Monday, July 6, 2009

Parenting a child that isn't mine.

I'm not a step parent. I'm a guardian.

I'm not good at it.

How do you parent a child that isn't yours? Her mom raises her one way, her dad another and both by my standards, are not how I would raise my child. I have ideas and goals for her, that neither of her parents do. I know LW wants her to have a good education, but why is it acceptable to sit around all day on a Sunday watching tv, when there are books she should be reading and computer exercises she should be doing?

Why won't she make her bed every day? Why doesn't LW enforce it? Why do I have to be the bad guy when I ask? Half the time she ignores me when I ask.

The ignoring has got to stop.

I OWN the house. I PAY the mortgage. I HAVE a say in what goes on in my house. So yesterday I turned into the bad guy.

I know it's the growing pains of me just learning how to do 'this' and her learning how to live some place other than her mom's house.

But for now, I'll have two shots of Vodka on the rocks please.


Julie said...

Sweetie, it IS your house and you have every right to have expectations of how people live in it.

You and LW are going to have to sit Kassidy down and outline what you expect her to do. And what the repurcussions are if she doesn't. If bed making is important then, it comes with a price...if you don't do it, then no tv, computer, outside with friends, whatever.

You have to nip this in the bud NOW. Because it's already becoming a habit for her not to make it....

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

First, you and LW need to talk. The problem with that is he will feel as if you are questioning his parenting skills. (Been there, done that.) I have had to explain to Boo that as long as Baby Boo is with us, I am her mommy. Yes, she has one but at this house, I am the mommy and I need that same respect that she would give her other mommy. There have been times when I would come home to discover that Baby Boo is still in her pjs, snacking on fish crackers in front of the tv (close to dinnertime). Or, if she would cry, he would let her sleep on our bed, watching tv.

I told him that it's not going to work unless we're working together as a team. My rules and his rules have got to be the same. Same with you and LW. He's got to back you up. The biggest challenge is getting a kid interested in and wanting to read books instead of watching tv. That's where you both have to use the timer method. You can only watch tv for X amount of time. All other time must be spent doing…yada yada yada. He's got to be firm about this so that she won't smart off to you. Same with the bed making. Everyone has to pull their part. When she does it, make sure you acknowledge how you appreciate her making the effort to make her bed. First thing, as soon as she gets out of bed, she should make up her bed. That way, it will be easy to do and will turn into a routine.

Sorry this is so long but I just wanted you to know that I understand. It starts first with you and LW though. You've got to have him understand just what it is that has you frustrated.

Colleen said...

Yikes... you're in a tough situation Danica. I don't envy you unfortunately! Hugs and I hope that it gets better!

We are the Ferrari's said...

I agree. You and LW have to talk and be on the same page! I hate that you had to be the bad guy! :(

Tooj said...

This topic is very delicate and should be handled so. I, too, have my husband's child living in our home. I don't want to write a book in your comments section, but if you ever feel the need to chat about it, please feel free to hit me up via email. :) I have LOTS of suggestions and things that worked, and lots of things that didn't. For now, I'll say this - the most important thing is that you and your husband find common ground and you both know where you stand on your role, what expectations are of children in the home, and that most importantly, everyone knows that every adult wants what is BEST for the child. The child will not always see this, and therefore doesn't count. That sounds harsh, but if any adult could honestly say they knew that what their parent was doing with their restrictions and rules when they were young children, they'd be lying. Plain and simple. :)