I can't stand my Stepkids - Need to vent
Forgive me for the long post.
I've grown to dislike my stepchildren. Here's some background: I've been married to my wife for almost two years and together almost four years. It's cliché, but she's my soulmate. Her children are another matter. She has a 9 yo boy, 11 yo girl, and 12 yo boy. My 7 yo daughter stays one night every weekend. My in-laws live with us. I get along great with them. Bio dad is a loser.
General issues with kids
They are disrespectful, disobedient, selfish, and greedy. I avoid eating with them at the dinner table because it’s a circus. Getting them to sit in a chair longer than 30 seconds is a struggle. We can’t have a conversation without them shouting over each other. My wife wonders why I eat quickly and excuse myself. Being ignored is not uncommon if you ask them something or tell them to stop misbehaving. They have no problem talking back or arguing with you.
My primary grievance is I don’t trust these kids at all. Bio dad coached the kids to “report” to him mistreatment. He reported us to Child Protective Services who informed him that his “reports” weren’t child abuse. Meaning don’t waste our time you petulant deadbeat. If CPS had believed him, I could have gone to jail or lost visitation with my daughter. Also, I know he tells the kids to lie about things to us. My wife and bio dad are civil for the moment. What happens if they have another falling out? I’m keeping my distance, so they can’t say I abused them.
The 9 yo boy still has accidents. It's getting better, but he still craps and wets his pants (or my couch) and can’t wipe correctly. The kid won't eat a normal meal. I understand kids don't want to eat broccoli. He won't really eat anything except corndogs, French fries, or McDonalds etc. He develops a stomach ache if given a healthy meal. However, his stomach ache doesn’t stop him from playing Xbox. His poor diet causes constipation requiring laxatives. He’s started carrying a stuffed animal around and wanting to take out in public. I realize stuffed animals are still age appropriate for a 9 yo. However, he just started doing this and I feel like he’s regressing. I feel the kid have some serious underlying issues that require professional therapy. My wife ignores and keeps babying him.
The 11 yo girl is patently insubordinate and greedy. In the beginning, I tried to bond with her. I spent several hundred dollars on dance class and accessories for her. She quit after three weeks because she didn't like the dance studio because it “smelled funny” and was in an industrial park. Meaning it wasn't fancy enough. I have three children of my own I support. I'm not made of money. The dance class is but one example of something I provided her only to be shortly discarded. Is she grateful? Nope. The only thing she says to me is if she can use my tablet to listen to music or buy her something. I’m tired of being used by her. SD once refused to switch seats in the car so her grandmother (with a bad knee) wouldn’t have to walk completely around the van to get in the other seat. If that’s not selfish, I don’t know what is.
The 12 yo boy is a special case. He has Asperger’s Syndrome. He has zero social skills which is central to the disorder. I can’t interact with him because all he wants to do and talk about are computer games and screens. My issue with him is that my wife doesn’t think his lack of social skills is a problem. I know it’s neurological, but to be successful in the world you need to be able to interact people. Bio dad doesn’t believe the diagnosis. They are setting him up for failure.
I’ve talked or fought with my wife about these issues. Her reaction is to yell at them which doesn’t change anything. If she punishes them, follow through is weak if any. The children have never been sent to their rooms. SD was grounded from screens for a week. She straightened up until she got them back. I finally took away all the consoles and screens.
I’m can’t stand being around them. Thus, I’m disengaging. If my wife doesn’t want to expend the effort to address these issues, I’m not going to either. What really drives me crazy is they don’t act out at their dad’s. He can’t spoil them like we do. The kids don’t treat him like this. I told my wife to stop buying them stuff, since they are content with having nothing over there.
Yet, my wife wants me to spend time with them and bond. She says they want my love and attention. I see no evidence of that. Maybe they do, but you only get to sell me out once.
Help me, I don’t know what to do. Any other step-dads dislike their step kids?