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Skids influence on young bio kids question

pixielady's picture

Hello, everyone. As some of you know, I have an almost 2-year-old toddler with DH and one on the way (currently in 3rd trimester). Skid will be here next month for his winter holiday visitation and as my toddler gets older I worry about skid's influence on him and on the new baby when they are old enough to understand and interact more. Last summer, I caught SS9 being aggressive with DS who was only 8 months at the time (when I was momentarily in the other room and he thought I wouldn't hear him/catch him). He also make sure to leave the play room when I come in (when DH is in there with him and DS). I trust my DH, but he's not the most attentive at times, and I know it just takes a second to pinch or push a baby or toddler when an adult's back is turned.

How do those of you who have younger bio children with your DH deal with influence and negative interactions with skids? Do you try to keep them apart? Supervise them at all times? What about if BM is filling your skid's head with negativity and resentment, making skid act out against your bios? What about when they get older? Have the skids tried to turn your bios against you? I know I sound paranoid, but this is my biggest fear - that a child who is being raised differently 80% of the time by someone who dislikes and resents me and my child will try to bring any negative crap around my kids. 

FWIW, DH is not a Disney dad and he spends A LOT of one-on-one time with SS when he's here. But with the new baby coming soon, it will be harder to keep an eye on things since DH will likely be taking DS and SS out together so I can have time with the baby.

Also, how do your bios feel about skids if you yourself don't have much of a relationship with them or if they try to talk badly about you to your bios? I know they are half-siblings, but how important are half-sibling relationships, especially with a big age gap and a long distance situation?

Sorry for all the questions - it's just with the new baby being here soon that this stuff has taken up space in my head. 


twoviewpoints's picture

When it comes to possible pinching/pushing the little ones, I think you need to express your fear to your DH. That he will have to be extra observant this visit. Not only the first half sibling (totting around much more than last visit et)but also because here comes another one (new baby) .... as little time as SS spends in your home he may be jealous, act out over yet another new sibling and/or simply play too rough.

Half sibling or not, it's really not much difference in this long distance occasional visiting SS than if he were a friends child .... you obviously have to supervise and be cautious. Accidents happen, and yes, sometimes some actions are deliberate. 

He has to be aware and stay on top of all the interactions. In fact he may have to be more alert to surroundings/happening with a new baby coming anyway. Not just due to SS, but your own toddler may have some adjustment periods with a new baby arriving (toddler won't be the family only child in home anymore and/or the sole focus of kid attention). There could be an incident of jealousy or simply learning to play very carefully between your own two. 

As to influence, the best part of that is you and Dad have at least 80% of daily year round influence of your toddler and will too with the baby. While, yes, toddler may see/hear some negative undesirable from the oldest child on SS's visits, you simply have to have no tolerance of it affecting your own child. Example, Dad must discipline his oldest son when unacceptable behavior occurs and he must discipline the toddler if toddler tries to repeat the behavior. Actually just like if all the kids lived in your home full time. You wouldn't let the oldest say/do things against the house rules, so why let him try it on his occasional visits? Consistency. 

pixielady's picture

"As to influence, the best part of that is you and Dad have at least 80% of daily year round influence of your toddler and will too with the baby. While, yes, toddler may see/hear some negative undesirable from the oldest child on SS's visits, you simply have to have no tolerance of it affecting your own child."

Thank you for this reminder. It makes me feel a lot better.

I will have a chat with DH about it before the visit and just ask him to be a little more attentive. I know that if he witnesses bad behavior in SS, he will reprimand/punish him. When DH has disciplined SS before, you could tell that he gets NO discipline at home with BM, so it comes as a shock to him. He's the "man of the house" at BM's, which is a very unhealthy dynamic.

Survivingstephell's picture

I brought a baby into our blended situation.  The SSs didn't care much andBD9 doesn't know them.  BD9 only knows one of her half sisters on DH side.  After OSD and YSS attacked DH, I cut off all contact with them and BD.  She was still little then so it was easy.  

I will say that any relationship your little ones have with their older siblings is on DH.  He will need to set the tone for SS and his expectations.  He will need set SS straight if BM fills him with programming to cause havoc with the little ones.   Teach and expect him to be the big brother.  Come down hard on any abusive behaviors.  Don't let any special snowflake, whoa is me  who is being replaced BS take root.  Its not true for DH and he should make it clear that his heart is big enough for all his kids.  

Your job is make sure DH stays clear on what his role is in making family happen in your home.  Don't let BM slip in.  IMO

pixielady's picture

Thank you. What if I don't want to necessarily "blend" our family or have SS be a big brother to my two? Is it reasonable to just encourage a cordial, polite relationship distant relative type of relationship that doesn't mimic a "full siblings who have grown up together" relationship? I've spoken to DH about this before and he just thinks that we should let things unfold organically, not to "force" and not to discourage a sibling relationship one way or another. It's not as if we live in the same town or have him 50/50.

Survivingstephell's picture

Then I see DH's biggest challenge in defining what is family, how we treat each other and not letting jealousy take root.  Facts are facts and distance will play a part in how much they know each other.  What he needs to keep in mind is that some day they will be adults and what would you hope for them to have then?   Plant those seeds now.  IMO   I do think you might be over thinking it and letting your hormones run with it.  BTDT.  I agree  you should just see what happens and be prepared for the worst but keep your focus on the family core values that you run your home on.  

No telling what SS will end up like, if he ends up rotten like so many on this board then you will have to educate your bios accordingly, ( I have to do this with my bio)  Don't plan to far ahead and make your worst nightmare a reality.  Start from love, not panic and fear.  

pixielady's picture

Thanks again. I tend to go to dark places in my mind sometimes "starting from panic and fear" rather than love. I would like them to respect and like each other when they are adults, given that they all become productive, respectful, positive people. I just don't want DS's to look up to SS if he becomes a shit, but that's on me to instill those core values in DS's during childhood.

Step-girlfriend's picture

It’s interesting, this made me think of my childhood, from a different perspective: I had a SM, and her and my dad had my half-brother together when I was about 8. My dad had full-custody of me, and I remember wanting to be around the baby (no resentment until my SM created it between us), but my SM would NOT let me have anything to do with him. As he got older, she would flat out tell him to stay away from me, right in front of me. She also hated me and was verbally abusive to me. My brother was also treated 100% differently than me. He had no chores (I was timed on my chores and not completing them in the time limit meant I was grounded to my room for the night), he had his very own candy drawer, went on day trips that I didn’t get to go on, got any toys his heart desired...the list goes on. Anyway, him and I had NO relationship whatsoever until he turned 19, when we were around each other during Christmas and realized we actually had a lot in common. All of that time wasted by my SM alienating him from me. But, my SM truly is an evil person. 

Obviously your situation isn’t exactly the same, and you have seen some behavior that’s concerning. I guess I’m just saying, I’ve been on the other side of this equation, in your SS’s shoes, and personally I just wanted to feel loved and included. Just be cautious to gauge the situation as accurately as possible. I think you should encourage a relationship, but make sure his interactions with DS and the baby are supervised until you feel comfortable that you can trust him. If he shows aggressive behavior that is truly concerning, that is another story entirely. 

My brother and I are very close now, and it makes me sad that we missed out on so much time not having that relationship growing up.

pixielady's picture

Thank you for your perspective - that's very helpful. Just the aggressive behavior that I have witnessed concerns me, so I need to supervise them, your right. It's sad that your SM was that way when you were living with them full time! It's just hard when SS is elsewhere 80% of the time and brings that influence into our home and expects to be on a pedestal the way he is at his mothers. Do you and your brother live in the same town now?

And where was your father when your SM was treating you like this? 

Step-girlfriend's picture

It’s so unfortunate that you have to deal with a BM who gets in his head. These BM’s can do sooo much damage, and ruin so many relationships! I can’t imagine acting like that. Crazy BM here tries her hardest, but skids are smart cookies and don’t buy into it. I really hope your SS doesn’t continue the aggressive behavior.

My brother and I live about 15 mins from each other, he’s in the next town over. I still think his mom is evil, but at least she doesn’t influence our relationship anymore! And dad was there for all of it. He might not have heard some of the more abusive things she would say, now that I think about it...a lot was said when he wasn’t around. But he knew about most of it and was just too obsessed with her to stop it. 



Iamwoman's picture

I can't answer the question about babies because my bio is older than my skids, but I can answer this one:

"Also, how do your bios feel about skids if you yourself don't have much of a relationship with them or if they try to talk badly about you to your bios? I know they are half-siblings, but how important are half-sibling relationships, especially with a big age gap and a long distance situation?"

My bio thinks skids are annoying, because... well, they ARE. OSS has destroyed several of DD's possessions long ago, and it has been forgiven, but never forgotten, so DD and OSS have zero relationship. It is my opinion that OSS is a budding psychopath, so I'm not really concerned that DD wants nothing to do with him, and I actually prefer it this way.

YSS is more normal, but just annoying, as he is THE MOST attention seeking child I have ever seen in my life. He cares about nothing else except getting people's attention, and engaging people prior to manipulating them into giving him non-stop attention. Once he gets a little bit of attention, he spirals out of control and turns into a mega attention whore who eventually has to be sent to his room for driving everyone, even the dog, nuts. However, DD doesn't mind him as much, because other than just being an annoying little stepbrother, he isn't psycho like OSS. She has given him little gifts here and there.

Honestly, even some biological siblings wind up not bonding, and sometimes never speaking to each other as adults. It really has to do with personalities, and you simply can't force two people to have a relationship if they don't want to. I hope this helps you relax a bit in this area, as your kids relationships with eachother are not your repsonsibility.

As far as your babies' safety, keep them away from SS. If he can be aggresive with a helpless 8 month old baby, he is one sick puppy.

pixielady's picture

Thanks for your insight. It freaked me out when I heard what he was doing - DS was playing and bouncing in one of those exersaucers and SS was hitting one of the toys on it hard enough to let it hit DS and kept yelling "Your a bad boy!!" over and over at him. I ran back into the room and gave SS a stern, scary talking-to. I will be very careful to observe his behavior this next trip and keep them separate for now.

New_to_this's picture

Congrats! I'm also in my third trimester! I have a 3 year old and I have two skids, SS14 and SD18. SD18 is great with DS3. She babysits him for hours at a time, is very loving, and is less than 2 hours away at college. If I need an emergency babysitter when I go into labor (before my parents can drive here) she will be my go to and I feel comfortable with it.

SS14 is a completely different story. We've had both of the skids either full-time or half-time. We currently have SS14 half of the time, but he has little to no relationship with DS3. When I first moved in together when DH, SS was about 8 or 9, he started pushing and kicking my dog because my dog just wanted to be around him and greet him enthusiastically (my dog is 15 pounds). He has also done the same thing to his grandma's puppy when visiting her. He regularly expressed jealousy before DS3 was born, but this time around, he just says that he has no feelings about the baby. He has never been left alone with DS under my watch. DH is more lax about it and I call him on it if I see that he's allowed them to be alone together. There are rare occasions though when we are all out together that he shows caring for his little brother, like leading him away from a street, so I don't think he's a completely terrible person, but he is one with lots of issues.

What annoys me is that DH tries to push SS to have a relationship with DS. My DH is also oblivious of what goes on around him and in denial about his teenage son, so I have fears what SS will do. Honestly, it's one of the reasons why I won't divorce DH until my kids can verbalize what is happening to them.

DS, on the other hand, loves both his siblings. He's only 3 so he has no idea and I don't think he or the new baby will ever have any of the ill feelings that I have towards SS. SS will be out of the house in 4 years. DS's entire understanding of sibling relationships of that type are what he sees with his own. It's normal to him that SD plays and babysits him and SS ignores him.

In terms of the importance of half-sibling relationships (and full siblings too), I think it depends on distance, parents, and personality. DH has both full and half siblings. I think his relationship with all of his siblings birthed by his mom are really pretty equal in terms of how much he contacts them. He left home young and never moved back to the area, so although he contacts them a lot through social media, he only sees them once or twice a year because his mom hosts us during those times and she connects everyone by hosting holiday meals and such. On the hand, his other siblings (even the half ones) are most likely much closer emotionally due to the fact that they all still live in the same small city. DH has the most in common with one of his half-siblings and I also see this and I like this half-sibling the most too. And, he and this half-sibling are about the same ages apart as SD18 and DS3. DH's younger full-sibling brother had jealousy issues, ADHD, and behavioral issues as a child (similar to SS) and I think if it wasn't for DH's mom keeping them all together and him living close by, he and his half-siblings might not be so close.

Add to that, DH has a half-sibling that he has no contact with. It is the daughter of his father (his father died when he was young). DH's mom's relationship with her stepdaughter was fraught and after DH's father died, she stopped contact with her stepdaughter, so none of her kids had contact with her during their childhood after their father's passing. She's never been invited to DH's mom's events. DH's mom will even on occasion, think back to how horrible her stepdaughter was, and will be filled with emotion. She has even told me that being a stepmother was the worst. I think she understands my pain with SS and she makes it a point to take the skids a week or two every summer and I sometimes think she does it for my benefit too.

pixielady's picture

Thanks for the congrats! It's exciting. I never thought that I would be married with 2 young kids at this "geriatric" age, haha. 

It sounds like your SS has major issues if he can hurt animals. Also SS on rare occasion, will "pretend" to be caring toward DS, but only ever in front of DH. I don't trust him at all. 

I agree with you that distance, personality, etc. has a lot to do with closeness of sibling relationships. How old were your DS and his half-sister when their father died?

New_to_this's picture

I feel the same! I'm also a 40+ geriatric mother. Smile

You're lucky that you don't have to spend too much time with SS. And, the distance in both age and proximity will probably mean that your kids will have less of a relationship with SS, which is good since you don't trust him. I hate how DH makes me feel like a horrible person for not liking SS. The kid is trouble and I have to trust my gut.

I think DH was about 8 and the half-sister was either 18 or older, but his mom let his half-sister live with them even after their father's death. At some point though, she had enough and completely cut off the relationship. In fact, I think she cut off relationships with all of DH's father's side of the family, since DH hasn't seen any of them since shortly after his father's death. DH seems to not have any hard feelings towards his mom about it. His mom likes to tell stories and since the half-sister isn't around to defend her name, I think DH just thinks that the half-sister was a mess and so he is fine without her in his life. DH is facebook friends with her though.

Honestly, if something happened to DH, I would not invite SS into my home at all. But, SD could come as often as she wanted. I would also try and visit DH's extended family, but I'd keep myself and my kids away from SS during those visits.

Mommy22's picture

For us, we have a rule in place that SD, age 8, is not allowed behind closed doors (bedrooms) with our children, ages 2 and 11 months, unless being supervised by myself or SO.  We had to put this in place due to SD consistently lying, accusing the 2 year old of hurting her. I also walked in to her aggressively jerking a toy away from the 2 year old. After talking with her, SD admitted to bullying and lying. As far as I’m concerned, this rule will stay in place until there are some major behavioral changes in her and I am comfortable with her being unsupervised (which will likely be never). 

I, too, am worried that her behaviors will have an affect on our children. Honestly, I try to keep them separate as much as possible. I keep trying to teach our children right and wrong, manners, and the proper way to behave. They have consequences  and rules. 

It is very hard living in a blended family where one child is raised completely different. 

pixielady's picture

"It is very hard living in a blended family where one child is raised completely different."

 I agree! DH and I try and are trying to have a non-child-centric household, whereas SS only lives with his mom and runs the house there. What he wants goes. So when he's here, it's quite a shock to him that the adults are in charge and that there are other children in the house that get attention.

agitated's picture

When my future SD met my bio twins for the first time I could tell she was giong to have a problem sharing the "spotlight". She was 5 at the time and my boys were 3. We all moved in together when SD was 7 and the boys were stb5. I will NEVER forget the time we were visiting my family and she did not know I was walking directly behind her while she was directly behind my boys. She had an open, full, bottle of water in her hand and for some reason (nothing was even said) she lifted that bottle and tried to smash my son in the head with it. I grabbed it inches from his head, spilling water all over her and him. Of course daddy didn't believe his precious princess would do such a thing and I misinterepred what I thought I saw.

Less than a year later SD thought nobody was watching (DH and I - not married yet were able to see her) and she pushed my other son down when they were walking to their bedroom (we were visiting family out of state). She had just turned 8 and the boys were about to turn 6. I got up and pushed her down on the pillows behind her. (I realize NOW this was probably not the best answer, but I was upset and she was old enough to know better). However, she never laid another finger on them or tried for that matter.

Maybe the best answer is do to them what they do to others. If your SS pushes, pinches, punches your child, do the same in return (just not as hard). This works on toddlers when they are in their biting stage; maybe it'll work on older children too.

pixielady's picture

Thank you, Agitated! I can’t imagine putting my hands on skid but who knows what type of reaction I would have if I caught him in the act of hurting my kids! I’d probably grab his arm and scare the crap out of him.