Trouble with 9 year old stepson being abusive

[deleted account] ( 20 moms have responded )

He has also been saying things like how he wants his dad, (who has been gone from our household for 6 going on 7 years now,) he says he wants his dad to be here with mom. Which will never happen. We also brought my first child a baby boy, into this world this april 18, 2015. My stepson is very jealous of me and the baby. I just want to know what to do about chases behavior and especially when he punched me today. I took his ipad for a week. Im not sure how effective that is because he just shrugged his shoulders and said he didnt care

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Jodi - posted on 10/07/2015

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Can you explain more about this relationship with his father? I am hoping you don't talk about him as Disneyland dad in front of him (assuming you don't), but it would be really helpful in giving advice around that if you could elaborate on the relationship there without being purely insulting to his dad. Like, how does the child view dad, how often does he see dad, what is your relationship with dad, what is mum's relationship with dad, does dad have a new partner in his life, are there other children involved.

There are so many things that could be going on here that I couldn't even begin to suggest where to start. The very fact that you said "who has been gone from our household for 6 going on 7 years now" screamed at me because you are clearly in the same home NOW that his parents were together in that many years ago, so there is a territory issue here, but also the fact that you are implementing discipline, which he may view as not your role.

Also, just remember, you have had another baby - how do you think THAT makes him feel? Replaced maybe? After all, I'm pretty sure your attention has been diverted since the baby was born. Have you guys ever had any family counselling around that?

I guess I'm just saying that this boy has a lot going on. There is no simple "quick fix" solution. It's much more complex than that.

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Sarah - posted on 10/08/2015

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Geez, just when I had the time and something to add...another deleted account!

Raye - posted on 10/08/2015

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I think most of us agree that we were not intentionally going off subject. If you address why the child is upset, then that should reduce the child's frustration and the resulting punch in the arm. The OP was very defensive, and got nasty by the end. He only give small bits of the story and was not very clear from the beginning that he wanted advice specifically about how to handle the boy hitting people.

In case he comes back, or for others reading this looking for similar advice, I'm going to throw this out there regarding what to do with an angry child that is hitting...

As I mentioned before, he's 9 and doesn't have the emotional maturity to talk about what he's feeling and what he wants. The frustration builds up until he needs to release it in some manner, which can be hitting. If he is exposed to a father that solves problems with violence, then he may pick up on some of that. But I don't think that's the entirety of it. When a child is hitting, he is not thinking through why he is hitting or what the consequences will be. He is acting on impulse and pure emotions. It's pretty normal for children to react this way at times. So, what to do about it...

1) If your child is hitting, you need to firmly tell them that hitting will not be tolerated. Explain to the child what the consequences of hitting will be the next time (and every other time after that) that they hit someone. Make sure you follow through with consequences every time. You will have to repeatedly train and discipline a child for the same offense.

2) Speak to him calmly about his anger. Help your child understand why he wants to hit. Begin to help him identify his emotions. Help him understand the way his body reacts to anger and give him techniques to calm down.
For instance... Say something like, "I know you're angry because you want your dad to live here." Say why, so he knows his wants were heard. "But he can't live here, because your mom and dad don't want to live together." Nicely explain why he can't have his way so he knows (and don't bad-mouth the father). Continue with, "See how you're breathing faster when you're angry? Maybe you're heart is beating faster too, can you feel it? Next time you're upset, try to notice these things and remember to slow your breathing, and feel your heartbeat slow down again. Then tell me that you're mad; don't hit."

P.S. to the OP:
No matter how much the father is a jerk-face, it's okay for the child to love him and want him to be a bigger part of his life. You may know he's the devil incarnate, but you're not helping the boy if you display negativity toward his father. If the father is really so bad, the kid will eventually pick up on it. And he will feel better about having come to the conclusion himself rather than having been denied the relationship. Denying the relationship usually makes the child idolize the bad parent for a much longer time.

Dove - posted on 10/07/2015

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Well... since he deleted his account... I'm going to make a 'troll' comment just for the heck of it...

Maybe if you weren't such a whiny little baby the boy wouldn't have to try and knock some sense into you.

OK... I feel better now. lol

Jodi - posted on 10/07/2015

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Wow....that blew up. Someone who couldn't see that we were just trying really hard to help...... :/

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/07/2015

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Well, Robert, you ARE on a site for women, so you either live with the responses you get, or you leave.
We're fairly helpful, actually, and if you'd actually READ the responses instead of picking the parts you DON'T LIKE and griping, you'd see that.
Get into counseling. You need it to be able to handle being a step. It's obvious that your affection for the boy was replaced when your biological son was born.

[deleted account]

Thank you for not judging or assuming all the things the other people have said to me. I don't understand why people are so quick to jump my case and accuse me of talking about my stepsons dad in front of him. And making it out like this is all about the baby being here. I clearly stated that the boy has had these anger issues before the baby was ever here. Some people I swear!

[deleted account]

And to what you have said, of coarse we don't talk about the boys father In front of him. Just because I said it in here doesn't imply that I say it in front of chase. Why would you think I am that ignorant to talk about the boys dad in front of him? We have never said anything EVER negative about his dad, no matter how we feel or talk about him.

[deleted account]

You aren't hearing me obviously..we have stepped up the one on one time. The mother started karate class with him so they could have that together. And we have done plenty to spend time with him one On one. My point is that he was this way before the baby was ever In the picture. Did you not read anything I said? Of coarse in getting defensive when you people don't listen or read everything I'm saying therefore I am taking myself off this stupid women site because you all have selective hearing obviously. EH?!!

Gardensparrow - posted on 10/07/2015

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Well, being a step-parent isn't easy and I'm sorry you're going through this with Chase. And that's great that you've been willing to do some family counseling with him. So, I wondered if your therapist had any thoughts about his anger and behavior? If there's any underlying issues contributing to the way Chase is acting, it might be helpful to investigate that, and then figure out what sort of discipline or response would be effective. And it seems like a counselor would be of help in that area. Another thought, there were a couple articles at http://bit.ly/1VEzhrX and http://bit.ly/1jODvMR that, although not identical to your situation, seemed like they touched on some of what you shared about Chase. So, maybe they'll give some guidance? Hope it helps...

Ev - posted on 10/07/2015

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I would like to also point you that you addressing the issues with the dad will not go anywhere either if he is not going to be receptive and the mom should be talking to his father as well about this and other issues. In a perfect world, all the parents (steps included) would be on the same page and doing the exact or similar things in all the homes. But that is hardly ever the case very often, so you have to do what you can with what you have. Dad might not be receptive of mom's words either. You can not force him to start to do things differently either. Also if you do call him "Disneyland Dad" in front of the boy that is talking in the negative about the boy's dad and is not allowed in most of not all custody and visitation arrangements: The parents are not to talk about each other in negative in front of the children. If his dad gets wind of this, he could take it to court as going against the court orders. You may not like how dad lives, or how dad is when the boy is in his care but the times he has his son is not yours or mom's to control and you can not tell him how to be around the child unless its a danger to the boy.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/07/2015

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Here's part of the problem: Your perception versus his perception. In YOUR perspective: "just because we have another child does not mean all the attention is focused on the baby. Of coarse being that my baby is only 5 months old, naturally there HAS to be a lot of focus on the baby because he is a BABY and babies require a lot.". ~~BUT, in HIS perspective, the new brat arrived, and you and his mother have no time for him. TELLING him that nothing has changed isn't going to do it. You HAVE to demonstrate that. You need to up your one on one time with him, and he needs to feel as much attention as the baby does.
And this statement: "I am not asking for advice on how to raise the boy and am quite aware of all that is going on, I'm not stupid. All that I am asking, as a stepdad, is what to do with a boy that is aggressive when he gets angry. " indicates that you don't know WHAT you're asking for. No one implied that you are stupid, but by jumping on that defensive track, you're probably not handling the situation at home with any more finesse. No, you aren't stupid (that we can tell from your posts, anyway) but yes, you ARE asking for advice. We're giving it. However, you're not being receptive, which is not unusual, when someone feels that they're being put down (No one HAS put you down, nor spoken negatively to you, so back off the defensiveness, eh?)

[deleted account]

Also I've been in the boys life for 6 years now. He hardly remembers his dad ever being at the house. I came in the picture when he was 3&1/2 years old. The xhusband cheated on her for 2 years behind her back with the girl he is with now and had a child with. So chase has a half brother already with his dad who is 4 years old now

[deleted account]

We are doing family counseling, and just because we have another child does not mean all the attention is focused on the baby. Of coarse being that my baby is only 5 months old, naturally there HAS to be a lot of focus on the baby because he is a BABY and babies require a lot. I am not asking for advice on how to raise the boy and am quite aware of all that is going on, I'm not stupid. All that I am asking, as a stepdad, is what to do with a boy that is aggressive when he gets angry. And I have every right to refer to his dad as Disneyland dad because that is what he acts like. I've tried very hard to talk to his dad and to get him on board with what's going on because we have the boy full time and the father has him after school for a few hours and every other weekend. The dad is a jerk. I don't need to explain myself, and I don't want to get into all of that. I don't want the focus of my question to get off coarse. These issues with his temper happened way before the baby came along. He loves his baby brother and of coarse we include him in on everything we do. A majority of the time my stepson is a good boy and we don't have problems all of the time. He makes straight A's in school. I am his baseball coach and do a lot with him. You people should not assume you know everything about a person and tell me what I should or should not do. My stepson father is abusive, and was abusive to my fiancé, actually broke her arm when they separated. My stepson has told me many times how his dad has been physical with him and has pushed him down etc. I have never laid a finger on him and never will. I believe his anger and aggression problems relate to his dad an they way he is treated. SO BACK TO MY QUESTION, what advice does anyone have for when the boy decides to get physical??!

Raye - posted on 10/07/2015

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The boy is probably feel replaced and jealous of the baby. You need to cut out time that you and his mom spend ONLY with him (one on one, the three of you -if possible-, and all four of you). Let him know that he's still loved and wanted. Let him help with little things for the baby. Praise him for things he does right around the house, and tell him how the baby will hopefully grow up to be like him. Make him feel he's still part of the family and is a benefit to the family. I'm sure you probably will have a different, even stronger, bond with your natural child. But your step-son is still one of your children, and you need to remember that he IS family. Your child is a blood relative of your step-son through their mother. Family.

If he "doesn't care" about the ipad, then maybe he really doesn't or maybe he just wants you to THINK he doesn't care so you'll give it back. If that was your punishment, then stick with it, but if it didn't seem to work at the end of the week then you may need to find something else that he DOES care about. He's 9 and doesn't have the emotional maturity not to lash out at whatever he thinks will get under your skin, including lashing out physically. Let him know that violence is never the answer, and if he wants to tell you what he's angry about you will listen, but it doesn't mean that he will get what he wants. It means that you will listen and consider his side of it before reacting or punishing.

[deleted account]

Yea he does have a relationship with his dad. We refer to his dad as the "Disneyland dad" he treats chase like his buddy.

[deleted account]

Yea i wish you could too;) thanks. Hes not always a little shit but when he is...well he really is.

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