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  1. #1

    Default I want to like this.

    I'm an alter.

    I want to like having my stepkids home this holiday.

    I am dreading it though. They usually destroy the house, eat all the food and make demands that put their father and I at odds.

    I've seen others here talk about it and get torn apart, thus the alter.

    What I want to know is how do you do you do it well? What is the right way to have teen kids home for the holidays?

    They don't seem to WANT to do anything that doesn't cost a gajillion dollars. They don't like getting up. They don't like going to the barn. They don't seem to WANT to do ANYTHING but play video games and eat. And shop. But they want us to buy them stuff. It's not window shopping.

    They will be here after days of vacay doing not much so Dad wants them doing something. And he's made it my job to sort it out.

    No physical activity, no horse stuff, no nothing I'm good at. So what to do?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2009
    Posts
    2,576

    Default

    Plan plan plan plan. Menus, meals, activities, things to do, arts and crafts, movies, games, lunging (ok exercising to tire them out), do everything in your city or nearby in the way of tourism, hiking is really good.

    Keep them busy busy busy. This is what I do. You do not have to LIKE, just keep them busy until they are gone.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    Ya know, I'm in the same position. And I HAVE planned. BUt I know it is still going to be hard-ish for me.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2012
    Posts
    248

    Default

    My son loves paintball.This activity can buy you 4 hours or more of free time! They rent the guns and usually have food on site or you can bring your own food.Will wear them out-just plan to wash their clothes before you send them home.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2000
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    7,540

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StepMonster View Post
    They will be here after days of vacay doing not much so Dad wants them doing something. And he's made it my job to sort it out.
    Really? How did that happen? If you're the step parent, then the teenagers must be his kids. Considering that they don't share any common interests with you, and seemingly have no intention of meeting you halfway, I'd say that it's your husband's job to stop issuing orders about some vague, undefined activities and pitch in and help out with the entertaining.


    14 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,673

    Default

    I am a stepmonster (five)
    I would a) consider calling their mom (talk to dad first) and seeing what her recommenations are (might get some brownie points for looking so cooperative), b) plan a family meal (that they can help with), c) go xcountry skiing (cheaper, fun, great way to burn energy), d) ask them for fashion advice (bring out some outfits for their consideration-nothing that really, truly matters to you! ), e) rent movies (you'll probaby hate them but it will occupy them), f) take lots of barn breaks so you get some time to yourself!! FOR SURE!! and g) talk to dad-cool that he obviously really trusts you but you want to make sure you guys are on the same side, so his input is vital.

    Otherwise, as long as my animals/the house/me are basically safe and not threatened, I don't really care. I know I'll be cleaning, but not a big deal with me. Their relationship with their dad comes first, so I tend to get out of the way.I rarely offer opinions on their stuff/activities, even when asked ("wow, that's......amazing! I bet you'll learn a LOT"). Then when I DO have an opinion on something, they know its serious (one had a dating partner who I felt was dangerous and was unwelcome in our house). I have spent money on them, a great investment in my relationship with their dad!

    We have a very jokey, teasing relationship- I know I am going to be teased, teased, teased so I give it right back (but nicely). I ask their advice on stuff. I praise them whenever I get the chance. I make sure I have time to chat with my gal pals to vent!

    Good luck, and I agree; the MOST important thing is that you and your husband are on the same side. I know my husband loves his kids and they love him. I see my job as mostly to get out of the way, and facilitate that, and so far, my relationship with them has gone pretty well (a few big road bumps but mostly pretty well!)


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2007
    Location
    small town, Ohio
    Posts
    613

    Default

    Well, you all are much better stepparents than I was. I planned, I tried, I rented movies, and everything was "stupid and boring." Like the OP, unless you were spending a ton of money on the kid, he wanted nothing to do with us.

    I just let the spoiled brat play video games in his room since he thought we were so beneath him. He didn't care, his dad didn't care, so why should I be the one busting my butt to make people happy who just don't care?

    Mind you, when I said I tried I seriously mean for a couple of years before I gave up.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway


    5 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Posts
    3,452

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    There are also worse things to be than parked in front of the TV for a few days. Sit down with them and play the video games. Watch TV with them.

    If they like to eat, take them out and buy weird stuff to try (like dragon fruit).

    I know that my OWN kids are tough to entertain. They are really just enjoying the downtime right now. They are so busy with school and extracurricular activities normally that simply taking a break is a pretty big deal.

    Must say, though, I miss the days when they were little enough to enjoy going ice skating and for hot chocolate after.

    Good luck with it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    3,201

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    They are on vacation, too. What's the big deal if they just want to relax and play video games? Paintball is a great suggestion, or skiing/snowboarding? If they really like eating and hanging around the house, what about planning to have them help you prepare a great "snack foods" supper (homemade pizzas, wings, nachos, dessert, etc), just for something you can do together?

    And video games can be pretty fun, maybe you actually would enjoy playing with them a little? They may enjoy teaching you to play, or watching you try. If they just have hand-held games, offer to rent a console and a few games that you can all sit down together and play together or take turns, etc. Really you can make that into the equivalent of a family board game, without the board.

    Other than that, if they are generally good kids who are doing well at school and have no major problems, let them relax and enjoy their time off!
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


    3 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,796

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    It's not your job to entertain or be the maid for them. It's the person who made them, and he can finance them too. Throwing money at kids so they'll want to visit the other parent is a common mistake, but you risk having them only come because they know you'll buy a bunch of stuff, or do whatever they want just to keep them happy.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2011
    Posts
    219

    Default

    You aren't The Entertainment Committee.

    If it's important to your husband that they have a cruise ship entertainment experience, then I would suggest that he steps up and chooses something for HIS children to do/enjoy.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Location
    Ocala
    Posts
    1,273

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    So they are coming to spend the holiday WITH THEIR FATHER. Not you, directly, but their father. If he wasnt there, they wouldnt be there. As was said, you are not the Entertainment Committee. If they want to sit around, watch TV, and eat, let em. Easier on you. Id certainly nix the shopping, unless they have their own money. Dont arrange things for them to do, let them tell you what they want to do. Just play it by the seat of your pants.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2004
    Posts
    4,304

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    lilitiger has some great advice. I don't think that you have to be the Entertainment Director on your own, though. They are his kids, so perhaps you can tell him that you can each plan a day for the kids, and when he takes them (as he should) for their special day, you can get a day with the horses. Just spending that day on your own with the horses should give you the respite you need to jump back in with the kids.
    Good luck. It's too bad they don't love horses.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
    Posts
    11,490

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StepMonster View Post
    I'm an alter.

    I want to like having my stepkids home this holiday.

    I am dreading it though. They usually destroy the house, eat all the food and make demands that put their father and I at odds.

    I've seen others here talk about it and get torn apart, thus the alter.

    What I want to know is how do you do you do it well? What is the right way to have teen kids home for the holidays?

    They don't seem to WANT to do anything that doesn't cost a gajillion dollars. They don't like getting up. They don't like going to the barn. They don't seem to WANT to do ANYTHING but play video games and eat. And shop. But they want us to buy them stuff. It's not window shopping.

    They will be here after days of vacay doing not much so Dad wants them doing something. And he's made it my job to sort it out.

    No physical activity, no horse stuff, no nothing I'm good at. So what to do?
    I have been a stepparent for nearly a decade now. And in fact, my DSS will be arriving Tues - with girlfriend in tow! - to stay with us for nearly 3 weeks.

    Am I sweating the entertainment stuff? Um, yes. A bit.

    However, I wouldn't take the assignment your DH has tried to dump on you, at least not singlehandedly.

    You would be happy to help, of course. What can you help with? Buy tickets for something? Look into nearby recreational facilities? Offer to cook a special meal - maybe with everyone involved?

    Then I would go about your regular business. I personally would be willing to overlook *some* stuff. I'd let them sleep in (who cares?) I'd tolerate the house being a bit messy (who cares?) I'd sit down with your DH and come up with a budget, if finances are a concern. Perhaps there can be a splurge or two, if the budget allows (who cares, if Dad can afford to spend a gajillion dollars on them?) If the budget doesn't allow that - well, IMO, Dad can be the one to deal with the shopping situation.

    I found that once my DH and I got on the same page about the parameters (house rules, basic game plan) things got a LOT easier. My DSS ended up more or less living with us for the last few years of HS after previously splitting time between our house and his mother's. Now he is off at college and we only see him at vacations. I never thought I would say this, but I miss him and really look forward to his visits now! But it took a long time for our blended family to work out who was going to do what, and I think you have to be willing to talk about things with DH, voice your concerns, and be willing to compromise on certain things. I am a neat freak, for example, and my DSS is, well... like a lot of kids, he is MESSY. (He got this from my DH, I am sure, LOL.) Our compromise was that he could keep his room however he liked (assuming it was CLEAN, it could be MESSY) while the shared/public areas of the house were picked up. Sounds like such a silly thing, but that made a big difference. Figure out what you can give on, and what you cannot, and work it out with DH ahead of time. That can include limits on what you will personally do; there is nothing wrong with planning some alone time for yourself so that DH can have some private time with the kids, after all.

    Good luck!!!
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2006
    Posts
    890

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    To be honest, I didn't enjoy the stepkids when they were younger...they used to drive me out of mind! But now that they are adults, we have a great relationship. Hang in there, it does get better!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,902

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    DON'T let Dad make it your job!! Seriously. If Dad wants kids to be more active, he can get them off the couch and find something to do with them. I've been a stepmother for a long time. My job is to support DH in his parenting, not do his job for him.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 13, 2005
    Posts
    430

    Default

    I was one of THOSE "step-kids" (30 years ago) and we know when we are not wanted/liked etc...

    Just keep that in mind.....they are kids...... you are the adult.....



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,422

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    You don't say how old they are or where you live.

    Do you live near any museums? Sometimes just getting out of the house and having a destination makes a big difference.

    XC skiing is a good idea if you have local snow, ice skating can be fun if you live near a rink.

    Baking and decorating cookies can be fun if they are younger.

    If they are older, how about teaching them all how to play poker? I came from a blended family and we always played cards when we all got together. It was a great way to do something together that has structure. We still play poker -- but now our kids play along with us!
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
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    32,633

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    As somebody who slept til noon during breaks...I'd say let them sleep. But do set a reasonable cutoff time, especially if the sleeping in results in noisy late night gaming sessions.

    Eating....I am guessing they are boys. They eat. Lots. Just the way it is.
    make them help you cook and clean the kitchen, no eating in the rooms or however your house rules are. They have to help do dishes.

    video games can be fun. You might enjoy yourself and find a new connection to them. reasonable cutoff time, say, nothing past midnight....goes hand in hand with sleeping in....

    as to general mess, threaten them (and DH if needed) with slow and painful deaths if they cannot find the trashcan, sink what have you.

    Other than that, the vacation does not last forever.

    But in general....unless they have similar interests, I would not make the clown for them, let the father worry about the program.

    but maybe, just maybe, if you are lucky, they will let you know what they are really interested in.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2007
    Posts
    1,326

    Default

    Since he dumped the planning in your lap why don't you line up several different charity activities. Soup Kitchen one day, nursing home visits another etc etc. Who can speak ill of you for setting up good deeds?


    1 members found this post helpful.

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