Re: Step Kids
I have 2 boys from my first marriage (8 & 6). My fiance has has a daughter from his first marriage (8) and my boys' dad has a son (2.5) from his new marriage.
My oldest always says things are easier at my house and there aren't as many rules but really I make him do a lot more in the day but I don't have a set limit on video games. he has to finish his chores and all the extra studying I have him do (about an hour) and whatever physical thing we are doing that day (he doesn't like sports) before he can play video games. But in his mind he gets to play as much as he wants. I know they have a hard first day at their dads. I make them go to bed sooner and have much fewer snack but you would swear I'm sending them sleep deprived and hopped up on sugar. Its just the change that makes things hard. Their step-mom and I are close so we communicate quite a bit about what we do for our routines.
Things that help us is to have some stuff we do as a family. I also have very clear expectations. My youngest is autistic and visuals help him be much mroe independent but I think they actually help my 8 year old more. I don't have a list of stuff they can't do but things I expect them to do.
We do family dinner. Each kiddo has a specific spot for their coat and shoes. I think you just really have to find your spot in their life. My boys and my dsd had a different love for each parent in her life. I'm not nearly as fun as dsd's mom or step-dad but she and I get along great. She likes my calmness, lol. She def loves her mom more and I'm ok with that. She and I are still really close. She wants to be a nurse like me and loves the lists I have all over and wants me to make them for her moms house. I still try to have fun with her too but I know the quieter activities are what we have together that is special. Dsd throws some major fits for her mom and says horrible things to her. She has never said a bad thing to me and I have had her for overnights often for the last 3 years. That's got to mean something
In general I would figure out what behaviors you want to see more of in the older boys and focus on how you can motivate them to display those behaviors. This is much easier than trying to get them to stop a negative behavior.
I'm typing this with my six year olds feet in my face and I'm rambling. My oldest (the only one that talks) loves his step-mom but he will talk about how he hates how much she screams at him and thinks he's being bad. Actually its more that she screams in general that he doesn't like. He also thinks she favors his youngest (her only bio) a lot. I've had this guy a few times when they go on trips and he is a typical 2.5 year old. He steals stuff and breaks stuff. Oldest ds doesn't feel like step-mom stands up for him enough and expects him to give into the youngest whenever he wants what my ds has. I helped him talk to her about it and I think it is better now. Keep the communication open with all the kiddos. Help them trust you.
Even bio-families have a lot of these same issues. You will all figure them out! Good luck! I will probably be posting similar things in 2 months when dsd is living with us all the time
Suzi, working mama to my ODS(2004),
and married to the love of my life