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How to deal with resenting your step-kids?

I don't know what to do at this point.  I'm engaged to a wonderful man who I love very much.  We've known each other for 6 years and just within the last year or so started talking, dating and moved in and got engaged.  Things are amazing, until his 4 ½ year old son comes over.  Then everything goes down hill SO fast.  I absolutely can NOT stand this kid.  I've tried to be fun and play with him and the last time we were playing and having fun things were good for a few days, but the minute I had to put him into time out (because he grabbed a soda off the counter after he was told not too several times) he said "You're not a mommy, you're not MY mommy"

The biggest problem (above all the back talking, manipulation and lying) is bed time.  He has his own room, but refuses to sleep in it alone.  So he sleeps on the couch, but he won't go to sleep unless daddy is with him.  We put him down for his bedtime at 9pm and about 3-4 hours later the kid finally goes to sleep.  I typically have to set an alarm for 1-2am to go and get my fiancé off the couch and into our room.  About an hour later the kid will be crying and screaming.  I have to be up for work at 6:45am so this on going game all night gets VERY old VERY quick.  In the end my fiancé ends up sleeping on the couch and wakes up exhausted and grouchy.  I'm grouchy because I didn't sleep and ended up sleeping alone. Isn't 4 ½ a bit old to be sleeping with a parent?  




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Asked by Kahlua715 at 5:30 PM on Apr. 27, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Well you are not his mommy and he seems to be under the impression you are trying to take over that role. That is something to address first. Second, no a 4 yr old usually does want to sleep with a parent they do not get to see often when they visit. My kids all did this with their dad. No big deal. He is only there every other weekend so why stress about it? Sleep alone on those days and let him have his time with his father.
    And saying "above all the back talking, manipulation and lying" about a 4 year old is pretty funny. Do you expect the kid to be an adult? That is what kids do at that age. This is up to his dad and you need to talk to him about it. If you do not love his son, you really do not love him. Walk Away.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:38 PM on Apr. 27, 2011

  • This is why a child should never get use to sleeping with their parents. My only suggestion to you on the bed time is you and your fiancée need to be firm and put him in his bed. He will cry and might even scream but eventually he will go to sleep. If he gets out of bed put him back. It will take some time but eventually he will be fine goin to his own bed at bed time.
    As far as telling you you are not his mommy. Your fiancée needs to tell him that even tho you are not his mommy you are still the grownup and in charge and he needs to do what you say and if he doesn't he will get into more trouble.
    Sometimes dealing with Skids can be hard and it makes you want to give up (trust me I know) just be patient and you and you fiance work together and stand your ground and he will eventually understand.
    Good luck.

    Answer by firepony at 5:41 PM on Apr. 27, 2011

  • You are not alone in trying to step-parent a difficult Child. You do not need to be his mother, in order for him to obey you. He is going to have to obey a LOT of people by the time he is an adult ,and most of those people will not be his mother ! Can you have your Fiance sit him down and tell him he needs to do what you say? Even if his mom and dad dont insist they obey them,he can still obey you. As far as the lovey-dovey feelings for him,it might never be like that. When I fist started dating my husband his daughter was 3. She was one of the worst children I had ever met. I didn't care for her AT ALL ! Then we got full costudy and she only went to visit her mom 4 days out of the month ! The trick is to be KIND,and be FIRM. I am happy to say 6 years later, I do honestly love my step daughter. I did NOT think that would ever happen. How often do you have your step son ? It might get better as he gets older. Good luck to you!

    Answer by Gnomes at 5:44 PM on Apr. 27, 2011

  • He's right. You are not his mother. Even as his stepmother, which you are not yet, you only get so much room. His father needs to be doing out punishment, not you. Honestly, he probably doesn't need to be in a situation with dad and fiance because there is not stability obviously. If you can't stand a 4 year old child, that was really nasty of you by the way, you need to walk away now. It will not get better if you ever do get married because to him you're trying to take over. Your fiance had this child before you got together and he needs to come first. Period.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:48 PM on Apr. 27, 2011

  • We have him 3 days out of the week. Typically all day Tuesday, Tues. night, all day Wednesday, Wed night and all day Thursday. He doesn't go to day care the days we have him. He spends all day (and most of the time) all night with my fiancé. I understand spending one-on-one time with his dad, I really do. But they get that. I'm gone for 12 hours every day.
    The kid’s new trick is to take his blanket and pillow and sleep on the floor in front of our bedroom door. He’ll get daddy’s attention so my fiancé will feel bad for the kid and puts him back on the couch and will sit with him until he falls asleep because he “doesn’t want him to sleep on the floor.” The way I look at it is the child has a nice bed, a couch he could sleep in it’s HIS choice to sleep on the floor. Let him. No one has ever died from crying.
    I understand he is 4 1/2 but there is so much disrespect it's crazy.

    Comment by Kahlua715 (original poster) at 5:51 PM on Apr. 27, 2011

  • Thats a hard one.. I think the Mom and Dad need to be on the same page at both houses for ANY bedtime routine to work - and of course he might still fight it since he doesn't get to see dad as much.. but remember this is HIS baby/ his child.. my son is not the easiest child on earth and I know for me, i'd NEVER bring anyone in his life ( if DH and I ever split ) that was not anything but patient and understanding to his high maintenence.needs until they are thoroughly worked through during these trying years and ages.I am SURE its very old being you don't have that Mom-son connection and I am not saying for a second that its not hard, I would suggest not getting married until this is worked out - remember this little boy will always be a part of your Fiance's life and he doesn't deserve a Step mom who resents him, even if you don't verbalize it.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 5:52 PM on Apr. 27, 2011

  • He is a 4 year old little boy. Maybe he is sleeping with his father because he is afraid or traumatized since he isn't at his home and his parents aren't together. You are not his mother and for you to expect him to listen to you just because you are the adult is ridiculous. His FATHER is the one that should be doing the disciplining. Seriously, you can't stand a 4 year old?? Put yourself in his tiny shoes and think about how HE feels. Life isn't all about YOU. That is your fiance's SON. He will be in your fiance's life forever. Maybe this is something you should have thought of before you got engaged to someone with a child.

    Answer by bcauseimthemom at 5:54 PM on Apr. 27, 2011

  • This is a random question but you said his dad is home with him, all day, 3 days a week ,during the day. Doesn't your fiance work during the day?

    Answer by Gnomes at 6:28 PM on Apr. 27, 2011

  • You make your fiance teach the kid how to be polite and respectful, or you leave. I have now made it through 2 4 yos, and neither of mine are rude or disrespectful. Why? Because their dad and I taught them to be otherwise. Your DF needs to do the same for his son. People who are divorced make the mistake of catering to kids, and treating them with the "poor child of divorce" syndrome and they wonder why their kids are not polite, well-mannered, or capable of hearing the word no.

    If your DF will not get a handle on his son and actually parent, I would dump this guy and head for the hills. You don't deserve to try and start a family with a man who can't manage his previously failed family. My DH was married before me, and I had no issues with disrespectful SK because he wouldn't let there be issues. ALL kids in our home know the rules, and how to follow them. Because we put them in place. If he won't parent - RUN!!

    Answer by LiliM at 3:42 AM on Apr. 29, 2011

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