Skids listen to me, not their Mom
I have been married to the mother of two kids, now 4 and 5, for a year and a half and I am getting to the point of losing my mind.
The kids are most assuredly following in their real dad's foot steps. He has been diagnosed with Anti-Social Personality Disorder and is (supposedto be) on meds. The shanges in behavior are very stark and make it obvious when he is and isn't. Unfortunately, the signs that he is not on his meds are developing in the kids. They will lie about everything, eve when caught red handed. They will say they need to go to the bathroom and veer off into our room to grab the latest thing we have just bought and try to break it. They will wake up in the morning and sneak into the kitchen, hoard everything they can get their hands on and take it to their room to eat and drink at their leisure. They will scream at they mom when she doesn't give them what they want. They take advantage of being in public to say and do things they get in trouble for at home because they know the same consequence doesn't exist. Then pretend to be asleep when I am getting ready in the morning to do all of this in the minutes after I pull out of the driveway.
That last point is the most important. On weekends, when I am home all day, none of this happens. If I am at the store with them, they do the normal things you expect from kids. It is only when they are at the house with their mom (or any woman) alone that they do any of this. It makes it very clear that they know what they are allowed to do and when they can get away with not listening.
They will tag team my wife with one asking questions or trying to get attention while the other sneaks by to get into things. But, my presence in the house, even in another room is enough to stop it. I am certain that this stems from their younger experience with their real dad and how he treated their mom where they got used to being allowed to do anything as long as their dad allowed it.
The problem comes with the dicipline. They do so much so quickly that by the time that she gets around to finding some of the stuff, it is too late for them to get the point. So, they have started to get the idea that she doesn't get to tell them what they can and can't do. In fact, SS4 told her the other day "I don't need permission to go in your room". This kind of abuse from them is wearing her thin. So when I get home, all I get to do is make sure that they don't get to do anything. They normally have eated a box of snacks, watched whatever TV they wanted to and thrown all of their toys all over the house, so I get to make them clean it up, spend an hour or two finding the things that were hidden around the house, and then spend the rest of the time they are up finding out what is still hidden when I want to use it.
Again, this is only a problem on the week days. For those who think my wife is the reason, I'll give you this. We have had their uncle watch them a few times when we had something to do. He's only 19 so not too terribly experienced with kids, but there are no problems. We get back and they are either sitting quietly with him or in bed depending on when he came to watch them. Their Aunt, a friend of my wife's and a couple of experienced home day care providers (all of them women) have told us that they will not watch them again. We went over to that friends house with me along, and her friend was astonished that the kids were listening.
I am tired of being the authority figure, but it seems that there is nothing else that I can do. I don't get to relax, and all I can think about on the drive home each day is "What did they get into today?", "Will my wife be crying when I get home?", or "what did they break today?" And there is no limits to what they will do. They know what things are mine and what are my wife's. Mostly, they only break her stuff. But when I came home to my laptop keyboard filled with chocolate syrup, I started a tally of the things they break. I don't know if I will hold them to it, but my wife has already said that she will make them pay me back for all of the stuff they have broken. Between the laptop, two printers, the chest of drawers they broke using ALL of the drawers as a trampoline, etc.. the total is already up to to about $2,600. And they have only been in the house for a year and a half.
This has become a long rant, but I am to the point of explosion and don't know what else to do. The wonderful thing is that they are too young to be "accurately diagnosed" with anything so the councelor we too SD5 to was absolutely a waste of time. The only thing I can hope is that she starts school this August and that the school will have the same troubles with her and women teachers getting someone to take it seriously.
Anyone who can suggest anything that might help... please do.