PDA

View Full Version : Feeling a bit lost



Nesta
May 6th, 2009, 08:24 AM
My step kids don't live with us. They stay overnight every 3 days. On the past few visits both kids seem to have a bee in their bonnets about money. We have both tried to talk to them about this and they say they understand, then they repeat themselves, as though we had never discussed it..

If I give you a rough idea of the things they're saying could anyone give me ideas on how to deal with it?

They have both said that people who have nice houses, cars, clothes etc are 'snobs' and that they hate snobs. They have also told us that they dislike certain people because they know that they are not nice (people they really don't know at all). They think that people with nice houses are nasty (?!). I tried to explain that snobbery is not connected with what a person owns and that people work hard to buy the things they want.

At the same time they are obsessed with material possessions. They have actually told us that we need to do certain things to the house to make it look nicer (I'm a professional designer and the house is exactly as my partner and I want it) and that we should buy a better car (our car is quite old but we love it and don't want to sell it).

My partner and I are not materialistic and we're trying to teach the kids not to judge people based on appearances.

They have made similar, but milder, comments in the past and we discussed it but the comments they have made on their past two visits have really shocked us.

I cringe to say this but their comments that were judgemental and nasty. They get very confused that we don't approve because they are learning this behaviour directly from their Mum and Step-Dad.

I'm feeling a bit lost and very worried, any advice would be appreciated.

Pagan Warrior
May 7th, 2009, 04:06 PM
Well, I don't the age of these kids but wanting things and not understanding money is perfectly normal for children up to a certain age. My five year old wants everything in the store and doesn't care that I have bills to pay. However, my 11 year old is beginning to understand how money works and that I have fiscal obligations.

However, the prejudice is taught. I would inquire as to the relationship with the other household compared to yours. Is it possible someone is creating this negative perspective of money by your partner's ex? Is it possible your partner's ex views you as "well to do" and is using that as the source of anger?

The only thing you can do is explain that rich people are not necessarily snobby or nasty. If you can demonstrate this by visiting with a wealthy household that would be ideal, but most people don't have rich friends or family. You might try asking the kids where they got that idea from, or if someone else told them rich people are snobs.

Vampiel
May 7th, 2009, 04:27 PM
Sounds like a part of growing up to me.

From your description it sounds like they are envious of rich people and project anger onto them because they have a lot of the things they want badly. It takes time to figure out that money is just that and doesnt bring any type of ultimate happiness and can often lead to stress in large quantities instead depending on how you deal with it.

Even many adults never get over that phase.

Perhaps you could take it at the angle of asking them what makes them happy that doesnt involve lots of money? Like talking with some good friends and having a good time, or enjoying a nice walk, etc... Then compare it to material things that they think are "better" and compare them and maybe that will help them to realize that money is just that so they wont project happiness onto it? From that perhaps it will help them deal with there attitude toward rich people.

Nesta
May 7th, 2009, 04:40 PM
The only thing you can do is explain that rich people are not necessarily snobby or nasty. If you can demonstrate this by visiting with a wealthy household that would be ideal, but most people don't have rich friends or family. You might try asking the kids where they got that idea from, or if someone else told them rich people are snobs.

Sorry I should have said, they are 10 and 12 years old.

I think you're right about explaining to them that rich people aren't necessarily nasty. I have done this several times already, I think I need to keep drumming it into them.

Some members of my family are very successful financially (except me lol) and the girls have been welcomed with open arms by all of them and I hope that more time around my family will lessen the prejudice.

They too have family members who have lovely homes and cars but their family members are exempt as far as the girls are concerned.

I completely understand the normality of them wanting nice things, it's the nasty comments that I find difficult. It's so unlike them.

Thank you very much for your advice, it's very reassuring.

Nesta
May 7th, 2009, 04:53 PM
Perhaps you could take it at the angle of asking them what makes them happy that doesnt involve lots of money? Like talking with some good friends and having a good time, or enjoying a nice walk, etc... Then compare it to material things that they think are "better" and compare them and maybe that will help them to realize that money is just that so they wont project happiness onto it? From that perhaps it will help them deal with there attitude toward rich people.

Thanks, this is great advice too.

Whenever the girls mention anything they would like to do it's always simple stuff like going to the park, going for a swim, baking or they ask to use the painting materials in my studio.

As I said to PaganWarrior, it's the harshness of their comments that are shocking me. I completely understand that young girls like to buy nice things and I don't really have a problem with that.

I know where their attitude comes from, it's their Mum. The problem I have is that she refuses to communicate with me. The girls have heard her tell me she hates me. I think this is the real problem and it's just showing up in a way I didn't expect. I completely understand that they love and trust their Mum, it's not the girls fault that they see/hear their Mum behaving unreasonably. I think it's natural for them to be curious and reactive towards their Dad and I because they have been raised being told that we are horrible people.

I want to find a way to guide them without disrespecting their Mum. I think I'm overly aware that if I give opinions I'm very likely to be inadvertently disagreeing with their Mum because I know that she tends to disagree with most things I say. I'm also worried because these issues stress the girls out.

Vampiel
May 7th, 2009, 05:26 PM
I know where their attitude comes from, it's their Mum. The problem I have is that she refuses to communicate with me. The girls have heard her tell me she hates me. I think this is the real problem and it's just showing up in a way I didn't expect. I completely understand that they love and trust their Mum, it's not the girls fault that they see/hear their Mum behaving unreasonably. I think it's natural for them to be curious and reactive towards their Dad and I because they have been raised being told that we are horrible people.

I want to find a way to guide them without disrespecting their Mum. I think I'm overly aware that if I give opinions I'm very likely to be inadvertently disagreeing with their Mum because I know that she tends to disagree with most things I say. I'm also worried because these issues stress the girls out.

It sounds like she could be one of those people that even after breaking up with someone doesnt want the other person to be with anyone else either out of jealousy or not wanting to think the person can be happier with another person, or because they are resentful and dont want the other person to be happy, or they still feel possesive. Lots of different reasons and theres no real way you personally can help her deal with that since its projected onto you only someone else could help her with that issue.

I think the best thing you can do in this situation, if thats the case, is what youve been doing and try not to disrespect their mom, if you do it will validate their moms words. Show them that you arent like that and eventually they will figure it out on their own.

Nesta
May 8th, 2009, 04:42 AM
I think the best thing you can do in this situation, if thats the case, is what youve been doing and try not to disrespect their mom, if you do it will validate their moms words. Show them that you arent like that and eventually they will figure it out on their own.

I think this is what I'll do. Time and patience are needed on this one. I love them and they're so worth it.

Thank you Vampiel. I feel encouraged by your words. :)