Help with Raising Other People's Kids

F - posted on 04/09/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Help, any suggestions would be appreciated. My husband and I have been together for 9 years now, with he being the non-custodial parent of two, now teenaged boys. Recently , the other parent dropped them off for us to finish parenting. We have tried to give them some structure, which they do not have, because the other parent worked nights and the kids were left unattended most of the time. We tried to get custody many times in the past , but they refused the request. Well now that the kids are hard,disrespectiful,bitter,misdirected, confused and refuse to respect authority we got a call stating that they had no where else to go . My husband has longed for his kids always, so I am trying to support him, but daily there are situations in our home. They go out of their way to intentally cause problems between my husband I. One of them left to go find his mother, so we have only one of them still living with us. I have a teendaughter from my first marraige who lives with us and stays in her room to avoid listening to the conflict.
My question is how do I get this one kid to respect the home,and the family. I can see that it bothers my husband that the child is always in some type of punishment setting. I am sick of it as well. Is it normal for boys to be so ungreatful even when their current situation is so much more sheltering than their past?

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F - posted on 04/09/2013

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Thank you, I am in the process of looking for programs that he can get himself vested in asap before I run out of patience

Abigail - posted on 04/09/2013

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Hi F.
Yes, it's normal for teens to be ungrateful. They don't know the work, value and time and effort that it goes into making your home/family a stable one. They are defiant, and always like to challenge authority. Specially in your case, they haven't lived with you guys it sounds like. They don't understand that they need to follow rules and respect them. Not only respect the rules but you, dad and anyone else that lives there with you.

Since it sounds like they never really had a structured, disciplined home it's now you guys job to teach them that. It's not going to be easy by any means. It will be challenging, stressful, and nerve racking. But with a lot of love and patience you can do it. Talk to them, always talk with them and remind them of the house/family rules. Tell them that they have a home and a family there with you and that you're willing to help them in anyway you guys can but they need to cooperate as well. That if they don't they're going to end up in the foster care system and if they do that there's nothing that you're going to be able to do for them. So it's very important that they follow your rules. Or you can try to get them or the whole family some counseling/therapy. They're just bitter and heart broken that their mother walked out of their lives. They probably got to much for her to handle.

But you can try to get them help if you feel your not getting thru. Have your husband spend some QT with them, to show them that they are loved and cared for. Since you're not their biological mother it might take a bit longer for them to warm up to you. But don't loose hope. Like I said it takes lots of love n patience.

Hope that helps, good luck :)

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