Sounds like you've gone over this hundreds of times in your head with no obvious way forward. Your expectations aren't being met and all the efforts at discipline you've tried so far aren't working. If that were me, I'd be frustrated as hell!
Others have alluded to this, but in my view it is not your role to discipline someone else's children. The kids know that, which is why they aren't playing ball. Don't expect this to change - they aren't going to wake up one day and suddenly start doing what you tell them. The discipline must come from the parents, which leads me to your relationship with your partner...
By standing idly by and allowing this situation to continue, your partner is putting you in a no win situation. Having said that, I don't think he's doing it deliberately - he is caught in the middle and just doesn't know what to do.
So, after thinking about it, I would suggest 2 things:
1. Stop doing things that make you feel resentful (cooking the kids etc.). Being a martyr will only make you feel worse, and it won't make anyone appreciate you. However, be strong in your intentions - don't stop doing things for the kids in order to punish them. Rather, decide that you are not willing to do anything that further damages your relationship with them, so are not willing to build any more resentment.
2. Sit down and agree with your partner how you are going to handle the situation. You both need to genuinely agree to the point where you are willing to change your behaviour to get the result. (eg. He might have to discipline the kids more. You might have to build a better relationship with them.) I imagine that this is the area where a psychologist can be of most help to you.
Sounds like a difficult situation, and I really do wish you all the best in sorting it out.
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12-12-2011 17:19 #21Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
12-12-2011 17:24 #22
I think you should buy your husband "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers" DVD for Christmas and sit down and watch it with him (in support of him, not for your own benefit as I agree with others, it's not your place to manage his children).
He needs to step up.
12-12-2011 18:31 #23Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
- Northern Beaches, Sydney
I'm kinda wondering who is setting the boundaries and expectations for/of these young adults? You may not get to 'discipline' them but you can set boundaries for them. At 17 the girl could find a part time job for the summer and the 14 y/o could earn a few bucks around the house mowing lawns etc. I suggest helping them find some work or letting them know that by 10am they will need to have packed some lunch and head off for a day at the beach. If your man doesn't like it then he can step up and plan something that is fair for everyone. Without the guidance these kids are not going to have the easiest young adulthood (they do sound like normal teens but even normal teens need support and guidance).
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13-12-2011 11:04 #24Junior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
Things kind of came to a head yesterday.
We were at the bank and I snapped at him (I didn't think/realise I did, but apparently he did) and he asked why I was like this lately.
I gave him the 'you have got to be kidding me' look and tried to explain that him doing all the chores as a way of avoiding asking the kids to do it wasn't solving the problem and if anything made it worse. He promised he'd work on it. It wasn't a long conversation - only the time it took to get home from the bank. But it didn't need to be long....we've had the conversation a hundred times before.
That night was the usual..... I didn't start dinner until I got some contribution (partner finally got the boy to do potatoes and girl to prep some veggies)
I made the rest of dinner, put everything away, cleaned up so all that needed to be done was rinse and put 4 plates, a couple of serving bowls, the cutlery and glasses into the dishwasher and wipe the benches. Kids started bickering about who was going to pack the dishwasher and I completely lost it... said (yelled) that I didn't like cooking their meals or washing their clothes or changing their sheets or spending hours every week at the supermarket or sweeping up the sand they tracked through the house but that it had to be done or they'd be going hungry and living in stinking ****fight. But since i was expected to do all of that then they could bloody well pull their fingers out and pack the dishwasher at night without arguing with me or each other and turning it into world war 3
That was met with complete silence by all of them and i think that even my partner knew that this was breaking point.
Then the issue of the internet was addressed and we learne that their mother is also at her wits end with the internet obsession. So i said 'simple' - it now gets turned off when I go to bed around 10pm. There were some initial protests but i think they were too shocked by my earlier meltdown to push it.
The good news is that they have both gone to the beach today so i can work in peace. But there was a lot of tension in the air before they left.
And funnily enough after what I said yesterday about not caring about their rooms - the boys bedroom now smells to the point his father has instructed him to clean it and open the windows and their bathroom is beyond vile to the point that the girl complained to us this morning about the boy not cleaning and flushing the toilet. I refrained from pointing out that there is $50 worth of cleaning products under the sink and she's free to use them any time she wants.
So the pressure valve was released last night and I am feeling a bit more positive (today at least) that we'll have all the ducks in a row sooner rather than later.
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