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I have to admit......
#1
....I don't know if I like my step-children. I have been with my current partner for three years and at first I was really happy and made a real effort with her two kids (boy and girl 13 and 10), but the more time has gone on, the less I like their personalities as they are really selfish and uncaring, monosyllabic and rude. Anyone have the same issues, or is it just me?
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#2
I am sorry to hear this, but you are not alone here. Sometimes dealing with your own children approaching teenage years is difficult enough, but no matter how much you may love your partner, it can be tough when you have stepped into a fatherly role. Your step-children also bounce off you as a person, and pick up on your moods, so it may also work both ways. Especially in the beginning, kids may be more inclined to take direction from their natural parent, rather than from a step-parent. The adults in the home need to decide together on a set of behavioural guidelines for the children and then present them together, sending the message that obstinate or disrespectful behaviour will not be tolerated. Communication is always key, talk to your partner, tell her how you feel and begin to work together at building the relationship and try to get back to where you were three years ago. Kids are surprisingly receptive, but you have to give out too.
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#3
Respect is earned not given. A united front with your partner will go a long way to deal with this. I couldn't get on with my ex's teenage daughter no matter how I tried and she resented everything I did. I see this as much my fault as it was hers, not helped by my ex siding with her daughter rather than presenting a united front.

My current partner, now wife, and I worked together for the benefit of all in the house, and we also involved her boy's father to ensure he didn't think I was trying to step into his shoes regarding being a father. My wife's boys have been told several times I'm not their father and I'll never try to be, but they do know they can come to me for help and advice if they ever need it, and if I ask them to do something then it's not an option to ignore me.

It's never easy trying to help raise another's children, but it can be done if you approach it in the right fashion.
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#4
Having been a step father for the best part of 12 years I know where you are coming from, I also see how hard my girlfriend tries with my two boys even though she has no children of her own. It can be the most thankless position. Your expected to take on the roles of a father/mother but have rarely any rights or say when it comes to the welfare of the children. In my case my girlfriend has been more of a mother to my two boys in the last 4 years than my ex has ever been but the rejection from the kids when their mother being nice for once is really hard for her to take. I suppose you have to look more long term. They do mature (hopefully) and it will get easier it just depends on what you really want.
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