03-02-2018 07:00 PM
Hi Guys, this is my first post. I’m really struggling at the moment and my partners and I are at loggerheads about how to respond to my youngest, who is 16. My partner is a long term step parent or ten years and we really haven’t had any major issues with parenting together until now.
Last night my partner called Mr 16 to dinner and he responded with...please leave me alone, I’m not in the mood. Granted, that might be flippant, a little dismissive but my partner completely flew off the handle, demanded I get him to immediately apologise for his gross disrespect and insulting behaviour and things escalated from there.
am I going crazy? I didn’t think he was really rude or disrespectful. I feel trapped between siding with my child and partner. What are your thoughts? Would you find his response grossly disrespectful and insulting? Any tips? Help!?
03-02-2018 07:57 PM
As this has happened only once (?) I would let it go.
If it happens again.....this forum is here for you.
Sometimes people can be in bad moods and possibly this was the case for your partner and son.
You are NOT going crazy......just a concerned mum and partner. It takes courage to reach out.
03-02-2018 08:06 PM
Welcome to RO @Whimsymim and thank you for sharing.
Parenting with Step-parents can be such a tricky dynamic to navigate sometimes and I totally understand you feeling trapped in between your child and your partner.
I wonder if your partner had had a stressful day and maybe that contributed to his response to your son?
03-02-2018 09:42 PM
That’s what I thought at first,,,,but it’s day two now and my partner is adamant that Gus was completely out of line and has basically said he wants nothing further to do with parenting him. Things have been building for a while and Gus has been disrespectful at times....which I have addressed, although probably not as assertively as my partner would like. He was raised in a very punitive, old school environment whereas I was raised by A pair of Hippies! It’s not a good mix at times. I guess what I’m really asking is....do you think Gus’s response was really insulting and disrespectful? Am I the one out of line supporting my child in this?
03-02-2018 10:56 PM
Without being there and knowing both your partner and your son, it's a bit tricky but its sounds like your gut feeling says your partner may be overreacting?
If things have been building for a while, it may be worth discussing where you're both at with your relationship and co-parenting and how to best move forward? Make it more of a general conversation and then your partner might bring more things up?
03-02-2018 11:16 PM - edited 03-02-2018 11:26 PM
Hey @Whimsymim, welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing.
I can imagine it would be difficult having such opposing parenting styles. I think parenting we have to choose our battles or we could be battling all the time. So this is purely my opinion, but I don't think your son's response was overly disrespectful, or insulting or worthy of your partner not wanting to parent him any longer. But I know my mum would disagree if my daughter said that to her. I'm often in the middle there.
It's great that you've spoken with your son, but he's a teen and his response to your partner wasn't atypical for kids of that age. I don't think you're out of line in supporting your son, and if you'd like support on how to best move forward to parent more cohesively with your partner I'm sure the community would be happy to share their wisdom gained from experience. Parenting counselling is another option. Do you think your partner would be willing to attend with you?
09-08-2018 09:37 AM
Hi Whimsymim, I hope the situation has improved for you, your partner and your child.
As the parent of a child who is experiencing a similar situation it is heartbreaking to watch.The difference here is that I am watching my ex loose his child as a result of his wife's relationship with my child. My child feels disrespected and unsupported when at dad's house and I see their relationship slipping away. Although he does not wish to be "caught in the middle" he supports his wife fully and dismisses my child's position.
A significant incident happened recently and at drop off when grandpa left he said "remember, there were three people involved in what happened today and two of them were adults". This will remain a very poignant moment for me.
Sometimes we forget that we are teaching these growing humans how to be decent respectful people, especially when they appear capable and confident. The disagreements and resolutions we have will help teach them to resolve matters the same way.
A wise soul once said to me that disagreements will happen with your kids but it is the way that you resolve it that is important - always apologise for losing your temper and help your kids to understand why. We teach our kids that they are responsible for their actions so naturally they expect that we are too.
In our situation the parenting styles are polar opposite - I believe respectful behaviours are paramount and I see the result of that in return - In the other camp, the demand to be respected without displaying those values results in constant conflict. For the child involved it is a living hell, and seems to be heading down the road of minimal contact with dad and never alone with stepmum - an incredibly sad outcome.
I hope one of your boys is brave enough to hold an olive branch and the other insightful enough to take it.
All the best
09-08-2018 10:40 AM
Hey @thekidandi, thanks for sharing that part of your story. That really sounds like an incredibly difficult situation to manage and a real shame that things could not be worked out with your child being able to see their father. It seems like you have some great support around you that has been offering advice about the situation. How have you been able to deal with the stress of the circumstances? I can only imagine how frustrating and unbearable it must get at times. Do you or your child speak to a counselor or health professional about what has been going on? I know as a child I found it helpful to chat to someone who was not directly involved in the situation
09-09-2018 09:56 AM
Hi @Taylor-RO, yes it is difficult and an incredible shame that the adults involved struggle to see the impact they have, despite having the involvement of a variety of professional supports sharing thoughts on how detrimental it is. My child has incredible mental health support as do I, assisting us through this challenging journey, something I would highly recommend to anyone - in particular someone whose expertise is dealing with the breakdown of the family unit and a caring GP.
Our journey has sadly been underway for nearly 10 years and is unfortunately a perfect example of how the inability to work in the child's best interests will negatively affect the child, in our case the stress has resulted in a barrage of health issues and a diminished ability to effectively navigate the mind-field that is the school ground and its associated bullies, resulting in a compounding world of pain for my child.
So my advice to @Whimsymim still strongly stands to work with the adult involved to find a happy place because the reality of not can be terrible for everyone.
09-09-2018 10:48 AM
I am sorry to hear because it sounds like it has had a really significant impact on your child! It is great that you both have amazing support and that you would recommend this to others. It really is important when going through something so complex and distressing. It is unfortunate you have had this experience but great advice offered here to Whimsymim