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Laxphotomom

When can he cut his own toe nails?

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My new stepson is almost 13 years old.  My new husband was trimming his toe nails and finger nails in my living room.  I almost gagged.  His voice has already change and he is taller than me!  I wanted to tell him to TEACH his son how to do his own toe/finger nails in the BATHROOM!   However, my husband babies him, takes him a hot lunch to school every day (because he doesn't eat sandwiches and he doesn't like the hot meals at school).  The boy-with-the-man-voice isn't even very nice to his Dad!  Ignores him when Dad is trying to make a conversation.  Does not do as he is told, makes demands on his Dad,  My husband is constantly running around getting him this and that, making him special dinners/breakfasts, etc.  If he doesn't like what we are making, my husband makes him his own meal.  My grandson, who is 12 sets his alarm for school every morning at 6:30, showers, dresses, makes his own breakfast (scrambled eggs and toast), makes his own lunch and is ready to be picked up by car-pool by 7:40.  Am I being overly critical of my step son?  (Who btw has at times bullied my grandson by throwing wet sand in his face, with no consequences).

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I think I’d direct my annoyance onto his dad.   Your husband is the problem here.     Does stepson live with y’all?    Did you know this was husband & stepson’s dynamic before marriage or is this new?  

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Also, you could try being nice and having some empathy for your stepson. No one asked him if he'd like this version of life, where his parents are divorced and he has no choice but to visit with a mean woman who compares him unfavorably to her grandson. 

Your stepson is a 12 year old boy.  You're showing contempt for a child.  Go get some family therapy.    

 

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It does sound hard... I'm sorry.  Raising children when you are divorced (as I assume your husband is) can be hard, and he is likely overcompensating.  Raising step-children can be very difficult,  and will look very different from how you raise your own children.

How long have you been married?  Does your step-son live with you, or visit?

Honestly, you can not compare your children and step-children- it will put resentment and a wedge in everyone's relationships.  Love your step-son, but realize your relationship with him will be different than the one you have with your son, and it may, at times, seem unfair.

And as mentioned by another poster....  your step-son didn't ask for this relationship to come about.  He might be having a hard time.

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4 hours ago, MissLemon said:

Also, you could try being nice and having some empathy for your stepson. No one asked him if he'd like this version of life, where his parents are divorced and he has no choice but to visit with a mean woman who compares him unfavorably to her grandson.

Yes.  Maybe he needs to be 'babied' because his world has been rocked.  Signed: the child who could have done with a bit of understanding when that happened at that age.

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Welcome to the forum! How long have you been married? Since you say “new husband”, I assume it is a new marriage. Were you already familiar with your husband and stepson’s relationship prior to your marriage? The way that they interact really shouldn’t be a surprise to you. And I agree with the other posters that you need to just learn to love your stepson where he is and stop comparing him to to your grandson. 

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My son is 14, I help him cut his toenails (he has a problem with ingrown so it's better to do it for him, plus ASD and SPD), dh makes him a different dinner almost every night, his very brief time at school (early intervention) was a nightmare due to limited foods from SPD.  My 12 year old dd can make her own food and is much more independent.   Kids are different people and have different needs.  Comparison doesn't help anything, it just breeds resentment and makes things worse.  

As a divorced parent who remarried, my suggestion would be to not interfere in the relationship between your husband and his son.   Certainly not if this is all very new.   Give it time for some of the kinks to work out if this is a new situation for everyone, then if there is something that DIRECTLY affects you and you really can't live with, GENTLY without accusation or comparison to other children, discuss it with your husband.   

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Why not just say “hey guys?  Can you do that in the bathroom please?”

It doesn’t have to be some big confrontation.

 

Have to say, this looks very much like a troll first posting, so if that’s not actually true I suggest some posts on the academic side of the forum 🙂

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I don't know if this is a true question or not, since it is pretty loaded for a first post. OP, if you would like to continue in these forums, feel free to introduce yourself a little more and participate on some other threads, so that people can get to know you. I will assume that the thread title is a real question.

Kids can learn these self help skills at a wide variety of ages. My own son is still learning to do his own nails as a teen, because he has fine motor skill difficulties, plus other issues. You can buy adapted nail clippers on Amazon that are easier to hold, and I recommend that you try them.

As for the other issues, it sounds as if your step-son needs some more help than a typical boy of that age, and it is totally fine. It may annoy you, but it's fine. It may mean that he has some undiagnosed needs (sensory, attention, executive function); when this is the case, it's common for kids to be a few years behind in maturity. Hopefully your relationship with your husband is strong enough that you can have a private and supportive conversation with him about his son's needs and how to gradually build more independence into his day. Some kids can be pretty hard to get along with, and your husband can probably use your emotional support as he parents his child. Some counseling would probably benefit everyone.

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