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#70868 - 08/26/04 06:48 PM young children/older children
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Is it easier to become a step parent to a young or older child?

Observation has taught me that the younger the child, the better the relationship. Do you agree or disagree?

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#70869 - 08/26/04 09:00 PM Re: young children/older children
chatty lady Offline
Writer

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 20267
Loc: Nevada
I totally agree, the younger children are moldable while the older children are already set in their ways, less trusting and usually more stubborn. Its more work in my opinion, mentally with an older child.

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#70870 - 08/26/04 09:28 PM Re: young children/older children
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Well, since I've been bamboozled into this situation and am living it now, I can honestly say it's easier with the younger child.

The children of my son's former girlfriend, which has two children, ages 5 and 1, and is pregnant with his child (maybe), if I had to deal with either, I'd choose the 1 year old. I know that the one year old has pamper changing, bottling, pottie training, the works but it would be easier than dealing with a child that has already been molded into an unruly person due to lack of parenting and worse.

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#70871 - 08/26/04 11:01 PM Re: young children/older children
Lynn Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 621
Loc: pennsylvania
The younger the better. My step daughter was 7. And already a little person who had to conform to her Mom's house and our house. Complicated from the start.

Lynn

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#70872 - 08/26/04 11:33 PM Re: young children/older children
Dianne Offline
Queen of Shoes

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 6123
Loc: Arizona
My answer: Don't marry a man with any children. Young or old!

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#70873 - 08/28/04 03:19 AM Re: young children/older children
smilinize Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
Dianne,
Having been married a few times to different types, I would say that it's a trade off. A man's children can always be a pain, but I think a man who never has children is less mature and more self centered.
Just my experience.
smile

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#70874 - 08/28/04 11:25 AM Re: young children/older children
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
Just don't marry... [Big Grin]

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#70875 - 08/28/04 01:21 PM Re: young children/older children
Dianne Offline
Queen of Shoes

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 6123
Loc: Arizona
Smile, I agree on that point but from my experience, my husband has been trying to make up to his sons, what his ex wife (their mother) did to break up the family. She had an affair with my husband's best friend. They married but both cheat on each other now. The creep even made a pass at me (subtle) at my husband's son's wedding! Gross. I think my husband decided his son's had been hurt so much that he would never allow them to go through anymore pain. So...I'm the one who has seemingly been paying for his ex wife's sins! I can be unhappy so they won't. Hasn't been working for me very well.

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#70876 - 08/28/04 01:49 PM Re: young children/older children
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
Over compensation from a single parent, or one who has remarried is a very common problem. Unfortunately, sometimes it can lead to the child (especially one growing into the situation) expecting life/parent/step-parent to bend to their every whine...In their effort to do good, the enabling parent becomes just that, an enabler. Limits to their "making up for a bad parent" helpfullness are never set and another unfortunate thing is that the helping hand of the parent(s) seems to be driven by guilt. Guilt over not being able to hold the family together, not being able to be both a mother/father, or be there every single waking hour of their children's lives, or just guilt because they feel like they have failed everyone, including the spouse that left. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Maybe...and I'm guessing here Dianne, so bear with me, but maybe your hubby is overcompensating because his job has so much pressure that he feels guilty for not being able to be there all the time and because she left??? Just a stab in the dark.

JJ

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#70877 - 08/28/04 04:35 PM Re: young children/older children
Dianne Offline
Queen of Shoes

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 6123
Loc: Arizona
It could be that, JJ. He did put in a lot of hours and that's why he was always so successful. He's a very generous man with material things but rather closed emotionally. However, I should add that both his sons moved in with him because they were so disgusted with their mom's actions. To this day, I don't think they respect her much but then, they don't respect me either. I cannot begin to tell you how rudely I've been treated in MY home but that's my husband's fault because he never put a stop to it and even treated me rudely too so they wouldn't feel left out or think that maybe dad loved me more than he loved them. So, the end and result of all of this is...they are no longer allowed in my home. If my husband wants to visit or see them, he can go to their home or they can visit him in MN but my home is no longer going to be a consideration for a battle ground. I can't tell you how many nightmares I've had over this. Someone is destroying my home or landscaping, etc. Not hard to figure out. Plus, the youngest son told a terrible, terrible lie that hurt me deeply and then he lied to cover the lie and this has never been addressed by my husband and not sure it will. It can get pretty ugly and it's all so needless. I find myself getting angry all over again while writing this. [Mad]

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#70878 - 08/28/04 06:20 PM Re: young children/older children
chatty lady Offline
Writer

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 20267
Loc: Nevada
BEST ACVICE was a few posts above:

NEVER MARRY A MAN WITH CHILDREN

Unless you've met them, spent time together and really get along or as you have experienced, your just asking for trouble. Men are so immature to begin with and he seems really stupid...Sorry but thats the way I see it. How did you ever become involved in a situation like this? Be strong and don't take any crap from these brats or him either... [Mad]

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#70879 - 08/28/04 06:32 PM Re: young children/older children
smilinize Offline
Member

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
Dianne, I'm sorry to hear the sadness and anger in your words. It is easy to understand your resentment. I think you were right to protect your home. It is your sanctuary.
Your husband is wrong to abandon you when you are being attacked (by anyone). And he is even more wrong if he joins in the attack. That's abuse.
Chatty asked why you married him. Was he different during the courtship as many men are? Did you meet or know the sons before?

My only suggestion would be a church marriage retreat. They are running them all over the U.S. now and I hear so many people say it has not only saved, but completely changed their marriage to something they can not only live with, but something wonderful.

smile

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#70880 - 08/28/04 11:07 PM Re: young children/older children
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
Dianne,
I applaud you for setting down those rules. You go girl! I mean it. If they are disrespectful of you, let them earn the right to come back in your home. ON YOUR TERMS. I say again, YOU GO GIRL! I'm disappointed that your husband actually joined in with them to take jabs at you. What kind of message did that send?

I think you have a good head on your shoulders and no doubt they will think twice before they try that crap again with you. Stand your ground. I'm angry with them too!

JJ

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#70881 - 08/28/04 11:31 PM Re: young children/older children
Dianne Offline
Queen of Shoes

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 6123
Loc: Arizona
The oldest one has always been a jerk toward me and I started being a jerk back at him and he stopped. We were actually close for a while until the younger son told this huge lie (yes, another one!) and it destroyed the relationship and that was nine years ago. The problem is with my husband more than those two. If David ever put his foot down, this stuff would have stopped a long time ago but no go on that. So, my only retaliation is to make my home off limits. I don't go visit them either. David can go all he wants to see them but if I want to be abused, I'll give my ex husband a call! I've also said I refuse to spend anymore holidays with them. Geesh, stay at your own home for a change! I work like a dog and get no help from them and my house is a mess when they leave and it just isn't going to happen again. This year, I'm going to AZ for Turkey Day to see my kids for a change. David can come if he wants and if he doesn't want to, I say hooray to separate holidays. Beats getting sick before his sons arrive. That's really true. I dread it so much my body makes itself sick. I actually lost seven pounds when the oldest got married because I had to spend four days around him. I did look good in my dress tho! [Smile] I have finally reached a point where I don't care as much about what they think of me and that includes my husband. I lost a lot of respect for him because of this and sadly, for myself because I put up with so much crap. Now, I do what I want to do, when I want to and with whom I choose and it works for me. My husband is the loser on this and I think he's starting to realize it. But, it isn't that important to me anymore. Thanks for letting me vent.

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#70882 - 08/31/04 03:04 AM Re: young children/older children
Songbird Offline
Member

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 2830
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Dianne: Your situation is sad, but I'm proud of you for setting limits.

How old are these guys? Even when they lost respect for their mother, that doesn't give them the right to disrespect you. Your husband is wrong in letting them get away with it too! [Frown] To me, he is disrespecting you too by allowing this from his kids!

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#70883 - 08/15/05 06:47 PM Re: young children/older children
Debs Offline
Member

Registered: 08/15/05
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
My stepkids were 4 and 7 when I met my hubby. Shes now 13. cant stand the brat. And after endless years of trying I have finally given up on her. Shes such a nasty peice of work. Never met a human being like it. I cant even call her by her name I dislike her so much. She knows what buttons to push. And I am afraid to say they've all been broken where she is concerned. I have got my children to worry about. They are more important than she will EVER BE. She will get her cummapance.

[ August 15, 2005, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: Debs ]

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#70884 - 11/16/05 03:34 AM Re: young children/older children
Di Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 2785
Loc: NM, transplant from NJ
I married my DH when his kids were 23 and 25 and already on their own.(9+ years ago) They just met me the night before we married. Yes, it was QUICKLY and NO, we did not HAVE to get married...we wanted to.

Anyway, they reflect their Dad. Wonderful adults.....kind, considerate, respectful and accepting of me. I would not have traded this way for any other. No, U'm not their Mom, but legally I have the same responsibility as one. So, I like it!

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#70885 - 11/17/05 07:45 AM Re: young children/older children
Junebug Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/05
Posts: 171
Loc: 10 yrs in OH now, 47 yrs in Tx
Di said it! Children grow up, and hopefully they will grow out of the adolesenct behavior toward the step parent! Sometimes it just takes time.

My second husband was 12 yrs younger than me and never had children. I had 3 sons. Yes, the youngest one was easier for him to form a relationship with, but as they grew older, they all resented him because he WAS there doing the things their own father WOULD NOT DO! They acted out, taking it out on my husband, and man was I ever IN THE MIDDLE! Now they are grown, they have apologized to him and even said they tried to make it hard on him, but he never gave up, never! He was strong and never wavered on how he treated them, always consistent. They also remember this! My youngest one calls him Dad when talking about him to others, but when talking to him personally, his given name. They all formed a great bond soon after growing up and seeing he was there to stay, not like their dad. And, they respect him and call him for advise.

Kids sometimes work at making things hard, on purpose! It can just mean they are working through other feelings that do not really have anything do do with the step parent, sometimes. Others, need psychology, the whole family!

My youngest son and his wife have said that they want it in our will, that if anything happens to my husband (his step father, who he feels is his father) or myself, he is taking care of the one that is left, or both of us if we need taking care of! He said this at 24, he is 25 now! He is a person of few words, and always means what he says, or he doesn't speak! How is that for being a little shit younger, and growing up with respect now!

There is hope! Psychology used consistentyly on them never hurts, and the hardest thing in the world, not taking anything personally that they say. When they can get to you and know those buttons, they are in control. I always had some really good come backs to my sons, my middle one was the worst.

His first few times of trying to hurt me or anger me:
Son, "I am so mad at you."
Me, "Dustin, I thought you were having trouble in English. This is wonderful! You just said a five word sentence using a (whatevers) and totally conveyed how you feel. I think you should go write that down right now so you will have it when you need a good sentence for English!"

Son yelled, (First and last time he said this to me)"I hate you!"
Me, "Really! Geeze, I never knew that. Thank you for sharing that deep thought with me. What do you want for dinner?" "Oh, I just thought of a great idea!" I go over to a sheet of paper and marker and write down, then show him and ask. "See my profound thought Dustin!" On the paper is written. [We can discuss anything, and yell about nothing!] "Where do you think we should hang this in the den so we all can see it to remind us?"

After about 3 mos of this, his attitude changed. I said nothing he could argue about, or push my buttons, or be angry at! I never once got angry, although the 'I hate you' hurt, he never knew it! It did him no good to use it again, because it didn't work. I have used these things with my grandchildren also, especially my granddaughter, now 17. NO, I am not perfect! My husband, their step father, taught me child psychology and how to deal, and he was the one they took things out on!

I am sorry this was so very long, but I though something might pop out and might help. My sons all have their own children and are using the same methods. It is working!

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