How do I handle my stepson who keeps getting

LaVonne - posted on 06/11/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My 13 year old stepson lives with his mother we can not get him to respect us and stay out of trouble. We went for custody due to his mother having drug problems. He refuses to live with us and being 13 he has a big say. The problem is he is smoking, drinking using drugs and getting in trouble in school all the time. He only comes to visit when he is forced but wants to reap the beneifits of vacations and presents. The minute he leaves our house he gets in trouble at school and in public. I am scared to have him around my children because of the influence he may have. I got my own place a year ago, due to the situation but, I miss my husband and my children miss their stepfather. We are nervous beause this child gets no discipline for his behavior. Not sure what to do!!!!!!

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Amber - posted on 06/11/2009

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Just stop and think about how painful the situation is.....for him. Broken homes can suck (I know from experience) or....they can be wonderful. He's lost his mother and is looking for attention anywhere. Even bad attention is attention. And if all he's ever known is a drug influenced way of life, then how can you expect anything else? It's your opportuntity to give up on a scared child or shine as his mother. Show him some stability, it's all anybody ever really wants. (Think about it: A stable carrer, family, love and home life.) Children know when they are wanted, if you fake it he will know. So set the rules but show continuous love...even teenagers need and want hugs and kisses!

Lenora - posted on 07/12/2009

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PRAY PRAY PRAY.......in your post you stated ..."The minuet he leaves our house he gets into trouble..", "I am scared...of the influence he "may" have". In these statements it is appearing that when he is there he is not getting into trouble and as of yet has not been a negative influence on your younger children.

It seems that he has grown up in an undisciplined home...or if there was discipline then it was not consistent.

Scripture states "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" Proverbs 22:6

From what you have said this 13 year old already has extreme power over you and your marriage if he is the reason you moved out and away from your husband. That is alot of power for a teenager who "only comes to visit when he is forced ".

Does your family have a church home? Is there an active youth group?

I am a child of divorced parents, my father has been married twice and divorced twice,with children from both. There was drugs involved and each of his children has dealt with addiction and self-destructive behavior. Now I have three teen boys myself and me and my spouse have been divorced and reconciled and remarried. Lord knows that as parents ...personally I refuse to use the word step ....if you and his father are married he is now your child also. Legalities are patooey. Consistencey, discipline with love, and a MIGHTY prayer life will see you through. God is awesome like that.

Sometimes with children of divorce the need for "payback" is intense. His father and mother are no longer together....he was left with her...she is an addict...dad remarried a women with children and is doing great.....How can he get back at the dad doing well while he is suffering through. Mess it up royally. DON'T ALLOW IT. Show him that no matter what he does he will not destroy what you two have. That you will love each other and him through whatever he tries to dish out.

Get on the same page as your husband...sit down and and together set up rules and consequences on paper and next time he comes over let him read it and sign it along with you two, and them follow through.

And if i didnt mention it earlier ....PRAY PRAY PRAY.



This may not be alot of help but know that God loves you ALL. and He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you.

Bonnie - posted on 06/11/2009

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First of all: try to keep your mind positive - situations like that can bring you down and damage / destroy your marriage. Second: talk to your husband and see that both of you are on the same page ( i was in exactly same situation - 3 step kids from hell, and their dad was so scared to discipline them that the older 2 abused me for years with no reaction from him until in the end I left.) Get full custody. Make clear (written) rules and use positive and negative enforcement every day - award if the boy does what he is supposed to, take away stuff and privileges when he breaks a rule. Talk to your children and explain often what's right and wrong: I managed to raise my youngest step-son as a good and hard-working / studying boy although he observed his oldest sister coming home at 4 AM, drinking, and smoking (cigarettes and marijuana). You have more power to influence your kids than he has! And yes, definitely find a GOOD psychologist ( they are like sports fans - everybody follows different team: so research and pick one that follows one of the more effective theories / approaches) Have everybody: the boy, you and your husband go on therapy and ask for advice how to get the results you want. I personally would say, that I am sorry I didn't leave the house earlier, so i understand why you have your own place and I don't blame you. As much as you miss your man, it is better for you - if he wants you back, he should make some changes! And yes again, have him send the boy to a boot camp, use community power, any support you can get. Talk to neighbors and have all relatives on your side [ my mother-in-law showered her grand-daughter with money and new cars every time she crashed, while telling her that I was a worthless foreign person whose only purpose is to clean after everybody (I have a PhD and have been a social leader for years in Europe) ] How does your stepson get money for alcohol and drugs? Stop his sources of money! Talk to your husband about it - he doesn't have to "buy" his son's love!
And in the end: you are not only a step-mom, you are a human: have life beyond the troubles in the family: see friends, enroll in class, practice some hobby out of the house away from negative emotions, go for a trip, have your biological kids spend some time at your parents' house in the summer and you have some private time alone or with your husband: we all deserve happiness! Being mom / step-mom should not be the end of your (good) life! (although often feels this way...) Don't blame yourself: the problems started long before you came into the picture and now are really hard to be solved. There's a chance that this boy will misbehave for a long time until he hit the rock bottom and alone he choose to change. You can try to help but don't blame yourself if you don't achieve perfect result. Enjoy your life as much as you want, because it would be sad if you look back 10 years from now and this stretch looks dark and sad: this is your one and only time with your young kids. So enjoy it, build happy memories, have a good life!

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Michelle - posted on 06/12/2009

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Quoting LaVonne:

How do I handle my stepson who keeps getting

My 13 year old stepson lives with his mother we can not get him to respect us and stay out of trouble. We went for custody due to his mother having drug problems. He refuses to live with us and being 13 he has a big say. The problem is he is smoking, drinking using drugs and getting in trouble in school all the time. He only comes to visit when he is forced but wants to reap the beneifits of vacations and presents. The minute he leaves our house he gets in trouble at school and in public. I am scared to have him around my children because of the influence he may have. I got my own place a year ago, due to the situation but, I miss my husband and my children miss their stepfather. We are nervous beause this child gets no discipline for his behavior. Not sure what to do!!!!!!



Hey LaVonne, It's a heart breaking situation you are in. It seems that the child has not had the proper guidance he needs. With no support from his dad, you do have a problem. It all about the boy. Have you considered professional help, a crissis center, or re-hab program, camp ? They certainly know how to get these kids back on track. He has to learn to respect himself before he will respect anyone else. I imagine that he has low self esteem and peer pressure that  will take more than love to correct it. Just a thought. I'll pray for you.

Sara - posted on 06/12/2009

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I agree with Vickie and basically everyone else here. At 13, he shouldn't have a say at all. You can't force him to love you, but you can force him to go to rehab and you can do your best to prove his mom is an unfit mother. Of course he is happier there! When I was 13, all I wanted was a mom who would let me party like a rock star and leave me alone. He doesn't realize that he needs structure and to stay out of trouble before he ends up a career felon. I'm a recovering addict and as a result am around many others in recovery all of the time now. The program saved my life along with many others. A good friend of mine got sober at 16 and since then, has had no trouble with the police, his parents or anyone else and is now working on his 2nd bachelors and was accepted to a program in Italy. He is 22. The trouble however, started when he was about 12 years old. He needs help, professional help. Don't worry about how he feels now, concentrate on what the end result will be. He will understand in time that this was what he needed.

Stephanie - posted on 06/12/2009

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LaVonne, I worked with kids like your stepson for 4 years at a juvenile detention center. I am a counselor and helped link the kids/families to services. Unfortunately you and your husband don't have a lot of power in this situation. His mom seems to have set up a situation that gives him freedom that gets him into trouble. He likes the freedom and will likely rebell against any structure you try to provide. Help will be accepted by him only when he is ready for change. Trying to force help on him will drive him away most likely. I'm not saying to give up, but realize that giving him the option and an open invitation to live with you may be the best way to reach out without pushing him away. You guys have a hard road ahead. I really recomend getting some family counseling to help you and your husband make all these difficult decisions that effect your entire family.

Michelle - posted on 06/11/2009

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hi LaVonne,i know this is difficult but you have to see where the problem started... his parents,specifically his mom. He was allowed to do whatever and whenever because his mom did not care,the drugs were more important! The reason he is drinking,smoking and taking drugs is because he sees nothing wrong with it because he grew up with it. To build a relationship is going to be hard,but you can if you want to. I believe in love,love and lots of prayer. agape love,to love unconditionally. If you have brought your children up the correct way and if they have a very open relationship with you,trust them even i u can't trust your stepson. Lay down the rules and give him boundries,which he has obviously never had. build a friendship wit him so that he can learn to trust you. you can do it,just ask God to give you the strength and soften his heart. I REALLY believe that love covers a multitude of sins. Will be praying or you!! regards Michelle

Stephanie - posted on 06/11/2009

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I would ask for court intervention. If the mother is on drugs I would have an attorney Motion for Drug Test 1 hour after the court hearing. We have done that on many case with children. Also in Oklahoma the courts will listen to a child's wishes but if the custodial parent is on drugs or not in the best interest of the minor child then they will place the child with you. Cause no court is going to allow a 13 year to live with a drug abuser especially if he's doing the same. I work for a attorney's firm and have done these types of cases. You may also wanted to check into help for his abuse as well.

Vickie - posted on 06/11/2009

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Quoting LaVonne:

How do I handle my stepson who keeps getting

My 13 year old stepson lives with his mother we can not get him to respect us and stay out of trouble. We went for custody due to his mother having drug problems. He refuses to live with us and being 13 he has a big say. The problem is he is smoking, drinking using drugs and getting in trouble in school all the time. He only comes to visit when he is forced but wants to reap the beneifits of vacations and presents. The minute he leaves our house he gets in trouble at school and in public. I am scared to have him around my children because of the influence he may have. I got my own place a year ago, due to the situation but, I miss my husband and my children miss their stepfather. We are nervous beause this child gets no discipline for his behavior. Not sure what to do!!!!!!



At age 13, he shouldn't have any big say at all.  Your husband has to take necessary steps to get custody & get this boy away from his mother & her drug use.  Sad to say, she is a bad influence & not a very good mother.  You and/or your husband need to get in touch with your local Division of Youth & Family Services & get them to take action immediately. 



You & your husband need to get this child into rehab as fast as possible, before it is too late.  Or better still, get him enrolled into a boot camp for problem children.  They will help get him off drugs & they will also give him the discipline he so badly needs.



 



Any child will want to reap the benefits of vacations, presents & any other rewards.  This young man needs to be taught that vacations, presents & rewards are all a part of good behavior at home & at school. 



It sounds like you and your husband and his son all need to go for family counselling.  The fact that your children miss their stepfather speaks volumes in itself. 

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