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Why am I the dictator?

Posted by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 11:02 PM
  • 18 Replies

I am having some issues and do not know what to do.  I have a 10 year daughter and a 10 year old stepdaughter.  I am also pregnant with twins.  (that in itself is stressful)  My husband and I have been arguing about my stepdaughter a lot because of how we get along.  (minimal) She is the type of child (has been allowed to be) absolutely helpless.  She has a way about not completing anything or doing things terribly so that someone else will get frustrated watching her do it and just do it for her.  I am the type of parent that will allow them to do something over and over again until they figure out how to do it.  I will teach them a few times but then I want them to try it and give it their best shot.  We had a terrible argument last night (husband and I) because something like this happened and he says that it seems like I just enjoyed watching her struggle.  This really upset me.  I just wanted her to try it and not quit.  He wanted me to give her the answers that would make it easier.  I do not feel that, that is helping her.

We were just trying to go over the argument and figure out what our next steps were.  In the midst of this he informs me that not only my stepdaughter but everyone else walks on eggshells around me.  I know that I am the dictator, teacher,  and the mother all in one but that is also because I have to be. (at least I feel that way) He does not watch them to make sure that they are using their manners and doing things the way that they should.  With my stepdaughter he thinks that it is funny when she says things that are not smart and are incorrect.  I do not think that it is funny for a 10 year to make up things like a 5 year old does. 

I need help.  I do not know what to do and I am very scared that we are going to have issues raising the twins.  Any advise is much needed.  

I love my family but I am worried. 

by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 11:02 PM
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Replies (1-10):
packermomof2
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 11:09 PM

You back off, that's what you do.  No one likes a dictator and you're describing yourself as one.  You're pregnant and have your own kid.  Let dad handle his and you handle yours.  And maybe start asking or saying things nicely instead of being all dictator-y.

mansfieldmom2
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 11:20 PM

I guess so.  I really do not see myself as that bad.  I see my SD being a helpless female that will never get anywhere in life.  And that really hurts me cause I know that she is better than that.  And it is really difficult to back down since we have her every morning and after school till anywhere between 3:30 to 7pm.  (We have her the majority of her waking hours that she is not in school.)  

It is also difficult to raise two children in two completely different fashions.  My daughter has rules and my SD does not.  Tha t is not fair.  Since they both get to do the fun things.  

I don't know



ramita
by Silver Member on Mar. 14, 2013 at 11:34 PM
I do agree with packer mom, back off of SD. Its hard I know, but you can't hold her hand (I agree its not right) but you also obviously can't get her to do it herself. I'd talk to your daughter and see how she feels and also to let her know that your gonna back off of taking care of SD. Of course do a better job than this in explaining.

As far as what to do about the twins time to have a real parent talk with DH about parenting and expectations.

My DH and I seem to have a similar parenting style to you. We believe kids should pay attention and actually try. If they're not gonna try why should we spend an hour on homework or 15 extra minutes reshowing you how to clean up after yourself. The aggravation it causes is nit worth it to me and my attention should be else. My SS (age 7) was raised very similar to your SD. When he moved in with us last year he couldnt fix himself a drink. My DD (age 5 at the time) could fix a pitcher of koolaid, her own pb&j sandwich among other things. With patience and reassurance my SS is getting more independent but when it comes to homework some days my DH just throws his hands up and says if you dont care if its wrong why should I. At that my SS tends to go actually try and do his homework correctly.

Good luck!!!!
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ramita
by Silver Member on Mar. 14, 2013 at 11:38 PM
I get that and unfortunately there's not much you can do but tell DH how you feel and hope for something even if its a compromise. If not then focus on your DD and your new babies. Instead of fighting with SD over homework take DD for a walk or do an art project or take turns reading a book together or whatever you enjoy. Just make it you and your DD time and of course talk to your DD about why she has different rules and let her know you agree its not fair.


Quoting mansfieldmom2:

I guess so.  I really do not see myself as that bad.  I see my SD being a helpless female that will never get anywhere in life.  And that really hurts me cause I know that she is better than that.  And it is really difficult to back down since we have her every morning and after school till anywhere between 3:30 to 7pm.  (We have her the majority of her waking hours that she is not in school.)  

It is also difficult to raise two children in two completely different fashions.  My daughter has rules and my SD does not.  Tha t is not fair.  Since they both get to do the fun things.  

I don't know




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momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Mar. 14, 2013 at 11:41 PM
2 moms liked this
I do not have any advice with your situation but I wanted to tell you that you are not alone. I often feel that I am the only adult in our lives. I have the same way of teaching that you do. I will not give answers and I get frustrated with my daughter who wants help with homework when she was the one that sat through the class all day. She 'doesn't understand'. Yet she makes 100's on all tests but struggles on homework. It makes me feel like she just doesn't want to do the work. I can't is a constant phrase that comes from her mouth. I don't really have anyone that backs me. So I get your frustration. The difference is this is my child and not my stepchild so I can't just step back and let someone handle it. But I do feel your frustration. P.S. I got my parenting style from my stepdad lol
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mansfieldmom2
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Thank you for your responses.  I am going to have to just remove myself from dealing with her and focus on my own daugther.  I really pray that this is going to work.  My emotional health right now is struggling and I am fearful for my family. 


Thank you again. 

momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Mar. 14, 2013 at 11:46 PM
First of all, I wouldn't worry so much about her being helpless in life. I have a mother that coddled me and did everything for me. Frustrated the hell out of my stepdad. I never had to clean my room or put my laundry away. I literally was never forced to do anything and it was a battle between mom and stepdad my entire childhood. With that said, I ended up being very Independant and not needing anyone to lean on or do things for me. I don't feel entitled to things in life even though they were handed to me as a child. I work hard and I have a good career. I have a nice home and I do all of the cleaning and laundry. I've never had a maid. I don't go through life expecting everyone to feel sorry for me for whatever reason. I remember being described as 'helpless'. Lol I am the furthest from helpless as an adult. I sometimes feel hopeless as a mother lol but don't we all at some point?


Quoting mansfieldmom2:

I guess so.  I really do not see myself as that bad.  I see my SD being a helpless female that will never get anywhere in life.  And that really hurts me cause I know that she is better than that.  And it is really difficult to back down since we have her every morning and after school till anywhere between 3:30 to 7pm.  (We have her the majority of her waking hours that she is not in school.)  

It is also difficult to raise two children in two completely different fashions.  My daughter has rules and my SD does not.  Tha t is not fair.  Since they both get to do the fun things.  

I don't know




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momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Mar. 14, 2013 at 11:55 PM
It wasn't until this year (age 11) that my dd became very self sufficient. She just started being successful in getting the shampoo out of her hair. She also never fixed herself snacks or drinks or anything. I always did that. Not for lack of teaching just wasn't something that she would do. She made her own dinner tonight. We did whatever dinner you want. And she made herself some soup and I'm not kidding, open a Gatorade bottle on her own without saying 'its too hard'. I was impressed!! My son on the other hand is 5 and he can get himself a snack and get his own drink as long as he can reach it.

I often wonder if kids with two homes struggle with independence more than kids with an intact home do. My kids are like night and day. Where my daughter is afraid to try new things and has anxiety and wants her hand to be held though something new. My son jumps feet first without even thinking of consequences or outcome. I'm not raising them any different. They just have different lives. One kid has four parents that all have different expectations and rules and everything is complete opposite at each home. My other child has two parents in the same home and he tends to seem more secure in life. It's just an observation based on my own household. It falls in line with observations of other families I know as well. My daughter tends to need more one on one and thrives for more guidance. I think she often feels lost and she confuses the two households in her mind. It takes her a minute to recharge. Where in my home she is pretty free to carry on how she wishes and the other home she needs permission. There isn't anything wrong with the other home it just causes insecurity and she often needs time to adjust from one house to the other because we are so different.


Quoting ramita:

I do agree with packer mom, back off of SD. Its hard I know, but you can't hold her hand (I agree its not right) but you also obviously can't get her to do it herself. I'd talk to your daughter and see how she feels and also to let her know that your gonna back off of taking care of SD. Of course do a better job than this in explaining.



As far as what to do about the twins time to have a real parent talk with DH about parenting and expectations.



My DH and I seem to have a similar parenting style to you. We believe kids should pay attention and actually try. If they're not gonna try why should we spend an hour on homework or 15 extra minutes reshowing you how to clean up after yourself. The aggravation it causes is nit worth it to me and my attention should be else. My SS (age 7) was raised very similar to your SD. When he moved in with us last year he couldnt fix himself a drink. My DD (age 5 at the time) could fix a pitcher of koolaid, her own pb&j sandwich among other things. With patience and reassurance my SS is getting more independent but when it comes to homework some days my DH just throws his hands up and says if you dont care if its wrong why should I. At that my SS tends to go actually try and do his homework correctly.



Good luck!!!!

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Ksterling02
by on Mar. 15, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Well said. This is how I raised my DS and love the independent child he is. I've bumped heads with DH about SD, he told me I was nit.picky so.I shutup and backed off. U can talk.to DH about parenting but actions are best. My DH is a big talker and I always say "great now show me".
My DS asked me a few times about the difference in my parenting with SD and I just say "u have expectations since u could walk! " I'm serious I had him picking up after himself early on. Modeled organization, study habits, how to speak to people, and set goals. SD didn't have that. I just say nothing to SD about anything remotely dictatorish...when she's here which isn't often, I ask about school and that's about it. I really don't care if her room is a mess, her clothes are put anywhere, if she helps with anything really. She wanted to leave the family so she's kinda like a visitor when she comes here. Sad but true.
Enjoy your DD reward her for good deeds and don't worry about SD. That's what I had to do. I've been pushed out and plan on staying out with the exception of family outings or something. U can ask your DD how she feels about u. My DS has asked why I inspect his room..lol..also he knows I have a short fuse at times. SD lived with us 2.5 yrs and still wanted life like at her grandparents. Sorry I don't coddle or become my child shadow.


Quoting ramita:

I do agree with packer mom, back off of SD. Its hard I know, but you can't hold her hand (I agree its not right) but you also obviously can't get her to do it herself. I'd talk to your daughter and see how she feels and also to let her know that your gonna back off of taking care of SD. Of course do a better job than this in explaining.



As far as what to do about the twins time to have a real parent talk with DH about parenting and expectations.



My DH and I seem to have a similar parenting style to you. We believe kids should pay attention and actually try. If they're not gonna try why should we spend an hour on homework or 15 extra minutes reshowing you how to clean up after yourself. The aggravation it causes is nit worth it to me and my attention should be else. My SS (age 7) was raised very similar to your SD. When he moved in with us last year he couldnt fix himself a drink. My DD (age 5 at the time) could fix a pitcher of koolaid, her own pb&j sandwich among other things. With patience and reassurance my SS is getting more independent but when it comes to homework some days my DH just throws his hands up and says if you dont care if its wrong why should I. At that my SS tends to go actually try and do his homework correctly.



Good luck!!!!

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tazlover01
by Member on Mar. 15, 2013 at 1:23 AM

Maybe your normal parenting style has become more accusatory, possibly even meaner and your DH said everyone walks on eggshells around you. That includes your DD. YSS does that samething he will half do it or whine about it and expect answers or a free pass. But at BM's house they just tell him he's stupid and do whatever for him. I walk off and leave him to it. Then there isn't anyone to perform for. It used to cause louder crying but after letting him wear himself out with self pity while I encouraged him he eventually got him to doing things more for himself. It helped that my husband didn't like the behavior and he approved of how I was handling it. If DH doesn't like it then you let him deal with her. But do take a moment to listen to yourself when you're dealing with people. And maybe you all should have a chat about you expect the twins to be raised.

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