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Skids listen to me, not their Mom

CTMalone's picture

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.

smdh's picture

Sorry, but your wife IS the problem. She is allowing them to think that they don't have to listen to women. They are little kids. They can be trained to listen to her if she were harsh enough and consistent enough, but I am guessing them seeing her cry is giving them power. She needs to cut the shit and stop being a pushover and crying when they won't listen and take charge. I am assuming they live primarily with you and your wife, which means blaming their father for their behavior in your home is ridicilous. And I am assuming their father's disorder is something that makes it difficult for him to get along with people (vs men or women). People can't turn mental illness on and off. They're either defiant or they're not. They've LEARNED that women don't matter. They have to UNlearn it. And their mother has to teach them.

Lalena75's picture

Locks on doors, Child proof everything, mom removes their toys, mom removes the tv, mom tells them no and sticks to it MOM has to stand up to them. Yes when kids are being total brats what do some people do to make them stop? Oh here have what you wanted just stop screaming/hitting/crying/breaking things, etc. My SO's kids do the same to their mom I know of several times she called that she couldn't control them (half was to get him to come over the other half was they were being awful) He would tell her if she couldn't handle them he'd KEEP them (so that ended the come take the kids) but then he had to discipline over the phone. They don't behave that way with me because I put up with no shit from them or my own kids, I've stripped my children's rooms down to nothing but a bed and weeks worth of clothes and a book to read, no tv no video games no toys no friends or electronics of any kind, same goes for SO's kids (we luckily almost always discipline)the same so that helps)
If she can't handle thins at 4 and 5 imagine 14 and 15. Mom has to be the bad guy and as one poster has put it before "not negotiate with terrorists" be they 4 and 5 or older.
As I say in my own house, this is not a democracy this is a momocracy what I say goes period, I don't argue with children because there is no debating MY rules. Mom has to unlearn her children's behavior you as much as you want to can't do that for her you can support her tell her what she's doing right tell her not to give up she's being tough because she loves them and they have to respect her or they will be a bane on her and society.