Hello, I'm new here...I've been lurking for a couple of weeks, and need some advice, comments, etc.
A little background...I have two dc (9 & 11) from previous marriage. Recently remarried with dss (6) recently moving here from with his mom, and dsd living with dh parents soon to be with us too. I am 11 weeks preg (yeahh!) with #5 if you include all of our beans. My dh works long hours, so I am left to care for dss after school and Sat. My ex and I share parenting- him MTW, me ThFSS.
I have raised my children out of the mainstream as much as possible, I am a wahm, breastfed, co-slept, etc. My children spent the first 5 years of their lives living a very cultural life traveling to music festivals to vend my wares, camping and meeting MANY unique people from all walks of life. They have been raised to appreciate what we have, and are both very humble. They are beautiful, smart, unique, mature children who have always been encouraged by myself and their dad to be themselves.
My dss, however had been raised to this point by his mom who is not present most of the time, left him with sitters, older half-brother, etc. to pursue her drug habit. He has been given what he wants when he wants it just to shut him up (whether it's a piece of cake instead of dinner, or a $75 toy to avoid a scene at the store). My dh has not been allowed to see him for much of his six years, but to quiet his whining about wanting to move in with dad, his mom let him come (700 mi away) to live with us.
I feel I am blessed to have been put in his life to show him some sort of a normal with a schedule, bedtime, some limits, structure, etc. He moved to be with us in Jan. of this year, and has come leaps and bounds from where he was when he got here.
I feel he has been severely neglected as a little soul to this point. His teeth are all rotting out because from a baby, he was give *CHOCOLATE MILK* in a bottle during the night to stop him from crying. He does not even remedially know how to share anything. He has absolutely no awareness that anyone other than himself has feelings or is entitled to a difference of opinion from his own. If he doesn't get -his way, -what he wants to eat, -a certain toy, -to win a game of checkers, -tv to fall asleep to, -bath when he wants, etc. he will throw a huge fit kicking and screaming, yelling at his dad and me, crying, pouting, *spitting* on my children when they refuse to play with him because they've had it with him.
Just a for instance...We took them all bowling yesterday. My two have been bowling a few times, dss has not. Dss was really excited about going. dd won with like 43 points, was a good sport, and cheered on ds and dss. Ds lost horribly with 12 points, and was upset, but kept his chin up, and congratulated his sis and cheered everyone on. Dss came in the middle with 32 points, threw a fit stomping his feet, threw his shoes, throwing bowling balls, cried, etc. over not being the winner of the game, screaming "I suck at bowling! I hate this! etc." Then cried and had another fit when we decided it was probably better to just leave.
Okay, enough background, you all get the point...Two totally different parenting styles here.
So my issues are this:
I've talked privately with my kids and explained that we all need to help dss to acclimate to our environment. That he's not used to having siblings, rules, limits, etc. They have been extremely patient, but they are nearing their breaking point. This past weekend, ds said he wished dss would go back home because he's made me mean. I explained that things are getting better, and that I have to tighten the belt before it can be loosened again.
How do I keep the things super-structured for dss while he's getting used to having limits while at the same time give my kids their freedom without it seeming like I'm playing favorites? (I'm not, it's just rewards come for good behavior).
Any tricks other that just saying that "Crying, throwing fits, or pouting will get you an automatic no." when things erupt?
Dss answer to things like "You shouldn't talk to me like that. It's okay to be angry, but please say that again without hurting my feelings." is
DD said that before. or DS did it first or They hit me back. We've been working on the whole treat others as you want to be treated which works sometimes with *constant* reminders. Is there a better way to teach this at 6 yrs. old? It seems it was a review for my kids at that age.
Any advice or comments would be appreciated. I feel like I'm dealing with a 2 yr. old in a 6 yr. old's body. The things that dss is dealing with are things that I thought all mom's dealt with and taught as their children were growing. I know dss is going through a lot emotionally and mentally right now. He tells me he misses his big brother and his gramma, but never says a word about his mom. He won't even talk to her on the phone. I feel for all of his emotions, but I know to keep any sort of peace in our house, he needs to learn to control himself despite the events or circumstances in his past. Am I being to stiff lipped on this one?
DH is also doing very well adjusting to being a dad full time, and not just an "on the holidays" dad. He swallows his pride daily and asks "What should I do?" He's not here but in the evenings for dinner and bedtime then on weekends, so most of this falls on me, which I am okay with because I knew it would going into this relationship.
Other than building a padded room so I can go bang my head every ten min. on the weekends, I'm at a loss for anything other than being consistant with what I've been doing.
Thanks for "listening"...