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Step Kids acting out with us but Not with Bio mom?????

Mommagpz-dk's picture

Title pretty much sums it up. My step sons are 10 and 8 years old this month, they have always been destructive in nature, especially the oldest. The first time they came to my house they stole a steak knife and stabbed holes in my trampoline. We have been married for 2 years this July. I am a no nonsense type of parent. all 3 of my kids ages, 7, 4, and 3 are pretty well behaved. sure they make messes and break rules etc. but overall they do pretty well with following rules. The boys dont. No matter what punishment we use from spanking to time outs to grounding to taking things away and anything else you can think of, it just doesnt get through their heads. We have had complaints from the HOA because they are vandalizing neighbors houses they steal candy and food and drinks and its now escalated to stealing from my wallet... again this is mostly the oldest, the 8 year old just goes along with it which isnt much better, but at least he will fess up when confronted. the 10 year old lies through his teeth about everything.

Anyway, so heres where it gets weird... when they are at their bio moms house these issues dont exist according to her. She says they are perfect angels 90% of the time, so what gives?? We arent spoiling them or letting them get away with it. punishments keep getting harder on them and still no improvement. So first off, WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS?!?! and secondly, HOW DO I MAKE IT STOP?!?! im losing my freakin mind!

Mommagpz-dk's picture

Bio mom is not the most agreeable person and has been the source of a lot of drama. We all 4 as co parents sat down with them on sunday and while her preg hormones seem to be mellowing her out sime she kept trying to make it out to be our fault. "Try spending more time with them, give them more toys and things to do, you cant expect them to do this/that at their ages, redirect them" etc etc which sure sounds all fine and dandy but she should have been backing us up and telling them this shit is NOT ok under ANY circumstances. It felt like she was just playing momma bear and insisting that they are angels for her so surely WE must be the problem. DH works 5am-4pm 4 days a week so im in charge against 5 kids 90% of the time. And whats worse is that their bad habits are slowing rubbing off on my 3. i know that sounds crappy but its true. DH does discipline them but he is much more passive than I am so half the time its sounding like hes begging them to behave and the other half of the time hes lost it and is just screaming at them.

When it comes to bio mom I do 90% of the talking. Even when she texts him he cant cope with the drama so he just hands the phone to me and I talk to her as him. Which I dont mind, but I do wish he would step in more. Bio mom says she will talk to the boys on monday when they go back to her and that she will enforce whatever punishment, but we tried that in the past and I dont really think it holds up at her house. she works all day so shes only really around for dinner and on the weekends and her BF does most of it. so i dont think it will make any difference. Aside from setting up surveillance so we know what is going on at all times, Im out of ideas.

Mommagpz-dk's picture

as per my other response, he works im at home, and we have joint custody not visitation. its one week on one week off. And its just me against 5 kids so its literally impossible to keep eyes and ears on all 5 at all times. and then when they get in trouble they go cry to BM and she starts up drama over it.

Disneyfan's picture

ExDF's kids were well behaved with us, but gave their mother hell. It was so bad, that she would call our house to have ex get on them for not behaving. So, I believe it's possible that kids are awful in one home but not the other.

It's pretty damn pathetic when a parent has to call his/her ex to help get the under control during his/her parenting time.

OP, you're lucky mom is even willing to get involved. She could have said, he needs to figure it out on his own.

Dizzy's picture

If those were my DH's kids, I would refuse to be responsible for them. Period. Their behavior is escalating to the criminal--do you want them to do something seriously heinous to someone's property outside of the home, or harm someone else on your watch? You WILL be held responsible, at least to BM and DH. Screw that. Tell daddy that he needs to enroll his little devils in some form of after school care, because you will NOT be the fall guy when the shit hits the fan. These kids are truly not your problem. Communicating with BM is not your responsibility. Tell your DH to grow a pair and start handling HIS responsibility. Doesn't matter if he works and you stay home. If his kids are being less than cooperative with household rules and overall decency, and he's doing nothing to motivate them comply, why should you have to pick up the slack and stress? Those are HIS kids. HIS kids have two parents who are not doing what needs to be done. Not your circus, not your monkeys.

Aeron's picture

I would tell DH he needs to take some parenting classes and get his kids under control or change custody so that his kids are there only when he is. I would tell him I'm not willing to have my children turn into little heathens because he can't handle it. So figure out how to handle it or live with every other weekend.

If you're the caretaker 90% of the time on dad's week that's probably part of why they're acting out. They probably aren't that interested in spending time with you or your kids, they want their parents. But mostly it's dad being a weak ass parent.

wickedcool stepmum's picture

I'd call bullshit on the BM. Ours says the same about ss9, that he "hardly ever" lies or chucks tantrums or performs any of his "less desirable" behaviours at her place.
It's actually total crap and all comes out in the wash at the end of the day.

So, in terms of your stepkids... like everyone else said. Just refuse to care for them if this is how your DH is enabling them to behave Smile

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

I would call the police, or have a friend who is the police come and have a talk with them about stealing/vandalizing. Might work. Then again, sounds like the 10 year old is someone who believes consequences are no big deal. I found out that some people just operate that way--getting spanked, things taken away, any punishment you can think of, slide off of them like water off ducks. I don't know if its indicative of a mental disorder or what but those people are the scary ones who end up doing worse and worse crimes. Not even like having no conscience, but actually having no fear of consequences.

Mommagpz-dk's picture

Well, Im a little different than most I guess. I expect my husband to help with my kids and I knew Id be partly responsible for his. I dont want to just turn them over to their Bm well ok part of me does just to stop the headache, but I think her and her BF are part of the problem so I genuinely think they are better off here because we are the more responsible parents. And yes DHs parenting skills are lacking when it comes to discipline, but hes gotten a lot better. when I first met him hed basically give them a "really guys? come on, knock it off" plea and then leave it at that or if it was something bad hed spank them so hes gotten a lot better. Its just a matter of an attitude adjustment with him, but he always feels like hes a bad parent when all we ever do is discipline.

Im too nice for my own good, I know that but to some extent I am responsible for them and their well being and development and If that means being the evil stepmother so be it, At least when they turn 18 they will understand the real world cuz like i said I dont sugar coat anything. Lately we have been using discipline tactics i learned in military school (ya i had my asshole kid moments too not quite this bad but still) They hate it, absolutely hate it and then BM coddles the crap out of them, tho with baby due next month I think her mentality will shift greatly over the next year because the boys wont be "her babies" anymore. at least i hope so.

I do have a cousin whos a cop and a big burly one at that. lol. I have thought about that option too, But right now we are trying out military exercises like sitting in the chair position against the wall or doing exercise drills. We are also in the middle of moving and once we move all the kids will have their own rooms so Im hoping that will help but thats not until July. Its frustrating as hell and ya i think BM id full of shit too. she just doesnt tell us when they act up over there. ever since we got married shes been butting heads with me and trying to compete like im trying to steal her place or show her up, which granted I am better at this crap than her but i didnt come into this trying to replace her. My life would be a hell of a lot easier if she would step up as a parent instead of wasting her energy competing with me.

Hell even with her baby de next month shes only planning on staying home for 2 weeks and then making her BF be the stay at home parent. Shes lay, makes him do all the work and then coddles the crap out of them and we end up dealing with the results.