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Stepson doesnt pick up after himself

georgina29's picture

Granted he is only 8 years old but he doesnt pick up after himself. He comes home and leaves his coat and bag pack on the floor. Daddy cleans up after him. He also doesn't have the best manners at the table. He eats first before everyone else. He is served first (by his father) before anyone else at the table. He eats before others start and eats very fast and wants more right away. He is overweight. He eats very messy, uses his hands and chews with his mouth open (even though he's been told not to) and never picks up his plate to bring it to the sink. My husband does everything for him basically. Ive begun disengaging. Now my husband is frustrated with me but Im not their slave or free nanny. The child is old enough to pick up after himself. I used to help a lot but quit when I noticed my standards for my SS were not enforced by my husband. Granted are my standards too high? that I believe he should pick up his plate and put it in the sink and not eat with his hands when he's very capable of using a fork? My SS has quit so many activities before they were over wasting so much money. He quit swimming (didnt like the teacher, said teacher was mean and dad pulled him out), cub scouts (didnt like the kids or instructor),tag football (said he was bored but he could not keep up with the other kids, he is overweight), basketball (said he was bored and didnt like the teacher), tennis(said he was bored). The only thing he is sticking with is baseball but every then he lacks motivation. He loves nothing more than to sit in front of the couch all day watching tv or playing video games. He also loves to sit in front of the computer playing games. He loves to miss school, says he is sick often when he has no symptoms other than headache to stomach ache.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

So you're expecting him to know how to do something he's not be taught / required to do?

As long as your DH is running after him cleaning up the child's not going to change. If DH want's to continue to do that then there's not much you can do but you don't have to support it.

Speak to him about table manors too. Different homes handle it different ways. I agree he needs to use his fork and chew with his mouth shut as those as basic stuff but some of the other etiquette issues may not matter to DH and there for will be hard for you to enforce such as the kid waiting to eat till everyone is seated.

As for the activity he's going to do it as long as you guys allow it. Again your DH needs to take the charge on this.

Thumper's picture


Use your teacher voice Wink

"HI ss8, how was your day". Smile Smile ..PLOP on the ground goes his coat and backpack.

"SS8, when you walk in the door I expect you to hang your coat here and put your backpack in your room"

Do YOU understand ss8?

Now please do that.
The next time he comes in and plops it on the floor....give him the LOOK. He is old enough to understand that look.

Stuff like this I would absolutely take care of....I didn't want my house looking like a dump..ever.

Evil3's picture

My SKs were Disney parented too. DH did everything for them and made every excuse in the book as to why they couldn't chew with their mouths closed. I wasn't allowed to say a word. I fought tooth and nail for their general health when I watched them become more and more obese and then develop disorders to lose the weight and get skinny as they got older. I wasn't allowed to say a word or the kids won't want to come to Dad's anymore. I had no choice but to disengage. If what Goodluck says doesn't work and your DH undermines you, then you might want to seriously consider disengaging. There are SMs on here who eat their meals separately from their SKs due to the disgusting loud, sloppy chewing and the Disney dads refusing to teach their brats manners. It's really hard to watch your SK become more and more unhealthy and establish a quitting patter in life, but if you have no say, then there's not much else you can do. Separate your finances so that when SS quits another activity, it isn't your money he's wasting. Do you have bios? Make sure you continue to raise them in accordance with your beliefs. If you don't have bios, then find your own new passions whenever your SS is there.

MurphysLaw's picture

Wait till he’s 18 living in the basement...that’s when the real fun starts
Sorry for your troubles

thebrokenrecordmachine's picture

This seems to be the norm for 8 year olds to have no regard for their things and others things as well(it may not be the norm but I have a 9 year old, so I say this- their too preoccupied with other things)...but as others have pointed out you have to teach him these things or at least set an example.

Your DH is not helping him by doing his chores for him.
I had my SS 18 living with us and the kid/adult did nothing, not a bloody thing- hes back with mommy. Teach him manners and respect for his things and others things, now. Or he will most likely turn into an unappreciative adult who expects people to clean up after him, you will find many stories on here like this and if that happens you will definitely not want a kid adult living with you. I say this as when SS was with me it was a nightmare of stress, he was only here less than 6 months but that was too long for me.
You can say to your SS8, "Hey Honey, do you mind hanging up your jacket and putting your back pack away- I don't want them to get dirty and I want to keep this hallway clean" being sweet works really well for young kids.

Good Luck!

QTsmum's picture

I hear you. My SS is younger, (my bios are 9 and 6 though) but I still have expectations to pick up after yourself and respect other people's things. SS doesn't have to lift a finger outside of this house and it drives me nuts when he comes back. I have sat and watched as his shit sit on the floor for 3+ WEEKS. After some lovely advice here, I let SO know that if something sits on the floor for more than 24 hours, it goes in the garbage and I don't care what it is. And I've meant it! I just threw out a toy that was "so special to him" the other day. I broke my own rule as I watched it sit on the floor for 2 weeks. He acknowledged it was on the floor "Hey, what's that doing here?!" and still it sat. Uhhhh, BUH-BYE!

I find there's not a hell of a lot to do if the Dad isn't on your team. I've disengaged from it now and just throw stuff out.

We are currently having a stupid as hell battle over kids' toothpaste. I finally found a brand that my littlest will use (he cannot stand bubble gum, fruit flavoured grossness. And I can't for the life of me remember where I found it!) and I put his name on it and put it HIGH up out of reach of SS. I put out a new one for the other 2, who don't care when they use. After 3 weeks of watching SO use my littlest toothpaste and hearing SS announce how he "Used Owen's toothpaste again", I put "Owen's ONLY" on the tube. And again, they used it. So I left a note saying "Entitlement: I see that is someone else's, but I want it. I will take it anyways" "Respect: I see that is someone else's, so I will not touch it" - lets make smart parenting decisions today!. Such a dickole move on my part, but I'm tired of his kid being able to have, do and dictate shit in this house (at nearly 5 years old. I'm also looking towards a rough future if that doesn't change). I'm sorry but I feel like no matter how silly it seems, my request should be respected and by default, his kid should respect my kids. I would never let them get into his kid's stuff; though maybe I should let SO see how it feels.

ANNNNYWAYS, sorry for the rant, but I get it and I feel your pain and it's next to impossible to mov forward without a supportive, understanding SO. This will be a fight we will live 10,000 times over, and also why I'll raise great little people and his kid is going to be an entitled brat. Sad

Acratopotes's picture

Disengagement is a wonderful thing if done right. You do not lower your standards or values and you keep on teaching, you simply engage when it effects you and the other adult in the house is doing nothing about it.


at table.. DH dishes up for SS, before he starts eating you say, SS it's bad manners to start eating while others are busy dishing yup, please wait.
SS - it's bad manners to chew with an open mouth, please close your mouth/ eat with your hands, please use your knife and fork.

Simply implement boundaries and rules, the kid is 8 and not 18....

When entering hang up your coat and back pack, do your home work, only an hour per day screen time after chores are done. You are at home, you are allowed to enforce this.

After dinner, chore... SS clears the table, DH does dishes, you did the cooking..... if SS obeys this he can gain 15min extra screen time the following day, sort of a reward system.

When we grew up these where simply rules, no screen time till homework and chores are done. Nothing wrong with us, why did it have to change through the years?

But before all off this, you sit DH down, he's the problem here not the kid and you make it clear to DH, if he wants your help, you will help but he will have to back you up, if SS ignores you DH should step up and say, SS, Georgina told you to wait till we all are ready to eat, why are you ignoring her?
If your husband is not prepared to do this.... then you tell him, I've tried, you are not teaching your kid, people will say - poor kid his parents taught him nothing and know what dear Hubby - I'm not his parent thus it has no reflection on me... from now on SS will not have dinner with us and he will never be seen in public eating with us cause he has no manners.