You are here

Why are stepkids so shitty?

Liza Regan's picture

For a little background, I've been dating my significant other for ten years. He has two children, a 16 year old and a 12 year old.  They moved in with me in June of 2018.  Their mother is, essentially, a non-entity.  She's mentallly and physically disabled in a home. They visit her once a month or so.   They were raised by a nanny who spoiled the shit out of them, waited on them hand and foot. 

These kids know how to push my buttons.  They're sweet when they want something, but in an instant, they turn into complete a**holes.  Not only a**holes, but cruel a**holes.   One of my huge regrets is I did not have children.  That's for a different blog.  Being with these kids is a constant reminder that I'm not their mother -- or a mother -- at all.  My significant other is very laid back and doesn't jump in to defend me or put the smack down on the kids when they're shitty to me --- which is often.  His reasoning is he doesn't want it to turn into a me against them situation and he's picking sides.  I get that but they're really disrespectful.  I have spent ten years with these kids and they're still shitty.   My question is:  How do you deal with these kids day in and day out knowing they're manipulative little brats and their father (or mother) doesn't do anything?  Another thing, the kids are way shittier when their dad is not within earshot.


Kes's picture

Well - one good thing - presumably you're not actually married to this useless and ineffectual parent - you describe yourself as dating - even better if you don't live with him.  I presume they are with him full time since their mother lives in a care home. Setting appropriate boundaries and discipline for your kids has nothing to do with "picking sides".  It sounds like he and the nanny between them have trained the kids to be vile, obnoxious dictators who will have no friends and no ability to adult.  

And the reason you have put up with this outrageous treatment for a decade is?  Personally I would require massive changes in his approach if I were going to envisage a future together.  Otherwise I would remove myself from the situation, and get my own place if I don't have it already.  And I would NOT accept any lip from the obnoxious kids, whether their father is present or not. 

Cooooookies's picture

Why are they shitty?  Neither their father or mother parent them and everyone spoils them.  On top of that, your SO lets them be horrible to you.  It will never change.  You have to decide what you can live with.

Letti.R's picture

I only read your subject line and my answer is probably due to shitty, ineffectual or non-existent parenting.
Shitty kids is usually a result of shitty parenting.
Look to  your other half to see the cause.

tog redux's picture

As the others said, shitty parenting produces shitty kids. Blame your SO for his kids' behavior.

Disciplining kids and telling them not to be disrespectful to others is not "picking sides", it's PARENTING.   In other words, he feels guilty for some non-existent reason and therefore plans to completely ruin his children's lives by not giving them any rules, structure or discipline.

Get out while you can, this won't get better. He's empowering them to treat you like dirt.

justmakingthebest's picture

"he doesn't want it to turn into a me against them situation and he's picking sides"

In marriage (which is where I assume you were/are headed since he moved in with you), there are sides. You are ALWAYS on your spouses side. ESPECIALLY infront of kids. The whole "united front" thing parents always talk about. You don't say anything other than support of your spouse in front of the kids. You can step into another room to quietly disagree on it later and decide how to handle it better (Let's be real, as parents we are winging it 75% of the time- sometimes the 1st call isn't the best call).

He needs to decide if you are a team with him or not. If the answer is no, just be aware that things will just get worse. He should probably move out until the kids have launched or just break up.

hereiam's picture

Just out of curiosity, why did you have them move in a year ago, after dating all of those years, knowing his kids were brats?

I would not deal with them, day in and day out. If your SO won't parent them, they can all move back out. You should not have to live like this, especially in your own home.

Not all stepkids are shitty. My SD28 wasn't when she was younger, partly just due to her personality, but she also knew that her dad would not put up with any crap.

thinkthrice's picture

is hard work!!!!  Most shitty kids are the result of laaaazy parents.  It's MUCH easier just to placate them and give them what they want instead of guiding them with principles and ethics.

Ispofacto's picture

"His reasoning is he doesn't want it to turn into a me against them situation and he's picking sides."

This sounds a lot like a parent who doesn't want to pick sides between two children.  In other words, he's treating you like SD's sibling.  You are an adult, not her equal.  She is a child.  He needs to put her in her place.

And I think if any kids learns they can act any way they want in the presense of certain adults, they will.  Which means you.  They act worse away from Dad because they can.  Which means, send them to their rooms, or do not be alone with them, or make sure Dad punishes them when you report bad behavior.