When you don't care for your step son

Kristy - posted on 01/22/2015 ( 10 moms have responded )

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So, I found your site by a Google search of "when you don't like your step son!" I was very relieved to find out I'm not alone or crazy! What I would like to learn is how to deal with his lack of respect for me,rules, his annoying behavior that he knows upsets me, his talking back, etc. How do I make myself want to be around him?! I dread when he is in our home which is 4 nights a wk! Help! Life is too short to live like this!

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Raye - posted on 01/29/2015

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Kristy, you say you don't like him, but do you *love* him? My step kids do many things I don't like, but I love them dearly. The others are right. Kids know if you're not invested in the relationship. If you two have been growing apart, he may be confused and angry and try to act out to get attention. Or maybe things aren't going well at his mother's home and he needs more love and understanding in your home. And it is pretty typical for teens to push their boundaries more. They're trying to define themselves and find out their place in the world.

Try to make him feel more secure. Rules and knowing what's expected of them actually do make kids feel more secure. It's kind of a Dog Pack mentality. I used to foster dogs, and kids behaviors aren't much different. If they think they're the boss, then they're not going to follow your commands. And if everyone is constantly vying for top position, then there's a lot of anxiety and distrust. You as the parent/alpha dog need to teach and request mannered behavior. Don't just put dinner on the table, request him to perform a task such as washing his hands or setting the table, and praise him when he has done as you asked. You say please and thank you, and make him say please and thank you. Also pay attention and reward times that your son is doing what he should be or is minding his manners without you having to ask. Reinforce the good behaviors.

Don't argue with him. If a dog is jumping up on you, you turn your back and ignore it until it settles down. If he's talking back, calmly remove yourself from the situation and tell him you will continue the conversation when he can speak respectfully. You are the adult, and you need to be the role-model of the behaviors you wish him to have. Get their father on board to be consistent with the rules and consequences.

Just as it takes repetition for your dog to learn how to sit and stay, your stepson will need patience, repetition, and consistency to understand and do what's expected of him. It will take time, and I hope you're willing to invest the time in him.

Trisha - posted on 01/29/2015

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Well I wish you the best of luck. :) Hope you get some improvement at least.

Edit: I also just wanted to note, that I think it is really great that you acknowledge this feeling and were reaching out to see if there are ways you can improve it.

Trisha - posted on 01/22/2015

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I have to admit, I loved my stepson right from the get go. He was a sweet kid when I met him at 11 yrs old. But, he is with us full time. I am his only mother figure, so it might be easier to cope with.
I needed/need to take effort to spend time with him though.
I just told my husband last night that instead of talking to my husband on the phone while he is on his way home that I wanted to spend that time with his 15 yr old son, and he got it.
You need alone time in order to bond with him. It is a must. Do something he wants. Don't try to buy his love, but if he likes to play minecraft, set up your own account. If he likes to skateboard, take him to a skateboarding park and film it for his dad to show him later. Take advantage of the time to and from these items to get to know him. Try to spend just 15 minutes a day talking with him about his day, without trying to enforce some household rule etc.

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Kristy - posted on 01/29/2015

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Thank you for asking. I was a bit turned off by some of the comments/advice here. I am working on being more of an adult as apparently some of you thought I am not. I have not told you the WHOLE story - and what things have transpired b/w the two of us, his Dad, his Mother, etc. I was just looking for some top line help not judgement. I do appreciate the suggestions. One thing that I am going to try YET AGAIN is to spend some one on one time with him.

Sarah - posted on 01/22/2015

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Kids are like tuning forks for our emotions, for 6 years he has felt the tension between the two of you. What does dad have to say?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/22/2015

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Trust me, he knows you don't like him. Maybe that is why he wants to intentionally annoy you, to get your attention.

It is AWFUL being a stepchild to someone that doesn't like you, but just tolerates your presence. You are the adult, it is your obligation to make the relationship into something worthy. You dread him coming over? He dreads going to his fathers house. He should not feel unwelcome in his own home.

Do you have children of your own?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/22/2015

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Blended family counseling should have taken place 6 years ago.

Get some now. The kid isn't to blame for his feelings, nor his actions, really, if no one took into account his feelings and emotions at the time of the split and remarriage. Plus, he's 14...and that's the time for annoying behaviours and boundary pushing...so that's pretty typical.

Sit down with his father, set up counseling times, both for yourself, the family as a whole, and him. He needs to be heard, and his behaviour addressed, but I'm betting he's also getting that vibe from you that says "I really don't like you, because you're a brat" which will only make the behaviour escalate.

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