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Disengagement Reason #247

Cover1W's picture

Been chatting with SD13 recently about sitting in the front seat of the car. She refuses to do it even for super short trips to the store. Her last excuse was that it's illegal. So I checked the laws. Told her tonight that here is what I found...explained that sitting in the front at least sometimes is important to understand how vehicles move and help with situational awareness when she starts drivers ed. Her sister couldn't wait to sit in front...

She starts crying like she's in trouble and begging not to. WTF overreacting! Ok I say, then I will never bring this up again and your mom and dad can deal with it. DONE.

I'm actually worried about her attitude of growing up. She refuses to be called a teenager (only accepts the term kid), refuses to buy the next size up clothing insisting on the smaller size (esp pants and underwear) and all her next size up undies have disappeared, refuses to make decisions like what she wants to eat or do (leaving it to the adults), etc. God knows what will happen when she starts her period. 

Told DH my concern and I'm done with another kooky SD issue.


tog redux's picture

Kids like this are usually fearful of (among other things) the responsibility that comes with growing up - they fear they can't handle it.

DH (and you if you want), should gently insist that she do things - ie, "I know you are worried, but we aren't going to the store until you get into the front seat. You will be fine, I promise. I know you can handle it!"  etc.

Otherwise, you will have an SD19 who is like my SS19, fearful of everything but not willing to admit it. He keeps making excuses for why he hasn't got his license yet (too busy, lost my permit, etc). 

After he came back from alienation, DH was having him help around our house for money. He was reluctant to mow our lawn using the rider mower (despite being 6'2) and wanted to use the push mower ("for exercise" HA).  DH said, "Just get on it and ride it around that tree," so he did and then wanted to stop - DH said, "just keep going, you're doing fine!" and he mowed the whole lawn.  He seemed proud of himself.

At that point, he was 18, and BM has never done that sort of encouragement, because she'd prefer he stay a dependent "kid".

Cover1W's picture

I would like to do this, but I feel like I'm getting more resistance from SD13 lately.  Last night I asked her to please make her lunch so I could put away the dinner things...she actually said, "No."  Not joking.  So I said, "Ok, then. If you don't want lunch, so be it." She's definitely testing. 

And if SDs get upset, DH gets upset at ME for pushing at all - so I cannot push even gently.  Learned that the hard way.  DH and BM don't push the SDs for independent thought or activity much at all.  All decisions are either made for them (well, most of them) or if the SDs get upset that they need to to something, then that something no longer has to be done.  Poof!  Problem solved.  Then DH complains that they are not independent...yeah, suprising that DH isn't it? 


hereiam's picture

Great, you will have a co-dependent adult on your hands who sucks at life. I hope you can marry her off so she doesn't live with you forever.

Cover1W's picture

I predict she'll end up with the most wonderful BM in the world because Mommy is so nice! 

I think both SDs will end up at college, but hardly able to function.  Even DH said "They are going to be neurotic" recently.  But he doesn't do anything to help them get over any anxiety they have, push a kid to do something really basic and they cry and give up?  Super fun.

sunshinex's picture

Ah crap. This is my future. 

SD7 is like this. She gets "scared" of everything and refuses to do anything for herself. She's too "scared" to go pee at night so she pisses herself. She's too "scared" to play at the playground without being right beside you. She's too "scared" to walk to the car while you're still gathering your stuff to leave the house. Literally everything. 

I don't remember being like that as a child. I remember getting an inch of freedom and running with it. Like ya I can go outside to play alone? Heck ya see you in 4 hours cause I'm exploring the woods all day. I literally can't comprehend being too "scared" to do basic things that are necessary in life.

DH doesn't push too much because she goes into full melt-down mode and cries, screams, etc. so he always does whatever it is with her/for her to avoid that. 

Cover1W's picture

SDs are a little better than yours regarding play, but the basics of growing up, even ordering from a menu throws them into a panic.

And DH caves at the smallest hint of SD disastisfaction!  He was sick of the menu thing on our last trip (I made him do all of the food ordering!) but we'll see how that goes whenever we get a restaurant trip in next - he's supposed to offer no help. 

Step-girlfriend's picture

Funny that you posted this! I actually just had the EXACT same convo with SD9 (soon to be 10) last night, except in the opposite sense! I picked her up from her Aunt's, and as we were driving she was saying how her mom won't let her sit in the front seat, and how it's not fair that she doesn't get to be treated the same way SS and her other sister were treated at her age. This is true, both SS and their older sister all had phones, got to sit in the front seat, etc, when they were SD's age. My SO and Crazy both baby her slightly, IMO. She then brought up how my SO won't even let her ride her bike to her friend's house, even though SS would have been able to do that (true), and when my SO was her age he was MADE to ride his bike into town to go to school. I had her show me where her friend lives, and counted the blocks- 5-1/2 blocks from our house, and she would ride her bike past the fire station AND Police Station on the way. We live in a small, very safe town. Seriously, She can't ride 5 blocks to a friends house?? I told her I would talk to her dad about it because I want her to have some independence. She calls herself a "tween". I also just bought her a pair of shoes that were women's size 6 (she's been kids 5 prior), and she was ECSTATIC that she was wearing women's sizes. She jumped up and down and said, "I can't believe I'm finally in a size 6, and it's a women's size!".  She told me she's also growing out of her gym shoes, and then said "I'm growing, step-girlfriend!". She couldn't be more thrilled.  I actually had the "period" talk with her last night, just in case she gets it early. She seems to be developing fast, and it would suck for her to get it and have no clue what's happening. I believe a girl in her class has gotten her period.

She's only 10, and she is embracing all of the things that your SD is fighting. It's so odd, I too wanted to be able to sit in front and do all of the things I couldn't when you're too young.