step dad wanting to discipline 8 year old now ruining our relationship - please help

Tabatha - posted on 11/13/2013 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Help ive been with the step dad for 2.5 years now and he feels my 8 year needs to put on a behavioural plan so he always listens and does as he is told. BUT the behavioural plan involves basically only me doing it as he is never around and always working. Im fine with the way i parent and i believe kids don't listen all the time and will try and play up and get what they want. He is getting very fustrated at me and every time my 8 year old doesnt listen he keeps bringing up how i dont want to do as he says with the plan and its all my fault the way he is..... I really dont know what to do as now its ruining our relationship and we are always arguing about my son.

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[deleted account]

My son has a rough time remembering all of his chores, practices, etc. (and he would probably forget to brush his teeth if I didn't have it written down for him!!).

This is what I did.
My son has different responsibilities in different areas of our home.
I typed all of his responsibilities for each area on cute paper, then put them in a frame, and hung the frame in the respective area. Attached is a dry erase marker.
So by his desk, I have a little frame that says:
Spelling
Math
Math Magician
Reading
Typing
Special Assignments
Prepare Bookbag

As he finishes each task, he marks it off with the dry erase marker. This keeps him on task and focused, and it also keeps him from forgetting to do certain items because they aren't marked off.
He has similar framed lists in the mudroom where he drops shoes, hats, etc. On his bedroom door is a list that details keeping his room clean, general chores (like laundry & feeding the dog), and his after school commitments.

In the bathroom, he even has a list of nightly and morning tasks. This is the only one I really have to "remind" him about. Usually, he has a little free time before bedtime, so if he is playing, he won't notice the time, and I will call to him "Hey, time to get ready for bed." I think that is acceptable for the most part. I don't mind calling him to get ready for bed as long as I don't have to micro manage him or call two or three times.....If I have to call twice, or if he neglects something on the list and I have to remind him, there are consequences.

At the end of the day, about 30 minutes before bedtime, I check the lists. If everything is marked off, Yay! If he missed anything, or if anything is not completed to my standards, he has to do the task then. If he is not in bed with all tasks completed at 9pm on the dot, bedtime is moved forward the following night to make up for lost sleep, and he loses his reading in bed privilege for the night.

Tabatha - posted on 11/14/2013

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Yea thats the thing we do a star chart for him too. Its only once n awhile he'll fall out of line but my partner dont like it. Im trying to tell him kids do push there parents to the limit bit he doesnt want that. I dont know wat to say to him anymore.

Jodi - posted on 11/14/2013

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Well, if it is only occasional, I don't see the issue, but if it is a regular thing, then I can see your husband's issue with it. I have a whiteboard in my kitchen with chore lists on it. My kids are now in the habit of checking that when they get home from school (I also write up other things for them), it makes it really easy.

Tabatha - posted on 11/14/2013

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Yea I should of said I definitely dicipline him and he dont run circles around me..... he knows the consequences of his actions.

Tabatha - posted on 11/14/2013

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I definitely make consequences and ensure he gets punished. He will go well for awhile then fall off the bandwagon. Its little things like not doing his chores or his morning and night rountines on time that the step dad dont like. I sometimes remind my son about his rountines and I dont mind at all. But my partner gets so angry at me with it and says I shouldnt have to tell him at all. Is that fair.

Jodi - posted on 11/13/2013

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" i believe kids don't listen all the time and will try and play up and get what they want"

Wow. You have low expectations of your son. You're right in that kids don't listen ALL the time, but they should do it MOST of the time. And they won't try to play up and get what they want if there are consequences to the behaviour. It IS your fault he is the way he is if you are not providing consequences. My 8 year old mostly listens to me. Heck, so does my 16 year old. Because that's what I expect of them and there are consequences in my home if they choose not to.

Believe me, if you don't deal with this now, this same child will be a teenager, and it will get a hell of a lot worse. You can't just suddenly turn around when you 15 year old decides they aren't going to listen to you any more and say "well NOW I will provide consequences". That just isn't going to work.

[deleted account]

I don't know all of the details, but given the information in your post, I think I agree with your husband.

My son just turned 9 two weeks ago, so I'm dealing with a similar age group. I expect my son to listen and do as I say EVERY TIME I say something to him. If he argues, disobeys, talks back, refuses to take action, or whatever, there are clear and definite consequences.
You are correct, 8 year olds do not listen all of the time, but there must be a consequence EVERY time the child disobeys, or fails to listen or take action accordingly. 8 year olds will push boundaries and test their limits, but at 8 years old, this shouldn't be something you are dealing with regularly.

What kind of problems are you dealing with specifically? And how often?

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