Living Arrangements

Kisha - posted on 05/26/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My Step son's BM was killed in a car accident in Feb and he moved in with us. He has two sisters but they all had different fathers so they are all split up now. My step son has always been hard to deal with because he has such a nasty attitude. But now sometimes I just want to break down, because I understand he is hurting, but I don't feel that we should have to just let him get away with things because of the tragic accident.



He talks back, lies and is so dissrespectful that sometimes it makes me want to just loose it. He says things like we love our twins more then him, which is not true, but they just turned two in Feb so they require more attention then he does.



Before his mother passed he talked so nasty to her and about her. Now in his mind he has made his self believe she was a saint. I think he need some counseling but he dont want to go.



My hubby is hard on him because of his attitude, but I find myself stepping in the middle of it, because I dont want to make him feel he is not special and loved because he is. Our method of parenting is hands on when his mothers was totally different. I know it is an adjustment for him. But, how long should it take for the transition to be complete.

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Sherri - posted on 06/01/2010

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GOOD FOR YOU! Well done! Just keep consistent with making him feel wanted, needed and loved. Keep consistent with discipline and reinforce the rules and you'll fly through this! Proud of you!

Kisha - posted on 05/30/2010

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I thank all of you so very much for your advise. It is very helpful and insightful. I have used some today. Trey and I sat down and had a conversation. He is more confused then I thought. He told me he wants to die and go with his mom. I told him that is not what she would want. I told him she would want him to be happy and productive. I explained that sometimes life does not seem fair, but we have to make the best of it.

He and I went for a walk and I told him how much I loved him and wanted to try to make him happy. I also asked him if he feels mistreated in anyway be me or anyone else to come and tell me. I promised that we could have conversations about anything, He seemed to appreciate that, because he talked and cried and talked some more. I do love him so, but I never want him to feel pressured.



I then explained our house rules. I could tell some he did not like. I explained that everyone has rules they must follow. I will keep you updated as we progress along this road.



I would also love for him to spend more time with his BS but they are all in different towns at least 3 hours away from each other. One in GA with her dad, one in Miami with her aunt and one in Jacksonville with us. We are not close and we did not know the aunt or the other dad. But, we allow them to communicate as much as they want. He used to want to every night, but now he has made friends and I guess they have too, because they do not call each other as much.



I also will stop referring to him as my SS and refer to him as my son. I asked would that make him feel uncomfortable and he said no.

Sherri - posted on 05/30/2010

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Hmmmmmmmm. You're in a tough position. I would agree that loosing a parent is so hard and it's unfair to your SS that he is without his mother.



However, I do not agree that you should refer to him as your son. I think (especially at the stage that he's at after just loosing his mother) he needs to grieve for his mother and needs support in doing so. You are not his mother and can never take her place as such, but you can love him and support him and be there for him as a mother would and should. I agree that you are all that he has and one day, he may look at you and you will be mom in his eyes. After reading your post, I spoke to my little brother (step brother). He lost his mother to breast cancer and since, my own mother has been the "fill in" (for lack of a better term). He made it clear that my mom is all he has and as such, he holds the same level of respect for her as he would his own mother and appreciates all she has done for him, but he still misses and loves his own mother very much. He said that he does feel like she has treated him the same as she treats her bio-kids (my older brother and I) but if he ever allowed himself to see her fully as his mom, it would be as though he was disrespecting his own mother, so he doesn't recommend making him "yours". He may choose that course all on his own, but whether he wants you to take his mothers place in a manner of speaking is something he must come to in his own time.



I do agree that you have to love him and treat him the same as you would your own. Obviously there are going to be diffrences with respect to expectations that you hold with him and your twins, but that happends in every household where there is any age differences. I would suggest sitting him down and explaining to him that although they are treated differently, so is he and that's a normal thing. Give him examples like the older boy (him) has a later bedtime. He will have more chores or responsibility, but that's his job as "Big Brother" and that the twins will have responsibilties too, but they are little. Maybe you can give all the kids a set amount of chores each day/week. For the tiwns, it can be "bring your plate to the sink" and for your SS, you can do something like "wash the dishes". That way, everyone contributes but the 2 years olds are given age appropriate chores.



You need to find a way for him to stay in contact with his sisters. They are the connection to his past and his mother... it will be important for ALL of those children to maintain a relationship.



The anger.... put him in counselling whether he wants to go or not. Anger is part of grieving. He's angry. Angry that regular life as he knows it no longer exists. He's angry that he's lost his mother, his home, his routine.... everything that's been comfortable to him is gone. Most of all, he's probably angry that his mother left him. At this point, I doubt he sees his mothers death as a tragic accident. Most likely scenario is that his life has changed and it's because his mom died. Periond. She is no longer there and his life is different and he's angry with her for that.



As for your hubby. Sit him down. Tell him a scenario. You kids all die. You lose your home. You lose routine. You lose stability. You basically lose your heart. Then a differnt life that you didn't ask for thrusts itself on you against your will. All you want is for life to go back to the way it was, but it can't. You feel like no one understands what you're going through. You're angry, sad, grieving and trying to adjust to change all at the same time. How do you feel? Now... keep all those things in mind, but you're a child.



I don't think that you should adjust your parenting techniques. That will only confuse your girls and I don't think that it's their fault that your SS lost his mother either. Hold him accountable for things that he does wrong, but you may need to adjust your approach a little more gingerly so that he doesn't feel like Cinderfella. Give him warnings because old habits die hard (not too many warnings-just enough to remind him). Make sure that he KNOWS that you understand that this it is very difficult for him to adjust to the rules of your home. Make sure to lay out the expectations and rules of your house big and bold on bristol board so that he has something to refer to if he can't remember. While you're on the road to getting him accustomed to the rules and routine of your home, make sure you set aside more quality time than you would normally. Just you and him. Just his dad and him. Just the three of you and then also as family time for everyone and when he's more adjusted, slowly wean him off and go back to the amount of quality time that you would normally. He needs to know and feel that he's not as outsider that is only there because his mom died. He needs to know that you and your hubby WANT him there and that he DOES belong.



Hope this helps. None of my own advice has worked in my home, but it may work for you because the situations are completely different. My SS has a parent that he feels abandoned by, but he keeps reliving it on the regular and thus, there is no time to process and deal with his emotions. Rules and expectations are clearly set out, but not followed, counselling doesn't work because my SS refuses to be honest with his mother or the counsellor... even us. We find out the whole story after my SS has blown up and then after he's done a 3 hour long tantrum, he just cries and opens up to what he's feeling and thinking. Hopefully, it'll work out for you.



You're in my thoughts and I have faith by reading your post that you love your SS very much and you'll help him through this

Edie - posted on 05/28/2010

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Your son will start to get better when he knows without a doubt that he part of your family. First, don't refer to him as your "step-son" he is your son. You are his mom and the only Mom he has right now. Don't make him feel different, love him. It's not his fault that his bio-parents are not together. It's not his fault that his Mom passed away. But you are his Mom now and he needs your Mother's love.

Jessica - posted on 05/28/2010

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Its hard for a child to loose a parent. Im sure its harder when they are younger since they don't excatly know what is going on. I would put him in counsleing. Have you tried to contact his sisters dad's? Maybe him seeing them and playing with them like he use to it might help him!

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