Hello
Guest

Sponsored Links


Topic: British Stepchildren  (Read 3317 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

  • LisaE
  • A Brit in an American shell
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3033

  • From Naples, FL to Melksham, Wilts. No contest.
    • Well House Consultants
  • Liked: 5
  • Joined: May 2002
  • Location: Wiltshire
British Stepchildren
« on: May 20, 2002, 12:42:23 PM »
Many of us have married a Brit and moved here. For some of us, it's not our first marriage. Yet, I feel I am in a situation that most here aren't experiencing. Having British stepchildren. Teenagers. Living with you.

I have sooooooooo many issues!  :-/

Anyone care to swap shoulders?
Married to Graham, we run our own open-source computer training company in beautiful Wiltshire out of our 1814 Georgian Regency home (a former lodging house and once featured in Antiques Roadshow)


  • *
  • Posts: 955

  • and you are?
    • biggest APPLE
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Apr 2002
  • Location: Land of Bigness
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2002, 02:07:23 PM »
I'm married for the first time with two step-children. Both are Dutch though you'd never know it now. You've probably heard me going on about my son getting hell for being American. Drives him nuts becuase he really isn't American but he wants to be loyal at the same time.

No teenagers yet though he's convinced he is (11yrs). Apparently his friends are so convinced they are teenagers they've invented something called eleventeen. Both my kids are convinced this is a real age and that my wife and I are just out of touch. So that's sort of a teenage experience.

I have a feeling we'll have a abit of trouble with him as a teenager as the attitude is already creeping in. So go on - spill the beans and share your teenager woes if only to scare the crap out of me  ;D
« Last Edit: May 20, 2002, 02:07:39 PM by biggest_apple »


  • LisaE
  • A Brit in an American shell
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3033

  • From Naples, FL to Melksham, Wilts. No contest.
    • Well House Consultants
  • Liked: 5
  • Joined: May 2002
  • Location: Wiltshire
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2002, 02:46:59 PM »
I won't spill too many beans on public forum. But I can tell you some circumstances. When I married my Brit husband, we felt we'd be empty nesters. Back then, 4 years ago, his son was 17 and his daughter was 12. Son was away at boarding school and daughter was living with her mother. We'd see them at least one weekend a month. My own son was 8 and because his dad and I had joint custody, and I didn't know what we would face in a different country, I agreed to let my son stay with his dad. We just swapped visitations.

His son decided to stay with us almost all the time, even though technically he was boarding. (I don't know why he was so shocked that his dad would still be sexually active, but it was almost like we were being monitored!) Then when he moved out, the daughter decided to come live with us. I have wanted my son to move across, but for now he's still just visiting.

If you can imagine a "normal" family where there are differences in ages. A "baby of the family" who is no longer "the baby". Then add differences in culture and upbringing. Mix in a jealousy of daughter for her father's time. A dislike of the two siblings against the one. A natual clumsiness. A disrespect for belongings. Rules for one but not the other...

Stepdaughter has decided that for the sake of her loyalty to her mother, I am not to have anything to do with her upbringing. Except her mother has very little to do with her now because the daughter insulted her by wanting to live with her dad. Dad and dad only is to do the raising, and, you guessed it, dad won't. She has feminine issues that aren't being addressed. BTW, her mother lives 5 miles away and I have never met her. (She refuses to meet me.)

I raise my son completely differently. I do not think the modern British parent is supervising properly. And I think the average British teen needs lessons in respect and taking responsibility for actions. I can only say that I am counting the days until next September (2003)...university!!! I feel I will then have my house and sanity back.

If this were my country, I'd feel I could lay down more rules. But kids here drink and smoke and do drugs, and the parents just turn a blind eye. And parents look to each other to make their own decisions "Well, I guess it's okay because Nigel's mother lets him do it." Grrrrrr. Or "It's just the way we do it here."

Uh oh, you're getting me started.  :-X
Married to Graham, we run our own open-source computer training company in beautiful Wiltshire out of our 1814 Georgian Regency home (a former lodging house and once featured in Antiques Roadshow)


  • *
  • Posts: 955

  • and you are?
    • biggest APPLE
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Apr 2002
  • Location: Land of Bigness
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2002, 04:47:40 PM »
Wow, I hear you. Being a step-parent isn't easy no matter what the age of the children, though I suspect teenagers wuld be the most difficult.

I've always thought of my kids as my own. Known them since they were babies afterall. For my duaghter it's easy enough since I was with her mother from the time she was a baby. For my son it's a bit harder. He remembers his father well. Unfortunatley he's king of the scumbags. My son knows this (though we would never say it), but all children want their "natural" parents to be good and have real loyalty issues.

My son is just at that age where little comments like "my real father" are coming out. It's incredibly painful, but I know he means nothing by it. He's also making a point of telling everyone that I'm his stepfather.

No matter what parenting issues arise I believe it has to be about both parents sticking together even if that means they don't agree with each other's methods. I've come to an agreement with my wife that what we say goes in front of the children no matter what we're behind each other 100%. Once the kids are off to bed or we have some time alone then we can voice our objections or concerns. We had to do this as the kids were lerning pretty early on the Mom had final say. In a situation like that no one wins.

I don't know if parental boundaries are a particularly Britsh issue, though I have encountered the very parents you mention. I feel that overall kids are taking over. I find it very difficult trying to balance strictness and fairness, but the very fact that I find it a struggle is an indication that I'm doing alright. I'm sure you are too. Hang in there. ;D


  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 5875

  • You'll Never Walk Alone
  • Liked: 6
  • Joined: Apr 2002
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2002, 04:59:32 PM »
No step-children (just two of my own) but I feel I have to comment on the fact that parents on BOTH sides of "the pond" are doing a horrendous job addressing their childrens' issues, especially as they get older.

I spent 2 years as a court reporter, and a lot of that time was in juvenile court and domestic violence court.  No surprise that I frequently encountered the same families in both places...anyway, I kept seeing the same kids in juvenile court all the time, because their parents were just giving them free reign so they could focus on their own needs.  (Apparently no one told them that their first and foremost concern once they became parents was supposed to be their children. :'()

These kids, as young as 8, would be out at all hours of the night, vandalizing, stealing, drinking, smoking, not going to school...it was heartbreaking.  I made both my children sit through more than one session - told them that if they ever made me appear in court because of their misbehaviour that I would allow the court to keep them for the 21 days and NOT plead to let them be released like these idiot parents of these multiple-offenders.  So far, no problems (they're 8 and 13, almost 14).  Because they know I'm watching them and asking questions and paying attention.

But I can understand how powerless one can feel when the children aren't "theirs" but live under their roof.  Luckily, there's no father to speak of in either of my kids' lives, so my BF has NO competition!  And they just adore him, so I count myself seriously blessed.
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

- Benjamin Franklin


Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2002, 03:24:50 AM »
I could echo LisaE's issues, almost verbatim.  I could tell you stories.  But I won't.  You have my sincerest sympathies, Lisa.  At least, I don't have to deal with that any more.  Come and moan to us when it gets too much.  There are multiple shoulders here for you.  


  • *
  • Posts: 955

  • and you are?
    • biggest APPLE
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Apr 2002
  • Location: Land of Bigness
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2002, 05:39:50 AM »
Amen to that  ;D


  • *****
  • Posts: 6082

  • Liked: 22
  • Joined: Jan 2001
  • Location: Southwest UK
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2002, 03:17:41 PM »
Quote
I won't spill too many beans on public forum.


I have been guarding bean spillage as well. But as you're here, and my situation has one similarity, I feel it's a good time to share a bit more. I really hate discussing it, as it's extremely upsetting, as I'm sure you'll understand LisaE.  :-/  I have 3 children with my husband as everyone here knows, but I have not mentioned the fact that I have 3 children from a previous marriage as well, and they are living in the States. It's a long complicated story, one that I don't want to go into, but the gist of it is that after trying to get permission from the court to bring them here, I had to decide which family to break up. Those 3 were older, and I trusted that they would be ok there as opposed to my youngest. Anyway, the 3 older children (girl 15, girl 13, boy 10) visit, email, and phone often. There has been a recent developement, the oldest is voicing her desire to move here quite strongly, and it is a possibility that it might happen this summer as now her paternal grandmother is trying to help her convince her father to let her come.

All that said, I just wanted to let you know that I know what it's like, how it feels to be away from a child. Like part of your heart is missing I guess, so feel free to email or message me if you need to talk ok?  :-/


  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 5875

  • You'll Never Walk Alone
  • Liked: 6
  • Joined: Apr 2002
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2002, 05:13:10 PM »
You all have my complete sympathies.  Since neither of my sons' fathers have ever been involved in their lives, I've never even had to share my kids with anyone.  I can't imagine living without them.  It's incredibly selfless to do what's best for the child and not just yourself - I applaud any and all of you who have had to make such heart-breaking decisions.
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

- Benjamin Franklin


  • LisaE
  • A Brit in an American shell
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3033

  • From Naples, FL to Melksham, Wilts. No contest.
    • Well House Consultants
  • Liked: 5
  • Joined: May 2002
  • Location: Wiltshire
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2002, 11:05:33 AM »
Thank you. The stepchild issue is nothing compared to the legal battles I am facing bringing my son across. But, like you Leah, it's too excrutiating to discuss, especially in open forum. My ex husband is a cop, and all the personality/chest-puffing/"I know people" quirks that go along with it. Peedal, living in the next town over, has certainly seen his picture in the paper. (Know the movie "Gone Fishin'" filmed in SW Florida? He was in that.) Needless to say, he's dated the judge whose permissions I need.  :-[
Married to Graham, we run our own open-source computer training company in beautiful Wiltshire out of our 1814 Georgian Regency home (a former lodging house and once featured in Antiques Roadshow)


  • *****
  • Posts: 6082

  • Liked: 22
  • Joined: Jan 2001
  • Location: Southwest UK
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2002, 11:40:34 AM »
Quote
Needless to say, he's dated the judge whose permissions I need.


Talk about a conflict of interests.  :(

(((hugs)))



  • *
  • Posts: 955

  • and you are?
    • biggest APPLE
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Apr 2002
  • Location: Land of Bigness
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2002, 01:45:25 PM »
It is truly unreal isn't it.
No to get into too much detail but my mother's second husband was a real peice of work, He had been an auxillary officer so we also got allot of those threats. In fact after one very bad night he threatened my mother with " who would believe you over me?" After the police were called the cop in charge told her all he needed to calm down were a couple of drinks!

Wacky world.


  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 5875

  • You'll Never Walk Alone
  • Liked: 6
  • Joined: Apr 2002
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2002, 05:18:10 PM »
LisaE, you TRULY have my sympathies if you were married to a cop from Southwest Florida.  Ick.

You need to get your case assigned to a new judge (I'm sure you've already thought of that, though).  I know it's difficult being over there whilst they're all over here.  If there's anything you think I can help you with whilst I'm still here, just message me and let me know, okay?

:)
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

- Benjamin Franklin


Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2002, 02:14:45 AM »
When I was ready to move to the UK, everything was set and at the last minute I was informed by the British Embassy in Washington that I couldn't take Hovis with me without her father's written permission, even though he was not (and never had been) involved with her.  I panicked, as I hadn't seen him in years and had no idea where he was.  To make a long story short, I finally located him in another state and everything turned out fine.  But it was a nightmare, and I sympathize with anyone having to deal with issues like this.


  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 5875

  • You'll Never Walk Alone
  • Liked: 6
  • Joined: Apr 2002
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
Re: British Stepchildren
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2002, 04:34:42 PM »
I know I'm lucky as mine is the only name on both boys' birth certificates.  No problems getting their passports this year, and I know I won't have any problems taking them with me.
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

- Benjamin Franklin


Sponsored Links





 

coloured_drab