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Resentment of 2 SK’s building up - Vent and Advice needed

EmirateReign's picture

Hello everyone, 


I know that this post is going to be really long and so TLDR: SS is 4, SD is 9, both have terrible tantrums, scream the house down and have no respect for their Dad. My son 11 is the polar opposite and very well behaved. SK’s behaviour really frustrates me. Plan in the near future is for them to come for a week on week off type situation, I literally couldn’t think of anything worse right now, help! :( 


I have dipped in and out of this website reading posts and comments over the past month or so but tonight I've signed up as I'm reaching a point where it's really, REALLY starting to bother me, I need to vent and would really like some tips and advice. I’ve got no intentions so splitting up with my boyfriend because he’s absolutely awesome but I need some tips, whether that’s tips for me to suggest or tips for me personally on what I should do to help me not feel as stressed out when they are kicking off and screaming the whole house down. 


Ok so, I have 1 son, he is 11. My boyfriend has 2 kids, SS is 4, SD is 9. Currently they come every Tuesday and Thursday after school and stay until SO goes to work at around 8pm (he works nights) and then come for a full weekend every other week. This week it's easter holidays and so we are trying a 1 week on 1 week off, as this is what SO wants to change the arrangement to in the near future, last week they didn’t come at all, this week they came Monday and are staying until they go back to school next Monday. 


The house has plenty of space, all kids have their own rooms so there’s no one having to share etc. 


My son is very well mannered and behaved. I’m firm but fair. He’s obviously not perfect, has his moments but they are all what I would define as typical kid stuff, forgetting to make his bed, leaving cups in his room, laying in bed until after 12pm on the weekend etc. But these are from time to time, most days he gets up and does what he knows he has to before I even ask (brush his teeth, tidy his room etc) and he’s never ever spoken to me the way the SK’s speak to their Dad and he wouldn’t ever dream of doing so. 


Both SK’s are whingey, throw terrible temper tantrums and say actually no sorry, they scream, very nasty stuff when they are in trouble ‘go away idiot’, ‘I HATE YOU’, ‘you are so mean’, ‘I hate coming here’ etc etc. 


I’ve spoken to SO about it many times, he agrees with me and has started to realise more and more that their behaviour is frankly disgraceful. Before I was able to get him to see that actually this isn’t normal kid behavior, he I think rationalised it as that in his head, to him they can just be annoying kids and SS will hopefully grow out of it as he gets older and SD isn’t as bad as SS according to SO, when actually, SD is equally as bad as her younger sibling, if not worse. 


Both SK’s love me, so there’s no issues there. 


I just cannot cope with the stress of these 2 brats when they kick off, it’s only been a few days and I’m exhausted from it. The whole week on week off plan SO wants to move to I point blank said is not happening until their behaviour is better because he won’t be here in the evenings he will be in work and I am not dealing with this every night for a week! So then SO said maybe we could do week on week off but without overnight stays during the week. I dunno I just couldn’t think of anything worse at the moment. But at the same time I know that them being here more will help improve their behaviour. 


Both kids can be good and sweet when they want to be but I’m just really struggling with it all currently. I love my boyfriend a lot and he is a hardworking person who would do absolutely anything for his kids, my son and me. 


This week I suggested that maybe once everyone is in bed we could watch a few episodes of super nanny each night to try and get some further tips. So that’s what we have done and he’s said this is literally everything you’ve been saying to me in terms of how to deal with them when they are kicking off etc. And for the first couple of episodes he seemed interested, I feel like that interest has dwindled and that he does try but he’s still not dealing with it properly, imo anyway. 


The problem, he’s too soft and hasn’t yet figured out that him being inconsistent etc will not help improve things. He gives them a billion chances before he enforces the punishment (naughty step for SS, no Xbox for SD). 


I made a sticker chart, they can earn stickers by doing age appropriate stuff, and they do use them and it has helped a little bit but not in the way I had hoped and has lost its novelty as SO doesn’t enforce the rules of it (if you get 2 disappointed face stickers that day you cannot earn anymore stickers for that day, he gives them the stickers when I personally wouldn’t have given them one). 


The reason I’m here tonight, SS HATES having a bath, kicks off every single time. Last night he went and hid from his Dad while he was running the bath, he hid so well I had to help find him, SO laughed and tickled him therefore rewarding his ‘that was a good hiding spot mate’, instead of saying something like this would have been a great spot if we were playing hide and seek but we weren’t and you did it when I was doing your bath. Tonight he had an absolute melt down, I couldn’t bring myself to go and help like I usually would because I know SO gets stressed with their tantrums, I sat downstairs, the older kids were in their own rooms and just had to hear SS screaming I HATE YOU etc etc. SO threatened no TV before bed many times, he did follow through with it to be fair and that then resulted in another almighty tantrum. 


Both kids ignore their Dad. SD also has bad tantrums. Will kick off and slam doors etc if it’s gotten to a point where SO has had to take the Xbox off her, but, he will do that, but then still allow her down to watch a film with us or give her the iPad before bed etc. 


SD is really bad at brushing her hair, it’s always so so badly knotted. SD and SS fight like cat and dog all the time. They wind each other up, hit each other, scream at each other etc. 


SO I think is that set in his ways that he doesn’t even listen / hear them properly when they’re going ‘Daddy’ ‘Daddy’ ‘Daddddyyyyuuhh’ over and over, it gets to them saying it like 10 times before he will reply. Both kids do not listen to him whatsoever. Even when he is telling them off, they don’t listen, SO then drags it out unnecessarily in that he will get into debates with them instead of 1 request followed by a warning followed by a punishment, it’s 10 requests, 10 warnings, and maybe a punishment but maybe not. 


The kids drive SO mad, he does get stressed when they are kicking off and I think he does struggle to cope with it which is why I will try and help by making suggestions etc. But he just does not do it consistently at all and I really don’t think he realises just how bad they are. He can block out their whinging I can’t, they have an annoying whingey habit and will whine and moan when they don’t get what they want and it’s like 80% of the time, there’s not 15 mins that goes by without some form of a whine or moan. 


Their Mum does not sound like a nice person at all. I’ve said to SO you can only control what they are like when they are here and it really doesn’t need to be this stressful at all, he just needs to fully commit to making better parenting decisions. 


SO is trying and he does recognise it’s an issue but like tonight after the bath and before bed kick off by SS, SO came downstairs stressed and said I literally couldn’t have done anymore I threatened the no TV and did follow through with it. But I’m sat there like you could have done lots more to stop the tantrum before it got that bad, I didn’t say anything though because I could see how stressed he was. But tomorrow, SS will have no punishments, and this is what I struggle with the most because if that was my son and he kicked off with me like that, I would empty his bloody room of all his toys and make him earn them back one by one, that’s Defo very harsh but I would be super strict and mega serious and would absolutely not accept that behaviour whereas SO will think well he didn’t have his 10 mins of tv before bed and then tomorrow it will all be forgotten about. 


I just don’t know what else to do or suggest moving forward. SO is making an effort but he still isn’t handling it properly and I really don’t know what else to suggest, because, I’m also learning on the spot because this is behavior I’ve never once had to deal with from my own son. 


I’m so sorry for this long ass post and rant I just needed to type it all out to vent and get some type of release from it, and hopefully I can get some helpful suggestions. 


Thank you. 




JRI's picture

Your SO is the problem here.  You see it and you are doing what you can to support him but he is just not parenting the kids.  You have lots of good ideas (sticker chart, watching Nanny) plus your good example with your son.  I think I gathered from your post that he is not living with you yet.  If that is so, I wouldn't let him move in until he firms up.

He sounds like a Disney dad, perhaps also doesn't want to do the hard parenting work.  I dont have many suggestions other than disengaging so that he has to do EVERYTHING for them.  But he might just let things slide (baths, tangly hair) instead of addressing them.

I hope other Stalkers will have good ideas but one thing, don't let him move in yet.


Delilah's picture

I definitely would refuse to have them during the evening while your partner is in work that needs to be a hard line that you hold and not capitulate over as things will never improve unless your partner is firmer and immediate with his discipline.


I am sorry to say that it seems to me that your partner likes to to give lots of excuses why he doesn't discipline your step kids, even after one warning. He has had plenty of advice and teaching opportunities yet he continues to enable his children and then moans about being stressed because of all the manipulation and games his children implement to get out of whatever they wish to not do do. What also strikes me as true is that you are sort of enabling him to continue to avoid his parental duties as a disciplinarian through your attempts to help, however this just enables him to shirk his duties. You need to completely disengage and this means not helping him, not giving him advice, not assisting him, especially when he is is being the "good Cop", while you are getting frustrated with his inability to address their misbehaviour. If he is refusing to see sense then the last thing you need to do is push him into a corner and start resenting you because you were insisting he does xyz! I completely agree with your assessment of the situation but you are flogging a dead horse, you need to be sitting downstairs sipping your glass of wine while HE rounds up his feral children and feels the harsh truth and consequences of his own misjudgement! Do not engage and helping him, do not let him trick you into doing this, DO NOT take responsibility of his children whenhe works overnight, this is not your problem, this is HIS problem and he needs to full feel the full weight of his failures not you otherwise you stand zero chances of things changing (there is a slim chance imo that things may change anyway esp if he is lazy/ in denial/ weak willed)!!

The_Upgrade's picture

My cousin has a two year old, dad works away. In the last fortnight that he's been back she's been complaining to me about how her previously sweet toddler loses it several times a day. Wrong person pushing her trolley, meltdown. Asked for blueberries and they weren't washed fast enough, meltdown. Get out of the bath, meltdown. The sky is blue, meltdown, etc. So I asked what has dad been doing when she melts? "Uh he just says ok ok and gives her what she wants". Lightbulb moment. The next two meltdowns toddler was placed in her crib to scream it out for 15 minutes. The third time the meltdown was coming toddler was asked if she wanted time out. She was all smiles again.

You're a mum, you know all this. But the example above goes to prove how one person just can't effectively parent when there's another undermining all efforts. Even putting in no effort is still undermining. That two year old had two weeks of bad behaviour to turn around, these kids have had years. They're going to tantrum for a bit longer than 15 minutes before it sinks in tantrums get them nothing - as long as their actual parent holds firm and gives them nothing. 

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

As I have learned the hard way, if BP isn't parenting now, nothing you do will change that.

SDs are just older now with worse behavior. From their perspective no matter how strong of a parent SM is, they will always defer to BPs expectations of them. 

If BD isn't making them tow the line, then you are fighting a losing battle.

tog redux's picture

I wonder how awesome he will seem 2 years from now when he's still wringing his hands about how he just can't do any more. Or more likely, telling you that you are "mean" and "too strict" and "hate his kids."

And the kids won't love you forever if you are the only one with rules. 

Just like with any character trait, it's best to accept you can't fix someone to make them perfect for you. He's parenting how he wants to and will likely continue to do it. You have to factor that into his "awesomeness" and decide if you can live with it or not. 

SMto3's picture

I am living proof of being with someone who is "so amazing" EXCEPT for when it comes to parenting. Which I can tell you one way or the other WILL affect your relationship. Read my blog and see what happens when a good man is unable to maintain consistency. I can tell you this; I love my daughter to pieces and I do not regret her. But behind the lazy parent thing, I don't know that I am happy anymore versus waiting for the kids to move out. I don't enjoy living with them and never did. It was always awkward and though not as bad as when they were kids, a different animal now that they are older....but have not been pushed to want to become independent. 

Rags's picture

The wonderful BF/GF/DH/DW delusion continues.

What exactly is it about this failed mate, failed man, and failed father that you find so appealing?

Raise your standards in a mate.

Get your kid away from this trainwreck before your kids realizes that he can do what the Skids are doing.