How to handle a difficult step child

Angela - posted on 12/15/2015 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have a difficult 13 year old step son who is progressively getting harder to handle. His dad works long hours so I'm home with the kids more than he is. When his son acts out or isn't minding the house rules, he becomes defiant. When I bring it to his dads attention he lies about the situation. Sadly, dad takes his side most of the time over me. It's a tough situation because I believe in treating all kids the same however i'm finding myself avoiding the son to avoid further issues. Which feels like i'm making him the exception to the rules. I find myself walking on egg shells around him because of the lies he's created to make me the bad guy. I feel so lost. Any suggestions on how to handle this? Me and my partner are almost ready to call it quits over this. Together we have five boys and the other four are about over his behavior as well. I just want a happy home again.

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Ev - posted on 12/15/2015

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You guys need to sit down alone and talk this out or see a counselor and also be talking with his mom, grandparents and the school to find a page to be on where he is held accountable for his actions. Being on the same page for rules is one thing, enforcing it the same for all is another.

Ev - posted on 12/15/2015

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Did you two ever discuss the rules of the house BEFORE you got married and BLENDED the family? It is important that you be on the same page and the kids get treated all the same where rules are concerned.

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Raye - posted on 12/15/2015

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I have a similar problem here recently, where my stepson is lying about things, and my husband takes his side. In my situation, sometimes the bio-mom is making a bigger deal out of it than what it warrants, so I can see that my husband would want to defend his son. But when shown proof of the lies, he sometimes still says he believes his son. I don't want to make things more difficult for the child, or the parents, but the children do need to learn right from wrong.

So, yeah, talking about it and trying to be on the same page is all well and good. We've done that, too. But sometimes you have to just step-back and let the bio-parent do the parenting of their child the way they see fit. We don't have kids other than my two step-kids, so I guess it's easier in my situation, as there's not the double standard. But I feel your pain. All the kids should have the same rules, and you and your husband should enforce them and be partners, backing each other up. It's tough when that doesn't happen.

If it's bothering you and/or the other kids to where you're thinking of dissolving your marriage over it, then you definitely need to be talking to him and maybe seeking counseling.

Angela - posted on 12/15/2015

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Yes, we both agree on the ground rules of the house. When I explain to my husband what happened, his son creates a whole other version. Which is a mixture of events that didn't happen and exaggerations of the truth. Then I find myself very frustrated because I feel like I have to defend my actions. Recently it is getting worse because hubby is taking the side of his son more and more; which feels like that's giving him the power. And my patience has completely ran out. It's everything I have to keep it together and not get upset. I just wish I could figure out a solution to this on-going problem. It's to the point that i'm the bad guy in my husbands eyes. I can see the resentment written all over his face. Which is crazy to me because his son has behavioral issues at school, with his mom, grandparents, and kids at school.

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