Tween ‘Tude

This past weekend with CBG and his two kids, Ankle Biter and Rugrat was a bit of a challenge. It was definitely a big ole taste of “real life”. The things is, I wasn’t always sure it was what I wanted to be consuming, know what I mean?

Don’t get me wrong. Rugrat can be a sweet kid. The thing is – she doesn’t always want to be a sweet kid. In talking with CBG over the weekend I pinpointed the issue pretty accurately. She wants to be treated like she’s older than she is, but she doesn’t want to act older than she is.

She chose to spend a fair bit of time in her room over the weekend because things weren’t necessarily going her way. |Hell….on Saturday she sat in the sweltering hot car while CBG, Ankle Biter and I played at the playground (and then complained about being hot!!) CBG was stressing about keeping both of the kids entertained and trying to ensure everyone was having a good time. He was frustrated over Rugrat’s behaviour and attitude – and rightly so. I struggled with how much of a role I should be taking in all of this. CBG and I have settled on taking more of a “hands off” approach when it comes to parenting the other person’s kids – he lets me handle most things with my girls, and I let him handle most things with his own kids – even if we don’t necessarily see eye to eye on how things should be handled.

On Sunday morning while CBG was in the shower, I decided to handle things with Rugrat as I would if it were my own daughters causing tension. I decided to have a bit of a heart-to-heart with Rugrat. I explained to her that her dad was stressed about everyone having a good time. I told her that it was tough to do that when she spent most of her time not wanting to join in and hanging out in her room. She told me that’s how she spent her time at home – holed up in her room, just doing her own thing. I explained that since she only gets to see her dad so little, it might be nice for us to spend as much time together as we could.

We talked for a while. I talked to her about how she might get a little further with her dad if she asked for things nicely instead of demanding things like it was owed to her. I told her that while he might act like a “grumbly bear” sometimes, it was only because of being stressed and worrying…and was no reflection at all of how he felt about her.

I talked to her like an adult. I was gentle – but firm. I (hopefully) helped her understand that she’s got a choice when it comes to her actions and her attitude, and that different choices would produce different results. I explained that it had nothing to do with being 11 years old – that sometimes in life we all need to approach certain people and certain situations in different ways in order to get the desired results.

I’d like to think that our conversation had something to do with her enthusiasm and willingness to play and have fun later that day. This “step-momish” thing sure isn’t easy. I feel like I’m floundering around a bit, but my hope is that caring about CBG’s kids, working with him on this parenting thing, and just doing my best is going to go a long way.

It will be interesting to see what the coming week brings with Rugrat and my two girls all together. Wish me luck.

7 Responses

  1. It sounds like you handled this really well! You have great instinct.

  2. I think it’s awesome that you said something to her. From what I recall from last year’s visit, she bonded with you. She respects your opinion. Yeah, that’s tough.

    It’ll be fine when ya’ll are all together. I bet she really enjoys your two girls.

  3. Sunshine, you were AWESOME with Rugrat this weekend. I really appreciate having a woman’s perspective on these things and helping talk to her about how she was acting.

    Just one more reason why I love you so much.

  4. It sounds like that was just what she needed. Good job!

  5. […] don’t have to wonder how CBG’s kids feel about me. Even though Rugrat is going through that Tween Tude phase, I do get the impression that she likes having me around. Over the weekend while I was there she and […]

  6. […] wanting to be treated like an adult but still wanted to act like a kid (which Sunshine touched on in this post) and I wasn’t completely sure on how to handle everything.  Thankfully, Sunshine spoke to […]

  7. […] Tween tude. I’ve seen enough in the last few days to make me want to run away from home when my own girls […]

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