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Where's the line?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So DSS is here for the month of August (+ a few days) and DH works 60+ hours a week. After much discussion, DSS is not going to camp this summer, but will most definitely go next year if he comes.

So here I am, almost 32 weeks pregnant, with a nearly 10 year old. DH said that DSS should do chores I assign him in addition to showering, making his bed, reading for an hour and writing in his journal each day. DSS isn't really used to being told to do anything or to having people follow up (mom and grandparents - UGH) so he frequently does things VERY poorly and I tell him how it should be done and he grumbles and sulks and does it. (And then we repeat the cycle next time.) Oh, and supposedly I'm responsible for deciding each day whether or not DSS "earned" his $2/day allowance (but when I think he didn't deserve it, I get overruled)

Unlike his mom and grandparents, I make good food from scratch and I work my butt off doing it. And without fail, everytime I make something that took a particularly long time (last night was (all vegan) chili from scratch, bread from scratch, nice salad, strawberry shortcake w/ topping and biscuits from scratch), he eats the tiniest bit, while pouting extensively (seen "Honey We're Killing the Kids," anyone?) and refuses to finish. Then he fakes some horrible ailment (tummy aches, sudden horrible eye pain, etc), runs to his dad, cries, and gets dessert. (last night he fell backward on the floor, rolled around clutching his tummy and whined) Yea. Anyone see a pattern? :P DH says that DSS is just used to getting his way so he will explain to DSS each time about manners and being grateful and other associated topics. Then I get some insincere "That was really good Sarah, thanks" from DSS and DSS gets dessert. I think this sucks. He doesn't even get dessert every night, but on the nights where he flips a hissy fit . . . you betcha!

Anyway. So there's the food issue (which drives me NUTS because mom's idea of dinner is ordering pizza) and then there's the other issue which is that DH now thinks I ask too much of DSS, when I'm only doing what I was told to do. I didn't even want the responsibility of the kid for the summer by myself! (This whole "issue" - stepkids and responsibility and family and whatnot - has been discussed in several separate threads, but that really isn't a main factor here, so just avoid that issue please: )

eta: I would mention to DH that I didn't want the responsibility of dictating what DSS should be doing, but he would translate that into me saying "Get him out of here!!" and a near-fight would ensue.
post #2 of 19
That bites. You shouldn't be put in the 'enforcer' position, and the expectations sound unrealistic. If you're the one who's going to be spending time with him, you should decide what's realistic in terms of him taking direction from you, and just stick with that. If it's realistic to expect him to take care of his own space and not create extra messes for you to clean up, go with that. I don't think that most ten year olds have an hour of 'required reading' and journal writing everyday in the summer: it's one thing to do that if it's what the kid is used to, but if it's a whole new routine, picked out by dad and enforced by stepmom, that's just going to create conflict.

Food-wise, try not to take it personally. It's always worse if it's something you really worked on, especially if you don't feel supported. I would suggest seeing if he can help with the shopping list some - if you don't want to get a list of processed foods from him that he'd like, guide it a bit: what vegetables should we put on the list? what fruits? do you have a favorite shape of pasta? If he likes pizza, make a cheese pizza (or some other kind he likes) at home, with a pre-prepared crust. I'd give over the begging/coercing him to eat. The main thing here is to get rid of as many opportunities for conflict as possible.

Good luck!
post #3 of 19
I have a sister that is 10 that I can't wait to come stay at my house as long as she can (and I think she feels the same way). She was here for about 3 weeks in a row this summer. So although I have to deal with a 10 year old I realize many things are different.

For one I think this
Quote:
DH said that DSS should do chores I assign him in addition to showering, making his bed, reading for an hour and writing in his journal each day.
is setting you up to have a big fight or at least headache everyday. And the holding the money over his head. Obviously this isn't working on so many levels maybe you could just get rid of it altogether (does he really need $10 or $14 a week?)

Instead of creating lots of rules to increase your work, maybe you could think about simplifying them. I feel like you think that not only do you have to get through these 5 weeks, but you also have to make up for whatever (dh) thinks his son is missing the other 11 months of the year. What do you need everyday? Is that reading and writing just so you have a quiet time everyday? Could that be the rule instead (I need an hour alone at this time and you need to stay in your room quietly)? Would it be better if he had one or two chores that dh and him decided on and doesn't seem to just be your whim. If there was something that he was responsible for and you just ignored until dh got home, would that be better?

I can see how the food is upsetting.

But focus on you and the baby and dh. You are making this meal from scratch because you love them. You are not making it to one up his mother, you are not making it to expand his palate, you are making it because you love your family. He might not (proabably won't) understand this summer or next summer, but don't let this way that you make love for your family make you upset beacause one preteen boy doesn't like homemade vegan chili. And if him getting your desserts bothers you then just don't make any for the next couple of weeks.

I don't know if any of this helps or not, but I guess the line here is too much on you and you really resent it. You don't have to put all these responsibilities on your self, think about what is most important for the next couple of weeks and get through them. Don't worry about also having a well rounded stepson, don't worry about how much he likes your meals (you aren't making them for him, worry about the important things.

Getting through the day with out causing any more restentment (don't feel like you have to make up for all he lacks as well as physically take care of him)
Having an enjoyable meal (I would say even if that means giving him pb&j or a hot dog).


I don't know if any of this helps, but why beat yourself up for what is only going to be a few more days.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by appifanie
Anyway. So there's the food issue (which drives me NUTS because mom's idea of dinner is ordering pizza) and then there's the other issue which is that DH now thinks I ask too much of DSS, when I'm only doing what I was told to do. I didn't even want the responsibility of the kid for the summer by myself! (This whole "issue" - stepkids and responsibility and family and whatnot - has been discussed in several separate threads, but that really isn't a main factor here, so just avoid that issue please: )
I've read all of your posts about your DSS and I don't know how you think that the issue you want us to "avoid" isn't the main issue. Its coloring every interaction you have with and every thought you have about this child. Until you are willing and able to let go of your resentment, you are going to be one miserable person. You DSS isn't going to go away. I mean, he'll go back to his mom's but he's not going to cease to exist.

That's not to say that DSS isn't challenging. And I do think your DH is setting you up for more frustration and resentment. You ETA that bringing any of this up is going to lead to a fight (or a "near fight"). Well, I think that could be really problematic for your marriage if you avoid addressing issues that are really, deeply affecting you in order to avoid fighting or near fighting. Do you and your husband not communicate well over all or is your DSS just a hot button issue that you don't communicate well about?

If a situation is occurring that is upsetting and disruptive to you, but you don't take steps to address it, well, you kind of have no one to blame but yourself.

If I were you, I would sit down with DH and say something like, "This is a challenging situation for me, but you and DSS are my family and I made a committment to you and this family, so I am going to try to do whatever it takes to make this work. I need to tell you that X,Y, and Z are not working well for me or for DSS and I think its setting us up for frustration and disappointment. My relationship with DSS is new and still unsteady and forcing him to do things he is very resistant to doing all day long is not beneficial to the development in our relationship. I think it would be better to have the time for us to get on more solid ground before I am put in the role of being the enforcer. I'd like to spend this time with DSS doing some fun things. I also think it would be very helpful if you handled the doling out of allowance."

Or something like that. Have a dialogue.

I mentioned doing something fun. Have you done anything fun with this kid? Children can be very endearing when they are having a great time. Because honestly, I'm picturing from your posts that you just kinda walk around all day avoiding this kid, being pissed off, being resentful, and focusing on all of the negatives and doing very little to foster some positives. Cooking a huge, from scratch meal is a positive for you, but its really not a positive for him from his perspective.

Take the kid to an arcade or mini-golfing or a children's play. Go fly a kite together. Take a walk in a forest preserve and vow to tell him ten things about yourself that you've never shared with him. And he might act like a pill the whole time. He might roll his eyes at you, whine, act snotty, etc.. but just keep on it. Eventually, on some level, it will seep in that you are interested and invested in him. Right now the kid just probably feels your resentment.

On the food things... guess what? A lot of people's "idea of dinner" is ordering a pizza. I'm pretty health conscious but I do *GASP* orders pizzas now and then. You don't have to order a pizza. If you make bread from scratch, then it'll be a piece of cake to make some pizza dough from scratch. And then set out a bunch of good ingredients and make a bunch of mini pizzas. Let him put whatever he wants on his. Make it fun. I did this with my dd last week and she had such a blast and said the pizza was the best she'd ever had. She also took a lot of pride in the fact that she "cooked dinner." I know your DSS doesn't have the health and dietary standards that are important to you but a. its not his fault and b. lessen up a bit. If he loves uber processed convenience meals, you can get some of that type of food but from Whole Foods or another HFS. For example Annie's makes a healthful version of spaghettios. Morning Star makes vegan chicken nuggets. Compromise. Try to meet your need to have healthy whole foods in your home with his comforts and his habits. I also don't like setting up desserts as something that's given as a reward or not given as a punishment. It creates food issues and unecessary power struggles.

And guess what? That new babe in your belly is going to have likes and dislikes and undesireable habits and personailty and attitude all her/his own. You are going to spend hours preparing food for your child that he/she will turn his/her nose at. He/she is going to have McD's at a friend's house ONE time and then pester you about going back for the next 6 months regardless of the fact that he/she has never had anything but organic, whole foods, baked from scratch that you spend hours lovingly preparing. Or you're going to have a child that has a severe allergy to contend with or a child who is very defiant. Parenting is challening. You gotta let go a bit about how you expect things to be or how you think things should be because parenting, whether its bio or step, never goes exactly how we intend. There are always elements we don't like or that are beyond our control.

I dunno.. I know you feel like the issue of parenting/step parenting and responsilbilty and all has been already thoroughly gone over, but I still feel strongly that your resentment and sort of unwillingness to accept that you married a man with a child whom you seem to not particularly like and who's very prescence you resent and who's mother you are extremely resentful of, is a bed you made and until you decide to see that and lie in it, you are going to be very unhappy. This is your life now. How are YOU going to make it work?
post #5 of 19
There are so many things about this situation that bother me! Your DH seems to be trying to fit a lot of parenting into a short visit, and he's not the one even doing the parenting! This boy is in an uncomfortable no man's land -- he's not really a guest, but he's not really a part of the family either.

Does this boy go to school? If so, he is most certainly used to people telling him to do things and following up! Have you considered reading with him/to him or doing books on tape together? He might like the Redwall series or Harry Potter and you might too. (I "still" read with and to my 8 year old and probably will when she is ten and her brother is 8. Yes, she can read herself, but it's something to do together that we all enjoy. Why would I watch tv with them but stop reading together? Family reading time rocks!)

If my husband went off for work for 60 hours a week and left me instructions for how I was to raise our children, I think he would have become my exhusband even sooner than he did! He's acting as if you are an employee, in my opinion, and that really irks me.

Maybe for this month, you can all sit down together and do some meal planning? Ten is old enough to do some meal planning and preparation. You might consider having one "no thank you" option (pb&j or something cheap that he can make himself), having him try at a bite of everything without the drama, and making sure that there's something he likes at every meal.
post #6 of 19
Don't get into a fight with your ss. You have too much to worry about with your body. Keep him safe and yourself sane is my motto. If dad wants to teach him to do chores dad can do it when he gets home. Sure ask him once but if he doesn't do it then just let it go. If he is causing you trouble then deal with that but don't pick up your dh's rope and make it your issue.

As for food my guess is you cook this way for you. So keep doing it for you.

But your ss may never like this food. I always put 'our' food on teh plate but then again drop the rope, have pizza pockets in the freezer for him if he doesn't like your food. I won't tollerage the gagging noises or rude behavior but at the same time I won't try to force a kid to like what I like. He doesn't live with you enough to know your food like you do. Just have him taste it so he can say he gave it a shot and then drop the rope. After all what does it matter if he eats what his parents are totally fine with him eating? I just won't do the food battle.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shonahsmom
You don't have to order a pizza. If you make bread from scratch, then it'll be a piece of cake to make some pizza dough from scratch. And then set out a bunch of good ingredients and make a bunch of mini pizzas. Let him put whatever he wants on his. Make it fun. I did this with my dd last week and she had such a blast and said the pizza was the best she'd ever had. She also took a lot of pride in the fact that she "cooked dinner."
While kneading the dough for the pizza crust will be a great stress reliever for everyone involved you don't even have to make crust -- you can use english muffins, french bread, or maybe a tortilla for crust. A croissant?
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklefairy
If my husband went off for work for 60 hours a week and left me instructions for how I was to raise our children, I think he would have become my exhusband even sooner than he did! He's acting as if you are an employee, in my opinion, and that really irks me.

Maybe for this month, you can all sit down together and do some meal planning? Ten is old enough to do some meal planning and preparation. You might consider having one "no thank you" option (pb&j or something cheap that he can make himself), having him try at a bite of everything without the drama, and making sure that there's something he likes at every meal.
sparkle, you hit the nail on the head. i know he doesn't think what he's doing is bothersome to me, but it really is. i work on explaining it to him, but i've only been a stepmom for 3 months here, so it's an ongoing process.

am working w/ him w/ meal prep stuff - it tends to consist of him looking in the fridge and the pantry for about 3 seconds, followed by "I don't know what to eat!" (and there's all sorts of crap non-vegan kids like in there)

and yea, i'm working on dropping battles (esp about food). it's just weird to me b/c i know (my mom told me) that i wasn't ever like that - i just ate what i was told, did what i was told, etc. (and she's entirely too honest sometimes so i know she's not lying; ) DH says that DSS isn't used to having people call him on his bad behavior (esp about food) and so we're working on him. today's fit involved PANCAKES. (i'm so mean - i made pancakes) next weekend, breakfast returns to cereal.

i'm getting DH to do all the instructing about chores and stuff on the weekend - he tends to forget but i pointed out that if he's just sitting there and i'm the one telling DSS to get ready for bed or whatever, i look like the bad guy since dad isn't making him do things.

thanks to those of you who understand my annoyance
post #9 of 19
It would be frustrating. Especially because you haven't been in this child's life long, you SHOULD NOT be made into the family bad cop. Sounds like your husband may have a very idealistic notion of the kind of kid his son can be molded into over the course of a few weeks, but doesn't actually want to get his own hands dirty trying out his theory...
post #10 of 19
It's hard having a ten year old under "normal" family circumstances!!!

Here's what works for us...

Concerning chores and allowance


...have a chore list that is his responsibility.
...when he does the chore he checks it off the list himself.
...each chore is worth 25 cents
...he determines how much he earns durring the day
...if he doesn't do the chore he doesn't get the money...but you don't make him do anything.

Also have an extra chore list if he wants to earn more money then he can move onto the extras.

Sit with him and look through a cookbook. Decide together on some meals and have him help you prepare it. Get hime to make a sallad and praise him for it! He will take pride in eating what he has helped prepare.

Have a 10 minute clean-up together. You get him to put the timer on the stove and you both race around the house and seee how much you can get done. Have a contest! It's really fun, it will bring you closer together and you'de be surprised how much gets done!!

Have a quiet time in the afternoon where you get time to yourself. Let him do whatever he wants. Watch tv, a game, a puzzle, read. He will be much more reasonable with you when he feels like you are on his side.

Take him to a movie. Rent a movie and watch it together. Stay in bed and watch movies in your pajamas ALL DAY!!! Don't do any chores! Save them for the next day!!

Kids need these times to bond and feel close.

I hope this helps. And hopefully your dh will see the effort you are giving and not worry about the lax in the chores(if your dss decides not to do any).


ENJOY YOUR TIME TOGETHER.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by appifanie
So here I am, almost 32 weeks pregnant, with a nearly 10 year old. DH said that DSS should do chores I assign him in addition to showering, making his bed, reading for an hour and writing in his journal each day. DSS isn't really used to being told to do anything or to having people follow up (mom and grandparents - UGH) so he frequently does things VERY poorly and I tell him how it should be done and he grumbles and sulks and does it. (And then we repeat the cycle next time.) Oh, and supposedly I'm responsible for deciding each day whether or not DSS "earned" his $2/day allowance (but when I think he didn't deserve it, I get overruled)
Ok, just my two cents, but remember the old saying "you can't catch flies with vinegar"?? Wether that kids does the chores that you assign him to your satisfaction or not should not be considered. If he makes a reasonable effort then praise him for doing the chores assigned and leave it at that. When he realizes that you aren't going to fight with him over it then he'll quit being a brat about it.

As for the food, you may need to do what I did.... put your foot down. It may help to ask him in relation to your soon-to-be-in-this-world kid if he thinks that your kid should get dessert when they don't eat thier dinner. The delicately ask why he allow SS to have dessert when he doesn't finish. The rule in this house is that if you aren't hungry enough to finish your dinner then you aren't hungry enough to eat any treats. The skids have made themselves feel ill enough times that they don't play that game any more, either they're hungry and finish or they aren't and don't and then don't ask for anything else. We've been training that one two days a week for 5 years now though! Also, the junk food got throw out a number of times.... so "dessert" was an apple or canned fruit or a glass of chocolate milk.
post #12 of 19
Oh yeah, and 10 yrs is not too young to sit down with and chat about his feelings. If you've only been a step-mom to this kid for three months then he's probably feeling a little put-out by it. A simple "look, i'm not here to be an enemy to you" and "i'm not interested in being your mother, you already have one, but I am an adult and you need to be respectful just like with any other adult", might help the situation a bit as well.
post #13 of 19
Well I guess you are counting down the days now. What's the visitation like for the rest of the year?
post #14 of 19
Boy do i know the frustrations you are feeling!

I guess the first bit of advice i would give is try to stay as true as possible to the quote you like:

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi

talk about a recipe for disaster. and your pregnant? yikes! hormones, plus a blend. geez. your husband obviously doesnt have a clue. must he work so much when his son is visiting? unfortunately as you are realizing there is not a whole lot in this situation you can control except how you handle things and react. i know for me (I have 3 dss and a dd - all fulltime - I am a SAHM) and once i stopped trying to change and control everyone and everything else - things got a little easier, but it is still a frustrating ride. And my husband as well as yours did not always do things the way that i thought he should.

So first I would scratch the whole allowance thing - not only is it a set up for disaster as far as you bein the bad guy a lot, i dont think kids should get paid for contributing to the family as they should any way. If the father expects certain things to be done - I would be careful how much you try to control as far as him getting them done to your standards. VERY poorly would suck - I agree, but be careful. t will just frustrate you more. Even your bio child will not get things done in a way you would like (that is pretty much all kids), but when it is a bio - that natural love and bonding somewhat supercedes your frustrations. If he sulks - dont take it personally. As far as cooking from scratch and not feeling appreciated (lets face it you dont). I dont either. I dont cook from scratch, but I spend an hour + a night, every night cooking for a good size group and there is always one who has a negative comment. TRY to let that frustration roll off. Part of family life. join the club now. And Your husband is not doing him any favors catoring to his tantrums and whines. Good luck trying to tell him that - i am sure he feels guilt working all the time and never seeing him. The best way i know how to deal with that is try not to put him on the defensive. Dont get frustrated. Find a goo time and lovingly tell him - "actions speak louder than words. You can tell ds to have all the manners in the world but if you treat bad behavior he will never learn, now that is good fathering, looking out for his future". It sounds like there are some good ideas on this thread with dinners, so i wont go there...I guess the moral of the story here is you resent your DH. I would too. and the stepson does sound frustrating, but i know you know he is just a little boy with feelings and frustrations and just doing what he knows. I think you really have to be the "change" here and hopefully your dh will listen to you more and not act out on his guilt soo much - I think he has a lot. I guess realize that with your husband and try to be patient and get creative in discussing things with him and dont harbor frustration, let things go - learn to do that quickly and spread the love girl! Good Luck!
post #15 of 19
When I first married dh, it helped me to think of myself as a camp counsler-- a respected adult whose in charge, but fun, who cares about you, but isn't going to cry about you. It was just a role I already knew. We did lots of activities together. We kept busy because I think that is how you get to know a lot of boys. Don't take it all personally. The food thing, we cook a meal each night and if you don't like it you can have cereal. For allowances, dss (11) gets 10 dollars a week, but it isn't tied to chores it is just his share of the family spending money. (If your dss doesn't want money one day, is it ok to refuse doing chores?) He does have chores to do (clean room, shower, keep bathroom picked up, take out trash whenever it is full, and clean up after your own self) but those are independent of money.

The drama going on seems like your dss is having issues with his new family situation. Food seems an easy way to annoy you. My dss is totally uninterested in food too. He doesn't want to cook with me and he doesn't take pride in making his own food-- he usually just feels sorry for himself about it! Oh, well, it's not his thing. He's not rude about it, just taste some of my food and a little later gets a bowl of cereal.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
pink - dh loved the chore/allowance suggestion!

kdtmom2be - very valid food points! we usually don't have dessert things around (well overly sugary ones) but DH has a sweet tooth issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by chel
Well I guess you are counting down the days now. What's the visitation like for the rest of the year?
the occassional weekend - DH works Mon-Sat most weeks with the occassional Saturday off, so for those weekends he usually gets DSS. part of the problem is that it's a 4+ hour drive to get DSS, and the ex doesn't help w/ the drive at all (well, 1/2 way twice in 18+ months; this super concerns me for AFTER the baby is born - yeesh). and unfortunately, DH can't work less when DSS is here (he's in the army and is currently stuck recruiting and they all have horrible hours). (and DSS is gone on 9/3)

Quote:
My dss is totally uninterested in food too. He doesn't want to cook with me and he doesn't take pride in making his own food-- he usually just feels sorry for himself about it! Oh, well, it's not his thing. He's not rude about it, just taste some of my food and a little later gets a bowl of cereal.
if mine wasn't rude about it, i'd be better but it so brings out his snotty side. i mean, c'mon, he's 10 and he's rolling around on the floor like i've just killed him. he usually acts real excited about what i'm making too ("ooh, pancakes!!") and then just doesn't care. (i did mention that he gets random ailments after i cook and goes crying to his dad, right?) i have given up on food while he's here - i make stuff for myself, and to heck with them. (ha - that sounds mean. but seriously - i'm 32 weeks pregnant and not up for standing for hours cooking.)

Quote:
Even your bio child will not get things done in a way you would like (that is pretty much all kids), but when it is a bio - that natural love and bonding somewhat supercedes your frustrations.
i know my bio kid won't be perfect either, but i would like to raise her in such a way so that she doesn't learn that sulking, pouting and crying gets her her way. this kid does one of the 3 every time you tell him to do something. anything. eat, shower, brush teeth, whatever.

Quote:
And Your husband is not doing him any favors catoring to his tantrums and whines. Good luck trying to tell him that - i am sure he feels guilt working all the time and never seeing him. The best way i know how to deal with that is try not to put him on the defensive. Dont get frustrated. Find a goo time and lovingly tell him - "actions speak louder than words. You can tell ds to have all the manners in the world but if you treat bad behavior he will never learn, now that is good fathering, looking out for his future".
he does feel really guilty and i know that and understand it (one of the benefits of my parents being divorced). but you're right, and when i do get him to listen, he understands that he himself doesn't back up what he says must be done. usually the first time i explain something he snaps a bit, and subsequent discussions lead to him understanding better.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by appifanie


if mine wasn't rude about it, i'd be better but it so brings out his snotty side. i mean, c'mon, he's 10 and he's rolling around on the floor like i've just killed him. he usually acts real excited about what i'm making too ("ooh, pancakes!!") and then just doesn't care. (i did mention that he gets random ailments after i cook and goes crying to his dad, right?) i have given up on food while he's here - i make stuff for myself, and to heck with them. (ha - that sounds mean. but seriously - i'm 32 weeks pregnant and not up for standing for hours cooking.)



i know my bio kid won't be perfect either, but i would like to raise her in such a way so that she doesn't learn that sulking, pouting and crying gets her her way. this kid does one of the 3 every time you tell him to do something. anything. eat, shower, brush teeth, whatever.



.
Two more things. SOMETIMES kids this age really don't realize they are being rude. I teach 7/8 grades and manners is a huge part of my lessons each day. Some know and choose, but I am always surprised when I tell them how their tone of voice/body language/word choice could be perceived as "rude" and they are surprised. They often change their way of asking/talking the next time.

I hope to raise my bio kid (and dss) so he isn't sulking, etc, but I've come to realize that I have a lot less influence than I ever imagined! I'm not saying you can't try to shape them or influence them, but that pushy, head-butting, never sleeping baby that was in my womb, is clearly the same toddler I have now!
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor
Two more things. SOMETIMES kids this age really don't realize they are being rude. I teach 7/8 grades and manners is a huge part of my lessons each day. Some know and choose, but I am always surprised when I tell them how their tone of voice/body language/word choice could be perceived as "rude" and they are surprised. They often change their way of asking/talking the next time.

I hope to raise my bio kid (and dss) so he isn't sulking, etc, but I've come to realize that I have a lot less influence than I ever imagined! I'm not saying you can't try to shape them or influence them, but that pushy, head-butting, never sleeping baby that was in my womb, is clearly the same toddler I have now!
Good point! I don't have kids that old yet, but I've found that many things that I had assumed were the result of "nurture" are actually a matter of natural human development.

I've started noticing the high school kids from the school down the street and where my brain was automatically saying, "mine will never. . ." I'm stopping myself a lot more quickly lately!
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor
Two more things. SOMETIMES kids this age really don't realize they are being rude. I teach 7/8 grades and manners is a huge part of my lessons each day. Some know and choose, but I am always surprised when I tell them how their tone of voice/body language/word choice could be perceived as "rude" and they are surprised. They often change their way of asking/talking the next time.
he knows. trust me, he knows.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Where's the line?