Help!! I have a 14 year old stepson who just seems to be getting himself in to more and more trouble with school, he has been permantely excluded from mainstream schooling and is now in a PEC, Personal Education Center, but he has only been there 2 weeks and has been sent home once already and is being sent home again today for pretending to head butt and male teacher, I have told him that although he was only messing this is not the correct way to behave in school. I have had a talk to him to find out what is wrong but he just says nothing though he is due to visit his mum in the school holidays and has now said that he doesn't really want to go especially for 4 weeks, I have said to him to tell her this but he is to scared of upsetting her and if me or his father do it she will just get solicitors on to us and start causing trouble again, I just don't know hat to do anymore, I am hoping to see if I can get him into counselling but don't know how long I will have to wait so was wondering if anybody has any advice for me. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this x

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Louise - posted on 07/03/2012

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He needs councelling to control his outbursts and learn how to handle situations appropriately. Also try and get him into something like the army cadets or sea scouts. Her lads learn how to handle every day situations and have loads of fun like rafting, dale walking, building dens and bonfires camping outdoors and helping out in the community. One of my sons did sea scouts and he had so much fun. They were away a lot of the time during the summer on camps and walks nearly every weekend. They had a lot of fun and lots of male role models to look up to. My other son did RAF cadets which I feel was a bit strict! The army cadets was also an option, it is very physical like doing assault courses, and lots of running. It will give your son something to look forward to and with the commaradory it is great to get them into. Look into it.

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Kristi - posted on 07/04/2012

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Gosh, this poor kid, thank goodness for you! He would have no one, if not for you. I'm not at all disrespecting your husband, because it was the same at our house with my 2nd husband, he worked his bupkis (a$$) off and I stayed home with the kids. We both brought a kid with us into the marriage. My stepson's mom didn't contribute very much, so I was more like his mom to him but I also started with him when he was 2. Anyways, enough about me.



I think the "war zone" between the kids is pretty normal, mine were like that, something awful! And I'm sure your daughter and stepson both just want to please you because they love you so much and each one wants to make sure you know who loves you more. So, instead of working together to make you happy, they end up fighting one another to be your favorite. Which, of course, they don't need to and they will deny it but we all want props sometimes and who doesn't want to be the favorite, right? : ) And you know he's a good kid who just may need some extra guidance and a little more attention right now. Whether he gets that guidance from you, a counselor, or one of those fantastic sounding programs or all of the above will have to depend on what your family decides is best.



As far as schooling goes, is there any possibility you could home school him? I guess it's not a matter of could, would that be a viable option? That is a huge commitment and could put a strain on the relationship you share. But for some families it works out great. I know they have prearranged activities, like dances or hikes and there is a whole network of people to help you get involved and meet other families with kids your stepson's age, etc.



What would his mum do if he didn't go? Just don't take him to her. If she shows up there don't answer the door. Once I found out about what my daughter was going through at her dad's house, I just didn't let her go back. He'd call and threaten me with the police and whatnot, but that never materialized because he knew my daughter would say she didn't want to go and this is why and in reality (in the US) custody is a civil matter, so the cops usually say call your attorney and they let the child stay right where he/she is. It's so hard to have such unreasonable, selfish moms/dads to try to co-parent with, especially when you know the kid is nothing but a pawn or some sort of an accessory or toy to them. See what he thinks about just staying put. When she calls about it, just tell her he doesn't want to come, he said he'll call you when he's ready. Good bye. But if he ends up having to go and it is in the order that his visitations are to be supervised, I would demand that the person who was doing the supervising be in place before I got there and if he/she is not, we are leaving and not coming back. But that's me and I'm in the US, I don't know what your laws are like or what it is like dealing with the child services, etc. Lord knows, he doesn't need to witness anymore abuse than he already has nor does he need to be put in the position where he might feel obligated to defend his mum and let's not talk about what could happen from there. I'm sure part of his problem is that he is angry and sad and worried about his mum. He certainly loves her and somewhere inside, he is worried about her but at the same time he is mad because he feels like she abandon him for this bum and she is "letting" him beat her up. He's probably stressed out enough about it when he doesn't have to face it everyday and the thought of going over there and being immersed in it, again, is just dreadful.



I would do my best to get him into a counselor who specializes in children/teens. He needs to open up to somebody. A therapist can provide a "safe" place to unload. That, in no way, means you and your husband don't provide a safe place! It just means he'll have a place where he feels he won't be judged, he won't hurt anybody's feelings, nobody will tell him he is wrong or that he isn't "normal," stuff like that. What they say to the counselor is also confidential so that is another reason he might be more likely to open up with an independant party. In my experience, our therapist would tell me if I was on track with my thoughts about what was going on, she would advise me on what to expect behavior wise and how to react if either child said this or that. She also encouraged the kids to talk to me about how they were feeling or what was bothering them, etc. She gave me gateway questions to ask so they might go with the flow and not feel like they were being interrogated. Sometimes I'd go in with them and we would make a plan for the week on what we were going to try to work on so we could communicate better or the therapist would talk to me about how to listen well so if the kids had something hard to say, I would be sure to hear them. (mine were younger at the time, but this is just an example) Anyways, it gave the kids a sense of empowerment. We were both getting the tools we needed to rebuild, so to speak. The kids seeing a person of authority or of great importance giving me instructions on what to do to help them, made them realize I was learning, too and that they had a powerful ally. I don't know if your stepson would feel that much sense of support at his age or not. But it's got to be worth a try.



Gosh, now look who's going on and on and on and on.....I'm sorry for such a long post and I don't know if I said anything remotely helpful but if nothing else I hope it offered you some support. You're a great mum, step or not, he is lucky to have you and I hope your hubby appreciates you, too! ; )



ok I did try to edit this!

Gina - posted on 07/03/2012

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Have discussed sea cadets and army cadets but unfortunately that didn't go down to well as he tried sea cadets once with my daughter but he started misbehaving there as well, though haven't thought about the RAF one not sure where our local one would be, he does love canoeing, climbing, camping and lots of activities but it is just finding them but i will definitely try and look them up, thank you for your reply Gina x

Gina - posted on 07/03/2012

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Hi no your fine and was great to have reply. Me and his dad took him on when he was about 9 as his mum decided to marry a man who beat her up! and his grandparents asked if we would take him, I was hesitant at first as I have an older son and wasn't sure how my daughter would feel, but she was happy for him to stay as she had known him when they were both younger and I didn't like the thought of him living there. He started playing up at middle school and we were in constant meetings about his silly behaviour and they were suppose to pass on information to secondary school but they did not. We did discover that his mum had taken him out of school for about a year, so thought this could be the problem that he just needed to settle down, but now that he is 14, 15 this year I just don't know. He can be the most polite and helpful lad you could ever meet at times and always helps me as I have an above knee amputation so when I get in from work or helping my dad he normally is always willing to get me a tea and even offers to get me something to eat although can result in arguement with my daughter as she wants to help. so sometimes my household is like a war zone lol x His dad tries to talk to him but he works day and night shifts so not always about so all down to me to deal with. I would rather that he didn't go to his mum if this is how he feels but she is not the easiest of people to deal with and have tried to speak to child services where his mum lives as they say he is suppose to be supervised whilst with her especially since she is still with her husband, but they didn't want to know, it is just so confusing and sorry seem to going on and on but if you can think of anything would be grateful thank you so much Gina x

Kristi - posted on 07/03/2012

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Goodness, I'm sorry you are having such a rough time. This age is difficult to maneuver through on a good day. How long has he been acting out in school? Is he being malicious or more like the class clown? Does he do this at home, too? What does dad say or do about any/or all of this? What's with his mum, does he generally not want to go with her or is this something new? Has there been a significant change in his life recently that he could be responding to, like breaking up with a girlfriend, how long have you and your husband been married and had custody of your step-son, could he have been being bullied at school, something happen at his mum's, maybe she got a new boyfriend or something? What kind/if any consequences does he have at home when he misbehaves in school? Geesh, I'm not of much use, am I?! I'm not trying to be nosey nelly, I'm just trying to get an angle here so that I might be able to offer you something helpful. Generally, when kids act out at school it's because of an underlying issue at home. (in his private life, not like, "at home-where you've some how damaged him" lol) If you want to give me a little more backround that would be great. Otherwise, I'm afraid the only things I could offer are things I'm sure you've already tried, like trying to get him to talk to confide in you or your husband, talking with the teachers/administrators at school about what their opinions might be regarding his behavior, talking to his mum to see if the 3 of you are on the same page and up to speed on everything. That's about all I've got. I can't promise you I'll be able to do any better with more information but I will be happy to try. Hang in there, he's worth it!

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