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Skids touching/using your stuff

shellpell's picture

Ugh, I hate it when SS11 is here and touches or uses things that specifically belong to me. I got a mini-trampoline not too long before his spring break visit and one of the first things he does is start jumping on it. I have an old piano in storage that my mother had given me that I'll be bringing into the family room next year because my 3.5yr old will be taking lessons then. DH just told me today that BM just had SS start piano lessons. Last thing I need is for him to be using my mother's old piano while he's here. Or like he'll use some vintage whiskey glasses for water instead of a "normal" cup. Anyway, this is more of a vent, but also, do I need to let him use my stuff, even if I'm planning on letting my own kids use these particular items at some point (not including the glasses)? Things that are my own items? I don't think I do, but is it my job to be the bad guy and tell him no or should DH be proactive and say things like "The mini-trampoline is Shell's, so don't use it."

Those of you who have both bios and skids, is there a difference in how you feel about your bios using something of yours vs skids? Whereas you don't mind if your bio uses something, but you do if skid does?


Gimlet's picture

"Or like he'll use some vintage whiskey glasses for water instead of a "normal" cup. "

This brought back memories of my YSS using my good wine glasses for milk.  *Eye twitch*  The difference is I would have told my bio to use a damn milk glass and I couldn't upset YSS like that.  I eventually hid them on the shelf above the oven.   

Gimlet's picture

It was a pick your battles thing for me and I knew he wouldn't make the effort to get them.  I have an amazing set of vintage highball glasses that I found thrifting and those are also on the high shelf, although YSS doesn't bother with the fancy glasses anymore. 

It's hard when you have different standards of permission and care than someone else.  DD and I didn't have a lot, so we took excellent care of what we had and always, always asked permission before using something that belonged to each other/someone else.  Skids just took what was there because to them everything was a "household" item.   YSS will still do that with DH's stuff but I have been able to set better boundaries as he got older. 

shellpell's picture

It's hard when you have different standards of permission and care than someone else.

Yes! I always grew up asking permission. That's what my parents taught us. My sisters and I asked each other before borrowing clothes, shoes, etc. I have a hard time with people just taking/using without asking. And sometimes the answer is no. 

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

I think if he’s using the items correctly I would try to be understanding. A mini trampoline is a toy to a kid. If you can put it out of sight that’s one thing but if it’s sitting there in the corner it’s very tempting and what harm will he cause it? If he’s misusing it then yes tell him he needs to stop.

Yes I think he should be allowed to use the piano in a respectful manor. You’re going to allow a 3.5 year toddler play it so a preteen whose mother supposedly started piano lessons is less of a danger. Of course if he’s banging around like a demon then it’s perfectly acceptable to tell him to leave it be.

The glasses should be off limits to all kids. They aren’t toys and they don’t need to use them. It would be different if there were no other options.

I understand how you’re feeling but flip things around and picture your child in his place. Would you find his behavior unacceptable or understandable?

shellpell's picture

The issue is that these items are specifically mine, not DH's, not everyone's. I think I should be able to say who can and can't use them. The trampoline is in the garage, and while no, he's not misusing it, I would rather he not use it. It's mine for working out. 

The gist is that I'm basically disengaged from him, so I don't "treat him like my own." He's here to see DH and it's up to DH to entertain him or whatever. The piano has sentimental value - my mother played it, I played it (not very well), and I would like my own child to play it when he has lessons. We are like two families under one roof when he is here. 

ESMOD's picture

The trampoline is a potential ER visit in the making... do the responsible thing and put it away (hang it up.. lean it against the wall...and no children are allowed to use it. 

The glasses... put fancy things out of kid's reach.. how is he to know what is usable and what is not.. easier to just have only regular service glasswear in the cupboard for him to use. 

The piano?  you are being petty.  As long as he uses it in a respectful manner.. your mother would actually probably be happier about MORE people enjoying the instrument vs knowing you are being miserly with it.  Of course, if he abuses it in any way?... you have the right to tell him to not touch it. 

Yes.. they are your things.. but it's like if you and your DH came with half the furniture each for the living room.. you not gonna let the kid use the couch because you brought it in.. it was your mom's couch?  no..that would be wrong.  If you have items you want to preserve.. and if the piano is one.. then your toddler shouldn't be near it either.

sunshinex's picture

I totally get the irritation. I feel irritated when SD touches my things/household things and I don't really know why but I know it's nor fair. I think it's a weird territorial thing. Like, your home is your safe place and it really is unnatural to share it with someone unrelated to you that you don't love. 

But the thing is, it's absolutely not fair to let one kid use/touch things and not the other. Unless there is an age difference reason behind it. For example: I bought a small table and chairs set from ikea for my 18-month-old. SD is 7 and not allowed to use it because she exceeds the weight limit. 

I also bought a little wooden toy kitchen from ikea and DIY'd to be beautiful for my son's first birthday. Although it irritated me to no end seeing SD using it, I couldn't exactly tell her not to. It wouldn't be fair. Unless she does something that deliberately harms it, I have to deal with the irritation because I know it's only me being territorial and weird. 

Put yourself in the child's shoes. How would you feel growing up, going into what's supposed to be your household, and not being able to touch/use things that the other children in the household are allowed to touch/use. It would hurt pretty bad, wouldn't it? Anytime I struggle with things like this, I picture 7 year old me and how I would feel. 

shellpell's picture

In your case, skid is there most of the time and she sees you as a mother figure. SS is long distance and here on holidays and other long weekends throughout the year. We have no relationship to speak of. We don't communicate via phone or facetime in between visits. He's had a history of taking things (see previous blog on privacy). Since these things are specifically mine (and I get the feeling terriorial and weird) I don't like him to use them. 

simifan's picture

i don't see where there is anything wrong with teaching them to respect others belongings no matter how young. If it's not yours ask. Learn to accept no for an answer. 

shellpell's picture

I agree. He's 11. It's just that he has the run of BM's house and acts entitled to everything. I get to be the bad guy and tell him no here.

shamds's picture

Personal belongings and actually use my laptop. He went to check it out and i never knew till he broke his and told his dad he was using my touchscreen laptop, he wouldn’t know this unless he had opened and used it. No often i hook my laptop to the tv for my kids to watch their shows and cartoons, ss doesn’t get to use it. That is my personal item.

he can ask to use or borrow it but he isn’t entitled to it. Since he has openly never accepted me as stepmum or his half siblings as siblings and i have disengaged and he hasn’t talked to me in over 2 yrs, my items are off limits!!

shellpell's picture

It's the same situation, though SS is only 11. He has not accepted me nor my children. He has been caught being mean and aggressive with my older son. I don't understand why I'm supposed to let him use my things as if he were my child.

shamds's picture

Since skids don’t see us as family but strangers, yup ss20 told his dad i was a stranger so he felt uncomfortable acknowledging me at home and saying hello and this is after 4 yrs of marriage. So if i’m a stranger so are my kids, his half siblings.

yeah you don’t get to borrow my items and daddy knows he never asks on ss behalf to borrow my things. Plus ss items always seem to break down after a few months... 

the laptop example i gave, we were 1 week from an overseas trip and if i said no hubby would sulk and it would ruin our trip. 

So i allowed ss to borrow my old laptop, the heaviest mother effin so he would have to lump it around. Hubby actually tells ss he can pick of the 2 the touchscreen or the bigger laptop. I told hubby off right there no my touchscreen is off limits. Since my kids are my priority and we’ll be on holiday visiting my dad and i need kids distracted and entertained a bit that laptop is for their cartoons so ss is not the priority getting it. He can borrow my older laptop or he can use library computers or go to his university computer lab... he doesn’t get to demand and tell you he is taking my stuff

i actually told hubby the little shit has ignored me sonce i married you and can’t even have the decency to ask me if he can borrow?? Oh right thats because we have no relationship whatsoever. I reminded hubby in future what he should have said to ss was “thats stepmums stuff, you shouldn’t be going through her things when we aren’t home and you got some nerve to demand from me you’re taking it and ask i deliver it to you at your university an hours drive away when you know full well that is stepmums things!!”

skids do not respect peoples belongings and boundaries. So i shut them out, refuse to be around them and disengage so my boundaries and my kids are protected

oh and by the way ss20 called us at 12.30am (yup just after midnight) with hubby panicking thinking its a froggin emergency. He had known for days his laptop was broken. Our kids were asleep and we get this callz all i thougt was you rude piece of shit!! Hubby was so caught off guard by the call he just wanted to end it quickly 

ITB2012's picture

I draw the line at my personal stuff. Then there are general household things that have parameters. (For the record my skids are better at not touching my stuff than DH.)


Glassware—no one touches unless it’s a special occasion and even then it’s just adults. 

Trampoline—no one touches but you since that is your exercise equipment and no one else does those exercises. (Make sure your BS doesn’t play on it either.)

Piano—sorry but that is a family item even though it has sentimental value to you AND your SS is taking piano lessons. If he’s not getting lessons then I’d say you could tell him hands-off. You could make it a rule that an adult has to be in the area/room when he practices. 

shellpell's picture

Yes, the piano is a family item - my family item. SS and I do not have a good relationship - we do not see each other as family, so I feel I have a right to say hands off. And it's irritating about the piano lessons, because I had mentioned it to DH that I wanted to enroll DS in piano lessons next year when he's a little older. Next thing I knew, SS is all of a sudden enrolled in lessons.

When it comes to DH's things, he needs to be fair (age appropriately, of course, since they are all his kids), but when it's my things, I should be able to license to let my own kids use my own things and not SS.


Winterglow's picture

I wouldn't worry too much about the piano - piano lessons can be stultifyingly boring unless you are REALLY into learning. The chances ae high that he wasn't the one who had the idea of enrolling for lessons and that, when he's at your place, the last thing he'll want to do is continue suffering the torture on your piano! lol

ITB2012's picture

When DH and I married and I moved into his house, my son and I should not use anything in the house because it was the house they lived in with their mom and has sentimental value. And they should not use my bookcase or look at my grandfather clock (that my grandfather built), use my furniture, or eat off my family dishes because they are mine.

Since your SS isn't even at your house that often, he may not want to practice while he is visiting. BUT, if he does want to practice then telling him he has to keep his hands off the piano is an excellent way of letting him know how much you dislike him and don't want him around.

somethingwicked's picture

Hide the trampoline and anything personal of yours.

Instill the fear of a broken hand if skid touches antique glasses. It would be sad to lose one through an accident but worse if someone sliced their hand if the glass  broke. Been there seen it.Not pretty.

Lock the cabinet.If skid is snarky and  has a tantrum  because he is denied the use of this glass or whatever make sure DH corrects him in real time .

And you can't deny him the use of the piano .

But he should be made to respect it and not horse around or abuse it.

Where is DH in all this?

This is his child .At 11 years old the kid should understand  house rules like all(most ) homes,households have  and his FATHER shoud be enforcing /educating /grooming   his child in  acceptable manners and respect for other's property.

If DH is not  then you have some homework to get DH up to speed with his responsibilities.



shellpell's picture

DH is a little more laid back about stuff like the trampoline and the glasses, but when I explained my reasoning why, he understood and agreed to uphold my rules regarding my possessions. I haven't discussed any potential piano issues yet since we haven't crossed that bridge yet. You're right - I need to remind DH of his responsibilities, though he is pretty good when it comes to discipline and most household rules and explaining that different households have different rules.

But why can I not deny him use of the piano? I'm genuinely curious. It has sentimental value to me, and I have fond memories of my mother and playing together. I want to keep it as something special for my child(ren). He can play the piano at his mother's. 

somethingwicked's picture

Is this an antique spinnet or baldwin?

Is it going to be kept in your bedroom, your bio child's room like a gift only for him to practice playing or will it be housed in a family area?

I totally get your attachment to this piano as it holds sentiment  .

IF you are not going to hide it away or  limit use because it is worth beaucoup  bucks and requires insurance then you would be hard pressed to refuse your SS, your DH bio son,from practicing or playing on the piano because you would certainly come off as a flinty ,territorial adult woman who hates her husband's 11 year old son.

Does you husband know you dislike or are annoyed by his kid and DH won't be upset if you show dislike or play favorites between BOTH of his children ? If so have that conversation now rather than later when the piano arrives that you do not want SS near it.

UNLESS the kid  is a jerk , demonstrates that he is a jerk and refuses to follow the rules of respect for this piano that you and DH must instill and educate in him  and the responsibility that comes with  using  it and demonstrates right off the bat  he is abusing the instrument you should give him a chance if he asks to practice a lesson.

Frankly  ifSS demonstrates disrespect and that he is not actually practicing a lesson but instead he starts horsing around or banging away  to create noise and not music or slamming the keys or keyboard cover etc would be the last time he used it.

Yet if given a chance he may really take a liking and love this piano and playing it .Who knows.Playing it could be something SS and BS could have in common and bond over.

AND DH better school both of his children on the rules to use the piano.You as well enforce them.

shellpell's picture

It’s worth about 5k, but it’s not the monetary value, it’s the sentimental value. I don’t feeL I should have to share something from my mother with skid, whom I don’t care for. And yes, DH knows I don’t particularly like his son because of  how he is being raised and because of how he has treated DS. Yes they are both his kids but only ds is mine. I’m nice enough to skid, but like I wrote, we don’t have a relationship. I don’t see it as playing favorites, I see it as sharing a special family momento with my own child. I do not want those memories tarnished by having to share with skid. He already is entitled and spoiled, I don’t think it’s wrong to want to keep something special between mother and child. Plus SS and Ds  have a seven year age difference and he is long distance. Dh is not bothered by the fact that they are not close. I was planning on putting it in the family room but your post has me considering keeping it in my room or in my office.

Monkeysee's picture

You’ve got every right to decide who uses your things in your home. The issue isn’t so much should you let him use it, but what kind of dynamic will it cause between you & your DH.

If you have no relationship with SS & your DH understands & is supportive of that, then by all means put limits on who can use & play with your things. I think it would be kind of you in that case to limit how much your DS uses the piano etc when SS is around. It would keep temptation to play with it more at bay.

If your DH isn’t onside with you excluding SS that way, then you need to consider how this exclusion will affect your relationship moving forward. SS is still DH’s son, and it will likely be uncomfortable for him to see one of his kids getting to use things the other one doesn’t.

There is no one right answer, nothing in stepland is black & white & I think each situation needs to be considered individually. If it was me, I’d let my skids use the piano, under adult supervision, but I’ve got a good relationship with the boys & it would hurt my DH if I cut them out like that.

In your shoes where there’s no relationship, that tie had been severed for whatever reason & my DH understood why, then I’d do what you’re doing & have firm boundaries around what skids could use/not use of mine in the house. 

At the end of the day, you need to do what's best for you. But recognize there might be a backlash or fallout if your DH decides he’s not ok with the unbalanced treatment. 

Siemprematahari's picture

These are your items and you have the right to say NO and SS needs to respect it. You are not obligated to allow him to use your belongings and its up to your H to let him know this. Just because he gets run of the house at BM's doesn't mean he gets to under your roof. No is No....plain & simple. He doesn't have to like it but he will respect it.


secret's picture

I have a piano in my home. I play it. My kids play it. Ss is not allowed to play it. As a rule. 

Reason is..  ss bangs  on it and just messes around. I've made it clear it's not a toy, but that if he wants to learn I will sit with him. It's happened on occasion... and I haven't been shy about telling him that's enough because now he's not interested in learning, he's only interested in making noise and that's that. 

I feel no qualms about telling him to get away from my piano when he's treating it like crap....and dh has f all to say about it. He's tried defending saying he's just a kid... my response was always " he doesn't know how to treat it well...and if isn't taught how to treat it well then he doesn't get to use it. When he learns, I'll let him."

He still hasn't been taught to treat it well... so it's off limits. Period.

Thumper's picture

my own bios know to ask us before using something that doesnt belong to them.

I guess your DH and BM has recieved concerns from teachers that ss touches other kids stuff?




ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Depends on the item. For me the piano would be a non-issue. I have one, if the skids wanted to practice it. Good for them developing that skill!

The tramp would be different. The skids don't touch my exercise equipment without permission. Those seem like personal items to me though.

I would talk to your Dh and the kid about asking before using other people's things, but the Piano would be a non-issue in my eyes so long as he's not damaging it.

notasm3's picture

Nip this crap right now. All children should be taught to respect others’ property. 

Or you end up with a POS like my SS34 who felt absolutely entitled to move into our home with his GF when we were on vacation (without our knowledge). And help themselves to $100s of dollars of our belongings. To this day 2 1/2 years later not one word of apology- just told me I needed to get over it. 

I got so “over” it that they are not allowed near me or my belongings. Although about 2 months after this incident they told not asked DH when they were going to us my vacation home. The home I owned for a decade before I met DH. That did not happen. 

Morons be morons. Aholes be aholes. Some are moron aholes. 

Bex_S's picture

I can't stand skid touching anything or anyone in my house. I have to hide my revulsion when she touches my son of I so DH doesn't get upset. I feel like I have to fumigate the hpuse and run around cleaning everything once she's left the house. She won't wash her hands, even after using the toilet or picking any orifice she can stick her chubby fingers into. She's fucking disgusting. My baby has been made ill countless times by that disgusting brat.