Two home problems.


I recently married my husband and became the stepmom of 7 & 9 year old boys. My husband was full time military and deployed/stationed in another state most of their lives and returned to 50% custody 2 years ago. I came in the picture 6 months later. He was an explainer and I am a firm believer in "because I said so." The boys were basket cases when I first met them - melted down at any small correction, horrible manners, extreme tantrums - these have largely been resolved with our united front and help from your books. They revert with their mother a bit but we get them back on track (she won't discipline because of whatever stress or trauma they supposedly have experienced, yet is amazed at their improved behavior). The issue we can't seem to correct is their seeming hatred of doing anything outside, and their inability to self-entertain. Their mother (more accurately, the extended family she hands the boys off to) constantly entertain them, hand them electronics, take them on expensive outings, etc, and they are lost without direction. We used a doctor's appointment to "prescribe" outdoor time partly due to the eldest's weight gain, but they sit and sulk till allowed back in - they are okay on family outings but can't handle not being directed by an adult. What do we do? We live near woods and a pond and as a kid I would have been happy all day long with this kind of set up.

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