Are my kids being bullied by their "step brother"?

Christine - posted on 11/21/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have two kids. Girl 10 Boy 11. Their father and I are now divorced. I am remarried. Their Dad lives with his girlfriend and her two kids girl 11 boy 14. I will refer to them as step kids to make things easier. At first my kids were fine, happy and well adjusted. In the last few months (maybe longer) things at their Dads house have been getting bad. His step son has been caught doing drugs, drinking and self mutilation. the step son has at times been mean to my daughter by picking on her, yelling at her and telling her she has to do all the cleaning. (Pretty "normal" stuff for a teenage boy) Now things are getting worse. My son and the step son seem to get along but now the step some is pushing my son, hitting him, pushed him down on the buss (all the kids laughed at my son) and the big event was the step son got mad at my son for something and grabed an airsoft gun and began shooting at my son. My son ran to his room locked his door climbed out on the roof to hide and call his father (who was out hunting behnd the house). My Ex is very upset of course and tries to deal with the situations but not sure if its working. when the step son got caught doing drugs my ex grounded him but two days later when my ex went to hunting camp the step sons mom took him off grounding an gave him back everything that got taken away. My kids tell me these things so I only have this info to go by. Im not there and my ex does not tell me these things. My kids tell me that the step sons mom does not discipline her kids, my ex does but then she turns around and makes excuses as to why my ex is too hard on them.
I understand blended families can be hard but this just seems crazy. My son now wants to stay after school so he does nto have to go to his dads house after school until an adult is there. He is afraid of his step brother. My son is not even 5 foot ( maybe 4'7 and the step brother is 6'0!!! the step brother has no interest in anything at all but video games. He has a history of problems in school and it just seems to be getting worse. I understand young teens are a different breed at times and go through things but this kid has now made it so my kids don't want to be there.
I have not brought this up to my ex as from what I am being told by my kids he is doing what he can to handle it. But being shot at (even an air soft gun) and hiding a on a roof is a bit extreme. What if the kids finds a way to get a hold of the real guns in the house (my ex hunts). What if this is a kid that needs help and not normal boy behavior? I don't want to cause problems or be in my ex's business but these are my kids too. My ex is trying but his girlfriend seems to be the one who is not really doing much about it. And shes a really nice person. I don't have anything against her at all.
Not sure what to do at this point.
Oh and my son tells this info to my spouse not me. He is afraid if he tells me I will call his Dad and he does not want us to fight. He does not want to make problems for anyone.
:(

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[momoftwo] - posted on 11/21/2013

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Just tell him that something has come up that you need to talk about, your son is scared of and is being bullied by that kid and he doesn't feel comfortable or safe around that boy period. Reassure him that he does want to see his dad but not while under the same roof as that boy. He still wants to hang out with dad but would rather just do it alone, 1 on 1.

And if nothing is being done about that kids behavior then it's time to set feelings aside and take bigger action because you or your son especially shouldn't have to fear "what's going to happen next if I go see dad".

At the end of the day, if he cares about him he will listen to what you're saying and do something about it because you two are his protectors after all. He should also talk to his girlfriend about it too. I mean she needs to get up and do a little more parenting and not just leave it to him because he already has his own kids to deal with right?

Christine - posted on 11/21/2013

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Thank you. This is hard because I don't want to blow things way out of proportion but I don't want to underestimate it either. Yes the situation with the airsoft gun is NOT a little situation. Ugh... joint custody sucks sometimes
:( Trying to address this without ending up in a nasty nasty fight is hard too. We have a decent relationship since the divorce I don't want to kill that either. (Don't get me wrong we are not best friends but we make things work with little to no arguments) . the last thing I want to do is tell him he cannot see his kids but I also do not want my kids in danger. Time to figure out how Im going to address this I guess. Poop... Poop poop poop... Just Poop!

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I agree with your son--he shouldn't be at the house with the step son unless an adult is home. I know your ex is trying, but he obviously doesn't have a handle on the situation, and he can't be putting your kids in danger until he gets the situation under control. Is there an after school program your kids can attend?

It could be normal behavior, but if it isn't properly addressed, it can get out of hand REALLY QUICK. Those airsoft guns really hurt, and at close range, they can do somewhat serious damage. What if he hit him in the face? And you are right, if he didn't think anything of picking up an airsoft gun and firing it in the house, he is not likely to thing very much before picking up a real gun and firing it in the house. This needs to be addressed with the ex. Tell him you know he is trying, but you can't keep putting the kids at risk, and the behavior is negatively impacting their emotional stability and causing problems for them even outside of the home. Tell him you don't want to limit his time with the kids, but you don't want them at his house unless he is home with them. Tell him it's temporary, just until this kid gets through this phase.

[momoftwo] - posted on 11/21/2013

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Wow I would have called the cops on that kid. As it is your ex's girlfriends child she needs to step in and try and correct her son even if it is by calling the cops to scare him or making him go get help for drugs, maybe he needs counseling but whatever she is doing now it's not working. And as for your son if he doesn't want to go he should tell his dad and stay home with you. That step son needs to settle down.

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