Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Tablet Madness and Tantrums

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This topic contains 53 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Skyblossom Skyblossom 7 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 49 through 54 (of 54 total)
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  • #668349 Reply

    Thank you Ron!

    #668355 Reply

    He is totally on point here to be sure.

    #668358 Reply

    So, I didn’t get to read your original post so I don’t really know where things started, and it sounds like you’re not moving in with this family yet so I think you deserve a little more slack than you’ve been given by some. That said, I think you’re still in the wrong frame with this statement:

    “As that is the part that I require help here with. The fact is that there are some concerning things going on with their behaviour, that i am trying to think of ideas for. I care and am trying.”

    At this point, you do nothing. You are not yet proto-mom. Maybe someday, but not now. You can support your boyfriend by being a listening ear, and encouraging him to get outside. You should be kind and loving to these kids, even when they are being nasty to you.

    Annnndddd…that’s it. You don’t get to discipline them, you don’t even get to weigh in with your opinion on what it should be (not even to your boyfriend), you don’t get to be part of the strategy team to figure out how to deal with behavior problems.

    None of that is your place yet.

    #668364 Reply

    Also I know you think you’re not around them a lot because you only see them one or two days a week on the weekends when they are with their dad – but that is all of their freetime with him, so effectively you are always there, at least at the quality times. The rest of the week they are, they like you, have shit to do. They have to go to school, they have homework, they have to go to bed earlier. If you are there on saturdays and Sundays you are hogging up all the free unscheduled time they could actually enjoy spending time with their father.

    Let them have that time. Don’t see your boyfriend on the weekends he has the kids. Or, spend just a couple hours there but not the whole time. Maybe hang out a few hours to develop relationships with them, but then peace out and give them most of the day for daddy daughter time.

    #668370 Reply

    Everyone’s given you excellent advice, but I’ll just weigh in here from the perspective of someone who’s dating a guy with kids.

    And I will tell you, given your current relationship status, trying to parent these girls in any way will be a fatal mistake. When you are there, you are a guest in their home, and you have absolutely no say in anything that they do. Try to “correct” their behavior, and it will backfire, not only on your relationship with them, but your relationship with your boyfriend as well. Because in a contest between you and his children, you will lose every time. Get too pushy about it, and he’ll break up with you.

    You seem to have very strong opinions about how children should behave, and how they should be raised. And well, hey, we all have opinions. But this is the kind of thing you vent to your friends about. Unless your boyfriend specifically says to you, “I’d love some ideas on how to get the girls to use their tablets less,” bringing it up with him is out of line.

    #668466 Reply

    I think you’ve spent little to no time around kids so don’t know what they are like.

    Kids don’t just run outside and play in the neighborhood anymore. There are way to many homes that don’t have any parent or adult in them during the day and so no supervision. You don’t want your kid hanging out at a home where kids are left on their own all day every day. Kids call and invite a friend to come over. If that isn’t happening then the kids are having social problems.

    As far as the kids not liking what you cooked you have to understand that in their own home, at their own table, they need to be able to say what they like and don’t like. It isn’t disrespectful to say that they don’t like something. It is the kid trying something and not liking it. The biggest issue you will have if you try to make them quietly eat everything you cook as if they like it is that they will refuse to try anything new or totally refuse to eat what you cook. They need the leeway to try things and not like them. We all do. How many foods do you cook for yourself that you don’t like? Have you never tried something new and found that you didn’t like it. Kids need the leeway to have their own likes and dislikes in their own home. They aren’t a guest in the home where you might expect them to quietly eat what is served. It is their home and if they aren’t allowed to have an opinion in their own home they aren’t allowed to have an opinion.

    When the girl’s mom cheated on their dad and lied to him about where she was and what she was doing she was lying to all of them. When she left the dad she also left the kids. The sense of abandonment can be profound. The sense of not being loved and valued enough to stay is huge. They have found that mom will sneak, lie and cheat and leave them behind. They need to know that dad won’t do that. They need to know that dad has their backs. They need to know that dad will stick up for them. They need to know that dad won’t choose to run off with someone and leave them behind. They need to know that dad loves them and values them enough to be there for them always. They need dad to stick up for them when you want to run the TV while they are trying to sleep. They need dad to stick up for them when they use their tablets and when they don’t like a food. They need to know that dad chooses them. That is critical for their emotional health and sense of self-worth and for their ability to trust a partner when they are older.

    If you care about your boyfriend you will want him to have a strong relationship with his daughters and that means backing away when they spend time with him. Let them have his undivided attention. Let them feel valued and wanted and like they are a priority. They need that and his relationship with them needs that. They especially need that if mom is living with her affair partner. They need to know that one of their parents cares enough to stick around for them. You will all get along better if you stay away when he spends time with them and you spend time with him when they aren’t there. Basically take turns with his time and attention.

    The oldest girl could easily be pregnant at age 14 or 16 so in two to four years. Her emotional health now is critical to how vulnerable she will be to a boy who is telling her how much he loves her. If you think things are difficult now try adding a baby who has an immature teen mother to the mix.

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