Im a step mum that needs help?

Lee - posted on 11/10/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Im a step mum (of 2 years) and struggling to deal with the child's (7year old boy) attitudes towards me. Its getting worse as the day goes on. to the point that i just want to walk away from it all. As much as i love my partner i just cant keep dealing with it.

Yes i should not let a 7 year old get me to this point but after 2 years you think he would of come around a little not getting worse..

Any ideas on how i can deal with???

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Ariana - posted on 11/11/2012

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I would talk to the dad and the school for the getting dressed issues. I would actually put a time set routine in the morning when you're there. So (in whatever order) if you have a time for breakfast he has until this time to go down and eat it or else breakfast time is over (or he can have some sort of granola bar or something if he claims he's hungry). If he doesn't get dressed in time it's time to go (bring clothes in car). I would speak to the school about it and if he refuses to get dressed in the car take him to the office (if they agree to this of course) so he can decide if he wants to get changed there.



Oh and if he doesn't brush his teeth in time I would take any sugary snacks out of his lunch and just tell him I guess you better brush your teeth in time next time. And when he gets home he can't have any sugary snacks until he's brushed his teeth since he missed it in the morning.



It's really about taking away the power struggle. In a power struggle you will almost always lose. You have to act as if it really doesn't matter to you if he gets changed/eats/complies. If he refuses to get in the car pick him up and put him in the car and tell him you'll just wait until he's ready and put on some music.



You might want to enforce some sort of consequence for refusing to enter the car. If your cars right outside and he refuses to go into it you can bring him inside and give him a time-out for 7 minutes and when he's done the time-out ask him if he's ready to go in the car yet and if not he can just sit and wait. If that happens another main point is to act like it's no big deal, like you could care less if you're late. If it comes to a doctor appointment or something just get ready really early. The point is to just try to alleviate the struggle as much as possible. Where it's really up to him what he wants to do and the consequences to that will happen because of his choices. If he doesn't eat breakfast then he's hungry, if he doesn't get in the car he's late for school.



I would speak to your husband before doing any of this though. Be honest and just tell him that the way your step-son is acting with you is radically different than how he treats him. You need to start enforcing discipline more and you wanted to make sure he was on board with all of this. I would also have your husband sit down and talk to his son. He needs to tell him that acting rudely with you is unacceptable.



What are you asking him to do? I guess I would say pick your battles and be prepared for what you are going to do if he chooses to say no. If he refuses to clean up his toys while you are there what are you going to do? Take the toys away? Not allow him to do anything (watch tv etc.) until the job gets done? Give him a timeout? Wait for his dad to come home? Whatever the case you should have a plan. Try not to request things you don't feel you can somehow enforce or else it teaches him he can get away with noncompliance.



If he refuses to come out of the room to spend time with you maybe you should go out to the park or something. That way he can't hide himself in his room and he'll have to interact with you. You may also want to have his dad speak with him if he's given you a rough time all day. If he's been crazy all day and his dad gets home and he's an angel the father should still talk to him and tell him he's dissappointed that his son isn't treating you with more respect while he's away.



Talk to your husband and make a plan for how you're going to react to your step-sons misbehavior. Make sure your husband is ok with everything and backing you up or it will backfire and your step-son will start saying you're being mean to him etc etc.



Also try to incorporate good things into your time together. Maybe you and your step-son could join something together? Have some sort of special time with one another once a week or something. You could take karate classes or something like that. Anything that he's interested in and you two can have fun doing that will help your relationship. I hope everything works out!

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Michelle - posted on 11/12/2012

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Have you sat down and talked to the child? I don't mean talking to him either, I mean having a discussion with him and listening to what he has to say.



Maybe if you open up to him and show that you will listen to him then you can build on that relationship. If he knows that you will listen he will also start coming to you when he has problems.



I do agree with Ariana about picking the battles but a lot of the time all children want is to be heard.

Lee - posted on 11/11/2012

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hey Ariana, you have given me heaps of good advise. I have many of conversation with my partner in regards to the issues that i seem to be having with this child he is really good and supportive in some thing. put he keeps telling me just remember he is still a kid and kids do that. I understand that he is still a kid and he will push buttons but there comes a point that you need to draw the line and pull a child up on things. Im talking about this child to do the same thing ever time the dad is not home is a joke.

Some of the advise given i have used in the past and didn't really work for me.



I like your idea on the brushing the teeth situation im going to give that one a go.+



I always like to be on time for what ever im doing for that day so have always got him up early to make sure he is ready on time. Eg - had a doctor app recently at 10am. Child had been up since 7am - at 8.30am asked him to get dressed went back to check on him just after 9am still not ready. Father drop home from work to get something at 9.30am and told the child to get dressed. At 9.50am i went to tell im going still not dressede and when given a last change to get dressed refused. So i took him down town in pj. At first he was upset then he really didn't care.



I do have consequences for when the child miss behaviors eg - If child is asked to do something and refuse to ill will take what he is using at the time off him till he is ready to do as he is asked. Sometimes this can result in the child not getting the toy back at all that day.



The hard thing with child is when i discipline him he don't care, like if it dont faze him. It has been to the point that ive taken the whole toy box out of his room..



With the good time with him I have try many of times and still trying to do so, he just wont accept it. I have recently try taking him for ice cream when we got there he just cried i dont want this. When asked ok you choose what would you like to do he tells me i dont know or i wanna go home.. But at saying that this is one thing i will not stop trying at :)



I have had in a sport group that he asked to join in which i use to take him to on a Saturday. which was a really struggle to do as when we would get there he would then refuse to join in and act like a baby. ( he would cry, use a baby voice and just carry on silly). I stuck this out for the whole season same thing each time we went.



Anyway Ariana thanks for your advise i really do value it. And going to try :)

Lee - posted on 11/11/2012

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this child doesn't really see his mother as she had another child and pushed him away (only seen her twice this year) or she will ring once ever blue moon. which makes it hard cause after talking to mum his attitude towards me is worse.

This child will death stare me, when asked to do some thing its always no. when he is sad if i go tto hug him he will push me away.

My partner is a shift worker and some morning i need to get the boy ready for school it takes me nearly 2 hours to get his ready his plays on the im not hungry so he don't have breakfast, then he takes for eve to get dressed he will sit in the bathroom for age just playing. shoe he ties them up then undo them. Then when its time to go to school he will be like i haven't brushed my teeth or im hungry now.

But when my partner is home he will be dressed and breakfast in 30min..

If my partner is at work child will spend all day in room and have nothing to do with me but a soon as dad gets home he will come out and talk to me wanting my whole attention acting like he is the golden child and he has done nothing wrong all day.

If i need to be anywhere (eg doctors) child will play up wont get dressed, wont get into car.

Im at the point of now if he not dresses and ready to go to school or anywhere we may need to go he goes in pj. Is that enough info???

Michelle - posted on 11/11/2012

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It would help to know some specifics. What type of attitude does he have towards you? How is the relationship with his mother?



We really need some more information to help you.

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