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How do I deal with controlling ex wife? Get kids to be responsible?

Hi-this is my first time on anything like this! I am hoping to get some advise on how to deal with the wacko ex and the lazy kids. One of the issues is the kids have no structure at all at their moms place. It's video games and tv the majority of the time. When here I would like them to keep their rooms picked up and to just pick up after themselves when doing something like homework, projects, having a snack. They just leave stuff laying around. I ask that their rooms get cleaned up and any dirty clothes get put in the laundry before going back to their moms. Its a chore every week to get these things done. They are home 40% of the time, so 6 out of 14 days. They are 9 & 11. Their manners need work too! Wacko ex told the older child that she isn't allowed to bring her catechism homework over there anymore! She kept the youngest home from school for 2 days because he wiped out on his bike and hit his knee on the curb!! Even had him use a wheel chair when she (finally) brought him to the doctor! When he got to our place he was jumping around within an hour!!! (She coddles and babies them horribly) but also treats them like little adults. So weird!! Her boyfriend is 23 yrs old and she is 37. He is video game king! That is all he does is play video games. Doesn't work. He stays home to "help with the kids". I could go on and on and on... so many issues. I want my husband to "bite back" a little more. He just says she won't listen, Which is true because she thinks she is always right but I still think its important to speak your mind. Explain that the certain situation is not ok and why... Am I wrong? Am I a spaz? And how do Ideal with the kids? How much should I be doing? Telling them what to do?, etc... I feel like their mom instead of their stepmom. I've had my kids and my youngest is 17. Feel like I'm starting over and it is not real fun for me right now. lol Any advise or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks for letting me vent!

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Asked by Krissy914 at 9:15 PM on Sep. 15, 2011 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 5 (82 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Hey mama, I've been in your shoes. One thing I learned is that YOU should not be telling them what to do, disciplining or anything like that. That is your husbands job. If you are going to have a healthy relationship with them here is what I recommend: Write out a schedule for them> they have no clue how to clean up after themselves. If it is written out what is expected, they will know how to please you. But have your dh show them the list. Use rewards for when they do a really good job. Maybe you could give out the rewards. As far as crazy ex wife, nothing you can do about her, never let her get the best of you, and don't ever let her or the kids come between you and your man. Good luck!

    Answer by JackieGirl007 at 9:21 PM on Sep. 15, 2011

  • I just want to laugh because I am in the same boat. my Mom tries to tell me these things won't matter in a few years when I vent to her. My boyfriend has 2 girls...11 & 13. They expect ever latest & greatest thing, nice clothes etc, never pick up after themselves, they leave their dirty laundry in their room etc. Even worse, we got them a kitten a few months ago. Who do you think takes care of it? ME. They haven't once fed/cleaned its cat I can totally relate. Where is the responsibility/structure & where do I cross the line? Enough is enough. It definitely has caused arguements between my bf and I because he only sees them twice a week so he doesn't want to bitch at them. I say BS...he is setting them up for failure in their adult life. I grew up doing chores & appreciating everything I was given. I also have a 2 yr old of my own.....I think I have enough on my plate as far as cleaning up messes! Hang in there!

    Answer by AlexxasMama at 9:55 PM on Sep. 15, 2011

  • That sucks. I have no experience with exes or step-kids but getting my own kids to do their chores is, well, a chore in itself and they have always had chores (since they were 2). It's a kid thing. But in your case I would sit down with your husband and make up a list of chores you expect from the kids (especially if you are the one having to clean up after them) and then make sure the kids know what is their responsibility in your house. What they do at their mother's house is their business but at your house they have to follow the rules and do their chores. I'm sure that will have to come directly from your husband or they will pull the, "you're not our mother" card.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 11:55 AM on Sep. 16, 2011

  • That is the life of a stepmom. You cannot dictate what your husbands ex does in her home anymore than she can dictate what happens in yours. This is something your husband will need to address since they are not your children. I hope you never call the ex a wacko in front of the kids and keep your contempt for their mother and for them to yourself. Blending two families is rarely easy and rarely fun. I would find a good therapist who deals with families. My best friend and her husband went to one after they married and joined their two families. Helped them out a lot and helped my friend get over her bitterness towards her husbands ex wife.

    Answer by healthykidsmom at 4:30 PM on Sep. 16, 2011

  • Thank you all for your input!! NO!! I would never call his ex a wacko or anything else in front of the kids!! (wish I could say the same about her not making comments about my hubby and me) I always stay positive and bite my tongue when I need to. I am a positive person and try to keep our household that way! We have gone to therapy and the kids have gone to help with transitions and how to help the kids with adjusting to the different expections, etc... at each home. ~ That's why it was nice to just vent on Cafe Mom!

    Comment by Krissy914 (original poster) at 9:41 AM on Sep. 24, 2011

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