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Old February 3rd, 2018, 07:03 AM
rattlesnake rattlesnake is offline
Join Date: Dec 2017
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rattlesnake is on a distinguished road
Here we go again with the step mother to be

My DS's fiancee is angry with me, and I'm left feeling hollow that we are not going to get along well or be close, as I was hoping we could be.
As I have said elsewhere, I have always been quite involved with my grandkids' lives. They are now 8 and 9 years old, but the 9 year old was born when DS was just 19 and his wife was 18, graduated from high school about a month before he was born. They both encouraged my help and so I feel like I'm almost a third parent, but of course have no legal rights like a parent. But the love and concern is there whether I have legal rights or not.

The parents split after 6 years of marriage and xDIL quite frankly left DS for another man. While I will never condone the way it came about, I know she had plenty of reason to be unhappy with him, but I guess that is all beside the point. The fact she immediately put this new guy in the kids' lives and referred to him as their "step-father" is annoying to me and I do believe it contributed to some emotional and behavioral issues the kids have. They still are not married but have been living together ever since the split in late 2014.

I'll try to leave out most details and judgements about the "step-dad" but for the most part I'm going to give credit where it is due. The kids rarely mention him and when they do, it is not to complain. I would have to say overall, they must like him and he must be reasonably good to them.

My DS quite frankly has never been nearly as involved as a father as I feel he should have been. He got 50/50 custody of the kids but during his time with them, he mostly barks orders, or finds ways to just not spend quality time with them, always upset with them when they "interrupt him" when he is on the phone (which is about 90% of the time he is not sleeping or at work).

He of course does not see himself that way or believe it to be true.
Enter new girlfriend, now fiancee. She is a social worker and thinks she knows everything kids need and how to be the best parent (and step-parent) ever and thinks that the bio mother and the grandparents should all comply with her "rules" and DS is supporting that view. She is 30 and does not (yet) have any bio children.

So GS (age 9) likes to play this computer game Roblox. It has settings for "under 10" which is what it is always set to, but I agree it was still not that great that young kids could pick games where their "character" could be mainly shooting zombies, or some other such thing involving heavy violence and shooting.

So I started to monitor it more heavily and supposedly their mother said he could not play Roblox any more or watch any more Youtube videos. I know their mother and her ability to enforce that by having her boyfriend enforce it while she is at work or school, or having her sister or mother enforce it while they watched the kids, was pretty unrealistic. I don't remember the details but in a group text I got about this situation, I believe I did agree that I would also go along with the new "no Roblox, no Youtube" rule. But I'm human and I'm a grandma. And yes, one day I let him work on building a roller coaster in Roblox on my work computer, when I was right there with him.

So this weekend when he is with step-mom to be, he asks if he can play Roblox when she of course says no (because she is the biggest rule maker and enforcer of all) he says mom, step-dad and Grandma let him play! Boy are we in the doghouse, but especially me.

So she writes a Group text, acting like she really wants to know if GS is lying, but I took it more as accusing. And I sure was not going to lie and throw GS under the bus (even though he threw me under the bus telling on me but he is too young to realize that so no I'm not blaming him, of course).

So I admitted it to it. And she writes back (group text again) telling me basically I had been told this "rule" at least 3 times. I could debate the 3 times blah blah blah, but what is the use? Well, once again, I could apologize for breaking the rule (and already have and will and will try to do better) but I did stand up for myself and I wrote to her only (not the rest of the "group") that I have told her that I don't like group texts accusing me of things and I thought it was mean and hurtful. I have discussed THAT with her before that I don't want to talk about important things that could be controversial through texts.

And before writing the text I tried to call her. But she would not answer the phone. So I stood up for myself and wrote that text. I'm going to guess all will say I was wrong for letting him play Roblox even a little in those circumstances. I can admit when I'm wrong so that is okay.

I can tell you this, before this woman came into their lives, I was 100% trusted with my judgement by both the mother and by my DS, what I would let the kids do in my home.

But was I wrong to tell her that her texts are hurtful and there are better ways to communicate with me?

I know from DS, because he did call me, that she feels I don't respect her because of this stuff. Well, I do think I respect her as a person but I don't agree with all her philosophies. I don't think she would be happy unless I 100% agreed with everything she does and says and "enforces" with the kids.

That does not equal "don't respect" in my view. I also recognize I am a 59 year old grandma who raised 3 kids, two of whom are very well adjusted, very successful young ladies who were both valedictorians of their high school class, and both now have Ph.D.s and lucrative professions. DS is doing okay by most standards but there is no mincing words, he was very different from his sisters though I believe I raised them all in the same way.

I am feeling I'll never agree with fiancee's strict set of rules as I'm just a softer person, with education and creativity being my go-tos for children, along with watching them closely. I have been accused many times with my own children and now my grandchildren about "worrying too much" about where they are and what they are doing, so she should not really be so concerned about their safety on the Internet when they are with me. I do keep tabs on that. If I were allowed to give her an opinion that she would respect (which is not going to happen), I'd tell her to stop being the bad guy. The way I see it when GS asked to play Roblox, it would have been nice if SHE would have been the one to break the rule, saying, okay, I'm going to sit here with you for 1/2 hour while you play and show me what this is about and maybe we can talk about it another time whether you should be able to play with close supervision.

Any thoughts?
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