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Hi everyone! I'm REALLY new here....but have been looking at all your sage advice and could use some myself after this weekend.<br><br>
Quick background: STBDH and I are getting married June 25, 2007. I have one DS (age 8) from my previous marriage and he has 3 DS's (5, 8, 9) from his previous marriage. We have been co-habitating for almost a year and have been wicked busy these past few months looking/buying our house and planning our wedding in Hawaii (no stress here! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ). My relationship with his ex (the boys' mother) is barely civil, as I am probably a little more conventional than a lot of you here while she is very far to the left and we have extremely different views of most everything. So, that being said, my relationship with his boys is great (most of the time) however, being a single mom I have a very loving, yet no-nonsense parenting style and that is taking getting used to by all parties involved. (btw, STBDH and I have been together since October 2005).<br><br>
My issue from this weekend. We have the his boys EOW and two nights a week, this past weekend was ours (we have my son full-time, his Dad is currently in Iraq and in our prayers)...on the weekends, we allow all 4 boys to have some Gameboy time...the oldest SS (9) gets up at 6:00am most mornings and generally plays or watches TV quietly until the rest of us follow suit around 7:30...I had gotten up early this morning as well to let our dogs out and noticed that he was playing Gameboy. I asked him to give his eyes a break (those screens are SO small!!!) and wait until his Papa was up to let him know of an appropriate time to play Gameboy and for him to put it away. He said "Ok" was very nonchalant about it and I went back to bed for an hour until we heard the rest of the crew getting up. I went back into the living room and saw him putting something in between the cushions of the couch, I asked (very calmly) "where's the Gameboy?" and he answered "in DS's room", and I asked him if he was sure and was he just playing it? He said no...it's in DS's room. I said OK and reached down into the cushion and produced the Gameboy with the game still in progress. I just looked at him, very calmly told him that the Gameboy was gone for the rest of the day and that I needed to speak to his Papa about this (as a Stepmom...I know the protocol!) LOL Well, I told his Papa and his reaction was far more serious...he told him the Gameboy was lost for a week and gave a pretty stern (and loud) lecture on integrity and honesty. The rest of the day went pretty uneventfully, and Papa took his boys back to their mom's.<br><br>
After aprising her of the situation, she turns to the child and says "so, you were validating your feelings of wanting to play the game, right?" and that was it! When their Papa came home and told me, I was aghast! Unless something else went down after he left (which I doubt) that was her total reaction to his behavior???? Arghh......<br><br>
Does this sound like we are going to have these kind of issues from here on out?<br><br>
(sigh...I found a gray eyebrow hair this morning.....) LOL
 

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Maybe she figured that since the discipline aspect of the situation had already taken place at your house, she didn't need to get into it?
 

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Okay, a couple of things.<br><br>
One, your DSS was already punished by his dad. Did you also think his mom should punish him? Why?<br><br>
Two, your DSS' mom is always going to be their mom and you are never going to be able to change that or her so you should do yourself a favor and let what happens when they are with their mom go. What difference does getting upset or stressed about it make? When things like this arise (regarding your SK's mom) I would recommend you stop and ask yourself: Is there a productive way for me to be involved? Are my stressed out feelings productive in any way? If not, try to let it go. You've already stated that you and their mom are at opposite ends of the spectrum, so operate from and with that knowledge.<br><br>
Three, this is important not just for your DSS, but also as it relates to your DS, because no matter how "no nonsense" you are, your DS will lie to you one day. He will be sneaky so here it is: Don't set kids up to lie. You saw him put the gameboy between the cushions. Walk over and calmly state, "Please give me the gameboy that you just stuck between the cushions." Because kids don't like being in trouble... most kids, especially between the ages of 6 and 10 are going to lie at some point or another, some more often than others, to try to get off the hook when they've been busted. Asking him something when you already know the answer and you know there is the potential for lying, really compounds the issue at hand, embarrasses the kid and creates an adversarial dynamic that won't serve you well, especially as the SM. Because now not only did you have to rat him out to dad for being sneaky, you also had to rat him out to dad for lying about being sneaky.<br><br>
Four, either trust your DSS or your DS for that matter to self-regulate (choose to turn it off on their own when their eyes get tired) or make sure it's not accessible when they are not supervised. I think it's really unfair for a 9 year old to be up by themselves, which is boring, have one of their favorite solo activities (gameboy) physically accessible to them, but then be told they can't play with it. It's really setting the kiddo up, ya know? Perhaps, when they are over on weekends, make a plan for the day the night before that will include things like, "If you get up before everyone, you may do X, Y or Z until we are up. Then we will be doing A, B abd C together." Or whatever. Just so that the expectations are clear and the kid isn't sitting around in limbo for a couple of hours waiting for everyone to get up, wondering what he is or isn't allowed to do. I just think it was kind of unfair for him to be allowed to play with it, then be told to shut it off while he was mid-game, then you go back to sleep, and then he winds up in the dog house for going back to the game. Of course he was going to go back to the game! (And that hour while you went back to bed really isn't going to affect his eyes.) I just think you totally set him up. (Obviously not intentionally, you seem very well intentioned and interested in having a good dynamic with your SKs).
 

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OP: I totally feel your pain. We have a maximum daily screen time limit of two hours at our house (as per the AAP). DSD has absolutely no limits on video games or TV at her mom's place - there is a TV in every room over there, including DSD's room (with cable) plus DSD has a Game Boy AND a Nintendo DS.<br><br>
DSD is used to eating dinner in front of the TV. Her entire life is video games and she is incapable of having a conversation about anything else. Zero imagination - she loves to draw and write stories but they are just exact copies of video games and movies. It makes me really sad and I really hope she grows out of it.<br><br>
So, you can see how the video game stuff makes me crazy. And I always hide the gameboy when DSD isn't supposed to be playing it, because she will do the same thing (sneak).<br><br>
Having said that, I would not tell DSD's mom about a video game problem (or really any other disciplinary issue) while dropping her off. If any communication about such things needs to happen, it will happen on the phone, and it will be DH who makes the call. This does not happen in front of DSD, it is a private matter between the parents. That way if there is any disagreement it does not happen in front of the child and there is no undermining of authority.<br><br>
Unfortunately, these types of things do tend to turn into arguments. I do think that perhaps your DH overreacted a bit - a week is a long time for an 8 year old - and that is probably why his mom was snarky. Not that I think her behaviour was acceptable, because I don't, but it is what I would expect to see from biomom here as well, or something similar.<br><br>
The good news is, your DH is supporting you and demonstrating to his kids that it is important that they respect you. That is the most important thing. And yes, if my experience is any indication, you will definitely continue to have these types of issues. You'll probably have to learn to ignore it. Try not to impose punishments that extend into the other parent's time, too - DH could have told DS that on his next visit to your house, the game boy would stay at his mom's, for example.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow! Thank you for your responses!!<br><br>
Shonah: Your advice is really great. It's hard to put into context when you are using text, but I definitely was not setting him up...I know you don't know and can only make your assumptions based on the quick synopsis of what transpired. The rest of your message was very sound, and I appreciated it.<br><br>
Looks to be a long road, but so far, this has been the only real bump.<br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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ok her response was cheesy. dss doesn't appear to have made a big deal out of it and his mom didn't go on a rampage about how unreasonable the rules are or how dare you give him consequences. She may not have supported your dh in his decision but you might as well get used to that. sounds like it will be par for the course. So long as dss is reasonably behaved and accepts any consequences (sounds like he didn't put up a big fight) i wouldn't worry about what his mom says or does so long as she isn't making a big deal about how you guys parent.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pinksprklybarefoot</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7941012"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe she figured that since the discipline aspect of the situation had already taken place at your house, she didn't need to get into it?</div>
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We don't generally get involved with stuff at mom's house unless it is a biggy or she request "back up." She tells us the little things he does that get him into trouble and we say, "Listen to your mom," <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nono.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nono"> but that's about it. Same with things that happen at our house. If it is a biggy requiring him to lose a privledge over a week or somthing, we'd tell her, but it's up to her if she is interested in going along. Generally the punishment/consequence stays at the house where it originated.
 
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