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DD (2 yo) gets "I hate you" from DsD (14 yo)

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I'm new to this forum. Hello! Sorry to have my first post be somewhat of a vent/whine and desperate plea but ...

So this morning DD says to my dh, "I hate you". I'm a very AP type parent. I wish I'd posted here more so you might have a better sense of how extensive this is ... Extended BF, cosleeping still, unconditional parenting, nvc, whole foods ... I read a ton and do my best, I really feel it's all so important, I wish I could express how much this is a part of me now.

My older dsd has been using the hate word a lot. She does it out of annoyance or frustration or jokingly. She threatens "I'm gonna kill you!" (DD hasn't picked this one up, yet). She shouts "Abbie STOP! STOP IT." and of course DD has been saying this a TON lately. We all have our unuseful ways of expressing our emotions I guess. It just happens that my dd is extremely verbal and is picking up these words from DsD1. But it's also the sense of the expression that's she's picking up. It's a vulnerable developmental time for her now and we've been doing our best to model calm requests and patience. She tends to get really mad instantaneously and rather than react to her anger we reply calmly and let her know all she needs to do is ask ... It's a lot of deliberate work for us and it's so hard to see it kind of stomped on in minutes with my DsDs behavior. I should also say that I really love my step kids and I know they are great, well meaning, good hearted kids. And they both seem able to talk to me about a lot of stuff they have trouble talking to their other parents about. They just are used to such a different lifestyle and I don't know how to integrate them into ours. They are with us for 5 weeks this summer (we are on week 2 now). We see have them every other weekend throughout the year. On the weekends, it seems like things are smoother but they've been home during the weekdays with my DD (my 17 yo neice is in charge of DD; my dh and I are working full time this summer; staggered schedules but they are still there for a good 6 or 7 hrs). My neice can't really supervise my sds, she's just there for my dd. She does remind them that DD is there but I sense they are much more relaxed and "natural" when their dad (my dh) and I are not there. Which means they fight and say awful things to eachother (not all the time of course).

I know they want to watch what they say and how they express themselves while around DD. The trouble is that they don't seem capable of actually doing it. I don't think I can expect them to change their behavior... It's not like I'm asking them to change the time of day they take a shower or something. This is deeply rooted behavior. I also know that they feel "bad" for the slips they have. I sometimes think they feel like they are walking on eggshells around me.

How do you all try to influence your step children in terms of values etc.? How do you handle the way their behavior affects your bio kids? Can I just take a moment to admit that when I heard DD say that I really really wanted to just send them home. I feel awful about that but I just so don't want my dd around that. Ouch. I love my dsds dearly but I sometimes don't like them. Ouch. I'm sure I'll feel that way about my bio kids too sometimes. And I won't be able to send them back, lol! Does anyone have any practical suggestions for me? should I talk to my dsds? what should I say? What *can* I say that could possibly make a bit of difference in four short (but long in terms of the impact they might have on my dd) weeks? Do I just grin and bear it? Do I try to minimize their alone (with dh or I) time with DD?

Sorry this is so long. A lot of this has been brewing. I've never had support for being a step mom before and I guess I really need it. There are so many things that are confusing and not many "How To" references for AP/unconditional type parenting.

References to arvhived threads would also be appreciated. TIA!
Jane
post #2 of 2
I just have a minute so I'm just going to reply to the part about saying "I hate you." I just think that phrase can't be used in the house. I'm assuming she didn't mean it literally, it was just a teenage way of saying "I'm really annoyed/mad at you." Since you sound like you like your stepkids, I am assuming they aren't mean kids. Stepkid or bio just can't tell people that they hate someone. It's kinda a cop-out anyway. Challange her to be more specific. When sds says hyperbolic teenage things, I tell him not to say things like that infront of ds, who is 2, because he picks up on it. Like when they are play wrestling and yelling, "I'm gonna smash you! I'm going to kill you!" I say, "What if he says that to kids in preschool? His teachers are going to think he is violent!" and he totally understands. I think this issue also comes up in non-blended families where you have kids of vastly different ages. Teenagers, whether steps or not, are going to expose toddlers to different language, tv, music, foods.
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