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Good grief, BM

Hastings's picture


DH and I just talked about the problems with SS12 and his utter refusal to follow some very simple rules. DH admitted he occasionally hears from BM -- usually starting with the "I don't want to butt in, but..." (Of course followed by her butting in.)

Basically, she said SS tells her we never go anywhere. We don't go out a whole lot. We go on walks. We occasionally go out to eat. DH will sometimes take SS to the arcade or the movies for a special treat. But we don't do "fun stuff" every week. She's just appalled by that.

Even more appalling? We make him do things. We expect him to put his plates in the dishwasher, to put clean clothes away, straighten his room once a week. Bare minimum. And he generally doesn't even do that. But the fact that we make him do things is just awful. Like how when DH took electronics for a week after a particularly egregious lying incident, he was "a Nazi."

No wonder he ignores rules and chores. He's learned over there that being expected to lift a finger is unfair and unreasonable.

DH suspects SS has been telling stories. Quite possibly.

I just can't with this kid. Nothing phases him. He's annoyed when he gets in trouble. But there's no guilt. No remorse. Nothing.


Rumplestiltskin's picture

You don't take him to amusement parks every week? He has to clean up after himself?! The horror! 

Yesterdays's picture

So basically putting you down for good parenting. Smh!

I'm pretty sure our BM would be the same. Oh the poor kids had to do work and make their own lunches, god forbid. We have rules (gasp) and limit electronics. 

AlmostGone834's picture

The entitlement of some of these women....

Hear ye hear ye!
By order of Queen BM... his royal highness, Prince SS, must forevermore be entertained and pampered!

It is hereby ordered that the lowly father must don his joker outfit and amuse Prince SS with tricks and dancing. In addition to this, the lowly stepmaid will responsible for cleaning up his royal messes. Failure to carry out these responsibilities will result in a swift beheading at the town square. 

Hastings's picture

I know, right? Reminds me of the time a couple of years ago when BM complained "You never take him to fun places and that means I have to!"

Uhm, why, exactly? Last I checked, twice-weekly visits to the arcade/pizza place/bowling alley isn't a constitutional right. Nor is it a requirement for a good childhood.

Rags's picture

A standards based (behavioral standards and performance standards) foundation combined with an age appropriate escalating state of abject misery in response to choices not to comply witih standard... will modify his behavior.

Either by him learning that compliance returns a benefit... or by keeping him isolated from the rest of the household while he stands in a corner holding the walls together with his nose ofrsits in an isolated room writing countless sentences, all in perfect handwriting, grammar, and punctuation, highlighing his latest idiot choice.

Lather.... rinse.... repeat.

Abject misery is a great motivator and behavioral modification tool.

Use it.

Hastings's picture

I'd be all on board for that. Doubt DH would go that far. But, yeah, until and unless it starts hitting him where it hurts, he won't change.

CastleJJ's picture

LOL our BM tried the "you never do anything fun with him" card (which wasn't true). Then, when we tried doing more fun things (nothing too crazy), it would be "you're setting unrealistic expectations about life being fun all the time and I can't keep up with it. It must be nice to be the Disneyland fun parent while I'm the mean, responsible parent." 

thinkthrice's picture

HCGUBM playbook.  In fact it got so bad in our case that the Gir and the ferals told their 2nd COUSINS to rant and rave about not being entertained 24/7 and having to do chores to their GRANDMOTHER (DH's older half sister) at our house!

Now mind you, this was a woman (Chef's older half sister) who had a taste of guilty daddy when she was dating one herself back in the day with an HCGUBM calling the shots behind the scenes.  She quickly dumped guilty daddy BF, his ferals and his HCGUBM ex when both bios allowed their kids to eat nothing but cold cereal for meals.

I will never forget a co worker who was a "handbag carrier" stepdad who married an HCGUBM.  He said that NCP dad and "his wife" had VISITATION and that it was JUST THAT.  He  and his HCGUBM had to "set NCP dad and his wife straight" that his stepkids were to be strictly entertained and not to do any chores at NCP dad's house!  The PAS campaign was clearly oozing from this co-worker's pores as he did the bidding of the mothership like the good CP stepdad (flying monkey) that he was.  

Sidenote:  Chef was clearly going down this path in the early days as an EXTREMELY guilty daddy until I set him straight...of course the Gir and clan countered by ramping up the PAS campaign. 

justmakingthebest's picture

Real life isn't fun every minute. There are responsibilities and sometimes you just do things around the house. Play a board game, watch a movie at home. Kids- get on your bike and go make some friends! 

Rags's picture

All video gaming all of the time, rare outings. 

SS-31 does not remember shit about his visits with the shallow and polluted end of his gene pool.  Other than the lies, drama, and one or two pleasant memories.

He does remember many of our family dinners, vacations, hikes on weekends, us being at his school events, garage projects, etc... You know,  memories of life in a quality family that actually cares about each other.  Doing usual common stuff and the occassional vacation.

As an adult, he engages with us and has as close to zero to do with them as is possible and not be absolute zero.

Kids engage where they get quality parenting.  The key, IMHO, is demonstrating that structure and the benefits in comparrison to the soup sandwitch free range parenting feral kid environment in the shallow and polluted end of their gene pool.

Harry's picture

Spend there weekends going out on mini vacation ti fairs,,amusement parks,, flying to Disney.  With no time for homework.. cleaning the home. Can't go food shopping..buying tooth paste..  

Just because BM is not in reality,,, Nithing you can do. Yes it's close disengagement.. as not taking BM calls nit listen to her crayness 

strugglingSM's picture

Ah yes, our home was also "boring" and "lame" according to BM and Skids. I was also "mean" for expecting them to throw away their own trash. MIL also regularly told DH that he had to "plan fun things" when SSs were around, as if it was his job to entertain them. 

Hastings's picture

Yes, "it is your job to entertain me/him."

Got news for you: we both have jobs -- both of which are stressful and both of which pay us. Instead of, you know, ignoring DH's texts and rules and lying constantly.

Every now and then when FH picks SS up from school (he usually rides the bus) or takes him to run errands or whatever, SS will ask "what are we doing now?" (Code for: are we going someplace fun?) Answer is usually "going home." Cue stomping around to express displeasure once he arrives home.

When DH took him for his flu and Covid shots last year, SS asked "where are we going for my reward?" DH was shocked (but kind of not) and said "Your reward is you won't get flu or Covid this year. You're nearly 12. You can get a couple of shots without ice cream." That didn't go over well.

He tried the stomping and slamming doors thing once with me when DH wasn't home. I confronted him in a pretty stern manner and he looked totally shocked and deer-in-the-headlights. Never happened again.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

cps on her every 6 months, BM said she doesn't "make" SD do anything but shower and homework because I guess SD has been going around saying how BM "makes" her do things. She also said she is scared to make SD do anything like eat foods she doesn't like etc. because of it... So basically BM doesn't parent SD out of fear and is being manipulated by her. I would love for BM to say how we "make" SD do things. You're right, we "make" SD do things she should so she learns responsibility and can be a successful adult one day, but nothing we "make" her do is any sort of abuse, neglect, or anything harmful for her.

Hastings's picture

According to DH, BM always lived in fear of upsetting SS because she couldn't handle it.

He was also lashing out at her physically (throwing something) as recently as two years ago. No clue if that plays a part.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

if she can't handle being a parent and parenting their child because they are in fear of their child and what they will say (If BM is the custodial parent, I don't remember the custody schedule for you all).

Has he ever reacted physically with you or your DH?

Hastings's picture

Never even close with me. He used to some with DH -- kicking at him, hitting his leg -- but it's been years. I didn't really get the impression she was scared of him. More like "oh, I can't bear to see my precious snookems upset." Which, yeah. If your kid's never upset with you, you're doing it wrong.

Custody is 50-50 -- week on/off.

Rags's picture

Infants as the grow up learn to self soothe when left to cry themselves to sleep, etc..

Kids who are continuously entertained, do to amuze themselves.

I blame idiot parents... who outsource raising their children to tablets, phones, computer games, etc..

We took it all away from SS when he was in Middle School.  

As he was required to use his own imagination and entertain himself... he started writing.  He has written a novel that makes GOT look short.  Not published, but.... he has learned how to use his own imagination rather than buying or renting someone elses.