How can we handle our disrespectful, lying son

Donna - posted on 12/07/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have a blended family since 2001. He went through a nasty divorce with 3 kids and I have 2. 4 boys and a girl. The boys all live with us, and range in a ages from 21 to 16. 2 of our boys have graduated, one is a senior headed to college, but the last one is 16 and has so many issues. Our ex's did not help our situation at all by allowing and ignoring such behaviors that it has been twice the work to get it to stop once they get home. Most of the kids have figured it out. This one, not so much. He fails at school, and he is on an IEP. Always late or skipping to hang with his buddies in the parking lot at school. We have a rule in our house that to drive and have your license, you need C's or better. He managed this once, so he could get into drivers education, but failed his classes so he could not drive. We lined up tutors for after school because he says he does not understand Geometry. He goes to the library, calls his dad when he is there, and then leaves to go hang with the buddies. He called me evil, and gets upset because I help his dad to see his grades, and what he does at school. I talk to teachers and find out he lies to them. My husband has even taken days off work, and gone to every class that he has at school with him. He has taken swings at me in the past and I am afraid that we are coming to again. Once we do get somewhere, he goes to visit his mom for the weekend ( will not tell us if she is there or not, she lies about it too) and comes back even more belligerent than he was when he left. We have given privileges back just to see if he would get better, but does not. He is always trying to shove it down our throats that it would be best to let him quit school, go live with his mom, so he can work and drive a dump truck for a living. He thinks he gets it, but he doesn't. We are so stuck. Anyone have any ideas?

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Michelle - posted on 12/07/2014

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You're right, it works best when all those involved do their part. As you cannot control the mother, then you can only do the best you can on your side. I wouldn't say counseling is a complete waste of time and money, especially if it is what your son needs, but I understand what you mean. Again, talk to your son as much as possible to get him to open up. It might not work immediately, but eventually, he will come around and see that you all love him and want the best for him.

Good luck!

Donna - posted on 12/07/2014

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Thank you for your suggestions Michelle. We have been down the counceling road with most of the kids already. Unfortunately, we can make all of the changes that they suggest but unless it happens on both sides, it doesn't work. Counceling usually stops when the attention gets to his ex-wifes house and "morals" she just stops coming and the boys clams up and will not talk to us. He talks to the councelor, and we know that this revolves around mom, but she is unwilling to help, the counceling ends up being a waste of time and money.

Michelle - posted on 12/07/2014

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First thing to come to mind is counseling...immediately.

With a blended family, it is so difficult because of all the different households and dynamics and rules, etc..., that are involved. Teens are already going through many things internally, and when they are given mixed messages about what is expected from the adults in their lives (not saying it "your" fault...just stating the situation), they learn how to work the system and who to manipulate. Or they might feel like they are being moved around all the time, and wonder if there is something wrong with them.

Talk to him and see if he will open up to you and dad. Or maybe dad should have a one-on-one with him (you're the step-parent here, correct?). I'm not trying to downplay your role as a parent, but rather, I'm thinking maybe the son might just want attention from his father. Have dad spend some quality time with him.

I'm sure there will be others with great ideas out there. Good luck!

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