INSANE STEPMOTHER In NEED of ADVICE

Elizabeth - posted on 01/28/2015 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I am a mom of 3 and a step mom of 5. I don't even know how I manage. Of the 5, 2 live with my Fiance and I. They are 19 and 15 both boys. We get 2 on Sundays both girls who are 7 and 4. My problem is with the 19 year old and the girls. I can't stand them and feel so guilty. I try my best but I am at the end of my ropes here and ready to call this relationship quits. My fiance is not at all the strong one nor is he the disciplinarian type. The 19 year old is the most laziest and I mean laziest person I have ever met. He thinks he is entitled to everything and anything. I have to tell him to clean his room, to wash his own dishes. He doesn't look for a job to at least begin to support himself. He walks around like he is something grand and I can't stand it. He has no respect for what I have to say or me period. This has been a topic of discussion for a few years now. I am to be married this August and it is starting to look like a blur. I love my soon to be lord knows I do but I don't see anything changing. Thing is if I stay quiet he will continue living in our home at 20, 21, 22 and so on and I am not going to take care of a grown man who should be doing for himself. I refuse to!!!! My fiance speaks to him but not the way he should. He treats him like a baby and caters to every word he says and he doesn't realize it. How do I make him understand my feelings? Mind you at the moment I am a stay at home for the last 5 months to finish my degree. I do everything in the home from cooking to cleaning, dr's appt and so on. My fiance is here only on Sundays and works the rest of the days. He is gone from about 9 maybe 10 till about 9 maybe 10 at night. So he is not here to see what actually is going on and interacts with all of the kids very little. I am overwhelmed and stressed to the max.

As for my step daughters well only 5 hours on Sundays and I want to just pull my hair out for her behavior. She acts out in public which is by far the most embarrassing moments of my life. I don't even like to be seen with them and he allows it. I don't lay my hands on my children I mean with one look and they know I mean business BUT I do believe if a child is acting in the way my stepdaughter is acting a spanking can be implemented. She has kicked and punched him, yelled at him because she wants this or that and of course what ends up happening? He gives to her every damn want. Now I have laid very low for almost a year without interrupting so that I can observe his style of parenting but I couldn't watch anymore. I had to lay my rules down and spoke with him. Seeing as how I am involved 100% with them I told him you have to let them know to respect but I get nothing. What do I do? Where do I turn? I just want to give up but its also not the kind of person to just throw in the towel. I also told him that I am giving his 19 year old till the end of the summer to get a job, or start college and if not he will have to go. Am I wrong for this? Appreciate the responds!!

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Raye - posted on 01/29/2015

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All the kids, while they're under your roof, need to have the same rules. Create a chart that has chores age appropriate to the children. The younger ones can put away toys and clothes, the middle ones can make the beds and sweep/dust, and the older ones can do laundry and wash dishes. Come up with appropriate punishments for what happens when these chores are not done (time outs, grounding, no TV, no phone, etc.) and you and your fiancé BOTH need to enforce the rules. The 19 year old definitely needs to find a summer job and/or apply for college, or else he needs to find a new place to live. If you've given him a time limit, then make sure you stick to it.

Michelle - posted on 01/29/2015

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I'm sorry but it's taken you this long to find all this out?
You need to tell your Fiance to be a parent to his kids and discipline. He needs to lay down the rules and make sure he follows through with the consequences.
As far as the 19yo goes, your Fiance needs to tell him to get a job and pay his way or move out. He needs to give him a time limit (1 or 2 months) and stick to it.
If your Fiance isn't going to discipline his children then you need to decide if you can live the way you are.
You need to look out for you and your children and do what's best for them. Surely your children aren't enjoying living in the house with them either.

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Michelle - posted on 01/29/2015

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I would also suggest marriage counselling. Hopefully your Fiance values your relationship enough to try and save it.
Let him know that things really aren't working and he really should go to counselling with you. If he doesn't go then you know where you stand and he won't change anything.

Trisha - posted on 01/29/2015

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I understand about being tired of the constant fight.
Teenagers are not easy. It is a daily struggle, and sometimes some weeks are better than others. Right now I am thankfully on a positive lull with my stepson. He is behaving quite well, with the occasional problem.
Have you and your husband sat down and talked with your teenagers? Both of them? To go over what they see as acceptable expectations for them to help around the house? And consequences when they are not completely?
Quick story: We don't live in the greatest of neighborhoods, and out of concern for my stepson getting 'bored' during the summer we have been after him to find a part time job. He was looking ever day, but because he is a bit too young for most places, he was constantly disappointed, which caused frustration and anger, and for him to avoid doing it. We ended up sitting down with him and negotiating 3 days a week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) he would go and put in some applications). He was the person who picked the amount of days the week, and which days he would do it. He now doesn't give us any problems about it. He has owned the task.
Also, my stepson is not allowed to leave the house until his chores are completed that day, or he can expect not to go out the next day at all. We have enforced this for a while, so it is generally not a problem.
So far, the things I have learnt are: consistency, enforcement, consequences that they can repeat back to you. If you need to have them write them down to refer back to later, then do that to avoid the "I didn't hear you say that!"

Elizabeth - posted on 01/29/2015

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Trish
Its easier said than done with teen boys like the two I am dealing with. I can say you are right that I have given up in ways because I feel so tired of fighting over the same thing. I would have to physically stand there and almost yell for those two to get things done. I have taken everything they value away just as I would do my children. Thing is they came into my life as teenagers and it is not an easy task to change their ways of living. I have stuck to my guns on a lot of things and enforced the chores but then they wouldn't come home till the evening to avoid doing anything. So then I find that my children and I were doing things alone. That stopped and I tried the chart thing and still. How many times do you tell someone to do something before you actually grow tired of the constant fight. So I have stepped back and deal with my children only. The problems will stop once they are gone But to each is own. I appreciate your respond back and for making me look back at things. I have given up not entirely so thank you. Today all will be in for a surprise!!!

Trisha - posted on 01/29/2015

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You are going to be in a constant struggle with these children. Do they have cell phones? Do they play video games? Why does punishment given for chores not done not work?
I think you need to start working on how you can get these kids to be active/contributing members of the household before you do anything else.
Correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to have given up on enforcing any of these rules/chores to avoid the fight.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/29/2015

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Dove
you are right and I have come to grips with that now. I told myself I would give it this last try and talk with my fiance to see how things go this time around. I have stopped a lot of things that I used to do for them. Seeing as how they don't appreciate anything I pretty much just do for my kids now. It is sad because I welcomed them with open arms treated them like my own and do everything and I don't even get a simple thank you.
Then again if they have no respect for their father imagine for anyone else.

Thank you for your respond

Elizabeth - posted on 01/29/2015

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Raye, Again thank you for your respond. Believe me if there is one thing I do not like to do is make children feel more valued than the other regardless of age. As we know it though as a child gets older we have different expectations for them. I have thought of so many things and tried implementing the rules along with chores so many different ways and nothing seems to work with his kids. It makes me feel bad for my children because they listen and follow all my rules. They have their occasional days when they want to try me but don't they all but for the most part my children know me. So how fare is it to live in a house with other children and they face no consequences. As for the 19 year old well that is an issue all in its self. I gave to the end of the summer to be doing something if not I have told him in front of his father that he will have to go.

Dove - posted on 01/29/2015

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You can't make him do what he needs to do for his kids. If you have discussed this (many times it seems) before and nothing has changed... you need to decide if you can live like this... or get out now.

You can certainly stop doing anything for the older two. Honestly... at 19 and 15 the only thing I'd be doing is making a family dinner.... they would be 100% responsible for any and all of their messes and if they didn't clean them up... I'd round up their stuff, stick it in their room, and shut the door. BUT... these aren't 'your' kids... so I don't know how doing that would go over. ;)

Elizabeth - posted on 01/29/2015

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Michelle,
Thank you for the insight. Being new to this site or any site of sort I didn't think I could ever find comfort. I honestly thought I was going to lose my mind. Maybe that I am just crazy and overreacting but this is truly how things are for me in my life. Its the kind of thing you tell yourself that you can do it till things hit the fan and nothing is done. You love someone and you will go out your way to keep trying but what is the point when you get nothing back. I have told my fiance on numerous occasions many ways that he needs to discipline them. All he ever does is talk, talk to them as if they are 10 and 12 yrs. old. I tell the 19 year old so many times that he has to get a job and I also explained to my fiance that if by the end of the summer he has no job, or is not enrolled in school he will have to go. The problem is that I can see that not actually happening. I have been thinking about our relationship so much lately and don't know what to do. I don't want to give up the only thing that is good because of his kids but it is looking like I might have to.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/28/2015

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Trisha
Thank you for the respond!! Well reason is that their mother lives in another country. They are Dominican and so they were brought here so that they have more opportunities to do something with their lives. When I met my fiance he had sent them away before we met because he himself couldn't deal with how they are. Meaning the cleaniliness of the house and hygiene wise. He had spoke to me about it and told me everything. He also felt guilty about how he left things with both his boys. He had discussed that he eventually was going to bring them back and did that as a mere punishment in hopes they would change. I am seeing now that definitely did not work. Before actually moving in we had discussed how things would be and the consequeces they would face. Things seemed to be going great for the first year when they came back. It was a big adjustment for my children and I and some how we had managed at first. Now he is 19 and things are just bad. I finally had to put my foot down and got into a pretty big fight with my fiance because he wouldn't take the cell phone away that we were paying. I tried so many ways to show and let my fiance know that his son is not and by far a baby. It seems to sink in at times but then its like he forgets there are any problems and we are back to square one. He is a very gentle, kind hearted man and is the reason why I fell in love but his children are becoming such a problem that he does not see that it is interfereing with us as a couple. Believe me My next move is to remove his light bulb because he doesn't even have the decency to turn it off EVER!! I have tried almost everything.

Trisha - posted on 01/28/2015

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...When I was talking about starting a relationship with my husband, we had many conversations about how we would raise our children. We ensured we are on the same page regarding expectations and discipline. I suspect you might have jumped into things a bit quickly if you were unable to get a good concept of how he interacts with his kids.
Why does this 19 year old need to live with you again? He will continue to put off getting a job if things are supplied to him, as he get free food, and housecleaning.
What does the 19 yr old son do at the house to help keep everything together? If the answer is currently nothing, then start implementing tasks he needs to do. If he doesn't like the rules, tell him to get a job and get out. If he sits at home playing video games all day, disconnect the internet. We actually have our internet set up so that it is behind a locked door, so we can disconnect the cables/shut off the wifi so we can implement no-internet based punishments.

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