Need Advice About Future Step Kids

posted 1 month ago in Relationships
Post # 61
Member
988 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Why did it take 11 years for him to go back to his kids if he left to go to school?

ETA: After reading through your updates, I would talk to your SO first, and discuss how his children have already had a lot of upheaval in their lives, and moving them to your house now would be an unnecessary and difficult adjustment. Then you can tell your SO that you’d like to discuss it with his mother and come to a general agreement. Mention specifically that you believe that the children are old enough to be part of the decision.

If you take the children in the children may grow to resent you and their father for disrupting their lives and living arrangement. If you then have a child with your SO, that resentment will likely increase. Having a child around this behavior will also increase the likelihood of behavioral issues as your child sees their stepsibling’s behavior.

I also wouldn’t plan on these children moving out as soon as they reach adulthood. If the children stay with you, and you wait to have a child until after they move out, you may run out of time biologically to have your own child. The rate of adult children living with parents has increased over the years.

Finally, if you have the children living with you, there is no guarantee that their behavior will improve, as their grandmother lives so close and has proven she will give into every demand. She will be undermining your authority for years to come.

Post # 62
Member
1846 posts
Buzzing bee

helpmebees :  First, this site is no fun when you are looking for support instead of snarky judgement, bee. I learned (after experience and careful observation) not to bother, especially if what you’re posting is a sensitive issue–there’s a keyboard warrior (or two or ten) on every thread who just loves to comment on something in the most negative, non-constructive fashion possible–over and over. The reason I’m jumping in is because I am a stepmother and my advice to other stepmothers or stepmothers-to-be looking for support on this particular site is–don’t. There are a few FB sites where you will find other women in similar situations, have walked similar paths and will therefore have better undertandings, perspectives and constructive responses for you. The moderators on these FB sites would have disallowed most of the responses you’ve received thus far, as well. So my first suggestion is to post this quandary there and watch the difference in responses and ideas. Feel free to PM me if you want the names of the pages.

Second, my advice on your situation: this is your house and your life. You have every right to ponder the impacts of moving not only your Boyfriend or Best Friend in, but his kids as well. I’m not going to delve into his past (a/k/a judge) because people and situations are complicated, especially when they involve having children so young. I don’t know your BF’s character intimately or everything he has/hasn’t done with his kids, his jobs, his education or his life. All I can go on is what you said and what you asked. You said his children did not want to move in with both of you. You asked if you should let them. Bee, it might not be a matter of letting them. My feeling is that they’ve had a lot of ups and downs as it is–an absentee mother, a father who was at least geographically distant in an effort to provide for them, the father moving back and now they are presented with this. I would give the children the choice since they are of the age when they can decide, at least in a court’s eyes (which is good enough for most). If they say no, have more than one discussion with them about how they will likely have a baby brother or sister and ask how they would feel about that. My recommendation is to make it clear they can come and go as much as they want. Another option is to try to set up a visitation schedule (i.e., they are at your house x amount of nights and grandma’s y amount). As for the grandmother, I don’t think there is any salvaging that situation. The children have been with her for the majority of their lives and the “damage” regarding eating habits, work ethics, etc. is deeply rooted by now. It would take a lot of counseling and self-motivation from those children (and support from grandma) to work out those kinks. But at the end of the day, with children, it’s all about stability (which means familiarity and comfort). And they have that with their grandmother, for better or worse. I think the silver lining in this as far as your Boyfriend or Best Friend is concerned (and maybe you) is that you live so close and it would be very easy for him to continue to spend time with them every day. You can continue to foster your relationships with them and BF’s mother, as well.

This is not an easy situation. You have to balance your life, your life with him and both of your relationships to the existing children. I would start by doing what’s apparently best for them–and that’s stability. Then I would look at the both of you building relationships with them as well as an open door policy. Last, but definitely not least, a lot of the previous posters DID have good points about the likelihood of how things may go in the future (i.e., the children not getting jobs any time soon, needing continuous financial support in light of this/other things, how they might feel with the addition of a sibling and what psychological/relationship issues may ensue). It can’t hurt to think about these possibilities and how that could impact you/your relationship with Boyfriend or Best Friend. Be sure not to negelct your own feelings, wants, and needs in all of this. You exist, too. This is a lot for you to take on. Tread lightly! And good luck. 🙂

 

Post # 63
Member
5916 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

I had 4 step kids for several years. I don’t know if you mentioned who has custody or not, but if he wants his kids with him, he gets to have his kids with him. Mine would come over the same way, raised on chicken nuggets. You know what they got for dinner? Whatever I made for them or they went hungry. They will come around. My step kids also lived with us after about a year so I had them 24/7 because she moved to a different state. It’s a LOT of work and teenagers are the WORST, but that’s the risk you take when you marry a man with children. You and your Fiance need to be a united front, though. About chores, dinners, etc. Very important!

 

Post # 64
Member
270 posts
Helper bee

helpmebees :  the only thing I got from this is that you’re a homeowner, have a college degree, make a decent amount of money, carrying all of your expenses and adulting like a great adult should, and you’re considering allowing a 36 year old man to move in with you who has been living rent-free and will likely expect to continue living rent-free and only expects to pay a marginal amount of money for his kids once he moves in with you. The kids have no respect for you or any other authority figure. They’re almost grown, but still expect to live for free. 

 

OP, I think you could probably do better than this, but it seems like you really love this guy, so I won’t harp on about that. My only advice would be to stay living on your own and have him continue staying at his moms house until the kids are out of the house. Can you imagine the stress of a new baby, paying all (or most of) the bills, AND supporting the lifestyle of two disrespectful almost-adults who ARE NOT EVEN YOURS?? 

 

You dont sound like a monster at all—just like a woman in love with a man who made the wrong decisions early in his life that have continued to make his life difficult into the future. It sounds like he needs to get some experience living on his own, paying the rent AND supporting the expenses of his two kids before you allow him to move in with you. It seems like he needs a dose of reality when it comes to actually being an independent man with children.

 

I went back and read your updates. I’m truly sorry for the judgement you’re getting here. Your feelings are totally valid, but have you ever thought that this may just be too much baggage for you? Like I stated above, you seem to have your life in order—do you really want to take this on? If so, you may have to prepare yourself for all the stress (also listed above) and the potential that his two kids who don’t respect you and have lived their entire lives without being reprimanded for anything may NOT go away to college and may NOT get jobs. They may be around forever, and that is a reality that you need to anticipate prior to having another one of this man’s babies, thus potentially anchoring you to this dysfunction for life. 

Post # 65
Member
680 posts
Busy bee

I would honestly wait another 3 years before moving in together. Then the kids will be 18 and going to college or work and will start looking into moving to own apartments etc. even if they don’t move out from grandma i would say that there is a different mentality.

I also think you, Fi and his mom should sit down and discuss together what you think is the best. Does grandma want them to stay or move? In the end of the day she has been their primary caregiver and she should have the strongest say in the matter.

I also think the kids should have a say. they are almost adults. They have never lived alone with their dad. and suddenly take them from their home to live with dad and his gf is a massive change. Also since their dad has not been present he doesn’t have authority over them. While he has not abandoned them (I’m a bit lost on the reasoning of this arrangement) but teenagers don’t think that he was working hard for them. they will realize it later I  life (generalization).

If you force the kids to move in with you, that won’t end well. especially if you have a baby while they live with you. That will likely bring up a lot of issues. Also you bf moving alone. would the kids feel abandoned or are they in different about where dad lives?

in conclusion, have a talk between the 3 adults. Then have a talk with the kids. possibly with a councellorpresent that can help to ask right questions.

Post # 66
Member
1884 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m sorry you’re getting so much heat, OP.

Just understand that many, if not MOST, of the weddingbee posters are coming from a place of relative privilege.

I’m sure there are some things your SO could have done differently/better back then, but he WAS incredibly young, and maybe it really WAS best for the children (at the time) to have them live with their grandmother, who could always be there for them, instead of trying to raise them himself and perhaps be neglectful and be paying strangers to watch them while he worked his long shifts 6 days a week.

I understand hardship, and it sounds like your SO did a HELL of a lot more for those children at his young age than a lot of the people I’ve known in my life who struggle just to stay at the poverty line. My mom was one of those people, and all her friends were those people, and all MY friends were the children who were being neglected and outright harmed and traumatized thanks to these parents.

Maybe your SO’s children have been overly indulged and pampered by a loving and doting grandmother, but I can imagine a LOT worse for two children of a young father and drug-addict mother. 

You are getting a lot of unfounded and undeserved judgement because many of the posters here don’t understand from a personal place what poverty like that looks like, and how it informs your decisions.

Like myself and others have stated, the kids are old enough that they need to be given a say in this. They need to feel a sense of control over their own lives. 

In your shoes, the children would not be moving in with me unless they WANTED to, and unless they agreed to a better model of behavior, and it doesn’t sound like any of that is going to happen.

And you really can’t do much about their behavior. You’re not their mother. Their own father hasn’t even been able to correct their behavior in all this time because the Grandmother is in charge here, and she will continue to be. 

In your shoes, I would take a step back and just keep dating, but also look for opportunities to get alone time with each child, attempt to get to know them on a more personal level individually, and I would definitely be suggesting family therapy to SO. 

That’s really about all you can do – that’s all that lies within your own sphere of influence.

Post # 67
Member
276 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

The problem is that they are teenagers raised with 15-16 years of bad habit.  He should seriously consider seeking professional guidance because he’s trying to break a whole lifetime of poor habits.  I think it’s good that’s he doesn’t want to just leave them with the grandma and hope for the best… but it seems like delicate situation that he needs some professional guidance on in order to navigate it for the better.  

As for where they live… I think he should move them out of grandma house.  Whether it’s with you or not…  it’s really your choice.  What he’s asking is very unfair for you.  It’s one thing to be responsible over future step kids who has respect for you.  It’s another thing to ask you to be responsible of kids with absolutely no respect and pretty much calls the shot.

If you are up to the challenge then I suggest you discuss with him about the terms if the kids end up living with you. Like being a united front on dealing with grandma.  Or holding him accountable for backing down whenever they try pushing their limits.  On a daily basis it’s easy to be like ‘just this one time.  I don’t feel like fighting this.’  But it’s really just passing the baton back to kids who need boundaries.

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