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Old 10-23-2019, 03:18 PM
 
Location: NJ
636 posts, read 213,535 times
Reputation: 2461

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So first, I'm 32 and my stepson is almost 16. I'm young enough that I remember being a crabby teenager but I grew up in the south with strict family and while I was wild and dumb I was not allowed to be disrespectful.

Today we are supposed to take SS to shop for sweet 16 party at the mall. I come home with my kindergartener to find SS wearing pajamas making a bowl of ice cream, we are supposed to be leaving. I point to his plaid pajama pants (in an effort to not say outloud in front of him) because I want to ask my husband if he changed since I wont take him to the mall in plaid pjs. My husband (clearly clueless) is like what, what are pointing at. So I say SS is wearing pjs and making ice cream i thought we were going to the mall. He says hes been wearing them all day. Well pjs arent pants and I'm not taking him in public wearing them. To which SS replies I'm gonna change chill you dont gotta get an attitude as he walks out of the room with his ice cream.

This made me really mad. I'm not a friend of his to be told to "chill". I'm getting very frustrated with him telling me to chill or saying not to get an attitude with him. Am I wrong for thinking that's not an appropriate way to speak to a parental figure, or at the very least, an adult?
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Old 10-23-2019, 03:40 PM
 
8,318 posts, read 1,993,803 times
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I hear you, and I went through some of that with my kids when they were teens. My son actually said that adults shouldn't get respect just because they're adults -- that they had to earn his respect.

Well, I can understand that attitude when it comes to some adults -- but I think it is a symptom of modern society that kids than can actually express their disrespect for adults without facing any consequences whatsoever.

When I was a teen in the late 60's, many kids of my generation expressed the exact same idea, but back then, in many families, if you "sassed" your parents, more often or not, a kid would get backhanded or at least grounded (and, no, I am not saying that was the correct response!) -- and disrespecting a teacher or staff member in any way would probably result in a call to the parents, at the least.
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Old 10-23-2019, 03:40 PM
 
13,083 posts, read 10,429,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LO28SWM View Post
So first, I'm 32 and my stepson is almost 16. I'm young enough that I remember being a crabby teenager but I grew up in the south with strict family and while I was wild and dumb I was not allowed to be disrespectful.

Today we are supposed to take SS to shop for sweet 16 party at the mall. I come home with my kindergartener to find SS wearing pajamas making a bowl of ice cream, we are supposed to be leaving. I point to his plaid pajama pants (in an effort to not say outloud in front of him) because I want to ask my husband if he changed since I wont take him to the mall in plaid pjs. My husband (clearly clueless) is like what, what are pointing at. So I say SS is wearing pjs and making ice cream i thought we were going to the mall. He says hes been wearing them all day. Well pjs arent pants and I'm not taking him in public wearing them. To which SS replies I'm gonna change chill you dont gotta get an attitude as he walks out of the room with his ice cream.

This made me really mad. I'm not a friend of his to be told to "chill". I'm getting very frustrated with him telling me to chill or saying not to get an attitude with him. Am I wrong for thinking that's not an appropriate way to speak to a parental figure, or at the very least, an adult?
Someone has to break the cycle of getting offended and snapping at the other person. Age has little to do with it.

An old friend of mine was very skilled at de-escalating arguments by simply speaking very quietly, very counter to instinct. This “forces” the other person to also lower their voice in order to even hear you. It worked every single time!

You can have a discussion about what frustrates you, but to maximize the chance of a cooperative and respectful response, de-escalate and allow everyone to cool off first.

The fact of the matter is that both of you could have handled it better, but we are all human. You can simply calmly say “ Let me know when you’re ready” after you’ve clarified what dress code you are expecting.
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Old 10-23-2019, 03:41 PM
 
8,202 posts, read 3,000,789 times
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Teenagers DO get attitude. But remember...teenagers think parents have attitude. And, in a way, you kinda did have attitude. Hey, it happens.


You COULD'VE just said something like "As soon as you change into pants, we'll go to the mall and if you're not ready in 20 minutes, we'll have to wait another day", (to motivate him to get a move-on) and been done with it. But it annoyed you that he wasn't ready to go when you were. That's understandable. I probably would've been annoyed too. And then you tried to pull your husband into it, kinda trying to gang up on SS. It's not lost on SS.


Teenagers WILL annoy you. When your kindergartner turns into a teen, the pattern will be repeated sometimes. It doesn't matter if it's a bio child or a step child.
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Old 10-23-2019, 03:48 PM
 
Location: NJ
636 posts, read 213,535 times
Reputation: 2461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
Teenagers DO get attitude. But remember...teenagers think parents have attitude. And, in a way, you kinda did have attitude. Hey, it happens.


You COULD'VE just said something like "As soon as you change into pants, we'll go to the mall and if you're not ready in 20 minutes, we'll have to wait another day", (to motivate him to get a move-on) and been done with it. But it annoyed you that he wasn't ready to go when you were. That's understandable. I probably would've been annoyed too. And then you tried to pull your husband into it, kinda trying to gang up on SS. It's not lost on SS.


Teenagers WILL annoy you. When your kindergartner turns into a teen, the pattern will be repeated sometimes. It doesn't matter if it's a bio child or a step child.
I was trying to get input from my husband's without involving SS but my husband's is hopelessly clueless. Once SS snapped at me while leaving the room and husband snapped at me saying "hes wearing pants" then I felt ganged up on. Maybe I'm too old fashioned but pj pants ARE NOT "pants" they are pajamas.
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:07 PM
 
8,202 posts, read 3,000,789 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LO28SWM View Post
I was trying to get input from my husband's without involving SS but my husband's is hopelessly clueless. Once SS snapped at me while leaving the room and husband snapped at me saying "hes wearing pants" then I felt ganged up on. Maybe I'm too old fashioned but pj pants ARE NOT "pants" they are pajamas.

One time, I took my oldest to the mall. He wanted me to buy him a pair of jeans, and I was willing. Being a typical boy, he didn't want to try the jeans on. Me being female, I HAVE to try on jeans to see if they'll fit. Boys hate trying things on. But, I wasn't spending MY money on a pair of pants that weren't going to fit, and then have to go back to the mall and repeat the process.


"No, I don't need to try them on." "Try them on, if you want me to spend MY money." Finally, with heavy sighs, and definite attitude, he tried them on. Attitude was had on both sides. Oh well. It happens.


You are allowed to snap back. Life and families aren't always fairy tales and it doesn't mean anybody hates anybody. You are allowed to set attitude straight, as long as this isn't a constant issue. (If it's a constant issue, the problem might be deeper, and might need different responses.) Try to treat your stepson respectfully yourself. Set the example, and you can expect respect back. (You won't always get it...but you have the right to expect it and demand it when needed.)


We recently had our 14 yr. old grandson (my step grandson, coincidentally) living with us. He was generally a respectful kid, but there were a few times where he took attitude, and I had no problem clapping back to it.
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:16 PM
 
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Unfortunately, when a parent re-marries, sometimes kids don’t get along perfectly with the step-parent. How long have you been married?
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Old 10-23-2019, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
46,151 posts, read 44,502,910 times
Reputation: 90244
Quote:
Originally Posted by LO28SWM View Post
I was trying to get input from my husband's without involving SS but my husband's is hopelessly clueless. Once SS snapped at me while leaving the room and husband snapped at me saying "hes wearing pants" then I felt ganged up on. Maybe I'm too old fashioned but pj pants ARE NOT "pants" they are pajamas.
This is the main issue: Your husband's cluelessness is why his son thinks it's OK to speak that way.

But even with-it parents have teens who talk back like that. It's not cool, but it's how they are a lot of the time.

I normally would advise you to have a sit-down with your husband about this, but he's probably not going to be any help. Next time, treat your stepson like the almost-adult that he is. Deal directly with him so at least someone is teaching him the proper way.

#1 Teens almost never operate under the same timeline as adults. If you come home and find him "not ready" again, don't play the pointing game with DH anymore. Go over to your stepson, ask him how his day was, etc, and then say, "I'm ready to go to the mall like we talked about. When you finish that ice cream, change into some pants so we can head out."

#2 This reminds me of this scene from The Middle (the first 20 seconds only):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xv3U8e1-NgA
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Old 10-23-2019, 06:01 PM
 
12,788 posts, read 5,121,780 times
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From your past posts, it sounds like there's some turmoil in your home right now.

I don't think "chill out don't get attitude" mumbled as he is walking to his room to change as you requested is a big deal, especially since he's your stepson.

Sometimes, you just have to be a willow and bend.

(And I know other generations were forced to fake respect when they didn't feel it, and I'm not sure that's appropriate with a stepmom. It certainly works when you're dealing with a cop or teacher. But it doesn't sound like you have a really close relationship, since you had to point at him until your husband asked what you were pointing about).

If that's as bad as it gets with him, respect-wise, I'd just ignore it and make an effort to get along. He's had a bit of a bumpy ride in life.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:05 PM
 
2,097 posts, read 1,371,260 times
Reputation: 10200
I kinda think pointing to a person and talking about them to someone else right in front of them is rather confrontational. How about directly talking to your SS in a reasonable tone and saying, "Hey, are we still going to the mall? You have to change into other pants please."

Of course people should be polite no matter what the family dynamic. Everyone. You are perfectly able to ask your SS a question without his father's involvement... just like any acquaintance would, right?
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