Is it ok to punish my difficult stepson by withdrawing perks?

Thobs - posted on 05/03/2013 ( 12 moms have responded )

11

0

0

I have no children of my own, but live with my 18 year old stepson and my husband as well as my late brother's son whom I am providing for. He is also 18. My stepson is sometimes very nasty to him and does not speak to him for the whole week. My stepson is very moody but expects everyone to be happy when he is. I am responsible for the school fees, uniforms, etc. and welfare of my nephew and my husband for my stepson. I do from time to time buy clothes for my stepson as well, even though he gets a clothing allowance from his father and a cell-phone allowance from me. I am very generous and does not hesitate to give both boys money for the movies or some spending money if they ask. Bottom line is, I try to treat my stepson well, but I have realised that he does not do his chores if he doesn't want to. Last Sunday he did not wash my car and I was very hurt and livid and have now decided that I am gonna make both the boys iron their clothes for the whole month. I am also not going to drive them to youth service at our church on Friday evenings for the whole month. Finally, I am withdrawing all the perks for the whole month. No cash for movies or parties. The reason why I have decided on the measures is that my interpretation is that these boys have an inflarted sense of entitlement especially my stepson as he also wants everything I buy for my nephew to buy for him, which is unsustainable as I would not have that kind of money) .Do you think this will work. My husband says he will support me but I have a feeling that I am being too hush. By the way, the helper normally does the washing, but I pay the help.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jodi - posted on 05/03/2013

3,562

36

3907

I don't see anything wrong with the consequences you are suggesting, BUT I think they need to be spelled out in advance. So instead of imposing it as punishment for not having done it this time, sit them both down and explain what the consequences of not doing their chores is going to be in the future. That way, you are giving them choices - they choose to either get of their butts and doing the chores, or suffer the very clear consequences.

You mentioned that it was only your stepson who didn't wash the car, but that you were going to punish both of them. I don't agree with that.

I will, however, add, that I don't pay for my son's phone, movies, etc. he is 15. Why? Because he has something called a job (just 2 shifts a week). He even almost has enough money saved to buy a car. I would start thinking about cutting back altogether and telling them to get a job. The real world won't be so generous, and they may learn some valuable lessons. They are young adults, it is time for them to start standing on their own two feet.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/09/2013

13,264

21

2015

Dropping such harsh penalties on both of the young men as a punishment for what one of them has done (or not done) seems a bit overboard to me. I do believe in consequences, but only clearly stated ones that are laid out at the very beginning of any trouble, so that they are clearly in view to the persons concerned.

If they are both 18, both in their final year of school, I agree with Dove. Why aren't they holding down part time jobs to pay (or help to pay) for their wants? My son did, and survived just fine in his senior year. Had a job, also had a severe medical condition that restricted his activities, but still graduated and held down a job, helping to pay for his wants.

And, I'm not really sure where you are, but here in my area of the US, if a certain level of internet access is required, the device to needed for said access is provided by the school...the school district cannot force you to purchase a smart phone or an iphone, for example. In our house, fair is fair. What one gets, the other gets (at an appropriate age). If I had 2 18 yos in the house, they'd both have the same items purchased for them, and if they wanted something more, it is their responsibility. As it is, with my almost 19 yo and 15 yo, (when I was still buying for my eldest) What the eldest got, the younger got the equivalent when he was the same age. So, if the eldest got a cell phone at 12, the younger had to wait 3 years, but still got the cell phone at 12. The eldest got a dress suit at Christmas when he was 17. The youngest will get a dress suit at Christmas when he's 17. Fair is fair.

Punishing both for the actions of one is unfair. Purchasing expensive items for one but not the other is unfair. If the one wanted a clothing allowance, but wants you to continue to purchase clothing, then the allowance goes away, and you purchase the same items at the same time for both boys. If one has an internet ready cell phone provided by you, the other deserves fair treatment.

Personally? I'd hand them both the want ads, and require at least 10 hours of work a week out of them so that they can cover their own extras. They are both 18 after all. My eldest has been providing his own extras since he was 16. My youngest is 15, and starting to work on providing his own extras as well. Its in their best interests to be taught how to survive and pay for themselves.

Dove - posted on 05/06/2013

12,120

0

1353

They are 18.... Still providing for their NEEDS (shelter, food, basic clothing) is fine, but why aren't they working to buy the things they WANT?

12 Comments

View replies by

Sheila - posted on 12/28/2013

7

0

0

Hello, please don't get me wrong; understand me when I say. I understand, my husband had four children from 12 to 23yrs old. I had none, it's a plus when you have your husbands support, but it's good to really talk to your husband and get his input. To see if he is really on board, or if he is just going along. After all there are three men in the house, all together. Your husband may have a little better insight, on how the boys feel or why they feel; the way they feel, concerning there back ground; with the females in there life. Good or bad relationships, knowing that can help you know? How to deal with them, and why they may act the way they do; or feel the way they feel. Sometimes you mat have to step back, and look at the whole picture; then you can see if taking away the perks is the answer. Sometimes it is, but not always. You may have to look a little deeper. I did that and a little understanding can go a long way, the boys told me they get along better with me; then there own mother? And I just gave them a little more understanding and a little more love.
From: Open Ear

Meg - posted on 12/22/2013

10

0

1

He's 18, he should work for those special perks! We all know that we don't always get what everyone else has..... That's what makes America great! People get what they EARN. This generation feels wayyyyyyyy too entitled!

Angela - posted on 05/10/2013

2,457

9

322

I think you've probably come to a good, effective compromise!

Your stepson envies that your nephew gets the clothes he needs from you but doesn't want to relinquish the money each month - he's just unable to budget it effectively, I believe!

Your nephew probably recognises that he probably wouldn't be able to budget a clothing allowance and feels happier that YOU buy his clothing.

However, at 18 - maybe your nephew is abdicating some responsibility? Maybe he SHOULD learn to look after his money and decide on clothing for himself?

But for now, if your "system" at home works, then you may as well stick to it!

Thobs - posted on 05/10/2013

11

0

0

Thanks Shawnn, your response is helpful.

I am in South Africa. Huge unemployment. Even part time jobs do not come easily as they are grabbed by the unemployed. I submit the punishment was a bit overboard considering that I had not made it clear to them what happens if they break the rules. We have since had a very fruitful discussion with the boys and we agreed that the punishment will only be meaningful after the talk. In other words, I scrapped the punishment. I did offer the option again of withdrawing the clothing allowance in favour of buying for him and he refused. Flat. My nephew also refuses the allowance option. So, I guess I will not force any of them to take an option they don't want. We however agreed that each one of them must accept the consequence of their choices. We are fine.

Dove - posted on 05/09/2013

12,120

0

1353

Yes, Thobs.... I realize they are still in school. Which is why I said providing for their NEEDS is fine. Wants aren't necessary and if they want them.... they can find a way to pay for them on their own. My oldest is 11 and she already has to pay for some of her wants. Granted, the money does still come from me, but she works for it. It is very rare that I ever buy any of my kids what they want without a VERY good reason for me to do so (excluding Christmas and birthday). Providing for their needs is my job, providing for their wants is extra.... and completely unnecessary.

Thobs - posted on 05/09/2013

11

0

0

There are still at school. Grade 12. I want them to focus on school work, not part time jobs.

Thobs - posted on 05/06/2013

11

0

0

Thank you. I had a good talk with them last night. We agreed that from now, not doing will lend them in serious trouble.

Thobs - posted on 05/03/2013

11

0

0

Oh yes, they wash cars on alternate weekends. They go to different schools, so their school requirements are not the same. For example, in my nephew's school, they want students to have internet enabled cellphones/ mini tablets, while this is not a requirement for my stepson. They have the same chores as well, so they know exactly what is expected from them. The complication is that I discovered that my husband has been washing the cars himself when my stepson fails to wash the cars. When I asked why he does this, he says he is tired of talking.

The household rules are the same. What differs is that one gets a clothing allowance, because thats' what he wants, while my nephew wants me to buy clothing items as and when required. I did offer to withdraw the clothing allowance and buy for the other one as well, but he declined the offer. The problem is, when he sees the items bought he also wants them instead of using the allocated allowance.

Michelle - posted on 05/03/2013

4,199

8

3246

In my opinion, if you haven't had these regulations up until now it's a bit harsh all of a sudden enforcing them. Is cleaning your car one of his chores? If not then I don't see why you should punish him for not doing it.

Also I think both children should be treated the same if they are both living with you. The segregation that you have is not fair to the boys at all.

I think you would be better off sitting down and having a family meeting and discussing the responsibilities of everyone. If they don't know what you expect of them then you can't punish them for not doing it. You also need to have the same rules and privileges for both boys, it's not fair to be brought up in the same household but 2 separate "lives" in a way.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms