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Changing how to disengage

Blended4213's picture

So far the advice I've been given is to disengage from what need to be disengaged from, but not allow the stepkids to treat you or the house disrespectfully. I've recently been standing up for myself with SS13 who is bossy and pushy. I've corrected him in nice ways. However, I think he then gets back at me by doing things on purpose to make me mad. I know that sounds paranoid but this kid is so manipulative and I don't think he's ever wanted me around. Today I let him know that we need to leave the door closed because the heat was on, after he left it open. But I said it very nicely. Then he goes and leaves for school with the door wide open, less than 5 minutes later. This could be absent mindedness, but he does these things all the time. Just has no consideration for anyone else, unless he is sucking up to DH. He literally started yelling my son's name when I was outside talking with my son and it was very clear we were in the middle of a conversation. My son was at my car door window asking me if he could go to the park as he saw me starting to drive off to run an errand. DH was home but in the house. I was making sure he had finished his school work. My son was literally at my car door window and SS could clearly see I was talking to him. SS kept repeatedly yelling my son's name and trying to interrupt. I had to say, "SS, I am talking to my son, you need to wait". I could go on and on but this kid just drives me up the wall.


So here is my question: instead of even correcting him as I would a neighbor kid or any other kid who is at my house, is it ok to just let things go even if they bother me? Just ignore? That's what the nacho kids advises. To only speak to them if you have something positive to say. But that makes me feel like a pushover. Yet trying to correct things even if I'm very nice about it seems to "offend" SS13. Even obvious things a kid his age should know. Next time he tries to push his way in front of me in the kitchen, do I just ignore him and keep doing what I'm doing, in hopes DH will notice and say something to him? Nacho kids also recommends not complaining to DH about your SS. I have done this in the past and he is getting more supportive, but will suggest I talk to SS and that just doesn't work. I really wish DH had parented this kid better. Before anyone bashes him though, I do see him notice more than he used to. It just feels too late.

Kes's picture

Really, do not worry about "offending" a 13 yr old. If any kid tried to push in front of me, they would get the rough edge of my tongue.  I was (and still am) disengaged, but I would never ignore this kind of rudeness.  Do not worry about saying things, "nicely".  

hereiam's picture

You can change the way you disengage as often as it takes for you to find what works for YOU.

Just ignore? That's what the nacho kids advises. To only speak to them if you have something positive to say.

In a house that I pay for, that just wouldn't work for me. Nor would a disrespectful little ass, trying to push his way ahead of me.

Your husband needs to do MORE to parent his kid.

tog redux's picture

You can set boundaries on how his behavior affects YOU personally. So yes, tell him off if he interrupts or pushes in front of you.  Just don't try to parent him or give him consequences, or make him do anything different.

But put the heat on your DH to parent his kid. 

Ispofacto's picture

He's trying to get a reaction, so any response other than a consequence reinforces his bad behavior.  If you ignore, he may escalate.

This is about dominance, and you are the alpha dog.  I'd calmly send him to his room, every time.


Cover1W's picture

I would have ignored the yelling at you and your DS but the pushing in front of you is a bigger issue.

Both my SDs had / have no sense of personal space --- i.e. everyone has to get out of THEIR way.  I've seen this in action in public. They do the same in the house. I have kicked them out of the kitchen, told them to move NOW, to stop running/playing in the kitchen (hot pans/knives) and to NEVER step in front of anyone unless you first ask if it's ok, say "excuse me" or just walk behind them YSD15 will still scurry in front of us instead of just waiting second and I have to tell her to WAIT even now.

It's rude, the parents haven't taught them anything - bottom line. You can be disengaged with your boundaries firmly set.

Blended4213's picture

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. Yes, I feel like it is about dominance and I don't like feeling pushed around by a kid. He's about my size so it makes it worse. I talked to DH and explained this-I'm sick of SS's rude behavior and don't like to be pushed around by him. DH surprised me by saying he understood and has seen these behaviors and has spoken up but will speak up more now, he seems to get it is a problem. He had a chat with SS and I will keep my boundaries by not allowing this kid to push me around in my own house.

DH usually makes excuses for this kid but this time he really seemed to understand, and I think when I explained how because he is as big if not bigger than me it makes me feel uncomfortable and disrespected, he gets it more. DH actually seemed to be defending me and upset with SS about this which is really what I wanted, honestly. For my husband to respect me and want his kids to respect me too.

He also said he doesn't think SS is doing it specifically to me but just whoever is in his way. Which is obviously not good, but as long as DH stays on him, I hope SS will finally get it. 

weightedworld's picture

No, don't just ignore and not say anything. That opens the door for resentment and LOTS of it. You will notice that while you aren't saying anything now, no one else is either. You will begin to look down upon his Dad as he is not doing anything that you find completely obvious. 

I don't know what the answer is. Thats the route I took and if I could only go back and try a different one... now I think their both idiots, haha. 

Rags's picture

My SS had this problem when he was young.  He had to be first and would try to rush past people so he could get through a door first.... After several corrections.. his mom and I just quit letting him shove past us. He would attempt to rush past us squeezing through doorways and we just kept walking forward through the doorway.   He ate a few door jams and .... end of problem.