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How to bring SS back down to earth?

Stepmom26745294's picture

My oldest SS is constantly talking about what he wants. He wants laptops, Apple Watch, AirPods ect... he asked his mom for a $600 for his birthday and she got it for him. He wants all this expensive stuff and she just gets him whatever he wants. 
We don't work like that. Well I don't anyway. DH is getting disgusted with his behavior. SS doesn't want to do anything. He doesn't want to clean or walk the dogs or anything. He's 13 and should be wanting to earn money to buy the things he wants but he just thinks things should be handed to him and he doesn't have to lift a finger. I got into a car accident and DH was tending to me DJ we told him he needs to walk the dogs and he sighed and said "I'm tired! I played baseball today. Can't you guys do it?" He has zero empathy for anyone else. It's ALL about him because mom has made him the golden child. None of the other kids in the house are like this. My oldest is only 14 but she works babysitting and she's applying to bag at the grocery store near her dad. My youngest SS is always asking to do extra chores to earn money abd he's very very thoughtful and hrklfuk. He never complains. My 11 year old doesn't initiate but she does her chores with no issue. But oldest SS literally does nothing! 
so DH wants to snap him out of this. It's going to continue at mom's house and there's nothing we can do about that but what can we do here to help him get out of this entitled mindset? 

ExcellenceToolkit's picture

Can you just not buy him anything anymore? I would also  ask him to stop doing chores and let him marginalize himself from the family for a while.

Stepmom26745294's picture

We don't buy him things. His mom does and he expects it from us. We get him things he needs like cloths and stuff but when he wanted us to buy him the same $600 guitar to keep at our house we told him absolutely not. He doesn't do anything at his mom's house because she has a housekeeper. So he doesn't understand why we just don't get one and she can do everything. It's just disgusting behavior. He's such a good kid. He really is very sweet and I love him to death but this entitled mindset is really upsetting both DH and I. 

Letti.R's picture

SS can be spoiled and entitled and get everything he wants - at Mom's house.

It needs to be made clear to this child that things are different in your home, the rules and expectations are different and he doesn't have to like it, but he has to accept it.
Different home means things are different and he needs to get used to it.

Of course, you guys are going to be the bad guys, and I expect SS to rebel and give you attitude, but his Dad needs to shut that down and make things very clear to SS in no uncertain terms.
SS may also decide he doesn't want to visit with you: enforce visitation and enforce the rules or you are in for a further rough ride from a child who doesn't know boundaries or limitations.

Your home is NOT Mom's home and this kid is old enough to understand this: don't pussy foot around with him because it will make him think he is in charge, able to call the shots and he certainly is not - or shouldn't be.

2nd wives club's picture

I got into a car accident and DH was tending to me DJ we told him he needs to walk the dogs and he sighed and said "I'm tired! I played baseball today. Can't you guys do it?"

Did the boy walk the dogs?

tankh21's picture

Your DH can control this situation quickly. The kid needs to understand that there is different rules at your house then BM's. It's the parents job to teach this kid right from wrong and have structure and boundaries set for him. I hate to sound harsh but he will grow up to be a self righteous human being just like my OSS if your DH doesn't try to set him straight now. I am sorry that you are going through this OP.

MurphysLaw's picture

It will be nice that BM has a companion in her old age as SS will most likely be living with her till her death.

Got to look at the bright side of things...

ndc's picture

Having a parent buy you nice things is not inconsistent with being a good family member and doing chores.

My parents are wealthy.  I pretty much got what I wanted - the latest cell phone, the clothes I wanted, a car when I was 16, etc.  But I also helped around the house.  I didn't do chores to earn spending money - I didn't need spending money.  However, if I didn't do chores or live up to expectations within the family, I wasn't allowed to go out with my friends.  That was my currency.  If the SS doesn't respond to the carrot, then give him the stick.  You have no control over BM and what happens at her house, but the fact that SS is given what he wants and not required to do anything at her house doesn't mean it can't be different at yours.  Your H needs to lay out the consequences for not doing what he's told/helping and then enforce them consistently.

ESMOD's picture

Your husband needs to be consistant and hold the line with his son.  He needs to expect his son to be a "member of the household".. and that means when someone in charge asks you to do something.. you don't talk back.. you do it.

I mean.. your DH doesn't have to be "mean" about it.. but when said kid says.. "I'm Tirrrred.. from playing basketball"..

your DH can say..  "haha.. want some cheese with that wine?  no, seriously son.. you need to go walk the dog, I wasn't giving you an option".

It might be that your DH needs to have a bit of a "come to Jesus" meeting with the kid too.  Not in an angry way but in a "this is how life works way".

"SS,  I know that your mom may not expect a lot from you, but here in our home, we expect you to be a contributing member of the household.  That means that when I ask you to do something.. it is an expectation that you do what we ask and respect our authority.  No one is asking you to work 12 hours in the salt mine.. but you are old enough to walk the dog or help vacuum the living room or take out the trash.  It won't kill you.. I promise.  And.. I understand that your mom seems to be pretty open with her purse.  Unfortunately for you, I think it's important for people to learn how to EARN what they want and I don't think I am doing you any favors by giving you every thing your heart desires.  Don't get me wrong, I will provide what you need, but when you venture into want territory? that may not b handed out so freely.  Of course, I am happy to help you reach your goals.. so if there is something you want to get/accomplish  let me know and i can help you plan how you can achieve it.  Responsiblity, Respect and Self Reliance are things that it is my responsibility teach you.. and this is our home.. so the rules are ours as well."

Stepmom26745294's picture

Love all of this!!! Thank you! My ex and I have the same outlook on this so never had to deal with this with my kids. My youngest stepson is so opposite! He wants to work and make extra money so not sure why the older one feels so entitled. 

captjacksprrw's picture

Keep talking with and working with DH; he has to clearly set the expefctation with SS.  At 13, SS is old enough to read a book (check Amazon, etc) titled The Richest Man in Babylon.  It is an easy read, written lightly and explains how the world and wealth really works.

Don't give up or give in; later in life he may realize not getting everything and having to work for the couple of expensive things you really want will make you the better for it. 

tog redux's picture

Most likely your SS will stop coming over eventually because DH is "mean".  That's what happened with my SS when he was 15 - his head had been filled with so much entitlement from BM and poison about how DH was a big meanie, that he just stopped coming over for 3 years.  BM let him do whatever he wanted all the time. 

Now at 19, he's back in our lives, but he's 100% dependent on BM and doing nothing with his life.  And I'm proud of DH for never backing down on being a real parent with SS regardless of how much BM alienated. 

Just J's picture

Your SS can expect all he wants but you don't have to give in. So is mom hands him money, has a maid and buys him expensive things, so what? It's not like that at Dad's house and that's too damn bad. My stepkids grew up getting massages, Disney vacations and fancy parties at their mom's house. DH and I never did anything remotely like that because we didn't have all that money to piss away and you know what? OH FREAKIN WELL! I never gave a second thought to trying to compete with BM or thinking the kids might expect the same things from us. That was BM's house and ours was ours. If they ever made mention of "well mom does this..." I said good for her! And that was that. Shut that bullsh-t down immediately. Kids only act entitled if you let them. 

shellpell's picture

Exactly! I wouldn't even bother going into a long drawn-out explanation. I would shut it down too. When he starts spouting, either say uh huh, that's nice, and that's it or go into another room or something.