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June 22, 2022

Question from a stepmum: I seem to find myself dealing with my stepchildren on my own.

 

I seem to find myself dealing with my stepchildren on my own. I tend to take all the flack daily. I get breakfast ready, cook the evening meal, do all the housework, make sure the kids are doing their homework. My stepchildren are starting to talk back and be quite rude now they are getting older. I have addressed this with my partner, and they have said that it’s just part of growing up. That might be the case, but it makes me feel very unappreciated. Am I overreacting?

 

 

 

I don’t think you are overreacting, and I think you have every right to feel unappreciated. Everyone in the house should be pulling their weight and doing their share around the house. Have you suggested creating household rules so your family can help you with the chores? But you would need your partner to be united with you on these changes, so they support you and help you to enforce the house rules.

 

Start with a family meeting so you can voice your feelings, so everyone knows how you feel. Then discuss the chores that you need help with and get all the family involved with how they can help. Sometimes when children are involved with making lists and charts, they become more invested in the whole scheme. So, ask them to design a chores chart and stick it on the fridge so everyone can see it and everyone knows what they need to do. Another incentive is to pay them pocket money to help with the chores. No chores, no money.

 

As for the back chat and rudeness I would suggest your partner deals with this if it is their children that are disrespectful to you. The biological parent should discipline the children and let the children know that if they disrespect you then they are disrespecting him and that is not okay. A united front comes across so much better, so the children know they are dealing with you as 2 parents and not 2 individuals. 

 

Maybe it should also be your partner’s responsibility to check on their children’s homework and to make sure they are completing it. Maybe suggest that doing homework before watching tv or playing on their phones or computers is one of the house rules. Sometimes children just need structure and to be organised in what they need to do. Once a routine is in place and with your partner supporting you, I feel it could make you feel better and hopefully feel more appreciated. It would also create some ‘you’ time and we all deserve that. I hope this advice helps and creates an easier family life for you. 

 

I tend to take all the flack daily. I get breakfast ready, cook the evening meal, do all the housework, make sure the kids are doing their homework. My stepchildren are starting to talk back and be quite rude now they are getting older. I have addressed this with my partner, and they have said that it’s just part of growing up. That might be the case, but it makes me feel very unappreciated. Am I overreacting?

 

 

 

I don’t think you are overreacting, and I think you have every right to feel unappreciated. Everyone in the house should be pulling their weight and doing their share around the house. Have you suggested creating household rules so your family can help you with the chores? But you would need your partner to be united with you on these changes, so they support you and help you to enforce the house rules.

 

Start with a family meeting so you can voice your feelings, so everyone knows how you feel. Then discuss the chores that you need help with and get all the family involved with how they can help. Sometimes when children are involved with making lists and charts, they become more invested in the whole scheme. So, ask them to design a chores chart and stick it on the fridge so everyone can see it and everyone knows what they need to do. Another incentive is to pay them pocket money to help with the chores. No chores, no money.

 

As for the back chat and rudeness I would suggest your partner deals with this if it is their children that are disrespectful to you. The biological parent should discipline the children and let the children know that if they disrespect you then they are disrespecting him and that is not okay. A united front comes across so much better, so the children know they are dealing with you as 2 parents and not 2 individuals. 

 

Maybe it should also be your partner’s responsibility to check on their children’s homework and to make sure they are completing it. Maybe suggest that doing homework before watching tv or playing on their phones or computers is one of the house rules. Sometimes children just need structure and to be organised in what they need to do. Once a routine is in place and with your partner supporting you, I feel it could make you feel better and hopefully feel more appreciated. It would also create some ‘you’ time and we all deserve that. I hope this advice helps and creates an easier family life for you.