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What is disengaging and how do I do it?

I hate pink's picture

Ok so I just stumbled across this forum and I think you may be able to help me! I was thinking I have to learn to live with the step kids or my relationship is over but perhaps not? 

I have step daughter age 9 and step son age 11. Mainly it's sd that's the problem. I have my own children age 3 and 4 and I've had enough of the bad influence from step kids. Maybe I could tolerate step kids behaviour if it wasn't negatively impacting my kids but it is and I'm failing at getting my partner to sort this all out. 

I will start by saying partner does care. He's just worried that if he addresses stuff his kids won't want to come. His response to my raisi g stuff with him is "I can't deal with everything at once!"  But then he doesn't deal with anything! He says he raises it with birth mum and she says she will address stuff but nothing has changed in 3 years that I can see. I do think my partner is lazy. He fixes things by paying for something, give a gift, buy food as a bribe. Actually putting in physical effort is not his strength. 

basically sd has is very obese and has bo. Oh will send her for a shower and she will stink again straight away she's not washing properly. She is in clothes bigger than me as an average weight adult. All right fitting leggings and tops she's constantly pulling down to cover her flab she looks so uncomfortable! She doesn't rush her hair. I do t think she brushes her teeth. She talks negatively about healthy foods and activities and says unhealthy stuff is great (my kids hero worship her and are starting to say the same stuff!!). Partner doesn't correct her, he doesn't even see it. She is rude and has an attitude, selfish and a cry baby to get her own way. Again partner does it see it. And it's hard because she is 9 so you do expect such behaviour but it's her adults failing her by not addressing it! All they want to do is play screens all day. Partner does force a walk in each day but they then spend hours and hours on screens and my kids want the same so o have to give in or it's cruel. And then my kids want screens all week unwe have step kids again. My kids turn their nose up at healthy stuff and quote sd when they do. It's affecting my kids and they are getting the attitude and I feel so mean pulling my kids up on it when they are literally copying what we just did but her dad is in the room and thinks what she did was fine. 

step son age 11 falls asleep in the car on the way here every time. They don't have a proper bedtime. Ss is always grumpy and overtired because of it. They tell me they fall asleep sitting up in bed with iPads. 

i e told my partner he has a duty to his kids to do the best for them and this is almost neglect in my opinion. Last weekend they were her I was very stern when they left. Said I can't take much more of this. I framed it as what is best for his kids rather than stop tainting mine with your shit parenting. He vehemently disagrees with me it's not anything like neglect. I will give another example- I found head lice on my son 10 days ago I told partner to pass on I do to birth mother as his kids need checking. He says he did. I asked if they have them he says he doetknow birth mum not told him. We have had the step kids 24 hours now and I e reminded him twice to check his kids he's not done it. Both these parents are failing the kids! 

anyway what do I do? When they are not here my relationship is good. And if they were not influencing my kids I could get past it maybe but as it is I can't go on. How do you disingage? I can't ban step kids from the house or my partner won't see them! And he's not dealt with the issues because he is worried they won't want to come- once they went home early because birth mum was getting take away and we wouldn't get on. 

any advice? 

Miss T's picture

" ... if they were not influencing my kids I could get past it maybe but as it is I can't go on."

Right there.

Not to be coarse, but what do you need him for? Sex? Companionship? Money? There are other ways to get your needs met that will not compromise your kids' hygiene and well-being.

At best, I would set a short, hard deadline to see concrete changes and then get out fast if things do not improve significantly. You should be getting your ducks in a row in the likely event nothing changes.

No playing around--you have to do this. The welfare of your kids is at stake.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

If leaving DH is not something you want to consider. I always looked at the parenting discrepancies differently. I have always been consistently tough on my own DS, even when he had issues seeings SKs get away with everything. I know throughout life my son will be exposed to bad influences, so  it's my job as a parent to instill in him not to be a follower. I have always been honest with him about how SKs lack of rules and boundaries will negatively effect them. Over time he has been able to see it for himself. I make sure to reward him for making good choices so he can see Thier is a benefit to it.

Justaboutgone's picture

I don't have children but I am experiencing the same situations with sks. Ss10 won't eat anything but junk and cries and gags himself if made to eat a normal dinner with the rest of us. He doesn't go to sleep until 3am and that's even with no tv, no toys and just laying in bed. He's hateful and rude. Ss8 is a little better but has no hygiene practices and can be very entitled. They both show up dirty and stink. I know it's neglect and I've even made a complaint with the proper people, mainly due to the stories they've told me about how their step siblings are treated at their other house. My bf is useless and I'm more than considering ending the relationship. My biggest concern is that these kids will never know anything different than abuse and neglect and grow up to be the people I see on a daily basis addicted to drugs and alcohol being hauled away in a cop car. 

Harry's picture

You can not let a child stay up to 3 am.   There's no Adult time.  You have to put your foot down on something, like bed time,

Two you can not have dirty and kids that's stink in your home. BF must get them cleaned up ASAP.    You really have a SO problem. Time to think about leaving. 

CanadianNonna's picture

These poor kids - every one writen about here are crying out for some love and boundaries. they are acting this way because they have been bounced around like they dont matter - because they dont! Fixing this will not be easy and it requires an adult in their life to care enough to really love them and reach out despite the weight. the BO, the ipads. Show them some fun out doors, gain their trust and dont make excercise and healthy food a punishment. LOVE is what they need. if you cant give that then leave. 

Rags's picture

Implement them in your home, enforce them in your home, and tolerate nothing but compliance.  One hour of screen time per day. Eat what is served and nothing else and nothing more. Purge the junk food from your home.  That way it is not an issue.  If a kid doesn't eat what is served, they can starve until the next meal time.  

Do an outdoor family hike or excercise trail session ever evening.

Most importantly, kids get no say or comment on food or activities being bad.  They eat what is provided, and they do what they are told regardling activity and screen time.

Parenting is the solution to all of this and daddy needs to grow some parenting balls.

Jojo4124's picture

Doesn't see said. Meaning he ignores it. I bet HIS parents would not have put up with the crap these kids pull.

If dh doesn't open his eyes willingly and "see" then the kids will get worse as they age. My current dh has horrible entitled 23 yo triplets who act like 5yo ppl. Ss is being investigated for being involved in 2 murders and does fentynol, one sd did a hit n run when we were on vaca and attempted to pin it on me, etc. They are used to dadee getting them out of their messes. But they totally disrespect me even tho I paid for the vaca etc. That was before I saw their craziness. Pending divorce. Dh is making changes but I still wonder, even with disengagement, if I could handle these brats in his life for the rest of mine.

Your SO has to put you first n bring the kids into line. If not, he is telling you that he chooses them over you.