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Re: Free parrot with every peg leg [Re: AndrewP] #2902614
08/25/20 12:15 AM
08/25/20 12:15 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
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DnJ Offline
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Hello Andrew

Originally Posted by AndrewP
It's tough. I'm not the Dad here. I don't feel that it's my place to dole out punishments but on the other hand, I'm a grown man and should be able to deal with things on my own. I'm fine with setting boundaries and letting the boys know that there needs to be respect and when they've crossed the line.

Yes you are not their Dad. However, and with a grain of salt, you are the Dad there. Everyone under one roof does elevate things. You have to be more than just Moms boyfriend.

A Dad type male figure. Not punishments. A man who guides, mentors, leads, helps, and so on. Yes boundaries will need to be worked on and respect earned.

You are the man of the house. I mean, if not you, then who? And S is your partner, the women of the house. Neither of you can act with complete autonomy, IMHO.

S has your back. And you have hers. I actually kind of agree with Ss philosophy of we are one family now. Families have roles and role models. You can and should fit into one particular position.

Treat and care for them like they are family not guests.

I think you are doing very well my friend.

D


Current
Me52 XW49 S23 S22 S19 D18

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
Dec 9/17-Legal Separation
Oct 3/18-W Files
Apr 6/19-Divorced

I may give up, but not today.
Re: Free parrot with every peg leg [Re: AndrewP] #2902672
08/25/20 06:17 PM
08/25/20 06:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,597
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Dawn70 Online
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I thought for a long time about how I wanted to respond to your recent post because I adore you but I feel like I'm always negative Nancy when I say stuff to you and I'm trying to change that. Having said that, I do tend to agree with both Don and DnJ. You are so right that you are not the dad of these boys. You are not even their stepdad, so really, not in a role to be the disciplinarian or the corrector. It's a tough place to be, for sure because you want to be supportive and helpful, but you also don't want to overstep. However, in this particular case, while you are not legally the stepparent to these young men, they live in YOUR house and you are, for all intents and purposes, the king of the castle that they currently inhabit. While I don't think you should take the lead on discipline, I do think it is absolutely your right and actually even your obligation to help guide, teach, lead these young men into a lifestyle that they need to become accustomed. You say the chore chart doesn't work for various and sundry reasons, but I think more than any reason you actually listed, it's lack of effectiveness has a whole lot to do with how S parents. Let me just say, I'm not necessarily judging her on how she parents, though it will sound like that. It isn't my place to judge her. But, from the outside looking in and based on your version of the story, S is a very lazy parent where disciplining the kids is concerned. I think that, by the luck of the draw, she just happens to have kids who are pretty decent human beings (no doubt because of her influence in some ways), but they can test those boundaries (or lack thereof, as the case may be). You have mentioned both sons being verbally abusive towards her and even reasoned it away as something they had seen from men in her life, but if she allows it, then it will continue and may even take root in their adult lives towards the women they choose. That is NOT a good pattern to set up for them. I suspect that S parents from a reactionary state rather than an actionary one and that may have to do with her not really having much structure and routine in her own life as she bounced from relationship to relationship. While I don't necessarily think you should intervene when you witness this abusive behavior, I think you can find a way to both divert the boys from doing it and support her in putting her foot down and not allowing it. Saying the chore chart doesn't work because they are teenagers is just hogwash. Maybe I am different because I was raised on a farm and my dad worked me like a dog with all the farm chores, but even teenagers need structure, guidance, discipline and allowing them to shirk responsibilities just because you can't get them to follow the chore chart is NOT setting a good example. You say that with your own kids you had more of a see something, do something approach, but these kids haven't been "trained up" in that fashion for lack of a better phrase. There is nothing wrong with you helping S enforce the chart and helping her establish real consequences for not doing things. While we didn't necessarily have an actual written out chart, we were given specific responsibilities and there were consequences when we didn't handle ours. From the time I was about 11 or 12 until I graduated high school and left college, one of my regular chores was cleaning the kitchen after supper. My mom cooked and then I would clear the table, put away left-overs, load the dishwasher, wash all the pots and pans, wipe down the counters. I don't see why you and she can't work together to establish some of those things for her boys and then hold them to it. In a not so distant future, these boys are going to be men on their own and you don't want them to be reliant on y'all to take care of them. Again, I get it is a fine line to walk, but you can do it without taking the lead or coming down too hard on the boys. I suspect that you are afraid that you will get some push back from S and I also suspect that you will get some because she doesn't really want to put that much effort in, especially when if they "drag a$$" (the term my father uses for laziness and apathy) long enough, you'll just do something to get it done without saying anything to them or S. I think S has already come to rely on that too. She makes big gestures and promises of doing things, but she really doesn't do that much and I think she doesn't really want to because chaos is her norm. I don't know how long you can really tolerate that, Andrew. Just something to think about. She paints a picture of y'all all being one big family, but then you are hesitant to wade in and be part of her family, despite them living in your house and I think both of her sons are at an age where they could benefit from a strong, positive male role model like yourself, so don't sit back and let that chance slip by. I get the feeling they seen and dealt with more than their fair share of losers. Show them what a REAL man is supposed to be. I think those boys might blossom under that type of attention and leadership, but having worked with teenagers for years, I can tell you (as you probably already know since you have children of your own) that they will buck you every chance they get and twice on Sunday just for good measure.


Me 50, H52
Divorce from XH final 12/17/2014
Marriage #2 12/31/2019
5 adult (step)daughters (3 from XH's first marriage, 2 from current H's previous relationships)
4 grandkids (plus 2 on the way)
Re: Free parrot with every peg leg [Re: AndrewP] #2902679
08/25/20 08:06 PM
08/25/20 08:06 PM
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kml Offline
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Quote
if parenting were easy then I suppose everyone would be wanting to do it.


Ain't that the truth!

You have to understand that these boys are certainly not accustomed either to doing chores regularly or to an orderly home. It will take time for them to learn. Do it like dog training - reward the good behaviors.

I'm glad to hear that S backed you up on it this time. And feel free to correct the boys when they talk back to their mother - just gently let them know that's not acceptable.

But you are wise to realize that it's about progress not perfection with the boys. My sons who live with me are responsible but certainly not natural clean freaks like CMM. And honestly it feels like NONE of their efforts are recognized by CMM - if they do all their dishes, it's a problem that they left one in the drying rack. Etc. etc. They've made a boatload of accommodations to CMM but because it's not 100% he still complains. And some things are honestly just differences of opinion, like do you empty the lint catcher on the dryer after your load or before your load?

What I can say is the constant negativity about this stuff from CMM is a detriment to their relationships with him - so finding positive ways to teach them rather than punish them will be best in the long run.

Re: Free parrot with every peg leg [Re: kml] #2902683
08/25/20 08:17 PM
08/25/20 08:17 PM
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Dawn70 Online
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Originally Posted by kml
[quote]rAnd some things are honestly just differences of opinion, like do you empty the lint catcher on the dryer after your load or before your load?


I swear I'm not trying to be a smart a$$ here, but I don't see how this is a difference of opinion. Doesn't everyone empty the lint trap before they start the dryer? I mean it is a fire hazard to not do it, so why wouldn't you do it on the front end? Maybe it is just me. I'm the one who does 99% of the laundry in our house so maybe that is why I can't fathom it being done a different way and maybe it really is a difference of opinion. I do the bulk of our laundry on the weekend and I run load 1 through the washer, put it in the dryer, check the lint trap, empty if necessary and dry. Lather, rinse, repeat until all loads are washed and dried. I usually try to remember to clean the lint trap when I'm finished also, in case Sparky does a load at some other time and doesn't think to check it. Maybe I'm just crazy and paranoid about the lint catching my house on fire....I don't know.


Me 50, H52
Divorce from XH final 12/17/2014
Marriage #2 12/31/2019
5 adult (step)daughters (3 from XH's first marriage, 2 from current H's previous relationships)
4 grandkids (plus 2 on the way)
Re: Free parrot with every peg leg [Re: AndrewP] #2902684
08/25/20 08:21 PM
08/25/20 08:21 PM
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kml Offline
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Well CMM thinks everyone should empty their own lint after they do their laundry so he doesn't have to touch any (totally clean) potentially icky lint from somebody else's underwear lol. (Btw the fire risk is less about the lint in the trap and more about the lint in your exhaust hose, which should be cleaned perdiodically).

Re: Free parrot with every peg leg [Re: AndrewP] #2902685
08/25/20 08:22 PM
08/25/20 08:22 PM
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kml Offline
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(The main problem with not cleaning the lint trap is that the dryer will take longer to dry if it's full).

Re: Free parrot with every peg leg [Re: AndrewP] #2902686
08/25/20 08:28 PM
08/25/20 08:28 PM
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Dawn70 Online
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Got it.....so see, I AM crazy. Yes, I knew that about the hose and we clean ours out periodically, but I'm still paranoid about the trap and always check it and empty it if necessary before starting a load. I always do it on the front end, but then I try to remember to do it after the last load as well so that if someone besides me does laundry, it is empty and ready to go. I don't always remember but most of the time I do.


Me 50, H52
Divorce from XH final 12/17/2014
Marriage #2 12/31/2019
5 adult (step)daughters (3 from XH's first marriage, 2 from current H's previous relationships)
4 grandkids (plus 2 on the way)
Re: Free parrot with every peg leg [Re: kml] #2902711
08/26/20 01:11 PM
08/26/20 01:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 3,364
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AndrewP Online OP
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I'm glad we are taking the time in our busy lives to examine important issues laugh
Originally Posted by kml
And some things are honestly just differences of opinion, like do you empty the lint catcher on the dryer after your load or before your load?
In the summer I prefer to use the clothesline even if it does make the towels a bit scratchy. When I do use the dryer I check the lint trap both before and then clean it when I take the load out. Leftover from having 4 people doing their own separate laundry I suppose.
Originally Posted by Dawn70
I mean it is a fire hazard to not do it, so why wouldn't you do it on the front end?
I also will take the front off the dryer (they're designed for this - only 2 screws) about twice a year and clean out the intake into the fan area as well. It's amazing how much can build up in there.
Originally Posted by kml
Well CMM thinks everyone should empty their own lint after they do their laundry so he doesn't have to touch any (totally clean) potentially icky lint from somebody else's underwear lol.
I remain the only person who cleans out the plastic trap in the shower where very ick hairs etc accumulate rather than going down the drain. "Sombody's got to do it". And I hate having to snake out the drains if they get badly clogged. I do use something called "one second plumber" - a compressed gas cannister though. It works quite well and is much better than plungers.

----

S13 is off with his dad for a week or so. He had his appointment with the growth specialist and will probably stop taking the hormone injections. Not because they won't do anything, but just because he doesn't want to get needles. His development, while very slow, isn't alarming in any way so personally I think there is no issue, but I don't have a vote here. The only alarming thing is the boy's very low weight which is a combination of being an extremely picky eater who is used to being catered to and undoubtedly an actual lack of appetite. He takes in only a tiny amount of food or drink in a day. His older brother S18 has a better appetite but also similarly doesn't really have much interest in food either. In part it may well be their ADD medication but from what I gather it was common in S's other kids. Which is odd because she's a pretty darned good cook.

When S13 is with his dad there's no structure to the day and they eat take-out pizza almost exclusively. His dad has also instilled in him a very real phobia of fruit which is also a problem. Not an easy situation. His older siblings stopped going with him to their dad in part because S13's behavioural problems escalate when he's in a more rule free environment. He usually stays up all night gaming while there, rarely goes outside and then when he comes back crashes and sleeps for 2 days.

After work yesterday I nudged S and we actually went for a walk around the village with the dog. Something we should be doing every day and something that rarely happens. We had a nice chat - she's struggling with what to do with the boys which is legit. She did say some things though that made me feel good. She mentioned that S18 really looks up to me which made me feel good. She also related a story that when S18 broke something of mine (I honestly don't remember what it was) his sister got all paniced and tried to help him concoct a story about how it was the cats so that he could avoid my anger. He said no - that he wasn't going to lie about it and that he didn't expect me to be raging. As I recall it, he told me about something breaking, I gave a big sigh, was very sad and we moved on with our lives.

S18 has some very real anxiety issues and I know stresses about getting into trouble. The environment that he was in with S's STBX (I nudged her yesterday about the divorce papers) had a lot of fear and stress about upsetting him. There were a lot of rules and a combination of anger and passive aggressiveness that made it a pretty toxic environment from what I gather.

It does reinforce what everyone here keeps repeating to me. Be a good role model. Show the proper way to deal with things. Show respect.

S and I also had a conversation where perhaps I put my foot in it more than a bit but I think it was important. I told her that this was all very tough, assuring her that I was sure that it would be worth it but also that there were indeed times when I looked back on my past boring predictable life with a bit of nostalgia. At first I think she was a bit offended and bothered but did agree that the first year will probably be tough as we adjust and that certainly as a mature couple it's a lot harder than it would be if were were 20 somethings with little baggage. I wanted to be open about the fact that this is taking work to make it work.

Still stressing here about my angiogram / plasty on Friday. And on having to sit still for a couple of days after. I'm not very good at that. I do have some plans on things to keep me occupied and less physically active. I have a couple of books, the plan is to also make digital copies of some of S's music and movies, index and sort them.

One thing that I have gotten better at though is dealing with the unexpected. My current role is all about that. I create a beautiful plan every morning, thought out a week in advance and then spend the day changing it as trucks don't show up, containers go missing, customer demand suddenly shifts. At work there's a great team of people who take it all in stride while at the same time passing the buck on to me to make the decisions - despite the fact they know more about all this than I do.

Well - back to it. So far things are running smoothly so I've probably now just cursed the rest of my day.


On BD
H52, W50
T27, M26
S21, D23
BD-9-Mar-16
D-15-Jan-18 Final-19-Apr-18
I am a storyteller. The story may do you no good.
But a story is never for the listener. It is always for the one who tells
Re: Free parrot with every peg leg [Re: AndrewP] #2902719
08/26/20 03:50 PM
08/26/20 03:50 PM
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kml Offline
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Haha - your work sounds like your home life right now.

Quote
When S13 is with his dad there's no structure to the day and they eat take-out pizza almost exclusively.


The kid's mom is celiac, he has growth failure and he's still eating gluten? Short stature and delayed puberty (as well as difficulty gaining weight) can all be signs of celiac disease. And a negative celiac test doesn't rule out pretty severe gluten intolerance.I had a kid like this who grew 6 inches once we got her off gluten.

Re: Free parrot with every peg leg [Re: AndrewP] #2902720
08/26/20 03:51 PM
08/26/20 03:51 PM
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He said no - that he wasn't going to lie about it and that he didn't expect me to be raging.


And this is so nice! I think your eventual relationship with this kid will be worth much more than any things you have in the house.

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