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The disrespect is out of control

Tananne's picture

I have a great relationship with SKs - they don't talk back to me, they listen the first (or at least second) time if I ask them to clear the table, clean up common areas, etc. They know I don't respond to whining, they have to 'use their words' /please thank you, etc. But I have not made myself a disciplinarian or set rules that DH didn't make first.

However, SS10 is extremely disrespectful to his father.  It is painful.  He will ask him to make his bed, and the whining, the sarcastic talking back, the "why, that's so stupid - I'm too young to clean" (thanks BM)

When I hear it, I talk to DH in private about how inappropriate it is to speak like that to the man who puts a roof over his head!  SS wouldn't have a bed to sleep in if it wasn't for him!  The ungrateful, entitled attitude is too much. It's never directed at me though and if he was my own son, I'd insert myself and tell him he absolutely doesn't talk to his father that way... but the fine line of SS vs BS makes that more difficult.

Do I just pick my battles and leave this one alone?  I told DH it's annoying as hell with a 10 year old but the source of an ungrateful bratty attitude is only going to magnify as a teenager if it's not addressed harshly now.  Or are my standards too high?

classyNJ's picture

It was always so hard for me to listen to my SS's when they talked back, or said "whatever" to DH when they would NEVER talk like that to me.  They knew if they did, DH would be on them HARD.

They didn't start the disrespectful talk back until they were into their teens and I had already been around for years.  I would let it go until it would hurt my heart to see DH treated like that when everything he did was for his kids.  Then I spoke up and told them that if they could not talk respectfully then they needed to go back to DBDB until they could which meant she would have to shuttle them back and forth to sports, friends, etc. and she would never do that.   

It didn't stop it all together because you know how teen boys can be, but it did become less and less. 

Oh and I had bought a sign that said There is no whining in this house.  This was for the youngest.  He was the worst!

Tananne's picture

You said it exactly - "it hurts my heart to see DH treated like that when everything he does is for them"

He's always thinking about nice things to do for/with them and then when this ungrateful attitude comes out when he asks for help, I want to scream!!!  It's also the influence of BM's "values"  She doesn't clean, cook, anything and thinks she's better than everyone else and that a person's worth is determined by how much money they have and what labels they wear.  We couldn't be more different.. and sometimes he says things that make it clear he's her son and not mine.

JRI's picture

You sound like you're doing well with them.  I'd be inclined to let DH handle it when he gets fed up.  But ClassyNJ has a point in her post about not wanting to listen to her DH being disrespected.

I was flashing back to my counselor many years ago who told me when teens mouth off at home, they are less inclined to act out outside the home.

Good luck.

ESMOD's picture

Honestly, I think this is your DH's battle to wage.. as long as they aren't being disrespectful to YOU.

I might be tempted to highlight the inappropriateness in a somewhat humorous way myself though.

Dad:  Son, I need you to go take out the trash

Son:  Awwwwwwww.... daaaaaaaad... I don't know howwwww.... I'm just a kid.... it's your jooooooob..

Dad: (mutters as he goes to take out trash).

SM:... Yeah Carl (dh name).. .How could you expect someone that still can't properly wipe his own butt to take out the trash... your expectations are clearly out of line with reality.. roll eyes.  You should probably remember his abilities when deciding whether he can sign up for baseball next year.. clearly it may be too complicated for him.

Someoneelse's picture

here's my opinon on this subject... Kids are ALWAYS more disrespectful to thier parent's, especially when they are closer to them, because they know that no matter what they will still love them... ALSO, if DH ever gives up on ENFORCING the tasks that he lays out, OF COURSE the child is going to push back, because they know that they can get out of doing that chore...

I think that MAYBE if you do as Rags suggested and say "Do not speak to my husband that way" it might work