How to cope with step parenting a very difficult teenage boy?

Samicisco - posted on 08/18/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have a step son who has been through a lot in the past with his bio mom (before his dad got custody) and none of it has been resolved. He has lived with his bio dad (my fiance) for the past 4 years. He has short periods where he is reasonable but mostly he is angry, demanding, and sometimes violent with his dad. His dad has taken him for family therapy and his son was thrown out. His dad has tried to discipline him by taking away personal belongings etc.and the boy has trashed his house (the boy is 6 foot 4 inches and 270 pounds). He barely attends school and failed 3 classes in grade 10 last school year. He got caught with pot in his dad's house on 3 separate occassions during the past several months. The police have been called and he runs to his mom's house for a couple of days until things cool down and then returns. The police do nothing to help this situation. My fiance is struggling with this tough situation. There are 2 other children from his previous marriage who are also messed up that I haven't even mentioned. How do I cope with all of this and keep my kids (3 sons) and myself sane? Thankfully we don't all live together yet and we have put that off indefinitely in favour of maintaining our own relationship and keeping the kids that are okay (so far) on track. Any advice on how to handle the stress and not get too emotionally involved would be greatly appreciated! : )

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Samicisco - posted on 08/19/2012

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Thank you for your comments Jennifer! This man is the love of my life. Except that we do not live together, our families are blended. We are committed to each other and know that his child will not be able to live with him much longer (he will be an adult in 18 months). This is also my fiance's youngest child and his older 2 are already out of his home. You are right that it is good that I am not the bio mom. I am sure I will have my own struggles with my 3 sons as they mature. Nobody is immune to the difficulties of parenting. Thanks again for your comments!!

Jennifer - posted on 08/18/2012

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That's tough, and my heart goes out to you 100%. It may sound cold, but at least you're not the bio mom because that emotional involvement is beyond challenging. Are you really sure you want to pursue this relationship? If you and your 3 sons are sane now, it might be worth separating from your fiance. You have to choose your boundaries and protect what you can and let the rest go. If you want to stay with this man, you are bringing a lot of drama into your life. No doubt you know all this already. Only you know what you really want, what will really enrich your true soul. Your sons' needs are even secondary to yours.....you must find what makes you happy and not bring into your life more worries...if you have a choice...and it sounds like you still do....peace to you and good luck....."This too shall pass"

Samicisco - posted on 08/18/2012

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Thank you, Francine for your thoughtful response and your kindness. I really appreciate it!

Francine956 - posted on 08/18/2012

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I don't think there is any clear cut way to deal with this type of stress, nor getting emotionally involved. It seems from what you have said that you and your fiancé have a stable relationship even with all of these difficulties around you. I commend you on your decision to live apart for the sake of your children. I can only imagine how your fiancé feels about the course of destruction his son is on. Since he has custody I would suggest for him to look into some tough love intervention, military school or, some type of boot camp, or scared straight camps.
As a mother of four I would be deeply concerned for my son. I can only imagine what you all are going through, my prayers go out to you all. For your sanity and your fiancé 's keep the communication open and non judgemental. Listen to one another and try to devise some type of solution together, as I think this will help strengthen the bond between you. I hope this has helped a little, as it is never easy to lay your problems out there without the fear of judgement. May god bless you all and keep you safe.

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