Disapproval by stepchild!?!

(63 Posts)
NotaDisneyMum Thu 11-Apr-13 16:03:11

I'm not sure that this is a 'step' issue, but this is the safest place to post without getting an ear bashing just for being a SM!

DSS (9) disapproves of the life and lifestyle that DP and I lead. He is open about it; tells us that we are irresponsible and that our behaviour is inappropriate and bad manners.

We are, I admit, a little unconventional wink We have our own businesses, so don't work 9-5, and we do a lot of volunteering as well. We have a flexible routine; we don't have meals at the same time every day or regular shopping days, for instance. We have a lot of fun in life - dressing up in fancy dress when running a charity stall or making choo-choo train noises when on a steam train ride for instance. Our car has a name, we have wooden spoon duels when drying up, sing along to the radio with funny voices, race each other back to the car; daft things that make us laugh and we enjoy.

DSS has used all these as examples of how we are silly and as grown ups, we should be more responsible. I'll add at this point that while we may have fun,it's never got us into any trouble or offends anyone else - we just enjoy life and make the best of whatever is thrown at us.

My DD sometimes cringes with embarrassment over her Mums behaviour, which is to be expected but with DSS it is different - we clearly don't live up to his pre-conception of how adults should behave.

And I think that's what worries me. I think part of his anxiety when with us is because he doesn't feel 'safe'. The people whose care he is in are not, in his opinion, responsible. He doesn't trust us to look after him the way a sensible grown up would.
He seems very clear that DCs are allowed to have fun (and no responsibility) until they are in their mid-20s but then the fun should stop and adults should be serious and leave having fun to the children.

Help! How can we reassure him that our fun filled life doesn't make us irresponsible adults?

nkf Sat 20-Apr-13 07:22:54

I agree with your post. That said, I also think that a model of "fun" is being used. And a false dichotomy of safe versus fun. It sounds like a competition is being staged and the child's approval is the prize.

NotaDisneyMum Sat 20-Apr-13 08:23:55

I'm sure a model of 'fun' is being used as well - it's the word DSS used to describe our behaviour, and went on to say that adults shouldn't have 'fun'.

There is a battle going on for DSS approval - his Mum has openly expressed her desire for the DCs to have nothing to do with DP. DSS lack of 'approval' of his Dad supports his Mums position.

nkf Sat 20-Apr-13 08:39:49

"I think part of his anxiety when with us is because he doesn't feel 'safe'"

I think this is the only bit that matters. How do you reassure him that he is safe? How could you do this? What does he need to feel safe? How can you give this to him?

I'm sure if you both gave it a lot of thought, you could find ways to reassure his son that he is safe.

NotaDisneyMum Sat 20-Apr-13 09:54:27

I think this is the only bit that matters. How do you reassure him that he is safe? How could you do this? What does he need to feel safe? How can you give this to him?

Is it my job as his SM to try and give him that reassurance? How effective would it be if my reassurance is constantly undermined by his parents?
DSS solution to his insecurity is to spend less time with the adults he doesn't feel 'safe' with.

nkf Sat 20-Apr-13 10:07:56

I meant "you" as in "one?" How does one reassure a child? It's really something for your partner to think about. I'm sure it must feel awful to know or feel that your child does not feel safe with you.

nkf Sat 20-Apr-13 10:09:22

And, I don't think it's your role but I thought you thought it was because you posted asking for help. "How can we reassure him...?"

allfornothing Sat 20-Apr-13 10:40:27

I honestly think there's a lot of over thinking going on here. You can't really be sure that the reason the child has those views are because of his mum, any more than you can be sure they're not. Kids are often mortified by their parents, I don't think it's helpful to psychoanalyse every move this kids makes and see it as some kind of sign that he's messed up. He's just 9, and is working all these things out. Carry on as you are and let him reach his own conclusions by himself. He'll work ou out!

allfornothing Sat 20-Apr-13 10:42:00

*work it out

We do this confused
The singing, the in jokes, the piss taking, the dressing up, the dancing......
Thankfully the teenagers join in.
We are the weirdy, childish familee....
( wouldn't have it any other way)
DSS will get with the programme once he realises the sky won't cave in and the earth won't stop turning, if the adults eagerly and tunelessly sing and act out the parts of " you're the one that I want" on demand in the street..... maybe..... confused

NotaDisneyMum Sat 20-Apr-13 11:10:23

all carrying on as we are is no longer an option available to DP. DSS has started to vote with his feet sad

mumandboys123 Sat 20-Apr-13 17:32:36

at 9 years old he shouldn't be allowed to vote with his feet - your partner now needs to fight for his son.

allfornothing Sat 20-Apr-13 18:42:07

I agree. Your partners son is too young to make this decision. There may be short term upset to maintain the status quo, but I'd strongly advise sticking to the court order. He doesn't realise the magnitude of such a decision and needs his dad to realise that.

taxiforme Sun 21-Apr-13 00:34:02

Oh I love this convo. My dad used to come downstairs dressed as a cowboy (when I was about 14 and trying to be cool) then he threw a sheet full of balloons out of the window when I was in the garden having a BBQ! I loved it!

I am the same with my dsc. I don't have my own kids to take up the slack!
My motto to them is "who wants to be wallpaper?!" And we have a big artistic motto running up the stairs.. "Always be the picture, never the frame"

They have deep self confidence issues. I come from a theatrical close family. They and my dh are really buttoned up. Their mum is like a timid mouse. However, my dss (12 with ld and what seems to me to aspergers) has really come out of his shell..I am hoping that it is, in part to my ballsy look at moi attitude and that I am showing him that it's ok to let people into your life and share your feelings.

Whatever, life is about balance and bringing kids up in a happy home. One where you have convos with the oven glove puppet with the tea cozy on your head pretending to be the bishop of bath and wells.

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