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stressed out sm... needs help understanding

Posted by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 9:16 AM
  • 25 Replies
Backround: Sm to ss6 and sd4, no biological kids. Dh works ridiculous hours, so I do mostly everything until his day off on Friday. We have full custody. He works between 60-70 hours a week, I work about 50. Kids are in prek and 1st.

We are exhausted and stressed, plain and simple... The stress level in our house is an all time high because we are so overworked. Downfall, right now, there really isn't an option to stop working so much due to paying for school and sports for the kids..

Recently, ss6 has been lying a lot. He has also been blatenly ignoring instructions (like I asked him to go to door for school and he went to his room to color. I ask why, he says because he wants to.) I know. He's 6 and testing the waters... But I am at my Witt's end on dealing with it. He looks at my like he's listening and does the opposite. I asked him where his mind has traveled to, and he always brings up his mom lying to him about everything(she does). I asked her to stop lying to him, and she started lying to me about stupid little things, so apparently trying to get her help in the situation isn't going to work..
So.. What do I do...

He's extremely smart for 6 and unfortunately understands way too much for being that young. I just don't want to add stress to his life. But how do I get through to him when he apparently likes ignoring me...

Please don't reply if you're thinking things like he's only 6 or quit jobs. I'm looking for examples of how, as a sm, you've dealt with this or something similar. I know my huge negative in the situation is I'm strict and I don't fully understand the bond between mother and child because I've not experienced that yet. But he knows I'm here for him, he knows I love him. If something is bothering him, he always talks to me about it, which I love that he trusts me enough to talk to me. But I don't get how he trusts and respects me enough to talk to me about anything, but then ignores me "because he wants to"?



by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 9:16 AM
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Replies (1-10):
leegirl_jm
by Ruby Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 9:32 AM
1 mom liked this

I won't be of much help but I have a DD6 and DS4, it sounds like he is just being 6 and it isn't a stepmother issue but since the mother is involved she adds to his options for mischief making. My nanny complains about my DS4 more than anything else, he doesn't seem to listen to anyone unless he wants to, he is a pain with me as well and it can be stressful. I think advice from a parenting group, class or online forum would be good for you.

Wife, Mother and Career Woman living in Jamaica

RubyLu
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 9:36 AM
Ironically, that is very helpful. You're are same age difference at least, so that's very comforting to me. And to know you're not a sm and yours are acting he same helps too! How do you deal with the stress of him not listening? That's what I could use a lot of help with, cause I'm not sure exactly how to deal with that


Quoting leegirl_jm:

I won't be of much help but I have a DD6 and DS4, it sounds like he is just being 6 and it isn't a stepmother issue but since the mother is involved she adds to his options for mischief making. My nanny complains about my DS4 more than anything else, he doesn't seem to listen to anyone unless he wants to, he is a pain with me as well and it can be stressful. I think advice from a parenting group, class or online forum would be good for you.


leegirl_jm
by Ruby Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 9:51 AM

He is a smart boy so I talk to him, I don't sweat the small stuff, I don't think everything has to be done exactly how I want it so there are a few things he really needs to adhere to for example not going into the kitchen or the home office, bedtime and no playing at bathtime when I am doing it. he asks 'Why?' for everything and sometimes he wins because really some things really aren't a big deal.  I bargain too, so I negotiate with him, if he does A, I will let him watch another cartoon, or I will buy another car(he loves cars, trucks, etc), or 'I will tell Daddy' works a lot with DS4. Try to focus on the good things though when they do it, praise them a lot for it. 

I am just learning as I go, so don't take it as gospel, DS4 feels like a terror to me but his teachers only have praises for him so I know he is alright.

Quoting RubyLu:

Ironically, that is very helpful. You're are same age difference at least, so that's very comforting to me. And to know you're not a sm and yours are acting he same helps too! How do you deal with the stress of him not listening? That's what I could use a lot of help with, cause I'm not sure exactly how to deal with that


Quoting leegirl_jm:

I won't be of much help but I have a DD6 and DS4, it sounds like he is just being 6 and it isn't a stepmother issue but since the mother is involved she adds to his options for mischief making. My nanny complains about my DS4 more than anything else, he doesn't seem to listen to anyone unless he wants to, he is a pain with me as well and it can be stressful. I think advice from a parenting group, class or online forum would be good for you.



Wife, Mother and Career Woman living in Jamaica

wyomom4
by Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 10:41 AM
2 moms liked this

It really is a normal phase for that age. They are just truly beginning to understand the difference between the truth and a lie. When my dd (now 11) was doing this I either went along with it, or called her on it depending on what the lie was.

If it was to stay out of trouble, we had a talk about lying and she got a separate consequence for the lie AND whatever she would normally have gotten for the infraction that she lied about. And I made sure to separate those consequences too. My mom always said we would be in less trouble if we just told the truth, but she never demonstrated it. So we didn't believe her.

But if the lie was some outrageous story about purple monkeys or something, I just went along with it and at the end told her that was a great story and she had a wonderful imagination.

cLanief
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM
1 mom liked this
Definitely a 6yo thing and not a step thing. My son was a terd at that age... a year ago lol. Just have to instill in them that lying equals being in trouble more than telling the truth.
Just keep swimming.. lol
DDDaysh
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM
1 mom liked this

Have you guys read 1-2-3 Magic?  

If not, that's almost always my first parenting advice.  

This kind of stuff is pretty normal kid stuff.  Lying is a VERY normal kid thing.  Deflecting the behavior onto someone else, also a normal kid thing.  

runinpinkshoes
by Silver Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 7:15 PM
2 moms liked this

I agree with everyone else. My SD was 6 when I met her (she's about to turn 9) and she's always been very defiant, argumentative, and disobedient when asked to do things. I personally don't tell her to do things, but she argues with my husband about every little thing and needs to be asked multiple times before finally doing something.

It seems like most kids go through a phase of wanting to see what all they can get away with. Plus she's the youngest so I think she likes the feeling of power she gets from having an adult "beg" or "plead" with her to do something. 

My husband has dealt with it by just refusing to engage in the arguing game with her. He's not a strict dad so it was out of character for him, but it has eventually worked, because by not engaging her in that, he refuses to give her that power - he makes it clear that if she doesn't do what he says, there's a consequence, so she's the one that loses.


momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 8:03 PM
My son is almost 6. I don't have mischief issues yet. But we do have the not listening issues. His teacher complains he is the same way in school. She even went so far as to suggest ADHD. So I talked to the pediatrician about that and we decided to change his diet and stick to a strict schedule and follow through with consequences after disobeying and surprisingly it has worked for the most part. We cut out the added sugar and red 40. That calmed him down a little. He was extremely hyper but he was ingesting way too much sugar. His favorite thing in the entire universe is to watch a show before bed and we use that as punishment. Just one day at a time. We don't punish for long periods because I still see him as a little boy. He is only 5. In the mornings, if he doesn't do what I ask, get up, eat, get dressed and brush teeth.. Then he does not get his show at bed time. It is working. We are going on 3 months of this day by day reminder, no tv to bed (that's what we call it) if you don't do a b c d ... And each night before he can watch his show he has to do the a b c again and he also has to have all of his things ready and at the door for the next day. Or no tv to bed. I used to let him stay up a little later than most parents of this age group do because my kids don't tend to need a lot of sleep. But I realized after putting him to bed one evening really early that mornings were so much smoother. So I moved his bed time up. I also don't rush in the mornings. If we are running late, I take full responsibility for it and still allow my kids the same amount of time they need to get ready and start their day right. Even if that means I'm late to work.

I don't have the issue of another parent in another home with him though. So I am not much help there. My dd does have another home but she never went through this. My son has been much more work than my dd ever was at this age. She is a lot of work now but that's normal for her age. She just takes longer to get ready.




Quoting RubyLu:

Ironically, that is very helpful. You're are same age difference at least, so that's very comforting to me. And to know you're not a sm and yours are acting he same helps too! How do you deal with the stress of him not listening? That's what I could use a lot of help with, cause I'm not sure exactly how to deal with that




Quoting leegirl_jm:

I won't be of much help but I have a DD6 and DS4, it sounds like he is just being 6 and it isn't a stepmother issue but since the mother is involved she adds to his options for mischief making. My nanny complains about my DS4 more than anything else, he doesn't seem to listen to anyone unless he wants to, he is a pain with me as well and it can be stressful. I think advice from a parenting group, class or online forum would be good for you.



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EricaHowell
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 8:12 PM


I really like this... I, like you as a kid, was always told that I would be in less trouble if I didn't lie. Now, as a parent, I tell my bio and step kids the same. I had never thought about demonstrating it! Good advice! How far out do you separate the punishments or can you give examples? We all know how, at that age, the punishment has to be somewhat immediate as they are so young and can't link punishment with what happened too much longer before... lol

Thanks!

Quoting wyomom4:

It really is a normal phase for that age. They are just truly beginning to understand the difference between the truth and a lie. When my dd (now 11) was doing this I either went along with it, or called her on it depending on what the lie was.

If it was to stay out of trouble, we had a talk about lying and she got a separate consequence for the lie AND whatever she would normally have gotten for the infraction that she lied about. And I made sure to separate those consequences too. My mom always said we would be in less trouble if we just told the truth, but she never demonstrated it. So we didn't believe her.

But if the lie was some outrageous story about purple monkeys or something, I just went along with it and at the end told her that was a great story and she had a wonderful imagination.



EricaHowell
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 8:19 PM


I have this problem with my 5 year old... He has always liked the power of having an adult beg and plead with him to do something. I cannot stand it!

You mentioned that your husband refuses to engage in it. We tell my son that he needs to do whatever it is and he whines and complains. We have tried just saying it and ignoring all of the drama coming from him afterwards, but he will continue on and on for a long time until I threaten punishment. At that time, I feel like he won - because I engaged in the argument. Does your DH just instantly propose the punishment when the battle begins? I have tried this, but my son continues on. How long did it take for SD to obey without the whining?

Thanks! :) 

Quoting runinpinkshoes:

I agree with everyone else. My SD was 6 when I met her (she's about to turn 9) and she's always been very defiant, argumentative, and disobedient when asked to do things. I personally don't tell her to do things, but she argues with my husband about every little thing and needs to be asked multiple times before finally doing something.

It seems like most kids go through a phase of wanting to see what all they can get away with. Plus she's the youngest so I think she likes the feeling of power she gets from having an adult "beg" or "plead" with her to do something. 

My husband has dealt with it by just refusing to engage in the arguing game with her. He's not a strict dad so it was out of character for him, but it has eventually worked, because by not engaging her in that, he refuses to give her that power - he makes it clear that if she doesn't do what he says, there's a consequence, so she's the one that loses.




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