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Need advice on how to manage my DDs

stepmonster_2011's picture

My DH and I just celebrated our 2nd anniversary. We've lived together for 3 years.

In that 3 years we had our hands more than full with his son (SS17). We finally have him in a steady state (no longer living here - he's at a residential treatment facility until he turns 22) and are now finding we have an issue with my DDs.

I have 2 DDs 17 and 14.5. Overall they are very good kids. Smart, well behaved girls but they are still teens. Occasionally some attitude and 1 incident that involved stupid behavior and the cops. (she was grounded appropriately for that stunt)

The issue is chores. They have no chores at their dad's house. He bribes them to do simple tasks around the house, but for the most part his place is a complete disaster. (His problem not mine) When here they are expected to do chores. They know this, and we've gotten to the point where I don't have to remind them or nag them (well maybe occasionally). BUT - they aren't at the same response level when my DH tells them to do something.

I've spoken to them about listening and showing respect by doing as you're told, WHEN you're told. But for some reason they still don't see my DH as someone they need to respond to as such.

I know I need to do something to fix this. I realize this is my issue to manage. I need ideas though.

On one hand it could be a big enough issue that they should be grounded (willful disrespect is definitely grounding worthy); but on the other hand - if it isn't intentional disrespect but more about normal teen laziness/feet dragging over doing chores - then it isn't grounding worthy. Or is it?

They do listen to me, and if I am there to witness the issue I make sure they get to it. But I'm not always in the same room to make sure he's being heard/listened to.

It is definitely bothering my DH, and while I don't expect us to always be happy shiny blendy bradys I would like it for us to all get along and I expect respect from the children in the house to be paid to the adults.



stepmonster_2011's picture

You're right. I just needed to see it thru an impartial 3rd party eyes I guess.

Thanks for the honesty.

So just as a follow-up - what would you consider a "fair" consequence? I'm thinking losing phone/ipod/laptop for a few days. Is that strong enough ya think? (with further escalation if needed)

oneoffour's picture

I think you need to tell your DDs that until they have their own front door or contribute equally to the expenses of the house (as you and DH do) then they ARE to pay attention to DH. They only literally take up space and use the resources your DH pays for. You could not afford this lifestyle on your own and they only get these facilities because he contributes to the overall houehold budget. If they continue to ignore your DH he may decide to ignore paying for their cable connection/cell phones/car payments/insurance/extra food they like. Because if THEY feel he is asking too much of them then maybe they are asking too much of him.

Another thing you could do is work out how much it costs to house and feed and provide for them each month and how much DH contributes to the overall expenses. So in return their doing the dishes/ their laundry/ vaccuming the stairs/ mowing the lawn isn't such a big ask is it?

stepmonster_2011's picture

I appreciate your POV. However, the financial situation in our home is opposite. My DH just recently finished college and started a FT job. before that? he was my house husband.

Before my DH and his kid came into our life, I had lots of disposable income and my kids have felt the limit on the resources. (funny how the grocery bill is very different for 1 woman and 2 teen girls vs 1 man and 1 teen boy!)

So while in many situations, what you are saying is true - in this case it isn't. I need to motivate them in a different way. As I told Dtzy - I'm thinking losing their electronics for a few days might be the key to getting them to see how they are being disrespectful. Do you think that will be successful?

I'm willing to consider other ideas though if you've got 'em! Smile

myspoonistoobig's picture

Your children are nearly to adulthood.

If you're at work and you forget to complete a tasking, is it different than just saying 'fuck it' and not doing it?

Not to your boss.

Not meeting your obligations is unacceptable. Grounding seems appropriate.