Amanda - posted on 09/02/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )
My husband and I have our hands full with our new blended family. We just married this year and have four kids between the two of us with another one on the way. We knew there would be an adjustment period and there were going to be some big problems (my husband's ex-wife is insane, my husband's oldest son has a ton of behavioral problems, and my husband's daughter is thinks she is God's gift to this family and is entitled to royal retreatment, not to mention the ups and downs in my dauhter's mood since combining households).
While all these problems are of huge concern to us, the one we deal with almost on a daily basis is the anger, laziness, and defiance we get from the oldest boy. He is addicted to videogames which we have cut back drastically. We also use his love for electronics when giving consequences for bad behavior. When we ground him from electronics (for as little as one day), we explain that he has broken a rule or acted inappropriately towards his siblings and doing those things means consequences. We also explain the purpose for rules and consequences, that as parents it is our job to teach our kids proper behavior and to prepare them for adulthood (explained in a way for preteens to clearly understand). However, instead of responding to consequences by changing behavior, he gets incredibly angry, says all kinds of mean things, and tries to defy us even more. Two different family counselors have told us to escalate consequences until the child responds, but this kid just wont. This morning we went from being grounded from videogames for one day to a whole month in an attempt to get him to do his homework. He still never did it (he was mad when we wouldn't let him do a writing assignment about how his sister got diarrhea at a theme park a couple weeks ago because it was embarrassing and hurtful to her). He's angry at everything! Life isn't fair, he should be allowed to do what he wants whenever he wants, nothing is his fault, and he shouldn't have to be responsible or accountable for any of his actions. We are trying to get him to see our family counselor but the counselor said only if he is willing to meet.
We are doing everything we can in the hopes that consistency will bring results. We are also trying to give him as much love and positive interatctions as we can between the tantrums. But some days it is so hard to stay positive and upbeat (especially when the crazy ex feeds and enforces her kids' mentality to try and hurt my husband). How do you stepmoms cope with angry and defiant step kids?