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Where do you draw that line?

Anon2009's picture

I think that so many of our stepfamily problems are because there are no clear lines drawn.

Where do you draw the line between kids being "just kids" and "they should know better at this point"? My SDs are 13 and 15. They're well-behaved, respectful people. It took years to make them that way. I know that a lot og you have skids that are teens and adults who are heavily PASed by BM. Despite the PAS, don't you think that somewhere deep down, they know their behavior is wrong?

For those of you who deal with BPD BMs, do you think she knows better than to act the way she does, or do you think it's just her BPD that makes her do this? I think you can have BPD and know better than to be a bad person (depending on if your BPD is severe or not).

I have a hard time figuring out where to draw my lines. My skids BM doesn't have BPD (as far as we know) but she was spoiled a little growing up, and has never had to work. At her age (she's in her 40s) should I blame it mostly on her or blame half of it on her, and the other half on her upbringing?

I'm a compassionate person, and I try to be understanding of people's situations (even BM's). I just don't know where to draw my lines!


imagr8tma's picture

I have to agree with you. I believe at some point adults and children both have to be held accountable for the wrongs they do. The real world hold wrongs accountable.

I think that children of divorce sometimes get sympathy because they are dealing with alot between two household. There is an adjustment period and there should be some - i repeat- some lee-way until they adjust to the changes.

BUT i also feel that we as parents have to do our part to help their adjustment along - in a positive manner. We (meaning) all parents involved in the situation have to put our feelings aside (feelings of hate, hurt, dis-like etc) and think about what the kids are feeling or how it would make them feel.

In some situations if the parent (i.e. BM) is allowed to do certain things with no backlash then it will create issues - just like the child. Adults are to be held responsible for their actions. I can not say I don't pay bills now as a 33 years old because my parents never made me pay bills when i was 19 living at home with them (just an example).

I think alot of it has to deal with one of the parents being hurt, and using what ever means necessary to retaliate- and it is just sad it ends up being the kid. Some parents are guilty the break up happened - but they still have to set rules and boundaries for their kids.

If the kids do not learn it at home - somewhat - then when real life sets in - the lessons can be very detrimental and harsh when taught outside of the home.

********She doesn't have to love me or even like me - it doesn't change a dang thing..... So get over it and move on BM!************

Kb3Hooah's picture

I was a horrible teenager. Ugh, it's embarrassing to even talk about, but I want to share with you why I chalk most behavior up to being "kids". I want to say that it went down hill at the age of about 13/14. I was exposed to so much peer pressure, and I'm typically a ppl pleaser by nature anyhow. I started smoking, having sex, smoked pot, drank, cussed, lied, snuck out, disrespected my parents and didn't really care about school. At the age of 16 I did coke, ended up in juvie because I got caught stealing which with the amount I stole turned out to be a felony. Got pregnant at the age of 17, dropped out of school, and had my son at the age of 18. None of this happened because of a divorce, my parents were still married, and I grew up in a pretty normal family, I also faced many consequences for my behavior and was very fearful of my Dad.

I don't ever really remember feeling bad about doing the things I did. I knew right from wrong, but still did it anyways. There was one time I was listening thru my bedroom door to my parents discussing me b/c I had just gotten in trouble for something. My dad suggested they lock me up in a cage, and my Mom was crying and asked my Dad if he was going to leave her because of me. I remember feeling bad in that moment, but it wasn't enough to change me.

I changed because when I had my son I stood to really lose something that meant the world to me. And even then, it doesn't happen for everybody that way, but I think for most, these children have to really stand to lose something important to them...for good. And you have to remember, what you think might be important for them to lose, may not be the same thing they feel is important, so taking the t.v or phone away, or keys away to the car, might make them mad, but will it really make them think about their actions and what could happen if they continued down that path?

None of this happened because my Mom was a sorry POS BM, she was the BEST Mom she knew how to be, she loved me, and disciplined me. None of this happened b/c my Dad was a guilty parent, he was far from that. None of this happened b/c I am a product of divorce, my parents were happily married from what I could tell. So when the skids act like entitled, ungrateful, hellians, my first thought isn't, it's all BM's fault, or it's all BF's first thought is they are kids, and there is no telling what they might throw our way, regardless of what the circumstances are.

I will tell you this Mother died of cancer a couple of years back....I regret I acted the way I did as a teenager, and am very very sad that I can't get that time to do over again.

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

BMJen's picture

You're going to get me in trouble with my DH if he reads this blog.

My true honest answer is that my son 14 and my SD 15 are held to higher standards than SD 21. She spills stuff on the carpet, she expects all kinds of ridiculous things, she picks her nose then puts her finger on everyone's pizza, she scratches her ass then puts her hand in the chip bag, she wipes her ketchup filled hands on the carpet, her jeans, the couch, whatever she feels like, she calls any time she wants......she's the only person that doesn't have to adhear to the "no calling past ten rule".

For some reason, DH expects NOTHING from the older one, but much more from his younger daughter and my younger son. They are expected to wash their hands when they come out of the bathroom, if they do something stupid he'll call them right on it, if they disrespect me he'll let them know that aint gonna be happening, etc. But her, she does what ever the hell she wants.

I asked him the other night if he is afraid to enfore rules with her, afraid if he does she will never come back to see him. He said no.........but I wonder.

I think it's very odd that the oldest is the one that he expects the least from. And when anything is said about her ridiculous behavior he'll say "Well, she's just a kid". Huh......Whaaaaat.....Huh? A kid? She's 21, in college, living with her boyfriend, on birth control, with a full time job. Not a kid..........a adult that should be held responsible for her ridiculous behavior.