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Old 09-05-2019, 01:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkatbar View Post
Here's another question. You said he recently came from his mother's, where the disparity in income between your households is significant and I would assume there was some level of if not trauma then at least instability in his life at some point between your two households if he had to call your husband crying asking to be picked up, and suddenly you had custody of a child when you never planned on being a stepparent and maybe didn't feel very sure about how to do that.

Has this young man had any counseling to help deal with that adjustment? Instead of greed or not understanding the value of things, might this instead be insecurity and not knowing if/when he will be offered things again?

I am hearing mixed messages. On the one hand, you are saying the $400 is not a problem and doesn't set you back, and you can afford it, but then you seem to feel put out that your stepson "expected" the bonus cash... which to me seems trivial. If $400 isn't a problem, why is bonus cash suddenly a problem? I question if maybe you and your husband need to have some conversations about money. It doesn't sound like you were planning on being a stepparent. Now you are and it seems like rather than working on a plan with your husband and executing it as a team, you're kind of laying it all on this kid.

A lot of your issues could really be solved with a conversation in advance of the outing. Oh, we're going shopping? Super. You have this much to spend. (When I was a teen, my mom let me and my sibling keep our "bonus cash" btw. It was all part of learning to spend that back to school money wisely. If we figured out we could get so many shirts off the sale rack, then come back in a week and get a few more, great!) Oh, we're going to the movies? Super. We'll get the tickets. Here's $5 for snacks. Right now the problem is there's zero communication going on ahead of time. Just money being shelled out (an amount your husband is cool with and you apparently aren't), then lots of passive aggressive feels towards the kid later. Which isn't fair towards the kid, who may have had totally different expectations in his old house, may have zero idea you're feeling resentful, and as a minor, is probably like, duh, of course my dad is going to get me some school clothes or let me get candy at the movies. It's his dad.
The $$ isn't the issue. It's the "more more more" mindset. He isn't the only one who needs things. I need things. I genuinely have shoes that are falling apart (because I walk to work) and jacket that has holes in it and with the cold weather coming, I need a new jacket. We don't have any more money right now for me to get these things until another 2 weeks when we get paid again. The bonus cash is for me. My stepson did not know that however the courteous thing would have been to ask my husband if anyone else was planning to use it before he automatically assumed it was his.


But then again, as I said, I have no idea if this is just him being a 'typical teen.' It's been 20 years since I have been around teenagers.
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:21 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
I don't really know … is he testing us to see how much we'll get him or does he honestly just genuinely not know $400 is a lot of money?
He probably has a distorted idea of just how much it is. When my son was 14 he got his first job, making $20 hr for several hours a week. He was going to build his own computer and he was sure he'd have all the parts in two or three weeks time. It came as something of a surprise to him that even making good money it took him quite a while to afford everything he needed. The money didn't pile up quite as fast as he thought it would and everything cost more than he thought it would when he had to pay attention to prices. I think kids around that age sort of know, but they don't really connect all the dots until they have to, when it's money they've earned themselves
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:36 PM
 
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Jdawg, I think it's fair to say that no one likes it when a kid has an attitude of entitlement. It's really annoying, step kid or bio kid. It's one of those things that take training and discipline, so kids learn.


I have 5 step grandkids. 4 girls, 1 boy. All my granddaughters are sweet girls, but there's one I'm closer to than the others. I used to babysit her sometimes, when her mother had to work. That little girl (16 now) has NO problem asking for whatever she wants. I have no problem cutting her off when need be. lol But, conversely, I'm glad she feels confident enough to ask.


One time, a few years ago, she asked me if I'd buy some little thing for her babysitter. I was like "Uh...no." She was begging me, telling me how nice and fun Anna Marie was. I asked her "Well...do you want to put this and this away (stuff for granddaughter) and we'll get the gift for Anna Marie instead? She thought about it for about 15 seconds, but in the end, she decided to keep her own trinkets, and forget about Anna Marie. lol
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:57 PM
 
9,813 posts, read 13,663,527 times
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Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
Jdawg, I think it's fair to say that no one likes it when a kid has an attitude of entitlement. It's really annoying, step kid or bio kid. It's one of those things that take training and discipline, so kids learn.


I have 5 step grandkids. 4 girls, 1 boy. All my granddaughters are sweet girls, but there's one I'm closer to than the others. I used to babysit her sometimes, when her mother had to work. That little girl (16 now) has NO problem asking for whatever she wants. I have no problem cutting her off when need be. lol But, conversely, I'm glad she feels confident enough to ask.


One time, a few years ago, she asked me if I'd buy some little thing for her babysitter. I was like "Uh...no." She was begging me, telling me how nice and fun Anna Marie was. I asked her "Well...do you want to put this and this away (stuff for granddaughter) and we'll get the gift for Anna Marie instead? She thought about it for about 15 seconds, but in the end, she decided to keep her own trinkets, and forget about Anna Marie. lol
Thank you Sass! It's been a great help.


As you can imagine, having a kid thrown on you is a big adjustment. I try the best I can. I love him and want him to have a good life with us and not deprive him of too much but I also want him to know that just b/c we are "well-off" does not mean he can take advantage or expect to get everything he wants.


These are hard things to teach when you have never been a parent before. It's even new-ish to my husband b/c while he has always been his dad, he hasn't had him full-time until now either. It's an adjustment for everyone I think.


My husband and I were just so used to our time together and spending money on us. Now this is a whole new dynamic. It can be really challenging sometimes.
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,493 posts, read 17,773,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
It doesn't set us back and the $400 is fine. My issue is mainly like is it normal for teens of this age to ask for more and more, after knowing how much was just spent on them? Like the $400 wasn't good enough for my stepson he has to have the bonus cash too?



I don't really know … is he testing us to see how much we'll get him or does he honestly just genuinely not know $400 is a lot of money?


Full disclosure: we live well. My husband just got a very large raise, which my stepson is aware of. We are not rich by any means, but he knows we travel and go out and do things and we are much better off than his mother. In my stepson's eyes, I don't know if he realizes we're middle class or does he think we are rich? Compared to his mother, we are very rich.


Like I said, @ the end of the day, $400 doesn't really break us. I just wonder is he testing us b/c he knows we can afford it.
I also agree that it probably is partly testing and partly that he doesn't understand that $400 is a lot of money. He also may be comparing your lifestyle with the lifestyle of his mother and think that you are quite wealthy.

Your step-son may also be wondering why his life was so difficult financially before (if it was) when his father obviously had/has a lot of money. Why wasn't Dad spending the necessary money on his child when he was living with his mother?

I agree that marriage counseling may be helpful to make sure that the two of you are thinking alike on finances and other issues in regards to his son/your step-son. This is especially important now that he is living with you full-time.
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:26 PM
 
9,813 posts, read 13,663,527 times
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Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I also agree that it probably is partly testing and partly that he doesn't understand that $400 is a lot of money. He also may be comparing your lifestyle with the lifestyle of his mother and think that you are quite wealthy.

Your step-son may also be wondering why his life was so difficult financially before (if it was) when his father obviously had/has a lot of money. Why wasn't Dad spending the necessary money on his child when he was living with his mother?

I agree that marriage counseling may be helpful to make sure that the two of you are thinking alike on finances and other issues in regards to his son/your step-son. This is especially important now that he is living with you full-time.
My husband WAS paying child support (a lot in fact) but we believe the mother spent it on herself, not him.

Last edited by Jdawg8181; 09-05-2019 at 02:34 PM..
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:48 PM
 
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My husband and I were just so used to our time together and spending money on us. Now this is a whole new dynamic. It can be really challenging sometimes.
And I think this is important to recognize. You were planning to be just the two of you. And then, surprise! Your husband's obligations from his previous marriage in the form of his child are now a part of your financial life. So while it's okay to kind of privately mourn the loss of what you once enjoyed... you also have to face the facts that your husband's responsibility to his son predates you. Yes, he's nearly 18... but you should be prepared for the fact that your husband may still wish to provide things for his child and you guys need to have some honest conversations about what that looks like.

Quote:
He isn't the only one who needs things. I need things. I genuinely have shoes that are falling apart (because I walk to work) and jacket that has holes in it and with the cold weather coming, I need a new jacket. We don't have any more money right now for me to get these things until another 2 weeks when we get paid again. The bonus cash is for me. My stepson did not know that however the courteous thing would have been to ask my husband if anyone else was planning to use it before he automatically assumed it was his.
What you want to do is communicate ahead of time, rather than reacting after the fact. Set him up to be successful. "We're going to the movies. Here's $5 for snacks." "Time for back to school shopping. Your budget is $250. Have you thought about what stores are having sales?"

Last edited by kitkatbar; 09-05-2019 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,493 posts, read 17,773,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
My husband WAS paying child support (a lot in fact) but we believe the mother spent it on herself, not him.
Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 09-05-2019, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,493 posts, read 17,773,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkatbar View Post
And I think this is important to recognize. You were planning to be just the two of you. And then, surprise! Your husband's obligations from his previous marriage in the form of his child are now a part of your financial life. So while it's okay to kind of privately mourn the loss of what you once enjoyed... you also have to face the facts that your husband's responsibility to his son predates you. Yes, he's nearly 18... but you should be prepared for the fact that your husband may still wish to provide things for his child and you guys need to have some honest conversations about what that looks like.



I hear you saying you need things. It sounds like you resent the fact that before your stepson arrived, you had more disposable income with your new husband and could buy whatever you wanted. Now you are a stepmom. Your needs are no longer always going to come first. Yes, this sucks, but a kid is not expected to somehow guess whether or not his stepmom needs new shoes or has holes in her winter coat.

What you want to do is communicate ahead of time, rather than reacting after the fact. Set him up to be successful. "We're going to the movies. Here's $5 for snacks." "Time for back to school shopping. Your budget is $250. Have you thought about what stores are having sales?"
Great points, Kitkatbar. "Yes, he's nearly 18... but you should be prepared for the fact that your husband may still wish to provide things for his child and you guys need to have some honest conversations about what that looks like. " If you haven't already discussed what will happen to your step-son during the college years be sure to discuss it now. Sometimes, college expenses are figured out during divorce decrees so your husband may already know what he is responsible for and has saved that money.
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:07 PM
 
9,813 posts, read 13,663,527 times
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Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Great points, Kitkatbar. "Yes, he's nearly 18... but you should be prepared for the fact that your husband may still wish to provide things for his child and you guys need to have some honest conversations about what that looks like. " If you haven't already discussed what will happen to your step-son during the college years be sure to discuss it now. Sometimes, college expenses are figured out during divorce decrees so your husband may already know what he is responsible for and has saved that money.
Yes we already have the plan for college figured out. Thanks for your input.


You guys rock. Parenting is hard sometimes
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