What do I do when my step-son does not want to be part of our family?

Joanna - posted on 11/07/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I have try everything. I hav e a daughter from a previous relationship. She is 9 yeras old. Me and my boyfriend just had a son. He is 8 months old. My step-son has been really mean to my daughter and has told her that he does not want to be friends with her. Her feelings are really hurt by that comment. My step-son is 11 years old. He does not listen to me anymore. Especially when I ask him to clean or do homework. He has been lying about things and I just don't know what to do anymore. I got him to see someone at the school he goes to because his mother is a real piece of work. He lives with us full time because his mother is not responsiable to raise him. She has been very negative about everything and that is why he acts like that. My sister is coming to visit and he is going with his mom for most of the time that she is down. He never wants to go see his mom but he knows that this will piss me off and his dad did nothing. I feel like my family is not good enough. My step-son complains that he is not part of this family but he makes no effort and trys everything to not be apart of it. Please help me!!!!

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Mommy - posted on 01/12/2014

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I share a similar experience. The only difference is my step son refuses to accept or engage our family. The problem has little to do with you. Most of your step son's issues are with his mother. His defense mechanisms of displaced anger, denial and projection are used to deal with the hurt of having a mother that is not emotionally available to him. Unfortunately these projected defenses leave us feeling bad. Please keep in mind that your step son likely has attachment and abandonment issues. It took me years to realize that all of my step son's internalized anger, rejection and defense mechanisms had nothing to do with my husband I. I realized that he too has attachment and abandonment issues. The only person that can help resolve those issues is his mother. I no longer beat myself up for the defense mechanisms that my step son uses to ease the pain of his mother's ambivalent parenting. My husband has accepted the fact that his attachment issues with his mother causes him to reject my husbands efforts to raise him into a man. My step son's anger also prevents him from identifying with his father. This is key to the emotional development of a healthy man. Instead of being bitter and allowing these issues to dominate my marriage, I have decided to show empathy to my step son and his mother. My husband and I have done all we can to help him. One day I hope that my step son can resolve his issues with his mother. I am very empathic to the fact that he was dropped off at the age of 6 with no explanation. I embrace the idea that it is easier to reject us than deal with the issues he has with his mothers actions. It took me years to realize this but the only solution to this problem is to understand, empathize and above all separate yourself from the real issue.

Sue - posted on 11/18/2009

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It takes time, but this child feels rejected by everyone in his life. You need to love him and set lear boundries on acceptable behaviours. You need to tell him it doesn't matter if he wants to be part of the family or not, he is. You need to be consistent in this approach. It will pay off. Tell him you love him even when he is shouting he hates you.

[deleted account]

My step son is the same way. My husnand and I have been married for 10 years and we have no children together. I have one son and he has 2. The older child is almost 18 and has made my life a living hell. Im suprized that my husband and I are still together over what this child has done. He has swang at me 2 times, said he hated me, said that he will stay at his dads if I was out of the pic. He does any thing and everything he can to push me. THis is 10 years of crap. He has lived with us up till the end of summer this year when he went to live with his mom. His mom caused all the problems with her hateful attitude. She would tell my son that he didn't have to mind me, that I was just a baby sitter for him, that if I was out she could have a chance. I cant stand his mom.. although as a parent I did everything I could to make sure that he had a relationship with his mom. We use to have to pay her to come and see him, and at one point when she lost her home I let her stay at my home for 4 days while we found her a place of her own. But yet again Im the evil one. I wish that people would just understand that these kids are a gift from God and we need to treat them that way. I have a lot of hate for what my son has done, and what he has allowed his mother to do. I cant help that, but I can at the end of the day say that I did do the best job I can. It is such a hard place and unless your husband works with you, the child will not come around. Your husband has to help you, and support the efforts. Mine never did. His son did no wrong and it was always me. Still to this day. I wish you luck. it is so hard to be a step parent.

Harriet - posted on 11/09/2009

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ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT DON'T PUSH HIM TOO HARD, JUST LET HIM KNOW YOU LOVE AND CARE ABOUT HIM GREATLY AND LET HIS DAD DEAL WITH HIM. GIVE HIME TIME.....TRY TO SEE THINGS FROM HIS POINT OF VIEW. THINGS ARE HARD ON HIM TOO.

[deleted account]

I agree with Lesley and also hopefully his counsellor will try to help him through these issues as an independent person. Good luck.

Lesley - posted on 11/08/2009

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Joanna
He is 11 years old - for any kid - its a tough time - I went through the same thing - its a matter of reinforcing that you love him no matter what - but still reinforcing that the world does not and will not revolve around him!!
If he wants to go with his mum while your sister is there - dont let him think that he is pissing you off - act in a positive way - say it'll be good to see your mum again etc etc... if he really is just doing it to piss you off - then tough shit - he hasnt won in that case!! He must realise that although you and his dad love him to bits he cannot be allowed to disrupt the family in this way - its hard trying to keep the peace - always a struggle - but at the end of the day they are kids and they dont fully understand how their attitudes etc affect grown ups - talk to him - ask what and how he feels - depending on that - then thats how you take it further... I think that at the end of the day - as long as the child knows that he IS part of the family and loved (still though having to abide by the rules of the family) in time when he's older - he will realise that he's had a pretty good family life.
Lesley

Joanna - posted on 11/07/2009

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This has been going on for 2 years. His mother stresses me out. I got depression and anextiy because of her. I use to be a fun loving person but know I'm stressed. She has made my life miserable for almost 2 years. She has told her son to hate me and my daughter. She has also told her son that Chris is not the father of my baby which is his brother. She lies to her son all the time and is never there. She has a gambling problem and doesn't feel that her son is going through anything. My step son is depressed, he has angry issues and is afraid to be happy with us because he might hurt his mom's feelings. Now my boyfriend is getting mad at me for things. I just want to help his son because he is only 11 years old and should be a kid and not be in the middle of this mess. My daughter is sad because we fight about my step son's mother. And that she is a head ache for all of us. Jarvis is playing mind games with us, his mom, teachers, friends, family and his liasion worker at the school. Chris just ignore the problem but I want to get a handle on things before it gets worst. I really think if things don't get better that we are going to break up because Chris handle stress. I want to fix things and make sure that it doesn't hurt our relationship but it is. Sometimes I wonder if that is what his son wants. Because he is doing a really good job at it. I love his son like he is my own and want to help him anyway I can but I am stressed and don't know what to do anymore.

Copa - posted on 11/07/2009

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my husband haves a 10 year old son whom i call my son yet his mother haves taught him to be afraid of blacks or in her words chocolate people so the first time i meet him he was very afarid and wanted nothing to do with me as his father why are you with a chocolate woman and not a white woman and my husband stated simply love dosen't see any color.i told dakota that it was ok if he wanted to be lone with his father but this is his house as well as ours or his half brother or sisters and just as they if ever needed to talk or just wanted someone to listen to him that i was there for him and in no time about a month or so we were talking playing board games and he even calls me mom just let him know that your there when ever he needs,muchlove and god speed.

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