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Are all skids so infantile like sd?

stepmominhiding's picture

Checking because it wouldn't let me post yesterday,  I'll pay in the comments if this is successful 

TwoOfUs's picture

Not sure what behaviors you've seen...but, yes. In my experience...my skids were all incredibly immature and infantile. 

OSD. Wouldn't look servers in the eye or order off the menu at 16...made her dad order for her. Would "ask" for things in the grocery store by pointing to them and saying the word over and over again...at SIXTEEN. Was still punching, scratching, and pinching her two younger siblings and fighting for the front seat...at SIXTEEN. 

SS. Crumbled his food into little bits at the dinner table and absent-mindedly twirled his hair...again, as a teenager. Super forgetful and just kind of dumb, in general. Now is 20 and can't keep a job...quits jobs before having something else lined up. Very coddled by Mommy. 

YSD. Sucked her thumb (I'm not joking) until she was 12 or 13. 

 

I remember once my mom, after witnessing OSD's behavior while out to eat and then later at our house...not ordering food, picking fights with her younger siblings...she said: 

"My God, TwoOfUs. You were never perfect...and I wasn't a perfect parent. But I distinctly remember leaving you to babysit your sisters when you were OSD's age because your dad and I had a meeting. You called the office to tell me that A_____ (my sister who was 3 at the time) had been running a high fever all day. I immediately jumped in and said: 'I'll be right home!' but you told me not to worry about it...you'd taken her into our family doctor, she had strep, and you were just wondering if I could swing by the pharmacy and the grocery store to pick up the prescription and some bread for the dinner you'd made. That was at the same age as this kid who literally can't say a complete sentence...." 

 

So...yes. My experience is that all skids were majorly delayed or stunted socially, intellectually, and emotionally. 

 

 

Areyou's picture

Yes. My skids are super infantile. Needy, entitled, cries and sulks to  get their way, manipulates, whines, screams, are self centered and they are teenagers. It’s because their biological parents are doing a bad job of raising them. 

ndc's picture

I wonder if this is a thing where skids regress over time. My SO's kids seem pretty age appropriate to me, but they're still pretty young (5 and 3).  They can actually do some chores (pick up toys, put plates in dishwasher, help with laundry), their table manners are ok with a few lapses (they can use utensils and don't throw food, fight, etc.), they rarely eat out but when they do the older one can order for herself and the younger one will engage with the server and answer questions.  They are a bit entitled, but no more whiny, sulky or demanding than most preschoolers I've known.  

Do these teenage skids with the infantile behavior just never progress beyond preschool behavior, do they regress, or what?  I guess I need to watch for the warning signs.

 

Evil3's picture

Since your SKs are already being taught and are required to do some chores, it doesn't seem like they're being infantilized like the other SKs we speak of on here. The reason many SKs are useless, helpless and a bunch of freaken babies is because their disney parents don't parent them and the parents do EVERYTHING for them in order to compete with the other parent and to cripple the kids so that they can never grow up and leave the disney parent. So, I think your SKs will be fine since they already have expectations.

Mrs Fireball's picture

My skids are all at an appropriate maturity level for their ages.

The older two have very good social skills when it benefits them (teachers, coaches, GF parents...you know, the folks they need to impress). YSS has a punk mouth and he often takes it to the extreme to get attention but he can handle ordering a meal, etc.  He needs someone to set him straight though, and I plan to the next time he critiques a meal I've cooked, since DH and BM won't address it. 

DH told me YSS was a chronic thumbsucker and they put some nasty tasting stuff on his thumb to get him to stop. He used to love stuffed animals and Medusa got mad when DH bought YSS one for his 11th birthday because she thought it was too babyish and YSS needed to grow up. I didn't see what the big deal was. 

So now at 14 YSS is watching Deadpool and God knows what on YouTube and he's been fully exposed to the adult world. 

They're rude to me when DH isn't here - don't acknowledge me, etc. and can't bother doing anything for DH on Father's day, etc. 

So they know how to act mature, at least when it suits them.

iamlosingit's picture

SS 10.5 (11 in not even two months) wasn't so bad during the first two years that visitation was established.  Now he's HORRIBLY regressed: baby talk and 'cutesy voices', doing stupid gestures randomly like twirling slowly in front of DH, flopping arms and "cutesy voice" (it's like he's pretending he's a toddler or something), never had chores, doesn't know how to make any type of food himself no matter if it's microwave popcorn, sandwich, bowl of cereal, nothing.  He waits to be served.  At least DH FINALLY stopped cutting SS food for him at the table and taught ss how to use a knife.  And SS stops sitting at the table with his mouth open waiting to be "fed". (don't ask...thank you BM) 

SacrificialLamb's picture

My OSD is in her 40's and is still acts like she is in junior high....catty gossip about other people, changes the timbre of her voice when talking to her father trying to sound childlike, constant complaining about how the world is against her, a perpetual victim, no insight or deep thoughts of any kind, rationalizes her poor behavior. She is a product of being over-coddled and told how beautiful and wonderful she was. 

sybarite's picture

and fearful this is the writing on the wall with my SD.

Lemon65's picture

My SD is 11, I am not sure if her behavior is appropriate or not because I only remember how I was at that age and I was pretty independent. She behaves maturely most of the time but she lacks critical thinking skills, won't do anything for herself when she is with us and doesn't clean up after herself. She also likes to brag on herself, has some pretty silly (embarrassing) behavior sometimes and is insufferable to play games with (she can't stand losing). I think most of it can be attributed to her total lack of common sense and self-awareness. She is always making messes because she won't pay attention to what she is doing. She has gotten a little better over the course of the past year or so, but I think BM and BM's family have coddled SD for far too long (SO is guilty of it, too).

caitlinj's picture

Yes skid (5) still eats with her hands at meals regularly and uses a high chair. She can’t (or won’t) grasp how to use a knife and fork. She wants to be pushed around in a stroller on walks and he and dh allows it. She uses baby talk and throws tantrums regularly if she doesn’t get her way. She cannot tie her shoes.

marblefawn's picture

Psychologists say trauma causes people to get "stuck" at the age they are when the trauma occurs. They can mature, apparently, but it's harder to mature when trauma interrupts natural growth.

When I look at my family, I can sort of see that. But maybe I just see it because psychologists say it's there.

Any thoughts?

My husband left his wife when SD was 6-ish. I've never seen a grown woman so oddly physical with people (not me, of course). She's coquettish, particularly with males. I don't know if that's because she's pretty and could use that routine to win what she wants or if she's just stuck in a child's manner of getting attention.

Or maybe all this childish behavior we see is just a product of the new helicopter parenting style?

 

sybarite's picture

Facepalm. Divorce is not trauma. I'm tired of hearing that excuse. Divorce is the norm, and before divorce, there were remarriages due to deaths and long distance marriages. I'm not going to hand out the psychological crutch of trauma to a 1% first world problem. I understand pscyhologists jumping on that bandwagon because good for business. If public health > individual health, then the research world (academia) would reflect that, but hasn't since the 1940s so here we are today.

Different topic:

Many of the replies on this thread are similar comments about SDs (at any age). What about SSs?

marblefawn's picture

But sometimes divorce is traumatic.

There are a lot of reasons for divorce. It isn't always just "irreconcilable differences."

If it's horrible for a wife to learn her husband has a pregnant mistress, why can't it be horrible for his kid, who is just a child dealing with that? If dad suddenly wants to be a woman, yea, I think that's hard for a kid to understand because we sure know it's hard for the wife to understand. If a guy drinks himself into oblivion, the wife struggles to understand why he chooses the bottle over her. Why shouldn't a kid wonder the same thing, but with less maturity to deal with it?

Everyone goes through puberty, but that doesn't make it any less weird and alarming. Lots of people go to prison, but that doesn't make it any less awful for their kids. Hell, the shift from elementary school to high school is tough for a lot of kids. Some are more resilient than others, so stuff rolls off their backs. But many aren't immune to mom suddenly moving out, a pregnant mistress moving in, a new step sibling a few months later...that's a lot for a kid to process.

In my SD's case, dad was the calm, nurturing parent. BM was borderline, violatile, hysterical and raging. He walked out to save himself, but he worried she'd take the kid back to her home country if he tried to get custody. Because I also had parents just like hers, I know what it's like to be left alone with a crazy mom while dad is away on business. If my parents had divorced, it would have been just my crazy mom while I wondered where dad is and what he's doing with someone else's kids in tow.

SD's parents' divorce was traumatic because her parents were a mess. If both parents are stable and the kid is secure, maybe a divorce is not such a big deal. But if these kids have already lived years in a battle zone between parents, divorce is just more upheaval before the new lovers start rolling through.

I don't think that's easy no matter how often it happens.

 

stepmominhiding's picture

I think she means the divorce itself isn't the trauma. The actions that led up to the divorce or the actions after the divorce are separate to the divorce itself. 

 

In my situation there was no divorce. Sd is just really a baby. Dh gets so frustrated with it,  but i don't know if he only is frustrated because he sees my kids who are about the same age are WAY more mature than sd. Maybe he used to cater to her behavior in the past, but we've been together for 8 years now.  I have no idea if bm caters to her infantile behavior.

stepmominhiding's picture

There's been no trauma in my skid's life.  Dh and BM were never together while sd was alive.  They broke up when BM was like 3 months preg. 

sybarite's picture

Theories?

Parenting ceases when divorce takes over or parents separate.

Parents priority shifts from parenting to "friending" (or out competing their Ex).

Parents are comfortable with the parenting they've BTDT so don't want to venture into new, unchartered territory especially without social support. Examples? I know how to parent a toddler, a five year old, etc. but I don't know what to do with teen issues, so I'll just continue to parent as if they're a toddler, a five year old, and ignore the teen issues or address them as if they were a toddler, five year.

Thereby stifling maturation aka freezing time.

stepmominhiding's picture

Divorce never happened,  they were only dating when bm got preg,  broke up when BM was 3 months preg

Evil3's picture

 

Been there done that and bought the t-shirt for it. My SKs 27 and 29 were disney parented and had everything done for them. My DH and BM competed with one another to be the more loved parent. BM is a narcissist and DH has abandonment issues, so if they infatilized the brats, they'll remain forever dependent on their parent and never leave. It's a totally selfish form of parenting because the only person who feels better is the parent. The child grows up totally helpless and useless and on some level they actually know they're not like their peers. Also, my own DD has said throughout her childhood that other kids know when a child is infantilized and those kids get picked on and/or ostrasized. As time goes by the bio parents feel guilty because they see how helpless and unprepared for life their kids are. Parents will start infantilizing the kids out of guilt for one thing, but then that guilt may get resolved and then the parent feels guilty for how their kid turned out, so the parent continues to infantilize the kid. At least that's what our counsellor said.

stepmominhiding's picture

Sd still asks at 13 if she HAS to eat her veggies. And when she does,  she makes the sourest face (like a baby eating spinach). And ends up crying.  I can cook them a hundred different ways,  i can make them with a hundred different sauces,  roast them,  grill them,  saute them,  blanch them,  steam them, blend them in a smoothie, give them to her raw with sauce to dip ... doesn't matter.  She has the same reaction. It can be corn,  potatoes,  green beans,  carrots,  okra, spinach,  what ever vegetable you can think of, what ever way you can think to serve it,  she reacts the same. 

She's cries over everything.  Literally,  she touched a spoon that was in hot water,  she threw it and screamed.  Mee and dh loved over her hands, no red marks.  Then she told us that it SCARED her, it didn't really burn,  but she's never going to cook again....

She won't learn to ride a bike because she's afraid to fall. Dh even offered to take her to a trail that IF she fell, she'd fall in the grass. 

fairyo's picture

Oh my-you are describing my XOSD- and she is now 42!  The only way you can deal with this behaviour is not to challenge it, because this is what she is provoking. She has learned that being a baby gets her attention, and that is what she gets.

With the vegetables, I would stop serving them. She won't die because she doesn't eat cabbage- she'll look at her plate and have nothing to fight over.

Same with the 'accidents'- I don't even do this with my little grandkids- if they scream you do a quick summary: is their head still on their shoulders? Answer yes? No worries! Ignore the drama.

She hates the idea of falling from her bike? Let her walk then. Sell the bike- give it away to the poor kid down the road. Your post has brought back memories of what I had to put up with from TheX's offspring and in turn from his grandkids. It is learned behaviour and if you allow it (ie, buy into these mini-dramas) it will continue.

 

stepmominhiding's picture

I have learned to disengage, not totally, i still have to step in when needed (when dh is working and i need to pick her up)  but I'm not playing these mind games. Dh plays them with her.  But i just leave it alone.  I still can't help but make wtf faces are she's doing the things.  She even asks "why are you looking at me le that?" When im in complete shock/disgust of what she's doing/ how she's acting. I can hold my tongue, but occasionally i can't help my face.  Of course i just tell her,  the light got in my eyes/ i have a headache/  some other excuse. Like once dh told her she had to eat some vegetable, so she'd "drink" water between each bite... well, what she was doing was sitting get good in the cup. I couldn't help but to make a disgusted face over that.  When she was 12 started crying over having to take medicine (dh bought both the liquid version and a teensy tiny tablet version so she could choose which one). She didn't want either,  "the liquid is yucky" (bubblegum flavor), "the pill is too hard to swallow".  I couldn't help but be shocked over how insane that fight was. 

fairyo's picture

Although I didn't know her then, this is exactly what TheXOSD must have been like, because she was still like this when I met her in her late 30s. I couldn't believe her immature, childish behaviour but everyone esle seemed to accept the continual drama.

Trust me she knows those faces, I wouldn't even respond when she challenges you about the looks either. I would just find something else to say completely unrelated and bring the attention back to yourself. It must be so hard not to slap her.

I'm not really the best person to advise you on this, because in the end I couldn't compete with this obnoxious child/woman and her Disney Dad- and I left...

Dogmom126's picture

we taught fsd7 to pitch in with chores and cleaning up after herself, and she will usually ask to help if she sees us doing housework. however she is INCAPABLE of playing by herself. If she's not glued to her ipad, she is up our butts 24/7!!!  she has a huge room full of toys and games that she doesnt use. ignoring her does not work as she gets more and more annoying. I remember occupying myself all the time as a kid, my parents were involved but did not entertain me 24/7. what gives???

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Mine is whiny, entitled, lazy to a fault, arrogant without cause. Sulks, manipulative. 

At the loser’s age I was self-reliant because I’m a Gen x and I had to be. I could bake, got my own ass to school and back. I babysat other people’s kids before I was a teenager. 

I was also pretty responsible (not perfect, though!)

caitlinj's picture

They only act that way if 

a. they aren't being raised and parented correctly.

b. they have some sort of neurological or psychological disability.

It's not normal for a child to throw tantrums or act that way after a certain age. Very odd.

stepmominhiding's picture

Her mother won't get her evaluated, and DH legally isn't allowed to,  but he only gets her eowe and Thursday evenings, so i don't really know when he would be able to even if he was allowed