HandOverMyMouth's picture

First Post-Sneaky/Possibly Spying Stepchildren

I have been stalking the forums for a couple of weeks now and decided to make an account, as I feel that I will need it. I find *I've* been the bad guy when I've tried to ask for help in other forums where other posters may not understand the ins and out of essentially raising someone elses kids.

To give some background: I am the soon-to-be stepmother to two children (an 11 year old and a 13 year old). We have your typical every-other-weekend set up, and your stereotypical unfriendly mother-of-kids to boot. I have met her a handful of times and we are polite to eachother. She and my fiance were never married, and dated for a couple of years. I was, myself, a stepchild and am concerned that I do not repeat the mistakes my stepmother made.

Our issue: the SKs have been relatively well-behaved for us, but this last weekend we noticed a marked pattern emerging of snooping around and sneakiness. This is the first time we have seen them since a conversation between the parents didnt go well in which my FI (politely) refused to give her additional money for something above and beyond her support payments. She was none too happy and made a couple of foreshadowing comments/thinly-veiled threats about how she plans to get the money out of him.

Regarding the SKs: in the course of a weekend they lied to us 4 times (minor issues) and suddenly developed a habit of locking themselves in the bathroom to take calls from their mother. This is of concern because of her 10-year history of stalking behaviors and snooping, and we are worried she is using the kids to get information.

In addition, I caught the oldest one trying to read my phone over my shoulder a few times, which is a brand new. I also noticed the youngest poking through bills on our counter.

They have since gone home and we have started to take measures to secure any private information we wouldnt want getting passed along. I'm just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this.

Thank you!


wickedsm123's picture

This is not uncommon. They

This is not uncommon. They are but innocent wee victims of their BMs manipulation. Don't call them out on it. Say nothing.
Lock all private stuff away.
If you find skid looking over your shoulder at your phone, just move.
A few weeks of coming back to BM with "nothing to report" and they will resign as spies, or, she will sack them.
Good luck. Annoying but manageable....don't let it become an issue...that is what BM wants. She figures she is in a win win situation. If they come home with info, great. If they annoy you, great.
water off a duck's back. Hide all your bank statements or anything she might have told them to sneak at.

These kids are so utterly average....

Journey1982's picture

LOL I like you idea.

LOL I like you idea.

wickedsm123's picture

I confess I do see the fun in

I confess I do see the fun in foxie's suggestion, but, you end up getting involved in the game and that means expending emotional energy....
I would leave fake letters of threatened bankruptcy rather than windfalls. Otherwise, BM will haul you into Court for a share of YOUR imaginary money because in asking her kids to spy, she clearly has no moral compass or boundaries.
Probably best to just leave it and let it fizzle out?

These kids are so utterly average....

Journey1982's picture

I find both ways very funny.

I find both ways very funny. Both are awesome ideas!

hereiam's picture

I would call them out on it.

I would call them out on it. Not be mean about it, as they are young and doing BM's bidding I'm sure, but I would have a talk with them about how rude snooping is. They are old enough to learn some manners.

It would be funny to give them some false info to give to BM and see what happens.

When my SD hit her teen years, my husband worried about her becoming more and more like BM (manipulative, sneaky). I told him I would not put up with it and the minute I felt uncomfortable in my own home, she would not be coming over anymore.

ybarra357's picture

^^ Hell yeah call them out on

^^ Hell yeah call them out on it. No way in HELL would I stay quiet of my SK's were ransacking my stuff!! Screw that.

HandOverMyMouth's picture

That is exactly my FIs

That is exactly my FIs attitude: that they are old enough to understand that coming over to dad's house is a privilege (not a right) and that we wouldnt let a friend who was snooping come over and the same will go for them. That may sound harsh, but he feels they *have* to know sneaking information isnt ok, no matter what their mother may tell them.

When they come over next, there will be a sit down talk; not directly addressing the snooping, but just about respecting the home in general. Hopefully they'll pick up what he's puttin' down.

notasm's picture

This is my favorite response.

This is my favorite response.

lillfiredog's picture

Ug! this (situation you are

Ug! this (situation you are dealing with) leaves a bad taste in my mouth! But, wow you folks are pretty smart! I love these ideas!!! Smiling

Lalena75's picture

This behavior just drives me

This behavior just drives me nuts so far the kids (SO's) are too young to really spy as it is BM just makes crap up. I deal with it more from adults. My neighbor the home wreaking whore is my exH's spy but she also hears what she wants. Since she eavesdrops through her window we have fake conversations in our kitchen and driveway. It's almost hilarious the spin I get back in 24-48 hours either from my exH or another person who's also fake as F. Yes I know it's juvenile to feed the troll but the fact she never has anything thats actually truthful to tell anyone kind makes me feel better I judged her rightly. I'm all for feed the fake info lol.

I am not an option

HandOverMyMouth's picture

Thank you, all, very much for

Thank you, all, very much for your input!

OMG_Why_Me's picture

I would really give them

I would really give them something to see, like I'm planning a really big surpirse party for the kids, an invitation with the date left blank, list of gifts for if they're really good, etc. They'll wait forever to see when it's happening. maybe they'll even be on their best behavior to get the most gifts!

LOL

"Be the bigger person by ignoring the drama, and walking away!"

Modernworld1011's picture

Playing games might be fun,

Playing games might be fun, but it can cost a host of trouble. Who needs more court fees? It is not fun to not be able to leave your things where you wish, but that is often what it comes down to with this type of situation. I scan my stuff, and keep originals at office or in safe deposit box depending on document. Scans are in a password protected folder. I learned from the mistakes of my sister who was not so careful. The kids found the will, and two of them did not speak to their father for years because he was leaving his estate to my sister.

I am sorry that you were abused at other sites. There are some truly vindictive crazy people out there. Sadly, step parents have been so vilified that most people seem suspicious of a pleasant step parent step child relationship. Not an easy space.

notasm's picture

My adult SS is obsessed with

My adult SS is obsessed with the money he thinks I have.

DH and I are comfortably retired but are not rich at all. But compared to him I guess we are. I've heard him telling people that his dad "married very well".

Poor thing has never seen anything but his trash mother so just normal middle class impresses him. Truth of the matter is that his mother probably has more money in the bank than I do but she loves to poor mouth it.

I am retired from a very big well known company. I was one of the first employees there but it did not make me rich. I told SS one day about how I had a pension, bonuses, 401K with matching and sold a house in an expensive area. Now none of these amounted to big money - but he now thinks that I have millions.

I have to admit I just did it to mess with him and BM. BM hates that DH has a good life without her.

Modernworld1011's picture

Be careful... It makes me

Be careful... It makes me nervous thinking that someone who does not like you perceives you as having something he wants... My sister's step kids actually threatened her to try to extort money. My father -in-law taught me never ever to talk about money because it makes people who you think like you want you to fail or worse.

In this day and age being middle class is something. It is nice to hear! Truly one reads the news, and the middle class seem to be going the way of the dinosaur.