- January 9, 2017 at 6:16 pm #668205January 9, 2017 at 6:34 pm #668206
Aside from the wall punching due to anxiety (which you should suggest to your BF that he make sure is being treated if it is not), most of this sounds like typical pre-teen/teenage stuff: obsessed with tablets and social media, drama all the time, sassiness, even the rudeness. This is why people joke about teenagers being awful. I don’t think there is anything for you to do about them, specifically, except accept that your BF is a package deal. I think that it is reasonable to expect that they treat you with respect, while understanding that as teenagers, they’re likely going to fall short at times, but changing their behavior isn’t your place or your job.
Maybe instead of trying to change their dynamic (which is futile), since you guys don’t live together, when it feels like it’s getting too overwhelming for you, why not time your visits for days when they are with their mother for a little bit? I wouldn’t announce to your BF that you cannot come to his house because his kids are awful or anything, but sort of organically plan things for times when they’re otherwise occupied. It might help him and them for them to have his undivided attention and it certainly will help everyone if you create some “distance” for yourself instead of stirring up drama by criticizing his kids.January 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm #668207
Thank you, that is what I was thinking as well. Some alone time with their dad will do them well and some space will also do me good.
I find it a hard line, of caring and wanting his girls to have help, while not being their mother and not being able to really say much on my end.January 9, 2017 at 6:48 pm #668208
Ah the beauty of earning the WiFi password….
Maybe the three of them need to spend time together out of the house.January 9, 2017 at 6:54 pm #668209
I agree Firestar. It is just them during the week and I come over every other weekend and visit them. But perhaps I could come over only one full day and leave the other weekend day for just them.
One other thing is that when it comes to parenting I have a more strict, tough love kind of approach. For example if it were up to me, the first thing I would do is take their tablet away, until they earn it back, etc. He doesn’t agree with that. But I have to just take a step back and let him do the parenting, hard as that may be!!! 🙂January 9, 2017 at 6:58 pm #668210
As for the punching the hole in the wall I have suggested to my bf that perhaps she do counselling or somehow figure out a solution to help. He told me her mother is trying to work out a way (somehow.. not sure how) to help the daughter manage her anger.
January 9, 2017 at 7:11 pm #668211
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by fourleafclover.
So… their parents are divorced, they probably have some issues related to that, they have to deal with their dad having a new girlfriend, and they’re acting out. And he’s reluctant to be a hard ass because he doesn’t want them hating him. Which may make it worse because he’s not setting boundaries, but he feels guilt, etc. Be careful about telling him how to parent. This is how it is to date a single dad, I think.January 9, 2017 at 7:12 pm #668212
Maybe I’m just super out of it but 9 and 12 seems way too old for throwing tantrums and simultaneously really young for punching holes in walls. Your boyfriend is a package deal and there’s a pretty major part of the package that isn’t working for you…both the girls’ behavior and his (apparently ineffective) response to it. There seems to be a lot going on with this family and giving them more space is a good start but I would do some thinking about how you would want this to work longer term.January 9, 2017 at 7:31 pm #668214
The thing with dating a divorced dad is that you have to deal with his + their mom’s parenting without getting any say, which sucks if they are not very good at it. As the others have said, you’re basically going to have to deal with the choices they make regarding parenting, which is unfortunate. I am sympathetic to the girls in terms of the anxiety and anger issues (and not getting them counseling), but it would also be nice if he could enforce some sort of rules too. This is one of the reasons I couldn’t date a dad.January 9, 2017 at 8:04 pm #668217
Kate, You pretty much hit the nail right on the head with everything! The kids are still getting used to the idea of me, and dealing with issues regarding their mom and dad splitting. I do wish their father would do more disciplining, try to get the girls to be a bit more independant, etc.January 9, 2017 at 8:23 pm #668220
Yeah, I’m trying to think what I would do in that situation, since I don’t have kids or watch TV. I might say to him, well hey, the girls are in bed, what if we keep the volume low, see what happens? If it bothers them, we can go in the other room.” But it’s his house, his call…
What kinds of disrespectful things do they say to you? If it’s mean/personal/critical, I might say, “that isn’t nice,” or “why would you say that,” or “what do you mean by that?” Or even, “that’s a hurtful thing to say.” If it’s just a sassy tone or brattiness, I’d probably do like I do with my Jack Russell Terrier and not give a positive response to it, while rewarding good behavior (not gonna lie though, I spray him with water when he gets loud). But again, yeah, it’s on him to enforce their manners.
You may have to decide if you can handle this for 10 more years.January 9, 2017 at 8:44 pm #668224
Yeah, I am sure that there is an easy workaround for the tv thing. We can try to listen to it on low or do something somewhere else.
My goal will be to just let the small ones go and address anything that is actually disrespectful.
I am going to make an effort to spend more time with her, and try to connect a bit more with her and hopefully that will help, too.
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by fourleafclover.