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Skid not doing as told

StressedSickNtired's picture

I would love to hear opinions on what is the best way to handle when a skid decides they aren't going to do what step parent told them to do. I don't mean the overall out of control brats. I mean kids that are generally well behaved and do as told by bioparent. The ones testing boundaries.

I am a very direct and aggressive person and never allowed my kids to brush me off when I gave them a task. That method would not be appropriate with her as it would send the crybaby princess into a tear fit and eternal resentment. So I bit my tongue and let it go this time. Afterward I discussed with DH and we couldn't decide the most productive way to handle these situations without being harsh. But he will step in to back me up when this happens in the future, and is definitely committed to consistent and structured parenting which she doesn't get at bio mom's house.

twoviewpoints's picture

Lose the aggression. Replace it with assertion.

Disobeying what she knows is what she is suppose to do doesn't mean you have to rip on her . You stand your ground , even if she is crying her little eyes out. But you do it with a even calmness. Doing what she is suppose to do is not optional. Tears won't make the whatever it is go away nor will ignoring that she's suppose to do whatever it is.

No do, no ________. Backtalk, add this to _________. Running off in tears is her way of getting out of what she didn't wanna do to begin with. That and it makes Mommy come down on Daddy after she rats you out for making her cry.

Tell the kid what is she failed to do, and why not doing it is unacceptable. Let her know it will be done (hard to be specific without knowing what she was suppose to do). You do things every day you don't particularly 'want' to do. So does Dad. So does every other person in the home. Wanting to isn't required...but doing it is.

StressedSickNtired's picture

Yes I think you're right; your situation sounds just like mine. The only difference is we don't call her on the tears. We don't acknowledge the tears and she runs off to her room for a while. TBH I don't think it's so much a manipulative tantrum as it is about her emotional fragility and being shocked at how horribly unfair the world is when she doesn't get her way. Pretty normal for like a five y/o, but she's ten. That in itself is part of the frustration for me; that she's still exhibiting behaviors that IMO should be past at her age. Not the ignoring my requests so much as everything else going on with her that I haven't brought up in this post. This is just the beginning of pubescent girl attitude towards us. I warned him we are just at the precipice.

I think my disengaging has added to her behavior issues, even though it sure is making me feel a lot more sane. My lack of spending time and money on her is an obvious statement. Her behavior the last two summers wore me out and I'm done living to make her happy. She'll tell me/us things she wants things like more gymnastics classes, new sandals, etc. I am not complying. It was unappreciated last year. I sure as hell am not buying her clothes. Last summer I bought her a bunch of clothes when they were on sale. Bare in mind, they were all things she likes normally (colors, cuts, animal prints, comfort, dots not stripes, etc) and would have picked as I have shopped with her a lot over the years and her dad doesn't even know that stuff. Her mom won't be bothered to pack her bag, so the kid never comes with weather/activity appropriate clothing. I think the only problem was that she wasn't there to pick them herself. Well I needed to grab them before she got here because she needed certain cheap clothes for the camps starting immediately that I signed her up for. Throw away clothes to get covered in paint and such. She cried. The bag sat on the floor for a month. So I took the bag back and was going to return them. Then she really cried. So I had her apologize and express herself with big girl words that she did like and want them so i gave them back. Well the clothes went back to sitting in a bag on the floor. She wore exactly one outfit. It's probably still there a year later. I stopped going in her room of giving a F at that point. I'll spend it on the rest of my family whom are grateful.

StressedSickNtired's picture

Clearly I've misphrased by using the term aggressive in regards to parenting. I am a very assertive person in general and don't tolerate bs from people. I'm not a screaming harsh mom, but my biokids have long ago learned I won't be disrespected. They are now older teens, and despite their challenging younger years, I couldn't ask for better behaved teens. They are still home and she sees them follow their chores, interact with me and all that. So there is precedence. She's always been fine for me and very accepting of me being step mom. I feel she has just reached that age where all kids test boundaries. Sounds like y'all feel I should handle it the same as I would my biokids. I am very anti-coddling, and DH is too. He fears she'll grow up to be like her mom who is the epitome of adult bratty entitled princess who won't work or parent or contribute to society in any way.

And believe me, I have not characterized her as crybaby princess due to not understanding expectations. That unfortunate term of frustration has been earned by her unfailing belief that she should always get what she wants in all circumstances and that all the world revolves around people giving her constant attention. Neither of us cave to her tears, SD10 cries about something at least once everyday. She comes back after crying, and whatever rule still stands firm. The basis of this behavior setting in was Certainly not her fault, that's on her parents. DH is doing an excellent job now of counteracting this so she doesn't turn into a total brat. I very much respect his parenting. But then she goes back to BM and most of the effort is undone again. Can't help that situation, but at least she is slowly waking up to the reality that the world doesn't revolve around what she wants at every given moment. At least in our house. Today was just a day that DH and I were both exhausted with her. But she's a dream compared to what a lot of people on here are dealing with!

Cover1W's picture

You are lucky your DH backs you up.
My DH can say he does back me up, but not really.

If I'm alone with the SDs, they behave great; they help, clean up, do what I ask.
As soon as DH is around they tend to ignore any requests. Several years ago DH thought I was being too hard on them, expecting them to put on pajamas and brush their teeth before bed (seriously!). So I don't do too much asking when DH is around.
Recently, I asked SD11 to please shower - DH tried to negotiate the terms (why? Because she already did too much that day!) but I was firm and she was fine once I shut DH down - nicely but firmly. But she's not the one who breaks down in tears or has tantrums about rules.

SD13 is that kid.
I really don't ever ask her to do anything at all unless she leaves pots and pans in the kitchen or is sitting in the living room doing nothing but watching her phone while SD11 and I get dinner ready. Those are my limits with her. DH has to step up with her, and he's doing so slowly, but I don't engage.

I don't really see an issue with your situation as you seem to understand what's going on and your DH is helping. Just keep it steady and consistent.

SugarSpice's picture

one word - disengage and let the father parent her. if she wants to eat ice cream for dinner let her. if shw wont put her dirty clothes for the laundry let her wear dirty clothes. if she wont pick up her things tell her everything on the floor goes to charity at the end of the night. she will get the message.

Willow2010's picture

How often do you get the child? I vote for let dad deal with it.

Usually SMs will not win here. You will start to be seen as picking on her. Maybe not now, but I can almost assure you that the say will come when that happens.

StressedSickNtired's picture

I know you're right. After coming to this forum I got a dose of reality that this kid will turn on me eventually. Better to prepare myself now.
We used to see her EW or EOW, but now she's moved to another state so it's summers and school breaks. So we don't see her much, but the summers are rough on me. Especially last year.