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2 Bumps

Another Family Fight Question

Sorry, friends, here I am again. This blended family thing is going to be the death of me, I swear it is. I'm pissed now, and probably not being as objective as I could be, but any opinions will be well considered because I'm just at the end of my rope.

My daughter and stepson went to the pool, which they're allowed to do by themselves if adults we know are there. Boyfriend was vacuuming, I was working, stepson brought the five-year-old home because she was having a screaming fit. The pool was cold, and she wanted to play in the hot tub, which she's allowed to do for ten minutes a a time, one round of bubbles, because it isn't that hot. Stepson said no because he didn't want to watch her, he wanted to stay in the pool. Not later, not let me finish what I'm doing and then I'll watch you for ten minutes, just flat no.

Then he asked is dad if he could leave the five-year-old home and go back to the pool by himself because it was embarrassing listening to her pitch a fit. Dad said yes, stepson started to leave, daughter was hysterical, so I stepped in.

Dad yells at me, "Well! Is he in charge or isn't he? He said no!"

I got the five-year-old calmed down, made everybody sit for a family meeting. Yes, stepson is in charge, and yes, daughter has to listen to him and not have screaming tantrums when she doesn't get her way. But stepson could have compromised and watched his sister for a few minutes, not just refused, so they both would get what they wanted. In the end, Dad walked back over to the pool with both of them so stepson could swim and daughter could get in the hot tub.

So, the bigger issue than the pool is, stepson is in charge, but he should compromise. And I'm pissed because whenever anything comes up, Dad immediately takes stepson's side, no matter what, and not our daughter's. Stepson has emotional problems and Asperger's, and Dad's always making excuses for his self-centered behavior. My thing is, he's part of the family. If he's old enough to go to the pool, if he's old enough to be in charge of his sister on their own, which he insists he is, then he should be old enough to consider his sister's feelings and find a way to make their time together fun for both of them, not just himself. It made me livid that Dad agreed right away with his son and wouldn't see, till I pointed it out, that our daughter has rights too and her brother could have been less selfish and figured out a way to do what he wanted and what she asked for, too. Daughter shouldn't have had a tantrum, but she's five and, in my opinion, wasn't treated fairly. She expressed her outrage the only way she knew how.

I'm tired of the war. Just plain tired of it.


Asked by Ballad at 4:18 PM on Jun. 2, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (20)
  • You may or may not know this: Compromise is pretty much non-existent in the world of Aspies. They see things one way or the other. Black or white, no middle ground. Consideration of the feelings of others is missing from the brain's wiring.

    (My 13 year old has Asperger's.)

    He did very well to bring her home. He also did very well to not simply tell her to do what she wanted without watching her, which a lot of lazy kids would do. He followed that rule precisely! I'd consider those things a win.

    The family meeting was also the right thing to do, but I really wouldn't be upset about this.

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:45 PM on Jun. 2, 2013

  • this isnt a blended family issue.
    this is a sibling issue
    big brother was right and little sister was wrong

    dad was right and, sorry hun, you were wrong

    if you do get pregnant (fingers crossed for you) when DD at 15 takes (for instance her 10 yo sibling to the pool) the same thing could happen and you may just end up praising her for handling the situation as effectively

    the younger one was told no, pitched a fit and was removed from the situation
    hell, just think about how many times we tell Moms to do the same thing here on the site...

    Answer by feralxat at 5:30 PM on Jun. 2, 2013

  • My son is 9 and also has Asperger's. One thing that REALLY frustrates me the most about him, is his near total lack of empathy towards someone else's side of things. It's GOT to be his way, or his way. If others won't do it HIS way, he will come unglued and pitch a fit like he's two again.

    While I understand that he should compromise to keep the peace, that kind of emotional logic just is NOT strong in the makeup of Aspie kids, from what I've seen. I can also see Dad's side too. If HE doesn't step up and defend/protect his son, who will? Yes it's frustrating. No, it's not entirely right, but he is being a GOOD dad, just not doing what you think he should.

    My son is SUPER smart, a great kid overall, but his nearly nonexistent social skills cause SO MANY problems in his life, and headaches in mine.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 5:55 PM on Jun. 2, 2013

  • I am being neutral here & my first thought was, well SS is a boy & what the heck do they care about what a 5 year old wants. He just wanted to enjoy himself too. I would just have brought her back with SS like your DH did. He's a teenager & not that he shouldn't have responsibility but he taking care of a kid is probably THE MOST boring thing he could have to do on a nice day. I think boys are just like that. Some never grow out of it. There are a lot of adult Men like that too. But you can't change it. He's still young & has a lot of maturing to do. If I were you, you'd probably get farther with the 5 year old & explaining how things are going to work next time they do go (if) to the pool. She gets her time then he gets his or it's right home she'll go. I wouldn't make more of it than it is. Not to say you shouldn't get upset, just prepare everyone in advance of the RULES! :)

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 4:33 PM on Jun. 2, 2013

  • I have to agree with Dad and the SS on this one. Yes, she has rights, but she doesn't have the right to dictate what happens. He told her no, the result was that she threw a fit - it seems just punishment that she doesn't get to go swimming at all now for acting like that.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 4:38 PM on Jun. 2, 2013

  • " The thing is, he loves to play the hero, be the awesome big brother who takes his ittle sister places. Till she interferes with his fun, then he wants to switch it off like a lightbulb and be left alone."

    heh heh heh heh... Now THAT sounds like an ordinary teenaged boy!

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:46 PM on Jun. 2, 2013

  • Honestly it's A LOT IMO to expect a teen to deal with a child's tantrums as calmly as a parent would, especially one with aspberger's. I have to side with your DH on this one. Unless he was getting paid (which I doubt) then he reached his limit & called it quits.

    Answer by 3libras at 7:25 PM on Jun. 2, 2013

  • As is often the case, I completely agree with gdiamante. Nothing more to add

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 5:18 PM on Jun. 2, 2013

  • If your step son has issues be it Asperger's or what not, he might be 17 but you can't really expect him to act like a normal kid because obviously he is not....I can also understand you standing up for your daughter because she is only 5, but I think hubby handled it well...

    Answer by older at 6:19 PM on Jun. 2, 2013

  • Things said in the heat of anger aren't always the best words to say. My son does things ALL the time that piss me off, until I remind myself that his brain just doesn't work like a "normal" kid's brain does. The hard one we're going through right now is him trying to blame his poor choices on his ADHD or his Asperger's. That is 100% unacceptable for us, and he's having a hard time understanding that his "disability" is not an acceptable crutch/scapegoat for his actions and/or behavior.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 7:21 PM on Jun. 2, 2013