Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Stepmom Central Stepmom Central

6 yr old capable of manipulating?

Posted by on Jan. 12, 2014 at 9:12 AM
  • 27 Replies
Hi all! I'm at a loss, I have two stepsons and our 6 year old has been..."tricking" us lately, his father can see it clearer than me since I'm not a mom and became an instant stepmom three years ago, a little background: I'm very close to the kids and they are very good boys I'm blessed that they accepted me and aren't afraid to talk to or be affectionate with me, so this isn't a rant or complaint it's more of a "I have no idea what to do....." Thing


Lately, if I leve to answer a phone or prepare dinner or get my haircut take the dog to the vet etc he seems to be playing sad and says I never play with him or I'm always cooking etc
The absolute truth, when the kids come on our 4 days a week, most of the chores come to a halt because they exchange hands so much with their mother that they don't know where they are waking up at times except when they are with us, we are the only stability they have and when they come we have countless game hours hide and seek movie as fort nights etc we give them as much attention as possible however as we all know there's dishes to be done dinner to be made animals to feed and Drs appts to attend, it seems the oldest likes to tell us once we aren't paying attention to him , that "i miss you" "why won't u play with me you're always cooking" etc
He knows it makes us feel guilty because his mothers lifestyle makes them suffer. I feel terrible saying this but I feel this is taking over the house, I've talked to his father and he agreed we are going to ask him why he is saying these things and that sound like a good solution however I want your advice ladies on what to reply when he catches me off guard ESPECIALLY when we are in front of friends , (I have friends bring their kids to play date at times..not very often maybe once or twice a mo)
We both have house projects that are unfinished because of him commenting that he wants to spend time with us or he comes in asking a question every three minutes if not less, he has a brother to play with who seems to have no problem playing on his own but he won't even let his father be outside to take the trash out without coming up with a question or comment when e walks through the door, they are the priority however things are piling up because we have them often and my fiancée works long days and when he has off that's our only time to do anything like paint Sheetrock carpet etc
Please help I love my little monkeys but this is happening too much
P.s. We have been in a custody battle for quite some time now and the children have been in a court appointed type of therapy because of the mothers ligestyle, note: twy are not paid attention to by the random babysitters she hires and young uncles and aunts that occasionally pick them up and drop them off
by on Jan. 12, 2014 at 9:12 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
HopesNDreams
by Silver Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 9:30 AM
6 moms liked this
If you stop all chores when they come to visit, then they will continue to expect that all chores will stop. At age six, most boys love to help dad fix things around the house and do chores, so that's a pretty easy solution right there.

Your biggest help is going to be creating a schedule and sticking to it. First, but a large calendar and two small ones. Mark each with where the boys will be. Hang the large one somewhere prominent in your house and give the boys each one of the small ones. Mom and Dad should each have their own color, not just words.

Next, make up daily schedules, one for school days and one for weekends. Put in everything: chores, play time, meals, homework, etc. Some people like to make these with Velcro pieces so they can change things around. I think to start, your boys need a pretty strict routine - be flexible later. If it is chore time, everyone is doing chores, including the boys. If it is homework time, everyone is doing homework, assisting with homework, or reading.

You can do nothing about the other environments they are in, but you can bring stability to your environment. Your SS is following you around because he genuinely has no idea what is going on in his world and when something might be taken away. Plus, it works! Everything stops and an adult pays attention to him. Let DH take the lead and help SS get some security and confidence back into his world.
whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 9:51 AM
2 moms liked this

He sounds like a pretty normal kid. This is what it's like to have kids around. They want attention. It's ok to tell them to go watch TV or go play if you need to work on something. 

maybe you can find a parenting class in your area?

ChelseNichole
by Chelse on Jan. 12, 2014 at 9:55 AM
I have two SS's...they don't get much attention from their BM either. OSS is out with friends a lot as he is 14 so it doesn't really affect him as much. My YSS is 6 and while we don't have exactly the same issue as you... It's very similar. Everything is Chelse come see this, Chelse can you play this with me, and so on.
Same with his dad. We are always both either playing with him, reading to/with him, coloring with him, etc. I can't go to the bathroom without him wiggling the door knob and talking to me through the door lol. And like you said, there are times when we have to get things done... I'm cooking dinner or cleaning, SO needs to fix something... Etc. And we just tell him he has to wait or he needs to play on his own. But like you we are stuck between a rock and hard place a lot of the time because we don't want to make him feel like he does at BM's so it's like we kind of obligate ourselves to do what he wants so he knows he has our attention. They are always top priority in our home too. But I do think at that age, she should be able to play independently for at least a short period of time while you and your DH so what you need to do. Maybe the previous poster was right and you need a schedule. Just last week my ss6 wanted me to play a video game with him, I started to and he got really rude about something, so I said that's it you're on your own. 20 mins later he's begging me to help him with some part to which I said no because of his precious behavior... He threw a fit started crying, saying I don't like him and I'm being mean because I won't help him. (When he acts like that over a video game or iPod game we usually make him stop playing) so I went up there and turned the game off and he got a time out for saying "I don't like him" because it's a) it's a mean thing to say and b) it's untruthful (we've been working on him telling lies... Never anything major but he has to learn lying is not ok).

Good luck! I hope you find a solution!
amonkeymom
by Amy on Jan. 12, 2014 at 2:03 PM
2 moms liked this

Try including your step son in your chores, in making dinner, etc.  Make it fun and not only will you be spending time together but you'll be teaching him responsibility as well.

ms_amanda
by Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 2:28 PM

It is normal for some kids to be clingy but sounds like he is over the top! In early childhood children want stability and routine, etc. and it seems your home is the only place they get it. seeing as they only have the stability half the time, they could have developed some sort of attachment disorder. have you talked to the therapist about this?

I began fostering my now 7 year old twin boys when they were about 1 yr old. they had some major attachment disorder due to being neglected and it was a struggle with them for some time. They both would not let me put them down ever! Sadly the agencey I worked with did nothing to help me with dealing with these behaviors so I toughed it out and grew some pretty mighty pipes!! LOL Once they were convinced their home life was stable, they felt more confident to explore and sleep through the night and live without them attached to me. Flash forward to age 6.5 and they met their birth mom and started monthly visits. The attachment disorder is back! not as bad as before but for a couple days before and a week after they are stuck to me like glue! They're getting more confident that their stability here isn't going to crash so they're getting better. They are also in play therapy for this. it just started so not sure how much it will help! fingers crossed this passes fast! Have you talked to their therapist about these behaviors? maybe they can help! good luck!

KnowItAll
by Silver Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 3:12 PM
I agree. Look into some parenting classes. He is acting completely normal.

Quoting whatIknownow:

He sounds like a pretty normal kid. This is what it's like to have kids around. They want attention. It's ok to tell them to go watch TV or go play if you need to work on something. 

maybe you can find a parenting class in your area?

KnowItAll
by Silver Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 3:14 PM
I also think it's wrong to blame BM (everyone here seems to do it though) because a kid wants attention. Wanting attention is completely normal and has nothing to do with how much attention is received at the other home.
howkhuntastic
by Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 3:43 PM
Yes a 6 year old is capable of manipulation, by stopping everything when he is around you and dad have set the precedence. Involve him in things. My 3 and 4 year old have chores and responsibilities while i do mine. Ie I'm making dinner one puts out the plates the other silverware (sp?). My ss try to do what yours does and were given chores and such as well. Dad and I actually went to parenting classes and couples counseling because his boys were disrupting our household. Our counselor helped us se by giving into their manipulative behaviors we were doing them a disservice. I agree with a pp set up a strict schedule it helps.
progressandjoy
by Silver Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 5:09 PM
That was my first thought; I didn't understand what BM has to do with this.

It sounds like OP and BF have the kids the majority of the time (4 days a week). I don't get why BM's instability is completely overriding the stability that OP and BF create.

Although I will say, suspending real life and focusing on 'countless hours' of playtime doesn't seem like a stable environment to me.


Quoting KnowItAll: I also think it's wrong to blame BM (everyone here seems to do it though) because a kid wants attention. Wanting attention is completely normal and has nothing to do with how much attention is received at the other home.
KnowItAll
by Silver Member on Jan. 12, 2014 at 6:36 PM
I was thinking the same thing about suspending real life for play time. I think parenting classes would help a lot in this case because they don't seem to know what normal parenting is.

Quoting progressandjoy: That was my first thought; I didn't understand what BM has to do with this.



It sounds like OP and BF have the kids the majority of the time (4 days a week). I don't get why BM's instability is completely overriding the stability that OP and BF create.



Although I will say, suspending real life and focusing on 'countless hours' of playtime doesn't seem like a stable environment to me.




Quoting KnowItAll: I also think it's wrong to blame BM (everyone here seems to do it though) because a kid wants attention. Wanting attention is completely normal and has nothing to do with how much attention is received at the other home.
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN