more advice once I know what the answers to the questions are. Especially the second question.

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